Essence of Time. Chapter 12

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( Links to previous Chapters are available here: Volume I and Chapter 11)

April 19, 2011.

As I mentioned before, in the second stage of broadcasts (from 11 to 20) we are going to split each chapter into four parts.

 

PART ONE. ACTIVITY

We will never make progress in our activity if we do not analyze specific issues. Therefore, I am going to, first and foremost, address the first module of our initiative, Territorial Integrity. I will suggest how to form sub-sections and how to conduct activity within this section (fig. 15).

 

 

I must make it clear right from the start that this process will be “stillborn” if those who watch and listen to the “Essence of Time” broadcast do not start making suggestions. Of course, there are people whom I could charge with this direction. But that would not be interesting. Therefore, everything we are proposing is not a directive but a message to those who listen to us, and we are counting on a specific response.

So, the first section, Territorial Integrity, consists of the following subsections.

Subsection One. The collection of materials, both foreign and domestic, which examine various options for dismembering what is historically Russia―the Russian Empire, the USSR, and the Russian Federation. I must stress that I mean conclusive, reliable materials. Not various fantasies about someone’s secret protocols, but rather those materials (and there are many of them), which can be examined and analyzed.

Unfortunately, many are unaware that such materials exist. That the dismemberment of the USSR is only the first phase in dismembering the historical Russia. That subsequently, this process will certainly continue, and that people exist who obviously see the integrity of the Russian state as unacceptable. I would even say the integrity of the country, specifically the country.

It is absolutely necessary that people know about the struggle going on over the territorial integrity of our country. To this end, such materials must be collected, systematized, and presented for consideration.

Among the rights that a human being has, there is the right to know and the right to understand, which are not the same thing. One must first have information available. Secondly, he needs a cognitive apparatus with which to analyze this information and to make conclusions. He makes conclusions freely, but he has to obtain the apparatus through education and self-education. This all requires that knowledge and information on the subject be collected. Knowledge too, but information first.

Our era is peculiar in that we have an excess rather than a deficit of information. This, by the way, kills the various intelligence agencies to a certain degree. Indeed, intelligence agencies used to exist in order to find secret information in the situation of an information deficit; today, however, so much information is available that one could drown in it. People do not know where to really look for it, to what extent it is credible, and how one should collect it and classify it. And I suggest that those who are really concerned about preserving Russia’s territorial integrity start doing all of this. For if we fail to preserve this integrity, then the rest of our discussions will have no meaning. It is a different matter that we will not preserve it without all the other thoughts and discussions, but losing Russia’s integrity now means losing everything.

We strongly emphasize that such gathering of material has nothing in common with intelligence gathering. We are talking about publicly available materials, both foreign and domestic. We expressly refuse to do anything else (like collecting messages from informants or anything of the like), and we will preclude any attempts to do so on our behalf.

Let me stress once more: the amount of publicly available material is vast. The problem of our era is the excess of information rather than its deficit, which makes it impossible to even become acquainted with the available material, which is scattered across various publications, websites, and databases. And even less so is it possible to comprehend all of this material. Therefore, it is necessary to do this much needed, overt, and useful work.

For example, the intellectual and political community today is hardly aware of what local media are writing about. It does not know what local media outlets are publishing and what topics local conferences are discussing. Provincial authors might actually want to be heard. What are they publishing for? To be heard! What do they gather these open conferences for? To be heard! But there is not even such a place where materials from these local talks could be gathered and comprehended. The agencies responsible for doing so have abandoned this work to a substantial extent. Therefore, an independent, reasonable, and tactful civil alternative is especially needed.

Here, we have to briefly transition from discussing a direction of activity to discussing activity as such.

It is all this activity that makes up the Civil Alternative. It can be abbreviated as The Grail [in Russian, “GRAzhdanskaya ALternativa” makes “GRAAL”, which means “Grail” ― translator’s note]. We are gathering our Civil Alternative, and we invite everyone to join it. Whatever it concerns, be it defending the territorial integrity, the cultural and social research of Russian society, defending historical dignity, or designing alternative models of development. All this together is the Civil Alternative.

What is the meaning of this initiative? Functions exist, which the state has abandoned. The most conspicuous example is the function of ensuring a certain level of education. Gradually, the state is refusing to fulfil its social functions; it is leaving (please understand this metaphor correctly) these markets. Then someone else has to enter these markets in place of the state.

Of course, any non-governmental structures entering such markets are small compared to structures of the state. Oftentimes, it is impossible to compensate for the state leaving these markets, or it is next to impossible, or filling this gap requires extraordinary efforts. But sometimes, it is possible to fill this gap, and then what exactly this gap will be filled with becomes important. What happens if this territory, which the state is abandoning, becomes the playground of absolutely destructive actors, both foreign and domestic, who would be absolutely criminal in nature? They most certainly could enter this territory.

Speaking in the language of political theory, which was developed by many (from Hegel to Gramsci), the state ceases to be integral, and it becomes nominal. Leaving these territories means that the state becomes nominal. Not only does it lose the nature of a social state (as stipulated in our constitutional documents, by the way), but it also loses the nature of a state that serves society. It becomes a Kantian “thing-in-itself”, i. e. it becomes a state “in itself and for itself”. This would then refer to perverted forms of activity.

I do not want to discuss this here in detail. What is important is that the territory (both in the literal sense and in the social political sense) becomes free. The territory of the integral state becomes a place of competition between forces. Even if you and I voluntarily disappear from this field, other forces will compete.

I am closely watching how international forces are invading this space, in both the political and conceptual senseб and the way they are preparing the next Twitter revolution here. This is so open, so conspicuous! And extremely worrisome at the same time. Because no one notices it, and no one cares.

I will repeat: very destructive forces of criminal origin, both international and domestic, may prevail.

Therefore, the struggle for this territory (AKA the civil alternative) is not only a civil activity, an activity within civil society (and we must certainly learn this, or else we will lose everything). It is also a war of position, if we use Gramsci’s term because it is a political struggle. This is a territory we need to fight for politically. What is important here is who shall fill it and how.

Antonio Gramsci

It is very important to ensure that reasonable patriotic forces win this struggle. The specifics of the current moment is that, without victory in the war of position, no victory in the war of maneuver is possible (as everyone likes to say here, even choking on the words, “The post office, the central telegraph, and the phone station!” [the Bolsheviks prioritized capturing these objects in Petrograd first during the Great October Socialist Revolution in 1917 ― translator’s note]). This is what Gramsci wrote about, and he pointed out that Lenin was in a unique situation when a war of maneuver was possible. However, most often it is impossible. And now it is the most impossible, if I may put it this way.

Therefore, all this talk about “The post office, the central telegraph, and the phone station” is in many ways empty talk, in which people have been engaged for the past 20 years. The more intense this talk is, the farther the talkers are from the goals they claim, as well as from any constructive goals at all.

The reasons why this regrettable empty talk dominates must be discussed separately, not here and not in this section. For now, I have just said that all of our activity bears the nature of a civil alternative. All the suggested 12 directions of activity are the civil alternative, abbreviated as the Grail. Welcome to the Grail!

