The whole of society is awaiting of a joint work towards a common development goals - but all debates about our identity or about our future are impossible without national patriotism of its participants - patriotism
I will allow myself to express my opinion about the future, the strategies and values - the value's framework of the development of our country, the affects of global processes over our nation, our identity and how we would like to see the world in the twenty-first centur, and what can our country,Russia, bring to this world together with our partners.
Today, almost all the countries of the world - the Russian and European nations, the Chinese and American societies - are virtually faced, in one form or another, with the need to find new strategies and preserve their identity in the radically changing world, a world that has become more open, transparent and interdependent. The question «who we are?», «what we want to be?» - are heard in our society, getting louder and louder. We separated from Soviet ideology and it is not possible to return to it. Proponents of fundamental conservatism, idealizing Russia until 1917, are now as far from reality as supporters of the Western ultraliberalizm. It is evident that our movement forward is not possible without the spiritual, cultural, and national self-determination, in other case we will not be able to withstand internal and external challenges and will not succeed in global competition. And today we see a new round of competition.
There is a necessity of historical creativity, synthesis of best national practices and ideas, understanding of our cultural, spiritual, political traditions with the understanding that it is not something rigid given forever, but it is a living organism.
The main directions of today's competition are economy-technological and ideology-informational ones. Military-political problems are beeing immensely escalated. The world is becoming more rigid: sometimes it rejects not only international law, but even basic decency. It is necessary for a country to be militarily, technologically and economically strong. But still the main thing that will determine the national success - is quality of people, of intellectual, spiritual, moral dimentions of the society. After all, the economic growth, prosperity and geopolitical influence are derivatives from the total condition of a society, from the state of people’s solidarity: to what extent people feel their unity in the limits of a country, how they experience the fact of deep rootedness in national history, values and traditions, in which way they are in accord with their common goals and responsibilities. In this sense, the question of gaining and strengthening national identity is really fundamental to Russia.
Meanwhile, today Russia is experiencing not only an objective pressure of globalization over its national identity, but also the consequences of national catastrophes of the twentieth century: we have twice experienced the collapse of our state. The result was thе devastating blow to the cultural and spiritual code of the nation, the encounter with the break of unity of history and traditions, with demoralization of society, with deficit of trust and responsibility. It is rooted in many pressing issues we have faced with. After all, the question of responsibility to ourselves, society and law is one of the fundamental points not only in jurisprudence but also in everyday life.
After 1991, there was the illusion that the new national ideology, the ideology of development, will be consequently born by itself. State, power, intellectual and political class almost excluded themselves from this work, taking into consideration that the old, semi-official ideology of the past had a dry mouth. And just in fact they were all afraid to even touch upon the subject. In addition, the lack of a national idea based on national identity, was profitable to quazi-сolonial part of the elite which prefered to steal and withdraw their capitals, and did not link their future with the country, where this money had been earned.
National Idea: the search for identity
Practice has shown that the new national idea is not being born and developed according to market rules. Selfconstructing of the state did not work, as well as the mechanical copying of someone else's experience. Such gross borrowings, attempts to civilize Russia from outside were not accepted by an absolute majority of our people, because strive for independence, spiritual, ideological, foreign policy sovereignty is an integral part of our national character. Incidentally, this approach does not work in many other countries. Gone are the days when a ready-made model of living arrangement could be installed in any state just like a computer program.
We also understand that identity, national idea can not be imposed from above, can not be built on the basis of ideological monopoly. This construction is very unstable and vulnerable, we know this from personal experience, it has no future in the modern world. There is a necessity of historical creativity, synthesis of best national practices and ideas, understanding of our cultural, spiritual, political traditions from different points of view, with the understanding that it is not something rigid given forever, but it is a living organism. Only then our identity will be based on a solid foundation and will be addressed to the future, not to the past. This is the main argument in favor of a point that ideology must be necessarily discussed amongst people of different views, of different opinions concerning the themes of solutions of all he problems.
To all of us, to the so-called «neoslavyanofils» and «neozapadniki», to state bureaucrats and so-called liberals, it is now absolutely clear that the whole of society is awaiting of a joint work towards a common development goals. We need to get rid of the habit of hearing only the ideological adherents, from the doorway, with anger and even hatred rejecting any other point of view. You can not even flip and kick the country's future as a soccer ball, dip in unbridled nihilism, consumerism, criticism of anything and everything, or gloomy pessimism. This means that the Liberals have to learn to talk with representatives of the left-wing. Nationalists must remember that Russia from its first steps is formed as a multinational (multiethnic - Ed.) and multi-religious country. And, calling into question our multinational (multi-ethnicity - Ed.) starting questining the theme of Russian, Tatar, Caucasian, Siberian and any other nationalisms and separatisms, we take the path to destruction of Russia's genetic code. In fact, we begin to destroy ourselves.
