The ABC of traditional values: The Unity of the Peoples of Russia

Konstantin Malofeev: In another part of our 'ABC of Traditional Values' we talk about the letter 'E': the unity of the peoples of Russia [Editor's note: in Russian 'unity' is yedinitsa, in Cyrillic единица].

Aleksandr Dugin: This is a direct reference to the Eurasian conception of Russian history. The Eurasianists were those Russian philosophers who drew attention to the fact that the destiny of Russia is, first of all, the destiny of the Russian people, who founded the power, created the culture, developed the language, but, at the same time, would be incomplete and imperfect if the other nations did not tie their destinies to the Russian people.

This unity of the peoples of Russia, of the Eurasian peoples, the commonality of their destiny has created an incredible richness in our history. The Russians have shared the best with their brother peoples. Each of these peoples, regardless of how they became part of Russia, brought the best of themselves. And this dialogue, this solidarity, this common historical creation has created the uniqueness of our Eurasian civilisation.

Yes, it is Russian, it is Orthodox to the core, but it also has eastern and western, Caucasian, Siberian, Finno-Ugric and Turkish influences. All these peoples have brought something precious to our history. Usually the Western and European opinion was: look, the Russians mixed with the Tatars, they lost their European identity, and people used to say squeamishly: 'If you scrape a Russian, you will find a Tatar', while Eurasians said: 'Well, yes, you will find a Tatar, a Russian Tatar'.

We created our unique Eurasian civilisation, we built an empire, not a nation state, an empire that absorbed all the best of the culture of all the peoples, not destroying their identity, but on the contrary preserving it. This unity of the peoples of Russia has formed our wealth, our power and our strength, and when hard times come, when we have to defend our freedom and independence in wars (which has happened often in our history), we see how our brotherly peoples unite with the Russian people to serve the Fatherland.

This is the highest value. The fact that we have united many nations is a fact, but it becomes a value when we understand how positive, meaningful, good, sincere and heroic the contribution of these peoples has been. Then there is harmony, symphony, consonance between peoples. That is, Russia becomes more than just a nation-state. It becomes an empire in its own right.

For the empire is always a combination and unity of the multitude. Not to abolish differences, to eradicate them, but to preserve them and elevate them to a higher level. It is a vertical unity, it is a unity from above, without abolishing differences at the bottom. This, of course, is true art. The fact that so many nations have united their destinies with the Russian people makes them and us stronger. It is a huge value to cherish and the fact that it is included among the traditional values, I believe, is a brilliant, absolutely accurate and timely statement. Since the enemy wants to shake this unity, to set the peoples of Russia against each other to weaken and ultimately destroy us, it is a defensive value.

But it is also a tribute to our history. If we have memory, if we preserve the continuity of our history, we must understand this specific characteristic of our Eurasian culture, of our Eurasian statehood, of Eurasian civilisation; we must preserve it, give it a positive meaning, otherwise self-amputation begins. Sometimes we say: these nations came to us later, or someone once, at this or that time, was dissatisfied with Russian power, but even in a family, even among the closest people, brothers, sons, fathers, there are conflicts and quarrels, and if for us the family and the state are absolute values, then the diversity of the peoples living on the territory of our great motherland is also an absolute value.

Because we are for this unity; we want to strengthen it, preserve it, consolidate it and carry it forward, not destroy it and lose it. No one must be lost. In 1991 we did not pay due attention to our brotherly peoples - and we lost ourselves. We did not liberate ourselves from anyone and we liberated no one. But we condemned ourselves and others to the severest trials.

Protopriest Andrew Tkachev: I remember the words of Rasul Gamzatov, who said: 'In Dagestan I am Avar, in Moscow I am from Dagestan and abroad I am Russian'. There is a kind of triple plan and something similar probably exists in many countries. For example, a Burgundian may not consider himself a Frenchman, but if he crosses the borders of France, he will be a citizen of the Fifth Republic. This is probably a common thing that is particularly interesting for Russia.

People of about 200 nationalities live here and each of them knows their own sub-ethnos, with their own dialect, their own language, within their own ethnos and then, when they go abroad, the representative of the ethnos becomes a Russian, and is not ashamed to say that he is Russian, Dagestan or Avar. You can imagine how strong this construction is, thanks to its internal wealth.

It is easy, for example, to live in Poland and be a Pole, because it is a mono-ethnic country, when by the way there are very few of them, but that is another story. Our construction is complex, strong and unique and will be divided along the lines of complexity. The excitement of the pride of a single person can be extrapolated to the excitement of the national pride of a particular sub-ethnicity, and then the inflammation of enmity between sub-ethnicities within an ethnos. Then the dream of independence within regions.

A kind of cybernetics of peoples was created: people can be controlled and people themselves are very controllable. So we have to cherish the diversity and diversity of peoples, starting with the fairy tales of the peoples of the USSR.

A.D.: The fairy tales of the peoples of the Empire.

A.T.: Yes, the fairy tales of the peoples of the Russian Empire. Fairy tales of the peoples of the USSR - this is what was published by 'Detgiz' - and we have to collect everything, because it all works very well on the level of folklore, of ancient legends, and it also works on the level of special military operations.

