Essence of Time. Chapter 22


(Links to previous Chapters are available here: Volume I, Volume II, and Chapter 21)

June 28, 2011.

In the late 1980s, I came to Baku as a member of an anti-crisis group, which I myself created to provide something to counteract the version of events that the democrats were promoting at the time. And also the dumb official version, which had nothing living in it – it was clear that it was created only to emphasize all the “brilliance”, all the “subtlety” and “truthfulness” of the false democratic version, or pseudoliberal, as we now call it.

To give you an example, the official media of that time used to drop pearls like: “Why are you two fraternal Christian nations ­– the Armenians and Azerbaijanis – at knives with each other?” Compared to this official position, everything that members of the democratic camp said seemed intelligent, nuanced, clear, truthful, and so on. While it was an absolute lie.

We came to counter these clever and insidious lies with something specific and not as elementary as what the official media was doing. In this sense, we have long been working to counter existing democratic myths. Back then, these myths were incredibly appealing. People swallowed them whole and were driven mad… People were running around with their eyes bulging and demanding the immediate overthrow of the nomenklatura so that the wonderful democrats and authors of these false myths could come to power and create a brighter future.

So I came to Baku where certain events were unfolding. They had nothing in common with the official media narrative or the democratic opposition’s propaganda.

What exactly was happening there?

For example, I can tell you with full responsibility that when Armenians were brutally murdered in Sumgait, those who tortured them and performed certain ritual actions on them were not Azerbaijanis, but people from outside, hired representatives of private international structures. We know these people by name. We know what organizations they belonged to then and what organizations they belong to now. These people were killing Armenians, enlisting the help of Azerbaijanis. Then they killed Azerbaijanis, enlisting the help of Armenians. Then the Azerbaijanis and Armenians were brought into confrontation; a controlled tension ensued, in which two well-educated nations, given their complicated shared history, got played like the African tribes.

We saw it all immediately. We saw everything that was behind it. The picture was terrifying. But the most terrifying thing was that these democratoid, liberoid myths that had nothing to do with what was really happening, were already being perceived as the ultimate truth, as something self-evident, as something absolutely correct. They were already dominating people’s consciousness. All of these viruses were already digging into people’s consciousness, and the crowds went running in the desired direction – towards their own demise, towards their own misery, towards their own ultimate wretchedness, and that is where they ended up.

At this point, we already understood what the real situation was, seeing it faсe to faсe, right down to specific individuals and organizations. At that time, we had the full opportunity to do this and to really comprehend everything, right down to the details. And there were people (you can even find them today, I assure you) who presented the details of this situation with unyielding and dry precision. I saw that what was happening had little to do with both the official and the democratoid version of the events. It was all so ruthless, so filled with contempt for the society I loved, that it was a very difficult psychological state.

And so, in this very difficult state, I met with one of Azerbaijan’s most brilliant analysts, with whom I had a long conversation. He himself was about to leave for Israel, following his brother. Both of them worshipped Stalin. In his office he had a portrait of Stalin hanging on the wall. He never went anywhere, he died in Azerbaijan. He was a renowned man with a brilliant biography, a naval officer and one of the best analysts in the Soviet Union.

And this man, suddenly believing in my sincerity and in my desire to really try to change something, put aside the standard skepticism that had already gripped the hearts of all those who were trying to defend the Soviet Union, those who understood that the Kremlin was full of traitors, and began to talk to me at length, day and night.

When I was leaving for Moscow – he had already suffered several heart attacks, was in very poor physical condition, and it was not clear whether we would see each other again – he wanted to relay something to Moscow, which he had believed in, loved, served, for which he had fought and which had behaved so madly, from his perspective, as well as mine, during this most infamous perestroika…

And he said to me: “Well, I don’t know why I believe anything, but you seem real, you seem like you’re not a hired puppet, you’re not a snitch; you seem to at least understand something… You seem to have a working brain. And you seem to have a sincere desire to change things. Well, someone sent you, right? Well, tell the people who sent you…”. Next, he paused, and it was obvious that he wanted to express everything that burned his heart and mind in one phrase. He himself did not know firmly what he was going to say. Then he uttered a phrase that will remain in my memory forever: “This is a ‘yum yum’ society that one wolf can slaughter.” He looked at me and said again, ” Do you get it? One wolf.”

The phrase has haunted me ever since, because the gist of it is that as long as society is a “yum yum” society, you can always find a wolf.

I saw that wolf many times. And very often he was not in sheep’s clothes. Sometimes he had bared fangs.

Practically the same people who massacred Sumgait and played up this bilateral Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict then did their work from the rooftops in Vilnius, shooting at the two sides of the political conflict that was unfolding at the time: the pro-Russian, pro-Moscow opposition and the anti-Moscow forces. It was their work.

They were the same cold people. They had nothing to do with the Russians in the Baltics or with the Baltic peoples, who wanted to expel the Russians. They stood above this conflict. They were specifically brought in by Mr. Sharp, the head of the Albert Einstein Institute, who was then a consultant to Landsbergis, in other words, to all this Lithuanian opposition. He then bragged about being Landsbergis’ consultant. He just hasn’t told yet (maybe he will at the end of his life) exactly how the snipers who he and his friends brought in acted in his movement of moral disobedience, in his soft – or, as we would say now,  “orange” – rebellion. Some of them were literally the same snipers who had “worked” in other regions, including the Caucasus. These were the same special groups, which used virtually the same methods. This is called a “managed conflict”.

This is a specific and well-defined technology.

Now I see the same technology being deployed here in Moscow. Shall I briefly describe how it looks?



Let me briefly describe what a managed conflict is.