The value of the sovereignty
Sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Russia are unconditional values. These are the «red lines» which cannot be crossed by anyone. For all the difference in our views, all debates about our identity or about our future are impossible without national patriotism of its participants - patriotism, surely, in the purest sense of the word. Too often in the nation's history instead of opposition to the government we are faced with the opposition to Russia itself. And we know how this ends - by demolition of the state as such.
We have practically no family that would have avoided the troubles of the past century. Questions of evaluation of certain historical events still split the country and society. We need to heal the wounds, to restore the integrity of the historic fabric. We can no longer engage in self-deception, striking out unsightly or ideologically inconvenient pages, breaking the connection of generations, rushing to extremes, creating or debunking idols. It's time to stop to notice only the bad stories, to berate ourselves more than our enemies do. Criticism is necessary. But without a sense of self-worth and love for the Fatherland this criticism is demeaning and unproductive.
We should be proud of our history, and we have something to be proud of. Our entire history of seizures should not be a part of Russian identity. Without recognition of this mutual trust it is impossible and move the society forward.
The crisis of the West - the rejection of the roots
Another serious challenge to Russia's identity is connected with the events that take place in the world arena. There are some aspects of foreign policy and morality. We see, that many of Euro-Atlantic countries actually have gone the way of refusing of their roots, including the Christian values that form the basis of Western civilization. Any moral principles and any traditional identity are denied: national, cultural, religious or even sexual. A policy, which put on the same level a large family and a same-sex partnership, belief in God or belief in Satan is pursued. The excesses of political correctness reach the point, where serious talks on registration of parties, whose aim is to promote pedophilia, start. People in many European countries are embarrassed or ashamed to talk about their religious affiliation. Holidays become canceled or even renamed in order to shyly hide the essence of the holiday - the moral basis of the holidays. And this model is aggressively trying to impose itself all over the world. I am convinced that this is a direct path to degradation and primitivism, profound demographic and moral crisis.
What else could be a great testimony of the moral crisis of human society, but the loss of capacity for self-reproduction, self-renewal? Today, almost all developed countries are no longer able to reproduce themselves, even using the migration. Without the values embedded in Christianity and other world religions, without evolving for thousands of years standards of morality people will inevitably lose their human dignity. And we consider it natural and proper to defend these values. One must respect the right of any minority to differ, but the right of the majority should not be called into question.
Deadlock of unipolarity
At the same time there are attempts in a way to revive a unified model of a unipolar world, to blur the Institute of International Law and national sovereignty. Such a unipolar, unified world does not need sovereign states - it needs vassals. In the historical sense, this is a rejection of a face, of vast variety of the world, what is given by God and nature.
Russia is in solidarity with those, who believe that the key decisions should be worked on a collective basis, but not at the discretion of individual countries or groups of countries and in the interests of them; that there should operate the international law, and not the law of the strongest, not the fist right; that every country, every people is not exclusive, but is unique, is original, and has the samе rights as other countries and peoples, including the right to independently choose their own way of development. This is our conceptual view, it follows from our own historical fate, of Russia's role in world politics. Our present position has deep historical roots. Russia itself has evolved on the basis of diversity, harmony and balance, and brings a balance in the world. I want to remind you that the Congress of Vienna in 1815, and the Yalta agreement of 1945, adopted with very active role of Russia, ensured a long lasting world peace. Russia's strength, the strength of the winner in these historical turning points, was shown in its nobility and justice. And let us remember Versailles, concluded without the participation of Russia. Many experts, and I absolutely agree with them, believe that exactly in Versailles the roots of the future Second World War were laid, because the Treaty of Versailles was unfair to the German people and imposed such restrictions upon them, with which they normally could not cope.
There is one more fundamental aspect I want to draw my attention to. The so-called multiculturalism in Europe and in some other countries, - a model, in many aspects introduced artificially, injected from the top - is now put into question, and it is clear why. In fact it is based on fee for the colonial past. It is no accident that politicians and public figures of most of Europe are increasingly talking about the failure of multiculturalism - that it is not able to integrate foreign language and foreign culturу elements into the society.
«Blossoming complexity» of Eurasia
In Russia, which for centuries was tried to be labeled as the «prison of nations», never existed a situation, when any ethnos, and even the smallest ethnic group, disappeared. All of them have retained not only their internal autonomy and cultural identity, but also theirs historical space. You know, I was interested to learn that in Soviet times, so closely relates to us now, almost every small nation had its print edition - there were programs of state supported languages, developing national (ethnic - Ed.) Literature. By the way, much of what has been done in this respect before, we need to return and adopt. In this case, we have gained unique experience of the interaction and mutual interference and enrichment, mutual respect for different cultures. This multiculturalism, multi-ethnicity is living in our historical consciousness, in our spirit, in our historical code. Our thousand year state is naturally built on it.
Russia, as figuratively speaks philosopher Konstantin Leontiev, has been always developing as a «blossoming complexity», as a civilization-state, bound by Russian people, Russian language, Russian culture, Russian Orthodox Church and other traditional religions of Russia. It is exactly from this model of the state-civilization flow characteristics of our civilization polity. It has always sought flexibility to accommodate national, religious specificity of certain areas, providing diversity in unity. Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and other religions is an integral part of identity and historical heritage of Russia in the present life of its citizens. The main task of the state, enshrined in the Constitution, is to ensure equal rights for members of traditional religions and atheists, the right for freedom of conscience for all citizens.