And so, for Subsection One within the direction of Territorial Integrity, we need to at least gather materials. We suggest doing so both in this direction, as well as in all of the other directions. We suggest that a corresponding electronic library or database be established, which would be open to all those who want to study what is happening, or at least want to familiarize themselves with it. Materials should not only be collected, but also organized both chronologically and otherwise.

And so, we collect materials. And this is the first subsection in the section of Territorial Integrity.

Now, Subsection Two. The collected materials must be analyzed, primarily those that are the most interesting to us. Are you ready to analyze them? Are you ready to join this work?

Subsection Three. We must study the factors that ensure Russia’s integrity and the factors that undermine its integrity. The number of factors to be studied is certainly related to the quantifiable degree of regress in industry, agriculture, culture, science and education, etc.

We strongly recommend that you avoid any rhetorical alarmism as much as possible; you should not just say “Everything is bad, everything is ruined, everything is awful!”, but you should support certain models with reliable and specific data, preferably quantitative. Anyhow, it should be analytical data. The time has come when any superficial hysterics no longer have any meaning. If we really want to counter anything, we must take on a strict yet powerful, evidence-based, and analytical language. Otherwise, everything will start and end with hysterics.

So, we are talking about studying factors. To this end, we invite serious researchers, both students and graduate students, as well as professors, who can study the factors which ensure or undermine our integrity. We are identifying these factors. We invite you to contribute to discussing and studying them. This is Subsection Three.

Subsection Four is the study of various forms of statehood, which match the specifics of our country to different extents. For me, for example, it is very important to rehabilitate the word “empire”. Indeed, there was a moment when even the liberals tried to rehabilitate it when they talked about a “liberal empire” [Referring to Anatoly Chubais’ 2003 speech, in which he proposed this concept ― translator’s note].

Empire is not in the past but in the future. Empire is an absolutely acceptable form of government. I for one am sure that this form is best suited for Russia’s specific traits, and that it gives an answer to the challenges of the future. A concentration of geopolitical capitals, if it may be put this way, is underway in Europe, Asia, North America ― in all regions. Indeed, what is the European Union, or the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA), or the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), in which China is increasingly aspiring to become the core?

So, what is the empire? How is it structured? How is the national state structured? What is the fate of nation state in the 21st century? What does the so-called “crisis of nation state” represent? These are serious questions.

Let us collect articles, books, and new original studies on these issues. Let us study this, if we want to counter the disintegration and undermining of our state integrity.

Subsection Five is that of meanings and the territory. How are macro-social identities connected with territorial integrity? Because territory, especially in Russia, is the territory of meanings, among other things. If we lose the meanings, then can we preserve the territory?

I remember how in Nagorny Karabakh one person joked with me, “You see, we live in democracy… Here, you can drink either down to the bottom, or down to the end”. He poured me some wine, looked at me with sorrow and said, “A people who have begun to change their history, are bound to divide their territory… So, shall you and I drink to the bottom or to the end?” His message was clear: “Let this cup pass from us”. He was a very intelligent person who looked with great sorrow on what was happening.

We saw how repenting for Stalinism marked the beginning of the USSR’s disintegration. We understand that every time repentance becomes the topic of discussion, the real issue at hand is the beginning of another partition of territories. That certain sophisticated people (and ones who wish to appear sophisticated) are essentially not interested in anything else.

Zbigniew Brzezinski

So shall we study the relationship between meanings and territories, as well as the logic of all these repentances? As well as theoretical works, which have served and continue to serve as basis for these processes? In particular, Brzezinski wrote about how historical time can be transformed into the relevant time. This is a very serious research. Shall we look into this?

Subsection Six is the study of separatism as a worldwide trend. For example a disintegration process is gradually progressing in Spain. Catalonia has practically become an independent state. Conversations constantly take place about how the United Kingdom is to be partitioned… What tendencies are to gain the upped hand in France… Maps exist, which indicate 150 new states that are to emerge in the next 20 years. There are those who wish to transform every ethnic territory into a separate tribal state.

So shall we discuss separatism as a worldwide trend? Are there people who wish to undertake this? Do they only wish to acquaint themselves with these materials, or do they wish to make their own contribution? Do they, ultimately, wish to distribute these materials and to identify the connections between the processes here and in the rest of the world? Most importantly, do they wish to search for the answer to the question of how to overcome these processes, if we really want to preserve our territorial integrity?

Subsection Seven is the experience of the USSR’s disintegration during the so-called perestroika. I have already spoken about Repentance and Repentance-2, which are being now re-inspired… Or what number has been reached already? Repentance-3, -4… Khrushchev’s repentance was followed by Gorbachev’s and Yeltsin’s… Now another one… All of these repentances are only parts of corresponding perestroikas. Perestroikas are the processes aimed at collapsing our consciousness, and therefore, our territorial integrity. How do the designers of these processes intend to implement them now?

Subsection Eight is pseudo-Russian separatism, the so-called “shrinking” nationalism. In previous episodes, I spoke about how it is now not necessary to combat nationalism as a whole. There are different kinds of nationalism. It is important to isolate the “shrinking” nationalism.

Xenophobia is not a synonym of chauvinism, but its antithesis. A chauvinist wants to occupy as many territories as possible; moreover, he initially intends to suppress the population of these territories. Later, he comes to an understanding that he cannot crush everyone, and he begins to build reasonable relations. A xenophobe, in contrast to a chauvinist, only wishes to expel everyone else. The xenophobic syndrome’s cultivation in our society is part of the perestroika. As the writer Valentin Rasputin used to say that the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) would leave the USSR (and now the writer and columnist Vladimir Lichutin says that this is actually what everyone wanted all along), so now today’s shrinking nationalism wants to amputate the Caucasus. Other territories will follow the  Caucasus in line for separation, and this will all end with the ultimate death of the Russian people. But this is being presented as a special sort of nationalism. As we must stress, a “shrinking” one.
[On 12 February, 2011, during an anniversary event for the Zavtra newspaper, writer Vladimir Lichutin said, “A sentimental tone has been voiced, ‘Someone is to be blamed for the collapse of the USSR’… Recently I reviewed my notes, and I saw that back in late 1980s, the coup was almost pre-determined. This is what our soul desired. It was pining for nationalism. We were afraid of forgetting ourselves, Russians. The goddamn cosmopolitanism which had entrenched itself in the communist party’s ideology was corroding all the vibrancy, the spirituality, and the health of the state. Our desire for change was beyond expression! ‘Just let it happen!’ the people thought. This is why no one took to the streets to defend the USSR.” See http://zavtra.ru/cgi//veil//data/zavtra/11/900/21.html]

And so, Subsection Eight is about pseudo-Russian separatism. Shall we discuss it?

Subsection Nine is ethnic separatism. Its history and the current situation… All of the ethnic territorial entities in the Russian Federation must be included in the discussion, as well as conflicts inside these entities, conflicts between ethnic territorial entities, and the support for such separatism from various international actors. For example, Georgia openly supports separatism in the North Caucasian republics (by establishing the corresponding TV broadcasts, websites etc.). But it is not just about Georgia.

