Russia Wants a New Nationwide Ideology

With the approaching to energy of President Vladimir Putin, right-wing organizations in Russia steadily misplaced their affect. This occurred primarily due to the suppression of pro-fascist organizations by drive and as a result of demonstrative manifestation of Putin’s loyalty to representatives of nationwide and spiritual minorities — Jews, Muslims and Caucasians — which have historically brought about dissatisfaction amongst Russian nationalists. In the meantime, there is no such thing as a assure that Russia won’t return to the current previous, when the degrees of xenophobia had been extraordinarily excessive, and right-wing radicals might entice lots of of hundreds to mass occasions.

Within the fashionable world, such a assure is, initially, the establishment of a nation-state. What’s a nation-state? It’s any state that protects the pursuits of the nation. At the moment nations are fashioned both on the premise of the traditions and tradition of the ethnic majority — a lot of the world’s nations, together with European ones — or on the premise of a supra-ethnic concept, which is particularly necessary for multi-ethnic societies. This final mannequin consists of virtually all of the “emigrant” states, like the US, Switzerland, India and several other others.

The Soviet Union, in precept, additionally belonged to this class. Within the
USSR, the Communist Occasion created a supra-ethnic nation, which was referred to
because the “multinational Group of the Soviet folks.” This nation
was united by the thought of Marxism and proletarian internationalism, which
collapsed with the start of perestroika. As we all know, this collapse of the
most important ideology predetermined the collapse of the nation.

After the collapse of the us, Russia, abandoning socialism as a path to improvement, additionally deserted communist concepts. However whereas the Russian Federation left the Soviet mannequin of the nation-state behind, it didn’t create a brand new one. A transition to the ethno-cultural mannequin widespread in Europe, which the Russian nationalists lobbied for, would inevitably have led to the collapse of the nation as a result of it doesn’t have in mind the pursuits of quite a few nationwide minorities. Nonetheless, neither this mannequin nor another unifying ideology, just like the concepts of freedom and democracy that liberals like Boris Yeltsin sought to develop, took root in Russia.

Does a Russian Nation Exist?

So does the Russian nation exist right this moment? The official state technique that lays out the nation’s ethnic coverage till 2025, characterizes the Russian nation in accordance with the supra-ethnic (ideological) kind, referring to “the multinational folks of the Russian Federation (Russian nation) — a neighborhood of free equal residents of the Russian Federation of varied ethnic, spiritual, social and different affiliations, possessing a civic id.” Nonetheless, Article 11 of the technique emphasizes the system-forming position of the Russian folks within the building of the Russian nation, which is kind of pure within the circumstances of a considerable predominance of representatives of the Russian ethnic group in society: “The Russian state was created as a unity of peoples, however the Russian folks traditionally was the system-forming hyperlink of this unity.”

The doc goes on to state that “Because of the unifying position of the
Russian folks … a novel cultural variety and religious neighborhood of
completely different peoples have fashioned on the historic territory of the Russian state.”
It thereby emphasizes the position of Russian tradition within the formation of cultures
of the peoples of Russia, the position of the Russian language and the position of the
Russian folks within the formation of this variety.

Thus, on the one hand, we see the precedence of the ethnic majority, which
is attribute of all ethno-cultural nation-states, which is a step towards
European traditions. Then again, there’s a definition of the Russian nation
as a mix of “equal residents of various ethnic and spiritual
affiliations,” which is extra attribute of a supra-ethnic or ideological

Nonetheless, the query arises, about what unites these equal residents? The technique offers a slightly slurred reply: Russian civil unity is ensured on the premise of “recognition by the residents of the Russian Federation of the sovereignty of the state, its integrity, unity of the authorized house, ethnocultural and linguistic variety of the Russian Federation, historic and cultural heritage of the peoples of the Russian Federation, equal rights to social and cultural improvement, entry to the social and cultural values, the solidarity of residents in reaching the objectives and fixing the issues of the event of society.”

Which means the assure of unity is the popularity of the rights of minorities, which utterly contradicts the ideas of the ethno-cultural nation-state. Nonetheless, it’s uncertain that minority rights are an element uniting the Russian nation as ethnic Russians kind an overwhelming majority of 80%. May a single Russian ethnic group be the unifying issue? No, as a result of greater than 200 peoples and nationalities dwell in Russia and communicate greater than 100 languages ​​and dialects. Typically, they’ve co-existed peacefully for hundreds of years. Nevertheless it must be remembered that for the reason that Soviet instances these peoples have turn into accustomed to equal rights, together with the standing of their language as official within the area of residence, the appropriate to check of their native language, and so on.

May the Russian language, Russian tradition, widespread historic
destinies, widespread territory play a job right here? Not all people considers these components
to be necessary, because the collapse of the us confirmed. What then?

Russian society has at all times been united by a typical ideology. Whether or not it
was the Christian Orthodox ideology within the late Center Ages, or the slogan “Samoderzhdavie
— Pravoslavie — Narodnost” (Autocracy
— Orthodoxy — Nationality) that laid the foundations of multinational absolutism
within the 19th century, or the ideology of proletarian internationalism
uniting the nation that disintegrated in 1917, ideology has at all times performed a
unifying position in creating the Russian/Soviet nation. On this sense, in fact, it
could be referred to as ideological and supra-ethnic. The rejection of ideology within the
Russian Structure and the demonstrative disregard for its significance by
state leaders within the post-Soviet interval is a harmful issue that doesn’t
enable the formation of the Russian nation by means of ideology and is a
prerequisite for doable upheavals sooner or later.

