Sep 4, 2021
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Say a word about the fifth column

At the present time of confrontation and the use of a soft power strategy, the country’s image is extremely important, its attractiveness both for citizens and for representatives of the Russian world who found themselves abroad after the collapse of the USSR, and foreigners sympathetic to the Russian Federation. Along with the indisputable achievements in the field of weapons development and the ability to withstand economic pressure, Russia is betting on following traditional values, in contrast to the united West, with its policy of multiculturalism, which actually renounces national identity and traditional culture, which in the Old and New Worlds is inextricably linked with Christianity.

The new National Security Strategy directly indicates the attempts of a number of states to erode traditional values, distort world history, reconsider the view of the place and role of Russia in the historical process, restrict the use of the Russian language and prohibit the activities of Russian media (whose content has a target audience of 25 million compatriots who ended up abroad after the events of 1991). It is obvious that the geopolitical adversary is not just limiting the Russian-language information resources, the use of the Russian language, the promotion of values ​​traditional for Russia, which are finding more and more supporters in Europe and the United States affected by multiculturalism. At the same time, not only the activity of external actors, but also the liberal paradigm in the Russian Federation, aimed at revenge in the spirit of the “holy nineties”, impedes the promotion of traditional values, the protection of language and religions. It can be argued that the more fierce the confrontation goes on the international arena, the more attacks on the Russian world and everything Russian will be.

Recently, the Russian parliament raised the topic of the return of the nationality column to the passports of small and indigenous peoples of the North, which is associated with the receipt of certain social preferences that are entitled to them by law. In this regard, the question arises about the advisability of returning to the passport (in the section with mandatory marks) the column on nationality. More than 190 nationalities live in a country with a population of 146 million, and the Russian people make up more than 80 percent of the population. According to the Constitution, the Russian people are state-forming, that is, in fact, the framework on which the state rests, moreover, the status of the Russian language as the state language is noted in it, which is quite logical. The absence of a normatively fixed belonging to the titular nation of the state promoting the idea of ​​the Russian World is hardly explainable, especially since in some (mostly non-Russian-speaking) constituent entities of the Federation, nationality in the passports of citizens of the Russian Federation is present in the form of an insert. In the new version of the National Security Strategy of the Russian Federation, the main strategic priority is declared to be the preservation of the people of the Russian Federation, which, as it seems, is associated with the state of demography in the country, and this, in turn, implies control over the demographic situation not only in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, but also on a national basis. … From this point of view, in order to prevent control over the “average temperature” in a large family, it is necessary to know the situation of specific “patients”, for which it is necessary to know the situation of the families of peoples inhabiting multinational Russia. Strict accounting is necessary, without which there can be no effective control over the saving of the country’s human capital.

“According to opinion polls, more than 70 percent of the population of the Russian Federation is in favor of the return of the column“ nationality ”to the document certifying citizenship”
The column “nationality” appeared in the passport of a citizen of the USSR in 1974 and replaced the column “social origin”, since the information on class affiliation had already become irrelevant by that time. In 1992, the nationality column was removed – on the one hand, it was considered a “relic of socialism”, and on the other hand, it was explained by the difficult situation in the country, which provokes nationalism.

In 2021, a population census is expected, which will make it possible to determine the ethnic composition of the Russian Federation and it is quite logical that it is impossible to do this without specifying the nationality (albeit arbitrarily). According to opinion polls, more than 70 percent of the population of the Russian Federation support the return of the column “nationality” to the document certifying citizenship. It is quite possible to do this based on the results of the census by making an amendment to the government decree No. 828 of 1997 “On approval of the Regulations on the passport of a citizen of the Russian Federation, a sample form and description of a passport of a citizen of the Russian Federation”, which indicates what information may be contained in the column “special marks “. There is no provision on nationality, although a simple law-making procedure allows this to be done without costly replacement of passport blanks. Naturally, such a mark can be made only at the request of the passport holder.

The events preceding the collapse of the USSR and the interethnic conflicts that took place in the early 90s showed that the reasons that gave rise to them are not related to belonging to a particular nationality, but to the very specific activities of the interested forces that created conditions for destabilizing the situation in the region. History shows that mono-national states also collapsed. In other words, the liberal cliché that if nationality is removed from passports, the conditions for the manifestation of separatism and nationalism will immediately disappear is a fiction. The threat of separatism, as shown by socio-historical practice, does not depend on the “nationality” column, but on the quality of public administration. Currently, the term “Russian people” is used to designate an ethnic community living within the borders of the Russian Federation. However, each representative of an ethnic community knows what nationality he belongs to and wonders why in the USSR, where more than 260 million people lived (with an even greater number of nationalities), in the presence of a similar community of “Soviet people”, this nationality was present in passports and did not interfere with anyone until the state began to crumble due to the poor quality of government.

It is worth remembering that even despite the excesses preceding the collapse of the state, more than 83 percent of its residents in a referendum spoke in favor of preserving the Soviet Union and expressed a desire to remain “Soviet people” of various nationalities.

As you can see, nothing prevents you from being Russian and at the same time considering yourself a Russian or Russian (one does not exclude the other), especially since the West does not actually use the term “Russian” in relation to our country – we are still called Russians regardless of nationality. And they are fighting not with “Russian values”, but with a very specific Russian world. So why hide your nationality under far-fetched pretexts? The Russian world is not associated with a rigid belonging to a certain nationality. It is international in essence. A representative of any nation, people and nationality, if he shares his values, can consider himself Russian or Russian. This is extremely important in the era of hybrid war and rivalry in the field of cultural and moral values.

The terms “Russian people” and “Russians” are more than three hundred years old, they were introduced into circulation during the period of the great reforms of Peter I. During the period of the Russian Empire, the concept of Russian was also extended to Ukrainians (which was not explained to the local president by representatives of the institute of “national memory”) and Belarusians. These were three branches of one people, and only in the era of nation-building in the USSR did they become fraternal peoples (each, unlike the Russian Empire, now had its own republic). “Russians” are not an invention of the first president of Russia. Therefore, the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, was three times right when he spoke about one people. Including in relation to the Russians living in Ukraine (in a state where 8.3 million Russian-speaking people are declared non-indigenous people, and those who feel Russian are invited to move to Russia). At the same time, those representatives of the Russian world abroad (and who consider themselves to be such) are also right who, sympathizing with the line that the Russian Federation is pursuing in the international arena, ask themselves the question: “And what prevents the multimillion-dollar Russian and the state-forming people, at the normative level to consolidate their national identity in an era of desperate struggle against the entire Russian world? “

Igor Rodionov, Candidate of Technical Sciences
Grigory Nikonorov, Candidate of Philosophical Sciences, Associate Professor

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