Russia and the Idea of Sovereignty
Russia will not be truly sovereign until it has its own ideology, its own State Idea. Sovereignty in the modern world is made up of many components, and Russia has some of them. First of all, these are nuclear weapons, the Military-Industrial Complex as a whole, energy resources, territories, economic potential, and perhaps the main one! – political will for independence. In Putin’s Russia, all this is badly poor, but there is. This is what the West hates about Putin. And whether he is cruel or not in domestic politics, high or low corruption in his state, this is secondary. If Putin had not strengthened Russian sovereignty, and on the contrary, had he corrupted the country further and further, as, under Gorbachev and Yeltsin, no one would have made any claims to him. Even Yeltsin’s shooting of his own parliament from tanks did not upset the West in the least. Because Yeltsin and his regime weakened Russia, and Putin’s regime strengthens it.
But even today Russia does not have full-fledged sovereignty. The point is that the modern West is not just a cultural, civilizational, technological, economic, and geopolitical phenomenon. This is an ideology, and quite specific. The West is liberalism. Liberal ideology went through the process of formation from the end of the 18th century and served as a pillar of the British Empire. Later, liberalism spread to other European countries and colonies, as well as post-colonial regimes. Liberalism was the ideology of one of the three main forces that clashed among themselves during the Second World War (liberalism, communism, fascism). After the victory over fascism, liberalism shared its influence on a global scale with communism, which constituted the ideological basis of the Cold War. And when the SSR and the Soviet bloc finally collapsed, it was liberalism that remained the only ideology, which no longer had systemic opponents. But even without ideological opponents, liberalism remained what it was originally a political ideology that affirms some theses and axioms, as in any ideology taken from nowhere, and in this ideologies are similar to religions and reject others.
In the 90s, it was liberalism that by default took the place of the dominant ideology in Russia as well. The authors of the 1993 Constitution were convinced liberals and completely copied its text from Western counterparts (that’s why in 2020 something had to be changed in it). Even the rejection of the state ideology in Article 13 of the Constitution is a trick – no ideology other than the one that exists by default, that is, the liberal one. After all, it is precisely according to liberal templates that the entire Constitution as a whole is written – hence human rights, representative democracy, private property, civil society, the rule of law. All these are not self-evident principles, but elements of a liberal worldview.
Since the 90s of the twentieth century, Russia has become part of the liberal world and remains it to this day. Therefore, it is not ideologically sovereign. The criteria of political correctness are determined not in it, but outside of it, and on the basis of not Russian, but Western historical wholesale. After all, the market economy, secular regime and liberal democracy are the consequences of applying one very specific ideology to political practice.
Left alone in the 90s of the twentieth century, liberalism revealed its totalitarian features. Earlier, against the background of communism and fascism, the liberals seemed to be the defenders of freedom. This was partly true. But when more overtly totalitarian regimes disappeared, liberalism itself showed its not so obvious side before. Now the principles of individualism, gender politics, LGBT +, protection of minorities, cosmopolitanism, as well as ecology and posthumanism have become the foundations of a rigidly imposed value system.
At first, liberals punished deviations from these new norms with public condemnation (political correctness), but gradually gay marriages and other similar norms were introduced into legal norms and became part of the legal system. Anyone who disagrees with the liberals is outlawed. But this is precisely the main feature of totalitarian regimes. At the same time, just as in classical totalitarianism, liberals compete with each other, which of them is more liberal, condemning opponents that they are not liberal (“progressive”) enough. So the already old old-school liberalism of Trump and his supporters is already unacceptable, and falls into the number of not just politically incorrect ideologies, but acquires criminal features, being placed on a par with defeated ideologues – so Trumpism becomes synonymous with “fascism.”
From the very beginning of his rule, Putin began to withdraw Russia from the influence of the West and its globalist structures. With each step, Russia became more and more independent and sovereign. It not only stopped the disintegration that began under Gorbachev and continued under Yeltsin, but began to expand its territory (this is clearly seen in the reunification with Crimea, and in many other things). And as the course of Russia became more and more independent, the pressure on it from the West grew. At the same time, Putin himself and the forces loyal to him in Russia were subjected to systematic demonization and criminalization. In the eyes of the liberals, relations with Russia acquired an increasingly pronounced ideological character.
But Putin’s support for conservative values, including their consolidation in the Constitution, finally made him an enemy of liberalism in the eyes of the West. Likewise, in the case of China, the presence of an illiberal ideology (by the way, in combination with many liberal elements in the economy) was obvious. Moscow continued, as it seemed to it, to play by liberal rules, although the West did not recognize this. That is why liberals of the 90s epoch remained around Putin, right up to the leaders of the most violent liberal parties, such as the Union of Right Forces.
The ultra-liberal radio Echo of Moscow, funded by the state, has not disappeared anywhere. Numerous liberal media outlets, both recognized by foreign agents and unrecognized, continue to work quietly. Most of the political elite and the economic elite, with the exception of the siloviki, also remain liberals and sleep and see when Putin will leave to return to Crimea and rejoin the single global world, receiving in exchange for betrayal a place in the international liberal elite.
As long as Putin is in power, this, of course, will not happen. But even under him, Russia came to a critical point, when, in order to fully strengthen its sovereignty, it is necessary to unambiguously affirm its own sovereign ideology. It naturally cannot be liberal. Either liberalism (that is, in the end, the hegemony of the West and the World Government), or sovereignty. Here is tough either-or. But a return to communism, let alone nationalism, is not possible in a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional Russian society.
t is no longer possible to operate in the operating environment of liberalism. In a multipolar world, only he is a subject who has his own stable and strong ideology. It is an essential component of sovereignty.
On the other side of momentary purely technical tasks, such as the pre-election fuss (with a completely powerless and senseless, and at the same time tightly controlled – which is very good! – Parliament), this is precisely the goal that Putin and the Kremlin face.
Without the State Idea, Russia cannot stand further.