Portrait of Stakhanov by Leonid Kotliarov, 1938.
May 24, 2011.
Today the residents of Donbass awarded me with the Miner’s Glory of the I degree badge. Meanwhile, I again peered intently into the very aged faces of those who had once managed separate branches of the Soviet economy and the Soviet economy as a whole.
These are amazingly pure faces; these are people on whose faces it is written that they didn’t steal, that they did not derive unparalleled joy from grand larceny. It is written so clearly on their faces; and especially now, with age taking its toll, it becomes even scarier, for it is very clear what has come to replace them.
That which has replaced them can only steal. It does not come even close to being able to manage industries, factories, and the even more complex pseudo-market situation, which they themselves have created. And most importantly, they are not interested in managing anything. They are not interested in pulling that heavy load. They are only interested in theft, in unlimited theft, and in creating insane attributes of luxury, the likes of which the Soviet nomenklatura, whom it was fashionable to condemn during perestroika, could never even dream of, or even understand their meaning.
And this abomination, this grotesquely insane luxury is so important to those who substitute national leadership for this kind of self-enrichment, that everything else becomes irrelevant. They can’t even do anything else! They understand that they are effectively plundering what little is left, all while creating enormous opportunities for themselves and eliminating opportunities for the majority of the population… And that is all they do.
Even if we could stop all of this by some mysterious way and bring everything back to some likeness of 1978, it is unclear who would manage the economy and its industries, Maybe, the people who gave me this badge and their colleagues from other industries could do so for the next five years… Maybe they are still capable of something. Maybe, in this new situation, when everything is magically restored, they could spend their final days steering something and passing it on to someone else. And maybe the country would then be preserved. Some modest, simple country would be preserved, in which men, women, and their children would live a simple and unpretentious Russian life: sweat in saunas, snack on bacon and rye bread, drink occasionally, work, deliver this very coal and everything else, and organize their own life some way that is different from others, but not necessarily the worst option. After all, we did somehow, manage to unpretentiously send Gagarin into space…
Maybe, it still could happen like a beautiful dream. But I don’t know how to reconcile this dream with reality, because there is no cord one can pull to return back to 1978. It is impossible to close your eyes and wake up in 1978. Everything is following an absolutely different trajectory.
I understand that, if everything were to follow a different trajectory, then it has nothing to do with me being in charge of anything. Most likely, my opportunities would shrink drastically compared to those I have now.
In this regard, the discussion begins again, or continues, between myself and Mr. Mezhuev [Mezhuev Boris Vladimirovich, liberal political scientist and journalist – translator’s note], who says indignantly, “Why did Kurginyan go after me, what is he scolding me for? I said, after all, that he is a top-notch debater, and so on and so forth. I didn’t say anything bad…” [http://magic-garlic.livejournal.com/339743.html]
For me, the issue is not who says what, bad or good. I do not want to scold anyone, neither Mr. Mezhuev, nor the gentlemen from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. No one.
I’m not scolding anyone here. I using the proper words. I’m trying to convince everyone that it is time to use the right words, to call things by their proper names. Not avoid using these names. Don’t wiggle, don’t beat around the bush, don’t try to slip away from giving precise definitions for the essence of any phenomena that we are discussing.
The issue is not that Mr. Mezhuev said, “I didn’t say anything about Mr. Kurginyan’s being successful; that is a question best addressed to him…”
Maybe, Mr. Mezhuev keeps forgetting the following day what he just said the day before. He said the following: “No one knew Kurginyan before perestroika. Sergey Ervandovich [Kurginyan – translator’s note] flourished so greatly precisely during perestroika-2. It’s his time again…” (http://magic-garlic.livejournal.com/338129.html)
“Kurginyan personifies perestroika… What to me is the most strange is Kurginyan’s uncompromising attitude towards perestroika…”
So, he said that “no one knew Kurginyan…”, that “Kurginyan flourished…” Correct?
In his article, Mezhuev himself admits: “He doesn’t like the argument ‘what he would be, if it weren’t for…,’ I agree, argument is a little vulgar…” [http://magic-garlic.livejournal.com/339743.html]
Then why use vulgar arguments? Why, in an era when the stakes are so high, engage oneself in vulgarity, while being aware that it is vulgarity? This is Smerdyakov’s style. [Smerdyakov is a character of Dostoyevsky’s novel The Brothers Karamazov. He became a symbol of dishonor and vulgarity that claims to be progressive and intellectual – translator’s note.] You understand that your argument is vulgar, but you still use it. Why?
I wanted to emphasize that in the Soviet era, in an intellectual environment, an environment that was very dear to Mr. Mezhuev’s father, such an argument was inappropriate. Any person who would use it would be internally rejected by society, which was governed by a different set of norms and regulators. Now there are no regulators. Mr. Mezhuev can allow it for himself…
And all I want to tell those who listen to these broadcasts is: let’s not allow ourselves anything like this. We will not judge endlessly others for doing so. Let’s not allow ourselves anything like this. This is first.
Secondly. “Kurginyan’s uncompromising attitude towards perestroika”, “he personifies perestroika himself”, “no one knew Kurginyan before perestroika”, “he is also part of perestroika-2”, and so on and so forth, all of this requires one thing from a scientific standpoint. Define what “perestroika” is. Don’t blabber, swear, or wiggle. Define it. Give your definition of perestroika. What is it?
