(Links to previous Chapters are available here: Volume I and Chapters 11, 12, 13, 14)
May 15, 2011.
During the previous program, we had to discuss the results of the work already done on the AKSIO program [abbreviated Russian: Agency for Cultural and Social Studies of Society] in great detail, which took a considerable amount of time. This gives us the opportunity today to discuss, without stopping on the Activity portion, the issues of relevant politics, political philosophy and political theory which are also of extreme importance to us.
We must all discuss these questions calmly. Calmly does not mean frigidly. There is a special kind of furious calmness, which Block wrote about:
Let everything pass without hurry –
All that is holy and what’s sinful,
Through fire of soul, through cold of mind.
If there we do not have a link between the fire of soul and the cold of mind, then we get cold calmness, which means indifference. And an indifferent thought that is devoid of love will understand nothing in the current situation. Emotions alone become hysteria, and they will sooner destroy those who let themselves become possessed by emotions, than help them understand anything.
We must do it in the same manner that a physician examines his patient: with the precise goal of curing and saving the patient. This is our oath, just like the oath of Hippocrates. We must not, however, be afraid of the truth about what is happening. Only the truth will give us a chance to accomplish our task. We are fighting using intellectual and informational weapons, and others of the like. We are fighting as does the enemy, who inflicted a crushing defeat upon us in 1991, but who did not manage to finish us off, and now intends to do so. We, on the other hand, want to defeat the enemy and to defend ourselves. This is the disposition of the battlefield.
Taking into account this disposition, I again want to remind you of the fantastic and phenomenal interview with Paul Craig Roberts, the former US Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, which I quoted in the previous program.
According to this interview, World War III is already in full swing. This is a war between China and the United States. It is a war in which the United States has become the “British Empire of the 21st Century”. I compare today’s United States with the Britain of 1914. The United States wants to prevent China’s development in the same way that Britain did not want to allow Germany’s rapid development in 1914. This was because Germany was a competitor, who, due to uneven development, began to develop faster and was to “take the place under the sun”, pushing Britain to the wayside.
The United States is fighting a similar war today. The strategy of this war, first of all, concerns the energy sector. Because pinning China down and keeping it from obtaining energy resources at the right price will lead to a halt in its growth. If its growth stops, then various incidents are possible, including the collapse of China and Lord only knows what else. China understands this as well, and it wages the same kind of war.
The great energy war between China and the United States finds its reflection in Libya and in Africa at large. Because China seeks to conquer Africa, unfolding massive programs there while investing enormous amounts of money. The Americans, as they now state themselves, have but one goal: to squeeze China out of there.
This is one of the directions. The Americans have really always believed that, in the event of any sort of energy catastrophe, they have enough energy reserves to hold out for two or three years. Therefore, the more intense the situation in the Middle East becomes, with cold or hot wars of any type, with any sequelae of the “Arab Spring” (as they now call it), with any political tsunami, the more profound of an energy crisis will follow as the result, the better. As long as the crisis is a short one, lasting 3-4 years the Americans will survive. According to the US assessment, however, the countries that have no large energy resource capacities of their own will become overwhelmed. This would allow the US to restore its superiority. Paul Craig Roberts is saying that the United States intends to leverage its military and political superiority in order to deny those countries wishing to gain economic superiority over the United States, from realizing that economic superiority and becoming the world’s number one power. They mean China. And perhaps India next. This is the law of uneven development. It is such, and it cannot be repealed.
And so, that is what Paul Craig Roberts is talking about. What does this mean in terms of relevant politics? It relates to us inasmuch as Paul Craig Roberts names Russia among the countries with which war is being waged, which must also be driven from the Mediterranean Sea (I do not know whether Russia in its present state really needs the Mediterranean Sea, and if someone is trying to seize it, but that is what Roberts is saying). For the real question is not the Mediterranean Sea or a base in Syria. I am convinced that given the current unfortunate state of affairs in Russia and the peculiar nature of its political elite, this elite will leave the Mediterranean Sea with ease… That is not the issue.
The issue is that China will either receive Russia’s energy resources, or it will not. If China does not receive them, it will be cut off not only from African and Middle Eastern energy, but also from Russian energy, and China cannot allow this to happen. It understands that this would lead to its collapse. This means that China will do everything possible to gain access to these energy resources, and the Americans will do everything possible to deny access to these resources. This includes using radical Islam. The Americans couldn’t care less about our country’s territorial integrity. They care about securing their strategic goals in relation to their main competitor.
I have already said that when this competitor begins to even approach a level from which it can challenge the United States, this competitor will have to be stopped. The American realpolitik dictates this. It does not vary with who comes to power. Bush began all these “Arab Springs”, and Obama supported them; that is their course. This course means American domination. They are tough and healthy guys who do not want to give away their dominance; they wish to win it regardless of the cost, including the use of both conventional military means and non-conventional ones, whatever is needed.
Behind these “tough guys” stand much more intelligent people who understand that these “tough guys” will, of course, push the world over the edge, and all the better. On the ruins of this world, a new world can be built according to completely different laws, as I have already said, according to the laws of a multi-tiered humanity and impenetrable elite barriers.
Who these especially clever people are who stand behind the backs of these “tough guys” is a separate topic of discussion. It is, however, obvious that their plans are essentially somewhat modified Nazi plans of building a society of non-development, a society with impenetrable class barriers, of a new Medievalism, a new archaicity. One that can be built only on the rubble of the existing humanity.
