Posted 17 августа 2021, 12:44

Published 17 августа 2021, 12:44

Modified 25 декабря 2022, 20:57

Updated 25 декабря 2022, 20:57

Empire 3.0: Russia in search of a new historical mission

17 августа 2021, 12:44
Валерий Прохоров
Like 100 years ago, Russia is saved by imperial immunity - in society, regardless of the political views of citizens, there is a consensus that the overwhelming majority wants to live in a great country, and not in one of its small fragments.

Valery Prokhorov, political analyst

In 1921, exactly 100 years ago, our country was painfully getting out of the hell of the Civil War that followed the revolutionary events of 1917, as a result of which a group of radical Marxist intellectuals came to power in the country, who declared their intention to build the most just society in the history of mankind. ... 4 years of continuous military conflicts on the territory of the former Russian Empire almost led to the disappearance of the Russian statehood. The country suffered colossal human losses, lost significant territories and abandoned moral principles that had been formed for centuries in favor of extravagant ideas of equality and brotherhood, which for the time being were carried away by a few romantic philosophers of several European countries.

Россия всю свою историю строила государство-империюРоссия всю свою историю строила государство-империю
Россия всю свою историю строила государство-империю
Фото: https://www.shutterstock.com/ru/

A year later, in 1922, the empire was revived in the form of a confederation of national Soviet republics. The union of de jure equals was soon restored in the form of a virtually unitary state, and the variety of forms of self-government in the outlying territories that existed in the Russian Empire was replaced by the Bolshevik standard of state management, in which the party, the VKP (b), was the key link. The workers' councils performed a decorative function - they ensured the legitimization of managerial decisions taken in party bodies.

The Soviet Union, of course, was a Russian imperial project, Empire 2.0, albeit filled with meanings and values that were sharply different from the pre-revolutionary ones. And even though the national idea was replaced by the concept of proletarian internationalism, religious spirituality was practically destroyed by militant atheists, and the autocracy was replaced by the collective leadership in the person of the Politburo, the "deep" Soviet people preserved in their subconscious the moral frame of "faith, tsar and fatherland." The USSR itself, at the dawn of its existence, declared itself as an intercessor country for the oppressed masses, which fit well with the logic of the existence of all world empires, which not only protected the ethnic groups inhabiting them from the unfriendly encroachments of their neighbors, but also carried out a certain historical mission.

Революция, устроенная большевиками могла привести к исчезновению государственности, но привела к новой империиРеволюция, устроенная большевиками могла привести к исчезновению государственности, но привела к новой империи
Революция, устроенная большевиками могла привести к исчезновению государственности, но привела к новой империи
Фото: https://www.shutterstock.com/ru/

A hundred years ago, the Soviet mission of getting rid of the exploitation of the working masses replaced the historically established Russian mission of liberating the fraternal peoples. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia existed for more than two decades as a state with its imperial aim downed: confusion and the search for our place in the world almost cost us the loss of sovereignty in the 90s of the last century and exacerbated relations with world powers at the end of the 2000s, when the country's leadership for the first time marked the red lines, beyond which "partners" should not go. I would venture to suggest that, like 100 years ago, Russia was saved by imperial immunity - in society, regardless of the political views of citizens, there is a consensus that the overwhelming majority wants to live in a great country, and not in one of its small fragments.

All imperial projects experienced periods of inception, prosperity and extinction. Some have been able to go through excruciating periods of reboot - a prime example of this is China, which has repeatedly resurfaced. Russia is also rebooting. This process is not as fast as people who live this difficult historical period would like. Many mistakes have been made in the thirty post-Soviet years. Almost all of them happened for the same reason - we, having turned off prudence and common sense, tried to copy someone's "best practices", trying to accelerate the onset of "bright tomorrow." We tried to become part of the Western world, then rushed to the east, then almost fell into obscurantism, hoping to find recipes for building the future in the deep past.

Арктика, Сибирь и Дальний Восток станут новым драйвером развития РоссииАрктика, Сибирь и Дальний Восток станут новым драйвером развития России
Арктика, Сибирь и Дальний Восток станут новым драйвером развития России
Фото: https://www.shutterstock.com/ru/

However, at the moment it is difficult not to admit the obvious - Russia is launching another, already the third imperial project with all historically established imperial attributes: a strong central power of the conditionally monarchical type, which determines foreign and domestic policy by the military estate (here we mean the form of self-organization of this group, its mobilization essence, and not the presence of shoulder straps among its members) and the objects of expansion, which include internal undeveloped spaces, for example, the Arctic or sparsely populated territories of Siberia and the Far East. This observation in no way carries any emotional assessments, especially since we are not alone on the planet. China, the United States, the UK that left the European Union, to some extent the European Union itself, and even Turkey, which is actively rushing into the outside world, can be considered modern empires.

Empires do not exist without a declared mission, and Russia's new imperial claim has already begun to take shape ideologically. Confirmation of this can be considered the proposal of the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Sergei Shoigu, which sounded a few days ago and caused a public outcry, on the construction of new cities in Siberia and the transfer of the state capital to one of them. And the very idea of moving the capital into the interior of the country, and the proposal that the new cities will not be shift settlements at mineral deposits, but "millionaires", scientific and industrial economic centers, and the very personality of the author of the idea - a legendary man, one of the founders of the ruling party, the head of the military department and a native Siberian - is an important signal. The vector of Russia's development has been selected, the targets for the application of forces have been determined, and the "decree on mobilization" will be announced in the near future.