March on Moscow: Prighozhin's left-wing march
Today I am particularly concerned about an important question: can we finally break out of cultural one-dimensionality in our interpretation of events, and in particular of the last significant historical incident we experienced, namely Prigozhin's march on Moscow? When will our thinking stop being flat and one-dimensional and turn to the depths of meaning that lie behind the surface of historical phenomena? When will we interpret the episodes of history, in particular wars, revolutions and uprisings, in such a way that we see not just the play of selfish material interests, not a moment in a card game between hucksters, not a range of random emotions, human passions, resentments, indignations, but a picture - an exposition - of the movements of spiritual reality, a measured rhythm of the Spirit, a battle of wits, a battle of worldviews, behind the most extravagant manifestations of uprisings and revolutions?
Modern (modern and post-modern) societies have long since transcended any Tradition: we tend to smile when heroes proclaim the search for God or the destruction of God, the search for a perfect hail or a flawless society, but there are also remnants (a kind of 'scabs') of the Spirit in non-traditional civilisations. Man is a spiritual being, endowed with the Logos, the Mind, and no matter how damaged the proportions of his worldview may be in him, there is no other way out than to call into question the human mind, the intellect.
In dealing with Prigozhin's march on Moscow, I would suggest taking a more complex interpretation than is customary in today's press and viewing this phenomenon as a 'march to the left', from the perspective of 'leftist ideology'. What does 'left-wing ideology' mean? In general, behind it lies the pathos of the emancipation of the individual, which is what the liberalism of modernity proposes. After having freed man (according to the initial project) from the fetters of hierarchy, religious precepts, class structure, inequality between clans, the Church's claims of exclusive mediation in the relationship between God and man and the latter's obligations to eternity, from unshakeable foundations and truths (the idols of the 'cave', the 'market', the 'square', etc. of F. Bacon), the liberalism of modernity, which is the pathos of the emancipation of the individual, is generally hidden behind it. of F. Bacon), liberalism reduced man to a 'blank sheet of paper', an 'atomic individual' with an autonomous will out of nothing, out of nothing, and then imposed on this being without lineage and without tribe a new cartography of immutable definitions and burdens - only of a secular, horizontal, profane nature. Modernity has spoken of a leviathan-state to preserve the individual from constant battles with other equally disparate human units fighting for survival, the basis of selfish capitalism, of banking profits and interests as the inflexible norms of liberal society, of secularised reason, of bourgeois ideals of the world of human life, of individualism and atheism as components of the worldview, of the social contract as the guarantor of individual security, etc. д. The result has been an apparatus of ideological restriction and social coercion, and a mechanism of class inequality homologous to that of the Premodern, only more rigid, mechanistic and unspiritual, with a disregard for social values, culture and history, and a mockery of what used to be called 'spirit', 'ideal', 'tradition' and 'continuity'. This version of left-wing ideology is called 'left-liberalism'. It combines absolute freedom of enterprise, private property and capitalism with the infinite freedom of the individual in the sphere of morality, relations with religion, clan, culture and society (libertarianism).
In the modern world, this type of liberalism is called 'li-li' (liberalisme libertaire): private property, big capital and unlimited freedom in all spheres, up to the stage of divide and rule.
There is a second variant of 'leftist ideology' in which the principle of the emancipation of the individual in society is linked not to individual emancipation, but to the principle of the prohibition (a significant restriction) of private ownership of the main means of production in the material-productive sphere. This type of ideology is based on leftist economics (public ownership of the means of production) and sees the individual not as a totally free atomic individual, but as a member of society bound by a social ideal (project), class membership and ideology. This type of ideology is called 'socialism'. Marx believed that socialism, with the conscious transformation of society in the direction of freedom and culture and the liberation of man from social constraints, developed into 'communism'. It is here that we will pause in our theoretical preliminaries to the main theme.
So what is behind Prigozhin's march?
We propose to consider this excess in contemporary Russian political life as the exposure of a leftist, socialist (not liberal!) tendency in our society.
Why was this march on Moscow received rather ambiguously by the people? Why was the reaction of our military and security structures so weak and insecure? How did the march manage to advance almost unhindered to Moscow (before 200 km from the capital)? Why did we see on YouTube how in Rostov only a few people on the streets of the city (mostly elderly people) were persuading the Wagnerians to turn back and return to their positions, blandly reprimanding them for not obeying the state, while another part of the population and a much larger section of the population supported the fighters, calling them 'our boys' and 'heroes', insisting that 'everything is right, it has to be that way', and even scolding the elders who tried to shame the boys in camouflage and accuse them of violating state discipline. Why are there still people in the security forces who secretly or overtly sympathise with this uprising as a way of conveying certain ideas and meanings to the authorities, as a last resort to convey to the political elite the main message of the people and their despair and hope that something can turn for the better in the life of society?
