(If you haven’t already, please read Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 first)
March 15, 2011
I will begin with a poem not because I want to enrich our discussions with some kind of beauty, but because we need images and symbols, which would speak not just to the mind, but also to the heart. Without this, the conversation would be pointless.
Here is an excerpt from Blok’s “Retribution”.
Life – no beginning and no end.
To circumstance we are all subject.
Above us – darkness everlasting
Or brilliance of the face of God.
But artist, you must believe firmly
In the beginnings and the ends.
Know where heaven and hell await.
To you is given with fair judgment
To measure everything you see.
And let your eye be firm and clear.
Wipe off the aimless strokes of chance –
You’ll see the beauty of the world.
Learn where light is – you’ll spot the dark.
Let everything pass without hurry –
All that is holy and what’s sinful,
Through fire of soul, through cold of mind.
Like Siegfried forges sword over the furnace:
He turns it into red-hot coal,
Then sinks it quickly into water –
The blade entrusted to the chosen
Will hiss and blacken…
One blow – it shines, his Nothung faithful,
And Mime, the deceiving dwarf,
Falls timid at his feet.
Who’ll forge the sword? – The one who’s fearless.
But I am powerless and weak,
Like all, like you, but clever slave
Of clay and dust I am created,
The world is terrifying to me.
The hero freely strikes no longer,
His hand is in the people’s hand;
A pillar of fire towers o’er the world,
In every heart and every thought
Are one’s own tyranny and law…
Over all Europe looms the dragon
Jaws gaping, languishing in thirst…
Who’ll strike him?..
We know not: over our encampment,
Like days of old, the distance lies in fog,
The smell is burnt. The fire is out there.
But song remains as song forever,
Someone still sings amid the crowd.
Look there – his head upon a platter
The dancer offers to her king.
Look there – onto the black of scaffold
He drops his head;
Look here – they brand with shameful name
His poem verses… But I sing –
Not up to you the last of judgments
And never shall you seal my lips!..
And let the church lie dark and empty
And let the shepherd sleep; before the mass,
I’ll walk through dewy bounds,
Will turn the rusted key in bolt
And at the entrance, red from daybreak,
A mass of my own I will serve.
Very much is said here. About how, “The hero freely strikes no longer, his hand is in the people’s hand”. As well as that “And in every heart, in every thought – are one’s own tyranny and law”. And about the dragon “jaws gaping, languishing in thirst”. It is as though it was written today, not a hundred years ago. Not only is it amazing, but it also gives a certain hope. Because if we managed to prevent the dragon’s gaping jaws from devouring the world a hundred years ago, then perhaps we will manage to do so again. But whose hand will hold the sword? Who will forge it? And is there even a hand capable of holding it? Is there a people? Or is its backbone broken, and the hand lies languidly along the body and cannot even move?
Why are we discussing all of this? Because, almost simultaneously, one thought came into the minds of a great many people (or to be precise, a thought-feeling: a unity of a thought and a feeling), that it was high time to stop playing the fool.
But why stop now? Has something special happened? We have been playing the fool for a very long time, more or less successfully, so why stop now?
This is a very important political, vital, historical, metaphysical, existential question.
This thought emerged; because apparently, different people either understood it, smelled it, or both. Some saw indirect signs; others knew the process from within, and some people, no one knows why, from out of nowhere, as it often happens in Russia, suddenly realized that something heinous, extremely heinous, is being constructed both in our country and across the world.
But what, precisely?
In order to answer that kind of question (I discuss this topic thoroughly in my book, Esau and Jacob), we need to look back to the Soviet past. I would like to tell you how I see it as a whole, because I took part, moreover, quite actively, in the processes which unfolded during the final stages of the USSR’s existence. I have nothing to blame myself for, except that my activity did not lead to the necessary result. It is a serious reproach, but you often have to act, even when you realize that your strength is insufficient to change the course of events. Someday, the fact that you acted precisely in this way, and not otherwise, will speak for itself.
You see, once upon a time, there lived the Soviet society. It existed rather listlessly and horizontally. And many people, including myself, began to exclaim, “Oh no, we are not soaring to the heavens! Where is the breakthrough? Where is the new quality? Oh no, the Americans are passing us by! What are we to do, how are we to be? It is so boring when there is no high flight, when there is no real new development! Give us this development!”
Finally, people came, among whom was Gorbachev’s group (there were very different people with him), who said, “Yes, we understand all of that. We indeed are in severe need of development. Yes, we are behind in terms of computers. Moreover, America is preparing Star Wars, and so on. And if it is so, then what should we do? There is one option. We will increase the strain on the existing system”. This was called “acceleration”. [“Acceleration”, first proposed by Andropov in 1982, became the chief slogan of Gorbachev’s early reforms in 1985-87, which predated perestroika and glasnost’. Unlike the latter two, “acceleration” did not call for any critical changes to the Soviet system, focusing, in the first approximation, on increasing efficiency. – translator’s note]
We responded, “If we increase the strain on the system, it may not hold out. Therefore, let us move the system onto another support base, onto other social strata. During this process, it will change a little itself. Once we do this, we will go shooting up so fast that everyone will be awestruck.”
They answered, “No, that is too complicated. It would be better if we would just increase the strain on the system. Transferring it to another support base? It is unclear what you mean by another support base. It will take too long. Furthermore, our class will lose power (“our class” is the elite Soviet bureaucracy), and it is also unclear who will gain power. No, no, we’ll just increase the strain on the system.”
“Well, fine. Strain it. The main thing is to have that accelerated growth, that a new quality of life would emerge. It will then certainly open up new spiritual prospects.”
So they did. But it would not strain, it did not work.
We said, “Well, if it did not work, if your straining does not lead anywhere, then why not return to our proposal? Let us move the system onto another support base. The system will change a little itself. The result would then be not just acceleration, but a breakthrough, a breakthrough into a new quality.”
“No, you know what? That smells too much like Stalinism”. Why Stalinism?
Then a hysterical campaign against “Stalinism” began. “Stalinism, Stalinism, Stalinism… Let it be damned! Abominable! Disgusting! Heinous!” The film “Repentance” [Filmed in 1984 but released in 1987. An anti-Antigone, where the protagonist digs up the corpse of his dead father, representing Stalin, and throws him off a cliff – translator’s note] … Condemnation appeared that even Khrushchev could not dream of. Gradually, it shifted onto Lenin and onto the entire Soviet period. But the most important thing was the hysteria of the repeat de-Stalinization. There had already been a de-Stalinization under Khrushchev, which brought about nothing good. And now once more.
