Russia as a unique civilization and culture
From a purely geographical point of view, the problem seems to be quite clear: Russia, since the annexation of territories east of the Ural Range, which began in the 16th century, is a country that is part of the European continent and a part (much larger) of Asia. True, the question immediately arises of the essential uniqueness and even uniqueness of such a state of affairs in the modern world ...
1. For the rest of the countries of the giant Eurasian continent belong wholly to either Europe or Asia (3 percent of Turkey’s territory located on the European continent is the only “exception to the rule”). And now, even in Russia itself, this question often gives an answer that can upset many Russian people, which can be summarized as follows.
The state that was formed about a thousand two hundred years ago and was originally called Rus was European (more precisely, Eastern European), but starting from the XVI century, it, like a number of other European countries, is Spain, Portugal, Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, and so on. .d.- undertook a large-scale expansion into Asia, turning its vast territories into its colonies. (True, Western European states transformed their colonies of the land not only in Asia, but also in Africa, America and Australia.) After World War II (1939-1945), Western states gradually "abandoned" one way or another, but Russia still owns a huge space in Asia, and although after the “collapse of the USSR” in 1991, more than a third of the Asian part of the country became the territories of “independent states”, the current Russian Federation (RF) still owns 13 million square meters. km Asian territory, which is the third part (!) of the entire space of Asia and, say, almost four times the territory of modern India (3,28 million sq. km.).
The fact that Asian territories that have become part of Russia are colonies (or were) will be discussed below. At first it is advisable to raise another question - about the vast space of Russia as such.
There is a widespread notion that an excessively large area with a relatively small population, firstly, indicates exceptional “imperial” appetites, and secondly, is the cause of many or even (ultimately) all the ills of Russia and the USSR.
In 1989, the whole giant space of the USSR, which constituted 22,4 million square meters. km-15% of the entire globe (land) - lived 286,7 million people, that is, 5,5% of the then population of the planet. And now, by the way, the situation has become aggravated, so to speak: approximately 145 million of the current residents of the Russian Federation - less than 2,3% of the world's population - occupy the territory of 17,07 million square meters. km (the entire area of the Russian Federation), which constitutes 11,4% of the earth's surface), that is, almost 5 times more than it seems to be "supposed" ... Thus, those who consider Russia to be a country that has seized an unreasonably vast territory have today Apparently, there are especially good reasons for promoting this point of view.
However, even the most well-established points of view do not always correspond to reality. To prove this, it is necessary again to cite a number of figures, although not all readers have the habit and desire to understand the digital relations. But in this case, without the numbers can not do.
So, the Russian Federation is 11,4% of terrestrial space, and its population is only 2,3% of the population of the planet. But, for example, the territory of Canada - 9,9 million square meters. km., that is, 6,6% of the Earth’s surface, and only 0,4 (!)% of the world's population lives in this country (28 million). Or Australia - 7,6 million square meters. km (5% of land) and 18 million people (less than 0,3% of the population of the planet). These ratios can be expressed as follows: in the Russian Federation on 1 square. km The territory accounts for 8,5 people, and in Canada - only 2,8 and in Australia - only 2,3. Consequently, per person in Canada accounts for three times more territory than in the current Russian Federation, and in Australia even almost four times more. And this is not the limit: in Mongolia on 1,5 million square meters. km live 2,8 million people, that is, 1 square. km accounts for five times less people than in Russia.
On the basis of this, it becomes clear that the assertion about the excessive isoablity of the territory that Russia owns is a tendentious myth, which, unfortunately, is also embedded in the minds of many Russians.
No less significant is the other side of the matter. More than half of the territory of the Russian Federation is located just south or even north of the 60 parallel of northern latitude, that is, in a geographical area that, on the whole, is considered unsuitable for "normal" life and human activity: these are north of 58 degrees of Alaska, northern territories Canada, Greenland, etc. Expressive fact; Alaska occupies as much 16% of the US territory, but its population is only 0,2% of the population of this country. The situation in Canada is even more impressive: its northern territories occupy about 40 percent of the entire area of the country, and their population is only 0,02% (!) Of its population.