There are two hostile forces – “The Montagues and the Capulets” as the manuals call them. It is believed that Shakespeare first described how this is done, although Shakespeare actually described something slightly different, but it always has the codename “The Montagues and the Capulets.”


Romeo and Juliet by Mikhail Vrubel, c.1896.


So there are two opposing forces – it doesn’t matter which ones. Two gangs, for example, that need to be played against each other. For example, the police want to pit them against each other for one reason or another. The gangs are in a state of enmity. And then a third force – which can be, again, the police, or some oil company, or a foreign intelligence agency, or private specialists hired by a foreign intelligence agency (which is most often the case, both in Sumgait and elsewhere) – kills a member of one of the gangs. This is done in such a way as to give the impression that it were members of the other gang who killed him. The gang whose member is killed gets stirred up, and then it is explained to that gang (or some African or Asian tribe, or a large nation) that its hero or its iconic figure was killed by the other gang, the other people, members of the other tribe, the other warring party. And that other murders will follow.

The gang mobilizes, mourns its dead, and starts preparing to fight.

Again, I emphasize that it can be a gang, a tribe, a nation – it doesn’t matter who. Preparations are made, curses are uttered against the enemy, the enemy is threatened, forces are mobilized to fight back. At this point, the third force quietly kills a representative of the neighboring gang (tribe, nation – whatever). And it does so to make it look like members of the other agitated gang, whose iconic leader was just killed, did it.

Is it clear what happens next?

The other gang becomes agitated and mobilized as well.

One more murder on the X side, then another one on the Y side. Finally, the conflict begins.

In this conflict, the forces destroy each other. The police do this very frequently, and then it really becomes gang vs. gang. Two tribes can start a long-term conflict where a pipeline is being constructed. Two peoples can, when pitted against each other, create a flashpoint. And that flashpoint can launch the process of tearing an entire region away from a country that can’t handle the pressure.

It happens in different ways. But it is always the same scheme – “Montagues vs. Capulets.” The experts know this scheme. It is described in detail. It was used repeatedly when the Soviet Union was falling apart. It is used all over the world. Volumes of both open memoirs (mainly by different secret service figures) and classified manuals have been written about it. All the specialists know very well how it happens.

Now that we are armed with an understanding of the “Montagues and Capulets” method (that is its code name, I will repeat it again), I propose we look at the Budanov story. Budanov is one of the iconic figures of the Russian anti-Chechen party, which irritates the Chechen party. Why is he an iconic figure for this Russian party? Because he has already suffered at the hands of the Chechens, and the Chechens had promised to finish him off. They have threatened him many times, they have cursed him. He really does irritate them! Managed conflicts are not created out of thin air. They look for a real irritant. And then they kill him, and in such a way that makes it look like the Chechens did it.

And now let’s look at what happened next. After all, Budanov was not just murdered, stirring up the Russian party, which buried its hero and cursed the Chechens. And immediately afterwards certain media outlets (whose rotten nature makes it clear what they want) began to spin a nonsense story about Chechen investigators sending out certain papers and looking for all the participants in the counter-terrorist operation in Chechnya. And as you can imagine, there are quite a lot of those participants, and they are fairly well consolidated, both in terms of opposing the Chechens and simply because they all participated in the operation. Just like there is the Afghan brotherhood, there is also the brotherhood of Russian servicemen who carried out the operation in Chechnya… And the Chechens are supposedly looking for all of them now, in order to locate them and start killing them.

Can you imagine how a force that is already agitated over Budanov’s murder begins to mobilize in response to such a media-generated message?

But that’s not all. After this message is created, and the participants in the counter-terrorist operation in Chechnya begin to mobilize in order to respond to those who want to find and kill them, it turns out that one veteran has already inadvertently (how do you like that word – “inadvertently”?) received a certain document. The document suggests that a Chechen investigator is looking for this veteran man in order to then punish him.

Nobody cares how reliable that document is. Does the person who received that kind of message from the Chechens really exist? Is that veteran real, does he really live in that town on that street? No one wants to check that.

This is typical for that kind of rumors. Since no one tries to debunk these rumors and no one tries to check the information, these rumors gain the status of the truth. “Indeed, they murdered Budanov, now they are going to murder each of us. Let’s unite and fight back.”

Then it grows like a snowball, or flares like a forest fire (that is more precise), it gains new details. They constantly pour gas to the fire.

Now let’s imagine the next phase.

The situation is already heated up, and then they kill another veteran. Allegedly it’s the Chechens again. Clearly, the temperature then increases by leaps and bounds. Next, the same third force imitates the murder of a Chechen by the Russian party. First of all, it’s not that hard to find a single representative who would agree to this. Secondly, it can be faked, as with Budanov. It’s not that important: did they instigate someone, or did they fake it? Most of the time, they fake it.

If it needs to be done professionally, they fake it. In case of Budanov they killed him so professionally, that it was obvious. And many other signs attest to this. And honestly, I just know that these were the actions of a third party. I know it down to the details.

Let us imagine that the process will keep developing in the same direction. You understand how hard the polar forces of these “Montagues” and “Capulets” can be pushed against each other in an already heated society, what kind of fire can start, and what exactly those who lit this fire will cook. They will cook their favorite dish – barbequed human flesh. In other words, severing another part from Russia – this time the North Caucasus. This will fit in perfectly with all the agitation around the Caucasus question.

The actions of the officials in this case will be sluggish, as they were sluggish in Sumgait and everywhere else, for many reasons. The bureaucracy, including the security forces, is in a rather demagnetized state. It is engaged not in national interests, but in its own clan quarrels. It also, so to speak, eyes all sorts of economic goodies and ponders “what the coming day has in store for us” in the political sense, and these are very serious reflections.