Do you understand what it was needed for? To exclude any chance of transferring the system onto a new support base; and having excluded it, to close the door for any breakthrough. Every time, these fits of hysteria with de-Stalinization are employed in order to forbid mobilization as a means of reaching major strategic goals. There is no need to play the fool and pretend that anyone cares about Stalin! De-Stalinization is carried out with a very different purpose in mind. So no one would take that other path. That no one would even try to pursue any mobilization with any new social bases to resolve new problems.
Fine. We stopped pursuing this path. Next comes the question,“What are we to do, since nothing works?”
And it begins: “Democratization! Democratization!”
But it was not just democratization; it was democratization plus de-Stalinization; furthermore it was quite top-down in nature. Try to start a discussion under those conditions! Try to speak independently under those conditions! Where are you going to speak? Either you are immediately relegated to dead-end publications, or you will do your speechifying at home. The press is all under party control, let alone television. When the Party is pursuing a policy of de-Stalinization, just try to call it foolishness. Just try to say anything that rubs it the wrong way. The elite Party bureaucracy went mad; it reversed its direction, but you have to rub it the right way; otherwise, it will shut you down. Alternatively, it may let you speak out, but only in a very fragmented way, the way it wants you to be heard, all the more convenient for it to then squash you against a wall.
Naturally, I decided to speak out. The elite Party bureaucracy, naturally, decided to squash me against a wall. That is how we figured out who was who. And I was not the only one who did so.
And so, brainwashing, top-down, directive de-Stalinization plus democratization, and forbidding any sort of development (because it is impossible to mobilize resources; it is impossible to set strategic goals; it is impossible to suppress the resistance against this development, and so on); where does this all lead?
It leads to the fact that after all of these fluctuations: de-Stalinization, brainwashing, democratization, a forbiddance of transferring the support base; everything enters a deep nosedive. Thus begins the great era of the late Gorbachev and Yeltsinist downfall. The nosedive continues until 2000. Everyone is horrified. Everyone understands that soon we will all shatter as we hit rock-bottom.
Then Putin appears. And this nosedive turns into a very shallow descent, a nearly horizontal one, with only a slight downward slope. (Fig. 21)
We say, “This is all good, but there is still no breakthrough, no ascension! We have plummeted rather far down. We just cannot manage to ascend. Albeit much slower, but we are still falling.”
They answer, “What are you talking about? We need no more of these leaps forward. Do you not see the difference?! Did you like it when we were plummeting?
We say, “No, we didn’t like it”.
“Do you not see that it has gotten better?”
We say, “Of course, if death awaits at the bottom, then it’s better to slide downhill slower, rather than to plummet quickly. But this will not save us.”
“Then what do you want? A return to the past?”
“No, we do not want Yeltsinism. We want rapid, accelerated development to begin. We want a real social base to appear. We want strategic goals to be set. So that resources could be mobilized. We want our country to take on a new quality. Otherwise, it will find itself in the midst of another perestroika!”
And that is what is happening. Since 2008, we have been hearing once again, “Oh, let us start developing!” Then, “No, that’s Stalinism, you can’t do it like that!” Next comes talk about democratization, then brainwashing, and so forth. Everything goes “back to square one”.
Organizing a new perestroika now is harder than it was in 1987. There is significant resistance. People have a new set of informational capabilities. A qualitatively new social environment exists. But they are trying to do this. And it is in everyone’s plain sight.
If this happens again, then everything will go plummeting down once more (fig. 22).
Then what is this cascade? Everything was standing in a relatively stable manner; then it started writhing in hysteria; then it took a nosedive; then it leveled out slightly, only to start writhing in hysteria and plummeting again… It will then level out again slightly, and it will enter another phase of hysteria… What does it all mean?
This is not just a perestroika, but recurrent perestroikas. Perestroika-1, -2, -3, and so on (fig 23).
But if perestroika-1 led to the breakup of the USSR, i.e. the disintegration of the greater historical Russia, then perestroika-2 (after it happens, everything will enter another nosedive) will inevitably lead to the disintegration of the Russian Federation. And even if anything remains standing afterwards, perestroika-3 will follow, leading to the disintegration of the remaining Rus’ [referring, in this case, to a theoretical ethnic Russian heartland – translator’s note]. After that, perestroika-4 will take place, leading to complete dissolution. Because therein lies the logic of this chain of perestroikas (fig. 24).
And people feel this, they can feel the rancid smell in the air.
Neither is democracy bad, nor is talking about development. But what is alarming is the tone that these conversations immediately switched to. What is alarming are the games that began around these topics and the results these games may lead to. We have been through this before. Everything is repeating itself one-to-one. It is simply a remake.
In my book, Esau and Jacob, I wrote that perestroika-2 was beginning, and then many others repeated it. However, not only the Russian perestroika exists, but also the global one. Exactly the same scenario is unfolding around the world.
What did Obama say about the events in the Greater Middle East? That they are comparable to the fall of the Berlin Wall. What was the fall of the Berlin Wall? Perestroika-1. Does it then mean that a global perestroika-2 is now in progress? The processes in Egypt and in other countries are being compared to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Why? What is falling now? Back then, communism and the Soviet system fell, and we lost the USSR. What is falling now? And how can we avoid getting drawn into this process?
In summary, perestroika-2 is that monstrosity, which is being constructed in our country and around the world, in relation to which we can easily become the new weak link. We cannot allow this to come to pass. The essence of our time is this cascade of perestroikas-1, -2, -3 and so on.
And if we are to study this process, we need to ask ourselves the following question: what is the goal of these perestroikas? We have established in our previous conversations that the subject at hand is the transformation of the world order. That there was a certain world order A, that there will be a certain world order B, and we are standing on a bridge between these two world orders.
But if in terms of domestic politics, world order A means that, by some miracle, our flawed state managed to survive (that is the result of perestroika-1: we started with more or less a normal state, carried out perestroika, and now we find ourselves in the Russian Federation, which miraculously continues to exit), then undergoing perestroika-2, -3, and so on, will lead us to world order B (the country’s disintegration, complete dissolution and an irreversible catastrophe). But the Russian people lacks the skill living without a state. It cannot exist for thousands of years as a diaspora. It has neither the experience, nor the inner codes for this. It would mean a complete demise. Total liquidation.
