Posted by andrew on May 18 2011 12:26:12
Author: Vasily Koltashov
Translated by Olivia Stevens
About the defenselessness of fragmented Russians in the face of cohesive Caucasians much has already been said. Possibly a bit less than was said on the occasion of aggression by Russian nationalists. For them, enemies are often not only immigrants with the "wrong" habits and traits, but also a "fellow" with "traitorous racial ideals" What troubles the average person, faced with the aggression of some nationalists? Is it the frightening fragmentation of Russian individuals? And what is the problem here for society and the state?
Almost unexpectedly the "Manezhny riot” and the subsequent dismantlement of nationalists who turned to the Russian police for the defense of society. "Its only protector," as some experts emphasize proudly. The government refused strange police reforms and preferred to angrily point out "cowardly intellectuals": only existing security forces can protect the ordinary man from hooligans of all kinds (especially political). The tightening of the country's political regime is already on the way, but the discussion is not about that.
The evil beastly police brutality stemming from one movement of figures in the Kremilin became a kind guardian of the peaceful life of ordinary citizens. Riots and fights were better than any propaganda trick. Leftist sociologists rightly point out that the problem of the cultural degradation of society cannot be solved by this. In Russia there is no policy of socialization, not only in regard to foreign workers, but also for a large proportion of citizens of different heritages. The state does not seek to convert the people in the country into a united nation. The division of society serves as a regime of registration. A muscovite, a man with the stamp of local residence, is perceived in Russia as a stranger. There is not any talk of any kind of unity of the "Russian people".
There remains the problem of personal fragmentation of citizens of greater Russia. But does it exist as such or does the distress come as a result of certain social conditions? The issue is not only psychological but also political.
Northern urban Russia is a world of individualists. However, modern citizens of greater Russia are no more individualistic than most people in Western Europe or the inhabitants of North America. And they are no less imbued with the spirit of consumption than the citizens of other countries. The problem is not that the urban Russian is inclined to lead a life separate from other beings. This is only a small part of the problem. The bottom line is that society has long been inseparable from individualist capitalism. The longer it took to develop, the more broken the traditional family and tribal links became, as well as the connections of people lined up on the principle of common activity. Along with the emergence of a new individualism, collectivism, mutual aid is formed in the frame of common professional or political organizations.
Individualism and collectivism coexist. The trouble of Russia is in the superiority of the first and the weakness of the latter on the basis of class interests. However, this does not in and of itself make the problem of nationalist aggression in the country so poignant. There is one more thing – the defenselessness of the individual in Russian society. It is of both an internal and external nature. On one side, it creates the social nature of Russians, on the other it creates the political order established in this country.
History shows that a society of individualists is fully capable of defending itself. The American Civil War was a clash of armies, composed of individualists. Very often, soldiers were not willing to tolerate commanders appointed by some unknown person at the top. Unlike Americans of the XIX century, for modern Russians from northern cities individualism was not the consumer, but the birth of employment - farm ownership. But there was still one principal difference: it was individualism based on self-respect. It is no coincidence this attribute was called a weapon. It was also difficult to call the nobles of the XVI-XVIII centuries collectivists. And the weapons in their hands served to defend their personal honor from all possible offenders.
Russians are for the majority not simply fragmented. They are still defenseless in the face of aggression. Formally, institutions of law and order exist in Russia above all to protect the state from unsatisfied citizens. But those citizens themselves cannot count on the police for help. I remember well how robbers came into our apartment one day. They did not cut the telephone wire (that would have been a complete waste of strength), and I managed a couple of times to call the police. At this time, several bandits tried to smash the door. The order guard did not appear at all. The situation made a racket for the neighbors. As I remember only the door was badly damaged. The robbers left. In those same days, they emptied another apartment. Many Russians have similar stories. Meanwhile, no matter how fierce the police were during street clashes in Western Europe, citizens realize that to appeal to them on domestic issues makes sense. And it often works very effectively. They call the police and complain about the racket the neighbors make at night.
An effective law enforcement system, fulfilling its responsibility to protect citizens' and capable of providing a quiet life to the alienated individual consumers. But order guards with a human face are unimaginable in today's Russia. The law does not defend citizens, and they are unable to provide their own safety with the help of a firearm. The ordinary man is opposed, on one side by aggressive nationalism and other "hooligans" and on the other side by the police, into whose paws no one strives to end up, and on whose help few are ready to rely on. Individualism in Russia is indefensible. The only means of its "protection" is self-deception in the spirit of "it hasn’t affected me." "Yes I am Russian," says the sometimes justified pitiful citizen, who the policeman suddenly checks for local registration on the streets of Moscow.
The indefensibility of the individual in Russia has different roots. On one side, it nourishes the state that created and maintained the "glorious" militia. On the other side, Russians themselves are still far from the unification in organizations for the defense of common interests, in the frame of which (as it happens in the case of trade unions and workers' parties), they could form a security squad. Nationalism with a rallying cry against the tribes of natives quickly interferes with the transformation of alienated individualist in the collectivists of the new model. Localism and fraternity, grumbling or aggressive, in modern Russia is a convenient product of a divided society for the government.
Until people learn to join in the fight for their own interests, they can hardly hope to overcome the defenselessness. And the conversation is not about some kind of "racial unity" against immigration, but about social protest. Without social movements, strong workers' organizations do not have to rely on increased public and personal security. The main obstacle here is not the Government's desire to prevent such a turn, and the vices of consciousness Russians hold themselves. They not only defenseless, but also deprived of belief in themselves. They do not know that they can change a great deal. And no one can do it, except them.