Essence of Time. Chapter 16

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(Links to previous Chapters are available here: Volume I and Chapters 11121314, 15)

May 17, 2011.

 

ACTIVITY AND RELEVANT POLITICS

 

I would like to once again start with our activity; and for this purpose, I will read part of a transcript titled “Meeting with Great Patriotic War veterans and representatives of military-patriotic organizations” found on the Russian President’s official website.

What General Makhmut Gareev said to the President [Dmitry Medvedev – translator’s note] is very much spot-on: “In the light of what your advisors, Fedotov, Karaganov, and those with them have undertaken, calling it de-Stalinization, I think this is ultimately a mistake. I think that it is necessary to immortalize the memory of the repressions, of all who perished in general. If someone committed crimes, did something wrong, they must be mercilessly criticized. In general, we need to evaluate history critically and objectively, no matter who we are talking about. But one should not forcefully try to reshape people’s minds, the minds of the whole nation. I think that something in this area ought to be corrected, for this can only lead to discord, to division within our country, among veterans’ organizations. If possible, this needs to be corrected.” This is what Gareev told the President.

How did the President reply?

“As for evaluating history, I will not delve right now into the evaluation of history. I will only say one thing: arbitrary campaigns are unacceptable in respect to historical events. Any sort of arbitrary campaign is harmful, regardless of how the role or place of one or another political figure is assessed. First of all, we have to come to terms with the fact that they existed in our history and that there is no getting rid of them. This is the first thing. And secondly, these assessments can be totally different, but they must not turn into a campaign. We have seen campaigns during the Soviet era, first with the denunciation of various enemies and so on, then campaigns appeared in other during other periods (meaning the post-Soviet era – SK). It should be an objective and sane analysis, without any campaigns. Everyone will make their choice, and this will be absolutely tactful and precise. But this requires that we ensure access to knowledge, to objective knowledge.”

I read this statement by the President for a reason, because it directly relates to our discussion of activity.

Let us again make sense of what we accomplished in conducting our survey and discovering that the overwhelming majority of people who engage in this objective and sane analysis without any campaigns, had made their choice “tactfully and precisely”. They said that they do not want de-Stalinization.

Let us start with the fact that a survey of this kind is fundamentally different from polls on TV, which are very important, and which actually provide rather objective information. These TV polls can be compromised, but a statistical analysis of this type cannot. Its ruling is final, and it cannot be appealed. In order to conduct this kind of survey, we had to first propose the very idea of this study, to develop the questionnaire, to develop instructions for the questionnaire, and to instruct everyone. We had to create a headquarters and to gather activists, approximately 1500 people (which was previously unheard of), and to instruct them. We had to constantly monitor their activity. We had to accumulate the material, i.e. large boxes with questionnaires. We had to analyze this material. To receive what I would call intellectual ammunition, crates with shells. And we had to fire this ammunition.

We had a big timely conversation on this topic in “Open Studio” [a political talk show – translator’s note]. We also had a conversation on “Voice of Russia”; Yulia Sergeevna Krizhanskaya spoke very convincingly there. Pieces written by Dr. Krizhanskaya were published in Rosbalt, our comprehensive article with Dr. Krizhanskaya was published in the Zavtra newspaper, where these data are all provided. These materials are now on a multitude of websites, and everyone is using them now. This means that the shots have been fired, and they have hit their targets.

And so, we have exerted influence on the process, and we have achieved a certain result, at least in the form of the reserved assessment by the President of the Russian Federation that I have cited. He did, nevertheless, say something very important for all of us: there will be no campaign. Because what the Presidential Council for Human Rights had suggested is a blatant arbitrary campaign. It is blatant punitive political psychiatry. There will be no campaign; everyone will voice their point of view, and everyone will have access to the information. Points of view will take form on equal footing.

Here you go then, they are taking form on equal footing with that very unequivocal result that we had conveyed by conducting our survey. No one can ignore this result if they want to govern the country and be elected. These results are impossible to ignore.

In regard to what happens next, new wishes may, of course, arise after the elections. But as soon as it becomes possible, I think it is necessary to initiate a referendum – a final referendum on a number of key issues, including this one. And since this referendum must be a referendum of direct action, no political fad and no external action can influence the results of such a referendum afterwards. We have to do this. This is the strategic prospect for tomorrow.

As to what we intend to do now, we will continue conducting research, and I would like to show you exactly how…

The point that is called “de-Stalinization” is a very important point. Therefore, every time we need to conduct a study, we need to move to some other field, and then to return to this point once more. Then we will go somewhere else and come back again. And then keep doing this… I am not saying this applies to every study, but when conducting a significant body of research, then we need to arrange this figure (fig. 33):

 

 

Why? Because as a political scientist with over 30 years’ experience in political science, as a person who does what I do, I adamantly insist that the de-Stalinization, de-communization campaign is part of a large global game.

It is not political climate. It is not the scheming of separate tertiary forces. I understand, of course, that the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE is not the ultimate institution in the global process. And it was not a few former republics of our Union, which especially dislike us with a passion, that initiated all of this. It is all clear. But this campaign is on an entirely different scale. This is one of the largest campaigns globally. It is the axis of the unfolding global game, if you will.

Let me explain why. Briefly.

For Russia and to the Russian consciousness, admitting one’s flaws, this self-criticism, a certain inner repentance for being wrong, becoming acutely conscious of being wrong is, if you will, part of the spiritual and religious tradition. Repentance is a major positive temptation to the Russian soul. It is the principle of self-deprecation, after which a tremendous elation is supposed to start.

For cold-hearted professionals belonging to other cultures, it is very easy to calculate this moment in advance, to understand the structure of this temptation, and to find their way into it, to trigger it with their provocative intellectual tools, in order to turn this positive temptation into a negative temptation of self-vilification. To turn this self-deprecation for the sake of elation into self-vilification and self-termination.