I gave this definition long ago. This very simple definition, which is on everyone’s lips, is this: perestroika is a special project. It is a closed project, in which one set of goals is declared for society, but the project team’s goals are different. And then, after many years, it tells through Yakovlev, Gorbachev, and others that it had its own goals, and that it lied to society.
So, first and foremost, this is the deception of society, with the project team having its own set of goals, which is dramatically different from what they declared to society.
And so, perestroika is a special project. “We say one thing, but we are thinking something entirely different.”
Secondly. This is a special project, the end goal of which is the destruction of the country. I emphasize: not only the political system, on behalf of which the special project is supposedly being implemented, will be destroyed. But the destruction of a political system, be it communist or any other, is the not most important thing. The most important thing is that with this system’s destruction, it becomes possible to also destroy the country.
And so, perestroika is a closed special project with the goal of destroying the country. Wherein the very authorities, whose constitutional duty is to protect the country, are the ones who carry out the destruction. The country is destroyed through the devastation of the political system under the guise of reforms. Society is presented with a goal of salvation through accelerated development. Then, such methods of accelerated development are proposed that are incompatible with life for the country. Stagnation is continuously condemned. It is contrasted with development. But then it turns out that there is no development; instead, there is degradation that leads to the country’s collapse.
Perestroika is the destruction of the country that is carried out by the authorities themselves. Moreover, it is done consciously.
Have I given a definition?
And so, I affirm that this is unthinkable loathsomeness. And if within this loathsomeness someone gains some pseudo-opportunities, then take them away, take them back! As Dostoevsky’s character said on this regard: “I hasten to give back my entrance ticket.” Take it away. It is better to live without such opportunities.
Yes, people dreamed of these opportunities. But not like this, not when the price for these opportunities is the destruction of the country. We don’t understand why one can attain these opportunities somewhere else without destruction, but here these opportunities are to be bought at the cost of exterminating this country’s historical life, of exterminating our people, and the country as a whole. Why must we pay such a price?
And why must one in 2011, when everything has become clear, and it is all before our eyes, try to make a joke of it and laugh it off?
“He is a man of perestroika, that guy is a man of perestroika, all of them are men of perestroika…” Why must one try to roll everyone in this excrement and then roll in it himself? What for?
The problem is simple: give a definition, if you are thinking person. If you have scientific integrity, define what perestroika is instead of blabbering.
“Oh, so you have an uncompromising attitude towards perestroika! Why do you approach it so uncompromisingly?”
If perestroika is the conscious destruction of the country by its authorities, then why should I wish to compromise with it? Because along with the Russian Federation’s destruction, some more opportunities may be afforded to me? What opportunities? Enumerate them. I will drive a fancier car? Fly in a private jet? I’ll have a palace?
Keep these opportunities to yourself! Take them for yourself. Chew and devour, devour and chew, but do not involve others in this. We do not want these opportunities. We are ready to reduce those opportunities that we have today.
I look at people’s faces, who are sometimes over 80 now, and see that they didn’t steal, that they managed the economical sectors somehow, that for them the meaning of life spanned outside of their own luxury, beyond that vulgarly chewing wealth, or “prosperity”… There was a different meaning. And I ask them all the time: “How did you allow this? How did all this rotting emerge and ripen beside you?” It poured out in such a way that now the country is rotting and dying. Shakespeare comes instantly to mind:
This is the imposthume of much wealth and peace,
That inward breaks, and shows no cause without
Why the man dies.
Perestroika is exactly this death. And when I say “perestroika-2”, I mean very specific things. I ask, “will the authorities consciously destroy the country for a second time, for whatever sake: for the sake of preserving their assets in the West, for the sake of increasing their ‘prosperity’, for the sake of saving the ‘prosperity’ of the ruling class (these 2-3 million of people, who have managed to really pig out; and apparently, they dream of pigging out like this their entire lives)? Will another 140 million men and women, along with their children and grandchildren be destroyed for the sake of all of this? Will these men and women, who are still capable of creating something, be again lead to the slaughter? Yes or no?” These people are very unhappy when I ask, “Yes or no?”
And in this sense, we need to categorically distinguish perestroika from normal democracy, from development, from westernism, from liberalism. Perestroika is the conscious liquidation of a country by its authorities. Will this happen again or not?
How can one take perestroika-2 so lightly, having experienced perestroika-1, understanding firmly that this is the same, and knowing that the fathers of perestroika admitted at the end of their lives that they were killing the country with their own hands, and that this was their dream? Yakovlev mentioned that he secretly cherished this “great” intent ever since 1956.
That is what perestroika is. In this sense, only one front can exist today in the country: an anti-perestroika front. We will not allow perestroika-2. As the Jews who had survived the Holocaust said, “Never again!” We, who lived through perestroika, must all say to ourselves, “Never again!” This will not be. This trick will not work a second time. And there is no need to mask and cover the truth with intellectual grimaces and gestures.
There were people who stood up to save the country from destruction at all costs, sacrificing anything it takes, and there were people who were destroying it. And to state that both sides were participants in perestroika… Who are you kidding?
The most important thing that I find interesting in such games is this refusal to say “yes” or “no”, to call things black and white, this refusal to give any definitions… This is a non-conceptual language!
We theorize about perestroika, and we do not define what it is.
We theorize about modernization, and we do not define what it is.
We theorize about other things, and we do not define what they are.
When did the air start smelling like another perestroika, and when did I say it? When they began to talk about development in a certain manner. Development is something of paramount importance; it is metaphysical. For me personally, there is nothing in the world that is more important than development. Then we need to give an exact definition as to what the preceding periods really were.