That means it is not doing its job. Even if it starts doing its job, it will do so only in a sluggish and formal way. At a certain point, it will become so compromised that even if it starts doing its job, it would be better if it didn’t… This already happened when Moscow tried to intervene in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict and became the object of universal hatred. Frankly speaking, the bureaucracy is already compromised to this very extent. And when this fire begins to flare up, no one but the citizenry can put it out.

How should they do it? How can civic forces deal with it? They should thoroughly investigate every situation, just as we investigated situations of a different kind in Kuzbass, and then provided the public with the details and our film “The Room”. In the same way we need to study the Budanov situation now. To study all of its aspects, the murder, the information campaign that followed the murder, the stages of conflict development. Who managed this conflict and how. It is necessary to look closely into the details of what happened, in order to see where we are dealing with obvious disinformation. And it is necessary to responsibly, calmly and convincingly acquaint the public with this, neutralizing what this third force has already done and what it will try to do in the coming months. We need to extinguish this fire by snatching the matches of destructive conflict from the hands of the arsonists.

Do the civic forces have the bravery, competency, steadfastness, and tact to do it the right way?

I ask those who are concerned about protecting our territorial integrity and have entered this first block of our project to think about this, as well as anyone else who can help us with both information and coverage, because, you will agree, this is a very serious matter. And this is just one element in a system that is being created, so that our country would no longer exist. To carry out perestroika-2.

The Anti-Caucasian sentiments, plus the Budanov story and all the other stories, plus everything that is happening now in the North Caucasus that no one cares about, despite it being quite monstrous, plus “de-Stalinization”, etc. It’s all too reminiscent of perestroika.

Budanov’s murder in Moscow is reminiscent of what happened in Sumgait and then in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. The handwriting is very similar. And it’s not just that the handwriting is similar. If it was only about similarity, then believe me, I would not be speculating on such a crucial moment. I have much more serious grounds for my assertion. And all of this evidence will be presented to the public. This is the essence of the civil alternative.

In examining the situation with Budanov I simply showed, using one element of what is happening, one component of the system being created, exactly what the scale of the challenge is. And if the challenges are such, then the question is what the scale of the answer should be. Not only in terms of how the people in their present state should respond, but also in terms of how the people can emerge from their present state into another, and to respond appropriately to what is happening in this new state. Having discussed the challenges in relation to the example of Budanov’s murder, I will now discuss the responses.



There is a humorous story in that regard… an anecdote or a parable. I told it once in 2008, when Vladimir Putin decided to become national leader of the United Russia party.

The bunnies in a forest started having a rough time… The wolves were eating them, they became plagued with diseases and viruses – it was impossible to live. So they decided that they had to do something. The wisest of the bunnies said, “Let’s send ambassadors from our tribe to the owl. The owl is wise, he can certainly tell us what to do.”

They chose the most clever and tactful bunnies to send to the owl as ambassadors. They came to him and said, “Owl, only you can save us. Please tell our tribe what to do, for the disaster is so enormous…”

The owl said, “I firmly know what you must do. You have to turn into hedgehogs, so the wolves wouldn’t touch you, the viruses wouldn’t attack you, there will be plenty of food for you in the forest, and everything else will be ideal.”

The bunnies were enthralled, and they ran to their brothers to tell them what must be done. They came back. The whole tribe of bunnies gathered together. The messengers said, “You know, the owl gave us a genius idea – we have to turn into hedgehogs.” Thundering applause. “Genius! Fantastic! Right! Yes, yes, we have to turn into hedgehogs!”

Then the oldest bunny said, “Wait a minute. Did the owl tell you how to do that? I understand how wise and profound the thought is. But did he tell you how to do that?”

“Well, he didn’t. We didn’t ask him. We were so excited…”

“Alright. Go back to him. Apologize and take another 10 minutes of his time. He will certainly tell you how to turn into hedgehogs.”

The same ambassadors came to the owl and asked, “Owl, sorry to bother you again. Everything you said found great support. We admire your wisdom. Just tell us one more thing – how can we turn into hedgehogs?”

The owl answered, “You know, I’m a strategist. And this is a purely tactical issue. I do not deal with things like that.”

One may think that my calls to stop being a “yum-yum” society, to change our character, etc. resemble the “prophetic” advice of the owl who told the bunnies to turn into hedgehogs without knowing how. But I believe that I know how. That unlike that owl, I am ready to address the tactical issues down to details.

Certain recommendations on this subject are offered not only in stories that attest to how a person, in critical situations, can fundamentally change himself, reprogram his behavior; how he really becomes transformed, how new capabilities awaken inside him, how he begins to behave differently. There are many books that describe techniques aimed at the process of awakening, both religious (for example, the Sufis or others) and secular psychological ones.

There is also literature, art, that can tell more than any manual. There is a well-known American movie “The Next Three Days”. The story is about an American school teacher, whose wife was arrested and sent to prison on false charges. The prison term is too long. She clearly won’t make it. She will either go insane, break down, or die. The teacher realizes that his love for his wife is boundless and that he cannot live without her. He has a little son…

The teacher realizes that he has no chance of proving his wife’s innocence. So he begins to plan his wife’s escape from a prison that no one has ever escaped from. It was considered impossible. He finds a man who, in exchange for money, tells him exactly what to do and how to behave. He soaks up this man’s recommendations and begins to implement them. He works out a detailed plan, but he understands that he has practically no chance. He also realizes that he is just a schoolteacher, that he will have brilliant police specialists working against him, who will trap him like a beast. And he won’t be able to resist them.

But every time he meets his wife, he realizes just how much he loves her and that he can’t live without her. He simply understands more and more precisely and distinctly how much he loves her. And with each new encounter, with each new surge of acuity and clarity of understanding that he can’t live without her, that he can’t lose her, he becomes a little different.