Everything there is so tragically close together, with the possibility of self-deprecation and elation, and the impossibility of self-deprecation without elation, that it is enough to shift by a few spiritual millimeters, and everything turns into its opposite. Like it always is in the Russian soul, everything is very close and very polar.

What was done? It was a shock campaign barrage, which was called “perestroika”, and it had nothing to with modernization. It had nothing to do with development as such, with transforming our lives, or with kind sort of revolution of any sort. This dastardly barrage appealed to a great positive spiritual temptation in Russian culture, and turned it into this negative temptation. It changed this positive temptation in such a way that self-termination would begin, which would no longer contain any elation to speak of.

This is what has been done. And the world perceived it as signing an instrument of moral surrender. To have condemned ourselves like this, having condemned our own project, our own idea for the sake of which enormous sacrifices had been made… Everything is a sacrifice in this case. The victims of collectivization are also a sacrifice at the altar of the great project. The White movement members, who were killed during the Civil War, are sacrifices at the altar of the great project. My grandfather, a victim of 1937, is a sacrifice at the altar of the great project. The great project, with its pinnacle being the victory in World War II, and the destruction of fascism. History would have it so. It gave this place to Russia. This is how it arranged the pieces on the great chessboard.

I keep recalling Antonioni’s film Blowup, in which the guitar players smash their guitars against the walls, and then throw the fragments into the audience. One of the pieces hits the protagonist, and he fights for it, taking it away from someone else, pressing it against his chest. He goes out, looks around: it is raining, puddles are everywhere, some piece of wood is in his hands… He throws it out and keeps walking.

This gesture of throwing away something you were so obsessed with, something you believed in so much, loved so much, made such sacrifices before its altar, spilled so much blood, this act of discarding was, in essence, a monstrous act of moral surrender, and the world perceived it as such, because the world is sensitive to this sort of thing.

It’s only here in Russia that everything happens in such a lax fashion (especially in Soviet Russia). Like I have already said, I have never been divorced, but I know through my acquaintances who gone through divorce, that everything was done shooting from the hip. When the head of the family had more conscience, he left everything to the family. When he had less conscience, things were split in some way… But in the West, it happens differently. Therefore, a wife or husband who says, “I’m sorry, I want to repent…” gets told, “Well, well, well… Say it on the record, will you? Aha! The information you provided will be used in court! The prenuptial agreement will be terminated not on your terms, but on mine.” In other words, and this is the principle of Modernity, people there put their money where their mouth is. If you repent, you pay.

The unconditional moral surrender that Gorbachev undertook led to the unconditional political surrender signed in Belovezhye, which that same Gorbachev approved. An unconditional surrender assumes that the occupier is in his right to do as he pleases. He can execute any sort of “Harvard project”. He can rob your territory however he wishes.

Now comes a new time when it is necessary that the Russian Federation, take note, the Russian Federation, as a legal successor of the USSR and a member of the Security Council, sign a new unconditional moral surrender and start a hysterical campaign of self-vilification, first through vilifying 70 years of its history, and then all the rest of it.

This campaign must be followed through to the revision of the results of World War II. Think about it! The revision of the results of World War II, because Russia must recognize its responsibility for starting World War II; and consequently, it must deny its contribution to the victory. By denying its contribution to the victory, it allows for the restructuring of the world. The topic of discussion here is a post-Yalta restructuring of the world, in which Russia is to be taken out from the ranks of victors, in which Russia is forced to repent, sign an act of surrender in the moral, political, and other domains, this time not on behalf of USSR, but on its own behalf, of this stump, which is horribly cut up, but still quite large.

And then having become an actor, who has signed it all, to lose all legal, geopolitical, and economic standing, to come under custody, with the full right of the one in whose custody you are, to do to whatever they want to you. This is the meaning of unconditional surrender. That is how it’s done.

When the Japanese argue about the Kuril islands, everyone tells them, “You signed an unconditional surrender onboard the USS Missouri. Then what are you arguing about? It was possible to partition your country in any way we see fit…” They respond, “No, the Emperor remained the Emperor, so the surrender was not entirely unconditional. The Emperor stayed, after all.” The German surrender, on the other hand, was completely unconditional… This is the difference between an ordinary surrender and an unconditional one, between putting your signature under your own defeat, after which you still retain geopolitical, spiritual and other standing, and signing an unconditional surrender.

The Russians are being pulled there, towards complete self-termination. This is a great game of restructuring the world at Russia’s expense. Russians must cover the costs of yet global restructuring with themselves. Hear me! They must pay with themselves. Everyone who likes the Reds, who dislikes the Reds, White Guard supporters and their foes, understand what the issue at hand is! We are talking about the ultimate end.

The point we had touched upon does not simply boil down to the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE. The Nazis have now raised their heads in Lvov [note that this broadcast was first aired on May 17, 2011 - translator’s note]. What did they say again? “Russians, repent for World War II!” This is the key point of the global process. If this repentance was to happen now, if a few words had come from the mouth of the authorities, not from those whom Gareev called so well, “Your advisors, Fedotov, Karaganov, and others undertook, calling it…”, then that would have been it. There would have been no turning back. If you said “A”, you must say “B”, you said “B”, then say “C”… And that’s it.

“We’ll be purified, elated…” For goodness’ sake, what are you talking about?

People capable of thinking (and I am convinced that the people who Mr. Gareev named are quite capable of thinking) clearly understand what they have undertaken. And it was not them and not the OSCE PA who undertook this, but the top tier geopolitical actors who strive to rearrange the world at Russia’s expense. They want to rearrange it in such a fashion, that the history of World War II would be rewritten. And it is impossible to rewrite the history of World War II without somehow exalting Nazism. It is simply a question of technology, the law of communicating vessels: if there becomes less in one, then there is more in the other. It is a balance scale: you cannot lower one pan without raising the other. It is technically impossible.