And so, the first phase of American intervention, aimed at keeping their country from shifting from first place to second. Moreover, having Shifted down to second place, that country will continue to slide down to third, fourth place and so on, and this can lead all sorts of unpleasant situations arising. And this is China’s struggle to obtain the prize that it is entitled to. The Chinese are very peaceful people, unlike the Japanese or the Vietnamese, but they will not give up this prize. This is already evident from the way they have hungrily eyed it. This is their legal right, and they have paid a heavy price for it.
This is what international politics look like. Therefore, even if we bury our heads in the sand and surrender all our interests, our territory will still become a battlefield. War will be waged not only in Central Asia, whose raw materials China needs (and the Americans, with the help of radical Islam, will want to deprive China of these resources), but also in our very own Siberia.
Our oil capabilities and our gas capabilities are also pieces in this game. They cannot remain neutral, they will go either here or there. If they do not go to China, then China will find itself on starvation rations. Therefore, China will fight for access to them. The Americans, conversely, will fight to deny this access. We are stepping to the sidelines… But the world of the 21st century has no intention of becoming an idyllic, globalist place, a world of universal prosperity, a world of universal consumption… It is moving in a very hostile direction. Does anyone think that if the world is moving in this very hostile direction, then this hostile pressure will not affect Russia? How can it not affect Russia? It most certainly will.
Russia will rot through from the inside. Its own processes and trends (the degradation of education, science, technology, and defense) will make it impossible for the country to stably exist by 2017. And at exactly this moment, all of the major conflicts between China and the United States will be played out. They have already begun, and they will continuously gain momentum. Consequently, these two processes will intersect.
But internal discontent in Russia also exists. It has its own progression. Consequently, this discontent will interact with the two aforementioned processes; and at that moment, a special kind of focus will arise.
What is the current situation in relation to this focus? What are all these conversations today about how the elections will be conducted, who exactly will win these elections, and who will not?..
First of all, let us first make it until August. The election picture is absolutely unclear. The main figures have yet to be placed on this chessboard, and they can be arranged in many different ways. The main actors have not yet spoken. Trying to define oneself in relation to this today means losing in advance.
Secondly, this is all but ripples on the water. This is a tactical board. The strategic board is the one that I have just outlined. And incidentally, a great many people understand this.
For example, there is quite an interesting character named Mr. Navalny, who is fighting against corruption. I have already said that combating corruption in a criminal state is quite a peculiar kind of struggle. Suppose you have a multitude of pimples on your face; but in reality, you are suffering from a systemic disease of the blood. But you start treating the pimples. You say, “I have to combat the pimples! I have such big pimples, and they bring me so much pain!” Someone replies, “Wait, what do pimples have to do with this? Where is the source of the disease? It is rooted very deep, and it is fundamental. You have a serious disease. Sure, you have pimples, my friend, but you need to do something completely different…”
Now, Mr. Navalny is fighting against corruption, and he believes that only serious political changes will make it possible to defeat corruption. He believes that authority levers are needed… He gave the following interview to The New Times, “It is obvious to all reasonable people, and I do not intend to fool anyone. But today, any statements, including that I intend to run for president and that I will participate in the presidential elections, I believe, they have nothing to do with real political struggle.”
So, what is Mr. Navalny, whose background I, for example, find quite clear, really saying? This is a very serious international project, which is not unlike what I call the Egyptian-Tunisian scenario. What is he saying? That running for president has nothing to do with real political struggle.
These are not my words. I, for one, think that it does relate to real political struggle. But I wish to draw attention to this, as it would seem, paradoxical statement by Mr. Navalny.
The interviewer asks him, “So, that means you are missing the 2012 election cycle, right?” Navalny replies, “I don’t believe that there are any cycles. There are no terms or deadlines. In March 2012 they can anyone they want vote for whoever, but in April everything will be over.”
Do you know how to listen? Do you understand that these are not his musings, but a project? Then he says the most important phrase, “I think that the transfer of power in Russia will not be as a result of elections.”
Do you hear, what he is saying? Do you see how they are moving everything from the tactical field, on which our patriots are running around aimlessly, to the strategic field?
So, the interviewer asks him, “Do you mean the Tunisian or Libyan scenario?”
He replies, “We call it the Tunisian scenario, because there is no other name for it. Of course, here in Russia, the scenario will be somehow different, but no one knows in what way. There will be some kind of confrontation between the corrupt top brass and the popular masses.”
According to him, we have this picture. There is the top brass and the popular masses. They will enter into confrontation with one another.
The interviewer continues, “In other words, you’re waiting for a wave to come from below?”
“I am not waiting,” Navalny answers, “I am organizing it. My idea lies in that we don’t know when this moment will come,, but we can do everything possible to make it come sooner.”
Question: “The history of our part of the world also knows milder options, like the “velvet revolutions” in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s. They were, first and foremost, negotiations, which resulted in the ruling parties leaving and handing over power to the opposition.”