A completely different ratio took shape for 1989 in Russia (meaning the then RSFSR): 60% of its population (12 million) * lived a little south and north of 18 *, that is, almost 60 times greater share than in the corresponding US territory , and almost 600 (!) times than in the northern territories of Canada.
And it is precisely in this aspect (and not at all on the exceptional "abundance" of the territory) that Russia is in fact a unique country.
One of the main sources of statehood and civilization of Russia, the city of Ladoga in the mouth of the Volkhov (besides, the source, as modern historiography proved, the original; Kiev began to play a primary role later) is located on the 60-th parallel of northern latitude. Here it is important to remember that Western European "colonizers", penetrating into the countries of South Asia and Central America (for example, India or Mexico) found there highly developed (albeit completely different than Western European) civilizations, but, having reached 60 degrees (in the same northern Canada), they found there, even in the 20th century, a truly “primeval” way of life. No tribes of the planet who lived in these latitudes with their climatic conditions, could not create any developed civilization.
Meanwhile, Novgorod, located not far south of the 60 degree, by the middle of the 11th century was a center of a rather high civilization and culture. It may be objected that at the same time the southern parts of Norway and Sweden at the same northern latitude were civilized. However, due to the powerful warm sea current Gulf Stream **, as well as the general climate of Scandinavia and, by the way, Great Britain (oceanic, not continental, inherent in Russia "***), winter temperatures in southern Norway and Sweden average 15-20 ( !) degrees higher than in other lands on the same latitude, and snow cover, if it happens occasionally, then no more than a month, while at the same latitude in the area of Ladoga-Novgorod the snow is 4-5,5 months! In contrast from the main countries of the West in Russia it is necessary to continue than half a year of intense heat homes and industrial premises, which implies, of course, very significant labor costs.
* It is possible that today, after the "reforms", a very significant part of these people left the north.
** More precisely to the North Atlantic.
*** It is worth up, that winter in the Kuban steppe, located almost on 2000 km
south of Scandinavia, however, is longer and more severe than in the southern parts of Norway
No less important, and more. AT stories The highly developed civilization of the West played a huge role in water, sea and river transport, which, firstly, was “cheaper” than land transport many times, and, secondly, it was capable of transporting much heavier cargoes. The fact that Western countries are surrounded by non-freezing seas and riddled with rivers that either do not freeze at all, or are covered with ice for a very short time, largely determined the unprecedented economic and political dynamism of these countries. Of course, in Russia, waterways were of great importance, but here they acted on average only for half a year.
In short, the prevailing millennium ago near the 60 parallel of northern latitude and in the continental climate zone, statehood and the civilization of Russia are in fact a unique phenomenon; if you put the question "theoretically", it would not seem to be at all, because nothing like this had place in other similar areas of the planet. Meanwhile, in judgments about Russia, the unique conditions in which it has developed and developed are taken extremely rarely into account, especially when it comes to these or other "advantages" of Western countries compared with Russia.
But the point is not only that Russia created its civilization and culture in the conditions of the climate of the B-th parallel (besides the continental one), that is, not so far from the Arctic Circle. No less significant is the fact that such major Russian cities as Smolensk, Moscow, Vladimir, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Ufa, Chelyabinsk, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, etc., are located approximately on the 55 parallel, and in the Western Europe north of this parallel is, in addition to the Scandinavian countries, Scotland alone, also "insulated" by the Gulf Stream. As for the United States, their entire territory (except for almost deserted Alaska) is located south of the 50 degree, while even the southern center of Russia, Kiev, is located north of this degree.