In the balance by Odilon Redon, c. 1880

This means that this is a grand scheme. And those people who went on the commuter trains, cafeterias, offices, and other places with questionnaires made their contribution to this great game. They got up off their couches and became players on this field. And then the principal issue emerged, that they cannot play without those who devised the questionnaire, proposed the idea, and wrote the instructions. And that those who devised the questionnaire, proposed the idea, etc., can do nothing without them. It turns out that everyone needs each other. This is the principle of fraternity.

A system is being created, which people use to fill their spiritual vacuum, the feeling that they are unable to act, which they use to compensate for their anxiety (the feeling of standing on the edge, of the end), and to transform it into action. And this is the only way to cope with feelings of this kind. Otherwise, they destroy you.

All these people do it, for this is their common cause. This is a grand common cause.

We exist in a pre-catastrophic situation. This is not fearmongering. Everyone understands this. Whether or not it is possible to change the global tendencies in such a fashion as to prevent the catastrophe remains unclear. It is very difficult to do. But we have to try.

But even if we will have to live in the catastrophe, there is still the question of how to live in it. It is possible to live in it as swine, or as humans. It is possible to win inside it and to undergo a transformation, to ascend, or one can decay to the utmost degree. These are the stakes. This is why we are creating the organization, and this is the meaning of our activity.

Now that we have talked about this, I would also like to say that we shall not stop. For all of us this is a heavy weight that we have carried for the public good. We consider it our civil duty. These are not empty words. Those who participated gave up their free time. They have invested their brainpower, time, soul, mind, talent, abilities, and education. They have received a certain aggregate output. In the nearest future we will publish a brochure, in which we will definitively articulate all the results of the research that we have conducted. This brochure will be posted online, and you will be able to print it yourselves. We hope that tens of thousands of our activists will deliver millions of such brochures, so that both the people and all branches of government will know. If the AKSIO survey results are already published on the official websites of the largest parties, then let the regional party branches, and the members of the Council for Human Rights, who started all of this, and all the media outlets know as well. Let everybody know this. And understand that this too is a matter of principle.

A large and diverse think tank, one that has contacts with mass media outlets, and one that would eventually be able to create its own flexible and powerful media outlets, means a great deal. There is no need to take on everything at once. Nothing is stopping us from creating the necessary political actor, be it a party, or a movement. But these are successive steps.

Something took place. Let us compare it to a conception. A child must now be born. He must be brought up. This cannot be done in a hurry and negligently. That would be technically impossible and absolutely ignorant. It is necessary for the process to proceed correctly and in the correct direction.

Two temptations are especially dangerous on this stage of maturation.

The first one is the temptation of hierarchy. It is called “the temptation of glory.” I have already cited one sophisticated Orthodox priest, who said, “The devil is no fool, buddy. He himself pays dearly for his energy, this is why he first recruits through the body and then with glory. First through Brioni and expensive watches, then through lights and sirens for your limo. And when this fails, then he starts working for real.” So here you go, he identified to the first two temptations.

I, incidentally, would like to say something here about both Orthodoxy and religion in general: I hope that here we had advanced farther than others within the framework of what we will be doing… No Supramodernity, no new Red Project will be built upon confrontation with religion in general and with Orthodoxy in particular. With religion in principle. We consider this conflict to be deeply meaningless, and we consider Orthodoxy to be a monumental spiritual teaching, which made a fantastic impact on Russian culture and the Russian identity. Allow me also to remind you that in the times of the USSR, no one abroad called us “Soviets”, everyone called us “Russians”. Orthodoxy contributed enormously to all of this. This contribution defines Russia’s place in the world and its special role in the world. There is no Russia without this contribution.

Nothing here can be reevaluated for reasons of the highest spiritual nature, nor for global, geopolitical, or any other reasons.

Russians are a part of the West, at least of the Christian West. If the West is the Christian world, then Russians are a part of the West. But Russians are an alternative part of the West, because they are Orthodox. This is Christianity, which is why it is Western. But it is a different Christianity, an alternative one, which is why it is an alternative West.

Everything starts much earlier. The first horizons on which this is visible (and I have already mentioned this) is Greece and Rome. The Russians, of course, lean towards the Greek West, rather than to the Roman West. There exists this subtle struggle between them, along with a very rich intertwinement… There is an inner conflict. And this conflict can be identified on other stories of history.

The main issue is that the West hates Russians not for being different, but for being an alternative to it, to the West. For being its alter ego. One can hate only one’s alter ego to such a degree.

And the non-West hates Russians, because after the ordinary West falls, the Russian alternative West will remain as the last bastion of development.

This is why they want to finish the Russians off from both sides. Some want this so that the West can fall sooner. Others want this because they simply hate their own double, their own second face. It is always like this. Love and hatred oppose one another only in the simplest of fairy tales, while in reality love and hatred are intertwined. The most passionate hatred exists only towards something kindred. They don’t feel such hatred towards something distant (the great Eastern cultures). They respect them from a distance, perhaps they strive to coldly finish these cultures off, but they don’t hate them as they hate the alternative to themselves.

Marxism, which the Russians adopted was, again, an alternative West. Russian communism was born as an alternative Westernism. Peter the Great is an alternative Westernism. Orthodoxy is an alternative Westernism.

Byzantium is alternative Westernism. It is not China, not India, not Burma. This is the “kin among themselves contending”, and that is why this dispute is especially bitter and especially pivotal. When it seemed that the primary, main West had won everything, that it had defeated everything, and had solved all its problems; at that moment, thanks to the efforts of many forces, the Russian alternative started to involute. The moral surrender of communism signed by Gorbachev was at the same time the moral surrender of Russian alternative as a whole.

