The Russian elite during Vladimir Putin's inauguration
Which will happen first: the emergence of an alliance between the new communists and the classical conservatives to combat mutacapitalism or the final merger between the mutacapitalists and the proponents of a questionable antiquity to install a liberal fascism?
The rapid turn events compels me to conclude this analytical report in this issue [of the Essence of Time newspaper], which is what I promised to the readers. However, events have taken a very peculiar turn. This has to do not just with Nemtsov’s murder, but also with what is already being drawn into the investigation of this murder.
The analysis of processes like this cannot be torn away from the conceptual. However, during critical periods, the conceptual cannot afford to be torn from specifics. Combining one with the other requires a different volume of investigation. I’ve managed to perform the necessary volume of investigation in the shortest possible time. We made the decision to print the conclusion of this investigation in one issue, regardless of its volume. For this reason, I am combining the editorial column with the main part, and to use several sections to print this report. Again, the rapid turn of events requires this. This report is necessary both for those wish to make sense of what is happening and for those who intend to act. The latter must understand that acting without understanding is unacceptable, and that the Essence of Time’s actions must be of a predominantly intellectual, absolutely non-extremist, and even of an anti-extremist nature.
In serious situations, there is no room for excitement. What wins is rationality, calmness, strength of will, precision of actions, and the maximum possible civility of these actions. I call on everyone to remember this. To be guided by this. To never allow emotions to suppress rationality, and to never allow excitement to suppress civility, constitutionality, the necessary delicateness, and the precision of political behavior. Having made this reservation, I now proceed to the concluding part of my conceptual and analytic investigation
My book, Red Spring, which was previously printed in several issues of our newspaper, has just been published. In this book, I discuss our westernism in detail, and not just our liberal westernism. I discuss it both in relation to the destruction of the USSR, and in relation to the problem of capitalism itself.
Since I do not wish to reiterate all of what is said in this book, I will simply formulate as theses the main consequences that arise from the nature of our westernism, which I discussed in detail in the book Red Spring, and in other works. These theses cannot be called even a condensed description of the nature of our westernism. In them, I will state only that which pertains to the current stage of the Russian Federation’s relations with the United States and with Europe.
That being said, I of course do not imply a unity of the United States and the so-called “Old Europe”, which includes, first and foremost, Germany and France. Of course, Old Europe will defend its interests, which contradict those of the US. Moreover, unlike “New Europe”, as Eastern Europe is referred to, Old Europe will make every attempt to free itself from American control.
As for New Europe, it is ecstatic over being under the control of none other than the United States. This reveals their true nature, which is rather far from what over centuries was referred to as being “freedom-loving” (“freedom-loving Poland”, “freedom-loving Finland”, “the freedom-loving Czech Republic”, and finally “freedom-loving Ukraine”). The freedom-loving dream, as we have discovered, lies in subordination to the right master. Moreover, this involves becoming subordinate to such an extent that far exceeds the degree of subordination to the previous master, the USSR.
Returning to Old Europe, which differs significantly from New Europe, I think it is necessary to stipulate that, while it tries to slip out of American control, if it comes under extraordinary pressure from the United States at a critical moment, this Europe will act as the US sees fit.
I will not discuss all of the mechanisms here that the United States has created to ensure that Old Europe will never free itself from American control. Part of this is discussed in Red Spring, and part of this needs a separate discussion. There are other aspects that cannot be discussed at the present moment. I very much want to see life prove my thesis wrong about Old Europe lacking sovereignty, but I am afraid that I will once again be proven right.
Having stipulated that Old Europe lacks sovereignty, and thus having demonstrated the possibility of talking about relations between the Russian Federation and the West as a whole, with first and foremost Russian-American relations in mind, I will continue to the theses, the justification of which the reader can find in the book Red Spring and in my other works.
However, since the theses are rather obvious, both professionals working in Russian-Western relations, and “advanced amateurs” will demand their justification. By no means do I consider these two categories of readers to be in any inferior, so I am doing my professional duty to them by referring them to the corresponding source. Having done this, I continue to the theses.
The post-Soviet Russian state was and continues to be a means (a political instrument) by which the post-Soviet elite has been attempting to achieve a merger between Russia and the West.
The ruling post-Soviet elite can be called an elite focused on merging with the West (in short, a “merger elite”).
Part of the “merger elite” insists on Russia merging with the West at full value. In other words, they want a kind of merger in which Russia keeps its unity and statehood, becoming part of the West in the same way as France and Germany. The representatives of the elite who insist on this have an equally passionate desire to merge with the West as those representatives of the elite, who are willing to agree to an inferior merger, with separate pieces of the current Russian state merging with the West.
The proponents of a full-value merger not only dream of this merger with the same passion as the proponents of an inferior merger. They see Russia joining NATO as a good thing, and they are ready to reject everything that has to do with the difference between Russia’s historiosophical, conceptual, and metaphysical choice, and the West’s historiosophical, conceptual, and metaphysical choice.
