Igor Shafarevich: “It will not be possible to make Russia non-Russian”
90 is celebrated as a famous scientist and public figure.
As a schoolboy, he took exams at the mechanics and mathematics department of Moscow State University. And after graduating from school in 17 years, he was taken immediately to the last course of this faculty. In 19 years he defended his thesis, in 23 of the year - a doctoral thesis ... Then scientific and teaching activities, titles, awards. However, at the same time there is continuous internal work going on in it, prompted by the awareness of imperfection, injustice, falsehood of the surrounding life.
The desire to understand the causes of what is happening leads him to the circle of dissidents. He opposes the persecution of dissidents, the use of psychiatry as a means of political repression, becoming a member of the Human Rights Committee. Especially a lot of power gives protection of freedom of religion and the rights of believers in the USSR. And this is despite the fact that his father once admitted: during the years of the Civil War, he saw and experienced something that deprived him of faith in some good God for a man, God, with whom personal contact is possible.
But he himself felt differently: “It seems to me that faith helped me to experience despair throughout my life. Religious experience gives a person, the people the opportunity to perceive their life as something meaningful, to take it out of the category of the theater of the absurd. ”
Such an attitude to faith, to the love of Russian literature brought up since childhood, stories could not but tell, and his paths with liberal dissident circles diverge sharply. Because the main theme of his philosophical and journalistic reflections becomes the fate of the Russian people, the insulting and humiliated state in which he found himself.
Shafarevich comes to the conclusion that the most important thing for modern Russia is to defend the right to comprehend its history, its historical experience. And contribute to the change of national consciousness, crushed by blocks of lies and deception. It is necessary for the Russians to be ready for the inevitable turn of history, which otherwise could be disastrous for them.
The most recent scandals in society connected with the Victory Day only confirm the loyalty of his words: “But while looking at Russia as a mistake of history is considered advanced, cultural, intelligent, even the only decent one, until then, of course, no healthy development can be . Either the country will perish, or this spiritual illness can be overcome. ”
During the meeting with the journalist, Igor Shafarevich was cheerful, open and friendly. These days he completely immersed himself in the editing of his book on mathematics, published in Germany, but he did not refuse from a difficult conversation about the present and future of our country, our people.
- Igor Rostislavovich, what contributed to the awakening of civil and national feelings in you in your younger years? After all, it was necessary to overcome the instinct of self-preservation, elementary fear?
- Once I met a man who spent a lot of time in camps - more than thirty years. He was a nobleman and deeply Russian man. I remember, I asked him: apparently, the feeling of being a Russian person is still being laid since childhood, when you listen to folk tales and epics? He smiled: as a child I listened to Contes de Perrault (Perro's tales) ... But as a child I listened to real Russian tales. I think this was the reason for my awareness of myself as a Russian person.
I remember that in my room, in the communal apartment where we lived, there was a round rotating shelf. And there was a book of Russian epics, which I constantly re-read. On the other hand, I think that the national feeling should be innate, it is embedded in your genes. I remember what a great impression the film “Alexander Nevsky” made on all of us - especially in those places where high words about the Motherland were spoken.
Then I began to awaken the realization that in the surrounding life a lot of ostentatious, false, that the Russian people are being manipulated. The authorities are still acting the same way - with suspicion of Russians, ready to manipulate their feelings, often believing that Russian self-consciousness is already extremism and that it is necessary to fight it. At the same time, we live in a country where eighty percent of the Russian population ... This is a tremendous force, which is why the efforts of our opponents to subordinate us to our will are so great.
- Your talent in the field of accurate knowledge manifested itself very early. A person who has gained fame at an early age can indulge in self-delusion, feel elected, believe in his superiority over others ...
- Election? I think that this is not in Russian heredity, not in our roots. On the contrary, many of us have in our blood a readiness for self-sacrifice. I was told how once, during the Great Patriotic War, the enemy tank the attack was repulsed, and the turning point in it was when one of the fighters shouted "... so is your mother!" threw himself with a grenade under the tank. Namely - without swearing allegiance to some lofty ideals, but like that, under rude scolding, giving his soul "for his own." They always appeal to this feeling of Russians - to their patriotism - whenever they want to use them in their own interests.
The likelihood that people will start their own interests and rights to defend is great, so the authorities somehow have to deal with this, they feel the danger ...
I do not remember how in the current, but in the so-called Brezhnev constitution, even before perestroika, the attitude to the word “Russian” was as if it were indecent. Then the government began to remove some verbal prohibitions - but these were only minor external concessions. Nevertheless, there was a sharp reaction to attempts to regain old-fashioned, pre-revolutionary symbols and meanings. A meeting of historians was even organized in the Central Committee of the CPSU, which emphasized the ideological character, its materials were later published in the journal Voprosy istorii. It said that unacceptable revisionist deviations are beginning - that tsarist Russia, for example, is no longer viewed as a “prison of nations” ...