Perestroika was an abomination, during which the authorities were consciously destroying the country. But then we need to give a complete explanation about how exactly they destroyed it…
Man is an infinitely complex being, all things are blended in him: good, evil, abomination, heroism… And under the thin film of all that he constitutes by himself (and as a being he isn’t older than 40-50 thousand years) everything beastly continues to boil. He is a part of this natural, beastly environment. He emerged from it. He created an artificial environment for himself. He created ways to manage this environment, and he created himself. He is an unthinkably complex being.
And of course, there is a beast inside of this being. Well, let us say this very crudely: there is a snorting swine sitting inside of every human being, a hidden beast. To separate this beast from the human, taboos and prohibitions exist, starting with the most ancient (I will not enumerate them) moral regulators, religion… All of these exist to keep the swine from leaving its cage, to put it in the cage, and to keep it in.
And there is a certain opportunity to let this beast out. There is a button, a button that can always be pressed, and the swine can crawl out of its cage. It will get out, and will begin to devour everything around it. Scientists know very well the structure of this swine, the structure of this cage, and the structure of this button.
An elite consensus exists in democratic systems. There is an elite actor that is capable of forming a consensus, and within this consensus framework no one pushes the button. Competing powers do not push this button. They guard the button.
In systems like the Soviet system, where there is no democracy, the system itself pulls Man upward, and the system thoroughly guards this button from ever being pushed. For everyone understands that if the button is pushed, the outcome will be catastrophic. This very button and the entire area around it are under guard; this is a forbidden zone.
This zone existed, and they guarded it. And then, Man ascended, better or worse. He ascended. Slowly, clumsy, how ever he could… Even when there was some pretension to it… I beg your pardon, but when it is fashionable to keep Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and others on your bookshelves, it is already good. Even if there are only the covers of Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Pushkin, and others, it is better than if you put pornography there. And when these are not covers, but books, this is even better. And when people stand in lines to see movies by Fellini and Antonioni, this is beautiful.
Let it be just fashion. Fashion can be different. Pornography being in fashion is not the same as Tolstoy and Pushkin being in fashion. These are different fashions. One fashion pulls Man upward, to Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Pushkin. The other fashion pushes Man down.
It is easy to push Man down. But they pulled him up in all possible ways; The Moral Code of the Builder of Communism was quite a classical moral paradigm that existed in the Soviet era.
Lenin disapproved of the “glass of water” theory, according to which satisfying one’s sexual pursuit and the need of love in a communist society was supposed to be as easy and insignificant as drinking a glass of water. And by Stalin’s time, nothing remained from this “glass of water” theory, this free love, and other unruliness. The system became very strict, classical, and it pulled Man upward. It led him up the stairs of education, culture, socialization, and labor. It did this. And it guarded this button. The button which, if pushed, would release the swine from its cage. It forced the swine into the cage. And the swine sat there. And it didn’t even snort. And even if it did snort, it would do so on the sly.
Then the moment came when the ruling party pushed this button itself. This is even worse than destroying the country (although this too is a horrible sin). This is more horrible than anything else in the world. This is a betrayal of all that is human. Everything. These authorities knew where the button is. They first guarded it, but then they pushed it themselves. And there is no use in saying that this didn’t happen.
This is the essence of the argument between Bakhtin and Losev [two prominent Soviet scholars of literary theory– translator’s note].
Basically, Losev told Bakhtin: “What are you doing? You are presenting folk culture as beastly, as the lowest of the low, as feces. You present my beloved Renaissance as the triumph of the lowest. Why do you depict this lowest (i.e. the swine) in such a manner? It isn’t true! Everything can’t be reduced to this. The folk culture can’t be reduced to this. It is not the culture of the lowest. It is not your beloved Rabelais [François Rabelais,a prominent French Renaissance writer and author of the grotesque Gargantua and Pantagruel – translator’s note]. It encompasses everything. Folk culture contains spiritual realms as well. Folklore is a high culture, for it elevates Man up high. You don’t have tell me about carnivals and the like! The carnival is a bell’s toll, when the church strikes this bell; and for one day, it affords the opportunity to turn the highest and the lowest upside down, but then it immediately brings the system back into the old position. It is not a non-stop carnival. Don’t bother telling me this! Why are you lying? You are such a talented and intelligent fellow. Why are you perverting it all?”
This is the essence of the discussion between Losev and Bakhtin.
Bakhtin answered by saying, “I have to. It needs to be so. We will not overcome these vile communists if we do not let the swine out of the cage.”
But let Bakhtin be… Mikhail Bakhtin was a most talented man. His studies of Dostoevsky are a great contribution to the study of culture. Only great people could do things of this kind. Losev never condemned what Bakhtin wrote about Dostoevsky! He said, “Why in the world are you writing this about Rabelais? Why are you writing this about the Renaissance? Why have you, Misha, all of a sudden begun to pervert everything? You of all people know that this isn’t the case.”
Misha smiled back. Kozhinov later explained why Misha smiled.
And everyone, including Yulian Semyonov [Yulian Semyonovich Semyonov, the pen-name of Yulian Semyonovich Lyandres, a Soviet and Russian writer of spy and detective fiction, and screenwriter, who was allowed to work closely with KGB archival information – translator’s note], Evgeniy Kisilyov [Soviet and post-Soviet journalist, TV and radio broadcaster – translator’s note], who were close to Andropov talked about how Andropov himself brought in Bakhtin, so that Bakhtin could tell them what kind of button it is and how to press it. And Bakhtin told them. Bakhtin told them by perverting the nature of the Renaissance, the nature of human life in general, and of the folk culture. He told all of this very precisely. Not without reason, Kristeva, one of the great theoreticians of postmodernism, rejoiced about how precisely Bakhtin explained everything.