So what can be done with this?
The first option is to try fixing the flawed “A”. What could come of that? It would only change the vector slightly. We would end up not in one segment of “B” but in a different one.
But more importantly, no one is seriously trying to fix anything! And ultimately, this is all tactics. Does it really matter what segment of “B” we end up in? The goal is to escape “B”, to escape complete dissolution and liquidation.
What should we do then?
The second option lies in sharply breaking away and turning. Which direction to turn is unclear. It is a turn simply for the sake of not ending up in “B”. But with such a sharp turn, the strain on the system increases dramatically! The system may fall apart, and what is left of the state would dissolve; as a result, we will again end up inside that very “B”, from which we turned away so sharply. Therefore, this also is not an option (fig. 27).
Then what is the solution?
Due to various circumstances, we have a certain very short but historically significant stretch of about 7 years, from 2011, when we are having this conversation, to 2018. And during this period, we can smoothly curve around “B”, having calculated the trajectory in such a way as to not critically strain the system, so that the system would not fall apart. This way, we would not fall back into “B” after trying to turn away from it sharply; but having curved around it, we indeed would arrive somewhere (fig. 28).
Whence does it follow that this can be done? Returning to Blok, “his hand is in the people’s hand…” Whence does it follow that the sword can be forged and the dragon“B” can be struck down?
These things, which we already discussed in the previous broadcast, give a glimmer of hope for such an outcome. I cannot say that it is a great hope… But all of a sudden, it may turn out that there is the majority, and its patience has run out. So our conversation about how “his hand is in the people’s hand” is not absolutely meaningless, because one cannot make the turn single-handedly. Like in Hemingway’s novel, To Have and Have Not, “No matter how, a man alone ain’t got no bloody chance”. Also it has been said, “It had taken him a long time to get it out and it had taken him all of his life to learn it”.
“His hand is in the people’s hand…” If there is the majority and it is capable of changing from a population into a people (which is a very complicated procedure), then it can clench this hand. Then the challenge that the dragon named “B” throws down before us, can be overcome.
They can say all they want that the majority only exists on television, that it was all a joke, etc. etc. But that is not true. Of course, it requires deeper research. But it certainly is not so. There exists a certain component of a greater pivot of the public consciousness. There are attempts to build a new identity. Attempts to play the whole game over again, which so many were dragged into over the last twenty years.
What lies within these attempts of awakening? There is conscience, the feeling of being insulted, and fear for one’s children. I recently spoke at the Academy of Sciences. During the intermission, an elegant woman in her forties walked up to me, a university professor from one very large provincial city. She said, “I had always hoped to see you one day! I rarely get the chance to come to Moscow.”
I asked her, “Tell me how you live there. How much do they pay you?”
She calmly answered, “Eighteen thousand rubles a month”. [About $600 in 2011 – translator’s note]
I know how strong of a desire our intelligentsia had for the processes, as a result of which it has become so impoverished… I said, “Eighteen thousand… What about ‘flying to Paris and visiting the Louvre?’” (It was a popular topic of conversation during the years of perestroika, that everyone would be afforded this opportunity.)
She laughed it off , “That’s alright, we’ll make do without Paris…” But suddenly she grabbed my arm, “Tell me, but what will happen to the children?!”
And so, there is fear for the children, fear for the future, fatigue, despair, humiliation…
We can list the larger components of the awakening.
The first component is that the instinct of self-preservation has awakened. This is a very powerful instinct. It has become clear that if one more perestroika happens, and then another, then what comes next is complete dissolution of the country and the end of everything. And there is nowhere to run. The fact that this instinct has awakened is of the utmost importance.
The second component is that, possibly, the conscience has also awakened, for there are the ancestors, and there is history. Maybe it has awakened enough to also awaken the feeling of historical responsibility. It is an enormous feeling, but I do not know whether it too has now awakened.
The third component is the awakening of the kind of cautiousness that is characteristic of a hunted animal, which has been cornered. “If we break off and run in the wrong direction, then everything will fall apart”. When a hunted animal is cornered, it leaps very precisely. It does not leap into nowhere. This is a very important component, because our adversaries have not taken this into account. They do not expect it. They believe that the animal is already so hysterical, that it will go running headlong with no sense of direction. I hope they are wrong in this case.
\What else is there apart from this? A thing of utmost importance is one’s political worldview. However, in place of a political worldview, to much regret, people have a chaotic salad of worldviews in their heads. It is utter chaos… One individual has ten symbols of faith, and each one contradicts the other. That might be enough for the act of saying “no” to the pseudo-liberals. But it is certainly not enough for engaging in a major political game. It is not enough for negotiating the pivot.
We need a breakthrough of ideology and worldview into a completely new quality. And I hope that our program, “Essence of Time”, and the virtual club we are creating will be able to turn into an ideological center, which would enable such a breakthrough, transforming that “chaotic salad of worldviews” into a political consciousness and an identity, which is the main goal of any activity by discussion groups, which is infinitely valuable and important. Everyone who wants to skip this activity and to immediately move to another type of activity must look back and see how people have been avoiding the discussion group stage for the past 20 years, and what kind of chaotic salad they have in their minds. They must understand that there is no avoiding the discussion group stage. Nothing substantial can be built without it.
Will we succeed in passing through this stage correctly? No one can guarantee that. But we must pass through it delicately, calmly, properly, constitutionally, politely, respectably, and effectively. That is the task. To make this breakthrough possible in ideology and worldview; to change the state of consciousness, and to identity of the future political actor. Because it is possible to become an actor only through possessing an identity and a capacity for self-reflection.
Sometimes people ask us regarding this matter, “Are you building a cult? A new type of brainwashing?” It is strange to hear that from people who do anything but avoid Hubbard’s Scientology.
Education and upbringing, these are the key elements, with the help of which one transforms one’s consciousness, one’s worldview. It has been so since the dawn of time, and so it will be. The question lies in the effectiveness of that education and self-education, of that upbringing and self-upbringing. It is untrue that this happens only in childhood! A living person continues to learn until the last day of his life; he moves forward constantly. It is a great joy to move forward. And those who are deprived of this joy, for the most part, are dead or asleep. For the task at hand is also to get the person to awaken. It is a very profound task, if anyone understands.
