Posted 10 августа 2021,, 12:57
Published 10 августа 2021,, 12:57
Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37
Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37
Dmitry Shusharin, political scientist
Stalin's popularity among the population of Russia, revealed back in 2019 by the Levada Center (an organization recognized as a foreign agent on the territory of the Russian Federation), seems to have come as a surprise to the progressive public. As if the restalinization has not been going on for a long time, the depth of which is obviously underestimated. Two years later, a similar study was carried out by the Levada Center in Russia and the Kiev International Institute of Sociology in Ukraine. More than half of Russians (56%) rather agree and fully agree that “Stalin was a great leader”. In 2016, there were 28% of them. Reverse point of view. adhere to 14% of respondents (23% in 2016). For Ukraine, these indicators in 2021 were 16% and 40%, respectively.
In Russia, most of all supporters of the monument to Stalin are among young people 18-24 years old and people over 55 years old. At the same time, in 2010, only 12% of respondents aged 18 to 24 supported the appearance of a monument to Stalin. Now there are 50% of them.
Sociologist Lev Gudkov and Levada Center (recognized as a foreign agent - editor's note) Explains all this by the efforts of agitprop and the feeling of insecurity of the population. I think the interpretation of the survey results can be broadened.
I'll start with power. Gleb Pavlovsky did too much, calling Putin 's first presidency "a national uprising - a struggle for the independence and national dignity of Russia." The elite does not need its legitimacy to be confirmed by a popular uprising. So others will want to arrange something similar. Quite different is required. Gradually, restalinization became noticeable on television and in other media. The power was solving a very important task for it - it deprived the left (part of it, of course) and patriotic (also by no means all) opposition of the most important historical symbol. She took Stalin for herself as the personifier of her historical legitimacy. This is how loyal Stalinism arose and spread.
Loyal Stalinism existed and exists in two forms: sanctimonious and bandit. Khanzhesky is a denial of Stalin's crimes. Gangster is their complete acceptance and even glorification. They do not occur in their pure form, there are mental-verbal mixes with the dominance of one or another element. Examples of such a mix are modern serials and films in which Stalin's crimes are not hidden. What for? They are justified by the fate and deeds of the victims. In such a subtle game, one can note the Korolev series, dedicated to the Kolyma period of the life of the general designer, and the film Time of the First, in which cosmonaut Alexei Leonov tells Korolev about the terrible childhood of the son of an enemy of the people. Nothing is imposed on the viewer, he himself concludes that all the tests only went to the benefit of Russia and the Russians. The Stalin era and the associated losses, suffering, and deprivation acquire a sacred character. They become the collective initiation of modern Russia, and the ruined lives and destinies appear as victims to the Russian god, into whom Stalin turns. No connection with communism and other leftism can be traced. The same was the interpretation of the sufferings and sacrifices of the peoples of the USSR by Marlen Khutsiev in "Ilyich's Outpost". Moreover, one can find in common with Solzhenitsyn's reasoning about the chosenness of prisoners and contempt for freewomen.
The most common mistake was to identify the social carriers of Stalinism. It turned out that these were not old people at all, but to a large extent young people. And not lumpen. And not only the security forces. Stalin became popular among management and top management, among the creative class, among political and near-political functionaries of various stripes, among scientists - including young ones - and among the artistic intelligentsia.
The aesthetics of Stalinism, the charm of the big style, were attractive, but this is not the most important thing. The scale and simplicity of his strong-willed decisions, the inhuman style and efficiency of his management - this is what the current legend about Stalin is. And this is not a matter of belief, it is not something that is argued or denied logically. This is a new identity, identification with the traditions, morals, culture and life (not with a barrack and communal apartment, of course) of that era. Such as she is seen now.
Until now, the Russian intelligentsia believes that it is enough to talk about Stalin's crimes for universal enlightenment to come. Fighters for uterine truth do not notice that the trend has changed: to hide Stalin's crimes, to minimize the scale of atrocities, to justify them - all this is yesterday. The time is coming for pride in the scale of the murders, for the ability of the Russian people to destroy the best in the name of ... Yes, in the name of preserving national identity. And therefore, tons of words about Stalin's atrocities, about the fact that he threw Russia back many years ago, are senseless and useless. The return of Stalin as an ideal ruler to Russian history, to the Russian people is inevitable. The word "people" is more appropriate here than the word "population", for Stalin consistently implemented the most important principle of Russian autocracy - nationality and the constant change of elites.
