Today, the need to search for a new strategy and preserve one’s identity in a radically changing world, in a world that has become more open, transparent, interdependent, practically all countries, all peoples: Russian, European, Chinese, and Americans, societies of almost all countries of the world.
The questions “who are we?”, “Who do we want to be?” Sound louder and louder in our society. We left the Soviet ideology, it is impossible to return it. The adherents of fundamental conservatism, idealizing Russia to 1917, seem to be just as far from reality as the supporters of Western ultra-liberalism. Obviously, our progress is impossible without spiritual, cultural, national self-determination, otherwise we will not be able to withstand external and internal challenges, we will not be able to succeed in a global competition. And today we see a new round of such competition.
The main directions of today's competition are economic-technological and ideological-informational. Exacerbated and military-political problems, the military-political situation. The world is becoming more and more rigid, sometimes it is not just international law that is rejected, but even elementary propriety. You need to be strong in military, technological, economic terms. Still, the main thing that will determine success is the quality of people, the quality of society, intellectual, spiritual, moral. After all, in the end, both economic growth, welfare, and geopolitical influence are derived from the state of society itself, on how much the citizens of a particular country feel as one people, how deeply rooted they are in their stories, in values and traditions, do their common goals and responsibilities unite. In this sense, the question of acquiring and strengthening national identity is indeed fundamental for Russia.
Meanwhile, today Russia is experiencing not only the objective pressure of globalization on its national identity, but also the consequences of national disasters of the twentieth century, when we twice experienced the collapse of our statehood. As a result, they received a devastating blow to the cultural and spiritual code of the nation, faced a rupture of traditions and unity of history, with the demoralization of society, with a lack of mutual trust and responsibility. This is where the many roots of the acute problems that we face are. After all, the question of responsibility to oneself, society and the law is one of the fundamental not only in law, but also in everyday life.
After 1991, the illusion was that the new national ideology, the ideology of development, would be born as if by itself. The state, the authorities, the intellectual and the political class practically withdrew from this work, especially as the former, semi-official ideology left a heavy edge. And just really everyone was afraid to even touch this topic. In addition, the absence of a national idea based on national identity was beneficial to the quasi-colonial part of the elite, who preferred to steal and withdraw capital, and did not associate their future with the country where this capital was earned.
National idea: the search for identity
Practice has shown that a new national idea is not born and does not develop according to market rules. Self-government did not work, as well as the mechanical copying of someone else's experience. Such crude borrowings, attempts to civilize Russia from outside were not accepted by the absolute majority of our people, because the desire for independence, spiritual, ideological, foreign policy sovereignty is an integral part of our national character. By the way, this approach does not work in many other countries. The time has passed when ready-made models of living arrangement could be installed in another state simply as a computer program.
We also understand that identity, national idea cannot be imposed from above, cannot be built on the basis of ideological monopoly. Such a construction is unstable and very vulnerable, we know this from our own experience, it has no future in the modern world. Historical creativity, the synthesis of the best national experience and ideas, the understanding of our cultural, spiritual, political traditions from different points of view with the understanding that this is not a frozen thing, given forever, but a living organism, is necessary. Only then will our identity be based on a solid foundation, will be turned into the future, and not into the past. This is the main argument in favor of the question of the ideology of development being necessarily discussed among people of different views, who hold different opinions on what and how to do in terms of solving certain problems.
We all: the so-called non-Orthodox, neo-Westernized, statesmen and so-called liberals — the whole society will have to work together to form common development goals. It is necessary to get rid of the habit of hearing only ideological like-minded people, from the threshold, with anger, and even with hatred rejecting any other point of view. You can not even throw, and kick the future of the country, like a football, plunging into frantic nihilism, consumerism, criticism of everything and everyone or hopeless pessimism. This means that liberals must learn to talk with representatives of leftist views. Nationalists should remember that Russia was formed as a multinational (multiethnic - ed.) And a multi-religious state from its first steps. And that, by questioning our multinationality (polyethnicity - ed.), Beginning to exploit the theme of Russian, Tatar, Caucasian, Siberian and any other nationalism and separatism, we embark on the path of destroying our genetic code. In fact, we begin to destroy themselves.
Value of sovereignty
The sovereignty, independence, integrity of Russia are unconditional. These are the "red lines" for which no one should go. With all the difference in our views, a discussion about identity, about a national future is impossible without the patriotism of all its participants. Patriotism, of course, in the purest sense of the word. Too often in national history, instead of opposition to the authorities, we are confronted with the opposition of Russia itself. And we know how this ended - the demolition of the state as such.