He works out the plan in great detail, ruthlessly, precisely. Suddenly he realizes that there is not much time left, that his wife will be transferred somewhere else, and that he is only halfway ready. And he makes this escape against the will of his wife, who is afraid at first, screaming that he has lost his mind. He pulls her along and passes through all the traps laid by very experienced policemen. He finds the strength to fool all these police officers. He is incredibly accurate, like James Bond. A schoolteacher, he doesn’t know any of this, but he suddenly becomes James Bond. And, like James Bond, he fools all the cops who are chasing him. When the chief of police finally realizes exactly who has tricked them and how, he implodes. He wants there to be someone behind this schoolteacher – some powerful force or God himself. Anyone at all… He can’t stand the idea of being beaten by an ordinary schoolteacher with no professional skills whatsoever.

This happens quite often. There are mothers who, upon realizing the degree to which their child is ill and how much they love him, work miracles. And, among other things, they become brilliant specialists. I have seen such mothers more than once. The transformative power of love and one’s ability to face with open eyes the endless horror of what is happening determines everything. To open your eyes in time, to see all this horror and obscenity at its infinity. This is called “standing on the edge of the abyss.” If there is love in that moment, everything else will follow. Therefore, it isn’t really a secret how bunnies turn into hedgehogs.

In this regard, there are many different kinds of recommendations that can be found in openly available literature, including in song folklore. I am not a big fan of the band Nautilus Pompilius, but I often recall one of their songs:


The apostle Andrew was fishing the pier,

And the Savior was walking the sea.

Just as Andrew was catching small fish with his net,

So, the Savior was fishing the dead.

Andrew’s voice was sincere: “I’m leaving this pier!

If you don’t share this secret with me!” (About turning bunnies into hedgehogs – SK)

But the Savior replied: “My dear Andrew, I swear

There was never a secret concealed.”


“Look, you see on the hill –

There is a towering cross,

A dozen of soldiers in black;

You should try to hang on.

And when you suffer the loss –

You are free to come back,

To walk on the sea,

To walk on the sea,

To walk on the sea with me.”


There are many people who want to see secrets behind everything. How is it possible, that there is no secret? There must be a secret for sure… we shall not lift a finger until we find it!

It is never clear, though, whether people really believe there is a secret behind any story like this, including the one described with clever irony in the Nautilus Pompilius song. There are books that talk about the secrets behind situations like this, like Holy Blood, Holy Grail and the like. Plenty of conspiracy crap exists on this topic.

Do those people who look for secrets really believe that there is a secret behind every historic accomplishment: the Germans and the British behind Lenin, the freemasons behind Napoleon? That everyone is appointed by someone? That this is life? Do they really believe in that, or are they just trying to find an excuse for their inaction? Because people keep thinking: if I am a small man, if there are no great powers behind me, then what can I do? Nothing. And anyone who tries to convince me that I can do something, acts on behalf of some hidden powers. They always wave their hands and talk, but at an opportune time, they will take everything and dump it down the drain.

The harm of this very popular worldview (and it is a very popular worldview: conspiracy theories are immensely popular now) is that it is almost right. And again, as in those situations I described to you, there was a dumb official version and a false version that seemed convincing. Now, just as in the cases I mentioned before, the problem in this case is that the conspiracy version is countered by the official version, which says there are no conspiracies at all, that everyone who talks about them is a paranoid idiot.

There is a joke in regards to this.

There is a herd of cows. One cow says to another:

“You know, I have some strange suspicions. It seems to me that people eat us. First they milk us, and then, when there is no milk anymore, they kill us for meat”. The other cow replies, “Listen, shut up, and don’t you even dare to talk to anyone about this. It is a conspiracy theory! They will laugh at you.”

I remember more recent texts, which rightfully state that everything that does not conform to the official version of American propaganda is now called a conspiracy theory. American propaganda, and propaganda in general, is so obtuse that people are drawn to conspiracy theories. They are drawn to them because they have more truth. They really are more truthful. There is a vast number of conspiracies in the world and a vast number of forces that manipulate a great many things. All of this together is called “the elite game.” Or elite games.

There is plenty of this in the world. And when people understand this, they begin to believe in conspiracy theories. But the difference between truth and conspiracy theory is that, despite there being plenty of conspiracies, it doesn’t just come down to them. The conspiracy theories say it does.

As soon as you fall into this trap, thinking that there are only conspiracies, there is no way for you to turn from a bunny into hedgehog. There is no alternative to the “yum-yum” that doomed the country once and is going to do it again. You will never become an alternative to what Bertolt Brecht wrote about:


Following the drum 

The calves trot

The skin for the drum

They deliver themselves.


You must become this alternative. Do you understand why the conspiracy theory hinders this? It exaggerates things a little bit, distorts things a little bit, but in any case is much more plausible than the stupid official version, be it American, global, our domestic. The conspiracy theory has more truth to it, but the more poisonous the lies. And we need to discuss this question from a theoretical point of view – what are we talking about here?

It is about two categories: History and the Game. That elite game, the oversimplified and profane study of which is often called the conspiracy theory. The conspiracy theory doesn’t lie directly – it exaggerates, distorts, simplifies, and pulls you into its trap. Not only is it an intellectual trap – you lose track, the real track of the unfolding events. Instead, the other track leads you into a false direction. It is also a moral and an existential trap. This is the game.

Does the elite game, of which the conspiracy theory is a distorted and bastardized description, exist? Yes, it does. It exists, and it is of great importance. But, apart from it, there is history. And the hero of history is the common man, the man of the people, who suddenly stops being a “yum-yum” creature. Who transforms himself in desperate situations from a bunny into a hedgehog. Who opens his eyes, stands on the edge of the abyss, feels infinite love for what they want to take away from him, and triumphs along with others.