The breakthrough (as well as the awakening) spans three components: the mind, the feeling, and the will.
Let us start with the will. One says, “I will not give up what is, and I will return what has been lost. Like Orpheus was trying to bring back Eurydice. Like the peoples, who found themselves in the diaspora, returned what they had lost. I will return it”.
Then they ask, “Why would you not give this up? Why would you return it?”
“Because I love it. And if I have lost the capacity to love, I will return it to myself. And those, who are beside me, my comrades in this struggle, those who want to mend the broken backbone, and to set right the time, which is out of joint, they will help me return it.”
They say, “What is it that you love? What do you love? Is IT worth loving? A monstrous history: it is nothing but atrocities! Whose name do you swear to?”
I repeatedly came across this question, when the topic of conversation was the so-called higher intelligence, which works with the meanings.
There are talented people, who excel at obtaining military secrets, pulling the right people to their side or at occupying or winning certain positions in various systems. But only a fraction of them understand that meanings intelligence (meanings that are not always open and explicit) is also an important part of such work.
For the majority of those people, even very talented and effective ones, meaning does not exist, but for a minority, meaning is real. And this minority begins to work with meanings. I saw the people who begin to examine those entities, to which the adversary refers, his codes of meaning, his system-forming codes. If they rely on a good intuition for meaning and well-developed cognition; then sooner or later, that entity comes to the investigator and says, “Hello! You called for me? Let us become acquainted. Who are you?”
The investigator answers, “I am Colonel John Doe.”
The entity answers, “For me, there is no such thing as colonel. For me, there are Ismailis, Sufis, Unificationists, Catholics… Who are you?”
And at that moment, when it turns out that he is nobody in this higher sense, that he does not have that kind of name, that he does not firmly know what he loves, that he does not possess that secret on which he can truly rely on when answering such a question, he suddenly finds himself pulled to the side of the entity that he wanted to explore… There was a socialist and antifascist named Jean Thiriart. He went to explore the secrets of the SS, and he turned into an SS man. This is a well-known process. Therefore, the topic of name is of insanely important.
They ask you, “Why?” Then you refer to love.
They ask, “What kind of love?” Then you must say a name.
And all that together interlocks into a breakthrough of worldview. If there is no breakthrough, there is nothing.
Consequently, our first task is to form political cells, within which we could work on piecing together a worldview. This worldview needs to be completed and transformed; we must “learn, learn, learn” [as Lenin instructed – translator’s note]. That is an absolutely relevant political process. And it cannot be done alone. One must work together with others to accomplish this.
I hope that we will eventually produce several different programs within ECC [Experimental Creative Center – translator’s note] television, eventually. We are currently preparing programs dedicated to “special history” [the analysis of the role of closed elite systems in important historical events – translator’s note]. Perhaps later, we will have “Andante” programs, where we will unhurriedly and calmly elaborate on what Modernity is, what Counter-Modernity is, what Postmodernity is, and what regress is. As well as a multitude of concepts, which I mention in the “Essence of Time” broadcast. Perhaps, we will be able to develop other broadcasting formats. Maybe, all of this together will transform into a virtual education center. I would love to see that. But we can do this only together with you.
Therefore, do not think, when we ask you about who wants to continue to participate in the Essence of Time virtual club, that we are calling you to the barricades, or that we are just entertaining ourselves. We occupy ourselves with neither of the two. We are working on a serious task. We are examining all of the letters you sent us. We intend to use certain methods to do analytical, political and other work together with you. And sooner or later (I hope sooner), we will create these cells of worldview, these discussion groups.
But simultaneously, we have to form social cells as well. Cells of life. If we are talking about a transformation of consciousness, then nothing changes consciousness more than social being. It was during Soviet times that one could work more or less indolently, and he could attend theater classes in his spare time. Mammon does not allow for indolence. When you serve mammon from morning until night together with a group of people who are strangers to you, and then you start doing something that you consider good and necessary for just a little bit in spare time, it leads to a fragmented consciousness.
Sooner or later, you have to wind up together with people like yourself. We have to strengthen these social cells. If our enemy wants to destroy them, then we have to strengthen them: the family, the circle of friends, broader cells dealing both with worldview and with practical action, cells of mutual aid, cells of inner solidarity. It is necessary to have something that the formation of a political worldview could base itself on, some sort of life.
And when it comes to the catacombs, this process has nothing to do with mystical escapism.
At the end of the 80s, I approached the authorities with a suggestion, “If we are so intent on uniting with the West (in culture, worldview, etc.), then why are we not preaching the higher Western styles? They exist. They are not all just hippies and punks. There are, for example, Yuppies: young professionals, intellectuals in California and other places. They refuse to listen to the rock music; instead, they listen to Mozart. They devote considerable time to physical fitness and practicing a healthy lifestyle, while simultaneously developing their intellectual abilities. They profess a certain style of dress, certain values. Why can’t we bring this up on television? Why can’t we, taking our own special circumstances into account, create something similar here?”
I spoke with television bosses, with ideologists, with many other different people. Then I realized that it was all conceived not for the purpose of our convergence with the West, but to turn their “sewage” into our “drinking water”.
But this is what those who wanted to destroy our country conceived. If on the contrary, we want to save it, then why can’t we do something different? Why can film clubs not appear, where intellectual and cultural issues could be discussed? Why can an underground culture not arise, which would nourish the mind and the heart? Why can’t schools and youth camps of a different kind appear? Why can this type of social cells not emerge, in addition to those dealing with politics and worldview? The symbiosis of one and another is a tremendous task (fig. 29).
One might ask me, “And that is all?”
If someone were to ask Escrivá de Balaguer, the leader of the order Opus Dei, “And that is all?”, he would answer, “That’s all.” And if one would ask him, “And what will happen in a year?”, he would only chuckle, and he would no longer speak with that person. But after ten years, all of Spain was under the control of Opus Dei, because he knew what he wanted.
But when you ask me, “And that is all?” I will not answer with “That’s all,” in our dysfunctional reality. I will say, “No, of course that’s not all”.
A symbiosis like that is absolutely necessary. But necessary does not mean sufficient. We have to solve the practical issues of present-day life. What are these issues?