- The ancients said: Errare humanum est. That is, it is human to err. Time passes and you have to admit that any actions you have committed are erroneous. So, for example, the writer Leonid Borodin spoke a year or two before his death: yes, they say, imprisoned — and right, in general, they did ... The subtext is understandable — in the words of Zinoviev, dissidents were tagged into communism, and got into Russia. At that time, many thinking people went from “red” to an understanding of the national, and some of the nationalists began to understand what genuine values were lost with the Soviet era. And you yourself wrote that the epoch of socialism was not a single monolith of seventy years in our country. What it divides, if simplified, into two parts - in many respects opposite to each other. Where do people come from that can explain to others all the truths and iniquities of life? All its difficulties and contradictions?
- There was a time when this question was painfully experienced by me ... Even now it is not clear to me whether people thinking not only of themselves, but also of the fate of the people, are part of the same people? Or is it some kind of separate people that need to be studied separately? I think that people who are capable of thinking about the fate of the people simply do not separate themselves from their interests, from the interests of the country. But many who are in a position to think about people think mostly about their own interests. They are strangers to him. And they simply lead people away from their awareness of their higher goals. And this, in my opinion, Danilevsky realized ... There are two different cultures that live an unknown life.
- In your book “The Three Thousand-Year Enigma” there is a phrase: “Carefully, gradually it will not be possible to make Russia non-Russian”. How strong is this conviction in you now, after many years. After all, it has now become clear what powerful forces are being used as instruments of de-Russification. In 90, I would agree with you, but now ...
- But in my opinion, no - after all, it cannot be done. We are very difficult to change. Of course, television today is largely anti-Russian. Very many programs that I watch are either simply Russophobic, or with Russophobic overtones. For this and captured television. Of course, it is difficult for a Russian person to be optimistic today, but still ... Although we still have Yeltsin terminology in use - Russians. It was suggested to him once that this is the old Russian word. And he had just the psychology of that kind of kings ... Russian is not characterized by aggressive nationalism, some kind of hostile perception of other nations, but the word “Russians” dissolves the Russian dominant in itself.
I know many people who are trying to actively counteract the evil of de-Russification. I read with interest the patriotic journalism - especially such that is supported by significant information, operates with facts. But I do not agree with some of the authors. Others, for example, are already talking about some form of "guerrilla war", about tough actions that today's young people are capable of, while we, the older generations, are mired in chatter. There are some moments that give them away as extreme people, but at the same time sincere and honest.
- Several years ago, at the joint collegium of the Prosecutor General’s Office, with the participation of other weighty structures, it was stated that the number one political enemy now is Russian nationalism. In total, more than three million crimes were committed in the country that year, and only three hundred and a few, that is, one hundredth percent, were crimes related to ethnic conflicts. But it was this one hundredth percent that was presented as the main danger.
- Yes, as we have already spoken to you, the authorities are afraid of the Russian national feelings. But we should be aware that we have enough reasons for new cataclysms and it is easy to rock the boat. I must note that in an attempt to suppress Russian nationalism, the authorities may have not only vicious approaches, but also quite natural fears. Recently, I read an article by a well-known propagandist of the national idea - that the government is pushing national protest forms underground. Perhaps it is so, but, on the other hand, a hard line on such a protest may give off adventurism and lead to destruction. This kind of "guerrilla war" can develop unpredictably. Therefore, we must be realistic. Still, recently life has turned a little bit for the better, some kind of stability has appeared, people have some kind of work that feeds them. And the opinion that life under construction is now to be destroyed, even if it is bad from a moral point of view, is too harsh a view on things.
- Actually, those who have been robbed are difficult to reconcile with robbers, just like those who were slandered with slanderers ... But let's talk about something else - tell me, are there any social topics that you would undertake to explain to people? What do you think today?
- You know, it is interesting to think about what hands for some reason have not reached yet. Interest enthralls and gives strength. When such an interest arises, it stimulates both activity and thought.
- You wrote that the 21st century will witness the destruction of that civilization type that has taken shape in Western Europe and the USA ...
- Yes, and I do not refuse this thought. Only this process is slower than I imagined ... And I would like to. But this process is slow, but it is going on. Already it is clear that Western society is losing its strength.
- Indeed, the historical elasticity is lost there. It seems to me, first of all, in connection with the introduction of multicultural approaches and flows of migrants. It changes Europe. Latin America is going on in America ...
- I must say that in these processes there is some historical justice. Thanks to them, she is recovering. Recall that the land on which Mexicans live today was once rejected by America, which is about half of Texas and California. Everything is not so hopeless, so let's hope.
Interviewed by Gennady Starostenko