And then they pressed this button very precisely. And they brought about a global catastrophe. A global catastrophe. They intended to destroy Man in his entirely. The ideal in general. And they succeeded to a significant degree.
The swine left its cage, and it began to devour everything around itself.
Now a very serious political, metaphysical, cultural, and existential question arises: how can it be driven back? For it is incompatible with life. Who is going to force it back into its cage and how?
And every time I address my supporters, I tell them, “People, you have to understand that we need catacombs! We need to overcome the temptation of formal hierarchies (who is the general and who is the rank-and-file soldier among us), the temptation of everything low-lying (we need to banish the golden calf from of all of this),” and so on. I understand that the world is corrupted. People do not talk about catacombs in an uncorrupted world.
The world is corrupted, for the swine has been set loose. They set off a monstrous bomb of dehumanization, of turning Man into the beast. And herein lies the crime of perestroika.
And please, don’t bother equating those who combated it by exposing its essence back then and by warning everyone about it, and those who smirkingly implemented it. Don’t hide from the definitions, from the essence of what happened, from the fact of the crime, a crime of a global historical scale. Don’t hide from this fact! Because when you hide the essence behind your grimaces, contortions, and things you yourselves call vulgar, you don’t let people prepare themselves. They are being pushed into this perestroika for a second time. They have yet to be finished off. They have yet to turn into animals. They still maintain something human. Something within them is growing again. New “sparrows”, 17-20 years old, are standing with their eyes wide open, searching and asking how to save the Motherland. And they are ready to listen for hours about something serious, interesting, and authentic [An allusion to Andrzej Wajda’s 1958 film “Ashes and Diamonds”, when the hero is asked, “What, you shoot at Poles?” and he answers, “And you shoot at sparrows?” － translator’s note].
You need to finish off these sparrows, right? For what purpose, why? Extremely simple people, primitive people, the thieves, need it to happen so that they can move into even more luxurious palaces, and so that they can to add another 70 feet to their disgusting yachts. But why do the more sophisticated of these people need to get rid of them?
Why don’t you speak the full truth to the end?! When you implemented this perestroika, against whom, how, and for what were you exacting your revenge? I understand very well what Bakhtin was exacting his revenge for. But you? Why did you bring about this treachery? This abomination… Why are you trying to bring it about for a second time?
Take off your masks, it is time to talk about the essence of the issue. You won’t succeed in your attempts to slip it to the Russian people under the table. The special project won’t succeed, gentlemen! There is enough strength to remove its mask. And it is being done not from the standpoint of gaining or losing certain opportunities. Keep these opportunities to yourselves! Devour them all up and enjoy it. Just not here.
It is being done to protect the “sparrows”. Do you understand? You just don’t understand that we love them, and that we will not let you wipe them out. You have already done 75% of your dirty business. But haven’t accomplished the other 25%. And you have been stopped by this barrier. Both you and your masters.
Now about those masters. The issue lies not only in their intention to gain control over Russia’s resources. Nor is the problem limited to the masters’ need to yank out Russia’s “nuclear teeth” before China manages to build up a sufficient quantity of her own… That is all mercantile and pragmatic.
The masters have more profound tasks. The masters are also implementing a special project… Perhaps, we will not manage to explain what this special project is to the world… But we will explain it to Russia. As the hero of one American novel used to say “… I’m going to tell it. I’m going to tell it over this state from one end to the other if I have to ride the rods or steal me a mule to do it, and no man… can stop me.” [Robert Penn Warren All the King’s Men.] We will explain it to Russia. I’m not sure about the world. They say there are millions of people in Europe, who want to hear this explained to them. So we are explaining.
The task is not just to dismember Russia, to devour its resources, and to organize another zone of chaos here. A counter-initiation, as they say in such cases, to degrade everything here so that somewhere else everything can be enhanced… This pertains to the set of mercantile tasks.
There are other tasks, which are much more serious.
When the scent of de-Stalinization and de-communization began to fill the air, everyone already understood that it is part of perestroika-2, just like equating of development and modernization. Just like the fake democratization. Each of these parts separately are a small bluff. But their sum is a giant bluff.
It was implemented once. Now they are trying to put together a new puzzle from the same pieces. One can simply see how the hand moves the same pieces around to put the puzzle together.
What’s wrong with democracy in and of itself? Go for it! Do you want real democracy? Do you honestly want it? Do the authorities honestly want real democracy in Russia? Then go right on ahead! But you immediately say: “De-Stalinization.” I.e. you immediately associate democracy with repressive political psychiatry, with a ban on reasoning. You are already banning part of the truth. You are already suppressing part of your opponents, the majority, which would prevail under the conditions of true democracy. And you are suppressing them through all available means. What kind of democracy is this? What kind of democracy is this if one of the parties gets a gag shoved in its mouth? Be cognizant! But let’s go for it, without jokes and in all seriousness… Do you want me to establish a party, and then we, like men, can have a serious conversation at the elections? Do you really want that?
So, all of this is falsehood… And this falsehood is called “de-Stalinization”.