Let us return to square one, which for us is “Judgment of Time”. What was its practical political task? It was very simple: to thwart the planned de-Stalinization and de-Sovietization. To fight it off. If the strategic goal was to drive all of the “rats”, with which the pseudo-liberal community filled the “attic” of the social consciousness, to break down every molecule of this pseudo-ideology, this virus, then the minimal goal was to thwart the de-Stalinization. Is that a minor task?
Do you understand how the de-Stalinization was planned? It was planned like Denazification. But if we recall Germany’s Denazification, it was implemented in a country where the absolute evil of Hitlerism had ruled, in a country which was occupied, in a country which had signed an unconditional surrender. It was implemented through the use by brainwashing methods, methods of psychological repressions and shock, using the groundwork of the Frankfurt School (it is a school of philosophical and psychological research, which included Horkheimer, Marcuse, and others; it separated from Lukács’ Marxist school, after which it moved to the United States, where it gained favor among a certain part of the CIA’s elite). It led to insanely destructive results, which were contrary to those intended. But once again, Denazification was carried out against Hilterism in an occupied country, which had just signed an unconditional surrender.
So what, could we allow this to happen to us? For de-Stalinization to begin for a third time? We understand that, ultimately, two outcomes are possible. Either an infinite chasm between the systems of governance and the people, which is fraught only with collapse and chaos. Or complete destruction of identity and consciousness. But de-Stalinization cannot be carried out democratically if 90% vote against it.
So, any public action the pseudo-liberals will now carry out in order to try to prove to themselves that the idea of de-Stalinization and other ideas along the lines of perestroika-2 have any public support, must be overcome in an ethical, cultured, and democratic manner. Just as it was overcome during “Judgment of Time”.
We are fighting this fight. And we can say that we have certainly gained some tactical victories. Everything could have happened quite differently from how it did. But if we manage to create an extensive social field with the purpose of opposing such attempts, then we will have a great historical chance. It is a very real ideological and political task.
Creating an active and functioning major ideological center is an enormous task, which has not been carried out for these entire twenty years. I will explain how it could help to solve greater tasks with a thought experiment. Physicists love such ideal mental experiments: “Imagine that the Earth hangs upon a thread.” It does not mean that it is actually hanging on it, but we are encouraged to imagine such a design.
Now in the same way, as a sheer abstract thought experiment, let us imagine that a very large organization has been created. That this organization gathered proof that 50 million citizens, who (through providing their passport details, etc), said that they were against de-Stalinization. Is it possible to conduct de-Stalinization after that? It is possible, but only under a dictatorship. But this contradicts many things: the mindset of the ruling pseudo-liberal group, which fears the repressive apparatus; the international context of the “war against dictatorship”… The list goes on.
This theoretical example tells us that, under the existing conditions, a large and powerful ideological center can, to the utmost degree civilly and respectably, achieve a great deal and at least alter the course of the most destructive processes in a democratic manner. Mahatma Gandhi did not shy away from such things. Is there a reason for us to shy away from them?
If we are to talk on a larger scale, then of course, the topic of discussion is resisting not just de-Stalinization or even perestroika-2, but the whole cascade: perestroika-1, -2, -3, -4 and so on, all who stand behind them.
What are we saying “no” to? And what are we saying “yes” to? For if we say only “no” to all the processes of perestroika (without even naming what they together represent) without saying ‘yes’ to something else, then we have already lost. We must advance. And advancing, we must have our constructive “yes”, not just a “no” which is necessary, but not sufficient.
And so, let us return to the substance of all these perestroikas, which we have been discussing. It lies in the following. At the very least, “era A” is coming to an end, and a different era, “era B”, is beginning. We are standing on the bridge between these eras, and we are being dragged into “era B”. Moreover, this is not just happening on the global scale (which is especially evident after the Egyptian events and after the crisis of 2008), but also on a local scale (which is evident through all these de-Stalinizations, etc). We are being dragged into “era B”, and it is to this process that we must answer “no”.
What does it mean to say “no”? It means to draw out another route, and to explain where we want to arrive and which path we intend to get there by. It means to create a grand strategic map. This task is one of ideology and worldview. It is easy to say, “No, I do not want to move into era B”… Well, if you don’t, then stay on the bridge; meanwhile, everyone will cross it and drag you with them, and the bridge will collapse.
Instead of drawing out a different route and creating a grand strategic map, people are doing everything but that. Even while making sense of the processes in the Middle East, we hear bleating and mumbling. The banal but lively babbling, which the last twenty years were filled with, has turned into something strange.
Not long ago, I held a meeting of the Substantive Unity club, which I founded many years ago. I named the meeting “The rest is silence” taking a key phrase from Hamlet, but then I thought, “Maybe I should name it ‘The rest is mumbling’?” [The Russian word for “silence”, “molchanie”, sounds similar to “mumbling”, mychanie. – translator’s note]
You present a picture, you provide evidence. In response, you hear nothing but indistinct mumbling. My opponents disagree with my concept of what is happening? Then present your own picture, your alternative analysis, show us your own constructs! Are you not intellectuals? Then do it! Why are you bleating? It is simply obscene. They just bleat and mumble. Soon they will fall entirely silent.
So, as we have already said, the content of “era A” is a comprehensive and full-fledged Modernity. It is a mono-project era. An era when everyone lives by the laws of Modernity. It lasted for about 500 years. Now, the project of Modernity is crumbling by itself, for internal reasons. At the same time, it is rapidly being dismantled. One never happens without the other.
The content of “era B” is a multi-project model, wherein the project of Modernity loses its universal significance. Only its vestigial, surrogate form is preserved in separate parts of the world. Concurrently, Postmodernity and Counter-Modernity coexist with this vestigial Modernity.
Let us first talk about Modernity. There are two fundamentally different types of Modernity.
One is the genuine, all-embracing Modernity, which has gigantic universal, historical, and spiritual substance. This makes it full-fledged. It is not reduced to determining how exactly the bourgeoisie will gain its profit and how a political system, under which the bourgeois class will feel comfortable, will be organized. It raises universal questions, not only about “liberty, equality and fraternity”, but also about the unity of Reason and Faith. About the belief in human Ascension. About a new quality of humanism. About a new understanding of one’s duty and mission. I say again, it is an era of great spiritual substance, even though we keep forgetting even about the substance of the words “liberty, equality and fraternity”: there is no liberty without equality and fraternity. This already is a message of enormous substance.