Eurasian integration is a chance for the former Soviet Union to become an independent center of global development, rather than the periphery of Europe or Asia.
However, the identification exclusively by ethnicity and religion in the largest state with a multi-ethnic composition of the population, of course, is not possible (this is possible in the imperial state model - Ed.). Namely the formation of civic identity based on shared values: patriotic awareness, civic responsibility and solidarity, respect for the law, belonging to the fate of homeland without losing touch with ethnic and religious roots is a necessary condition to preserve the unity of the country (state model of the imperial type - Ed.). How the ideology of national development conceptually, both politically and ideologically, will be framed, is a subject of extensive debate. But I am deeply convinced that at the heart of our philosophy the principle of development of human beeing - moral, intellectual and physical - should be located. Back in the early 90s Solzhenitsyn spoke of saving the people after the hardest times of the twentieth century as a major national goal. Today, we must admit: the complete reverse of the negative demographic trends in Russia is not achived, we managed to just step back a little from a dangerous level of loss of national capacity.
Unfortunately, in our country's history the value of individual human life was often low. Too often people were only means and not the end and mission of development. We no longer have not only rights, but also opportunities to throw millions of people into the firebox of development. We need to protect everyone. Namely these educated, creative, physically and spiritually healthy people, not natural resources or nuclear weapons, will be the main force of Russia for the contemporary and subsequent centuries.
Upbringing of a patriot and principles of self-government
The role of education is more important in he case, that for the education of the personality, of a patriot we need to restore the role of the great Russian culture and literature. They should be the foundation for the self-determination of citizens, the source of identity and a framework for understanding of the national idea. These moments depend a lot on the teacher, the teaching community, which has been and remains the most important guardian of the common national values, ideas and attitudes. This community speaks the same language - the language of science, knowledge and upbringing. And this takes place on a huge territory - from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok. And this community, taking into consideration teachers, teaching community as a whole, in the broadest sense, holds the country. And the support of this community is one of the most important steps on the path to a strong and prosperous Russia.
I would repeat once again: if we do not concentrate our efforts on education and health, on formation of mutual responsibility and authority of each citizen, and, finally, on restoration of public confidence, we will lose in the historical competition. Citizens of Russia should feel themselves as responsible masters of their country, their region, their homeland, their possessions, their lives and property.
A citizen is a person who is able to independently handle the own affairs freely collaborating with peers. And the best school of citizenship is the local self-government and self-initiated organization of citizens. Of course, I mean in this case NGOs. By the way, one of the best Russian political traditions is «zemskaia» tradition - it is also built on the principles of self-government. Only effective mechanism of self-government can grow a real civil society and nationally oriented elite, including, of course, the opposition with its own ideology, values, and a yardstick of good and bad, but their own values, not imposed by the media or arrived from abroad. The state is ready and will trust the amateur and self-governing structures, but we need to know who we trust. And it is an absolutely normal international practice, and thats why we have adopted new legislation that increases the transparency of non-governmental organizations.
Speaking about any reforms, it is important not to forget that our country is not just Moscow and St. Petersburg. Developing the Russian federalism, we must rely on our own historical experience, use the flexibility and variety of models. The design of the Russian federalism has a very great potential. We need to learn to use it wisely, not to forget the main thing: the development of the regions, their autonomy should work to create equal opportunities for all citizens, regardless of their place of residence, to eliminate the imbalances in economic, social development of the regions of Russia, and thus to strengthen the unity of the country. Of course, this is a complex task, because these areas over the decades, if not centuries, have evolved unevenly.
Eurasian Union - a project of preservation of identity of peoples
The twenty-first century promises to be the century of great changes, the era of the formation of the major geopolitical, financial, economic, cultural, civilizational, political and military continents. For this reason our absolute priority is the tight integration with our neighbors. The future Eurasian Economic Union, which we have stated and that we are talking about a lot lately, it's not just a set of mutually beneficial agreements. Eurasian Union - a project of preservation of identity of peoples, historical Eurasia in the new century and in a new world. Eurasian integration is a chance for the former Soviet Union to become an independent center of global development, rather than the periphery of Europe or Asia. I want to emphasize that the Eurasian integration will also be built on the principle of diversity. This is the association, in which each participant will retain his face, identity and political subjectiveness. Together with our partners we will, step by step, realize this project. And we hope that it will be our common contribution to maintaining the diversity and sustainability of global development.
Years after 1991 are called post-Soviet age. We have experienced and overcame this dramatic time. As it happened many times in history, Russia, having passed through the break-ups, testings, returns back to itself, to its own history.
After consolidating our national identity, strengthening our roots, while remaining open and receptive to the best ideas and practices of East and West, we must and we will go forward.