But Navalny is talking about a more aggressive process. He says, “One way or another, the regime changed as a result of the popular masses putting pressure on the authorities. This pressure can be of different intensities: from negotiations to the mobs of people on the streets throwing officials out of their offices and hanging them. The sooner the authorities themselves, their most forward-thinking representatives, agree to negotiate, the less likely the scenario becomes in which they get dragged out by the scruff of the neck. I do not think that some clever political technology or Twitter can make people go out into the streets, throw out all the crooks and thieves, and then decent people can take their places. The moment will come after some time, and someone different will appear. It might happen in two months, or maybe in three years or in seven years. What’s most important is to be convinced that such a moment will come.”
And they must prepare it, as Mr. Navalny says.
Here is the most important politically naive phrase. It is not just naive by coincidence, “throw out all the crooks and thieves, and then decent people can take their places.”. That is not how it happens. That is not how politics is done. Where will these decent people come from? Why will these people be decent? Yeltsin wanted to throw out all the crooks and thieves from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. However, hyper-crooks and hyper-thieves took their place.
Once the hyper-crooks and hyper-thieves get thrown out, hyper-hyper or mega-thieves will take their places. Where will these decent people come from? What is the power balance?
Since all these arguments are ignorant in terms of political theory (they are not based on an understanding of political forces, or Mr. Navalny deceives his listeners, refusing to explain what kind of forces these will be), one can only shrug one’s shoulders. But everything is clear in terms of political tactics, Navalny and all the others are saying “Why should we care about elections? Maybe they’ll reach an agreement, or maybe not… They might manage the situation one way or another… The most important events will start immediately AFTER the elections. The most important events will already begin in 2012 or 2013…” And they will continuously develop until 2017.
With regards to forces… Could we create not only political, but also large social forces, which could turn the processes in a different direction as gently as possible (for we exist within a very fragile structure called the country), and which could stop the processes that are incompatible with life?
For it is not just corruption. Corruption exists in all the countries of the world. The problem here is different, Navalny poses the problem incorrectly from the very beginning. He is being intentionally inarticulate. It is being done as a populist PR-action. Why? Because it is not about the existence of corruption. Corruption is like “pimples on the skin”. But what do we really have? In reality, we have the impossibility of bringing the country out of the stage of primitive accumulation of capital. This impossibility is determined by the nature of the criminal class, which has been created. It was created as a criminal class intentionally, after killing everything that could have become the basis of a healthy capitalist class with a legal base for accumulation. After destroying people’s life savings among other things, they created this class as a phage-class, as a devourer-class, as a criminal class.
I have repeated many times that there can be decent people in abundance, but the class as a whole acts as a single criminal entity. This criminal class does not want to move past the stage of primitive accumulation of capital. It simply robs and exports, robs and exports. When one speaks of corruption in this situation… please, give me a break! Corruption exists in the United States, in Germany, it exists anywhere and everywhere. Anti-corruption affairs take place all the time. Corruption is trivial compared to what is really happening. What is happening is an escalation of primitive accumulation of capital and the impossibility of moving beyond this stage. As a result of escalation of the primitive accumulation of capital, a “pirate kingdom” is created, i.e. an entirely criminal state.
This is the real diagnosis. Now how can we treat the disease?
First of all, we must form large macrosocial communities antagonistic to this class, and wage a war of position against what this class is doing. In the course of this war of position, it is necessary to redirect the current processes, which are incompatible with the country’s existence (because of a continuing stage of primitive accumulation of capital) without destroying the state. To do it in such a way that these processes would at least become compatible with the country’s life. This cannot be done without addressing the capitalist class.
In this sense, the goal of such a political war and its immediate objective is to break the class in two and to separate a large group of people from this class, who purposefully strive to bring he country out of the stage of primitive accumulation of capital. Not the ones who endlessly pontificate about modernization, the knowledge-based economy, and other good and wonderful things that have nothing to do with what is really happening in the country. This is the disease that afflicts our country. One cannot start leading the capitalist class away from the stage of primitive accumulation, if there is not a part of this class that wants this. It has to become their desire, this part of the capitalist class must raise the flag, offer a program, consolidate themselves, show that they are capable of action, and drive the comprador part that does not want this to happen out of the game. After all of this, it can begin to leave the stage of primitive accumulation of capital.
This is first scenario is the minimally acceptable one. This is a scenario in which the capitalist class, which was created by the will of our compatriots, who voted for Yeltsin and everything he stood for (which I have already said many times), will lose its cancer-like quality and acquire a quality that is compatible with life. This will not solve any of Russia’s strategic problems, but it will allow Russia to not fall into the abyss. But I repeat once more, this cannot be done without part of the capitalist class participating. It cannot be done from the outside. It can only be done from within. If this is not done from within, then that means that we must diagnose the capitalist class as a whole unreformable, incapable of being corrected or transformed. It does not matter how many decent people this class contains, more or less. If these decent people are concerned with the country’s future, then they have to understand that it is essential to leave their community, which is devouring the country. They can then start participating in our projects to build a new large-scale macrosocial community, which is antagonistic to the cancer that I have described above.
Or you can start transforming the quality of the current ruling class, and we will support you. Otherwise, we diagnose this class as “incurable”, and then we start forming other classes, which are compatible with the country’s existence, and which are ready to assume responsibility for the country.
This is our ultimate goal. But it requires mastery to achieve. It takes a gigantic amount of work. This is not empty chatter or hysterics. This is not repeatedly asking the same questions, “Oh, won’t you tell us what to do? Where should we put our ballots in December and March?”