When this substance was later further developed in the Soviet Union, the discussion was about how liberty and equality relate to each other, how political and social liberty relate, but certainly not about rejecting anything of the sort.
In Thomas Mann’s novel Doctor Faustus, the protagonist, who fights against the great Modernity, tells his friend, “I find, that it is not to be”.
“What is not to be?”
“The good and noble, what we call the human… What human beings have fought for and stormed citadels, what the ecstatics exultantly announced – that is not to be. It will be taken back. I will take it back”.
“I don’t quite understand, dear man. What will you take back?”
“The Ninth Symphony”.
That is the scale. If you want to truly understand what made up the greatness of the era of human and spiritual Modernity in its fullness, pick a moment and play Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and truly listen to it. Also, examine closely the vast amount of cultural, religious, and material artifacts, which the era of Modernity created. It was a real and great era.
It started somewhere in the middle of the 15th century when the bourgeoisie began to emerge. Developing further, it went through the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. It reached its apotheosis with the Great French Revolution. It changed the world. This is the great and universal Modernity, “era A”.
The project of Modernity is ending, first of all, because it has tired out, and why this happened should be specifically discussed. Secondly, because it is being finished off. Finished off mercilessly.
In “era B”, the era of multiple projects, when the projects of Modernity, Postmodernity, and Counter-Modernity coexist, Modernity loses its universal significance. What we see in China, Vietnam, South Korea (The Great Far East) is a surrogate, a vestige, a remake of Modernity. It is deprived of a full-fledged global and historical substance precisely because it is local. It is addressed not to the entire world, but to a certain zone. It is a catch-up modernization, which for the most part, is only technical and economic in nature. Yes, certain Far Eastern peoples are successfully progressing down this path in order to win the economic, political and geopolitical competition. But feel the difference between this vestigial Modernity and the genuine, all-embracing, spiritual Modernity which is ending.
Now about Counter-Modernity. Sometimes people say, “Counter-Modernity? Well, so what? It will bring us to the High Middle Ages…” No! Counter-Modernity is a special artificial construction, the task of which has nothing to do with returning to the grand upsurge of the High Middle Ages. It is not a return to the era of Giotto. It is completely different.
At that time, during Pre-Modernity, great ideas set hearts on fire, and the fire of a historically progressive Christianity, which was moving forward to paramount goals, gave light to the world. Gothic cathedrals arose. A qualitatively new liberty emerged after slavery. A new great literature emerged, a new great humanism. People worked through the relationship between Reason and Faith in a truly different way. The great dream of the great spiritual ascension of Man warmed people’s hearts. It was an era of the all-pervading Ideal. Take a good look at the Gothic cathedrals. Imagine the people, whom the great dream set afire, looking up into the Gothic vaulting, upwards, into the sky, perceiving themselves as one whole.
That is not where Counter-Modernity wants to return! It washes out Pre-Modernity’s noble and humanistic content, leaving the shell, the form, which no longer has anything life-giving. It is an artificial construct, created by political technologists (or special political technologists, to be precise). It is a construct created by the postmodernists. They themselves call it a secondary, inferior archaization. This construct is designed to ensure that a part of humanity will live in a state of eternal, fundamental non-development, i.e. in the state of a ghetto. It is a secondary colonization of these peoples; but now, it will be for the ages. Because the first colonization was the colonization of the “white man’s burden”. Kipling wrote, “Take up the White Man’s burden, in patience to abide”. What for? To bring the light of reason and enlightenment to the colonized peoples, so they would become like the white peoples…
Even if it was a romantic utopia, which concealed a cynical political content in reality, at least there was a utopia, at least there was a declaration!
Now there is nothing. An eternal “Global Village” under the eternal “Global City” is being created. Regardless of which country such Counter-Modernity is being established in; furthermore, it is established through the merciless destruction of any sproutings of Modernity, this established order bears a striking resemblance to the Nazi Generalplan Ost, which the Germans devised in order to enslave the Slavic and other “inferior” peoples. We (the Experimental Creative Center) wrote a book on this subject together with the Indian Observer Research Foundation, called Radical Islam. It describes how this is done.
Moving on to Postmodernity. Some say, “It is a kind of culture… There is a new type of relationship between the absolute, the comparative, the relative, etc.” No, it is not culture! Only one Postmodernity’s branches involves cultural processes, which are also not nearly as innocent as it would seem. Read the main postmodernist authors: Guattari, Derrida, Deleuze. But most importantly, read the Marquis de Sade, whom the postmodernists consider their founding father, their god, who, in 1793, recommended that the French National Convention dismantle Christianity and the family, to instill a special kind of depravity in people’s souls, to return to forms of absolute cruelty and moral relativism. The French Jacobins, ferocious people as they were, rejected these recommendations in horror. They arrested de Sade, and they sentenced him to death. Napoleon kept him in an insane asylum. (There is even an interesting play on the subject by Peter Weiss: “Marat/Sade”, where Jean-Paul Marat has discussions with de Sade).
If those, who today are busy establishing a certain kind of reality in our country, used to joke about the Soviet reality, “We were born to make Kafka come true” [a paraphrase of “We were born to make fairy tales come true”, the first line from the March of the Aviators – translator’s note]; now they say with mockery, “We really wanted something different, and were talking about something different. We were born to make de Sade come true. If these idiots wanted so badly to create Heaven on Earth, then now we shall create Hell on Earth, following de Sade’s prescriptions”.
That is what Postmodernism is. It celebrates victory over the true Modernity. And it unites with Counter-Modernity, which it creates itself in the form of archaization. It will be the eternal “Global City”, what before was called the “golden billion”, and which now takes on completely new forms… Maybe, it will not even be a billion. It is hard to even tell how many people will remain on the Earth with such transformations taking place. Many believe that it will be 10 percent of how many there are now.
There will also be an archaized periphery (the “Global Village”), against which the “Global City” itself will fight, while at the same time controlling it. A certain “unity and struggle of opposites” will be established for the ages. Because under archaization there can be no development; and without development, the “Village” will never defeat the “City”. This what is being conceived in place of the great Modernity.
Now let us discuss the principal matter seriously and calmly.