The main idea that most excites, worries, stirs the hearts of modern Russians, or Russians, is the idea of justice.
It is said that love is superior to justice, but in order for love to have its say, there must be at least a minimum level of justice in society, which allows love to smooth out contradictions and edges. When justice in society fails, the deep social solidarity, the belonging of people to each other and to the state, also fails.
Western-style liberalism, which has become de facto (without being named) a programme ideology in our society, has never included justice in its set of priorities and values. The liberal individual is an independent atom, a lone wolf who fights for his own selfish interests and only agrees to consider the public interest when his own existence is seriously threatened.
In liberalism, there are two models of the individual: the Hobbesian model, 'man for man's sake is a wolf', and the Lockean model, 'man is a 'tabula rasa''. The wretchedness, meaninglessness and vulgarity of both liberal interpretations of man are simply astonishing: according to Hobbes, the individual should be treated as a rancorous beast who, in times of anger and irritation, should be just as violently and viciously suppressed by the forces of an infinitely superior monster-state, the Leviathan, which pushes the individual into a cage, intimidating and punishing. According to Locke, the individual should be regarded as a passive 'tabula rasa', on which society affixes certain writings, then erases them and writes new theses - new rules of life.
Modern Western society uses both models, sometimes advocating the need for draconian suppression of the individual (realism) or its 'humanistic' programming (with the help of a chip or brainwashing in the form of demagoguery and totalitarian propaganda).
Let us take the example of a modern Russian, or a Russian of non-Russian nationality, who speaks Russian and has lived for several years in the Russian Empire. Let us remind him of the history of the Soviet period, when social justice was a central principle, the root of the structure of society. And we will discover that the idea of social justice, of social solidarity, of brotherhood of nations, of mutual social assistance, of a society not divided into classes, with a more or less equal distribution of natural and social wealth, is one of the dominant tendencies in the aspirations, thoughts and hopes of our contemporaries. This is the most current desire, the key desire of the vast majority of our people, the dream and ideal of a huge part of the Russian people, for whom 'Soviet society' has long been conceived as impoverished, unattractive, totalitarian, closed, suppressive of man, which our Western liberals have been repeating for the past 30 years, repeating the Western media of the time of the collapse of the USSR. Today, Russian citizens, for the most part, dream of the project of a socially oriented society - proportionate and balanced in terms of the distribution of private property. People are attracted to the ideals of an honest community, decency and rectitude in social relations, and principles that reward people on the basis of their work and contribution to social construction and increasing public, rather than personal, prosperity. Modern Russian tends to apply moral criteria to the business and political activities of the elite, the nation's leaders. This implies an appeal to the traditions of the Russian world, with its critical assessments of selfish individualism, dishonesty and injustice in economic life. People are fed up with the deceits, tricks, lies, and forgeries by shrewd privatisers of the people's property, who shamelessly appropriated factories, land, forests, and subsoil in the 1990s, when Soviet statehood was broken up, and who today continue to manipulate property in the form of bankruptcies and re-privatisations, taking advantage of the situation of the Military Operation.
Today, an increasing number of Russians feel nostalgia for a just social society, realising that the destruction of Soviet socialism occurred not only for internal reasons, but also due to the active intervention of Western countries in the economy and the state, motivated by the task of eliminating an alternative social system to the West and suppressing the Soviet-Russian civilisation that opposed it with its fundamental worldview values. This nostalgia of the modern Russian for social justice is expressed in the adherence to one or another variety of non-capitalist model, to one or another version of socialism, considered the preferred project for the future of Russia. This motif has become a dominant line in the public opinion of today's Russian citizens, all the more so when the failure of the capitalist 'welfare society' propagated by Western propaganda in the 1970s and 1980s became evident. This myth of Western consciousness is now perceived as a bluff, a mirage, created to confuse Russian dreamers and practitioners of the only model of a socialist society, in which people received a basic equal distribution of material goods, opportunities for quality education, acceptable health care.