Equating modernization and development is the greatest fraud of end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st. Because the era of development in the style of Modernity is now ending. It is coming to an end, and that is all! There is no way to continue this era, for the regulators no longer work. Technocentric development must be replaced by anthropocentric development, or it must be stopped. And no one knows how to stop it.
Desolation, when Man does not understand why he needs all this prosperity if he is mortal, must be replaced by immortalism or religion. And so on, and so forth, point by point. There are more than twenty of these points. Secular law does not regulate society. The nation must be replaced either by an imperial people (21st century empires), or by breaking up into ethnic fragments with some kind of strange world government hanging over them and governing them through unknown mechanisms.
The train of Modernity has come to the end of its tracks. But the Russians have a different train in reserve. It is crooked, clumsy, and shabby, but it is a train of development. Development … They know how to develop differently; they have certain practices of their own. So, you see, they must be destroyed, so as to halt development completely in the entire world. This is the essence. This is what the “Russian question” is worth today. It is not about seizing Russia’s resources. It is not about organizing a chaos on this territory. It is not about pulling out our “nuclear teeth”. It is about halting development completely.
Then what is this strange actor, that wants to halt development? Why is it targeting the Russian soul so intently? What exactly does it need? This clearly is not just global imperialism; this is something more predatory!
The key point of this global project, this special project, which is being implemented for the past 30-40 years, is the point that we have now approached: this is the removal of the USSR from among the victors of the World War Two. It is a most profound revision of World War Two’s results.
It is absolutely clear that they are removing the Soviet Union from among the victors, and this is exactly the essence of the de-Stalinization, de-communization and de-Sovietization that Fedotov, Karaganov and others are pushing. I wouldn’t be endlessly discussing this if they weren’t members of the Presidential Council for Human Rights, and if they weren’t speaking on behalf of the Presidential Council, i.e. on behalf of the authorities (see above: perestroika-2).
If this is just their private opinion, then they are just a “fifth column”, and that isn’t scary. We can live through that. It is clear to everyone that they are a “fifth column”. One can’t help but see that they are “fifth column” through comparing the documents of OSCE PA in Vilnius with their documents and seeing that they just copy each other.
The question is for the authorities. It seems that the authorities have stopped already two or three times, and they no longer want to engage in de-Stalinization, de-communization. And they cannot. When we have conducted a massive survey [http://eot.su/axio-result], we blocked the way for one of the most terrible schemes of late 20th-early 21st century. We have finally published a comprehensive report with an endless array of color graphs. We have put it on the relevant desks. What did we publish it for? We said, “Esteemed authorities, this contradicts not only our interests, but also your direct political interests. You have elections approaching, right? Are the results from VCIOM [All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center – translator’s note] not sufficient for you, are the results of other sociological centers not enough? Take these ones, they are more complete and more objective then everything else. Take them and realize that if you really want to be democratically elected, or even pseudo-democratically, semi-democratically, then you can’t implement a ‘de-Stalinization’ program. 89.7% of the population is against it.”
But we opposed this program not because we love Stalin or someone else. We simply understand the magnitude of this worldwide historical scheme.
Let us all, especially those of us with a refined understanding, close our eyes and imagine a new world order in which the Soviet Union is removed from the list of victor states… What is this project supposed to look like? How is it possible to remove the Soviet Union from among the victors, but to still have some kind of logic remain? And if no logic is preserved, then whose success are you ensuring? You are ensuring the success of neo-Nazism. And we know that it exists.
Therefore, the question isn’t just about your intention to seize our territory, our resources and to feed your democratic nations with them; you want to subjugate and distort these nations. To give Nazism a makeover, to create an impenetrable and impassable hierarchy, and to completely destroy this democracy, because your supremacy can’t continue any other way. You can’t sustain the supremacy within the framework of Modernity. It has come to a stop. You want to replace the framework and to go beyond it. And to that end, my good lords, you want to reject humanism entirely. Let’s call things by their proper names. We understand where it aims. And we understand that we are blocking its way.
Demonstrating our report and having no desire to discuss the political results (for it is already evident: not a single word about de-Stalinization remains in our leaders’ press conferences, the de-Stalinizers are in despair, and so on), we are not celebrating. We understand that these attempts will continue, that they will intensify, that one cannot just make do with rational arguments like these, because “when you must not, but you really want to, then you can.”
We are just showing them what one can respond with. And we are the ones who did this, not some other civil organization or party. This is the result of our activity.
Moving on to discussing other elements of our activity, I want to direct attention to the fifth and sixth elements: the Substantive Unity Club and the Experimental Creative Center. These two elements are united by analytical activity. The same activity that I just began discussing. These are the analytic structures.
A political organization cannot exist without analytics. I demonstrated to what extent it cannot exist without analytics during the recent TV debate on Honest Monday (from May 16, 2011 on NTV).
When I went to these television debates, I was not at all expecting that I would have to debate the communists. For when I was invited, I was told that the debates would be with Mr. Levichev from Just Russia and Mr. Isaev from United Russia. I did not even realize right away that communists were present… I realized it when the show had already begun and the participants were announced. This is not a trap that the television producers had set for me; this is the normal disorder they have on television, and I understand it. But when it occurred, I had only one desire: to shake hands with the representative of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. That’s all. I didn’t want to do anything else within the framework of the discussion. So, I asked the CPRF representative two easy questions with blatantly obvious answers.
The first question: “Mr. Melnikov, how do you feel about what Vice President Biden said to a representative of your party, Mrs. Ostanina: ‘I could not have imagined… that some day I would be supporting Communists and wishing you victory’? (I quote roughly, close to the text – SK). What do you, a high ranking representative of the CPRF, make of this?”