This is the ninth subsection in Territorial Integrity

Subsection Ten is regional separatism. You see, it is indeed not important what beliefs Oleg Kashin has, whose lecture entitled “Russia for Russians” was published on openspace.ru on April 6, 2011, or what he actually integrated into this lecture. However, in this lecture, he discusses in detail that there will soon be no Russia to speak of. You must have the opportunity to read the transcript of this lecture.

Perhaps, if through studying both materials that one likes, as well as materials that one dislikes, be they ideologically charged or neutral, everyone comes to an acute understanding that we are about to come up to a red line, beyond which no Russia will exist, maybe then something will finally begin?!

As part of Subsection Ten, we should discuss, for example, the United States of Siberia… As online media report, a clergyman from Irkutsk, Archpriest Vyacheslav Pushkarev, believes that a new ethnicity has appeared in Russia: the Siberians. The census was held; and for some reason, a plethora of ethnicities was listed to chose from. A Siberian ethnicity is already being discussed! Back at the Congress of People’s Deputies of the USSR, I heard someone read a poem that went, “The Siberian is not to blame for hiding in his clothes a knife. For he is to a Russian like a leopard is to a leming”. These ideas were being planted even then! Now they are entering a new active phase.

So shall we discuss Siberian separatism as well as Far-Eastern, Northern, Southern, Caucasian, Cossack, and so on?

Within this subsection, we will examine any sorts of regional isolationism that threatens Russia’s integrity, especially those that openly undermine our territorial integrity.

Subsection Eleven: The next issue that arises is the threat to the integrity of the Russian ethnic core. If even Cossacks are considered non-Russians, then who are Russians? What kind of a mine is being planted under the Russian (I specify, ethnic Russian) core? While certain young people flaunt this core and chant various slogans, someone else is undermining this very core itself. Let us examine who is doing this and how.

Finally, Subsection Twelve is other issues concerning territorial integrity that our activists propose for examination.

We will create this section on our web site. The section will have its own moderator, who will classify and organize materials. We are waiting for activists, those who will join this direction.

As for other directions, come join now and participate in their development. Propose your own categories and your own subsections. Be active; otherwise, this will all turn out to be meaningless.

Now let us examine the types of activity.

The first type of activity is the simple collection of information. If you just want to collect information, then you will already be helpful. Send us a few important articles from the regional media, which we have no time to read. We cannot keep track of what is printed in this small-circulation publication. Help us out. Show it to us, if it is interesting. We will be grateful.

The second type of activity is arranging everything into a system. Indeed, a barrage of information will come. It has to be arranged systematically, otherwise what is the point of doing this? Another digital dumpster will appear. Help us, because one person cannot manage this. Even two or four cannot.

Everyone is saying that they need activity Here it is – activity!

We hear voices from all around who say, “We feel that the end is near. We feel it, and we are nervous. We have a car, please use us. We have our hands. We have copy machines…”

What we need is your brains. Your brains! Not just brains consumed with the energy of a disordered anxiety. You have to channel your justified anxiety into activity. Yes, we are coming to the edge. Yes, there is an abyss behind it. So what? You have finally awakened, and some kind of energy has begun flowing? If this energy is not channeled appropriately, it will destroy both you and our country even sooner.

At a meeting of the Substantive Unity Club someone said, “When I hear that an old lady died because of two pieces of processed cheese, I start running around the room. I want to break something.”[In the spring of 2011, the media covered a story about how a senior citizen from Voronezh, Nina Martynova, died after supermarket security guards detained her, accusing her of stealing two pieces of glazed processed cheese.] My reply was, “It is good that you care. Some people have already become indifferent. But if all you do is run about the room, nothing will change. You will only ruin your mental health, proceeding to swiftly find repose with those who have already broken, unable to bear all the negative information.”

Despair by Edvard Munch, 1892

This means that unless you channel your anxiety into activity, you will be working towards your own self-destruction, and in a manner of speaking, towards the destruction of everything. The question now lies in activity. Are you ready to systematically arrange information? Can you do it? Do you want to learn?

The third type of activity is analyzing information. There are students, who want to learn and to reflect on this. There are brilliant intellectuals, who could contribute to this. The door is open; you are welcome to join and contribute!

The fourth is distributing information about threats. Ideology is always about forming and distributing ideas. The distribution of ideas is a very interesting activity. A worried group of political activists and the society are not one and the same. Society is fragmented into a number of social environments. Environments exist, where people never even watch political broadcasts. These are our compatriots, who neither understand nor perceive the connection between repentance, de-Stalinization, and the disintegration of our country. For them, this connection is a riddle wrapped in an enigma. We understand this connection. Can you make it understandable for other people? Are you ready to distribute information in various forms? This is a vast field of activity.

The fifth is establishing communications within the framework of the received content, i.e. the collected, arranged, analyzed information. There are other organizations, too. There are people who are also concerned about this, and they are ready to work on it. Sharing content with them, discussing it with them, and establishing joint systemic communications within the content framework is an example of activity. This is organizational activity. If you are more predisposed to this kind of activity, you are welcome to it.

The sixth is comprehensive support for those forces, which defend the integrity of our country. We can provide very different kinds of support. For some forces, even publishing something is support. For other forces, it would be a great help if a group of people with a camera come to their region for an interview, which we would then publish on our website.

I have already said this, and I shall reiterate: Moscow is becoming the place that the rest of the country hates. Moreover, anti-Moscow attitudes are a separate subsection in the area we are currently discussing. (I have no desire to stay within the constraints of what I have listed. Let us introduce others.) But there needs to be another Moscow, which would have an interest in this, which would want this, and which would be ready to respond! Are we lacking ways to provide support? There is quite a number of them.

Finally, the seventh type of activity is reasonable constitutional counteraction against the forces that attack our territorial integrity. Can there not be such methods and measures? Why not? Are we not citizens? Is our activity paralyzed?

Everything is possible. Methods of counteraction can be vastly different. It is not only about organizing head-on physical conflicts. Completely different methods exist. We must master them, because the enemy also seeks to master a wide variety of methods. I must repeat: a network revolution is obviously being prepared. I do not know if Russia is going to be next after Egypt, or if other countries are next, while Russia is to be left for desert. Yet even this is not a long way off.

Therefore, counteracting people and forces that want to violate our territorial integrity is our civic duty. Moreover, informational counteraction is a very important kind of counteraction, because we are often presented with information in which certain phenomena are specifically “married” or mixed, which substitutes and distorts its meaning. However, the recipients of such information do not notice (or they do not wish to notice) the substitution. In our society, due to the peculiarities of the public consciousness, people have become very unwatchful in their perceptions. People do not read carefully. Help them read carefully ― this will be a counteraction.

Let us not rush ahead with the question of what kind of counteractions will be required at which stage. Let us list the types of activity one more time:

– Collecting information,

– Systematically organizing information,

– Analyzing information,

– Distributing information regarding threats,

– Organizing communications within the framework of the resulting content (i.e. the collected, arranged, and analyzed information),

– Comprehensively supporting those forces, which defend our country’s integrity, and

– Reasonable constitutional counteraction against those forces, which attack our territorial integrity.

These types of activity can be applied to any of the fields. Such an approach gives our activity a matrix structure. Each field of activity is like an apartment in an apartment building. Or like a building in a district. Come inside and furnish the apartments. Someone said that our meetings resemble those that tenants hold, who are trying to get construction work completed. That is right. We are now just at the beginning of our efforts to “complete the construction of our apartments”.