Now it is entirely clear that this same primary West, which was so proud of what it did, has simply struck a blow both to its double and to itself, as the Nazis had long wanted: the Nazis who declared that it is necessary to destroy the two “Yalta predators.” The already said in Sanremo 1946, if my memory does not betray me, that this is their final goal. And they are now closer to solving this task than ever before.

In this situation, trying to erase the spiritual significance of Russian Orthodoxy in general and speaking from the position of primitive atheism simply means signing our own death sentence.

And now I will transition to another part of our activity, which is also a problem of political philosophy. The part that I am talking about now is both activity and political philosophy, simultaneously.

 

ACTIVITY AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY

 

I transition to the field of ALMOD (alternative models of development) activity (fig. 34).

 

 

The issue of development is so complicated in and of itself. It is so open-ended, that if we are dealing with alternative models of development, then first and foremost, we are dealing with development as such.

What is development or the historicity of the material world? What is the history of elementary particles? What is the history of matter? What is the history of the increasing complexity of matter?

How does the history of the increasing complexity of the pre-biological world (meaning its development) tie in with the history of the increasing complexity of the biological world (meaning evolution), and with the history of human development (meaning history as such in the narrow sense)? How do these three histories align? What is the “developer”? What exactly is developing? And how does this dialectic of development vs. non-development work?

This is an extremely complex question for systems theory. An extremely complex question for astrophysics. An extremely complex question for modern biology. An extremely complex question for modern mathematics, and the entire body of modern scientific disciplines.

The theory of development as such is in the process of being established. And this theory of development leaves great expanses of space for the spirit. There is room for that which we call the “spirit” in the most strictly scientific and materialistic theory of development. Then what is there to argue about for religious and non-religious people in the 21st century?

Each person sees this differently, but everyone together sees one thing: they see development as ascension. We discussed with religious people: is paradise the pinnacle, or does ascension continue beyond paradise? Of course it does…

There is a grand argument about what the Big Bang theory is. Is it the moment of Man’s expulsion from paradise; in other words, this is the history of sin (then the entire Universe is sinful)? Or is it the moment of the world’s creation? For these are two entirely different concepts, which see the world and development differently.

We must firmly understand that development has enemies. There are forces that consider development to be the fall, a sin, an abomination. But there are also forces that consider development to be the supreme good. And these forces do not belong to one or another denomination; but rather, they coexist inside the same denominations. We need to study the intra-denominational dialogue, which includes both Counter-Modernity and Modernity. Most importantly, it includes both counter-development and development.

What are all of these theories of the Golden Age, primordiality, etc.? These are theories that ignore development and that consider any development to be a fall and deterioration. But this contradicts in the deepest way both the great Christian tradition, and all of the world’s principal religious traditions.

This point of view contains a certain meaning of its own, and I am convinced that this meaning is quite kindred to Nazism, which is now raising its head to a great degree, and which wanted so much to take advantage of our new repentance. It is such a pity that we have not allowed them to do so, at least for now… There was this poetic children’s parable, “Kitty’s crying in the hall, kitty has a major woe: Evil people don’t let kitty steal the sausages so pretty.” So at least for now, we have stopped them from stealing the sausages. But do not be fooled, for this is not the last try. There will be a much more forceful attempt.

So, in everything that concens ALMOD, alternative models of development, we will, first and foremost, examine the idea of development as such. We will then examine the greatest projects of this development. Unfortunately, the number of people, who can describe Modernity as an entity (I have tried to do this in brief, and perhaps I will emphasize once more some features of Modernity as an entity and the Russian alternative to this Modernity)… And so, the number of people who can describe Modernity as an entity is very small. Something is happening to our intellectuals in general… I sometimes read certain debates (and I am very grateful for their existence), in which they try to attribute things to me that are not there, and suddenly a certain truth starts to shine through in these debates, which should be obvious to everyone, but which no one sees.

Mr. Mezhuyev said that there were two perestroika masterminds: Kurginyan and Yakovlev [Boris Mezhuyev claimed in his article “Kurginyan and Perestroika”, that he is amazed at Kurginyan’s uncompromising attitude towards perestroika, since Kurginyan is a product of that era. He, just like Yakovlev, was its main ideologist. “Robespierre defeated Danton, and Danton defeated Lafayette, but each of them personified alternative scenarios of one and the same revolution. It would have been strange if Lafayette had started to condemn the revolution as such in 1830,” Mezhuyev writes. Kurginyan, according to Mezhuyev, bloomed in the era of “perestroika-1”, and he is blooming once more in the era of “perestroika-2.” See http://magic-garlic.livejournal.com/338129.html]. Yakovlev’s perestroika prevailed, while Kurginyan’s did not. It is as though French revolutionaries never changed sides to join the anti-revolutionaries, and the like.

To begin with, since we are talking about perestroika, perestroika is not a revolution. I have dedicated immense intellectual effort to prove that perestroika is an abomination, a fall, regress, degeneration, but in no way is it a revolution. I have never attacked the revolution as a historic feat. Humanity ascends through revolutions, through changing its ways of existence. Society increases in complexity, with quantity transforming into quality. A great novelty appears, as well as a passion for this novelty. This is the people’s bitter road forward. This is their history. That is why Romain Rolland wrote that revolution is like love and woe to him who rejects this.

The Ninth Symphony is what the revolution is. But perestroika is cacophony, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the revolution. Even if we examine it formally, a simple question arises: if I was trying to do anything, if we are comparing it all with the French Revolution, then I was defending the communist system. I wanted to reform it. And at that time, I was a nobody, who decided to join the Communist Party of the Soviet Union as a rank-and-file member, not as a member of the Central Committee, all while those who had gorged themselves on the Communist Party’s perquisites fled from it.

