Posted 12 января 2022, 09:51
Published 12 января 2022, 09:51
Modified 25 декабря 2022, 20:57
Updated 25 декабря 2022, 20:57
Dmitry Shusharin, historian
The Russian model of development is underdevelopment, which is passed off as a special quality. Backwardness, taken as a feature. And this substitution lies at the heart of the Russian national identity, based primarily on opposition to the civilized world. What is proudly called Russian civilization is a peripheral version of European civilization, its imitative model, very selectively copying certain features of the original.
But lagging behind and imitativeness are presented as a special qualitative state, and the concept of "Russian civilization" turns into a denial of both European and any other civilizations. This is where the so-called Russian idea comes from.
About what it is, I wrote the following in 2000:
“It is impossible to define this concept meaningfully, but a functional description is quite acceptable. In my opinion, the "Russian idea" should be understood as a compensatory reaction of the Russian nation to insufficient modernization of the country. The main contradiction that prompted the intelligentsia to search for the "Russian idea" was the contradiction between the European character of Russian culture and civilizational inferiority, inferiority of Russia in relation to Europe ... Russia in relation to the entire Christian world "
And since this inferiority gnaws at Russians to this day, it manifests itself in everyone in different ways. The Russian idea can be an idea of not catching up, but of qualitative development, but it can also serve as a basis for refusing to develop and isolate the country.
Back in the late eighties, a business began on this inferiority - on hatred, blood and the ever-increasing degradation of Russia. And now, both in the ruling and in the opposition elite, in all strata of society, in mass culture, this inferiority has become decisive.
It is not power that degrades. The population is degrading, the Russians are degrading. They refuse to develop, to use the historical chance that they had in the early nineties. Everything alien was rejected, the main contradiction that gave rise to the search for the Russian idea - between cultural unity with the civilized world and the civilizational deficiency of Russia - was overcome.
From the cultural heritage left is what positions Russians outside the world civilization. In Russian culture, the mechanism of the formation of a new identity, which would identify national interests with a national democratic state, did not work. Instead, with the change of elites and with all social transformations - the death of entire classes and estates and the emergence of new ones - any ideological constructions are designed to replace those changes that can be called the modernization of identity. This is a choice of both the government and society. But at the same time, there is an eternal Russian paradox, a constant of Russian history.
The goal of any confrontation, the eternal task of the Russian ruling elite is to enter the world elite on its own terms. It has always been that way. And always for this it was necessary to limit the development of one's own country, so that the entire population would not try to integrate with the civilized world. Strategically thaw / detente / new thinking is no different from cold war / confrontation / paranoia. These are just different tactics.
Now the matter is not moving towards the peaceful coexistence proclaimed by the Twentieth Congress, but towards what preceded it. To massive repression, mobilization economy, further degradation in all spheres. But the search for support outside is inevitable, it was and is looking for any Russian government, which never recognizes the existence in their own country of political subjects worthy of partnership and dialogue. The outside world was and remains a source of legitimation of power in Russia.
In whatever clothes the Russian government may dress up, for centuries it remains, first of all, Russian. What's in a Russian dress, what's in a Prussian, what's in a Monomakh's hat, what's in a budenovka. It is possible to use anything in combination with anything in order to prevent the creation of a new European state in Russia.
Now, finally, it is said directly and openly that democracy and liberalism are destroying Russian identity. The last word, of course, is used in not the widest audience, but it sounds openly.
All arguments, similar to incantations, break against this recognition that the Russian way is a way not even to the past, but to nowhere, away from the civilized world. Why revelations, if the exposed calmly answers: yes, this is so, so what? And if the Russians set off on their own special path on their own, then a small number of renegades and outcasts among themselves would suffer from this.
But the identity that democracy can damage includes the need for constant expansion. Ideally, in imposing the Russian model on as many peoples as possible around the world. In the current circumstances, it is about preventing the formation of nation-states in its neighbors.
Having adopted the age-old Russian matrix, this is the fault of the intelligentsia, first of all, replacing the creation of a rule-of-law state and civil society with imperial expansion, Russians have remained an ethnic group dependent on the outside world in the most important way - in the formation of their own identity in the comprehensive meaning of the word.
There is no Russia without America, there is no Russia without Ukraine. And such people cannot have friends - only slaves and enemies. Russia is the most dependent, most dependent state in the world, for it has no internal legitimation of sovereignty. only external. And only fear of Russia.
The Latin formulation - timor Rutheniae - is so good because it is both fear of Russia and fear of Russia itself. Both translations are equivalent. The concentration of fear of the West, that is, of the Judeo-Christian civilization, is natophobia. There is no rational explanation for this fear, there is no danger from NATO, no one is going to attack Russia.
Hatred of NATO is irrational and therefore, I repeat, very effective - it still has some explanation. The Alliance is the embodiment of the strength of the Judeo-Christian civilization, proof that democracy can be strong and become the basis for the solidarity of free peoples. In the past, there was no comparison with the Warsaw Pact and the forced alliance of tank socialism countries. And now there is nothing to compare with. Therefore, hatred of NATO is a special case of hatred of both the Russian elites and the Russian masses towards the civilized world. Like Chaplin, it certainly does not work and will not work. The desire to be American, like the desire to be Spanish, is impracticable. And there are no other desires. And until they appear, Russia will pose a threat to the whole world.