How would any Zulu have answered this question? I don’t want to upset the Zulus, for they are a great people… How would a representative of any people who had not reached the stage of Modernity, of any central African people, answer? And anyone else! Ask any politician: “How do you feel about Mr. Biden patting your party’s representative on the back?” What will he say to you? “To hell with Mr. Biden! That’s Mr. Biden’s problem; we stand firmly on the position of our national interests, and we indignantly reject these attempts at provocation.” Period.
My second question was: “Tell me, please (this is an old question), your leader, Mr. Zyuganov, spent a long time building fronts. He once even joined the National Salvation Front…” He jumped away from it at the crucial moment, but that is not important. Was he part of it? He was… And for a long time, the CPRF’s whole philosophy, if it does in fact exist, was to build an alliance with native-soil patriotic forces against liberal-westernist forces. “Tell me, please, do you intend to build an alliance with the native-soil patriots or with the westernizers and westernists? With the conservatives or with the liberals? Whom will you ally with when issues of national interest arise?”
One could expect an answer like, “What a strange question, Mr. Kurginyan. You are wasting time on political ABCs; of course, we will be with the native-soil patriots.”
Most obvious and beneficial response for Mr. Melnikov to answer these two simple questions, in my opinion, would have been: “We indignantly reject Mr. Biden’s flirting with our party’s representatives, and we firmly declare that we are a national party, that consequently has an extremely negative attitude toward all this flirting. And secondly, we will, of course, be with the native soil patriots, against the westerners, westernizers, and destructive forces. We support the great universal Russian tradition, a part of which is the Russian communism.”
Next, I would shake hands with Mr. Melnikov and stop talking. Or I could applaud and stop talking. I could say, “Now that is a real position.”
But Mr. Melnikov remains silent.
I repeat my question and say one more time: “I have such sympathy for you party and these ideas. I am ready to support them through any means. Please, answer these two questions, which even a political first-grader could answer. For you are a mature man. You will have to answer these questions during the elections.”
Mr. Melnikov is again silent.
And then, moving on to the part of the program that is called Relevant Politics, I will explain what it all means.
I’m going to spare the assumption that Mr. Melnikov is completely uninformed; in that case, everything would be even more frightening. But if he is informed, then it means the following. CPRF’s leaders enjoy Biden praising them. And that they indeed look upon United Russia’s and the All-Russia People’s Front’s voters with a wet appetite [The All-Russia People’s Front is a pro-Putinist non-party organization that was created in 2011 in order secure support for United Russia in the parliamentary elections from a large segment of people who approved of Putin personally, but distrusted United Russia － translator’s note]. They want to stand on the other side and “eat it up” together with the liberals, nationalists and some others, to rip it all to pieces. And then to create a covert special coalition around the center, which will then direct perestroika-2 and de-Stalinization. But before becoming satellites of this center, they will partake of some electorate through the center’s generosity.
In other words, they are truly ready to go beyond the native-soil patriotic field. They are ready to create a paradoxical alliance not only with the liberals, but also with the de-Stalinizers. It will not be a direct alliance. It will be a special project. To start consuming everything on this largest current field in the Duma. To rip everything apart and to pull it all toward themselves… Then they’ll have to submit to the center. For the first phase they will feast. For the second phase they will line up into a non-apparent array and assist the center. For the third phase the center will implement de-Stalinization and perestroika-2.
This is my conclusion based on the CPRF representative refusing to answer elementary questions, because the answers to these questions will leave them without room for such a maneuver. When I block them from this maneuver, I become a demon, a bastard, a United Russia supporter, and God knows what else… a Trojan horse. Why? Because I am interfering with them joining the perestroika-2 cohort. They’ve already realized that this is the most appetizing maneuver, but I am tying their hands. Thus, they have this attitude towards all of our actions.
During Judgment of Time we did more for the CPRF than all of its supporters put together. Why doesn’t the CPRF notice this? It doesn’t matter that they don’t even mention my name while discussing this program. I don’t like Evgeniy Evtushenko as a poet, but I really like these lines:
There is no dignity in being stomped into the ground when innocent,
It’s better to be stomped into the ground for a reason!
I have been discussing Zyuganov as a part of the Yeltsinist political system (Yeltsinism, I stress) for quite a while. And Zyuganov’s people have all the reasons to dislike me for this. We are not talking about me though, but about Judgment of Time. Why are they so sour about Judgment of Time? I’ll tell you why. Because Judgment of Time shows how large the neo-Soviet electorate is. But it’s not beneficial for them. They are about to cheat, and to accept the portion of the electorate that they will be given. The clearer it is how big the electorate really is, the harder it is to cheat…
If about 90% are in the pro-Soviet camp, then why do the communists only get 12%? They either do a bad job, or they accept distorted results. Because they do accept them. They don’t fight for the real results.
