Victoria Faybyshenko, Philosopher, culturologist. Senior Lecturer at St. Philaret Orthodox Christian Institute
The main message with which the stronghold of traditional values addresses a variety of people is one: “You do not exist”.
Almost all legislative initiatives of the last six months have the same structure: for various reasons, they prohibit people from using speech. Why, it is clear. The fighters against hostile propaganda in their souls are the most radical social constructivists-solipsists and do not believe in the existence of at least some kind of reality apart from propaganda.
Meanwhile, in the human community, facts really exist in an inseparable unity with speech actions, in the field of which they show themselves, hide themselves, are defined and redefined, etc. But only a propagandist can call this total situation "propaganda".
What happens when a fact completely sticks together with a single correct description and correct assessment? The very existence of a fact becomes fatal, no transformation and rethinking is possible, a specific situation turns into a given world dish/harmony from the ages, the only temporal perspective is the apocalypse, the "end of time" as such - "history has stopped its course".
In this sense, Moody-Grumbling, who stopped history, is a true katechon. The last historical figure is the one who does not allow empty time to fall over the horizon. But he himself makes time empty, devoid of any content other than “stopping”.
Those who say that the "propaganda law" crawls into someone else's bed are driven by the best of intentions, but not entirely right. Its natural vileness lies precisely in the fact that it reduces the lives of many people to "bed", to the peculiarities of physiology, to what is done in dark corners and cannot stand the light. In fact, such an inarticulate dark part exists in the life of a person of any orientation and identity. It's not about her.
We are verbal beings. The ethical dimension of any practice reveals itself where it is translated into proper human experience, linguistic experience, because only there does a relation to the other arise. The other is in no way equal to the language, but lives in the language. When people are sentenced to an extra-linguistic existence on the dark side, without reflection of their own experience and the opportunity to meet someone else's experience, they are made non-human.
The meaning of the law on “propaganda” is to establish a legally fixed asymmetry of power: there are they who indulge in unnameable debauchery, and there are we, the monopoly owners of speech, who can name it.
Here, a circumstance that is rarely mentioned is also important: the language that valorizes the experience of “minorities” has long ceased to be some kind of subcultural dialect. The vast majority of creators and consumers of texts that are unpleasant for Zakhar Prilepin are heterosexual women. Why is a long and complicated conversation. It is important that, among other things, this is how women satisfy the need to “humanize” their own being, create a space for imagining their experience as another and understanding their own otherness. At the center of this type of imagination is the fundamental vulnerability of the hero and the ability to live without banishing this vulnerability, but recognizing it. The recognition of vulnerability not protected by any norm also reveals in a new way the diversity of wounding. Undoubtedly, there is a (not always direct) connection between the development of this type of imagination and the problematization of the violence that was previously perceived as the natural basis of "normal life".
(In brackets: from my point of view, this process does not imply the triumph of some final correct language, and the very existence on the border of the dark and inarticulate is inevitable for a person).
The task of laws prohibiting speech is precisely to stop the expansion of anthropological experience, during which the work of self-evident violence is called into question, the light of responsibility (that is, the ability to respond - also originally linguistic) pierces zones where one bites another.