This is History. History is when a new great dream, a new great ideal, ignites a large number of people who begin to embody it and propel humanity forward. Once this movement begins, anything and everything sticks to this movement, and above all, this very elite game. But as long as the great fire of History burns, the game cannot dominate. It can adjust itself, bask in the fire, roast its stinking barbecue on it, sneer, and even burn great people in the fire. But it cannot definitively put a yoke on humanity, turning it into obedient cattle, into that “yum yum” forever. This is the essence of History.


The legend of Danko (a fragment) by Irakli Toidze


Sometimes the fire becomes cold. The last time it seriously flamed up during the Great October Socialist Revolution, when the Russians and all the other peoples of the Russian Empire really ignited and moved humanity forward.

Sometimes to extinguish this fire, an alternative is used. “Spring is red,” they sing, but there is also the “black spring.” Fascism was this black spring, with which they wanted to extinguish the fire forever. But it turned out that you can’t put out the fire with fascism, at least not on our territory. And then they invented something else: this very “yum-yumming,” this consumerism with its cheap temptations, philistinism, atomization, the war of all against all – all these dishes were offered in the form of great happiness. We were tempted by it, and now we are reaping the fruits.

Does that mean that history has reached its final end? Twenty years ago, the well-known American political scientist and philosopher Francis Fukuyama wrote a book called The End of History and the Last Man. It didn’t have any outstanding content, but it attracted all those people who wanted the end of history. Because the end of History is the beginning of the Game.

Hermann Hesse wrote a novel titled The Glass Bead Game. When History ends, the Game starts, the elite game. And there is nothing but this game. Up until recently it seemed that the game would be the end all be all, because the people had fallen asleep and became “yum-yum” to the core. But that was an illusion.

A terrible blow was dealt to the people’s Ideal, to their inner history, something that Miguel de Unamuno called intrahistoria, to the cultural core, that Mr. Rakitov, one of the Yeltsin’s advisers, and everyone who stood behind him, wanted to smash. That terrible blow failed to destroy our people completely.

Certain criminal acts have been committed, certain damage is evident, sometimes very deep, but complete destruction was not achieved. This causes terrible rage. Therefore, a new wave of hatred rises and a new desire to destroy everything definitively.

The conspiracy theory is a terrible trap, according to which nothing but the game exists. So there is no common man as the hero of history. There is no chance for him to become anything but “yum-yum.” He just doesn’t exist. And it’s enough to indoctrinate him that he doesn’t exist, not at all…

In my theater there was once a play called “Education According to Dr. Spock” (based on the work with the same title by Vasily Belov). The hero of the play was always told: “Have more humor, old man, calm down,” – be a bunny. Gradually he becomes a drunkard and wants to laugh at every occasion. At one point, this man’s early life comes to mind. He was a boy in an orphanage trying to get some kind of paperwork for himself at some agency… There was a dreadful woman in front of him; he was crying, asking for his documents, and the woman was looking through some drawers, then she turned around like Baba-Yaga and said to him, “You’re nowhere to be found.”

And he somehow remembers that he’s nowhere to be found. They indoctrinate him: “You are small, and you will never be different. You are a bunny, and you will never be a hedgehog, you are ‘yum-yum’ and this is forever. There cannot be anything else.”

Unfortunately, we have to admit that the challenges facing our country are so grand, and they want to destroy it completely with such a strong desire, that there is no other way, but to technically define the transformation from bunnies to hedgehogs, from “yum-yum” into something different. This process has to be defined. We cannot be like that owl and say, “I’m a strategist. And this is a purely tactical issue. I do not deal with that.” No, no, and no! The tactics are the only important thing here. Saying how to do that is more important than just stating that it needs to be done. But this statement is also important.

The technology lies in suddenly understanding that this has no alternatives. That it needs to be done. That it is your path, your destiny, and it is good.

After we started our political struggle against dangerous adversaries with large scale political goals, people from certain technologically dirty political structures started visiting our website. It is clear who those people were.

In particular, they often say, “Who is behind Kurginyan, whose project is he?” And so on. Conspiracy… What kind of conspiracy is it? What kind of powers and mighty structures? “You understand, after all, that it cannot be any other way”. They discuss it in regards to the “Judgment of Time” historical debate show.

So, the “Judgment of Time” program was conceived by certain, rather prominent, television journalists, who offered me a format that, had it been adopted, would not have been conducive to any discussion. It would have been just another gag and nothing more. I resisted, and the journalists were smart enough to engage in dialogue. They themselves were highly professional, and they could offer something new. As a result, in the course of this dialogue, a qualitatively different program was born. A different structure and new series emerged, and we changed the line-up of participants. That is why it is ridiculous and disgusting to hear that it was “invented and conjured up”. My colleagues, who took part in all this and transformed this show from one format to another, certainly know this.

Next, we had to endure it all. I had to make sure that the people around me mastered a practically new profession – debating key specific historical questions. I had to endure it myself and so on. We had to do something.

Start doing something. Specifically. Step by step. And gradually the bunny will turn into the hedgehog. If, of course, these actions amount to a total sacrifice on the altar of a great cause. Then these transformations will happen. And when they happen and you begin to succeed in something, then the vulgar idiots will argue about what forces are behind you and how these forces are affiliated with something.

What is the first step on this path? Rejecting the forms of life that inevitably turn you into “yum-yum,” that suck you in like a swamp, that draw you into a whirlpool. You feel that if you live like that for a couple more years, then you won’t even want to go anywhere. Then you’ll tell everyone, “So what if I’m a bunny? The bunny is the best creature in the world. Well, if they eat me, then so be it. No need to scare me. It’s all fearmongering. Making business from disaster. We’ll all die sooner or later. I’ll have a good run and wag my tail.”