Yakovlev was a secretary of the Central Committee. He said that he wanted to destroy communism since the 1950s. So Yakovlev is Robespierre? Or who is he? What are they talking about? Let us dot our i’s here; not because this is a debate on who Kurginyan was (that is entirely uninteresting), but because a very serious issue comes into focus here: maybe Yakovlev was not Robespierre, not Jean-Paul Marat? He was a CPSU CC member, a top party official, Suslov’s protege, who had secretly always, as he says, dreamed of destroying it all. He dreamed of destroying it all, while I dreamed of saving it. I considered and consider it to be of great value. I think that it was possible to save it only by transforming it. But I wanted to save it! As I do to this day. This is the first point.

Secondly, when it comes to revolutionaries… One must have the honesty and say that revolutionaries were very often on opposite sides of the barricades. Was Kerensky [a top-ranking official of the Provisional Government, which came to power after the February revolution – translator’s note] not a revolutionary? He was. So where was he in October 1917, on Lenin’s side? He was on the other side, in a different faction. And Kornilov [a general and a White movement member during the Civil War – translator’s note], was he a pure monarchist? Of course not. It all became mixed up… What about Savinkov [one of the leaders of the Social Revolutionary Party of Russia and a White movement member during the Civil War – translator’s note]?

That is why, even simply from the stance of having integrity with regards to history, one cannot deal from the bottom of the deck like that! As my grandmother used to say, that kind of thing’s not decent.

Furthermore, (and most importantly, otherwise there would have been no point in discussing this). The French Revolution did not, even for a second, make any attempts at the life of the French state, this is paramount. Where did the word “patriot” come from?  It is a dirty word for our liberals. But  it was not in Russia where they talked about the “tree of liberty” that must be “refreshed with the blood of patriots”, was it? This patriotism came in French and American varieties, and it was intimately connected with these revolutions. All the revolutions were patriotic.

Neither Saint-Just, nor Robespierre, nor Marat, nor Danton, nor Mirabeau, neither one of them could, even in his wildest nightmare, have imagined cutting off even the tiniest piece of French territory. The revolutionary armies marched on Vendée with the guillotine to restore territorial integrity, creating the centralism of the French state, uniting as a nation, and creating new regulators. They were enamoured with the French historical entity; they continuously appealed to it; they always felt their great French tradition. That is what the French Revolution was.

 

Storming of The Bastile by Jean-Pierre Houël, c. 1789.

 

Where in the processes of perestroika and post-perestroika, in these past 25 years, has there been even one Jacobin, one Girondin? Name someone in the liberal camp (or any other camp, for that matter) who is imbued with passion for the state, for the greatness of the nation, a passion that was irrevocable to the likes of Robespierre, Saint-Just, or Couthon.

The idea of revolution found itself mercilessly betrayed by Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Gaidar, etc., at the very first moment when they rejected the imperative of state integrity and the greatness of one’s own country.

What does the revolution have to with any of this, gentlemen? How many more years are you going to spend trying to fool your own people? How many more years will these sorry intellectuals keep babbling? Everything is in plain sight already… The face has appeared on the photographic plate with its monstrous grin. We are standing on the edge. Is now also the time to lie?

Intellectuals, come to your senses before it is too late!

As the years go by, I experience and understand ever-increasing acuity the tragedy of Leninism, of Lenin’s guard, as it is referred to. The same goes for the bitterness of Lenin’s definition of the intelligentsia [that the bourgeois intelligentsia is not the brain, but the excrement of the nation – translator’s note], an extreme and absolutely fair one, to my deepest regret. Because at that time it suddenly turned out that the people who love the country, due to objective reasons and their own journey through life, did not have the full body of knowledge necessary to move the country forward. They did not have this full body of knowledge. They are but a certain part, a certain column within that intelligentsia. A column that had destined itself to hard labor camps and to emigration by making their historic choice, by their life’s journey. They couldn’t sit in a cozy environment and study and gain an understanding of everything, possessing the full body of necessary knowledge. They were, of course, strong-willed and passionate people, but they were not the “cream of the crop”, with a sophisticated understanding of things.

But what did the ”cream of the crop” do? What did the other columns of this intelligentsia do, which were ultimately supposed to serve the people? At the most decisive moment, they backed off. And only this one underdeveloped column was left, who had studied in the hard labor camps and in the emigration, who grasped at the books with alacrity, but who did not have a sufficiently full body of knowledge. It was enough to withstand a terrible blow. But the horror of this blow and everything that followed was to a great degree, determined by the fact that they were so few in number, and that the others step up to shoulder the burden. Someone set them up. A part of the White movement said that, since these are the only people who want to preserve the state, we will join them, even if this means death to us, even we wind up dead.

And finally, regarding the interesting statement Mr. Mezhuyev made me participating in perestroika, “he is in such a good position now, he has benefited so much from it”… Not a single imperial Russian or Soviet intellectual could not have said that. The most important thing is not that it is some biting remark. What is most important is that not a single intellectual of the Russian Empire and not a single Soviet intellectual could have dared to say this, because there was public opinion. Yes, there were people who said, “The nobility made the Revolution here. Have they decided to become laborers?” But those who said it were not the cream of the Russian imperial crop; everyone else looked down upon such statements with contempt.

 

It all has faded, standing off aside

I feel it with my every nerve:

My lot is envious. I lived, and I

Laid down my soul for the sake of my friends.