Navalny is explaining where you can shove your ballots, if you are capable of listening. Listen to this authoritative opinion. Not mine, but his. This is what he plans to do. Then the question arises of how you intend to act when he accomplishes what he is working towards, along with Belkovsky, Nemtsov, and others. When he accomplishes his goal, what will you do? Will you sit and watch the country collapse? For it will be not merely a collapse, but the disintegration of the country!
This is curing a headache through decapitation. You have a corrupt state, so it will simply cease to exist. There will then be even more corruption. In other word, the mafia disease will disseminate with metastatic foci throughout, and it will become terminally incurable. There will be no society. There will be no country. The problem will be solved. They will gather the energy of your natural and noble protest once again so that you can eviscerate yourself with your own hands. And this is fast approaching. This is the technology of ideological information-psychological warfare, a superwar on many fields, with the help which Russia was so decisively defeated in 1991. The country destroyed itself with its own hands. They helped the country do it with its own hands, don’t you understand? This is the essence of soft power. This is the essence of these flexible postmodernists, wars of a new type.
Several possibilities exist to counter all of this.
The first scenario is to induce the ruling class into self-transformation. A serious self-transformation, no more fooling around. To induce them not to separate statements by individual representatives, but to the formation of communities with corresponding declarations, and to proving their words by action. It is time to stop playing the fool and talking about some separate intellectual pseudocenters like Skolkovo. Forgive me, esteemed capitalists, but you must throw a significant part of your colleagues, whose actions are absolutely incompatible with the country’s existence, out of the game. Do it quickly. This is the first scenario.
The second scenario is that if this does not happen, then we give the appropriate diagnosis, and then we form macrosocial groups (which we will have to do anyway) that are alternative to this cancer. Yes, it is difficult. Yes, it is almost impossible. But it has to be done! Do you love your country? Do you understand that it needs to be saved? Do you feel the scale of danger? Do you let it pass through your mind and your soul, thorough your mind and your heart? Then this is what we must do! There is no other way. We must form these macrosocial groups, and we must put them into action immediately. We must wage war on all the platforms, on every centimeter of this massive field, which is ideological, informational, psychological, et cetera.
I stress once more, the current vector of the process is not compatible with the country’s existence. If the process will continue in the current direction, the country’s life will end by 2017 as a result of all the reasons that I have described above. But if we manage to win this fight, we can change the vector. It will then be a soft pivot, but not the one that we looked at in the first scenario. It will not be a capitalist pivot. The large macrosocial group that will make this pivot will be an alternative to the current capitalist class, a class which has demonstrated its complete failure and complete fiasco.
Finally, we have the third scenario. Imagine that we have failed to form this large macrosocial group. That it was not possible to make it so that this macrosocial group would displace the criminal class through a war of position, and gently execute the pivot. It was just not possible to do this… The group turned out to be weak… The criminal class was too strong… The group did not act efficiently… It does not matter why… And then everything collapsed. At the moment of this collapse, the third scenario arises, which I always talk about, with its attractors. It was not possible to create a macrosocial group capable of changing vector of the process. But is there some kind of group? And onto this group, like onto a spring mattress, falls the stone of statehood. Everything is collapsing, but the attractor must withstand the load.
The fourth scenario, in which historical life ends, is not one that I wish to examine. I believe that Russia is quite a vigorous country, and that its historical life will not end. Although everything is possible… If this attractor, which I examine in the third scenario, proves fragile and if it does not bear the burden when the stone of statehood falls upon, then it is the end.
I want to demonstrate all of this in vivid detail, because sometimes it seems that when you speak using the language of political theory or the language of relevant politics, that it does not fully enter into the core of people’s souls.
The first scenario that I am referring to arises when some guy who belongs to the common class of capitalists, which contains anything one can imagine (the class behaves like a criminal whole, but it contains a diverse variety of elements)… If this guy is someone colorful, prominent, energetic, powerful, passionate, who unites and attracts people from his class like a magnet, says, “It’s over! We’re done! Enough!” and sets clear goals, “The issue now is not modernization or the “knowledge economy”. We find ourselves in the stage of primitive accumulation of capital! We are stuck in it, and it is sucking us into a criminal whirlpool. This is a horrible situation. We must escape from it! Those who want to escape from it are on the one side, with one program with its slogans! The rest are on the other side! We call upon society to support us, and we are shall drive out the criminal demons, we shall drive them out completely!”
This is the first scenario. It is a situation when society supports this impulse. It will not solve any strategic problem, because the project of Modernity, which I will discuss in the next part of the program, is still coming to an end. Because this project of Modernity is poorly compatible with the Russian soul, etc. But it will become possible to solve a wide array of operational problems. It will be possible to significantly postpone the country’s demise. And this is the most realistic scenario, because what it requires seems to be possible. It would seem that guys of this sort could be found, and people exist who could join them. It is also very clear what needs to be done for this to happen. But a very short historical period is left, during which this could be done. We have one year at the most. At the most! If this does not happen (I am not talking about electoral hype; I am talking about a major political and strategic action)… if this does not happen, the issue takes itself off the agenda.
Then other forces must enter the arena, forces with a non-capitalist orientation. The cognitatriat, the most exploited groups of our intelligentsia, who will unite all the other popular masses and join with them, they must enter the historical arena. But they can only enter the arena if they gather into large macrosocial communities. Right now, they remain scattered; they cannot even get up out of bed. They can do nothing in this state of dystrophy. It means they must be brought out of this state. The necessary prerequisites for this are present. Therein lies the essence of our work.