Consequently, post-Soviet Russia additionally must create a nation-state and a single supra-ethnic (or ideological) nation, which might be perceived as such by all its folks and political forces. To date, as we see from the Technique of Nationwide State Coverage of the Russian Federation till 2025, Russian political elites have created a mannequin, which, nonetheless, doesn’t include any actual ideological foundations for the unity of the nation. Vladimir Putin’s concept of patriotism doesn’t maintain water as a result of it presents nothing concrete: All politicians name themselves patriots — liberals, communists and the far-right radicals. If it’s so, then the query of the existence of the Russian nation, by and huge, stays open, as patriotism alone can’t unite a nation.

What Unites Us

At the moment, Russian unity is ensured largely on the stage of an intuitive
understanding of widespread values ​​and an exterior risk, the presence of which,
as a result of deterioration in relations with the West, has objectively rallied folks
over the current years.

Are there such ideological foundations right this moment? Are there any values that most individuals with completely different political opinions can unite? Sure, there are, and so they lie on the floor. A survey by Zircon printed in March is revealing on this sense. Its findings recommend that Russians are united by conservative values, which embrace:

Traditionalism, which means a decisive affect of a spiritual worldview on varied spheres of society. It’s attention-grabbing that almost all of Russian residents will not be spiritual, and this issue will not be their precedence, however spiritual ethical values — attitudes to household, to the authorities, to the training of kids, and so on. — are crucial for 57% of respondents.

Collectivism, or the precedence of collectivist ideas over individualistic ones. The survey suggests that private freedoms of residents don’t play a significant position in Russia as they do within the West, in distinction to the communal, collective pursuits and the pursuits of the state and the military.

Conservatism, which means the precedence of
fidelity and stability over novelty and alter. That is evidenced by the
opinion of 62% of respondents regrading the necessity for stability and a cautious
method to reform, regardless of the objectively pressing want for change. Therefore the
sharply unfavourable angle to LGBTQ folks, with 85% condemning same-sex marriages.

Paternalism, or a system of relations primarily based on patronage, guardianship and state management of its residents. In a paternalistic system of presidency, the state will not be a device within the fingers of society, designed to create the required legal guidelines and gather truthful taxes. The state is a senior associate, which shoulders duty for the well-being of residents and the duty to offer them with a good existence, together with employment, for instance. To do that, the state can focus nationwide wealth in its fingers. That is mirrored within the survey, with respondents having skeptical views of the market and a constructive angle towards state regulation of the economic system. Therefore the low recognition of such values ​​as freedom, democracy, private success, training, and so on., that are shared by solely 14% of respondents.

Russians assume that the state is chargeable for their welfare. Due to this fact, a low stage of belief in such establishments as the federal government (28%), legislation enforcement businesses (31%), the courts (29%) and the state Duma (22%) is a severe sign that signifies {that a} credit score of belief within the energy as a complete will not be nice. The load of the federal government is supported solely by excessive approval rankings of the military (64%), the establishment of the presidency (54%) and the Russian Orthodox Church (50%). Exhausting a credit score of confidence within the authorities in Russia is a harmful factor.

Justice, together with social justice.
The precedence of this worth follows, inter alia, from paternalism and
collectivism. Some 40% of residents consider that there’s a battle between
wealthy and poor within the nation, which means they see an absence of social justice in
Russian society.

Russian Model of Democracy

Many different, earlier research, together with sociological surveys, affirm these conclusions. This doesn’t imply that the Russian folks utterly reject Western values like human rights, freedom, individualism, liberalism and seeing the state as an instrument of society. Merely put, these values ​​will not be paramount for many of Russians. That is why Russia’s imaginative and prescient of democracy is completely different from the European fashions.

On condition that, in accordance with one ballot, simply over half of Russians (52%) have heard of liberal concepts and simply 18% say they assist them, a conservative ideology is the one factor that may unite Russian society right this moment and full the method of making the Russian nation and the Russian nation-state. Not directly, it will turn into a stabilizing issue and a assure in opposition to right-wing radicalism lobbying for an ethno-cultural Russian state. Conservative values ​​are fashionable right this moment not solely in Russia, however all through the post-Soviet house. Due to this fact, by betting on a conservative nation-state, Moscow will get extra alternatives to strengthen its ideological affect not solely amongst Russian compatriots within the former Soviet Union, but additionally within the post-Soviet house basically.

If Russian authorities proceed to disregard the position of ideology, then the establishment of a common state will stay the one assure of stability, with the state in search of management over all spheres of society. Such a state is named an empire.

Russia has a alternative within the coming years, and this alternative will decide its destiny for many years. It could stay an empire — however right this moment’s empires don’t dwell lengthy. Within the context of globalization and reactive dissemination of knowledge, their lifespan is sharply diminished. Russia can once more return to the way in which of democratization and liberalism with out making a nation-state. Now we have already seen this in the long run of 1980s. Then it had led to the collapse of the us and the radicalization of society.

There’s additionally a 3rd means of uniting the nation on the premise of conservatism and making a conservative nation-state, which is able to enable the nation to develop additional and enhance its standing in Eurasia and different areas of the world. This alternative lies within the space of ideology and values. Russian society has virtually no time left for this. The countdown has already begun.

*[The Centre for Evaluation of the Radical Proper is a associate establishment of Truthful Observer.]

views expressed on this article are the creator’s personal and don’t essentially
replicate Truthful Observer’s editorial coverage.

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