Every person has a stage in life when he has not yet been sucked in. When he understands that he can still go from a bunny to a hedgehog, when he understands that he can escape the “yum-yum,” that he can start his, as they say in Islam, jihad (they say that the external jihad, the jihad of the sword, is a small jihad, which is only part of the great jihad – the jihad of the spirit). A person is still ready for this. He still understands that there is something inside him that needs to be realized, and the renunciation of which is surrender. That after surrender there will be no life. There will be no happiness. There will be pleasure. But these are different things.

Happiness is one thing. The great joy that exists when you move toward your own ideal is one thing. But pleasure is something else. When that joy, that happiness, is lost, people start picking the flowers of pleasure, get confused, especially if they are destined for something greater. And finally they will go mad, they will look at others and say that they are all someone’s project, that someone is behind them. Gloating, spitting, and giggling. Dostoevsky described it very well in Notes from the Underground, in Bobok, and in other works. Read what happens to those who first betray themselves, and then look at others and snicker. A pathetic and shameful role.

I had this kind of fork in my life myself, when I was the director of an amateur theater, and I was about to graduate from the Moscow Geological Prospecting Institute. It was clear to me how my life would unfold: how I’ll defend my dissertation, and what would happen to me next… It was clear to me that the people next to me would also go their own way, shaped by the chosen constants of their professions… One day after one of the performances we went to the park. My friends laid down on the grass, and I sat on a bench next to them. And suddenly with blinding clarity I saw exactly what these friends would turn into in 10 years, and what I myself would turn into.

This “yum-yum” became clear to me all of a sudden, immediately. I was deeply disgusted, and then something else was revealed to me quite quickly: how this amateur theater neglected everything related to work and creativity, sacrificed for the sake of parties and the pleasures of life. When this was revealed to me, I disbanded my amateur theater. And to those who were ready to follow me, I offered to create something else, something unthinkable in Moscow at the time – a paratheater, a professional one, which would also have an influence on ideology. The chances of that were exactly 0.0% or even 0.00, or even probably 0.000.

But there were a few people who believed in this, who went all the way. They are with me now. There are four of them. That was at the end of the 1970s. If I am someone’s project, I am the project of these people, as well as my teachers, my parents, and the audience that came to my theater in search of meaning, in search of truth, in search of a desire not to be “yum-yum”. Without all that, there would be nothing. This is what microhistory is all about.

Each of you has probably experienced such situations and knows them firsthand. It is just very important to comprehend them now. The key events, this kind of key drama in your life. Yourself.

Plenty of people wanted to warm their hands on the waves of this success, to play their own game… Where are these people? As Kipling’s hero said:


They copied all they could follow,

But they couldn’t copy my mind,

So I left them sweating and stealing

A year and a half behind.


Any history is composed of microhistories. We cannot let the great fire to go out, the fire that Afanasy Fet so ingeniously described:


I pity not for life with languid breathing,

What’s life and death?

I’m sorry for that fire

That shone its light to the entire world,

And leaves to the night, and cries as it departs.”


The fire must not cry as it departs. This is the main goal for humanity: not to become “yum-yum” completely. To keep the players from dividing humanity into sub-species. To keep these elite bastards from establishing a world order, compared to which the “Grand Inquisitor” project described by Dostoevsky in his novel The Brothers Karamazov (where Ivan Karamazov tells about this to his brother Aleksey) and Hitler’s project would both look like humanist sketches compared to what they want to fashion.

We cannot let this happen.

We have a huge role to play here. And most importantly, it is the Russians who will be the first to be destroyed, pulverized, turned into slaves, into slime, into the inhabitants of hell. It will start here. This is the main bridgehead. Here they will try to accomplish this final destruction of Man. From this point the process will begin to unfold across the globe. I could tell you a lot about what this point really is, and not only in geopolitical terms, but also in metaphysical and historiosophic terms. But I would like to talk about this a little later. In the next series of programs.

Two things are important here: the challenges and the responses. The challenges are absolutely specific. But people don’t want to understand this, and when you point this out to them, they get offended. The nationalists are offended: how can you talk to our leaders like that… But how are we supposed to talk now, guys? Why are you offended? No need to be offended. The situation is too serious.

Let’s discuss how they go about disintegrating any large countries.

Heliocentric model of the Solar System in Copernicus’ manuscript

Here we have a state called an empire. It has to be specified what kind of empire it is. Because the British Empire was built on the principle of the island and its colonies. But empires such as the Austro-Hungarian, or Ottoman, or Russian, or Soviet, or Chinese, or even Indian (no matter what India says about itself, it is also an empire) – such empires are built according to another principle. They always share a common life: there is a compromise of very many tribes, peoples, or ethnic groups. Let’s not delve into what exactly these monads are called, from which the larger whole is assembled.

Here is the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was built a certain way. Or the Ottoman, or the Russian. What are the main features of such a state structure? They always have a kind of core, a binding people. And a periphery with peoples who are integrated, like planets, into its orbit.

It always resembles a planetary system with a certain sun. The Ottoman Empire is an empire with a Turkish core. Incidentally, the Arabs and many others have very much disputed this. The Russian Empire is an empire with a Russian core. Or the Austro-Hungarian Empire is an empire, by and large, with a German core, an Austrian core. It was called Austro-Hungarian: it was gradually built on a compromise between Austria and Hungary.

The core and the peripheries (or periphery) have a complex relationship, more or less harmonious, more or less equal. Yes, we are talking about unity and about some kind of rights that the constituents are endowed with. And there is always some kind of sun that warms this world, and there are planets… Life goes on.