In the present Russian Federation, the territory south of the 50 parallel is 589,2 thousand square meters. km - that is, only 3,4 (!)% of its space (these southern lands inhabited 1989 million people in 20,6 year - 13,9% of the RSFSR population - not much more than in the most northern areas). Thus, Russia has developed in a space that is radically different from the space in which the civilizations of Western Europe and the United States developed, moreover, it is not only about geographical, but also geopolitical differences. Thus, the enormous advantages of the waterways, especially the non-freezing seas (and oceans), which wash the territories of Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, Germany, etc., as well as the USA, are the basis of precisely geopolitical "superiority".
Here, however, the question may arise or should be why why the territories of Asia, Africa and America, located to the south of Western countries (including the USA) in the tropical zone, clearly and in many ways lagged behind Western civilization? The most concise answer to such a question is appropriately stated as follows. If in the arctic (or even close to it) geographical zone, enormous efforts were required for the elementary survival of people, and their activity was essentially exhausted by these efforts, then in the tropical zone, where, in particular, the earth bears fruit year-round and does not need those requiring large labor costs protecting dwellings and clothing from the cold of winter, survival was given as a gift, and there were no urgent incentives for the development of material civilization. And the countries of the West, located mainly between the 50 and 40 parallel, represented from this point of view a kind of middle ground between the North and the South.
2. The above are “publicly available” information, but, as already mentioned, they are extremely rarely taken into account in discourses on Russia and - which is especially regrettable - when comparing its history (and modern being) with the history (and modern being) of Western Europe and the USA. Strangely enough, the overwhelming majority of ideologues who argue about certain “advantages” of Western civilization over the Russian one, raise and solve the issue only in the socio-political terms: any “lagging behind the West in the sphere of economy, life, culture, etc. explain either (when it comes to Ancient Russia) "feudal fragmentation", or (at a later stage), on the contrary, "autocracy", as well as "serfdom", "imperial ambitions", finally, "socialist totalitarianism." If you think about similar interpretations are based essentially on a kind of mysticism, because, according to them, Russia de had every reason to develop in the same way as the countries of the West, but some ominous forces, firmly nestled from the very beginning of its history at the top of the state and society, suppressed or disfigured creative potentials of the country ...
It is in the spirit of such "black" mysticism that it interprets the history of Russia, for example, the well-known E. Gaidar in his essay "State and Evolution" (1995 and subsequent editions). In conclusion, he declares the need to "shift the main vector of the history of Russia" (p. 187) - I mean her whole history!
Among other things, he considers it necessary to "give up" everything "Asian" in Russia. And in this formulation of the question, the deliberate inconsistency of the views of such ideologues is most obvious. The fact is that the “rejection” of everything “Asiatic” means precisely the denial of the entire national history as a whole.
As already mentioned, Russia began to join the territory of Asia (that is, beyond the Urals) only at the end of the 16th century, but the joint history of Eastern Europeans-Slavs and Asian peoples began eight centuries earlier, during the very emergence of the Rus state. For many peoples of Asia were then a nomadic way of life and were constantly moving along a huge plain, stretching from Altai to the Carpathians; often entering the limits of Russia. Their relationship with the Eastern Slavs was diverse - from fierce battles to completely peaceful cooperation. The complexity of these relationships was evident from the fact that Russian princes who were at war with each other often invited Polovtsy to help, who came from the Trans-Urals in the middle of the XI century and settled in the southern Russian steppes.
Moreover, even earlier, in the 9th-10th centuries, Russia entered into again complex relationships with other Asian nations - Khazars, Bulgars, Pechenegs, Torks, etc.
Unfortunately, many “anti-Asian” historians have inculcated into the mass consciousness the idea of these “Asians” only as almost deadly enemies of Russia; True, over the past decades many substantial studies have been created, from which it appears that such a view does not correspond to historical reality *. Even a certain part of the Khazars (Kozars), which were part of the Khazar Khaganate, which was very aggressive towards Russia in the last third of the tenth century, joined the Russians, as evidenced by the heroic epic, one of whose illustrious heroes is Mikhail Kozarin.