We have practically no such family that could have bypassed the evils of the past century. Issues of evaluation of certain historical events still split the country and society. We must heal these wounds, restore the integrity of the historical fabric. It is no longer possible to engage in self-deception, crossing out unsightly or ideologically inconvenient pages, breaking the link between generations, rushing to extremes, creating or debunking idols. It is time to stop noticing only the bad in history, to curse ourselves more than our ill-wishers do. Criticism is needed. But without self-esteem, without love for the Fatherland, this criticism is demeaning and unproductive.
We should be proud of our history, and we have something to be proud of. Our entire history, without exception, should become part of the Russian identity. Without recognition of this, mutual trust and progress of society is impossible.
The crisis of the West - the rejection of the roots
Another serious challenge to Russian identity is connected with the events that are occurring in the world. There are both foreign policy and moral aspects. We see how many Euro-Atlantic countries have actually taken the path of abandoning their roots, including Christian values, which form the basis of Western civilization. Moral principles and any traditional identity are denied: national, cultural, religious or even sexual. There is a policy that puts on one level a large family and same-sex partnership, faith in God or faith in Satan. The excesses of political correctness go as far as seriously mentioning the registration of parties aiming at promoting pedophilia. People in many European countries are ashamed and afraid to talk about their religious affiliation. Holidays even cancel or call them somehow differently, shamefully hiding the very essence of this holiday - the moral basis of these holidays. And they are trying to aggressively impose this model on everyone, on the whole world. I am convinced that this is a direct path to degradation and primitivization, a deep demographic and moral crisis.
What else could be more evidence of the moral crisis of human society, if not the loss of self-reproduction ability? Today, almost all developed countries can no longer reproduce themselves, even with the help of migration. Without the values embodied in Christianity and other world religions, without the norms of morality and morality that have been formed for thousands of years, people will inevitably lose human dignity. And we consider it natural and right to defend these values. The right of any minority to differ must be respected, but the right of the majority must not be called into question.
Impasse of unipolarity
At the same time, we see attempts to reanimate a unipolar unified model of the world in one way or another, to blur the institution of international law and national sovereignty. Such a unipolar, unified world does not need sovereign states, it needs vassals. In a historical sense, it is the abandonment of one’s own face, of the diversity of the world given by God.
Russia with those who believe that key decisions should be developed on a collective basis, and not at the discretion and in the interests of individual states or a group of countries. What should act international law, and not the right of a strong, not a fist right, that every country, every nation is not exclusive, but unique, of course, original, has equal rights, including the right to independently choose its development. This is our conceptual view, it derives from our own historical destiny, from the role of Russia in world politics. Our current position has deep historical roots. Russia itself developed on the basis of diversity, harmony and balance, and brought such a balance to the world around it. I want to remind you that both the Vienna Congress 1815 of the year and the Yalta agreements of 1945 of the year, adopted with a very active role of Russia, ensured a long peace. The strength of Russia, the strength of the winner at these turning points was manifested in nobility and justice. And let us remember the Versailles, concluded without the participation of Russia. Many experts, and I absolutely agree with them, believe that it was in Versailles that the roots of the future World War II were laid. Because the Treaty of Versailles was unfair to the German people and imposed restrictions on it that it could not normally cope with, it was clear a century ahead.
I want to pay attention to one more fundamental aspect. In European, and in a number of other countries, the so-called multiculturalism - largely introduced, artificially introduced from the top model - is now being questioned, and it is clear why. Because it is based on a kind of payment for the colonial past. It is no coincidence that today politicians and public figures of Europe themselves are increasingly talking about the collapse of multiculturalism, that it is not capable of ensuring the integration into the society of foreign-language and foreign-cultural elements.
"Blooming complexity" of Eurasia
Over the centuries, not even the smallest ethnic group has disappeared in Russia, to which they once labeled the “prison of nations”. All of them have preserved not only their internal independence and cultural identity, but also their historical space. You know, I learned with interest that in Soviet times they were so attentive to this - almost every small nation had its own print edition, languages were supported, national (ethnic - ed.) Literature was maintained. By the way, much of what was done in this sense before, we need to return and adopt. At the same time, we have accumulated a unique experience of mutual influence, mutual enrichment, mutual respect of different cultures. This multiculturalism, polyethnicity lives in our historical consciousness, in our spirit, in our historical code. Our statehood was built on this naturally millennium.
Russia, as the philosopher Konstantin Leontyev figuratively said, has always developed as a “blooming complexity”, as a state-civilization fastened by the Russian people, the Russian language, Russian culture, the Russian Orthodox Church and other traditional religions of Russia. It is from the state-civilization model that the features of our state structure flow. It has always sought to flexibly take into account the national, religious specifics of certain territories, providing diversity in unity. Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, other religions are an integral part of the identity and historical heritage of Russia in the real life of its citizens. The main task of the state, enshrined in the Constitution, is ensuring equal rights for representatives of traditional religions and atheists, the right to freedom of conscience for all citizens of the country.