Having come out of a coma and joined together, having recovered and repaired these broken spines, having escaped from this state of moral chaos, cognitive dissonance and anomie, as Durkheim called it, having left this regressive depressed state, and having begun to act socially and to form communities, this class can wage a war of position, as Gramsci called it. In other words, a war for civil society. It may win this war and then we will see a gentle pivot. This will not be a pivot under the leadership of the capitalist class. This will be a pivot by the cognitariat. It will be a soft turn. The state will be preserved, the basic constants of life will be preserved, and we all will not fall into the abyss. Chances for this exist. We have the next three or four years. We have very little time to act! We have been asleep for too long! We have not been working or moving in any direction. Everyone was waiting for salvation by the ruling class or God only knows what else. Everyone was taking part in these pre-election spectacles and in other meaningless political entertainment. Or they were stuck a state of complete stupor that resulted from what happened 20 years ago. A stupor that lasted for a monstrously long time.
This is the second possibility.
And the third possibility arises if the macrosocial communities have begun to form, but they have yet to take form completely. In this scenario, enormous macrosocial communities capable of leading a war of position and redirecting the process without collapse have not formed. Instead, relatively small attractor groups have formed, like the Bolshevik party. In this situation, the criminal class manages to bring about the collapse of the state, the society, and the country, even without any outside help. The country falls and collapses, but the situation of the attractor arises. The attractor can break its fall. I have said many times, power never lies in the mud. Power can fall into the mud. But it never lies there. This is the third scenario.
These three scenarios exist within the framework of our political reality. Everything else is exercises in foolish blissfulness, “The good guys must take the power away from the bad guys…” Who are the “good guys”? Who are the “bad guys”? Yeltsin was “good”, and the Communists were “bad.” Then it turned out that Yeltsin was even worse than the Communists. The people will be led around this desert until they all die.
Herein lies our main political task. Now I transition to tasks of another kind. Tasks relating to political theory. Not to relevant politics, but to political theory.
If you remember the program “Open Studio”, where we first discussed the results of the survey on who supports “de-Stalinization” and who does not, Mr. Pivovarov spoke there. One thing in particular he said was that, “Soviet people were deprived of access to the treasures of world culture; they were cut off from them.” Pivovarov believes that this “fact” is sufficient reason to begin the widely publicized de-Sovietization. Do you like this phrase? “Soviet people were deprived of access to the treasures of world culture; they were cut off from them.” Do you like it?
Our prominent musician Mikhail Nikeshichev, who wrote a very interesting letter to the Experimental Creative Center on April 27, 2011, considers these words by Pivovarov to be the embodiment of horror, ignorance, and rudeness. Moreover, the musician does not speak from the standpoint of Pivovarov insulting us. He says that even from a mathematical point of view, it is obvious that, “…how can one be deprived of the treasures of world culture when one is in the epicenter of this very world culture?”
He asks the question, did Soviet culture exit outside of world culture? Were the Soviet people deprived of cultural masterpieces like The Battleship Potemkin, film like Chapaev, Quiet Flows the Don, the works of Prokofiev? He was obviously not deprived of these masterpieces because they existed within his own cultural space. At that time, the Soviet people were in the epicenter of world culture, as opposed to now… This is the first point.
The second question is did the people of the Soviet Union exist in isolation from Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, or Handel? Did they exist in isolation from sublime classic literature? Did millions of our fellow citizens not become acquainted with these masterpieces in the most intensive way, escaping illiteracy and storming the heights of science and culture?
Was the Moscow Art Academic Theater always not bursting at the seams with people? Was Stanislavsky also not in the epicenter of world culture? Did we not partake in his works? What does all this nonsense mean?
Mikhail Nikeshichev does not limit his arguments to the linear criticism that I have just mentioned. He goes deeper and says, “Why do the frescoes on the ground-floor gallery in the Annunciation Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin contain Plato and Virgil among the row of righteous Russian princes?
Why does Alexander Radishchev’s poem ‘The Creation’ lie on Joseph Haydn’s table for several years? Why does the music from Beethoven’s last symphony, the Ninth (the call of Schiller’s ’Ode to Joy’ – Be embraced, millions! – completes the symphony’s climax), include motifs from the Russian dance song ‘Kamarinskaya’?
Why did Johann Sebastian Bach, who was forgotten for many decades in Europe, continue to sound and sprout through his students in Russia and their students? Here, even the authentic manner of performing his works was preserved.
Why did Tepper de Ferguson, a student of Mozart’s friend, the composer Albrechtsberger, come to Russia and become Alexander Pushkin’s lyceum music teacher? Why did Mozart himself, in the last year of his life, draw his “life line” with his hand on the map through Warsaw to Saint Petersburg?
Why is it that Sergei Rachmaninoff almost completely stopped writing music after his emigration to the United States? And what about Sergei Prokofiev, whose talent had appeared to fade, but then flourished after his return from Paris, and bore creative fruit that was unprecedented in the history of 20th century music?”
The whole issue is that de-Stalinizers are saying monstrous things, that “Soviet people were deprived of access to the treasures of world culture; they were cut off from them,” and that is why they turned into monsters. But an American boy, who had never read Faulkner or Hemingway, “partook” of world culture and became normal. Do you not understand that this is both a falsehood and an insult? It is also a diagnosis, for it shows where everything is directed to.