This is all Apartment #1. In the following chapters, I will describe Apartments #2, 3, 4, etc. Moreover, Apartment No. 2 (AKSIO) is already carrying out a sociological survey as one of the subsections, and it is doing so in a not that bad of a manner. In a much better manner than one could have expected in the beginning of our activity.

This way, we will continue to examine types of activity in the first part of every episode in the new stage of Essence of Time broadcasts. Every episode in Stage Two will start with Part One: Activity. I have now concluded this part. Consequently, let us now proceed to the next part.

 

PART TWO. RELEVANT POLITICS

Judas by Ilya Repin, 1885

We have begun to examine de-Stalinization as one of the domains of relevant politics. Now we can move to much more serious domains, because they exist, and they are starting to come back to life following in the wake of de-Stalinization. I will cite a letter by a gentleman named Igor Denisyuk, which was published on the Presidential Council for Human Rights’ website:

I fully support this initiative! (the initiative on de-Stalinization  ― S. K.) Undoubtedly, the crimes committed by Stalin, who killed tens of millions of people in the camps, are just as bad as those the Nazis committed. Moreover, the emerging rehabilitation of Stalinism among young people gives rise to far-right groups. (What far-right groups? ― S. K.). We saw the result last year at Manezhnaya Square. (What does Manezhnaya Square have to do with this? Just try telling them they were supporting Stalin there… What they wanted was to suppress the Caucasians, not to support Stalin. ― S. K.) Probably, in order to limit the proliferation of Stalinist ideas among young people, censorship on books should be imposed, including pseudo-historical fantasy, which misguides young people about the communist era (I noticed this among university students). Undoubtedly, a long way lies ahead in eradicating Stalinism, but we must start with something! What has been done is a step in the right direction! Sincerely yours, Igor Y. Denisyuk, Doctor of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Professor, St. Petersburg National Research University of Information Technology, Mechanics, and Optics”.

The Presidential Council for Human Rights published this letter on its official website (http://www.presidentsovet. ru/treatment/), replying:

“Dear Mr. Denisyuk, Thank you for your words of support for the Project of ‘Commemorating the Victims of the Totalitarian Regime and National Reconciliation’. We look forward to your active participation in its implementation.”

This then begs the conclusion that the Presidential Council for Human Rights is organizing a “witch hunt”, that it demands censorship repeating Denisyuk, that it supports Denisyuk. There will be plenty more Denisyuks where that came from.

Does Valery Abramkin (who voted for the de-Stalinization program, and whom I remember from our college singing club), a perfectly honest man, really need an explanation of what kind of a trend he is giving rise to? Does he not understand what he is doing? Or maybe he understands?

I know that several people have understood.

I will list the members of the Presidential Council for Human Rights and Civil Society who voted for and against the de-Stalinization and de-Sovietization program. [http://www.president-sovet.ru/structure/group_5/materials/vote_on_a_nationwide_program.php?sphrase_id=282)]

Abramkin, Ayvazova, Alekseeva, Ambinder, Auzan, Vorobiev, Gannushkina, Gefter, Golovan, Dzhibladze, Dondurey, Zasursky, Oreshkin, Kabanov, Karaganov, Kravchenko, Krivenko, Kuzminov, Kuklina voted for “Deniskyukating” the process. They voted for Orwell, for schedued “two minutes hate” under the guise of anti-Stalinism. They voted in favor.

Legoyda and Litovchenko abstained.

Lukyanov, Maleva, and Morshchakova voted in favor.

Nikolaeva voted against, Payin voted against. These are people whose beliefs differ greatly from mine. However, these people had the intellectual wherewithal to understand that after they raise their hands to vote in favor of this, the “Denisyukation” of the process will follow in all directions.

Do you know who is ready to engage in de-Stalinization? The Basmachis [counterrevolutionary Islamist militants in Central Asia in the early Soviet period ― translator’s note] will be happy to do it. For example, Tajik political scientist Parviz Mulladzhanov  has already said, in view of the de-Stalinization campaign, that “the memory of the Basmachi movement” must be restored.

Things have started happening, dear voters!

And so, Nikolaeva voted against, Payin voted against. Panfilova voted in favor, Polyakov voted in favor, Polyakova voted in favor, Pustyntsev voted in favor.

Pushkov voted against, Radzikhovsky voted in favor, Simonov voted in favor. Sorokina abstained, and she published a special opinion on this subject. Fedotov voted in favor, Tsyplenkov voted in favor, Chmykhov voted in favor, Chugueva voted in favor, Yurgens voted in favor, and Yasina voted in favor.

All of this has been published. The “Denisyukation” has begun, dear liberals!

Payin published an interesting text discussing why he opposed the de-Stalinization program [http://www.president-sovet.ru/structure/group_5/response/statement_of_pain_ea.php]. Sorokina published her own text as well [http://www.online812.ru/2011/04/12/023/]. Those texts are absolutely liberal. Modest Kolerov published a long text discussing why he voted against it.[http://www.regnum.ru/news/1395093.html].

A protest against the de-Stalinization campaign is growing in Russia. Members of youth movements in Tatarstan are protesting. Thousands of signatures are being collected. But the most important question is what is happening with the people. What about the people? Are the people at large going to accept this again, or will they not? AKSIO must find an honest answer to this question. We must reach an understanding of our society. Instead of feeding everyone with myths about our society, we must understand it.

There is a great deal of speculation about the audience voting in the television program Judgment of Time, about who rigged the results, how, and in what direction. However, everyone knows that this voting was absolutely fair, that it was perhaps among the very few examples of fair voting to take place for a very long time. Everyone knows this, and they know who monitored the counting. They know that these people would never rig anything. All of this is common knowledge. Yet someone insists on telling lies.

We must transition from voting on television (which remains important), from trends, to full-fledged studies. We must know our society, its every social segment. We need to know all of this because we will most certainly have to survive hard times. This is why all of the directions of our activity will soon assume a closed loop structure.

This is one part of what I wanted to discuss in the section dedicated to relevant politics.

And now for the next part. I do not even know what I should call it. I have already addressed the members of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy (CFDP)… I said that even inside the Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, a council of liberals (in our society, the concept of human rights is inseparable from liberals, because there can be no human rights for non-liberals), there were people who voted against the proposal. Sergey Karaganov is the Chairman of the CFDP, an organization with many esteemed members. In that case, bring up your concern over the de-Stalinization campaign, and do this in earnest!

Mikhail Delyagin brought up this issue in his speech during the 19th Assembly of the CFDP in April 2011, and then it died out. Everyone stayed silent. Everyone including Sergey Lavrov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, who attended the Assembly. Everyone stayed silent, including those who consider themselves to be patriots.

This is our style. Our elite patriots, including those who voted against de-Stalinization, as did Vitaly Tretyakov and others, do not want to transform intellectual discussion into political conflict. I understand very well why. I understand very well that one needs civic courage in order to vote in opposition at the Presidential Council. And one needs values.

