The way of life of any nation is determined by its perception of the world and the totality of social meanings and images, on the basis of which the national idea is formed as a function of goal-setting, which determines the image of the future society in which this nation would like to live, and as a goal to strive for.
It is impossible to invent a national idea; it must be a natural product of life itself and its meaning. Its task is to unite the people and contribute to the satisfaction of the political, social and economic interests of social groups and classes and the formation of national self-awareness and national identity.
In choosing the path of development of each nation, the determining factor is the system of values in the form of ideas, symbols and images that characterize the world in which they want to live, acceptable conditions and way of life, spiritual principles and ways of translating them into life.
Russian traditional values
All this is built on the basis of a civilizational culture, cultivated in the people of all its previous history and laid in its carriers a strictly defined set of them. Each nation has developed its own values, often fundamentally different from the values of other nations. So the Russian people have developed their own value base with traditional spiritual and moral values. What is the specificity of the Russian system of values and why is it incompatible with the Western European one? Who are we, Russians? What united the Slavic ethnic groups into a political nation that created the Russian civilization? And what traditional spiritual and moral values are characteristic of our people?
The Russian system of spiritual and moral values has developed under the influence of the communal spirit and the institution of the community, which has a specific way and way of life with the principles of solidarity (conciliarity) and the collectivist foundations of social organization, contributing to the unification of individuals into territorial communities in order to organize their life order.
Russian collegiality was characterized by the exclusive priority of common interests (collegiality) over individual interests, the duty of society to protect the interests of the individual, the predominance of unification over division, justice over the law, power over property, service over possession, responsiveness over acquisitiveness, and this is the essence of Russianness. Community ethics and morality excluded the sacralization of private property, leading to social inequality, while paternalism (sacralization of the leader) was characteristic of Russian conciliarism, combining one-man command and popular trust. The sole leader has always been a symbol of a strong Russian state.
Orthodoxy was laid at the basis of the morality and culture of Russian society, as a set of parishes-communities that met the collectivist aspirations of the Russian people, and absorbed traditional Russian values.
Incompatibility of Russian and Western values
The image and way of life of the peoples of Western civilization have developed completely different customs, traditions and other civilizational values, which later became the basis for the ideology of liberalism, which denies any kind of collectivism.
At the heart of liberalism is the consumerism of the individual, preaching the absolutization of his freedom and choice in personal interests of any values without any obligations to society, freeing him from all forms of collective identity. In liberalism, the main value is wealth, it provides all the benefits of consumerism and for the sake of profit, it allows the monetization of everything and everyone at the expense of the neighbor and the opportunity to eat the weak. If in Russian society social justice is the basis of morality, then in Western society it is self-interest and consumerism at the expense of others. In Russian self-awareness, wealth destroys the soul, engenders injustice and humiliates another person.
Russian spiritual and moral values were formed in the plane of social justice based on the strong traits of the individual - the cult of sympathy, empathy and mutual assistance, usefulness for society. And in the West - based on the cult of superiority, personal success and the priority of the individual over society. In this regard, the ideas of liberalism are unacceptable for the Russian person, since they lead to social inequality and are incompatible with the social state, hence the rejection of liberalism and the craving for justice and a welfare state. For a Russian person, the highest value is justice and the resulting self-esteem, which does not allow one’s humiliation and does not humiliate another.
The Russian system of values in connection with the collectivist form of social organization of society presupposes a path of development not on the basis of Western individual consumerism, but on the basis of creating goods in the interests of society and the individual as part of it, the primacy of common interests over individual interests, countering the preaching of freedom as an absolute and restricting the rights of the individual his responsibilities to society. The struggle between Russian and liberal ideological values is a struggle of collectivism, in which everyone survives together, with individualism, where everyone survives as best he can.
That is, Russia is the bearer and bastion of civilizational values alternative to the West.
Fundamentally different traditional values of peoples led to the formation of two civilizations with different social models of society organization and different civilization codes of the peoples inhabiting them. And it is not just that the collectivist ideology of communism, born in the West, found fertile ground not there, but in Russian civilization.
Russian traditional values united the peoples inhabiting this territory into the Russian civilization (Russkiy Mir) - a geopolitical and cultural-historical community of people who consider themselves Russian in spirit (not necessarily Russian by nationality), who are involved in a common historical memory, Russian culture, Russian language and with common views on their life.
In connection with different concepts of the organization of social life and the incompatibility of the civilizational values of the peoples of the two civilizations, there is a tough confrontation and rivalry for influence in the world between them, hence the desire of the West by any means to conquer and subjugate the Russian civilization, which offered the world a different image of the world order.
Attempts by the Russian elite in different historical periods to integrate Russia into Western civilization have always ended in failure. And in modern Russia, the liberal discourse imposed by the elite is not supported by society and is categorically rejected by the people.
It should be noted that, nevertheless, part of society under the influence of propaganda loses its Russian identity, but the primacy of private property has not become sacred for the majority. And it is impossible to recode the Russian civilization code among the entire people, they resist ideological violence with every fiber of their soul. This once again emphasizes that the concept of the development of Russian civilization can in no way lie in the plane of integration with Western civilization. We are irreconcilable competitors and can develop only by competing with each other.
The image of the future: who shapes it and how
The state and society cannot exist without the goal that they strive to realize. Citizens, naturally, want to understand what the ruling class is calling for and where it is leading, and what kind of state it is going to build. The image of the future should be formed under the influence of the traditional values characteristic of this national community and the preservation of the existing way of life. And to be presented to society as a set of meanings, ideas, ways and opportunities for a citizen to achieve the position in society that he deserves, and to enjoy living in such a state.
