|Nina Khrushcheva, Professor of International Affairs|
"A few days ago, I called the fake news the enemy of the people because they have no sources--they just make it up," said 45, speaking to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C. on Friday, February 24.
"Enemy of the people?"
In the 1950s, Nikita Khrushchev insisted on ending use of the term "enemy of the people" because it was a Stalinist phrase uttered one step before execution of those to whom it was aimed.
His great-granddaughter, Nina Khrushcheva, is now a professor of international affairs at the New School in New York.
She called this phrase "shocking to hear in a non-Soviet, moreover non-Stalinist setting."
Her great-grandfather "tried to stay away from sweeping denunciations of whole segments of the Soviet population," she continued.
Thank you to Andrew Higgins of the New York Times for outlining the history of these words he calls "too toxic even for Nikita Khrushchev."
Hours after using this phrase to describe some segments of the press, 45 held a briefing in his office and barred some newspapers, including the New York Times.
Khrushcheva said that this kind of language of "autocracy, of state nationalism is always the same, regardless of the country, and no nation is exempt."
The "formulas of insult, humiliation, domination, branding, enemy-forming and name calling are always the same," she continued.
Her blog, Welcome To My World, is at https://ninakhrushcheva.wordpress.com/
Apparently the prez "wants to destabilize people," suggests Philip Short, who has written biographies of Chairman Mao Tse Tung and of Pol Pot, who led genocide in Cambodia.
Then there's the issue of why 45 chooses a specifically Russian phrase to brand his opponents. Pol Pot labeled his enemies "ugly microbes," and Mao used Soviet jargon sparingly.
Clearly 45 has no idea of the historical resonance of "enemy of the people," but it's probable that Stephen Bannon does understand it and has deliberately placed that phrase on a tray for the prez to use when he wants to shock.