THE NEED FOR A SOVEREIGN LANGUAGE
When we talk about narrative, it is a philosophical category that needs to be known, because the notion of narrative is an element of postmodern philosophy that is based on structural linguistics, on structuralism, on Ferdinand de Saussure, the structural linguist who separated discourse and language. This aspect is very important.
What is language? Language is made of rules. We do not speak, we use language, but language never speaks on its own, it is in dictionaries, in syntax - this is called the paradigmatic level, and a narrative, or discourse, is what is constructed from language, from its vocabulary, its syntax, its laws.
Narratives are infinite. Language is one.
When we talk about spiritual, cultural and civilisational sovereignty - which is what President Vladimir Putin talks about in his speeches - it becomes more relevant every day. We are not talking about sovereign narratives, but about a sovereign language in which billions of sovereign narratives can be expressed.
If the language is sovereign, then the discourse will be sovereign. Using the liberal, globalist language of Western Europe, one Russian sovereign discourse can be formulated in this language, or two, or three, or ten. But this is for immediate tasks, for import substitution within the very short-term narrative. And what matters is whether and for how long we will say goodbye to the collective West. Or will we return to this global language, letting the smokescreen of sovereignist narratives rise a little.
I think this is what the elite want to do: talk for a while and then backtrack and say: 'OK, we accept your language and your globalism, but not like this, give us a place in it'. It is doomed not because we are ready and they are not.
We have been cut off, sawn off from this West very seriously, and we will be taken back into this West to speak the same language after we have fallen below the last limits and said: we surrender. Our defeat will be the condition for bringing us back to that language because, whether we want it or not, whether we understand it or not, we are destined to develop a sovereign language. Russia is an independent civilisation, not a part of western civilisation; it does not coincide with any civilisation, neither eastern, nor Chinese, nor Islamic, but it is equal to western or Chinese civilisation. This broadly outlines the structure of our sovereign language, not our sovereign narrative.
If we speak this language, everything we say is sovereign and what narrative means in this sense is not only the speech of the narrator on TV, it is not only the structure of education, it is not only the community of experts that will be forced to speak this sovereign language, it is also our science, it is our humanistic science today and natural science tomorrow. Because natural science, as the greatest scientists such as Schrödinger and Heisenberg know, is also a language in the vision of natural science.
We therefore need a civil language, but a civil language of our own. We don't speak it, we don't know it, we speak a pidgin English, which is the basis of our terminology, our experts, our iPhones, our technologies in our rockets - it's a pidgin English. I mean, even though these technologies are present in Russia, the structure of these processors and codes is, alas, taken from a different paradigm.
This is a huge challenge that we have to face and, finally, the task is starting to be realized by our authorities.
Strange as it may seem, the people are much more prepared than the elite. The people simply do not grasp the impulses coming from above in a very profound way: they have been told 'communism' - they have thought something of their own, they have been told 'liberalism' - they have thought something of their own, they have been told 'patriotism' - they have thought something of their own, which means that they do not get used to these narrative games as deeply as the elite, whereas the elite - if they say 'go west', then go ahead.
It is therefore up to the elite to change the language.
To create a system of sovereign narratives, it is necessary to establish the parameters of this sovereign language. What are these parameters? We have a very different conception of man. In every culture, in every language, there is man. There is the Islamic man, there is the Chinese man, there is the Western European man, who is a post-gender man, a man who transforms himself into artificial intelligence, into a mutant, into a cyborg. A beater of transformation and liberation. He frees himself from all forms of collective identity - that is his goal, his task - to stop having religion, nation, community, then gender and, tomorrow, belonging to the human race, and that is the programme of the Western European.
The Chinese have a different way of doing things in general. Even in the Islamic tradition, because it is about the relationship of the individual with Allah, and everything else does not include him either as freedom or as a human being - it is a completely different anthropology in this whole billionaire Islamic world. They may formally agree with some Western models, but in reality they either don't understand them or they reinterpret them, they have their own, deep-rooted language. In the Volga region and the North Caucasus they continue to promote it. That is why they are immune to the West. India, Africa and Latin America also have their own man.
We need a conception of the Russian man, a justification of the Russian man, and that is Dostoevsky, that is our philosophy, that is Florensky, that is the Slavophile, that is Solovyov, that is also Berdyaev, but the Russian man is, first of all, the conciliar man - that is the most important thing. Not an individual. For us, man is a family, a clan, a nation, a relationship with God, a personality. Not an individual, but a personality.
This is where our presence at the European Court of Human Rights ends, because there is a discrepancy on the basic concept of the human being. For the European Court of Human Rights and Western liberal ideology, human right is individual, for us it is not, in terms of sovereign language.
Can you imagine how human science, i.e. the humanities, changes after we have changed the basic component? Considering everything different, rewriting all the textbooks of sociology, anthropology, political science, psychology in a Russian way.
Yes, we had our philosophy at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. But we have to form an idea of a Russian person that is different from the others - and immediately a different language.
The second thing is the idea of the world. This is the most difficult thing. We think the natural sciences are universal. No, they are western-centric. This cosmos we are dealing with has been introduced and integrated into our consciousness from the West in the New Age, ignoring all other images of the world.
The Russian cosmos is similar to the medieval European cosmos - and completely different from that of the modern West; it is different, even from Fyodorov or Tsiolkovsky, and our most interesting and avant-garde research in the disciplines of the natural sciences has proceeded from fundamentally different insights into the structure of reality.
If in the human sciences we take our philosophical tradition, throw out everything liberal, all liberal language, and put the Russian man at the center, we get a new language. And in the physical sciences this task is much more complicated: here we are only at the beginning and a great deal of work awaits us.
And, of course, the action is the verb. If we talk about language, we have a very different conception of action from that of the Western European tradition. It is more an Aristotelian praxis than a technological one. It is Sergei Bulgakov's philosophy of common cause, because Russians do not do things the way everyone else does. The Aristotelian notion that praxis is the result of the free creativity of the master and not the technical execution of someone else's task suits us and such is the main idea of the philosophy of economics, which means that our economics is different. So we have a different science and a different practice. It means we have an ethical dimension to action, not a utilitarian, optimistic pragmatics, which means we do something for an ethical purpose. That is, we do, for example, because it is good, to make it better, beautiful, to make it fairer.
Changing the narrative in the face of the fundamental challenges facing our country will be impossible without changing the language.
Translation by Lorenzo Maria Pacini