What do you need in order to destroy a state like that? And what is constantly examined in theories related to such destruction?

First, you have to ignite the separatism of the provinces. It doesn’t matter – Caucasian, Asian, Ukrainian, Baltic… But if you only set fire to the outskirts, if you start to set fire to the edges of this empire, if you start provoke a revolt of the smaller peoples (you can awaken the feeling that they are under the yoke of the larger people), then this is not enough, because the larger people – the core – will suppress such separatism of the outskirts and will not let the empire fall apart. It is imperative to infect the core with a virus.

What is a virus? A virus is a body that deceives the immune system. It says to the guard standing at the gate of this immunity, “Come on, I’m not the enemy, I am your own boy, I am real.” And the gatekeeper lets the virus into the nucleus. After that, the virus does whatever it wants with the nucleus.

It is necessary to set fire to the core at the same time as you set fire to the outskirts (take the Chechen example): inject a virus into the core, make the core execute a program that encourages disintegration. This is the kind of virus of shrinking nationalism, pseudo-nationalism, controlled nationalism, which is invaluable to the enemy. And the enemy has been working for centuries to create such viruses.

When you tell viruses that they are viruses, they become offended. It is that simple: all you have to do is pass a test to prove you’re not a virus.

One can be indignant today about the inequitable status of Russians in the micro-empire that is the Russian Federation. One can and should be indignant about this. Yes, in many ways the Russians are a very, very frustrated people and have every reason to complain. Are we saying that the people who complain are scoundrels and infringe on ethnic equality? No, we are not saying that.

The line between righteous indignation (sometimes very radical and sometimes restrained) and the virus runs in a completely different place.

From the moment our nationalists begin to demand the disintegration of Russia or the separation of its outskirts, they become a virus. A virus that is very fashionable in the current situation. After all, what are these nationalists saying, what are they talking about? They say that the situation is very destructive. We too say that it is destructive. We discuss regress in every program. Archaization gives rise to the desire of all the tribes, all the elements of the system to separate.

A system is a set of elements linked together by a goal and internal ties. The presence of ties and goals makes a system something more than the sum of its individual elements. To destroy a system, one must sever the ties and dismantle the goal. This is exactly how the USSR was destroyed. The goal was building communism, the communist ideology. It all must be smeared! The ties must be cut with the help of the games I described: the Sumgait games, or now the Chechen-Moscow games. After that the system falls apart. The enemy triumphs.

So the virus is pseudo-nationalism, which dreams of Russia’s dismemberment through the secession of one or another of its regions. Consenting to this secession, asserting that this secession is a good thing.

Or (and this is a more complex virus, more powerful and harmful) it also seeks the internal disintegration of the Russian people as the binding people, the division of the very core into sub-ethnic pieces: Far Eastern, Siberian, Ural, Volga, South Russian, etc. Then it is no longer a question of just pruning Russia again, which is already impossible, but of turning it into dust. National and territorial separation according to the sub-ethnic principle (and this is exactly what the shrinkers are talking about) is a monstrous provocation. Because this means that they are arranging a conflict not even between the Russians and other ethnic groups that make up the system, but between sub-ethnic groups.

Do you understand that this is all for the slaughter? Everyone I address should know that in order to turn from bunnies into hedgehogs, you also need to use your brain, you need to understand what exactly is happening, what exactly is being proposed.

So how is it with understanding? Does anyone think it is possible to separate the North Caucasus, as Belkovsky claims? Time after time he screams that this is the only thing that needs to be done. And everything else will remain the same? What, there won’t be a resulting fire along the Volga? What, that the whole great Islamic sea won’t come pouring in through this floodgate, which the Caucasus have always been? Will they not help it grow further? We’ve already been through this: we already made concessions in Khasavyurt, and after that we were faced with the resultant raids and the idea of the entire North Caucasus breaking away. And then the necessary subversive forces were already waiting in Astrakhan and other places to spread this fire to the Volga. Game over.

We are one step away from this. The special events that I have described are already taking place, one set of demolitionists is already being packed into one cohort, and another set into another cohort. And in the midst of all this we’re going to look at what’s happening and pat everyone on the back, not offend anyone, communicate with everyone as delicately as possible? And why do we need this sensitivity? In order for the “yum-yums” to be elegantly slaughtered?

We turn to people, we say, “Open your eyes. Look at what’s going on. There is a very powerful tendency rooted in the failures of the current situation, in this very regress, in gangsterization, in many other things. There is a very powerful tendency toward the separation of the North Caucasus. But this is a suicidal tendency, which some people have saddled because they want to ride these fashionable, so to speak, promising tendencies; they want that murky energy, regardless of where it drags them. And others are doing it deliberately, coldly, in order to finally finish off the country. And they’re not even hiding it anymore, they talk about everything openly, because they think everyone is “yum-yum.”

At the first moment, when people at least open their eyes… “To the impenetrable horror of life, open quick, open your eyes…” In the first moment, when they really open their eyes, they will begin to escape the “yum-yum” state. As soon as this escape begins, the “non-yum” will begin to unite and attract to itself more and more others, those that have not yet escaped the “yum-yum” (in whom the human content still remains, for it remains in everyone). The more the so-called little man realizes that he is the creator of history and understands that it is hard work to create it, that it requires an escape from the “yum-yum,” but that it is possible, the more people will really begin to rise up to fight for their country.

When will he truly rise to the challenge? He will rise only by escaping this “yum-yum” state, and everyone has to begin this escape with himself. Do you think you’re already out, you’re already on the path of struggle, you’ve already decided that here it is, the fork, and at this fork you will take the difficult path, the path of endless sacrifice, the path of endless, unbelievable hard work?