Here is another text by the same Pivovarov. This is his interview to Polis, a more than respectable academic journal. According to Pivovarov, “The West can become a new Golden Horde… in the sense that they could become ‘the bosses’ boss’… The bosses can be found where there are material resources and power. We meant only that there, in these institutions (of the West), is where the headquarters (of the Horde) are located. This is where the patents to govern are handed out, as well as material rewards. The West is the Horde precisely in this sense. The center of global power is there… Comrade Kant’s idea… [Why he is a”comrade” is beyond me – SK] about a world government is taking shape today in reality. And people exist, who oppose this structure, but I personally have nothing against it. Because I couldn’t care less as to whether these systems are Russian or non-Russian.”
“What I do care about”, says Pivovarov, “is that people can live like human beings, and if the world government works to this end, then that’s just fine.”
And what if it does not? And what does “like human beings” mean? And to what end will it work? It is very clear what it achieved in Libya. And it is very clear to what end it worked in Serbia. And from what I have read about the plans for war between China and the United States in energy sector and elsewhere, it is also clear what direction this will move.
And why on Earth would it work towards normal human life in Afghanistan? And who said that it will help bring about normal human life in Russia? Why should it work for the goal of normal human life in general? And finally, what is normal human life?
“What is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more.”
Who said that? A Russian traditionalist? No, Hamlet said that.
“Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Man’s life’s as cheap as beast’s…”
Who said that? Is it a Russian thought? This is King Lear!
“…that people can live like human beings, and if the world government works to this end, then that’s just fine. Furthermore, Kant’s discussion on the world government, as we remember, has a very important idea… (Appealing to Kant is of critical importance to him – SK) Kant said that Russia will not be able to manage Siberia.”
“I personally find this very relevant,” Pivovarov says. “I am convinced that Russia will leave Siberia in the next half-century: the processes of depopulation will be so strong that Russia will shrink geographically to the Urals… “.
Pivovarov then writes, “… It is necessary for Russia to lose… Siberia and the Far East. As long as we have mineral resources, as long we have plenty to eat away, as long as…salaries are given out like this: oil prices have rise, and you get paid – nothing will change…
… The question is who will control Siberia and the Far East… Let the Canadians or Norwegians come manage it…”
What if the Chinese come? Or God knows who else? Why should it be the Canadians or Norwegians? We clearly observe a certain phenomenon of idiosyncrasy. Moreover, an idiosyncrasy to everything Russian… just like to cockroaches. He wants it to end so badly, that he cannot keep hold of his emotions. Even when you are smart, and you understand something, you do not want it to exist. It all needs to end because it is disgusting, repulsive… This is where the meaning lies. That is why he has to say, contrary all reality, that “Soviet people were deprived of access to the treasures of world culture; they were cut off from them.”
This is why it is first necessary to use Russianness to attack everything Soviet, and then to use modernization to attack everything Russian. Or more precisely, as I had mentioned, before first you use the Soviet and attack the imperial, then you use the imperial and attack everything Russian, and then you exterminate all that is Russian. They begin with targeting the Soviet. But then it turns out that one cannot destroy it without destroying the imperial. Next, it turns out that all of this cannot be destroyed without exterminating the core of the Russian culture. And all this together is drenched in THIS idiosyncrasy. It is THIS war, the war for the final extermination of all.
This is what political theory is.
These are the stakes of this game.
This is how the cards are laid out.
That is how insane one has to be in order to believe that anyone cares about “de-Stalinization” or even “de-Sovietization”! Because casting away the imperial heritage will transform into the complete and final extermination of everything: meanings, the territory, and its population. And the transformation of all this into a substrate for consumption by other countries and centers of power, a helpless and consumable substrate. And when they begin to consume it, they will rejoice, “What joy that this vile substrate is disappearing!”
Within this game, there is one key point to which I will now turn your attention to, having said enough about political theory for now and transitioning to political philosophy.
I have said and will continue repeat that everything is determined by a single focal point: either modernization is identical to development, and then Russian death is inevitable, or modernization is not identical to development, and then everything happens in a completely different fashion.
I have already offered pictures for your consideration that deal with what development means according Modernity.
What is the first principle of Modernity? We will not refer here to Rousseau and his followers like Saint-Just or Robespierre, who said that Man is good, but he has certain aspects that need to be corrected. These followers ended up collapsing, and they gave way to an absolutely different kind of forces, which argued that Man is evil, and that he must be chained down with the chain of the law. The beast must be chained with the law.
This principle, which is not lacking in romanticism, poetry, and most importantly, even common sense. It is very close for the American enlighteners and their puritanical essence, and far from alien to the West in general. This principle has managed to organize great feats throughout several centuries (Figure 31).
The technical environment, within which humans exist (the artificial environment, which the Man inhabits), has started to develop exponentially. It gave us everything that we have now. But Man has not begun to develop. He stopped developing, because the principle of Modernity is the principle of rejecting all attempts to to lift Man higher via any sort of project. Exalting Man is forbidden! Throwing efforts at exalting Man is forbidden. Man is constant! The artificial environment needs to be improved. Social regulation needs to be improved. But Man will stay the way he is.