In this sense, the proponents of a full-value merger between Russia and the West cannot be referred to as an elite in the full sense of the word. An elite in the full sense of the word is an elite that serves its people, for whom the state is a means for the extension and development of its historical purpose.
Because this purpose has nothing to do with merging into the West, any elite who wants to merge with the West cannot be called a real elite.
For example, merging with the West is impossible without Russian believers abandoning Orthodoxy. This is because the West is a sort of house built by Catholics and Protestants. There is no room in this house for Orthodoxy, not even in the basement. In a way, this is fair. Because, Orthodoxy always said (and for me, in this lies its enormous power) that it will build its own house. It did all this while subjecting the European house to devastating strategic, and most importantly, metaphysical criticism.
Since Orthodoxy had stated that it does not wish to enter “the house of evil” which, in its opinion, is the Catholic-Protestant West, Russia can only proceed with such an entrance/merger after violently rejecting this fundamental Orthodox thesis, and with it, true Orthodoxy. Well then, what authenticity of an Orthodox elite is there left to speak of after this?
What authentic Russian elite identity is there to speak of if everything will need to be built on the rejection both of Sovietism and of Orthodoxy? What, in this case, will there be left of history? And, what sort of full value will there be after the rejection of history?
The great events of the past, the heroes who defended the country, the great achievements – only on this foundation can any strong statehood be built. As for Russian statehood, the existence of these events, these heroes, and these achievements plays an especially important role. Having trampled on all of this (we all saw how people like Svanidze, Mlechin, Pivovarov, [pro-Western, anti-Soviet, in essence, even anti-Russian historians and TV personalities] and others did just this), it is impossible to build any sort of strong Russian statehood. It is impossible to create any sort of robust historical identity. First comes the vilification of Stalin; then comes the vilification of the entire Soviet era along with strange gesturing around the sacred topic of the Great Patriotic War (that we won in spite of the Bolsheviks, in spite of Stalin). Then comes the total demonization of the Soviet era, its transformation into a “black hole”. Then this black hole starts swallowing up other historical eras. We have seen how this is done (“Peter the Great begot Stalin; then to hell with Peter the Great! Ivan the Terrible begot Peter the Great; then to hell with Ivan the Terrible! Alexander Nevsky begot Ivan the Terrible; then to hell with Alexander Nevsky!”).
The unprecedented war against history that is being waged in Russia creates a non-historical and anti-historical society, which cannot be a classical capitalist one by definition. A classical capitalist society has to be a society capable of building a robust state, and a robust state is built on a historical foundation. Then who can wage war against history? Who can build a non-historical and anti-historical society? Only mutacapitalists. In building this kind of society in Russia, they naturally reach out to the same kind of mutacapitalists in the West. This is in addition to their shameful groveling in front of the West.
Notably, only during the post-Soviet period, when this shameful groveling became the policy of the ruling class, did the Stalinist term “kneeling before the West” stop being perceived as a hyperbole. Unfortunately, we now must talk about real, hundred percent, kneeling. But, this kneeling cannot be anything but kneeling before the new West, one that rejects its history, before a West of postmodernism and false antiquity, before a West that has traded the citizen for the consumer. In other words, before the West of mutacapitalism.
Russia merging with the West on this foundation can only mean Russia merging with a mutating West and with mutacapitalism.
Regrettably, even the proponents of a full-value merger of Russia with the West cannot be called an elite, but rather a quasi-elite. The proponents of an inferior merger between Russia and the West can only be called an anti-elite.
In light of the split of the global capitalist formation into classicism and mutacapitalism, in light of the escalating conflict between classical capitalist Modernity and the mutacapitalist, postmodernist, and archaic quirks of the past decades, the Russian quasi-elite is spontaneously or consciously transforming in front of our very eyes into spontaneous or conscious apologists of classical capitalism. Meanwhile, the Russian anti-elite, in swearing allegiance to mutacapitalism, or to postmodernism melded together with false antiquity, is becoming liberal fascist in nature. The line continues to blur between the liberal and fascist components of this anti-elite.
It is completely unacceptable to downplay the difference between our quasi- and anti-elite, and to blur the lines between them, exclaiming, “they are all one and the same!”
Anyone who does not comprehend the principal difference between the quasi- and anti-elite, between the elite of Modernity and the elite of Postmodernity, between the elite of classical capitalism and the elite of mutacapitalism, will cut themselves off from energy on this current stage of historical development, and they will be unable to participate in the real political struggle.
The patriotism and the ambition of our “merger elite” lies in Russia, having merged into the West, would preserve a certain unity and a certain statehood. This will allow it to occupy a serious position in this Western house. It could even deprive the United States of its leading role, thus pushing Old Europe to true sovereignty.