They are organizing some kind of “People’s Referendum”… We will soon conduct another sociological survey. But all of our surveys are only in preparation for a big real referendum or for referendums. One cannot conduct them for the entire year after the elections are over. We will ultimately conduct it for real. But they have been imitating it for a long time… We have now obtained certain capabilities in the form of people. And we ourselves do not yet know how big they really are. Our current capabilities are not yet sufficient to conduct a nationwide referendum and to monitor its results. But the communists have these capabilities in their hands. They certainly know how to monitor results. They know what to collect from the polling stations, and how to independently analyze the results, and how to prove it. They know what true results are and how they differ from false ones. They know it all, but they don’t do it. Nor are they conducting a referendum…
What are they conducting instead? A “People’s Referendum”. Why the “people’s” prefix? Because the “people’s” prefix obliges them to nothing. But the term “referendum” does… And they should have conducted it when it was still possible: in 2009 or 2010, when things just started to smell like de-Stalinization. This is their “bread and butter”, their business. We are defending their most elementary political interests, their vital interests, with our reports on the public opinion about de-Stalinization, with the Judgment of Time program, and the like. For as soon as de-Stalinization is fully implemented, the communist party will be banned. They will lose their political bread. They work towards their party’s complete demise when they flirt with de-Stalinization. Oh, they aren’t flirting it, they “reject it indignantly”?! They only give a slight murmuring about it.
Therefore, we say again and again: “Perestroika-2 must not happen. Any force that joins the perestroika-2 front is contaminated. It becomes one of the factors of evil.”
Then they say to us: “But what do you want to oppose it with? Stagnation? You are glorifying stagnation! You want United Russia, the party of crooks and thieves, to sit on our neck forever!”
First of all, we do not want this.
Secondly. We are not the ones who placed this party on your necks. Our citizens themselves let it sit on their own necks a long time ago when they voted for Yeltsin in 1991. Then they, with the same naïve romantic attitude, went crazy over United Russia. Now they are disenchanted. Okay. Did we celebrate United Russia? Nope. Everything about the current political power system is awful. This is not a Brezhnev’s stagnation. I just looked in faces of people from Donbass who have awarded me with this badge. They participated in this so-called stagnation. Compared to what is happening now, they have the faces of saints. They have the faces of people who didn’t go mad in this orgy of theft. For it is truly an orgy. But then, I beg your pardon, let’s admit that everyone partakes in this orgy. It is a party of crooks and thieves? Which party isn’t a party of crooks and thieves? Please name it. I will hasten to join it. Which one? Zhirinovsky’s party?.. “Just Russia”? …
That means the issue isn’t that this is a party of crooks and thieves. The issue is that we are in big trouble. And we landed in this trouble according to a very specific formula.
When perestroika-1 took place, when the swine was released from its cage, and everyone celebrated this, a fall began: a metaphysical and political fall… The metaphysical moral surrender, which included de-Stalinization, led then to a geopolitical and political surrender. An unconditional one. The country was dismembered, and the people came under the yoke of criminals. And indeed everything was done to have the criminals dominate.
Then Yeltsin’s orgy began. The country started rolling downhill fast. It would have ceased to exist by 2001, but what happened in 2000 turned this fall into a low-angle slope with an X-intercept in 2017.
We call what happened in Yeltsin’s period “rapid regress” [RR]. Beginning with Putin’s ascent in 2000, the stabilization of regress has been taking place [SR] (Fig. 38).
This is not getting up from our knees. This is not soaring upwards.
Now some people, like Yurgens and others, came and said: “Now we are going to soar.” Great! Lord, we want this so badly! We’ll even help you, only let us soar! Democracy? What’s wrong with that?! Development? Great! Go for it…
Bam! “Modernization during development”.
Bam! “Development is modernization”.
All of this is perestroika-2. It is a new rapid downfall.
We said: “Thanks. We don’t need a second rapid downfall. We’ve already experienced the first one.”
“Then what do you want? Everything will be over in 2017.”
We answer: “During this time we will try to create a counter-regressive actor. And we will either try to spread an emergency tarp, which is we call an attractor, when everything comes crashing down at the end. Or we will try to truly redirect the process through an all-national effort before the end can happen.” And to drive the swine back into its cage.
Yes, maybe it will be less comfortable to live. Yes, maybe everyone will have to sacrifice something… But the “sparrows” will keep chirping and reading Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. They will keep speaking Russian, and thinking about the future, and deciding how they will live in their own beloved country. And everyone who doesn’t like it can go chill in their dachas and villas, or cruise in their yachts, or do whatever they are want, just don’t come here again with the same garbage. Or at the very least, they will know that there are people who won’t just let them to do so without consequences.
There is a different mindset, different numbers, and the majority has a different opinion. Yes, this majority is helpless. Yes, it is amorphous. Yes, it wandering who knows where. Yes it once again has no clue where to run… I’m saying this on purpose… They have no idea where to run. But we will explain.
We tell our supporters: draw attention to this, encourage other people to become involved. Inform, explain, and tighten your ranks.
At this point I have to transition to political philosophy.
There are two and a half circumstances that define the global process, if one puts it roughly (there are actually about 15 of them).
One twofold circumstance (which can be counted as “one and a half”) is that the United States of America is leaving from the #1 world power position for objective reasons. It cannot stay in this position for objective reasons. One needs to examine the balances of US companies, to look at the condition of the US economy, and at the condition of US society. It is objectively leaving the position of the world superpower. The ruling class will not cope with this circumstance. It is not in the nature of the United States’ ruling class to submit to the objective circumstances. It is in its nature to break the circumstances.
It has two and a half chances to do it.
The first is to start a nuclear war, first and foremost with China, but not limited to this.
The second chance is to use the strategy of chaos and to ignite the Islam, their friendship with whom they have already shamelessly manifested. They organized the shameless spectacle with Bin Laden. They played the shameless trick with the unfortunate Straus-Kahn, the International Monetary Fund director. They needed to support Sarkozy, who supported them in Africa, so they organized something limitlessly arrogant and disgusting. Outrageous. Before the eyes of the whole world.
Therefore, they will break the objective circumstances either through a nuclear war, which they are afraid of, and to which we are an obstacle by simply existing; moreover, they are somewhat afraid of China as well.
Or, with the help of radical Islam, they can implement the strategy of chaos, which they are discussing openly. They are openly embracing the Taliban and others, and they put on this show with Bin Laden so that they could say: “All the obstacles in the way of our association have been removed.”
Or they can also add a special energy policy to this. In other words, they will try to somehow deprive their competitors of energy, working off of the assumption that they can budget their own energy sources, and they will have enough remaining.
They have nuclear weapons for this purpose. They have the monetary printing press, which sustains their strategic military power. They have enormous strategic military power. There is nothing left outside of it. And they have that “soft power” in the form of perestroikas.
That means that there is no basis for compromise.
The reset was a bluff. Obama is more dangerous, much more dangerous than Bush. It doesn’t mean that Bush was good. There is no essential difference between him and Bush. Because they need to reverse the objective circumstances, and these circumstances are unavoidable. And the only way to reverse them is the way that they are planning to. And what is the potential for compromise here?
Compromise is a means self-destruction. They unequivocally demonstrated this when they instigated their satellites in the OSCE towards de-communization. They were the ones who gave them the command to proceed. That means they want to revise the results of World War Two. That means that they are “eating” us to the fullest extent, according to the scenario of perestroika-2. Therefore, there is no compromise.
And here the major political problem arises. As long as there was a compromise, our entire ruling class, obese and insane from luxury and God knows what else, wanted only this compromise and this partying. This hedonistic orgy. Yachts-shmachts, palaces-shmalaces… And everything else. They wanted nothing else.
But not all of this class is ready to rip the country to pieces with its own hands. But if one were to mercilessly show this whole ruling class through analytical means that there is no compromise, then part of this class will join the perestroika-2 camp, and it will say, “Let’s finish this monstrosity off, depart for the West, and party there.” A different part will say, “Hell no.” We don’t know what each its representatives will do, when they realize that they have been offered to dismember the country with their own hands.
And herein lies the historical chance. We will have to transform the political system. We will first need to transform it gently, but harsher methods may be needed later. We are not even ready or a gentle transformation of the system. Where will the remaining part of the class turn to? In which direction? The only one direction it will have left is the neo-Soviet one.
Here all the options for an alliance become open. Not with United Russia, which is an established force with rolls of fat, which can be blamed for a great many things, but one must remember what this force being devoured means. Its being devoured is part of the mystery called perestroika-2. This cannot be allowed to happen. Devour United Russia all you want, but do not cross this line.
The issue lies not in United Russia, but in the part of the class that will say: “Look, there is no ground for a compromise. The West does not want Russia. You have been pulling and pulling Russia into the West, and you wanted to do it peacefully and quietly. To have your cake and eat it too. It’s not working. What are we going to do now? You all have to make up your minds: who is going right, and who is going left. Who is joining perestroika-2, and who is joining the other camp.”
And at this point the CPRF (if it does not join perestroika-2; so far it, is lunging in that direction, or it is being pushed there) receives a colossal set of opportunities like never before. What we offered them on Honest Monday was a responsible coalition government. They could not imagine of such a vast amount of power in their wildest dreams. But they are afraid of it. And they know that they might come under attack from the perestroika camp for that. And then they start yelling that the other side is their enemy.
Sure, if they want to join perestroika-2, then we are their enemies. But if they want to join a coalition government with the part of the elite that split off, then we are their friends. We are the ones who are facilitating this. Through our analysis, through our reports, through our intellectual and political activity.
They say: “Oh no, we don’t need this. Why would we need it? Why would we need to take part in the government? We will make do somehow… We will conquer everyone…” These are fairytales for small children.
The people who have realized that their plans for merging with the West and for compromise have collapsed, will find themselves in a very peculiar condition. Everyone understands that this will not make them gentle white lambs. But too much is at stake: the country’s fate is on the line. If these people join the other camp and start speaking the corresponding language, then we will see it. This is not a PR campaign. This is a purging of the compradors.
The CPRF’s website replicated this part of my statements quite unintelligibly, because they are afraid of it more than anything else. It is a purging of the compradors. And don’t just sing us songs about nationalization, because nationalization can be of interest to Rockefeller, to a comprador, or to whoever else. Tell us plainly, what is the next step? Where are you going?
What will happen next, how much will the world pressure increase, and will it be possible to gently redirect it all, or will it have to be done harshly? That is for later. Now we have to draw the full picture and to put the pieces on the playing field, because the enemy is arranging them on this same field. This is what analysis is for. And this is why politics is impossible without it.
Sure, politics can’t be reduced to this kind of pragmatics. In the next chapter, I will discuss the higher meanings and everything else. But I dedicated the current episode to this because the moment we are experiencing now is becoming more and more critical with every passing day. And I don’t even know how critical it will become a week from now. Much less do we know what September holds.
We cannot allow ourselves to suffer from blindness, to act again like the blind leading the blind from Bruegel’s painting, who are all falling into the same trench, and to let ourselves participate in the orgy of perestroika-2. At the very least, no one can say later that he had no warning. We warned about this more than 20 years ago, and we are warning again.
Source (for copy): http://eu.eot.su/2019/06/27/essence-of-time-chapter-17/
Essence of Time: The philosophical justification of Russia’s Messianic Claims in the 21st century
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.