Optimize social regulation. Optimize the methods of production. The environment will gradually change, but Man will remain a constant inside it. And all that needs to be done at this new stage is to bring Man into compliance with the new environment. Of course, having received a computer and everything else, Man will gradually develop. He will receive databases of a different kind, and he will gain capabilities for greater destruction. Something will slowly change is one direction or another. But generally speaking, “to hell with Man,” says Modernity. Man is constant. The is the most important is that productive forces grow and that forms of social organization grow, like institutions, markets, political democracy, and everything else.
This is the first principle. This principle, as I have already demonstrated, has arrived at the barrier of Peters, i.e. the barrier, when the gap between the qualities of Man and the opportunities available to him will simply destroy civilization (Figure 32).
Many people understand this, even if they pretend not to. These discussions are taking place in the West. The Russians are not being heard, because the West does not want to hear. But such discussions are very strong in the West.
So, we must either extinguish technical progress and throw everything into Counter-Modernity, or we need to build Man up, and return to the Russian “know-how” associated with the Supramodernity, or we can slide down directly into the catastrophe. There is no other way. Since no one wants Counter-Modernity, and no one knows whether it is possible to get there without a catastrophe, the Russian “know-how” (the type of development that is centered on human development together with the productive forces, this is communist dream, a very Russian one, a dream of the New Man and the new humanism) is the first trait that sets Supramodernity apart from Modernity.
The first principle, the fundamental hyperprinciple of Modernity, has already been exhausted. It is then necessary to stop development. Or switch to what is an essentially Russian model: the model of accelerated development of both Man and the technical environment. The model of coordinating the pace of human development with the pace of development of technical environment, i.e., a model that pays acutely more attention to everything related to human development.
The second principle of Modernity, which is also reaching the point of exhaustion, is the principle of inconsolability.
Yes, Modernity brings about secularization; it takes the transcendental, i.e. God, out of the equation. It says that the immanent is graceless, that nothing in it is God’s dwelling place. God dwells in some other worlds. He does not descend to Earth. His grace does not permeate earthly life. This is a very Protestant formula. Religion turns into each person’s private matter, and here in this life that is devoid of God’s grace, we have the right to do everything only according to the laws of rationality. There is no grace here, there is rationality. One can boot everything here as one likes, because it is all graceless, because this is a graceless place.
The Russians have never accepted this, and they have never wanted to. What has this “graceless rape” of the environment in which we live led to? It has led to an ecological catastrophe. Therefore, the second principle of Modernity is also rejected. One cannot treat the surrounding environment as something graceless, and to have his way with it. But then the Russian perception that the transcendent exists within the immanent (this model of nature as the “birch grove, permeated with light”… everything that Russian poets have spoken about and written about) enters the global agenda. Because only this model makes it possible to overcome the ecological catastrophe. It is possible only if we revere the environment, but without turning it all into Mother Nature. Not returning to the matriarchy, but believing that humanity is the principal factor within the grace of this life.
The third principle is social atomization. When they say that political democracy is such a wonderful thing… Of course, it is a wonderful thing. But political democracy only works when you have created a gas out of atoms. The same applies to the market. Without extreme individualization, without breaking the traditionalist framework, without removing Man from the traditional matrix, from any form of collectivism, society cannot switch to formal political democracy or to a formal market. Because both models are built on gas law. On the laws of thermodynamics. There are atoms, which regulate their existence in a stochastic manner.
First you make atoms, and only then the market begins along with everything else. But if you have corporative-collectivist environments, and you have completely deregulated them by introducing the “market”, you get a mafia; and in a political sense, you get a political mafia. Or a tribal war. You do not want to implement political democracy in a feudal society, under serfdom, do you? But doing so in Libya is acceptable? Or somewhere else?
So, it was all about social atomization, individualization, the destruction of all forms of collectivism. The Russians never wanted this. They always considered it without a future. They have always responded to this with industrial and post-industrial collectivism. With the Soviet enterprise, which was a comprehensive system of life and activity. With academic towns. New forms of collectivism are now on the agenda. This atomized environment does not work. It does not work at all! This gas is dying out and failing. This individualism is turning into suicide.
The fourth principle is breaking down the barriers between the estates, was accomplished in Modernity. This is a great principle. The estate barriers must be broken. But they were not broken down completely. The bourgeois barriers remained in place, and they now have become new feudal ones. So what must we do? And what have the Russians always been striving for? What did they implement during the Communist era? The meritocratic principle. The principle of qualities. The elite of qualities must become principal, rather than the elite of inheritance. This is not the equalization that is widely attributed to us. This is fair inequality. The principle of this inequality being fair. Are you more capable? Do you do more? Then receive more!
Are you the category six worker [salaries in the Soviet Union were determined by a worker’s category, or pay grade – translator’s note]? Come to work in a Mercedes S500 (not like a hyena, who stole the money, but as a category six worker), and let the kid at the checkpoint see that the highest category worker has arrived via this Mercedes, and in a sense, he is equal to a general or an academician. This meritocratic principle is now called the principle of tomorrow, the post-capitalist principle of development.
There is no way to do without this principle. Without it, bourgeois society rapidly becomes a new form of feudalism, into a closed or insufficiently open society.
Of course, capitalism’s openness is better than that of feudalism. Money gives more equality than the barriers between the estates. But this is insufficient. This mobility is not enough. And do not tell us that we want to return a society with no social mobility. We want to return a new and much much greater degree of social mobility, which has now become the topic of many a conversation, and which is intrinsic to the Russians; it is in our blood. And the Soviet experience, first and foremost, is about this.