Indeed, Russia’s merging with the West, which means Russia entering NATO and the European Union, would rid the Americans of the necessity to defend Europe militarily. There wouldn’t be anyone to defend Europe from in this case.
Furthermore, a Europe which has merged with Russia would have the Russian army and Russian nuclear weapons at its disposal as part of its own military potential. In this case, it would be able to defend itself against anyone.
The ambition and patriotism of our “merger elite” were (and in a sense, still are) in guaranteeing the merger of Russian and the West at the cost of any concessions, and thus factually giving the Russian elite the prospect of control over Europe. This was precisely wherein lied the ambition and patriotism of Andropov and his heirs. And, many in modern Russia were and are heirs to Andropov’s mission (or to be more precise, Andropov and Kuusinen’s mission).
The ambitious “merger elite”, who zealously believe in their patriotism, are profoundly indifferent toward the historiosophical, cultural, metaphysical, identificational, and other costs of such a merger.
Moreover, it is ready to exchange these costs for economic, sociopolitical, and geopolitical benefits. But, the ambitious and patriotically oriented “merger elite” is not ready to give up these benefits and reduce everything to costs. On the other hand, this elite does not understand, or it doesn’t fully understand the significance of the immaterial costs listed above, and it ignores these costs, because they are immaterial. But, this elite has an excellent understanding of material benefits.
It also understands that material benefits cannot be reduced to Western bank accounts, or even to Western businesses purchased with funds that had been accumulating on these accounts. Our ambitious, patriotic, self-perceiving “merger elite” knows full well that only power is truly material. Money is secondary. And, it is ready to merge, but it dreams of merging with the West only under the condition of certain guarantees for its own selfhood within the West after such a merger has taken place. This elite will not merge if it means losing its selfhood, even if the funds on its Western bank accounts are guaranteed. Because, this elite does not believe these kinds of Western guarantees.
Furthermore, it does not consider the status of super-rich playboys in the West to be respectable. It already understands how pathetic this status really is for the West and how unstable it is.
Additionally, it suspects that in the event of an improper merger with the West, which would be to merge with Russia losing its unity as a state, their money, their freedom, and possibly their lives would be taken away.
The ambitious and patriotic part of the “merger elite” is a quasi-elite. The part of the same “merger elite” that is ready to merge on any Western terms is an anti-elite.
The quasi-elite is not ready to merge on just any terms, but it passionately dreams of merging on the terms that I previously described. In other words, to merge whilst ignoring all of the terrible immaterial costs, but receiving the sought after material benefits of power.
Another part of the “merger elite” is ready to merge on any terms offered by the West. This long-time readiness allows one to refer to this part of the “merger elite” as an anti-elite. This is precisely what I did in 1992 in an article published in the “Zavtra” newspaper. The article was called just that: “Anti-elite”.
It is a fundamental mistake to equate the quasi-elite to the anti-elite.
It is equally mistaken not to understand that the quasi-elite, with all of its ambition and patriotism, dreams of merging with the West just as passionately as the anti-elite.
The elite consensus lies in the dream of merging, so far as we are discussing the post-Soviet elite, which this dream permeates.
People with any elite capabilities, who are not permeated by this dream of merging, are a counter-elite in post-Soviet Russia.
I stress that they can have any sort of capabilities, and they can occupy any posts. But, they are not part of the elite. Consequently, they live and work, metaphorically speaking, constantly looking around. In other words, they are constantly waiting for big trouble to come from the “merger elite”. They constantly conform their actions to the “merger elite” considering their actions opposing the “merger elite” to be vulnerable to attack, referring to the whole “merger elite” by the concise word “they”, and so on.
By “they”, these representatives of the counter-elite in no way mean just the high-status representatives of a certain ethnic group. “They” are the “merger elite” itself, which in post-Soviet Russia is very polyethnic.
One of these representatives of the counter-elite was convinced that he belongs to a select group of high-ranking administrators who are capable of changing the nature of politics and overcoming all that the “merger elite” had created through its actions. However, his political actions were very peculiar in nature. It was as though these actions were being conducted from some sort of counter-elite underground, constantly looking out for “their” counterattacks, and constantly ruminating over “their” omnipotence. One could characterize the political attitude of this very influential counter-elite representative by comparing the behavior of a powerful military commander with the behavior of someone who commands a very large guerrilla unit behind enemy lines.
In Russia, which is under the control of the “merger elite” and where everything is subjugated to the idea of this merger, in Russia, which could be referred to as “Mergerland”, even the most powerful representatives of the counter-elite behave themselves as guerrillas behind enemy lines.
For the entire post-Soviet elite, the idea of Russia merging with the West is super-valuable in nature.