If it is all so (of course, it is necessary to check whether or not it is so), then what are we discussing? The matter at hand is that what gives legitimacy to capitalism is the great universal and spiritual Modernity. Not the vestigial Modernity, which is limited to certain regions, but the great, spiritual Modernity legitimizes capitalism. Capitalism has no other legitimization! Capitalism has no other historical justification, except that Modernity is its great project, because it carries a message for all people. In the framework of this project, the bourgeois class is not a “class for itself”, but a “class for others”, a historical class, a locomotive of history. That is the legitimization of capitalism. Capitalism has no legitimization beyond the bounds of the great universal Modernity. If the great universal Modernity is collapsing, and its opponents are dismantling it, then that means that capitalism is losing its legitimization completely. I think Habermas understands this perfectly. But no one at all understands it here! Capitalism, which has stepped outside the bounds of full-fledged Modernity, not its vestigial version, completely loses its legitimization, and it collapses.
And so, “era A” lasted for 500 years, along with a capitalism that brought not only evil but also good, which the great project “Modernity” was able to tame, and to impart a spirit to this capitalism. Such capitalism, therefore, was not an “Abysmal Beast”. Outside of this spirit, capitalism is horrible, monstrous, and deadly not only in Russia, but in any other country. The yoke of Modernity, which it wears, is the most important thing. If the yoke is removed, then that is it, the end! In stepping outside of the boundaries which Modernity imposes, in abandoning this framework, capitalism transforms into a beast, a monster. It loses the capacity to guarantee historical development. And sooner or later, it will transform into neo-Nazism, dismantling of the unity of the human race, into Gnosticism. It can do nothing else.
The multi-project world of three elements (“Counter-Modernity and Postmodernity against a vestigial and regional Modernity”) means the de-legitimization of capitalism; it is its fall into absolute abomination.
Capitalism already began to step outside the boundaries of the great Modernity (Modernity for everyone, spiritual Modernity) and collapse by the end of the 19th century. It was decadence; it was what Spengler called “the decline of the West”. It abandoned these boundaries almost completely during World War I, an atrocious and meaningless war. The Second World War was fought against fascism. No one understood why the first one was fought. It littered Europe with millions of decaying corpses. It was inhumane, meaningless, and absurd. Everyone understood only that they were fighting for some abstract interests, that the world was ending. After that war, a lost generation emerged (fig. 30).
Capitalism had almost completely collapsed into a mutation, into Gnosticism, into proto-Nazism. But the Soviet Red Project emerged, and it was as though it bolstered capitalism. The collapsing beam was propped up by another beam (fig. 31).
Strange as it may seem, a fairly stable construction emerged (which is often called “Yalta”): two worlds, two projects, two systems. It was stable especially because it had been formed on the corpse of Nazism. Nazism hated this construction, and it had vowed to destroy first the “red” Yalta predator, and then the liberal-western one.
And then the Soviet project began to be dismantled during perestroika (from 1987 to 1991) and post-perestroika (from 1991 to 2011). It began to crumble (fig. 32).
Then, having been left to its own devices, capitalism again began to collapse and to mutate beyond the boundaries of the universal and absolute Modernity (fig. 33).
That is what we are witnessing now. It is being helped to collapse faster. But it is collapsing on its own! Because it has nothing to lean on.
The three projects: vestigial Modernity, Counter-Modernity and Postmodernity, are real. These are not confabulations or some abstract musings. It is a reality that is materialized in millions of ideal, religious, cultural, and material artifacts. The peoples live in its midst.
Our task then is to say “no” to the de-legitimized capitalism that has gone beyond its boundaries, and which is turning into a monster. To say “no” to “era B”, which consists of Postmodernity, Counter-Modernity and vestigial Modernity. Our task is to curve around this “era B”, to arrive elsewhere, and to prevent it from taking place. To defeat it. But in order to accomplish this, we need a fourth project, which would be just as real, called “Supramodernity”(Fig. 34).
Without this project, we have nothing to say “yes” to. We will merely say “no” to “era B” with its three projects… As it was said in the existential literature: “to say ‘no’ and die”. But our task is to live and to win. That means we need this fourth project. We had already started discussing it in the previous chapter. We called it “Supramodernity”, and said that it consists of four components (Fig. 35).
Component #1 is the strategic novelty that meets the challenges of the 21st century.
Component #2 (of utmost importance!) is the Soviet experience in the form in which it was implemented by the end of the pre-perestroika period. I did not discuss component #1, component #3, or #4 in any of the “Judgment of Time” programs. I was busy only rehabilitating component #2, relieving it of the monstrous “bugs” of pseudo-liberals, because there is nothing without this component. The struggle for it is a political, spiritual and strategic struggle, which are not all and the same.
In addition, there is component #3: it includes those practices which the Soviet system had at first sanctioned, but which it then either condemned, or used inappropriately.
And finally, practices exist which the Soviet system never sanctioned; that is component #4.
The real construction of Supramodernity consists of these four components, the most important of which is component #2 “the Soviet experience, in the form in which it was implemented by the end of the pre-perestroika period”. It is the main component, because it is real. Hundreds of millions, almost billions of people lived according to that model. It contained its own way of life, its own principles of development based on collectivism. This is insanely important because it suggests that Soviet development was not a modernist development, but rather a different kind of development. We have discussed this before, and we will have to return to it in detail.
Now the main political question arises. Why can we not, when talking about the project of “Supramodernity” or about how the world needs to regain stability, just call for a return to component #2 alone, the Soviet system, in the form it had taken by the end of the pre-perestroika period? Why can we not go back there? Why can we not just keep this one well-known component? After all, we have not yet forgotten how it was designed. It would seem that we could construct it again, and start living inside it. Is it because some people find our present life is more convenient, more comfortable, etc.?
For me personally, it is more convenient and spiritually comfortable than that life; I am not going to conceal it. But if the fact of the matter was that returning to the Soviet reality in the form it existed in by the end of the pre-perestroika period was possible, that it would be morally and politically doable, and if it was effective for the country, then I would sacrifice my current excessive comfort, including the spiritual one. Because living there, in that world, would be not only more comfortable for a hundred million people (or more accurately, less uncomfortable), but also more righteous. I stand by my words. It is not only a question of the majority being better fed (which is also very important: especially when children are crying from hunger, or are malnourished, not eating enough protein, or when there is several million homeless children)… It is not only a matter of a better life in terms of quantity of goods… That life was more righteous and more understandable than the life being constructed now. Because no human being with any shadow of a conscience could justify inequality and the principles of differentiation.