Ukraine, as I know it, is very far from monolithism, from unity. The residents of the western regions are traditionally imbued with a truly hellish hatred for all those who live to the east of them. Including Ukrainians. For them Donetsk is not a people at all and within this state they say: I will not go and die for the Donbass, for example, or for Volyn. I live here, in Galicia.

Our country, on the contrary, is much larger territorially; there are many more differences between its regions, yet a Yakut, or a Kalmyk, or a Tungus, or the Lakets or Avars themselves are much more imbued with a sense of the country's unity and common history than those who should be brothers according to normal self-perception. But no.

Russia as an integral project is able to give people a sense of common destiny and history, to give them a unique sense of rhythm. Even with all the torn roots of the Russian state and mentality, our country is able, on the basis of completely irrational and intuitive things, to warm the hearts of a large number of different peoples, to unite them into a single whole and to see a positive goal ahead. Only, to this we must add a reasonable leaven, so that all this is understood with the mind and not just felt.

K.M.: This is a characteristic of empire. The imperial mission, the imperial spirit, has been given to very few people throughout human history. It is a great mission, a great gift from God, and it has been given to Russia.

Russia is an Empire, and that is why the unity of its peoples has lasted so long, with so much security, and all these people, speaking different languages, with different cultures, with different histories, at a difficult time are ready to die for our state and have a sense of patriotism for it.

Imperialism has come at us from two sides. As far as our Orthodox soul is concerned, we are a direct continuation of the Empire of New Rome, the Orthodox Empire of Tsargrad, the Basilevs of Constantinople, and as far as our body is concerned, we are a continuation of the Great Horde, the great Horde state body in the expanse of Eurasia. Having inherited both, we have become a unique state in the history of mankind, the largest and at the same time the deepest in terms of understanding its sacredness.

What is our difference with Ukraine? In a genetic or blood sense, in nothing. We and the Ukrainians are one people, but they are Russians without the imperial idea and we are Ukrainians with the imperial idea. Every Ukrainian with a Ukrainian surname here is also a worker of the Holy Empire, its worker, and every Russian who is in Ukraine, lives there and accepts its conditions, has become Ukrainian. He plays this game, "Marriage in Malinovka", alone and with the lowest level of morality. Because that is what the Ukrainian 'state' demands of him.

The sacred state of Russia, the Empire, gives him the opportunity to serve and to feel proud of this service. Whether you are Avar, Buryat, Yakut, Tatar, Jew, whatever you are, you serve Russia and that means you serve the greatest state on earth; that ownership is being the Empire, being a true state. State is the definition of Empire. How did the first Empire of Sargon of Akkad come into being? Through the unification of several states.

An Empire is a State of States: it does not diminish the States that make it up, it is superior to any State, it has a much greater mission than a simple State in its structure, it becomes a 'subject of federation'. It is in uniting people of different nationalities that our project differs from the American one.

The American melting pot mixes everything, imposing an agenda whereby every film should have four blacks, three feminists and a sodomite. Or rather, it tries to mix them all, but fails. Because they have no reason, no principle to mix, but we don't mix anyone; everyone lives in their own land. It is much more difficult to mix them, because these people have lived in their land for a thousand years and are ready to live in one country, to die for it, to build it and to create it.

Why? Because we have a mission as a state and they do not have a mission as a state. The United States does not have a mission, there is just the American dream, that everyone can succeed and be the best, but it is a consumer state. The unity of the peoples of Russia is based on the Eurasian imperial foundation. The Soviet Union was based on it - even with a time bomb in the form of self-determination of the republics, it lasted long enough. For 500 years after Ivan the Terrible there was a multinational Russia - with people of different faiths, different nationalities.

It will exist in the future if we understand that we are a state with a great mission, if we understand that we are an empire, and the Fundamentals of State Policy, which place the unity of the peoples of Russia on a pedestal as a traditional value, show us that the legislature also understands this. If it is a traditional value, then we must understand what it is based on, namely service to the Empire. We swore an oath to the White Tsar, we swore an oath to a state that has a high mission and high moral ideals and that is very important.

A.T.: In support of your words about the Russian people being imperial and nobody being closed in, I would like to share the following observation. I have visited several churches abroad. There, it is clearly evident that Romanians and only Romanians go to the Romanian church, Bulgarians go to the Bulgarian church and only Bulgarians, Greeks go to the Greek church and no one else, and so everywhere, only in the Russian Orthodox Church do Armenians, Greeks, Bulgarians, Romanians and Serbs go, everyone. Well, the Russians can go to the Serbs, but nobody else, everybody goes to the Russians.

This happens very organically, without anyone teaching them. Nobody gives them bulletins explaining where to go, when they are in heat, it happens on its own, and this ecumenicality exists within the framework of the country. It is incredible. And this is the fruit of the Empire.

A.D.: Just as the conventional LGBT agenda or gender politics destroy families, so nationalism destroys the imperial unity of peoples. We should perceive this traditional value as a kind of inoculation against nationalism (both big and small). That is, just as we stand for the natural, healthy and sacred family, we should also stand for the unity of peoples - as an imperial community of destiny.

K.M.: It was the letter 'E': the unity of the peoples of Russia.

Translation by Lorenzo Maria Pacini