 

[Excerpt of the poem Lieutenant Schmidt by Boris Pasternak]

 

“I looked around me, and my soul was stung by the suffering of humanity”…

 

[Excerpt from Journey From Petersburg to Moscow by Aleksander Radishchev]

 

Everyone understood: people do not live for the sake of earning points for themselves. They understood that there are higher goals, that things might get worse and even much worse for you, but better for your country. My grandfather felt joy at the sight of a Red Army soldier, while fully realizing where the processes were heading, and what their result would mean for him. So what?

Then how low does one need to fall in order say, on autopilot, with disregard for public opinion, and whatever else, “He’s better off now, so why is he running his mouth, then?” And to fail to understand what you had said, what language you are speaking. This is what I call “lentil pottage”. This is what it means to fall metaphysically.

I once again address our like-minded comrades: we need to go through our current stage of establishment without any formal hierarchies (“general”, “major”, “colonel”) and without all those lowly things that come along with the distribution of resources. Mr. Navalny can take the liberty of saying, “Send me your money.” But we cannot bring the bacilli of these resources and statuses into our undertaking. Yes, we need to pass this by. This does not mean that people who spend their day lying on the couch doing nothing and people who toil in all the areas will enjoy equal opportunities in the organization that we are creating (yes, the organization, no one is saying that it is not being created).

But I think this has to be done somewhat differently. Sometimes a person is simply a user. He enjoys what our extensive intellectual system can offer him. He enters its different compartments, reads, and thinks. Is that bad? No, hat’s wonderful. How much time does he spend on this? He spends as much as he likes. If he wants to, he spends one and a half hours listening to a program; maybe he spends one and a half hours per week, or one and a half hours per year, listening to one program out of 12, or one out of 48. It is all up to him; he is a user. If he is watching this, if he needs this, and he spends his time in the amount of one hour or so (and then he spends more time thinking about it) every week, then he is a continuous user. I assure you, he will then understand more, much more (and especially if he will be actively thinking while listening) than he understood one year ago. Looking back, he will see himself differently. But either way, he is a continuous user.

Now let us imagine that he is also an activist, that he does not only listen to all of this once a week, but he takes questionnaires and starts distributing them. This is an entirely different category and a different status.

Let us imagine that he is an especially active user.

People also exist for whom everything that we are doing, all these meanings, are also an environment for communication. Some people have it good, they have no deficit of communication; but for other people, a deficit of socializing with like-minded people who have the same values as you is a terrible problem. It is necessary to fill this pool with water in order to swim in it. To fill it with the water of meaning. Communication groups appear. That means that these people are also communicators.

There are also creative users. Vlad Sherbachenko from Rostov-on-Don made a video, “Survey on the de-Sovietization program”. I think that he is a creative user. This is a person who made his creative contribution.

There are also experts who can help us. These same intellectuals.

People call me and say, “You made such a good speech there, you finally said all the things that we were afraid to say.” “What are you afraid of? Tell me, what are you afraid of? We are going to discuss the debate Habermas had with Foucault. Come to ALMOD and discuss it. Talk about why Habermas did not want to argue with Lacan, why he started arguing only with Foucault.”

Unfortunately, these people who will have to change their lives tomorrow or endure a terrible burden and be that same “attractor”, sometimes do not know who Habermas and Foucault are. And arrogance is pointless here, because you will not make it without them, just like they won’t make it without you… Incidentally, I am grateful to everyone who criticizes my imagery. And I ultimately think that the image of what I call an “attractor” is best conveyed through the image of a “tarp, which is used to catch someone, who jumped out of a burning building.” This image is better than “mattresses”, “springs”, “sheets”. A tarp… Let us stop at this image.

And so, it is necessary to engage not in arrogance, not in criticism, but to go and do our job, go and do our job, to modify our system (we are open to this), to help it become better, to make a contribution. We will have to explain what the Modernity project is to people for real, through Habermas, through comparing him to Foucault, Derrida, and Lacan. To explain what the difference is between them. To explain what the main features are of one project or another. We could do this without you, but it would take longer, and the results would be worse.

Do not crumble apart into columns of intellectuals, do not flee abroad! All the more so, there is nothing to do there. Emigres there end up howling in despair and start coming up with a plan to off themselves. Do not hide in the corner or howl at the moon, and run off into commerce. Work. Here is the space that we have provided. We have no ambitions. Where are you? We know that you exist! But you are silent. And you are silent in general, but why?

Are you afraid? Of what?

Are you ashamed? Of what?

And so, there are people who can act as experts, and they are in high demand.

And there are operators, who run this system. They undertake certain functions and begin to run it.

And there are key operators.

And there are designers. Yuliya Sergeyevna Krizhanskaya wanted to design this sociological undertaking, the AKSIO survey. The ball is in her court, everyone is responsible for what they undertook.

This undertaking has a chief designer in the person of yours truly. And it is doubtful that someone could manage to take this role away from me, because it would all end on the following day. I would like to see other people come who are ready to enter the field of chief design, and to make their contribution this way. We have the chief designer’s group.

All these groups are not a hierarchy. This is not a hierarchy. I became afraid of this hierarchy when several groups Essence of Time groups suddenly appeared in St. Petersburg, and they started arguing over who was in charge, who was the boss, who were the intermediaries, the generals, and the officers. Then it became scary, because this is a virus. Narcissistic ambition is a dangerous ailment. It is a demon that becomes especially active in a damaged environment. I firmly convinced that the Russian environment is damaged. It can be cured, but it is tainted with the fall, which began with the perestroika. All the demons of perestroika are alive, which is why we need the catacombs, so as not to swallow these viruses in gigantic amounts, but to somehow purify ourselves from them. All this taintedness of status-seeking, as well as various discussions about material resources must be banished, at least at the stage of becoming established.

Temptation of Christ by Vasily Surikov, 1872.

