Posted 8 сентября 2021,, 10:58
Published 8 сентября 2021,, 10:58
Modified 25 декабря 2022,, 20:57
Updated 25 декабря 2022,, 20:57
Dmitry Shusharin, historian
“Past and future”, “national enmity”, “national development”, “new Middle Ages”, “history” - all these words flicker in the speeches of political scientists and sociologists trying to understand what is happening. The majority strives to find opportunities to influence the course of events, to find status in the new structure of the country and the world. These notes contain nothing of the kind. I proceed from the impossibility of influencing the government and society. There will be no denunciations here either - only observations.
And I will start with the fact that it is better to refuse some words. Let's start with "modernization" and "demodernization" as applied to national development.
Modern civilized nations, which are usually called historical, have gone through three most important stages in their formation.
The first is the recognition of the principle of popular sovereignty, overcoming class disunity on its basis and the triumph of the principle of national unity, which turns all social differences and conflicts into situational.
The second is overcoming the empire as a form of supranational organization.
The third is the creation of a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional, multicultural civil nation, held together by both the historical stability of political institutions and the latest information and communication technologies.
Actually, these are three stages of modernization, the content of which in Russia is still interpreted not so much as economic, but as industrial and technological. With this approach, Lenin and Stalin are declared modernizers, who threw Russia in its development centuries ago. But only as a result of uniformity of development, the presence of integrating values, possession of a modern communicative apparatus, a positive positioning of the nation in the outside world arises. Which cannot be replaced by either a nuclear threat or a country's monopoly position on the energy market.
None of these stages have been completed. Russia must meet the challenges that were relevant to other nations centuries ago, and at the same time adapt to changing forms of life. The Russians did not create a modern nation.
Now about the "Middle Ages", about which Sergey Medvedev, Vladislav Inozemtsev and Kirill Martynov recently discussed on Radio Liberty, recognized as a foreign agent. The Middle Ages are no longer considered and are not called dark for a long time. They represent the most important stage in the development of the Judeo-Christian civilization. And for the Islamic world, especially the Arab one, this is an era of cultural prosperity and political power. In Western Europe, the Middle Ages are very different from the Russian Middle Ages. And arguments about feudalism in the Soviet paradigm of socio-economic formations are completely ridiculous.
The totalitarian fall is the path to archaism, barbarism, and civilization. This was discovered a hundred years ago by Jose Ortega y Gasset, who had not yet used the term “totalitarianism”, but who saw the identity between the Russian and Italian models of mass domination. And the most important sign of such a fall, he considered the loss of the image of the future, which, in his opinion, held the civilized nations together. The future, not the past.
It is the future that disappeared from the political vocabulary of Vladimir Putin, which is constantly returning to the past. However, if you look closely, both of these words are inappropriate. Both the future and the past. As well as the word "history".
It was quite logical to mention the war in the amendments to the so-called Constitution. These amendments are the most important stage in the quasi-legal formation of the totalitarian community. Many decent people make the mistake of getting caught up in the debate about the outbreak of World War II. The fact is that there is no discussion, there is an attempt by the tribal leader to personally approve a certain mythologeme - not an ideologeme or a concept, but a mythologeme. It is affirmed within the framework of opposing his tribe - the country of Russia - to the civilized world, from which the tribe is increasingly isolating itself. The constitution alone is not enough - the leader also wants to be a skald. Trying to argue with the leader and his sixes is to recognize yourself as part of the tribe. To call a spade a spade and not to enter into any discussions with representatives of the tribe is to identify oneself with the civilized world.
In the civilized world, history is comprehended, in Russia it is denied by the reconstruction of the past, which does not become the past. Reconstruction denies, first of all, the present, turning it into a repetition of the past, which cannot become the past. Thus, it denies history. Everything merges in a single current moment of the myth, which is under the protection of the criminal code. There is nothing comical in these laws and constitutional amendments - they are part of the general strategy of the authorities, directed against the development of the country and the nation in all spheres. There is no past - it is here and now. There is no present - it is only a reconstruction of the past. This means that there can be no future - it is also here and now. And there will be no other.
Well, again we will have to recall what Ortega y Gasset said at the turn of the twenties and thirties of the last century about Russian and Italian totalitarianism:
“Bolshevism and fascism - two new political attempts that have arisen in Europe and on its outskirts - are two striking examples of significant regression - not so much in the content of their theories, but in anti-historicism, anachronism ... These movements are typical of people of the masses, are ruled, as always, by mediocre people, out of date, with a short memory, without historical instinct, who from the very beginning behave as if they have already become the past, merged into the primitive fauna".
But this concerns not only the authorities, but also the opposition. The Immortal Regiment is the same reconstruction as the Immortal Barrack. The battles of Moscow and Berlin are taking place here and now, as are the executions in Vorkuta and Kolyma. Both are echoes of the cult of ancestors, incompatible with the historical consciousness formed in the course of the development of the Judeo-Christian civilization. Both are depersonalization of history, despite the portraits of soldiers at the processions and the names of prisoners at readings. Both the official regiment and, as it were, the opposition barracks do not oppose each other at all, both exist within the framework of a cyclical, not linear flow of time.
Both the authorities and the Fronda impose a ban on the personalism of consciousness, on the search for one's own I in the present, which is perceived as the present, as a part of the linearly current time, and not as an eternally reproducing time of the myth, in which Russia is immersed. Attempts to go beyond the framework of the myth, within which the self-determination of the individual is impossible, is declared a crime.
George Orwell came up with the following formula: "Who controls the past - controls the future, who controls the present - controls the past". Elegant, paradoxical, almost Wilde's way. But the past, present and future are all from the temporality that is inherent in the modern European civilization. Totalitarian rascivilization, barbarization and paganization assert the simultaneity of the myth.
The discussion about the beginning of the Second World War is an attempt on the order of things that exists here and now, the dream of a future different from the present, too. Previously, the Russians stormed the Winter Palace and Perekop every minute, now they are doing the same with the Reichstag. "Daily Borodino", which Mikhail Kulchitsky dreamed of, is the most accurate description of mythological thinking and mythopoetic worldview, codified - wow! - in written law. An amazing synthesis of cultures - archaic oral and modern European writing, concepts and laws.
However, the archaic dominates.
From the editor:
The opinions of the authors of Novye Izvestia may differ from the position of the publication and are published in a discussion manner.