One also needs civic courage in order to shift the discussion into the realm of politics. However, our elite, including its patriotic part, believes that this is absolutely unnecessary. Okay, this is their opinion. This is their destiny. They will keep at it, until they end up in a situation where it will be too late to demonstrate civic courage. Right now the only most basic actions were needed on this issue; in the future, considerably more complex actions will be necessary.

I do not need to be telling them this. I understand very well why our elite patriots wish to avoid becoming engaged in acute conflicts. The reason is their desire to preserve their positions (which is a very understandable desire), and also a certain arrogant attitude, “Yeah, whatever… Why should we escalate? Why should we even react… It’s kind of funny…” Right now, what really is funny is not reacting.

And so, the 19th Assembly of the CFDP at the Lesnye Dali resort proceeded quietly; it focused on an important topic: “Culture, the Future of Russia, and its place in the world.” That is a wonderful topic. Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov gave a very interesting lecture at the meeting. The keynote session of this wonderful event was entitled: “The Russian cultural matrix: A brake on development or its bulwark?

What happened is exactly what I warned about, but no one wanted to listen, neither those who spoke out against de-Stalinization, nor those who kept silent. What happened was the following.

If they again try to turn a 70-year period of our history into a “black hole” by defaming it, following Mr. Denisyuk’s example, then this campaign will inevitably result in its dark substance of defamation spilling over onto the rest of our history. Having spilled onto our entire history, it will then inevitably spill over onto our culture.

Let me explain exactly how this happens. This is a question of political theory and even ideology. There is a very tight connection between them here.

People wanted modernization. This is how they understood it: Russia is moving (especially during the Soviet period) in the wrong direction. This direction leads to death. “Death is here,” they said. “But there is the right way, the mainstream, which is modernization. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. All we need is to steer Russia onto this path. And then everything will start rapidly moving forward!”

However, after 20 years we still are not moving forward.

Then it turned out that the Soviet period was an obstacle. It is not only the Soviet period! All of history becomes an obstacle, because the Soviet period is only where all the evil is most concentrated, but it also encompasses Alexander Nevsky and all the rest. But there has to be a reason why this evil exists. What is it?

Consequently, the obstacle on the way to modernization is the Russian mentality and Russian culture! This is what impedes modernization! “The Russian cultural matrix: A brake on development (they are talking about development, not even modernization ― S. K.) or its bulwark?”

The Japanese cultural matrix: A brake on development or its bulwark?..

And what about the Chinese cultural matrix:A brake on development or its bulwark?..

Can you imagine a conference like that in Japan or China?

In Russia, Karaganov holds this kind of conference.

In less than a month after the de-Stalinization (a “jihad” against Stalin) was declared, this jihad transformed into a jihad against the Russian culture, the Russian cultural matrix. Indeed, it could not have been any other way.

There is not much material available on this subject. I recommend  Tatyana Chesnokova’s comprehensive article in Rosbalt [T. Chesnokova. “ «Русскость» – тормоз или опора нации?”  (“Russianness: a brake or bulwark for the nation?”) // Rosbalt. 13.04.2011.]. She is a person of liberal beliefs, who describes in detail what exactly happened there. And she is not the only one to describe it [See also N. Oss. “Интеллектуалы в вопросах и ответах” (“Intellectuals in questions and answers”)// Izvestiya.ru 11.04.2011]..

However, the problem does not lie in describing it. That is the easy part in fact. We even predicted it. The problem is to understand what it all means. And here I transition to the next part.

 

PART THREE. POLITICAL THEORY

 

The Distributer of Crowns by Odilon Redon, 1882

 

Allow me to  cite a portion of the  article “Civilization, culture, technology, and the market economy” in Voprosy Filosofii (No. 5, 1992) by Anatoly Rakitov. This article was later republished with a number supplements and corrections. Its strongest version, however, was the one published in Voprosy Filosofii in 1992. By 1994, the article was made to be replaced by a softer version. This was because Rakitov, as an advisor to President Yeltsin, was the figure standing behind all of the Young Reformers [a group of liberal economists who initiated the predatory economic reforms in Russia in 1990s ― translator’s note]. Rakitov is more important than all of the Young Reformers combined.

So, he writes, “The largest and the cruelest empire in the history of mankind is rapidly disintegrating. (This is not about the Hitler’s empire, this is about our empire, “the largest and the cruelest empire”. ― S. K.) The empire has not yet completely broken apart…” (In 1992. This means, that the Russian Federation was also in the process of disintegration. ― S. K.). And everyone, Rakitov continues, sees the salvation “in a transition to the market economy, in the establishment of new economic relations, in combining the market economy with modern civilization”. Our mind seeks simple formulas, he says. (This means that Gaydar and the rest of his associates believe that everything will be fine after the market economy is implemented… Yeltsin spoke of the sleeping forces of the market…)

This is not that simple, Rakitov points out. “The despotic societies of the Ancient East, of feudal Russia, and the slave-owning societies of Greece and Rome had market economies,” the market economy was everywhere. However, “if the mentality and information resources are inadequate, then technology deteriorates or is destroyed, as it is clearly seen, for example, in the numerous attempts to transplant modern Western industrial (information) technology onto our socio-economic structures”.

Therefore, it is not market economics that are important, but rather the technology. (In this he is absolutely right. ― S. K.) It was believed, Rakitov continues, that “it would be sufficient to transplant advanced Western equipment onto our soil (I stress, here we are talking about equipment, not technology) for modern productive forces to appear”, but this is not true. (Again, he is right. Of course, this is not true. Transplanting equipment is not sufficient; the equipment must be integrated with the culture and with everything else. ― S. K.)

“All the sectors of our industry chronically lagging behind (really Mr. Rakitov? All of the sectors?  ― S. K.), the uncompetitiveness of our products (is that really true for all our products, Mr. Rakitov? ― S. K.), the lack of skill and competence by many of our workers, engineers, scientists, and managers is the greatest evidence that equipment separated from technology that has been immersed in an inappropriate culture and civilization, and into organizational systems with an inappropriate mentality and without the necessary skills, without a specific kind of civilization and informational resources, will only result in devastating consequences, and a senseless waste of financial, technical, environmental, and informational resources, which is harmful both socially and economically.”

No need for market euphoria, Rakitov says, for the market will not save us.

(Therefore, back in 1992, when Gaydar was shouting that as soon as a market would be implemented everything would be fixed, Rakitov said that it was not a question of market implementation, but rather it was a question of culture and mentality; the latter factors would become obstacles to modernization. ― S. K.)

“‘Grand’ historical ethnosocial cultures, for example the Russian, French, and German, in their behavioral norms, in the norms of life and activity, in traditions and habits, do not reflect and express something common to all peoples standing on the same level of civilization, but rather the specific traits of their ethnic, historical, social identity, their historical destiny, their individual and unique circumstances.”

Therefore, according to Rakitov, culture can either resist civilization or be compatible with it. There are societies where cultures and civilizations are compatible, and there are societies where the culture is incompatible with civilization, where it is antagonistic to civilization. An example of this kind of culture is the Russian classical culture. The Orthodox culture, the secular Russian culture (not at all Soviet), the entire culture spanning thousands of years. This is its main defect, Rakitov writes.