However, identification solely through ethnos, religion in the largest state with a multi-ethnic composition of the population, is certainly impossible (this is possible in the imperial model of the state - ed.). Forming precisely civil identity based on common values, patriotic consciousness, civic responsibility and solidarity, respect for the law, involvement in the fate of the Motherland without losing connection with their ethnic and religious roots is a necessary condition for preserving the unity of the country (imperial-type model - ed.) As a politically, ideologically, ideological concept of national development will be framed - a subject for extensive discussion. But I am deeply convinced that in the heart of our philosophy there should be human development, moral, intellectual and physical development. Back in the early 90s, Solzhenitsyn talked about saving the people after the hardest of the twentieth century as the main national goal. Today we must admit that we have not succeeded in completely reversing the negative demographic trends, we have only slightly retreated from the dangerous feature of the loss of national potential.
Unfortunately, in the history of our country the value of a separate human life was often low. Too often, people remained only a means, not a goal and a mission of development. We no longer have not only the right, but also the opportunity to throw millions of people into the furnace of development. It is necessary to protect everyone. It is educated, creative, physically and spiritually healthy people, not natural resources or nuclear weapon, will be the main force of Russia of this and subsequent centuries.
Education of the patriot and the principles of self-government
The role of education is all the more important because for the education of the individual, a patriot, we need to restore the role of the great Russian culture and literature. They should be the foundation for self-determination of citizens, the source of identity and the basis for understanding the national idea. Here a lot depends on the teaching, teaching community, which was and remains the most important keeper of national values, ideas and attitudes. This community speaks the same language - the language of science, knowledge, education. And it is on a vast territory - from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok. And already this community, bearing in mind the teaching, teaching community as a whole, in the broad sense of the word, holds the country together. And the support of this community is one of the most important steps towards a strong, prosperous Russia.
I stress once again: without concentrating our forces on education and people's health, on the formation of the mutual responsibility of the authorities and every citizen and, finally, on restoring trust in society, we will lose out in historical competition. Citizens of Russia must feel that they are the responsible owners of their country, their land, their small homeland, their property, their property and their lives.
A citizen is one who is able to independently manage his own affairs, freely cooperating with his peers. And the best school of citizenship is local self-government and amateur organizations of citizens. Of course, I mean in this case NPO. By the way, one of the best Russian political traditions, the Zemstvo tradition, was also built precisely on the principles of self-government. Only from effective mechanisms of self-government can a real civil society and a real nationally-oriented elite grow, including, of course, opposition with its own ideology, values, measures of good and bad, with its own, and not imposed by the media or especially from abroad. The state is ready and will trust amateur and self-governing structures, but we need to know who we trust. And this is an absolutely normal world practice, which is why we have adopted new legislation that increases the transparency of the activities of non-governmental organizations.
Speaking of any reforms, it is important not to forget that our country is not only Moscow and St. Petersburg. Developing Russian federalism, we must rely on our own historical experience, use flexible and diverse models. The construction of Russian federalism has a very large potential. We need to learn to use it wisely, without forgetting the main thing: the development of regions, their independence should work to create equal opportunities for all citizens of a country, regardless of their place of residence; to eliminate imbalances in the economic and social development of the territories of Russia, and therefore, to strengthen the unity of the country. Of course, this is a daunting task, because these territories have developed over decades, or even centuries, of course, unevenly.
Eurasian Union - a project to preserve the identity of peoples
The twenty-first century promises to be the century of major changes, the era of the formation of large geopolitical continents, financial, economic, cultural, civilizational, military-political. And therefore our absolute priority is close integration with our neighbors. The future Eurasian Economic Union, about which we declared, about which we have been talking a lot lately, is not just a set of mutually beneficial agreements. The Eurasian Union is a project to preserve the identity of peoples, the historical Eurasian space in the new century and in the new world. Eurasian integration is a chance for the entire post-Soviet space to become an independent center of global development, and not a periphery for Europe or for Asia. I want to emphasize that Eurasian integration will also be based on the principle of diversity. This is an association in which everyone will save their own face, their own identity and political subjectivity. Together with partners we will consistently, step by step implement this project. And we expect that it will become our common contribution to the preservation of the diversity and sustainability of world development.
The years after 91 are commonly called the post-Soviet stage. We survived, overcame this turbulent dramatic time. Russia, as has already happened in history more than once, after passing through breaking up, ordeals, returns to itself, returns to its own history.
Having consolidated our national identity, having strengthened our roots, remaining open and receptive to the best ideas and practices of the East and the West, we should and will go forward.
Based on the Valdai speech of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin