On collective responsibility: human rights arise by the will of peoples and nothing else

Analytics
On collective responsibility: human rights arise by the will of peoples and nothing else
On collective responsibility: human rights arise by the will of peoples and nothing else
20 September, 15:46Photo: Соцсети
To repent or not to repent, to be responsible or not to be responsible for what is happening in connection with one's belonging to a given sociality is not a question of right, not of human rights, but of some kind of volitional act in the national culture.

Sergei Mitroshin

Tensions in the world, certain poorly thought-out catastrophic decisions of the national elites, gave rise to the concept of "collective guilt", from which ordinary Russians began to suffer to a greater extent, who felt on themselves (as they say, on their own skin), various international limitation.

The general cry of indignation here is this: “What do we have to do with it? How can we be responsible for something that we cannot influence in any way?

It should not be too surprising that this concept was immediately attacked by them from the side of “human rights”, which, as it seems, began to seem to many Russians now as some kind of objective civilizational enduring value, lowered from above at the beginning of the centuries either by the only God, or by Moses, or King Ashoka.

“There is no collective guilt,” the new “human rights activists” began to say, “this is a burp of totalitarianism, everyone is responsible for his own actions. As for human rights, they arise from birth, and not by the will of EU officials, and cannot be alienated in any way.”

Obviously, however, this is not true.

In fact, no God has given us human rights from above. On the contrary, the biblical Flood was, rather, the most vulgar realization of collective guilt. The same is true of later Christianity, constructed from the strange idea of overcoming original sin (the sin of all those born, which in our modern worldview would not be a sin in any way, since it was a sin of knowledge), - apparently, Christianity also divided the responsibility into everyone.

Moses did not say anything in the key commandments about the protection of an individual from the arbitrariness of social (well, then, probably, tribal, tribal) corporations. Although the closest to human rights was still the Indian emperor Ashoka (c. 268-223 BC).

But he, “shocked by the suffering that his army inflicted on the rebellious city, tirelessly preached compassion and tolerance, but he could not dissolve the army. After all, no nation can survive without soldiers” ( Karen Armstrong, Fields of Blood ).

In fact, “human rights” are very young, because less than 200 years ago serfdom still existed in Russia, and slavery in America. Even the excellent revolutions and reforms, these social vices then repeatedly returned. Either in the form of collective farms or nostalgic reflections of the Chairman of the Constitutional Court Valery Zorkin about serfdom as a national bond. That is in the myth of the humanity of the southern planters, who, in a family way, protected their simple-hearted slaves from the cynicism of the capitalism of the North.

It would seem that human rights in Russia should have started their real countdown from the August 1991 revolution. But in the Russian legal tradition, they were conditioned by such a set of restrictions and reservations that their legal value in practice approached zero. Even after the democratic revolution, human rights operated only as long as they did not conflict with the interests of the bureaucratic state. Of course, there was no talk of any transcendental objectification.

As for the concept of collective responsibility, it was fully manifested in the USSR, and even then “collective guilt” was not perceived as something surprising and contrary to something. For example, I remember questionnaires, the obligatory item of which would be the question of whether a person (filling out questionnaires or his next of kin) was in the occupation ... It’s something to me, I couldn’t be in the occupation by age, but the hero of the USSR Yuri Gagarin had to lie in his questionnaire and hide the fact that he and his family lived under the Germans, and his father was even a miller, that is, as if he worked for the invaders.

The collapse of communism in the USSR illuminated the problem of collective responsibility in a new way from the best side, and the start of Perestroika was given by the film "Repentance" by Tengiz Abuladze, in which the idea of changes through the repentance of all, and not just the direct defendants in Stalin's crimes, was unambiguously carried out. An article on the director's death in 2004 ended with the following words:

“The providence of Abuladze is confirmed by the years that have passed since the release of the film. Neither in the Soviet, nor in the post-Soviet times, people brought up by the diabolical system, which gnawed their souls to the bone, are incapable of repentance. The same Aravidzes have changed the obkom and KGB offices to the governor's and the Kremlin's palaces, in the same way they crush under themselves and try to destroy everything that breathes freedom, decency and independence, they also bathe in luxury, while their people live on their miserable kitchens. The light is not visible. And it will not be seen as long as power remains in the hands of the Arabidz-like fosterlings of the Soviet system.” ( Inna Solomonik, Novaya Gazeta*, 01/29/2004 )

Obviously, in "Repentance" collective responsibility (for one's history, the past) was seen as a life-giving blessing. As well as the repentance of all Germans, and not just members of the SS, which made it possible to turn modern Germany into a democratic "calm" state. Although, to be honest, at that time they began to say: “We didn’t shoot in the basements, why should we repent?” Or: “We repented - that's it! Don't always beat your forehead on the floor. We live on.”

Of course, the "Russians" have the right to be indignant, and offended, and to resist that repentance is being imposed on them from the outside. But this happens only because the issue is not resolved internally. To repent or not to repent, to be responsible or not to be responsible for what is happening in connection with one's belonging to a given sociality is not a question of right, not of human rights, but of some kind of volitional act in the national culture. The problem is that this will has not yet been manifested in any way.

“Collective responsibility and collective guilt exist and have always existed,” the Polish political scientist Lukasz Adamski answers in an interview in the Respublika magazine (acting as a foreign agent - ed.), “You can even recall the Bible and original sin. This is not at all contrary to human rights. And I ask you not to confuse it with criminal liability. No one is suggesting that Russian citizens be subjected to criminal liability, put in jail, and so on. But besides it, there is also political and moral responsibility. Every citizen of Russia is to some extent responsible for the actions of his state.

The publicist Sergei Shelin echoes him in a peculiar way: “... maybe there is no need to complicate it. A person may well say: I am not a participant in this collective responsibility. It doesn't even matter why. but that is tantamount to saying: I am not one of you. I never said "we" about Russia. or: I used to be one of you, I used to say "we" about Russia, but now I've stopped, and I won't say "we" anymore. I think every public person has the right to say so if he wants to. But there is a corollary to this. Whoever has made such a choice deprives himself of the moral right to further participation in Russian public affairs. At least in the form of advice on what to do now. he's already retired. And if he decides to join again, then when everything goes wrong again, he will again say: I have nothing to do with it, I’m not responsible for anything, I just live in the neighborhood. I am not sure that public intellectuals who “do not take responsibility” are aware of the moral consequences of this non-taking and are ready to bear them.

It is difficult to agree with Shelin that “not talking about us” strikes a person out of the forum. In fact, I can talk about Russia even from Mars with any degree of distancing, but there is a certain justice in the fact that human rights arise by the will of peoples and nothing else, and you have to be an adult people, a nation, in order to have them.

A nation that SHOULD take responsibility for its future.

*recognized as a foreign agent in the Russian Federation

Found a typo in the text? Select it and press ctrl + enter