It was January 16. The “Ukrainian crisis” has already entered a crucial phase. The Verkhovna Rada, controlled by Viktor Yanukovych, adopted on this day so-called dictatorial laws designed to seriously restrict freedom of speech and assembly. Ukraine had to return to the "Russian World". But what is it? What is its essence: does it imply such legislation and the systematic restriction of freedoms?
The most effective tool that answers this question is story. So Vladimir Putin himself, who on this day, January 16 of 2014, decided more than two hours of his valuable time, decided to meet with representatives of the group that develops the concept of “new educational and methodical complex on national history”. Simply put, he convened a meeting at which a new concept of studying history, one for all Russian schoolchildren, was discussed. The diversity of views on Russia and their ambiguity have troubled President Putin for a long time. In 2003, he began to put pressure on the ministry of education to reduce the number of history textbooks allowed in schools. This idea was quite reasonable: they were then 107. However, it was not only about reducing the number of positions, but also about their content. Putin pointed out the necessary direction of change by choosing a textbook on the history of the 20th century, in which there was no mention of ethnic cleansing of the Stalin era (to avoid “extra” associations with the massacre of Chechens at that time) and the scale of the Stalinist genocide was reduced. As a result, a single synthesis of the entire Russian history, explaining its meaning, did not receive at that moment yet the approval of the president himself.
Meanwhile, the thought of him did not leave the owner of the Kremlin. He has repeatedly met on this occasion with the regular directors of the Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, with the court (since Gorbachev’s times) Kremlin historian Alexander Oganovich Chubaryan and the “officials of history” of a smaller rank. The number of textbooks admitted to schools (written in the spirit of “preferred trends”) has been reduced to 11. As a result, the time has come to establish a final order. It will be a uniform textbook divided into chronological parts for all classes, from 5 to 11, (Premier Donald Tusk) with his idea of a single textbook for first-graders so far, apparently, lags far behind his friend in Smolensk and Westerplatte. The discussion of the principles of this textbook was devoted to the aforementioned meeting, the transcript of which from the site of the President of the Russian Federation I allow myself to consider here.
The foundation of the empire
However, it will be difficult for us to understand the issues discussed at the meeting if we do not turn back a bit. This story (which Putin is going to approve now) is already 80 years old. It began with a letter that 19 July 1934 sent to his colleagues from the Politburo of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) Joseph Stalin. The letter had a rather mysterious name: “On Engels’s article“ The Foreign Policy of the Russian Tsarism ”.” Stalin denounced the father-co-founder of the communist ideology as a German nationalist, denigrating Russian history from the eternal hatred of the Western powers competing with Russia. Although this letter was published only seven years later, a couple of weeks before the German-Soviet war, the turning point in the approach to the history of Russia in the Soviet system began exactly from the moment of its creation. At a meeting of the Politburo, which was devoted to the discussion of history textbooks, Stalin expressed the meaning of this change with a brief formula: "In the past, the Russian people gathered other peoples, he started the same gathering now." The history of Russia should once again become the foundation of the empire, the rationale for the need to protect it at any cost and fight for its expansion. An imperial synthesis (of what has served in the history of pre-revolutionary Russia to increase the territory of the state and strengthen its military-political power) with the new Soviet identity has arisen. This historical synthesis of the new ideology was built around the Russian center, surrounded by the hostile world of the Western powers and their "agents." The Russian past, which in previous years the Bolsheviks interpreted, like modernity, as a territory for brutal conquests, turned into a treasure trove of models of Soviet patriotism in 1934: from Prince Alexander Nevsky, Field Marshal Suvorov, Admiral Nakhimov to perpetuated in the Eisenstein film Ivan the Terrible, which He appeared as a prototype of Stalin, who fought against the internal and external enemies of the state.
This holy story had two bibles, or rather, the Old Testament and the New Testament: approved by Stalin in 1938, the “History of the CPSU (b). Short course ”, and then, after the war,“ History of the USSR ”edited by Pankratova. The first book was in the Stalin era compulsory reading for any student and student. This unsurpassed example of propaganda primitivism, before Stalin’s death, survived 301 reprinted in 67 languages with a circulation of more than 42 million copies (in conquered Poland - 1,5 million). The second of the works mentioned, equally popular, or rather equally as obligatory, even more deeply inscribed the glorious traditions of the party of Lenin and Stalin in the history of Russia — almost until the invention of the wheel and the bow (of course, by the Russians).
Stalin died, but (at least) in the Soviet Union the propaganda backbone of such a model for studying history, interpreted as pride in the empire, remained. He swayed only at the time of the crisis and the collapse of the Soviet state itself. But Vladimir Putin stopped the crisis and restored the history of Russia.
18 guests were invited to the meeting, which was intended to put an end to these many years of efforts. Serdi them were the Minister of Education and Science, Culture, the rectors of the main universities and even Putin's confessor Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov). The results of the work of the working group were represented by the second person of the state (Sergei Naryshkin, the chairman of the State Duma and the revived Russian Historical Society). The president put the question directly: the adopted concept must be turned into a concrete textbook for all classes, which should be introduced next year. Naryshkin said that already 85% of citizens of the Russian Federation are proud of their national history (Minister Livanov noted that as many percent of Russians support the introduction of a single textbook). Both stressed that the scale of public consultation to develop a new unified concept of the history of Russia was as great as when discussing the Stalinist constitution of 1936 of the year. This knocks the ground out from under the feet of those who say that the new textbook will resemble “A Short Course in the History of the CPSU (B),” Naryshkin emphasized. And here there was a characteristic replica of Putin: “And why did the“ VKP (b) ”you said in a whisper? Are you yourself afraid or afraid that we will be frightened? ”This is a key point: we are not afraid of comparisons with Stalin's times, we are not afraid of anything at all! Meanwhile, the second person in the state, apparently, is a little afraid and prefers to go on whispering so as not to cause the Master's anger ... Perhaps this is a hint for interpreting not only President Putin’s mind, but also the “one” synthesis history of Russia?