This is partially due to a complex of guilt. This complex is especially strong in the representatives of the quasi-elite. They are the ones who have to somehow combine their ambition and patriotism with justifying the breakup of the Soviet Union and the collapse of the Soviet project. Representatives of the anti-elite don’t have such a conflict, because for them the idea of merging is something that’s assumed. Representatives of the quasi-elite do have this complex, because for them the idea of merging is a strain of vindication.
But to reiterate, for them the full-value terms of such a merger are of utmost importance. I discussed what this means previously (see thesis #6).
Very often, the quasi-elite views the anti-elite in an extremely negative light. It even rejoices when representatives of the counter-elite strike representatives of the anti-elite. But, the quasi-elite perceives itself as one with the anti-elite. The idea of merging defines this essential unity.
The post-Soviet state known as the Russian Federation is, to the finest detail, crafted by the “merger elite” to serve the goal of merging.
With this idea in mind, all state institutions have been designed as institutions for merging. We have the right to talk about a teleology of merging (in other words, merging is the principal function according to which the state, the elite, and all of its institutions are being optimized), about the historiosophy of merging, about the ontology of merging (the entire post-Soviet existence is subjugated to the idea of merging), about the ideology of merging, and about the system architecture of merging. And to a degree, even about the metaphysics of merging.
All layers of our post-Soviet life are built from a material called “mergerin”. All of the post-Soviet air is saturated with bacteria that can be called “mergeria”.
I ASK EVERYONE READING THIS TEXT
TO THINK ABOUT THE TRAGEDY OF THIS SITUATION!
Everything was built out of “mergerin”! Do you understand? And, it is the “mergeria” that determine the composition of out social-political atmosphere. Therefore, any resistance to “mergerism” means voluntarily consenting to one form of marginalization or another. It is already good if those who agree to this can create small but viable communities such the “Experimental Creative Center”, which I created together with my comrades. But, what if the opponents of “mergerism” didn’t have these capabilities? What then? Then they had to dwell in an atomized state, all the while being subjected to the most profound marginalization with all of the resulting consequences.
“Mergerism” can be deliberate in nature, or it can be a system of reflexes. People, whose behavior consists of multiple “micro-mergeria” which form a autonomous behavioral complex will never call themselves “mergerists”. They are normal people who are engaged in proper everyday activities, and who are thriving thanks to their proper and pragmatic approach to life. In reality, they are “mergerists”, and they can live only “Mergerland”, which breathes the air of merging. As soon as merging is removed from all of this, the county begins to crumble, and its inhabitants begin to asphyxiate.
Because of the automatisms described above, the crumbling country doesn’t understand why it is crumbling, and the asphyxiating citizens don’t understand why they are asphyxiating.
The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, as the national leader and the head of the Russian state, and thanks to his popular support, is outside of one Russian elite framework or another. To call him part of the quasi-elite or the counter-elite (he obviously does not belong to the anti-elite) means disrespecting the choice of the people.
This being said, if one were to pay attention to what has been happening over the course of many years, and if one has at least a minimal instinct of social responsibility, then one has to see that Putin felt like he was in his element for very long time in the atmosphere of ambitious patriotic “mergerism”. That he did not destroy the consensus of merging, but rather he strengthened it. That he skillfully used the tools available to him to shift Russia from inferior compradorial “mergerism” to ambitious patriotic “mergerism”. That this “mergerism” is the true content of Russia’s so-called “getting up from its knees”.
Putin has been acting precisely and carefully, offensively and prudently on the mergerist territory, to materialize the idea of merging in its ambitious patriotic variant. He operated with the tools of merging, strengthening the consensus within the “merger elite” framework, moving the most notorious figures outside of the consensus framework, and so on.
But, Putin’s behavior obviously contains something that does not fall within the framework of “mergerism” even in its ambitious patriotic variant. Putin is engaged in “mergerism” in its ambitious patriotic variant, but in doing so, he periodically stops, as though some sort of strange bird of doubt had flown onto his desk. Putin shoos away this bird, and he continues his activities. But after a while, it once again flies onto his desk.
Apparently, this sort of bird periodically visited Yeltsin, but much less often. And, if Putin is ready, to an ever greater degree, to enter with the bird into a metaphysical, and therefore, a political dialogue, then Yeltsin never allowed himself anything of the sort.
(To be continued…)
Source (for copy): http://eu.eot.su/?p=9854
This is the translation of the first part of the second article (published in “Essence of Time” newspaper issue 118 on March 12, 2015) by Sergey Kurginyan on the new ongoing mutation of capitalism. Capitalism is destroying nation states in favor of a global state; it is destroying the family as an institution, and it is reformatting itself into something entirely anti-humanistic. In doing so, the new mutated capitalism, with its twin brothers, neofascism and radical Islamism, inevitably clashes with classic capitalism. Whose side should Communists be on in this battle? You will find the answer in this series of articles.