Yes, we created our theater when it was impossible to create it in Moscow, and we turned it into a professional theater when it was practically impossible to do so. But people’s lives and incredible labor were put on this altar; in this process people gave up everything that young life has to offer. For the sake of this joy, this happiness, they gave up pleasures.

The next step happens only after people make that change.

Only once you restore in your soul the love for what they want to take away from you (and this requires diving into your own history, into the meaning, into the meaning of your historical destiny), will another step happen, because you will then find yourself above the abyss of loss, but you will be armed in this moment with love. And then your transformation will begin. Only when you start on the path of a real cause, when you begin to unite with others, when you believe that you can bring this cause to completion, will you finally transform from a “yum-yum” into something else, from a bunny into a hedgehog.

It’s possible, it happens often. It’s a technology. The position of the owl is disgusting. The point is not to tell everyone, “We have to do this,” without saying how. The point is to discuss this “how” down to the details, to understand that this “how” is the answer. And that this is the response to the terrible challenges.

Imagine that as a society, as a people, we fail to respond to the challenge presented by the Budanov case and everything that followed. Think about the flames that will ignite and the ensuing the situation. And there will be a great many of these challenges. Everything is already prepared.

Everything has been prepared.

Both official helplessnesses and anti-official duplicity have been prepared. And the task now is not to counter something with an “anti.” This is just what they want. There is globalism and anti-globalism. The globalists find anti-globalism very desirable because, it is essentially a two-handed game. These anti-globalists only emphasize the lack of an alternative to globalism with their frenzies.

But then there is alterglobalism. It is not for no reason that we keep talking about everything alternative, right down to an alternative State. Alterglobalism exists, and they fear it most of all. Right now, they’ re not afraid of an anti-Seliger, but of an alternative Seliger [referring to the pro-Putin pro-United Russia team-building youth camp that the Russian government organized in 2005-2014, which promised to be a forum to search for new ideas, but turned into a commercial project – translator’s note]. The alternative is not “anti.” The alternative is much stronger and much deeper.

It would have been easy for me to join the pseudoliberals in the late ’80s in cursing the Communist Party and going from triumph to triumph, turning into yet another fruit-reaping oligarch. But I rejected it all in disgust, because I understood that this was my test. That all you had to do was yield to this temptation, and you would be just another kind of “yum-yum” – fat, self-righteous, stupid, pleasure-loving, and empty. And at night you would long for the fact that you had other opportunities, that there is only one life, and that happiness was lost in exchange for these stinking pleasures…

The rejection of such temptations is the test now facing the so-called nationalists. These are very different people, many of whom we gladly extend our hands to. And towards many of whom, as long as it is a matter of defending the integrity of the country, we dismiss even the deepest disagreements.

But there are also viruses, and what exactly these viruses do is clear. And we know how they work. And we know their history. It has always been there. Understand! Carefully read not the stinking conspiracy theory, but history! And you will see it. You will see how the Turks were exhorted against the Ottoman Empire.

How exactly Anatolia rose against it. How the Turkic factor was used to destroy the empire along with the Arab or Syrian factors. You will see how at the same time with the Polish revolts or rebellions in the Caucasus, they tried to foment something in Russia. How they raised a toast “for our and your freedom.” You will see how contradictions were sown between the Han and Manchus in China. You will see what happened in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. And you will see what was going on in the USSR, when, after all, the binding people were seduced into saying, “Why doesn’t the RSFSR secede from the USSR?” Valentin Rasputin [Yeltsin’s advisor – translator’s note] said this, and many others picked up on it. Even now, they feel no remorse for this, but admire their behavior at the time, while calling themselves nationalists. We have 26.5 million missing Russians! They caused this very demographic “Russian cross” when due to an excess of early deaths and the collapse of the birth rate the population fell by almost 15%. That’s what they did, they destroyed their own science, destroyed their own culture, and they rejoice, they are proud. That too exists. We did not invent it. It’s right there.

But this is not the end. If we allow another round of the same thing to happen, if one more time the virus ends up in the nucleus, then we will lose even the lamentable, burdensome, wrong existence in which we now find ourselves. And no one praises that existence.

The authorities are always to blame for their country’s disintegration. Authorities that have failed to reverse the regress. Authorities that bathe themselves in hedonism at a time when asceticism and determination are needed to truly lead the country out of its monstrous state. Authorities that see neither internal nor external threats. They are to blame for the emergence of these tendencies.

What then? Are we going to further exacerbate these trends or overcome them? Are we going to think about what is happening to us and to other peoples, how these peoples are being thrown into disaster with the help of more or less the same technology, and try to overcome the disaster? Or will we swim in the stream of events, moving toward that catastrophe? Of course, it’s more convenient and easier. But it’s shameful, it’s disgusting! And it is absolutely fatal.

In this series of programs, we will constantly discuss the challenges, we will make sense of these challenges. And we will discuss the responses to them. Because we are convinced that with the help of the specific steps that we intend to take and are already taking, we must lead society out of the “yum-yum” state. Those who have escaped it must unite and lead the others. This must be done step by step. This is the hardest and most necessary kind of political work.

Senkevich’s novel Flood describes a situation, when the whole Polish nation fell into that “yum-yum” state. And the Swedes were doing whatever they wanted to them. But all of a sudden, a bell rang in Czestochowa. The Jasna Gora monastery in Czestochowa started to resist. Other Polish people started to come to that monastery, throwing off this darkness of “yum-yum”. One group, and then another. A huge national movement began, and it overcame that situation.

So the time is coming for our bell. And we need to make it happen as soon as possible.


The Defence of Jasna Góra (1655) by January Suchodolski, 1845.


Source (for copy):

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

Sergey Kurginyan

Experimental Creative Centre International Public Foundation

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

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

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

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

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

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