Alas, the situation recreated in the well-known "The Word of Igor's Regiment", which supposedly depicts the fatal irreconcilable struggle of the Polovtsian Khan Konchak and Russian Prince Igor, is falsely understood, while the story of their conflict is crowned by the marriage of his son Igor to the daughter of Konchak, who converted to Orthodoxy (as, by the way, Konchak’s son Yury, who gave his daughter for the Grand Duke of Russia Yaroslav Vsevolodovich).
How early and firmly connected Russia was with Asia, is testified by the oldest Western European message about the Russian state - the record made in 839 (1160 years of pazad!) From the Frankish “annals” that the ruler of Russia is called “hakan”, that is, Asian ( Turkic title (kagan; later this title had the great princes of Russia Vladimir Svyatoslavich and Yaroslav the Wise).
So, eight centuries before the moment when Russia came beyond the Urals, to Asia, Asia itself came to Russia and then came here more than once in the person of many of its peoples, right up to the Mongols in the XIII century.
In this regard, it is impossible not to say that, sadly, to this day, tendentious - extremely negative - ideas about the Mongolian Empire that existed in the 13th-15th centuries are widespread, although at the end of the last century one of the largest Orientalists of Russia and the world V. W. Barthold (1869-1930) refuted the myth about this empire learned from the West as a purely “barbaric” one and capable only of destructive actions.
*Cm. A detailed review of these studies in my book "The History of Russia and the Russian Word. A Modern Look" (M: 1997, the second updated edition, M .; 1999).
“Russian scientists,” stated Barthold, “mostly follow the European footsteps,” but contrary to the latter’s assertions, “the Mongols brought with them a very strong state organization ... and it had a strong impact in all areas incorporated into the Mongolian Empire.” V. Barthold complained that many Russian Nstoriki talked about the Mongols "certainly hostile, denying any culture of them, and talking about the conquest of Russia by the Mongols only as barbarity and about the yoke of the barbarians ... The Golden Horde ... was a cultural state; the same applies to the state, somewhat later formed by the Mongols in Persia, "which in the" Mongolian "period occupied the first place in terms of cultural importance and was at the head of all countries in cultural terms" (see this in detail in my book Russ .., ")
The categorically negative assessment of the Mongolian empire (as, indeed, of the entire "Asian" in general) was introduced to Russia from the West, and the reasons for this are still discussed. It is worthwhile to give an opinion here about the Mongols of one of the most prominent figures of Asia of the 20th century - Jawaharlal Nehru: “Many people think that, since they were nomads, they had to be barbarians. But this was an erroneous idea ... they had a developed social way of life and they had a complex organization ... Peace and order were established throughout the vast extent of the Mongol Empire ... Europe and Asia entered into closer contact with each other. "
The last consideration of J. Nehru is absolutely true and very important. Let us recall, for the first time, that Europeans first traveled to the depths of Asia only after the emergence of the Mongol Empire, uniting the territories of Asia and Eastern Europe and thereby creating a solid Eurasian geopolitical unity.
True, this kind of assertion causes a rejection of many Russian people, because when the Mongol Empire was created, Russia was conquered and subjected to brutal attacks and violence. However, the movement of history as a whole is unthinkable without conquest. That geopolitical unity, which is called the West, took shape, starting from the turn of the 8th-9th centuries, in the course of the equally cruel wars of Charlemagne and his successors. The Holy Roman Empire, created as a result of these wars, was subsequently divided into a number of independent states, but without this Empire, the civilization of the West as a whole, its geopolitical unity could hardly have been formed. And it is extremely significant that later on Western countries more than once united again - in the empires of Charles V and Philip II (XVI century), or Napoleon (beginning of the nineteenth).
In the 15th century, the Eurasian Mongolian empire was divided (just as the Western European) into a number of independent states, but later, from the end of the 16th century, the Russian tsars and emperors restored the Eurasian unity to one degree or another. Just as in the West, this restoration was not without wars. But it is highly significant that the rulers of the former constituent parts of the Mongol Empire annexed to Russia occupied a high position in the Russian state. Thus, after the Kazan Khanate was annexed in the middle of the 16th century, its then ruler, a descendant of Genghis Khan Ediger, received the title of “Tsar of Kazan” and occupied the second place — after Ivan IV, the Tsar of All Russia — in the official state hierarchy. And after the annexation of the Mongolian Siberian Khanate at the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th centuries, the Chingizids, the sons of the well-known Khan Kuchum, became part of the Russian government with the titles of "Siberian princes" (see this in my book History of Russia ...).
Unfortunately, such historical facts are little known, and without their knowledge and understanding it is impossible to understand the real character of Russia as a Eurasian power, in particular, to decide whether the Asian part of Russia is a colony.
* * *
Having been at the beginning of the 20th century in the Asian part of Russia, the British statesman George Curzon, who ruled India in the 1899-1905 years (with the title of "viceroy"), wrote: "Russia undoubtedly has a wonderful gift to seek loyalty and even friendship she subjugated by force ... Russian is fraternizing in the full sense of the word ... He does not shy away from social and family communication with alien and inferior races, "to which the British were never capable (2).
In its own way, this is the reasoning of a professional "colonizer". He is clearly not in a position to realize that the peoples of Asia were not and could not be either “alien” or “inferior” for Russians, because, as already mentioned, from the very beginning of the existence of the state, “Rus” developed, despite certain military conflicts, close and equal relations with these peoples — in particular, there were numerous marriages among the Russian and Asian nobility.
Meanwhile, the people of the West, invading the XVI-XX centuries in Asia, America, Africa and Australia, perceived the "natives" as people (or rather, "subhumans") of "alien and lower races." And the goal of the conquest of the American, African, Australian, and most of the Asian continents carried out by the countries of the West from the end of the 15th century was the extraction of material wealth from these continents without any moral restrictions.
However, the same interpretations of the fate of Asian territories attached to Russia have a fairly wide circulation. But it seems to be a private, but very significant fact. Twenty years ago, I met a young politician of Guatemala, Rafael Sosoy, a passionate fighter against colonialism in all its manifestations. He arrived in Moscow because he saw in drinking a kind of stronghold of anti-colonialism. But after a while he, probably after conversations with any "dissidents", with his usual bluntness, told me that he was deceived in his best hopes, because the Russians exploit and oppress a whole number of Asian peoples, that is, they themselves are colonizers. I tried to convince him, in vain.
But then he made a big trip around the USSR and, returning to Moscow, with the same directness asked me to apologize, because he was convinced that people in the Russian "colonies" live not worse, and often much better than in Central Russia, meanwhile how the level and quality of life in the Western "metropolises" and dependent (at least economically) countries differ to a great extent and with complete obviousness.
Of course, the problem of colonialism also has political and ideological aspects, but the fact that "Asian" peasants, workers, employees, cultural figures, etc. had (and have) in our country no less or even a higher standard of living than the Russian people of the same social categories *, speaks of the deliberate inconsistency of the idea of the Asian territories of Russia as colonies like those of the West, where such a state of affairs is unthinkable.
It should also be noted that the attitude of Russians towards the Asian peoples of Russia appears in a radically more favorable form than the attitude of the British, Germans, French, Spaniards towards the less “strong” peoples of Europe itself. Great Britain is a country of Britons, but this nation was wiped off the face of the earth by the English (Angles); the same fate befell the Prussian state, which occupied a very significant part of the future Germany (Prussia), and many other Western European peoples.
In Russia, however, only some Finnish tribes that inhabited its central part (around Moscow) were assimilated, but they had neither statehood nor any developed civilization (unlike the Prussians mentioned). True, the Pechenegs, Torks, Polovtsians ** and a number of other Turkic peoples have disappeared, but they sort of dissolved in the semi-nomadic Golden Horde, and not because of any Russian influence.
About a hundred Asian peoples and tribes that have survived for centuries on the territory of Russia (and later the USSR) are indisputable proof of the national and religious tolerance inherent in the Eurasian power.
In this regard, it is important to recall that Asian warriors for centuries participated in repelling attacks on Russia-Russia from the West. As you know, the first powerful attack of the West took place back in 1018, when the combined Polish-Hungarian-German (Saxon) army managed to capture Kiev. The Polish prince (later the king) Boleslav the Great made his campaign, allegedly, only with the aim of imprisoning his son-in-law (the wife of his daughter) Svyatopolk (Damned) on the throne of Kiev, whom his half-brother Yaroslav the Wise had deprived of power. However, entering Kiev, the invaders robbed his treasury and took thousands of Kiev into slavery, and. according to the message of the Tale of Bygone Years, even Svyatopolk himself
joined the fight with his treacherous "friends."
* Here, for example, an impressive indicator: in 1989, in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Armenia, more or far more significant (in 1,6 times!) The share of families than in the RSFSR, had cars.
(See Social Development of the USSR. Statistical collection. M .: 1990, p. 144).
** It is highly characteristic that the great Russian composer A.P. Borodin presented a kind of immortality to the Polovtsi in the “Polovtsian dances” known to the whole world.
A Polish chronicler of French origin known as Gall, narrating the events of 1018 of the year, found it necessary to report that Asians, Pechenegs, also took part in the war with Boleslav's army on the side of Russia. This seems to contradict our chronicle, for it speaks of the Pechenegs' union with Svyatopolk. But it is quite possible that in the internecine struggle of Svyatopolk and Yaroslav the Pechenegs were on the side of the first; when the war began with the enemies who came from the West, the Pechenegs fought with them, as Gall told, and the Russian chronicler kept silent about this role of the Pechenegs, perhaps because of unwillingness to detract from Yaroslav the Wise in any way.
The situation is similar with the information about the victory of Alexander Nevsky in 1242 over the Teutonic army invading Russia. The German chronicler Heidenstein will report that "Alexander Yaroslavich ... having received Tatar auxiliary troops in support ... won the battle," but our chronicle does not inform about it.
The reliability of the information from Gall and Geidenstein is confirmed by the fact that during the heavy Livonian war of 1558-1583, when Russia defended its primordial north-western borders in the fight against the Germans, Poles and Swedes, in our army, as is known with complete certainty, a significant role was played by the Asian warriors, and at one time even Khan Kasimov Chingizid Shah Ali (Shigaley in Russian) commanded the entire Russian army.
It is impossible not to say about the special component of the population of Russia - the Cossacks, which, as convincingly proved in a number of recent studies, had a "mixed" Russian-Asian origin (it is significant that the word "Cossack" is Turkic). For a long time, the Cossacks had a rather complicated relationship with the Russian authorities, but ultimately became a powerful component of the Russian army; Napoleon in 1816 year declared; "... all of Europe in ten years could become a Cossack ..."
True, this "prediction" was unfounded, because Russia never had any intention to conquer Europe (See this in detail in my book: Russia. 20th Century. 1939-1964. Experience of impartial research), but Napoleon's words speak eloquently about the possibilities of the Russian-Asian Cossack army, which he encountered in Russia.
Rarely pay attention to the fact that the West, starting from the end of the 15th century, in a relatively short time and even without particularly strenuous efforts somehow subordinated all the continents (America, Africa, most of Asia and Australia), at the same time, despite numerous powerful invasions of our country (the first, as was said, took place in 1018 year - nearly a thousand years ago), could not conquer it, although neither the ocean (or at least the sea) nor mountain ranges separated it from the West.