Any society is heterogeneous, it consists of different social groups and classes, which may have completely different interests. In this regard, in principle, there cannot be a national idea that satisfies absolutely everyone. The national idea should be a consolidating force and strategy for the national development of society. It can take over the masses if it relies on the overwhelming majority of society and has the consolidated support of social groups and influential driving forces, which will see in it the realization of their interests. The national idea can be realized only through a social contract between social groups and classes that have accepted it as the goal of their development.
The support should be on representatives of society, who recognize themselves as part of the Russian national community and are united by the ideological basis of defending the interests of Russian identity. It is they who, by virtue of their conviction and understanding of the ways of development of society, are capable of realizing the Russian national idea. In addition, citizens should not remain silent, but should be imbued with the desire to implement it and become direct participants in the process. As an example, we can cite the Stalinist breakthrough in the 30s, when, despite hunger, general poverty and repression, society enthusiastically built a new future, where everyone was given the opportunity to express themselves, and believed in the image of the future, albeit mythical, striving to achieve this goal.
The national idea should be based on the national identification of the people, the ideological basis of which is the national ideology, characterized by a set of political, social and religious views based on traditional values and indicating the ways and means of achieving them. This is a kind of quasi-religion - a system of ideas aimed at uniting members of society in order to achieve a specific goal.
National ideology, which has become state, always expresses the interests of powerful social groups and classes, imposing it on society with all the might of the state machine. By the way, the formal absence of ideology does not mean that it does not exist. It always exists and is imposed on society by the ruling elite. This is what Russia has faced now. The comprador elite, which seized power after the collapse of the Union, with the formal prohibition of any ideology in the Constitution, imposes on Russian society a liberal ideology with its individualistic values.
Within the framework of this paradigm, the Russian people are imposed an ideology and social order that contradicts their traditional values, eroding the semantic core of Russian society and the image of the future to which one must strive. This attempt to impose liberal values on our community and to form a new Russian identity on this basis is failing. For the consciousness of a Russian person, the liberal value base with its individualism is asocial and unnatural, since under it social justice is simply immoral. Without a collectivist principle, no national idea in Russia can exist.
Russian national idea
What should be the Russian national idea and the corresponding national ideology? And what is the image of the future?
The Russian national idea, like that of other peoples, is based on the dream of its people. If Americans have an individualistic dream - "do it yourself", then Russians - "to live in a strong and just state." The Russian person has a value base - justice, therefore he is historically especially sensitive to issues of social injustice and does not accept the primacy of private property, leading to inequality of people. Its national idea is to build a society of social justice, a sovereign and economically prosperous state, the purpose of which is to protect its citizens and ensure a decent standard and quality of life.
The national idea of building the state of the “Russian dream” is determined, first of all, by “conciliar” state goal-setting based on the intertwining of personal and sovereign interests, the semantic and ideological core of which is conciliar sacredness, adherence to the ideas of a strong state as a “common cause” that excludes discrimination based on social status, and where a successful and happy citizen is its foundation.
For a Russian person, "spiritual bonds" and traditional values have always formed the basis of his worldview. Now they want to force a Russian person to look at the world through the prism of liberal values, and they are trying to impose on him, as a national idea, the construction of a liberal society that is unacceptable for him for the elect, which he does not want to see. And this is well manifested in the way of life of the Russian elite, who simply offend society.
The ideological, moral and social meaning of the Russian formula for the future lies in the idea of social justice, which presupposes that "justice is when everyone in society takes his or her place." Not what a person wants or bought, but what he deserves. Social justice is not equality for everyone and in everything, but the provision of equal rights and opportunities for all social strata to express themselves and achieve a well-deserved status in society.
The way to implement the national idea is to introduce a model of the political, economic and social structure of the state, which corresponds to the image of the future to which society aspires. The model should meet the interests of different strata of society and unite them in the name of finding a compromise, in which certain strata should compromise part of their interests in order to achieve agreement in society. It is necessary to develop a structure of political and social systems that satisfies society, to propose a different economic model for the development of the state and specific mechanisms and methods for their implementation.
In this regard, only spiritual and moral principles can unite society. And the main task is to educate a citizen responsible for their country and a new generation of the ruling class, since the future world order will be determined not only by the struggle of economies, but also by the struggle of ideas for building society. And spiritual needs will inevitably prevail over consumerism. It is not the stomach that should rule, but the brain, but, of course, the stomach should be full. The ideal can become a factor and stimulus for the development of the material.
The society of the future can be based on a synthesis of Orthodox spiritual and moral values, the positive and negative experience of building socialism and the proven elements of capitalism such as competition and forms of private property that do not contradict the idea of a just society.
The Russian national idea presupposes the creation of forms of social life that unite rather than divide peoples. In contrast to the liberal ideology of consumerism, which preaches the principle of "man to man is a wolf", the Russian national idea offers an anti-liberal concept of the world order on the collectivist value basis of the social organization of society, in which the main goal is not the domination of individualism, but the creation of decent living conditions for different peoples in accordance with their image and way of life.
The Russian national idea in its essence is the reincarnation of the ideas of the “red project” on a new social level, which tried to implement the idea of a society of social justice not quite successfully. The Russian project of a world order with an attractive image of the future can become a generator of meanings, ideas, images and social organization of society for other peoples, since it implies an alternative concept of the future as opposed to liberalism with its desire to absorb and enslave the weak and defenseless.
The Russian people, like no other, are passionate, they are a victorious people and cannot serve. Sovereignty is one of the main features of the Russian character. He needs victories like air, and he is ready for a lot in the name of an exciting idea. And this requires strong meanings that can lift him and lead him forward.