Culture has a complex structure. The culture has a core; “it stores and translates the information, rules, and norms responsible for the historical reproduction and identity of the society from one generation to the next. This cultural core takes centuries to form, and it reaches a stability and robustness of its sociocultural-genetic apparatus. It also determines the way in which a society reacts to innovation.”

This is all correct. This is the case indeed.

“…some societies, which bore and created great cultures, disappeared specifically because the core of their culture prevented them from adapting to a new environment.”

In addition to the core, there is a special protective belt, which “prevents the outside cultural environment from having any reciprocal effects on the cultural core,” which Klyuchevsky, for example, demonstrated in his brilliant works. Again, everything is correct.

Russians, according to Rakitov, adopted the equipment and superficial forms of Western culture, but their core and its protective belt resisted any drastic transformations. Russian culture “pretended to be European while keeping its invariable traditional essence, which is fundamentally based on … (and  next Rakitov goes into a liberal hysteria. ― S. K.) disrespect to the human individual and the rejection of anything new, first of all in its very basis: in the field of production technology, political authority, and civic life. (…) … clearly anti-innovative stereotypes have formed within the core of our culture, along with a different kind of cultural traditions, behavioral norms, a different culture and technology of political authority, and different mechanisms of daily life.” All this hinders us.

Our culture is the obstacle, not even our entire history or Soviet history anymore. It begins with the Soviet history, then the defamation spills over onto Russian history in general, and then onto our culture. Svanidze and Mlechin did not have enough time to complete this transition in the Judgment of Time television program. They did not have enough gentlemen who were ready to talk about an anthropological catastrophe…

However, through reading Rakitov’s articles, one begins to understand where this phenomenon stems from, who the guru of this set of people is (or at least their intermediary), and why everything moves from Karaganov’s hysteria over the Soviet period and the de-Sovietization into deculturation. If your entire culture and civilization resist what is “good”, then they must be suppressed.

To this effect then, a necessary means of modernization is your degradation and your destruction by any means necessary. Because if you are not destroyed (or at least paralyzed), you will resist this “good”. You have to be suppressed the same way that a cancer must be suppressed in the body. You bear the Soviet “cancer”, and you bear the “cancer” that is the entirety of Russian history, and the “cancer” of Russianness as the Russian cultural matrix at the core of your civilization. This must all be suppressed. Can you imagine the amount of radiation you must be subjected to in order to accomplish this?

Yes, this leads to insanity. Yes, this causes paralysis. Yes, this makes people become wild. Yes, this destroys factories. Yes, this eliminates industry…

Of course, one may ask, “But the idea of modernization is to improve all of this, is it not?”

“No, no, not at all! There is an obstacle, and the obstacle must be removed.”

Similarly to Denisyuk’s call for censorship and reporting people to authorities for the sake of de-Stalinization, here they call for de-modernization for the sake of modernization. This is essentially called “aggravation of the class struggle along with the development of socialism”. The difference is that here “socialism” is Modernity, and “aggravation” is de-Stalinization. Because there are obstacles in the way!

But the Bolsheviks never said that the entirety of Russian culture was an obstacle. Lenin discussed “the heritage we renounce”; however, no one attacked the culture in general. Because they understood that as soon as they attack it, everything would collapse, and the people will turn into slime.

There was a taboo against this! Some needed a great state for the sake of world revolution; others were even thinking about some sort of great kingdom…But no one wanted to have everything turn into slime! But here these people want it. They explicitly describe the steps of turning everything into slime..

In a way, these steps modulated Gaydar’s reforms in 1992. Now, these steps are beginning to modulate the modernization.

“…civilization as a system that enables the existence of technology, and culture, which enables the respective way of life, merge in specific socio-historical conditions. They are indistinguishable only in an environment where society successfully develops, but they separate and enter into conflict during crisis… If the very culture strongly filters out all external civilizational mechanisms and the technology based thereupon, then the adaptation of the society to new civilizations” is impossible.

Rakitov then writes that we must transition from one civilization to another… Our civilization has no future… Even Peter the Great said how devoid of prospects it was…

The author’s further reasoning bears the sort of casual negligence and untidiness, which is typical of this sort of person… Should we “dwell on ‘special features’ of the history of our society, our civilization, and our market economy. Lenin’s renowned apocryphal statement ‘We shall go another way’ is an expression of the ideology of ‘the special path’ ”…

What was Lenin taking about in his “apocryphal statement” (in other words, we are not sure whether he truly said this) “We shall go another way”? He was talking about the death of his brother Aleksandr, a member of the People’s Will [Russian: Narodnaya Volya, a proto-socialist populist revolutionary movement, an important tactic of which was killing government officials ― translator’s note] movement. Members of People’s Will chose the path of terror and the people’s uniqueness. But we, said Lenin, will follow Marx’s path. “This is not the way we should go”… Did Lenin say anything about a special path? However, Rakitov’s reasoning mixes up the Third Rome and Lenin into one big mess… “We hate it all, we want to destroy everything!”

The most important issue, however, is that in the proposed logic one must move towards dismantling the barriers including not only those of Stalin and Soviet history, but also of the civilization as a whole. The entire way of life, the entire cultural core, which includes the language, religion, etc. Everything resists. And everything must be broken. I foresee that the next step on this path will most certainly be the adoption of the Latin alphabet! This is mandatory! And repressions against those who are unwilling to adopt the Latin alphabet. This is not a fantasy, but the logic of the steps being taken.

The liberal reformers are failing. They have been torturing our country for 20 years, and they have accomplished absolutely nothing. Zero! Now they need to find barriers. The Soviet mentality, the “sovok” [“dust pan”, a derogatory term of Soviet person, commonly used by Russian liberals ― translator’s note], Stalin, the Russian language, Alexander Nevsky, Peter the Great, the cultural core, the cultural matrix ― does all of this resist development or not? If it does, and if no development means death, then the cultural matrix must be broken.

“Our society will have to begin its reformist urge in extremely unfavorable conditions. A decrease in production of at least 40% is not unlikely. Russia will be shaken by outbursts of anarchy, rebellions and conflicts, starvation, epidemics, socio-cultural decay, ethnic and territorial conflicts, a general decline of intellectual potential, and other negative processes with disastrous consequences. Still, we have no alternative but price deregulation, financial dictatorship, and a firm stabilization policy. Only these tough and drastic measures can lead us, perhaps in some distant future, to a modern civilized society and a civilized market economy. To this end, however, we will have to march from a decaying feudal-industrial civilization towards an informational civilization, and to try to create what is called a ‘knowledge-based society’ in English literature.”

Why is it necessary to do this with such egregious errors? And why will the destruction of the cultural core lead to the creation of a knowledge-based society? Has anyone attempted to destroy their cultural core for the sake of creating a knowledge-based society?

Altogether, this is an integral plan.

I understand that Lavrov, who visited the 19th Assembly of CFDP, advocated for the unique aspects of our culture, and that he said that we have no desire to become simply another part of the West. Yes, I understand that those who were sitting there, at this CFDP event, opposed him. But they had already entered this fraudulent discussion. Because what is written is “an obstacle to development”. Development, do you understand?

This is where I must proceed to the next part of my monologue.