Academician Chubaryan contributed most to the discussion. First, he noted that, in accordance with the wishes of the president, the concept emphasizes the integrity and continuity of the Russian statehood from the Old Russian state (no Kievan Rus, as Banderovites would like!) To this day. Secondly, the main task of the whole synthesis was the demonstration of the “long journey the country has taken”. Perhaps Academician Chubaryan did not notice that he almost literally repeated in this phrase the first sentence of the Short Course, which begins with the words: “The All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) went a long and glorious way ...” But on an even longer and more glorious Russia's path encountered numerous difficulties that should not be hidden. It is worth emphasizing something else: how the country “overcame difficult issues”. Chubaryan listed them: Distemper and shameful “Polish intervention” of the 17th century, then Napoleon’s invasion of 1812, and, finally, the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. In short, the mandatory course of Russian history should be based on the history of threats that came in the form of yet another aggression from the West, and the history of self-sacrifice, thanks to which these threats were “overcome”. “It seems to me that we managed to show young people exactly how the overcoming of these complex and difficult issues was going on,” the academician summed up his work and his colleagues.
Great Russian Revolution
Meanwhile, he did not stop at that, but cited specific examples. Of course, a difficult problem in the history of Russia is the revolution, or rather two revolutions of 1917, and their tragic consequences. The new synthesis finds a solution: now the February and October revolutions, along with the civil war that lasted until 1920, will be called one appropriately unifying term: the Great Russian Revolution
This should reconcile both supporters and opponents of the Bolshevik coup: it does not matter on which side people died or killed each other, since they all participated in something Russian and great. Another difficult problem is the era of Stalin’s rule. As usual, in such a situation one can refer to the authority of German scientists: a German researcher unnamed by name Academician Chubaryan offered a convenient formula: “What happened in the Soviet Union in the 30s, he calls the“ modernization dictatorship ”.” That is, of course, dictatorship, but there is nothing special about this, no totalitarianism; for example, in Poland, too, there was a dictatorship - Pilsudski, just as in Lithuania, Hungary or Romania ... But the dictatorship in the USSR brought invaluable and effective "modernization" ...
And finally, there is a third problem: the accession of the next countries to the USSR / Russia. “In some countries (...) they believe that this was a colonial period,” the speaker lamented (assuring, however, that Ukrainians, Armenians, Tajiks, Kyrgyz, Belarusians are not at this point of view). However, Chubaryan immediately suggested an appropriate response to these unjust accusations: Russian schoolchildren will find out what the consequences of the annexation of the territories to Russia and the USSR were, how many affiliated nations gained from this. And once again a concrete example rang out: only thanks to the Russian Empire in the XIX century, the Ukrainians created their first public organizations ...
That is: the continuous development of the Russian state from the 9th century, then the opposition to attacks from the west, then the Great Russian Revolution, modernization (perhaps, the “modernization dictatorship”) instead of the Stalinist genocide, and instead of colonization and conquest — a list of benefits that people acquired for their own same benefits included in the borders of the empire. And one more thing: the course of history will not end at 2000, but will allow students to understand why you can be proud of the story that was already created in the time of Vladimir Putin.
The President thanked for the concept presented, once again expressing displeasure with the system of certification of school textbooks, which included “absolutely unacceptable things” - “like spitting in the face”. Most of all, Putin is annoyed by ambiguous assessments of the USSR’s participation in the Second World War. Implying, apparently, the "wrong" interpretation of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, any kind of mention of strategic cooperation between Stalin and Hitler, the attack on Poland and the seizure of the Baltic republics, the Russian president condemned attempts to "consciously belittle the role of the Soviet people in the fight against fascism" describing such phenomena as the beautiful language of Joseph Stalin: "this is just a disgrace, this is some kind of ideological garbage." “We need to get rid of this”: this was the last conclusion of the historical meeting.
The accession of nations
The result of the meeting will be not only the new single textbook for all Russian schoolchildren, but also the Internet adjusted to its sound (this is explicitly stated in the “concept of the new educational and methodological complex”). A few weeks after the meeting, another tool was added to the modern methodical means: a law came into force, according to which, for "denying the role of the Soviet people in the victory over fascism", can threaten up to five years in prison.
Who can threaten? While residents of the Russian Federation. But their number has recently increased. It is difficult not to pay attention to the fact that at the end of the meeting Vladimir Vladimirovich became very lively, noting with undisguised annoyance that some “say that as a result of the Second World War, Eastern Europe plunged into the occupying darkness of the Stalinist regime”. Is it about us? This “some” Russian president answers in the same way as one journalist Gazeta Wyborcza. I will quote Putin: “We are talking about the consequences: if Fascism had won, what would be the consequences? In general, some nations would not be left as such, they would simply be exterminated, that's all. ” That's all. And if someone decides to remind that the opportunity for such extermination might not have appeared if it had not been for such a productive cooperation of Stalin with Hitler, let them remember: “In the past, the Russian people gathered other peoples, he started the same gathering now.”