Can a society live without ideology? No ideas? Without examples and samples? Who and how today sets these samples for us, how the eternal values are transmitted and the very “spiritual braces” are set, the deficit of which in modern Russia was mentioned in the message to the Federal Assembly by its president. We are discussing this topic with the governor of Sretensky Monastery, executive secretary of the Patriarchal Council for Culture, Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov).
“It hurts me today to talk about it, but I have to say about it. Today, Russian society is experiencing a clear shortage of spiritual brackets,” these are words from a message to the Federal Assembly of the President V.V. Putin's ...
Archimandrite Tikhon: The disunity of the “fathers and children”, the lack of understanding of people even within one generation, the erosion and sometimes the loss of the traditional for Russia moral values ... Until this year, we have not heard about anything like that from the leaders of our state.
Whether we like it or not, after the Soviet period, with its coercive ideology, we, in our custom, shied away in the opposite direction - in this case, to complete ideological confusion, uncertainty of meanings and goals. With all the aversion to any coercive ideology, more and more people gradually come to the conclusion that the other extreme is that a completely de-ideologized state is spiritually relaxed and simply not viable.
And what in return? New ideology?
Archimandrite Tikhon: This is what I wouldn’t want at all, because it is an ideology that is forced on the desks of writing tables. But, fortunately, in the field of human convictions and ideologies there are things that are much more significant and effective than any ideology.
Archimandrite Tikhon: Eternal values.
For a modern person, this somehow sounds too pathetic. Maybe “base values” are better? It is their upbringing that is being called upon to actively engage in when they talk about the youth policy of Russia.
Archimandrite Tikhon: And let me ask you, what are the “basic values” most demanded by young people today?
This is known by numerous sociological surveys. In the first place - health. Then quality housing, family. Then money, wealth. Security. The opportunity to get a high-paying, interesting job. Next - friends. And finally - love for the motherland.
Archimandrite Tikhon: Well, if the main values of young people today really are exactly like this, then our position is really impossible. After all, if we translate this hierarchy of values from sociological to Russian, we will hear: "Provide me with a quality education, well-paid job, safety, decent housing, everything to maintain health, and then we will love our Homeland with friends."
I am absolutely not going to moralize, all of the above sociologists - the natural and normal desires of most people. Only one thing is incomprehensible to me: why, with the efforts, as was said, of the youth policy of the whole state, be engaged in educating the readiness to receive quality housing? Or patiently cultivate the irrational desire for a high salary? Obviously, when we talk about the weakening of the “spiritual braces”, it means something else.
Still, "eternal values"?
Archimandrite Tikhon: It seems so. Neglecting them, oblivion of them leads to tragic discontinuities and misunderstandings between people and generations. Remember, Shakespeare: "The bond of time was broken" ...
Yes, the highest values - mercy, kindness, courage, sacrificial love for people and for the Fatherland, wisdom, loyalty, selflessness, justice, modesty ... I'm not talking about faith in God, about the discovery of His plan for the world and man. It is the listed spiritual and moral qualities that most parents want in their children. And, probably, it is their upbringing and cultivation that should be the subject of youth policy. But the trouble is: no moralizing and the most correct sermons do not work here at all. Moreover, they cause persistent and long-lasting allergies.
So what do you think should be the current youth policy?
Archimandrite Tikhon: I do not know what to say about modern, but let's remember what was the youth policy ... in ancient Greece.
The ethical base, the basis of ancient Greek society were - heroes. Mythical and completely real. Such as Pericles, Alexander the Great, heroes of art, philosophers - Homer, Phidias, Plato.
Ancient Rome was also a civilization of heroes - Tiberius and Guy Gracchus, Caesar, Muzio Scotseola. To convey to the young generation a high sense of sacrificial love for the Motherland, it was not at all necessary to read the morality of the young men. It was enough to tell how their peer Muzii Schevola, captured by enemies and forced to betrayal, said: “This is what a free Roman can do” and, putting his hand into the fire of the altar, held it until it was charred.
Byzantium in the ethical sense was also a civilization of heroes. You could read about them in special books called “the lives of the saints”: in this society, heroes of the spirit were in the first place in demand. In medieval Europe, the heroes are knights. In Russia - the saints and warriors knights. We will see our heroes both in the new and in the newest stories. I'm not talking about the recent Soviet period, permeated with a cult of true and fake heroes.
Heroes are carriers of the most important, eternal values - people, culture, civilization, just what we are talking about. But, very importantly, they are more than just carriers. It is on them in society that the task beyond anyone else’s task is to effectively transfer these values from generation to generation, from heart to heart. No moralizing, moralizing sermons, seminars and salesmen without these genuine carriers of higher values will not cope with such a task. The pedagogical function of the heroes is the continuation of their special ministry even many centuries after their death. No wonder the famous "Comparative biographies" of Plutarch, the biographies of the great Romans and Greeks, were studied, for example, in Russian gymnasiums until the revolution, when completely different heroes replaced the old ones.
And what is happening with heroes today?
Archimandrite Tikhon: Sorry, not happening, but already happened. Over the past decades, work has been successfully carried out on the total de-glorification of Russia. As Mayakovsky wrote, "the work of hell will be done and is already being done."
Actually, degerization is, within a reasonable framework, a positive and sometimes even necessary process, which occurs from time to time in various countries and cultures, when the wind blows husk and alluvial history from the pantheons.
But in our Russian case, the “creative” class and the “handshaking” community of especially advanced amateurs of national history took up the revision. As a result of the cleansing carried out with the Bolshevik ruthlessness, they simply did not leave us any national heroes. Deposed all. Turned into ruthless monsters, scum and scoundrels, cowards, perverts, unprincipled opportunists. Methods - slander, cynical and ruthless ridicule, distortion of facts. In science, tendentiousness. In the collection of facts - forgery and paparazzi techniques. And all this, of course, under the pretext of "the struggle for truth" and the reverent desire to reveal to us, blind and deceived, the truth about ourselves.
Recently, I went to the central Moscow bookstore. In the most prominent place, among the leaders of sales is Rezun's libel about Marshal Zhukov, the next reprint. Or another example: the little idea that “your Alexander Nevsky” is no more than an ordinary opportunist, a henchman of Tatar princes, has been discussed for a year or two. And how Pushkin trying to denigrate incompetent vulgarians! ..
But if you argue that there is a lot of factual material that speaks of the cruelty of Zhukov.
Archimandrite Tikhon: Domestic and academic Western scholars have long left no stone unturned in Rezun’s “historical” concepts. Yes, it's not even about that. Any commander without exception can be accused of cruelty if desired. But remember that Pushkin wrote: "Leave the heart of the hero ... What is / He will be without him? Tyrant ..." This is from the poem "Hero", dedicated, by the way, not to anyone, but to Napoleon - the enemy of Russia. This is where the wisdom of genius and a deep, penetrating historical ages.
The book of Rezun and the campaign that followed is the clearest example of coordinated activities - international and domestic - in turning not only the history of the Second World War, but also our national mentality. Implicitly and directly inspire us: if those whom you call your great heroes are in reality very often - monsters and geeks, then what is this country, what kind of people are you, what are you?
From recent history, it seems, only two of us are left as heroes: the elderly academicians D. S. Likhachev and A.D. Sakharov with their opposition to the collapsing Soviet state. There was still, however, A.I. Solzhenitsyn, but in the last years of his life, according to the creative public, he didn’t write something, and they excommunicated him from their society.
However, the “creative class” still offers us some modern heroes. Namely - the "heroes" of glamor. They carry and successfully convey to young people "values" that are directly opposed to the highest: instead of modesty, arrogant vanity, instead of nobility, pettiness, instead of courage, demonstrative adaptability and conjuncture. And further on the list.
But where in our country today take the real heroes?
Archimandrite Tikhon: Yes, that’s really the eternal question! .. This was still the case for Chatsky at Griboedov’s torment: "Where, tell us, fathers of the fatherland, / which should we take as samples?"
Just let's remember at what time Chatsky throws the reproach of Russia? In 1827, it seems Griboyedov was reading a complete manuscript in Petersburg. And what, then really there was no one who could serve as a noble example and a high "sample"?
But it was during these years that the genius of Pushkin flourished. Created Baratynsky and Zhukovsky. Karamzin accomplished a scientific and literary feat, publishing "The History of the Russian State" in the language of modern Russian literature. Bellingshausen and Lazarev in the 1820 year open Antarctica. In the years of writing "Woe from Wit" Lobachevsky created non-Euclidean geometry. In painting - Venitsianov, Bryullov, Kiprensky. In music - Glinka, Alyabyev. Not to mention our great warriors - generals, officers and soldiers, who expelled Napoleon and reached Paris! That they, too, can not be "taken for samples"? And Speransky, Uvarov? Yes, the same Decembrists, if someone wanted to take an example from them, were also, as they say, at hand.
How can you answer people who at all times are thinking of Russia, like Chatsky? What is this strikingly short-sighted position? The answer is simple, and Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin gave it to us in one of the letters to Vyazemsky. He wrote about the main character, "Woe from Wit": "Chatsky is not a smart man at all!"
There are no heroes ... But only in the past year, two of our military have covered grenades with their bodies to save the fighters. Do we remember their names?
Without looking at the Internet, no.
Archimandrite Tikhon: In fact of the matter. Major Sergei Solnechnikov and Sergeant Yevgeny Epov. And how is their feat different from the feat of Alexander Matrosov? And after all, we can cite many examples - people accomplish real feats — military, state, scientific, and labor.
What should we do about them?
Archimandrite Tikhon: “Must” is not a good word. When we talked about the highest values, we did not mention one of the highest and certainly the most noble human quality - gratitude. Only a very few high souls cultivate this rare and beautiful feeling in themselves. The skill of sincere gratitude must be patiently and, most importantly, delicately taught to both children and adults. This applies to individuals and the whole society. One cannot demand gratitude towards oneself — this is extremely vulgar — but it is possible and vital to instill in people the ability to be grateful to those who truly deserve it.
There is only one commandment, for the fulfillment of which God promises a very definite reward: "Honor your father and mother, and you will be long-lived on earth." The same applies to the life of nations and societies. Look at how many centuries and even millennia live, in spite of any cataclysms, countries where the veneration of ancestors and national heroes has been erected in the unshakable tradition and universal custom. And on the contrary, as soon as the country begins to defiantly ruin the traditions of the ancestors and slander the best sons and daughters of its people, rapid degradation and decay are inevitable.
People who embody the best qualities of a person as God intended him, the best qualities of their people are the greatest treasure of any country. They - the famous and unknown - the greatest treasure of Russia. No efforts of the state and society can be recognized as excessive if they are directed to gratitude and to prevent genuine manifestations of heroism from passing unnoticed.
How many times have we read in newspapers about how in some provincial town, right on the boulevard, in front of everyone, some bastards grabbed a girl, dragged her into a car, and a passer-like nerd boy stood up and was killed for it. How many such messages ... But this kid is the real, true hero! And what are we? Well, there will be a small note in the regional newspaper. Well, someone will grin: "you fool, there was nothing to climb." Someone sympathizes - "sorry guy." And that's all. And again we will be surprised at the passivity, cowardice, indecision of our youth ...
It is unlikely that such stories come to the attention of the governors, for example.
Archimandrite Tikhon: The trouble if this is true. The glorification of heroes has always been the task of the first persons. Do we want our young men to be courageous and not get used to cowardice? We want them to not let their passionate eastern peers (who, by the way, have no shortage of heroes for example in life) push around themselves in the army? Would you not pass one by one by drooping your eyes when a girl is insulted next to her? If in the park where the tragedy occurred, put a monument to this dead "botanist" - a true Russian hero, if the governor gathers the whole city for the opening of the monument, then life for local scoundrels will not be so safe: the grateful memory of the heroes can inspire even timid ones.
The governors will tell you that they have too little time to do such things.
Archimandrite Tikhon: Do you think the president of the United States has a lot of it? But after all, he meets with firefighters who used to extinguish the 11 September skyscrapers every year. He personally comes because he knows: this is part of his most important ministry. But what to take distant examples - March 1 was the anniversary of the feat of officers and soldiers 6 airborne company. President Putin specifically in order to honor their memory arrived in Pskov. Yes, the plot was shown on television. And all ... the media "worked" and forgotten. Ask the young people if they know about this, without exaggeration, of the unparalleled feat of the paratroopers? Here we have absolutely no thoughtful, systematic work.
Or, perhaps, we really are not the most suitable time for the heroes?
Archimandrite Tikhon: In the twenties and thirties, in the period of the Great Depression in the USA, the situation was even worse in this sense, and that’s really the most unsuitable time for heroes. It seemed that they were not around and could not be. What did the Americans do? Realizing that just in such a timelessness, carriers of the most important, eternal values are especially necessary, they still found a hero. Whom? - simple shepherd. Cowboy The burden of transmitting the traditions and spiritual and moral values of the American people was in fact placed on him, on this image.
He gave birth to good associations: freedom, responsibility, strength, skill of his craft ...
Archimandrite Tikhon: Yes, and also nobility, courage, optimism, patience, kindness, a sense of justice, sacrifice. And for many years, he perfectly performed the "function of the hero."
But this hero is mainly cinema, culture. For all the importance of such examples for education, everything seems to be clear with them. But here are the heroes of history? .. Just now there is a tense discussion about what should be the textbook of national history. Is a single approach to such a controversial subject as history possible? Is it utopia?
Archimandrite Tikhon: In the Church of Christ, when a common decision must be taken by people of very different positions and views, we are guided by our ancient Christian principle: "In the main, unity, in the secondary, freedom, in everything, love."
Maybe the discussion participants will listen to this?
Archimandrite Tikhon: For two decades now, we have been looking for a national idea. So far we have stopped on the fact that this is patriotism. Of course, this is true, but any final formulations, unfortunately, sooner or later become commonplace, they are always limited and vulnerable, almost always annoyingly ideological. Such formulations inevitably change depending on the changes of the state system, the direction of politics. But there are eternal and supreme values and human qualities, such as faith, honor, nobility, justice, the pursuit of truth, service to one’s work, work in revealing talents given to a person by God, sacrifice, kindness, love for people, love for one’s Fatherland and loyalty to him. It is not a formula of a national idea, but people who embody the spiritual qualities that are the best and successive in our thousand-year history and express the goal and the national idea of Russia. And the people, by and large, never formulate their national idea, but on the other hand, they accurately determine its carriers.