 

PART FOUR. POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY

 

Argument over a Card Game by Jan Steen

 

The fraud lies in equating  modernization with development. This is swindling at the linguistic level. As soon as you accept the certain way the question is put, you have already lost. However, if you do not equate modernization with development, then everything is correct. Russia has indeed resisted modernization. Russia did indeed not want to carry out classical modernization. Russia did not want to carry out this modernization neither during Peter the Great’s nor Stalin’s time. But it was developing.

Therefore, if we are told that no development means death (and this is true), but then development and modernization are equated, then we reply, “This is swindling on the fundamental level; it is philosophic, methodological, and political swindling.”

This is the point that no one sees and no one wants to see! This is where everything begins! Because there are people who really believe that “we were going down a perilous path, and now we are turning down the true path ― at any cost. But we cannot manage the turn… But there is an obstacle… Oh, but we must…”

However, by 2011 it has become clear that it is precisely the Russian path as an alternative model of development that contains a certain hope for humanity; while in contrast, the primary path of  modernization is collapsing.

If it is not collapsing, if it remains as the only option, then there is nothing to be said. Then get ready, transition to the Latin alphabet. Break the cultural matrices. Liberalize and de-Stalinize, condemn Nevsky and all the others. Because modernization will demand more and more sacrifices from you; and ultimately, there will be no modernization. Not even close. Instead, the people and the state will simply turn into muck.

And people are either fanatics and madmen, who do not understand this, or scoundrels who understand everything and applaud. The scoundrels are smarter; the fanatics are dumber. Some of them may be honest, some appear to be well-read. But they are dumb, and philosophically blind.

Now let us return to Mr. Rakitov. In 2005, he published a new statement in Novaya Gazeta [A. Rakitov.  Из России нужно сделать Родину (“Russia must be transformed into Motherland”)// Novaya Gazeta. 15.08.2005.]. Its introduction reads:

“Doctor of Philosophic Sciences Rakitov is 76 years old. He became a Professor when he was younger than 40. Professor Rakitov is half deaf; therefore, he wears glasses with two powerful hearing aids integrated in the ear pieces. The glasses have no lenses. Rakitov is blind.”

Well, let us raise our hats to this courageous person who, despite being blind and with a serious hearing impairment, managed to become a Doctor of Sciences early in his life and has shown a great talent. Let us raise our hats to him, let us learn to respect intellectual courage and willpower. May God help everyone be as strong as Rakitov.

Next they write about him:

“His blindness resulted from a blow to his head: in 1938, when the NKVD came to arrest his father in the night, nine year-old Tolya started crying. He was immediately pistol-whipped on the top of his head. In the several years that followed, he began to lose his vision and hearing. Already having gone blind, Rakitov graduated from the Philosophy Department of the Lomonosov Moscow State University; he also studied at the Mathematics and the History Departments. He learned several foreign languages.”

First of all, if this story really happened, and someone hit a child, resulting in trauma, then the one who hit him is a scoundrel. But there is another point here. As you may remember, there used to be so-called “family members of traitors to the Motherland”… That means it was this kind of Soviet society where a person, whose father was arrested for the betrayal of Motherland, having gone blind, graduated as a Doctor of  Philosophy, studies mathematics and history, and learns several languages…

That is a good society! It was a society where bad and good were mixed together. A brutal modernized society would have thrown this blind person out, and he would have never ended up anywhere. But he got somewhere, and he achieved considerable results. How can anyone say that this society does not combine features that are interesting, strange, humanistic, dreamful (“Go forward! We give a chance to ascend to everyone who is capable!”), and repressive? They were all intertwined! Why is it now necessary to paint everything in one color because someone hurt another person some time ago? Yes, it happened… Yes, the one who hurt him was a scoundrel… But hurting cannot be extrapolated onto everything that was happening at the time. This is not a philosophical approach! “Understand the reality and, as long as this is possible, forgive it,” great philosophers said. “All that is real is reasonable,” said Hegel.

“One of the last Rakitov’s books is Russia’s Way.

Correspondent: What does the way consist of, Mr. Rakitov?

Rakitov: Well, by no means does it consist of restoring the great power. History knows no example of an empire being reborn. Moreover, greatness is not determined by tanks and rockets in the modern world. It neither depends on an area of land, nor is it related to a country’s glorious history. Any country is great, if life there is so good that people want to come there to live and work. Even if that country is tiny.”

So what was the purpose, to create a great modernized Russia or a tiny country? What was it all about in 2005 (and I insist that it is in that year when Russia started to have very large-scale and long-term problems in its relations with the West, and that this is what is being articulated when he says, “even if the country is tiny”)?

What is stated here is that, for the sake of modernization and making our country into a proper one, we will destroy it. If we cannot manage to do this to the whole country, then we will do it in parts.

The correspondent asks Rakitov whether he thinks that a national idea is necessary.

Rakitov’s answer is: “In America, during the Great Depression, Roosevelt came to power, and he formulated a new national idea: every family must be able to have a chicken for Sunday dinner. A primitive idea! Yet it consolidated the nation.”

I am sorry, I have studied Roosevelt’s policies in detail. Roosevelt started  with something quite different. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”, the “greatness of America”, the Tennessee Valley, great industrial and post-industrial programs consolidated the nation. “The American dream”… “We shall rise, we shall ascend, we shall mend our ways, we shall join our great efforts and build together our City upon a Hill, fill it with a new technological power, and become the leading power on the globe”… Did Roosevelt not have all this? Was it just all about the chicken? Well, then they would have said “give us chicken,”  and they would have just sat there and ate chickens. What’s the problem?

“Russia must finally be made into a Motherland…”

So it was not a Motherland before. For Gagarin, Russia was not a Motherland… For Gastello [a war hero, the first pilot who, instead of bailing out from his burning aircraft, deliberately flew it into a Nazi tank column, a feat which was later repeated by multiple other Soviet pilots ― translator’s note], Russia was not a Motherland…

“A Motherland is a country that is comfortable and pleasant to live in. Comfortable! In this sense, most Russians are people without a motherland. They are lumpens, and lumpens have no homeland. This is why many emigrate from here to other countries… They leave looking for a motherland, no more, no less.”

“The special path”, “warm-heartedness”, “spiritual community” ― this is “an attempt to drink from a well with no living water. Please note that most of the Russian thinkers, both Slavophiles and Westernists, were rich people.”

I do not understand. Was Belinsky rich? What about Chernyshevsky?

“We must realize that everything, both Soviet and pre-revolutionary, is over. And the longer we prolong the agony, the worse it will be.”

This is what began!

However, what has begun (I do not want to focus here on the outrage; I would like to discuss this using different language) has one vulnerability. And if we do not hit this bull’s eye, then it will be the end of Russia… There is a concept of acupuncture. If you hit the exact necessary pressure point, the effect of your blow will be 100 times greater. Then, even if you are weak, you will still manage to inflict sufficiently serious damage to your enemy. But if you are even slightly off point, your enemy could care less. A pin prick must target the acupuncture point.

Where is this acupuncture point theoretically? Where is the critical point in this system?

This, of course, is the question of the difference between Modernity and development.

Is Modernity only one of the many versions of development? Or are Modernity and development synonymous?