Potentially, we are going to create a summer school. We have not made the decision yet, because it is associated with great difficulties, but we will most likely create it. If we do create it, people will come with their own tents. But we will not create an organizing committee, which would prepare a budget estimate, and in this estimate there would be gaps, and these gaps would have appetites… There will be none of this. Because this alone can devour the movement to the bones, immediately, while just getting off the ground.

I am indeed combining theory with relevant politics, philosophy, political philosophy, and the burning issues of the day in this talk to a significant degree. This is necessary to do so now. It is necessary now because we are finishing a certain stage. We have succeeded. We have succeeded not only because we have conducted our study, documented it, turned it into informational warfare, I’m not afraid to say, but we also obtained a certain result. And we will keep moving forward.

I had to tell you the meaning of all of this. The point of “de-Stalinization” is the key point of the global process. Nobody cares about Stalin; everyone cares about revising the results of World War II, and about building a new type of world on this foundation, in which Russia, if it allows this revision, will not have a place. The purpose of this revision is precisely to leave Russia without a place. Everyone needs to understand this.

All of this is tied together into a single knot. And this knot has to be untied.

Go with this knowledge to everyone, to the decision-makers, to people who have influence on the decision-makers, to everyone. This is political philosophy. This is our AKSIO, this is “Historical Dignity”, this is the alternative theory of development, and this is “Territorial Integrity”.

We will continue our research; after a certain time, we will publish the requirements for a new study on the website. People will have to raise the bar, they will have to conduct research even deeper and more scrupulously. And we will make it so that our research will give us new knowledge about the unfolding the processes, and will influence the processes in our society in a new way.

Now let us talk about the same thing, but from the standpoint of political theory.

 

POLITICAL THEORY

 

Look what happens in principle. It happened during the May 9th parade, and it happens in all statements our politicians make…

Everyone who is trying to make sense of what is happening must be firmly aware of the fact that the political system built after the disintegration of the USSR is anti-Soviet. This is its fundamental and irrevocable feature. The frame of the consensus, or of a certain “political box” is anti-Sovietism. And there is nothing strange about it. This is exactly how it should be.

When the Bolsheviks won, anti-Tsarism became the frame. Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev’s entourage could clink glasses beneath a portrait of His Majesty the Emperor and drink to his health; but at the party congresses, they spoke of the cursed Tsarism. This is not a law, but rather the frame of this “box”.

Here the frame is anti-Sovietism. It contains:

— liberal anti-Sovietism

— centrist anti-Sovietism

— nationalist anti-Sovietism

— fundamentalist anti-Sovietism

— Fascist anti-Sovietism

All of this is anti-Sovietism. Hitler is also an anti-Sovietist and and anti-communist.

The liberal anti-Sovietism was the first to be sacrificed (and this brings to the front the question of who made the sacrifice, and who is the priest). Gaidar and his crew killed liberalism.

Yeltsin in latter years already tried to shift towards the direction of centrism, while Putin has fully taken his place there. And now this story is being played to its end (fig. 35).

 

 

Why is it being played to its end? Why is it not possible to stop here? Why is there nothing that can be done here?

There is one key circumstance, which pertains to both political philosophy and political practice simultaneously. Its essence is in the following.

Capitalism is going through a very complicated stage.

First of all, this is the stage when Modernity is collapsing. Capitalism has no legitimacy outside of Modernity, and Modernity’s collapse is evident. This is the collapse of all its main regulators.

Secondly, capitalism is at huge odds with history as such. How does it present itself in relation to history? What are we dealing with now? Is this history? Is this post-history (as Fukuyama said, “the end of history”)? Because all of this has its tradition. Is this a certain supra-history (as Marx said, “from the kingdom of necessity to the kingdom of freedom”)? What does capitalism offer as a historic response? If it is the end of history, then post-capitalism does not exist. But then it must admit that history is over. And this is a very difficult thing to admit. What did it come to an end at? Will everyone agree to such end? And so on.

Besides, capitalism continued to develop, and it developed into imperialism, “the highest stage of development.” Or to super-imperialism, as Kautsky said. To “the iron heel.” But it has developed to that point. Is it still capitalism, or already imperialism, or even super-imperialism?

The United States of America obviously wants to use the imperialistic collision in order to take full advantage of everything that has to do with the law of uneven development. In other words, to use its military and technical advantages to kill the countries that start developing faster than it.

Do you see what a set of large collisions this is!

But inside all of these collisions is the Russian one. It is called the “primitive accumulation of capital.” In order to stop at the level of centrism or nationalism, it is necessary to stop the primitive accumulation of capital. But the class, which has formed the system, does not want to stop the primitive accumulation of capital! That class is horrible in this sense. It is a phage-class, monster-class, which devours everything. This is not capitalism, it is an actor engaging in permanently increasing primitive accumulation, schizo-capitalism, as the postmodernists used to say, a monstrous capitalizoid.

This monstrous capitalizoid is incapable of solving problems. All it can do is move the process further (see fig. 35). First, centrism will be played to the end. Then nationalism: there it will once again devour everything, but it will solve nothing. It needs to move to fundamentalism, i.e. to Counter-Modernity, to feudalism. And then it will need to move to fascism.

What else can it do, this monstrous capitalizoid? It has created a system, after all, and the system created the capitalizoid. They are twin brothers. It is impossible to break this tie. There are historical precedents of primitive accumulation being put to an end and wrapped up; this was always a titanic effort and never a bloodless one. The real history of how this was done in the United States is yet to be written, what exactly Roosevelt did under the guise of fighting the mafia, what purges he, this great democrat, conducted in order to save something. There are other examples, too.

Since the monstrous capitalizoid cannot and does not want to break with primitive accumulation in either of these stages (this is rude, but such monsters said with their lips, “The cash is here, and the escape airfield is in the West”), this is an outflow-class, a parasite-class. It wants nothing. It only devours its own habitat.

