Posted 29 марта 07:54

Published 29 марта 07:54

Modified 29 марта 09:26

Updated 29 марта 09:26

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The partisans of Enlightenment. The intelligentsia is again asking the question "Who is to blame?"

29 марта 2023, 07:54
Дмитрий Травин
The Russian liberal intelligentsia continues to search for the reasons for the current state of affairs in the country.

Every day on social networks there are reflections of famous publicists and public figures on the topic: "From what moment did everything go wrong?" Another hypothesis on this topic is shared in his blog by St. Petersburg publicist and political scientist Dmitry Travin:

"I discussed the other day with an old friend, a psychologist, an unfading topic, why did we all lose? He wrote that Education is generally useless. It is impossible to enlighten even half of the people, at best 20 percent. The rest will not want to be enlightened themselves. I, in general, agreed. My extensive journalistic experience, as well as his psychological one, demonstrates something like this.

About 30 years ago I believed in enlightenment. Then faith became less and less. And at some point I realized that I wasn't writing to change the world. I'm just writing down the thoughts about the life of our country that come to mind. I do this for myself and for that narrow stratum of readers whom I respect, although they, of course, will not be able to change the world.

Today, interesting thoughts about the current state of affairs in Russia come to my mind less and less often, since we do not have any reliable information about the most important processes taking place in the country. Accordingly, I write less often. I would like to enlighten – I would scribble without ceasing.

If we talk about the affairs of bygone days, when thoughts about enlightenment have not completely dissolved yet, then rare Russian enlighteners looked like fighters of partisan detachments who would kill a couple of krauts on a forest path, then derail the train, then beat off the prisoners, and everyone is waiting for our great and mighty army to begin the offensive from her commanding heights. And our army completely entrusted the "enlightenment battle" to the partisans, who are offended for the state. The generals themselves were mainly engaged in the division of trophies collected in those battles of the early 1990s, when we were still winning. Since the second half of the 1990s, our television has been dividing and sawing, sawing and dividing while we were running through the "forests of enlightenment", naively trying to explain at least something to the readers of our newspapers, which have a circulation of 20-30 thousand copies. And then the army, endowed and filled up, went over to the enemy's side and showed up in the "forests" to catch us. Under the shouts of intellectuals "from over the hill" that you were poorly engaged in enlightenment there..."

It is necessary to save an antibiotic from wildness in society

This post caused a lively discussion of the causes and consequences of this state of affairs in the country.

For example, analyst Nikolai Vlasov believes that there is no need to achieve universal enlightenment:

"It seems to me that in the current reality there really isn't much point in setting the goal of "educating 100% of the population." This is both unrealistic and unnecessary. Education in reality can effectively influence an active, thinking minority. Which - under favorable conditions - will determine the future course of society as a whole..."

In turn, Yulia Kuksina in many ways puts not on education, but on the standard of living:

"Education is a good and important thing, but peace was achieved in Northern Ireland only when the standard of living increased. It has become more pleasant for people to live and-um-consume than to shoot at each other and blow up public buildings..."

Analyst Ivan Tomatoes rightly believes that impatience is to blame for everything:

"Education is perhaps the only legal way to change social reality. It is slow, lengthy, and most likely doomed to failure if it is not supported by the authorities, but on the contrary, it is subject to restrictions and prohibitions. But if it succeeds, then these changes are very stable.

The other way, violence, firstly, is not legal, and secondly, it rarely achieves success, only as an exception..."

Mikhail Mikhailov agrees with this opinion:

"I apologize for the banality, but the degree of enlightenment for an enlightened civil life is a necessary condition, but not at all sufficient.

It is necessary to accumulate this antibiotic from savagery in the body - it is one thing to begin to be enlightened with universities and Magdeburg law that have existed for 400 years, and quite another - after three hundred years of serf life in the estate state.

At the same time, no one is immune from relapses. But, as Vladimir Pastukhov noted, the European peoples who had overcome National Socialism needed to return to the norm that already existed, and the people of Russia have nowhere to return..."

The writer Alexander Melikhov refers to the classics of Russian literature and social thought:

"Leo Tolstoy, in his pedagogical articles, insisted that the people should be taught what is required in their peasant economy, and universities prepare liberals who are not needed by the people at all. The point of both science and poetry, as Blok wrote, is not at all to reach out to every booby, but to take away grains of gold from a pile of human slag. Enlightenment is the work of an aristocratic minority..."

The intelligentsia is to blame for everything

And finally, network analyst Semyon Kogan is inclined to blame the intelligentsia itself:


"The lion's share of the blame for what is happening lies with the Russian creative intelligentsia, which in the 1990s withdrew itself from the task for which, in fact, society contains it - from analyzing reality and creating new meanings.

Tens of millions of people were left alone with the collapse of the loss of the usual way and meaning of life.

The intelligentsia, on the other hand, decided that they had grabbed God by the beard and got everything they wanted from history, and took up either sorting out previous achievements and stroking each other's bellies, or working as Pelevin's "clowns at the p...s".

But not only that, she failed to give the population any explanation for what all these difficulties and sufferings are for, except for the lazily stretched out through her lip "Work hard, be enterprising, listen to the advice of smart people and then your children will live like in Sweden, and we will be engaged in a "bead game" (as if "to live like in Sweden" is a goal for which everyone can and should overcome suffering, and no one has even tried to think about another goal).

You can try to justify the creative intelligentsia by the fact that, for example, she herself could not find the purpose and meaning of what was happening (Although I do not recall that anyone was looking. Valeria Ilyinichna stated right from the screen that "any search for the meaning of life in Russia leads only to the creation of a GULAG" and, it seems, her thought was secretly shared by the majority).

But she (the intelligentsia) refused to do even that which did not require any intellectual breakthroughs from her at all and which has always been a distinctive feature of the Russian thinking elite.

There was not even the slightest publicly expressed "mercy to the fallen", elementary pity and sympathy for millions of desperate and confused people!

It is quite natural that the unfortunate people rushed either to an evil resentment, or to the church - the only place where they could get at least some sympathy and at least some sense of existence and where they engaged in cross-pollination with the wildest and obscurantistic ideas.

It's cruel of me to say so, but those who are now deservedly reaping the consequences of their deeds and inactions are the liberal creative intelligentsia of the 1990s, those of them who survived, of course..."