Is Modernity the main road for humanity, on which we must march in triumph, breaking all obstacles including our own cultural matrix, etc.? Or is it one of the versions of development, which is faltering, and in relation to which Russia has a brilliant know-how, the Russian and Soviet treasure (an experience of a DIFFERENT kind of development) containing pearls within it? But they want to isolate specifically the Russians through de-Stalinization and de-Russification (because it is all about this!) from the treasures that they have. To prevent the Russians from connecting with these treasures and finding themselves.

And here emerges perhaps the most serious of all possible conversations, the conversation about the purposes of activity. And at the same time, about philosophy.

We lived in a country which was reasonably organized, in the social aspect for one. Professors made 700 rubles per month. Highly qualified workers had made 200, 300, or 400 rubles. General workers made 150 rubles. There was an adequate social differentiation in our society. And there was a certain desire to make the society ascend, but not descend.

We lived very different lives in this society.

There was a small group, perhaps a million of people, or maybe a little less, to which I belonged. This group… for example… did not like the movie Officers. I watched this film again recently, and the film is not bad. At least, it promotes moral values and serving one’s Motherland. But back then, this group disliked it. It liked other things. For example, Ivan’s Childhood by Tarkovsky. It believed that the Tarkovsky’s film was deeper and more talentfully crafted.

And another group liked the film Officers.

Also, there was a third group which did not like the film Officers, and in fact, they  liked nothing at all. They filled shelves with “books” which had only spines, in order to show off that they too were very sophisticated.

There was also a group which was simply busy stealing, and so on and so forth.

Then it suddenly turned out that of the million people who loved Tarkovsky, who were thinking about a post-industrial society etc., a major part simply disappeared (maybe they left for the field of business). Another part started shouting about “modernization at any cost”. A third part honestly said that they hated Russia. The fourth part was a small remainder.

As for the group that loved the movie Officers, one section moved to groups who watch pornographic films and the like, while another remained.

Now the question is how should we proceed? How can we unite the small group of Tarkovsky lovers with the considerable group who loved and continue to love the film Officers?

I want to ask one question. I watched the film Officers prior to starting this discussion. This is a good well-crafted film of a decent level. That is not the point. It is iconic. There is a key phrase which those who love this film and who quote it in a dramatic fashion with real tears in their eyes: “There is such a profession, to defend one’s Motherland!”

So, did you defend it? Give an answer to me and to yourselves: did you defend it? You did in 1941. But did you in 1991? Yes or no? Did you defend it or not?

But why did you not defend it? Because different forms of competition came! Treacherous and complex ones. And if the large group, which is indignant over the results of these treacherous and complex forms of de-Sovietization and de-Stalinization, which are seamlessly becoming transformed into deculturation and de-Russification and so on, does not reflect over all this and does not answer the question of what it needs to learn in order to not just defend, but to restore its Motherland… If it remains unchanged, at the level of complexity that it is accustomed to, heeding only the scope of problems that it sees as natural, then we will not save our Motherland.

There is a psychological theorem, which I already mentioned.

There is a certain “I”.

There is something “I” must do, and there is something that “I” am capable of doing.

There is a conflict between “I must” and “I can”. Because it is clear that I must defend my Motherland. But I cannot.

Do you know how this is resolved if the conflict has a high intensity? Another “I” emerges, an “I” starred (I*). “I” is ascending. A sense of duty and an anger on oneself (for the fact that “I cannot”) make the person ascend. And then he becomes someone, who is capable of protecting his Motherland.

 

Partisan Sasha Chekalin by Marat Samsonov, 1955

 

Our task, the task of all our activity, of this entire Civil Alternative, is to make this breakthrough. To make it so that one would learn how to protect one’s Motherland.

There is a “science of winning”. In our case, this is the same as a science of convincing. We are all learning this science here. We are learning ideological war, alternative forms of civic activity, and the delicate forms of political activity.

Because the main issue today is that the people who are promoting de-Stalinization are lying. They are lying when they equate Modernity with development. They are lying when they say that Modernity is the main road for contemporary humanity. They are lying when they say that we will either overcome the obstacles on this road or die.

If we will not develop, we will die indeed. However, Russia has experience of a DIFFERENT kind of development. This experience is now becoming extremely valuable. We will not allow these people to lie. We must prevail in the national discussion. We must convince the others, no matter how complex the matters are that we have to address. We must prove this to them. Otherwise, they will fall into a trap.

Please understand that our compatriots will once again come falling into the abyss! They will again be herded there, because the scope of problems is complex, and the “herders” are skillful. They have already begun this herding. Perestroika-2 has already begun. There are no simple forms of struggle.

If you want to prevail in this struggle, transform your “I” into “I*”. Once this is done, then the chance of victory will appear.

What is the purpose? The purpose is to save Russia. Many people feel that it is indeed on the final verge, on the verge of the abyss, and that it is being pushed into it. But what we are discussing is the only way to save it.

Therefore, in next chapter, right after the section on Activity, we will have a serious discussion about Modernity. Only in that discussion many things will become clear. Including what the main direction is of today’s conceptual war. And what Supramodernity’s significance is within this, as a possibility of the synthesis of all the Russian know-how with the challenges of our age.

 

Maxim Gorky reads Taras Shevchenko’s works to the peasants in the village of Mauylovtsy by Karp Trikhomenko, 1949

 

Source (for copy): http://eu.eot.su/2018/04/26/essence-of-time-chapter-12/

Essence of Time: The philosophical justification of Russia’s Messianic Claims in the 21st century

Sergey Kurginyan

Experimental Creative Centre International Public Foundation

 

Essence of Time is a video lecture series by Sergey Kurginyan: a political and social leader, theater director, philosopher, political scientist, and head of the Experimental Creative Centre International Public Foundation. These lectures were broadcast from February to November 2011 on the websites, www.kurginyan.ru and www.eot.su .

With its intellectual depth and acuity, with its emotional charge, and with the powerful mark of the author’s personality, this unusual lecture series aroused great interest in its audience. It served at the same time as both the “starting push” and the conceptual basis around which the virtual club of Dr. Kurginyan’s supporters, Essence of Time, was formed.

The book Essence of Time contains the transcriptions of all 41 lectures in the series. Each one of them contains Sergey Kurginyan’s thoughts about the essence of our time, about its metaphysics, its dialectics, and their reflection in the key aspects of relevant Russian and global politics. The central theme of the series is the search for paths and mechanisms to get out of the systemic and global dead end of all humanity in all of its dimensions: from the metaphysical to the gnoseological, ethical, and anthropological. And as a result, out of the sociopolitical, technological, and economical dead end.

In outlining the contours of this dead end and in stressing the necessity of understanding the entire depth, complexity, and tragedy of the accumulating problems, the author proves that it is indeed Russia, thanks to the unusual aspects of its historical fate, which still has a chance to find a way out of this dead end, and to present it to the world. But, realizing this chance is possible only if this becomes the supreme meaning of life and action for a “critical mass” of active people who have in common a deep understanding of the problems at hand.

Dr. Kurginyan’s ideas found a response, and the Essence of Time virtual club is growing into a wide Essence of Time social movement. In front of our very eyes, it is becoming a real political force.

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