By the 1960s, socialist society had reached its limits, was on the verge of becoming 'tired', decrepit and dying: it needed a rethink, a deconstruction of meanings, a correction of postulates - a 'correction of names'. It needed a shake-up of the party elites, a revision of ideological clichés, a return to Russian history and the traditions of the different peoples living on the territory of the Soviet-Russian empire. An existential and spiritual reanimation of society was needed. A challenge that presupposed a leap in ideological and philosophical rethinking of Soviet ways and achievements. This presupposed an explosion of philosophical imagination, a revolt of the spirit, a revolt of thought, but where there is a challenge, there is also a solution. 'Where there is danger, there is salvation,' wrote Rilke. Soviet philosophers, scientists, thinkers and politicians managed not to see the challenge as a challenge and did not dare enter a field where the existential cold of a cooling society could be transformed into the bright light of a new world. Renewed socialism did not happen, and Soviet society, having betrayed the high ideals of justice, followed the vulgar and criminal programme of liberal capitalist decay and the dehumanisation of humanity, which today has already been declared as the main threat of the coming decades.
What our society, represented by the Soviet elites, was unable to do then, in the 1970s and 1980s, we must do now. We must use our imagination, mobilise philosophical, political and economic thinking, and be so decisive as to get out of the rut of colonial capitalism, whose characteristics are visible everywhere and recognised by our honest political scientists today. These characteristics must not only be realised, actualised, but must be unmasked, rejected and overcome in the direction of a common ideal, the Russian dream of a just society in which man's destiny, his dignity, his fulfilment, his spirituality are of the highest value.
Contemporary Russian capitalism is a kind of imitation and parody. It was created by American political technologists and liberal economists who came to Russia. Only from the outside, in 1991, could a 'stunned society' receive and adopt such harsh and cynical prescriptions. Only our enemies could have thrown into the foundations of Russian society such monstrous patterns of unfair privatisation, fraudulent side-auction tricks, the overtly ideological thesis of the 'abolition of ideology', the principle of the priority of international laws and regulations over national ones... The years of Putin's government were a time of realisation of the necessity of our country's sovereignty and of important steps on this road...
Today the residual colonial capitalism in Russia shows all its weaknesses. The country has almost lost its industry, it has raised a whole generation of colonial managers, who only know how to adapt western technology to local conditions, without any effort of intelligence to lead the country on a path of independent development, rather than according to the scenarios of overseas slaveholders. Putin's attempts to reclaim the country's sovereignty after Yeltsin's ruinous decade of Western reforms have so far failed to restore industry, science, higher education and creative human capital to their full potential. In the 1990s, Western managers destroyed our ideology and economy in a very profound way.
Our people, however, know this from our history: first they destroy it to the foundations and then...! And then comes thought, imagination, dreams, intelligence, will, courage, the ability to take risks, to decide, to create, to give vent to inner forces. Then, it is about the spirit. The understanding of the destiny of the Russian people and state, their movement in world history, the role and significance of Russia in the world. All this awakens the forces of the people, ignites an inner fire, inspires hope, generates faith in victory. At this moment we need courage and boldness to act: both along tried and tested paths and along completely new trajectories. At the critical moment of a special operation, people demand transformation.
People project all their expectations on the March on Moscow. Prigozhin may not fully understand everything, but he senses that the people's thirst for justice is boiling over. The people are not convinced of Prigozhin's motives and goals, even though, of course, many do not justify the means to achieve them.
But the people are eager to rebuild the crumbling social structure; they want new solutions and, first of all, about those figures who have settled into bureaucratic offices and discredited themselves and the government. The people are hungry for victory and rightly see the inadequacy of the efforts of the cadres of the apparatus, no matter whether they sincerely aspire to victory and prosperity for the Motherland or merely keep a fig in their pockets by imitating their activities.
The Prigozhin march is the culmination of profound processes taking place in our society. It would be a terrible mistake to reduce it to secondary reasons, motivations and motives.
Prigozhin's march on Moscow is more than a march on Moscow.
In essence, it is an ultimatum from our society to the government, which, while restoring sovereignty, pays no attention to the fundamental foundations of our Russian, Russian identity, which is tied to a strong sense of justice, to an unquenchable will to build a society of solidarity, friendship and community. The Soviet period, socialism, was not an accidental period in our history. It is irresponsible to consider this period a deviation. A Russian will never be happy individually in a society where there is no justice, equality and love. Attempts to build an unjust society and preserve capitalism are doomed to historical failure.
Prigozhin's march on Moscow is not the end, but a new beginning, and it would be better if it were the beginning of a REVOLUTION from above, with the preservation and strengthening of our state, rather than the other way around.