So, it is not a matter of that life being less comfortable for somebody. Then what is the matter?
Perhas, it is because returning to the end of the Soviet era is impossible? It is the principle of a tube of toothpaste: it is easy to squeeze it out, but one cannot pull it back in. Perhaps, we must first go back to Leninism, then to Stalinism and endure everything what happened back then in order to reach the end of the Soviet era? Moreover, one cannot step into the same river twice.
It is a serious argument, but it is not the most important one. The main argument is simple and fatal at the same time. What is this argument, where metaphysics, politics, the existential foundation, and practice come together? That arrangement, which we long to return to, (“back to USSR”, “oh, how we long for the USSR”) COLLAPSED. It contained an insane amount of good; it solved many problems, but then it went and COLLAPSED. And that is a colossal argument. There are no other fundamental arguments against returning to an arrangement consisting of only component #2. But this is an argument of colossal power, both politically and morally speaking.
Why did it collapse? Because “moles” infiltrated the system? How many? Were the approximately 70 million people, who voted for Yeltsin, “moles of imperialism”? Were the Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the plenary sessions that voted for Gorbachev, when it was already obvious that he was the Party’s murderer, “moles of American imperialism”? Does anyone believe in it? Well, fine, if “moles” infiltrated that system, then will they not infiltrate it again now, when we shall recreate it, and will it not collapse again?
Our environment has yet to process the enormous significance of such an argument in the internal, spiritual, and moral dimensions. For me personally, this argument was the most important for all these twenty years. Based on it, I built a practice of life and action which I call “non-hindrance”. (Do not confuse with “non-interference”. One can interfere, but do not hinder.)
They are building capitalism? Let them. Capitalism exists only when there is a strong state. Let them build a strong, effective state. Let them provide for real development in this state. Let them open the channels of vertical mobility. Let them resolve all the issues that this state must resolve. Let them create a county, for they have a mandate. Component #2, which I love and have always loved much more than capitalism, has collapsed, and I have no right to impose its political return on anyone. In that sense, I have existed according to the principle of “non-hindrance” for all these twenty years, taking care of the country, doing everything to keep it from crumbling, helping even to build this project that is alien to me, from the outside, distantly, tactfully, and delicately, without entering the system that builds it. Because it is an alien system, but the country is ours! It is not ideology over country, but country over ideology. And everyone who thinks otherwise, from my point of view, is immoral.
But the capitalist experiment has already continued for 20 years. Let us recognize this calmly and decisively. We can mark the twentieth anniversary of this experiment with grief and sorrow. It is a paramount historical milestone that no one wishes to discuss or even to notice.
On the other hand, nineteen years passed between the end of the Civil War (from 1922) until the beginning of the Great Patriotic War. That period of time included not only Stalin’s five-year plans and collectivization, but also the recovery period after the Civil War, when they were eliminating child homelessness, introducing the New Economic Policy, conducting political discussions… And all that was done within a shorter time interval than now.
Twelve years have passed from the beginning of collectivization and Stalin’s five-year plans (from 1929) to the beginning of the war, only half as long as the capitalist experiment in Russia.
In other words, the capitalist experiment has gone on for too long to avoid discussing its real historical results. Let us then discuss them calmly, delicately, and without tension.
Has the capitalist experiment given us anything historically or at least strategically significant over these years? Has it brought a new message or at least what a new stratagem brings with it, that is, a new level of development of productive forces, qualitatively new social opportunities for the majority of the population, and the multiplication of a country’s capabilities, for example, its territories or the territories under its influence? After the Great Patriotic War, the territory of the USSR had influence over at least doubled, or even tripled, including China, India, and other countries.
Nothing of the like can be observed. There are no thousands of new factories. There are no new channels of upward mobility. There is no new development of productive forces. There is no new quality of education for the people, that is, for the majority.
Someone gained the opportunity to travel abroad. Who? Can people with a salary of 15, 18, 12 thousand rubles [in 2011, about $500, $600, and $400, respectively – translator’s note] travel abroad? Open your eyes, they can barely travel from Tomsk to Omsk [two nearby Siberian cities, about 900 km apart – translator’s note]! Much less so to Vladivostok. A trip to Moscow is an enormous luxury to them.
Cell phones? I said it and, I will say it again: for the two trillion dollars that were taken out of the country, so many cell phones could have been bought! And that is our accomplishment? Let’s stop playing the fool!
The capitalist experiment has failed in Russia. Sooner or later, this will have to be acknowledged. And then look what we have.
There are twenty years of Russian capitalism, and they are coming to an end.
There are 500 hundred years of the “Modernity” project, which legitimizes capitalism. They are also coming to an end.
The construct of Russian capitalism was born to fail, and this can also be proven. Why was it necessary to nullify the population’s life savings, why was it necessary to give the criminals property, and so on – this is a separate issue.
But after all, two failures are taking place: in Russia and globally; our capitalist experiment is ending, and so is the era of the Modernity project. It did not begin to end in 2008, but much earlier. By 2005, there were already discussions about how to dismantle this project. And now, before our very eyes, a great wave of a very deliberate dismantling, the global perestroika-2, began in 2011, the fall of a new Berlin Wall.
But this is not the most important thing. The most important thing is that there used to be historical eras: the era of Modernity, Pre-Modernity, other eras. But now it is absolutely unclear what lies beyond this historical line. What societies, what gigantic social arrays will begin to ignite from the fire of a great new ideal? And what will this great new ideal be?
- Our Russian experiment is ending,
- That very “end of history” is creeping up; era of Modernity is ending;
- Capitalism is falling into a state of de-legitimation.
Then why talk now about capitalism?!
You want to talk? Then let us. I understand that the point of view which I have presented diverges diametrically, by 180 degrees, from the point of view of those in power. Fine, let us discuss this. You want a national capitalism that will save the country? Then let us build it! We will help again, for the last time; let us do it! But then we have to:
raise its ideological banner,
gather its supporters
and offer battle to the comprador, pseudo-liberal, pseudo-capitalist elite.
But there is nothing like that in sight!
Well, tell me, who is doing this? “Lead me to his presence, lead me to him! I want to see the man in the thick of it”… With that phrase belonging to Yesenin, from the poem Pugachev, I will conclude my lecture.
Source (for copy): https://eu.eot.su/2017/08/24/essence-of-time-chapter-7/
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.