In this it is appropriate to see the root cause of Russophobia inherent in the West in the literal meaning of this word (that is, the fear of Russia). The famous French book de Custine's “Russia in 1839 year” *, in particular, is imbued with Russophobia. Since only its significantly and tendentiously abbreviated translations into Russian have become widespread, it is considered to be "anti-Russian," in every way, supposedly discrediting Russia. In fact, this very observant Frenchman was (with all possible reservations) shocked by the power and greatness of Russia; in particular, he was greatly impressed by the fact that was mentioned above - the creation of such a mighty power in such a northern territory of the Earth: "..that human race ... turned out to be pushed to the very pole ... the war with the elements is severe the test to which the Lord wished to subject this chosen nation, in order to one day lift it above many others. "
Custine said insightfully about the other side of the matter: “We need to come to Russia to see firsthand the result of the terrifying (that is, generating Russophobia. - V.K.) connection of the European mind and science with the spirit of Asia” (Russian-Asian) Cossacks, it has already been said, “terrified” and Napoleon himself) ..
It should be recognized that the French traveler understood more clearly and deeper the place of Russia in the world than so many Russian ideologues of his time and of our days who consider everything "Asian" in Russian being to be something "negative" from which it is necessary to free themselves, and only then supposedly, Russia will become in the full sense of the word a civilized and cultural country. Such representations are based on a deeply false view of the world as a whole — as the remarkable thinker and scientist Nikolai Trubetskoy (1920-1890) excellently showed in his book “Europe and Humanity” (1938).
He wrote that "Europeanly educated" people "chauvinism and cosmopolitanism seem to be ... opposites, in principle, radically different points of view." And he resolutely objected: "It is worth looking more closely at chauvinism and cosmopolitanism, in order to notice that there is no fundamental difference between them, that it is ... two different aspects of the same phenomenon, Chauvinist proceeds from the a priori position that the best people in the world it is his people that is. The culture created by his people is better, more perfect than all other cultures ...
Cosmopolitan denies differences between nationalities. If such differences exist, they must be destroyed. Civilized humanity must be united and have a single culture ... However, let us see what content cosmopolitan people put into the terms "civilization" and "civilized humanity"? By "civilization" they understand the culture that the Romance and Germanic peoples of Europe developed in joint work ...
Thus, we see that the culture that, according to cosmopolitans, should dominate the world, is a culture of the same definite ethnographic-anthropological unit, like that unit whose domination the chauvinist dreams of ... The only difference is that a chauvinist takes a closer ethnic group than a cosmopolitan ... the difference is only in degree, not in principle ... the theoretical foundations of the so-called ... "cosmopolitanism" ... it would be more correct to call the frankly all-German chauvinism (3).
There is no doubt that the "Romano-Germanic" civilization of the West created in a kind of optimal geographical and geopolitical conditions (which was discussed above) has many obvious advantages in comparison with other civilizations, including the Russian one. But equally certain are these or other advantages of these other civilizations, which, by the way, have been recognized by many ideologists of the West itself. True, sometimes such confessions have a very peculiar character ... The above statements were quoted by J. Curzon, who ruled India and complained that, unlike the Russians, "the British were never able" to achieve "loyalty and even friendship" from people "alien and lower races. " That is, the British saw the “superiority” of Russians in the pragmatism of their behavior in Asia, although in general the West clearly surpasses other civilizations in its pragmatism, and from the mouth of the Western ideologue this “praise” is very high. The fact is, however, that, as has already been said, the perception of the people of Asia ("alien and lower races"), about which the British statesman boldly spoke, is not typical for Russians.
And now let us return to the thoughts of Nikolai Trubetskoy. What he calls "cosmopolitanism" is most often defined in our time as adherence to "universal values", but in reality it is precisely and only about Western values that possess absolute superiority over the values of other civilizations.
It is highly indicative that Curzon interpreted the attitude of the Russians towards the people of Asia as an expression of unique pragmatism; obviously, it seemed simply unthinkable the unity of Russians and "Asians" that had developed over a thousand-year history. And, concluding the reflection on the place of Russia in the world, it is appropriate to say that its Eurasian unity is in fact universal or, using the word Dostoevsky, universal human value, which we hope will play its beneficial role in the destinies of the world.