In Stalin, as in Ivan the Terrible with Peter the Great, two fundamental principles of Russian identity converge - the right to conquer foreign lands and the right to enslave other peoples in the outside world is combined with anti-legal, anti-institutional egalitarianism within the country. Stalin is with them. With Putin's majority both among the population and among the creative class, management, a new generation of humanitarian intelligentsia. A Stalinist elite has emerged in Russia, including a cultural and intellectual one. These people do not hang portraits of Stalin either on the windshield or on the walls in their offices, they rarely mention his name, and sometimes even criticize him. But they accept the Stalinist era as their own, as a positive part of their history, as part of their system of values, including ethical and aesthetic values.
The same is the attitude towards Stalin and the broad masses of the people. Totalitarian agitprop never comes up with anything new - it determines the needs of the audience, generated by its picture of the world. Now its technological possibilities for such research and active actions on their basis are endless. But this does not mean that there is nothing to oppose to agitprop - you just need to adequately assess the depth and complexity of your own tasks, which the progressive community was not capable of. And for many years she helped and is helping to promote and exalt the image of Stalin, demonizing him. And demonization is a very effective way of advertising, only strengthening Stalin's admirers in their admiration for their idol.
The change in the current trend cannot be realized by focusing on the image of the father of nations. This can happen only with a fundamental transformation of Russian identity, the Russian system of values, with overcoming the depersonalization of Russian consciousness, which lies at the basis of any cult of the leader. The expression "Stalin's personality cult" was borrowed by Khrushchev's writers from Feuchtwanger and used as a euphemism for such a formulation as "the regime of Stalin's sole power." But in any case, the word "personality" or a derivative from it is used, which is very accurate, but even more accurate would be the cult of a single personality. Such a person in autocratic Russia was the tsar, and in the Russian empire, renewed in 1922, the red monarch became, as one of the films about the last years of Stalin's life is called.
Russian autocracy was a form of ethnic statehood - Russian. And no other. All other peoples of the empire had to submit to an alien force. And therefore, it was necessary to stop natiogenesis throughout the empire. The transition from autocracy to Soviet power was the approval of other methods of freezing national development, not bound by the previous conventions.
The Russian monarch is an autocrat, not just the father of the people, he is a personification of the people, a tribal leader, a figure inevitably sacred, in need of not only physical, but also spiritual protection. Not a single people, except for the Russians, who inhabited the empire could identify themselves with the tsar so deeply personally, so physically and spiritually at the same time, that is, magically. And the autocracy did not recognize civil loyalty, the non-Russian was always suspicious. We find a continuation of this now in the attempts of agitprop to declare the entire population of Russia as Russians (there was such a thing) and, of course, in conversations about a single Russian-Ukrainian people. Under the autocracy, the concept of the triune Russian people was not only official. It penetrated deeply into the everyday consciousness of Russians and now continues to exist. And it gives rise to a lot of other features of Russian self-awareness, in particular, the depersonalization of death, which, in turn, causes a tolerant attitude towards the mass murders committed by the authorities, devalues a person's life.
And in conclusion, about the new Russian leader. "Well, where is Putin to Stalin, well, what are you, a pitiful parody." I understand when Stalin's admirers say this, for whom tens of millions of those killed and tortured are evidence of greatness. But when people who condemn Stalin and who do not sympathize with Putin say this, it’s strange. Because Putin is cooler than Stalin. He, like Stalin, put the whole country at the service of one cause - ensuring his own power. But he does it much thinner, smarter, more technologically advanced than Stalin. However, in their possession of technology they are equal - both were at the level of their time, but Putin's task is more difficult: technologies are more complicated, more sophisticated, and most importantly - available to everyone. In an information society, Stalin would be powerless, and Putin is omnipotent.
The progressive public and the holy Russian intelligentsia cannot admit one thing: the authorities beat them on their field, using their own methods, showed a higher level of mastery of those technologies that they considered their exclusive property. This applies to IT specialists, network gurus, and retired political strategists, and in general to the broad masses of the democratic community, who did not even notice how easily they were turned into cheap populists with the help of Navalny and turned into supporters of a firm hand and dictatorship.