The fifth principle is the so-called “furnace of Modernity”. What makes it all tick? It works because it pulls the impoverished peasant out of the traditional society, throws him into the factory, where he is happy to work hard for 12 hours a day for a meager wage (but for much more money than he got for his toil upon the land). This is the Chinese principle. This is the Vietnamese principle. This is the Indian principle. But this can no longer become the Russian principle. This has all been used up long ago. Our “furnace” has already burned through everything. And the western “furnace” is also spent. And sooner or later, the Indian “furnace” will run out of fuel, as will the Chinese and the Vietnamese “furnaces”. And then everything will stop.
In order for everything not to stop, it has to work not using this traditionalist “furnace” and the energy of social fission, in which the Russians see evil, but using the energy of fusion, the energy of new collectivities. With this energy we can move forward. But the energy released through the destruction of traditional society can only work as long as this traditional society is around to be destroyed. While it is being destroyed, other things can emerge as a result. But then everything stops.
The sixth principle of Modernity is the principle of the rule of law as the chief regulator of civic life. But this is just not dear to the Russian soul. Much has been said about this. I have spoken about this, and we will examine it in detail. I am just listing the principles here.
The Russians in the 13th-19th centuries made culture their hyper-regulator. Everyone said this, not just Vasily Klyuchevsky [leading Russian historian of the late imperial period – translator’s note], but many others. They said that it was culture that became this regulator; that practically, a kind of secular priest had emerged in the form the author with his sermons. They understood that Dostoevsky was not like the Goncourt brothers. They said that the essence of Russian culture was not elegance or literary perfection, but a new kind of secular preaching, which, happened to create a decent civil society, among other things. Most importantly, it was dynamic. This same principle carried over onto Soviet society. So Pivovarov can take a hike with his slander about how Soviet society was alienated from culture. Our society is alienated from culture now.
The seventh principle is the principle of encouraging diversity in the context of synthesis, a point of convergence. If traditional society did not encourage diversity because traditional society understood that it could not handle this diversity, then Modernity says, be diverse, but we should come together at some points. At the points of rationality. At the points of reason.
The nation is such a point of convergence.
The rule of law is such a point of convergence.
It means that first everything goes in different directions and then turns to convergence.
But Postmodernity destroys this point of convergence. It says, “Let’s all disperse, and there’s absolutely no need to come back together.” And then life falls apart.
Today, those bridges that Modernity had created, those points of convergence that it assembled the system with, the architectural, political, spiritual, economic and legal framework that it kept the whole system together with, is falling apart. Falling to pieces!
The nation as a new kind of macrosocial community, which overcomes ethnic, religious, and other conflicts, is crumbling. Imperial peoples will stay alive for some time, but the nations are falling apart.
The right of all people, all nations, all of humanity to developed is ceasing to be. Because it is impossible with the existing pool of global resources to provide another three billion people with what Americans and Europeans are given.
But this is not the most important point! And not capitalist bourgeoisie with their market, who are also coming to a standstill. The most important thing is inconsolability.
Modernity voiced its main thesis: life is hopeless. You want to believe in something? Fine, that’s your own private business. But we (Modernity) are building everything on the basis of inconsolability. We all live and die here. Our fate is death!
The Russians ask (and now, the whole world with them, for this inconsolability managed to live for a century, but then everything stopped), “Why then? Why do we need all these riches if we are all going to die? Why do we need all this?”
The Russians, both Soviet and non-Soviet, have always sought consolation outside of the classical religions. Vladimir Vernadsky did this, as did Nikolay Fedorov in The Philosophy of Common Cause, as did Bogdanov, Lunacharsky and Krasin with their idea of god-building. They were all searching for these new forms of consolation. Supramodernity sees these new forms of consolation in a new science. A science that goes beyond the narrow borders of gnoseology. A science capable of creating a culture. This what the Russians dreamed of. All of them! Tsiolkovsky, Fedorov, Vernadsky…
This is what the Russians must bring to the 21st century. There is no hope otherwise. Inconsolability now ceases to work. This begs the conclusion: despite the catastrophic state that the Russians now find themselves in, they still have the potential to continue development outside the framework of Modernity. To develop beyond the catastrophe of Modernity, which has already begun. It began in 2008. What we see before ourselves is the evolving catastrophe of Modernity.
Other countries have no such opportunity. Yes, this is Russian exceptionalism! It does not trample on anyone. It saves everyone. It does not spit in anyone’s face. It stretches out its hands to everyone. But it exists. And until we perceive this uniqueness in its entirety, everything will be meaningless. Ilya Muromets will idle away his time and slowly die, because he does not want to live without it. Show it to yourselves, make sense of it, tell yourselves that it exists, and then something completely different can arise!
This is what we want to do within the framework of the initiative that we call Alternative Models of Development: to study Modernity, Postmodernity, Premodernity, Counter-modernity, all this together.
To understand where it all exhausts itself.
To develop a new agenda for humanity.
To develop Russian answers to this agenda.
Because all these answers can already be found within Russian culture, Russian thought, and Russian life. We must find them and further develop them. To find and further develop!
This is the main direction of the strategic war that we are to wage.
Source (for copy): https://eu.eot.su/2018/11/23/essence-of-time-chapter-15/
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.