There is no capitalist system; there is a subsystem in the cracks, niches, caverns of the Soviet system. These are very predatory reptiles, with shiny muscles, superb teeth, a superb nervous system, a sight that sees only what can be devoured, and a spacial perception which allows them to mercilessly jump at the nearest piece of food. To devour and to devour again, to devour and to again devour.

I have said many times before, that an adversary state can send its agent into a military–industrial complex, who will be engaged in destroying the enterprise. But it can send in a thief instead, who will know nothing. He is not an agent at all; he receives no instructions; he is absolutely faultless. He just steals. And the enterprise disappears. “What did you do?” “What do you mean? I did what I could.”

They put cheese in front of a dog. The dog ate it. Who is to blame? The dog?

The meaning here is that the monstroid will move will move in these conditions only in a strictly defined direction, precisely that way and no way else. This means it needs to transition into the nationalist niche now. And it is trying. No one sees its attempts, but it is trying to move there.

Parts of this pseudo-capitalist plasmoid have absolutely no desire to move there, which is why it stops. But it can’t help but move there. Conversely, if it turns back in the direction of liberal anti-Sovietism, a card that has already been played, it will just instantly disintegrate the country (fig. 36).

 

 

Therefore, if this capitalist monstroid moves in the direction of nationalist anti-Sovietism, the country will be peacefully rotting, and it will finish rotting approximately around the year 2017 [this text was written in 2011 – translator’s note]. And here, in the terminal phase, there will be either a furious self-termination (through a nuclear war), or a quiet one.

If, on the other hand, it will start turning back, then everything will collapse instantly, because such a turn is forbidden. The de-Stalinization, from the standpoint of political theory, was precisely an attempt to jump back into the liberal niche, into a collapse.

This is what perestroika is, a rapid storm of collapse at through the violation of all laws of state life. And one has to be either a fool, a very intellectually indiscriminate person, or someone with dubious intentions to dare call this abomination of perestroika, a modernization, a revolution, etc. One must not allow himself to do this.

The question at hand today is this: either the capitalist monstroid will continue moving towards nationalist anti-Sovietism, or it will turn in the direction of the liberal anti-Sovietism, and then we will face a rapid collapse. Naturally, we do not need a rapid collapse based on the principle, which I had already laid out multiple times, referring to the White Sun of the Desert, “Do you want to die right away, or do you want to suffer?” “It’s better to suffer for a bit.”

Because, if the process boils down to only increasing these abominable tendencies, that the monster grows bigger, and nothing else happens, then it does not matter whether the wait is long or short… Especially having in mind that the “long” wait will also be quite fast. But if some other tendencies start growing, and our conversation is the growth of these tendencies, then it is possible that these other purifying tendencies will grow quite rapidly, “outrunning” the abominable tendencies (fig. 37).

 

 

Moreover, once the monster devours everything, it will collapse. And here the question of this “tarp” or the “attractor”, will arise. Only at this point and not earlier.

A soft transition is possible if the anti-monstrous social entities will grow faster than the monstrous entities do. And the monstrous entities continue to grow. Therefore, time extremely limited in either case.

The attractor is an entirely different situation. It is a situation in which no one will manage to oppose the monster. The anti-monstrous force will grow, but not rapidly enough. And everything will collapse onto it before it reaches the necessary state of maturity. Then it will either withstand the pressure, or it will not. If it manages to attain a certain quality by that time, then the impact will be weaker, and the attractor will be stronger. If fails to attain this quality, then it will certainly crumble.

This is the political essence of that which is occuring before our very eyes. We will be monitoring it, watching, thinking about the direction along which the process is developing, and we will participating in this. We will constantly take part in it, all the while accumulating our strength. This is our task.

I have spoken here about our research in detail. Not only about research as an activity, but also about the meaning of this research as political philosophy. I have spoken about what the politically relevant part of this process is. It will now be unfolding before our very eyes. And we will need to take once stance on it, or another. And I have spoken about what all of this is from the standpoint of political theory.

Along with this, I once again address everyone who is capable: let us engage in ALMOD as yet another direction of our activity. Let us engage in the theory of development in general and alternative forms of development by strictly describing them. We don’t need “jury-rigging” here, we need to analyze everything that has to do with Modernity, bring all the Russian alternatives to light in all other directions.

There is this anti-globalist movement, which is quite boring. But there is an alter-globalist movement, which is much more interesting.

The main issue in general, if you will, is in the following. The left movements have lost their moral purity and their classical power. They have lost their theoretical worldview apparatus after Marxism and after the collapse of communism. They lost their ability to propose their own models of development, which do not match the models of neo-liberals and everyone else, and they have lost their distinctness.

There are millions and millions of people in the world. There is a large number of people in our country, who are an inexhaustible wealth for all of this, people who seek coherency of worldview. But one cannot achieve this coherency of worldview through fantasies and original super-theories of everything. One can only do this by drawing upon the high classics.

We propose here that we analyze Modernity, Counter-Modernity, Postmodernity, and Supramodernity by drawing upon the high classics. To analyze the general theory of development as a whole, and to think through what the Russians can do in this sense as an alternative.

This fourth direction, ALMOD, which I am discussing as a direction of activity, I also discuss as political philosophy. As you can see, it is also close to everything that has to do with political practice.

Perhaps it is rapidly putting forth a claim of this sort, a claim addressed to both the country and the world, that can prevent the final signing of Russia’s death warrant. This signing is unavoidable if Russia will itself morally surrender yet again, as it is being pressured to do by all means possible, relentlessly and very forcefully. This pressure is very hard to oppose; but so far, we have managed to do so.

 

Source (for copy): http://eu.eot.su/2019/02/28/essence-of-time-chapter-16/

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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