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Ivan Datsenko from Ukraine is the leader of the Indians and the agent of the Soviet intelligence service

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The U.S. State Department: Russia prepares aggression against the USA by hand of Chukchi people

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The truth of history: Wehrmacht, just as SS, slaughtered and raped on a mass scale

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The USA and other organizers of anti-Russian sanctions stand up for Nemtsov's murder

USA go to hell!

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Richard Pipes: “Russia shouldn't go in for foreign policy”

Richard Pipes is the well-known American Sovietologist, perhaps, the chief specialist across Russia in the USA during not even the years, but decades. He worked not only at leading universities, but also in the research centres, was the member of council on national security at Reagan president.

Today the books of Pipes about Russia are published in the Russian language – they can be bought in any bookstore. In the 89 year-old age Richard Pipes arrived again to the country which studies all the life: he stated the opinion about Russia at a meeting at the Moscow school of political researches. His speech, in fact, is a sample of how Russia is perceived in the USA today:

- In Russia there are three groups which define the policy and history of Russia. The first is the government, further – the intellectuals and then – the people. They have the different values, different ideology. But I want to concentrate on the people because, finally, the destiny of Russia depends on masses, instead of on the intellectuals. And we precisely know it on the example of the Russian revolution. In 1917 the intellectuals came to the power, but as a result the people came to the power and the regime which was absolutely unacceptable for the intellectuals was created.

When in 1991 the Soviet Union disappeared, there were big expectations that Russia as the state will get rid of a communistic regime which was the empire and will go in the western direction. That the political system will be democratized, the citizens will acquire the civil rights and will join the international community... Such promises were made by Boris Yeltsin when he came to the power in post-communist Russia. But then Yeltsin was replaced by the former colonel of KGB Vladimir Putin and these expectations disappeared somehow. The Russian policy in Putin time and his colleague Medvedev was reduced to limit the civil rights somehow and to pursue the international policy which balances between the cooperation and, on the contrary, discharge.

Why again as in 1917 Russia can't once pass to the regime which guarantees the political and civil rights to the citizens which, it seems, have to be universal? Is the matter in Putin's ambitions and security officers who came to the power in the Kremlin? Alas! There are certificates of that Putin's antidemocratic actions and his administrations are supported by the sufficient majority!

Many Russians are interested in the civil rights a little, many deny them – it is simply to spit … Present mood of the Russian population is such. The Russian culture and culture as a whole change very slowly. I compared the statistics of ten-year prescription and present and I see that changes are very small …

It is necessary to tell about the Russian historical tradition. Citizens have positive and negative experience which comes from the past. Russia is very conservative country with mentality and behaviour which change very slowly if change in general! Irrespective of who is in power … 80% of the population of Russia went in for agriculture 70-80 years ago – there was a scattered rural society. There were two big cities: Moscow and St. Petersburg, but also there were many migrants peasants in those days. It means that the social hitch which is normal for the West, was very weak in Russia.

The word society in Russia rather tells about the educated elite and all other part is the people. National feelings developed very poorly, except for time of foreign interventions. Until recently the Russian peasant simply would say: I am orthodox, instead of I am the Russian … Still the imperial government didn't encourage participation of the citizen in any political activity at all. Till 1861 the majority of citizens of Russia were serfs; they had no right, no property. The idea of human rights was absolutely unknown.

The private property and justice - two these institutes are closely connected among themselves. They came to Russia very late, with big delay. Machine of justice appeared in Russia only in 1864. But political activity wasn't defined by machine of justice! As a result the Russians lived under a yoke of the tsar, there were no social communications, the civil rights. The state had to protect the citizens or rather the citizens counted on it because they couldn't protect themselves.

So, the Russians are not the social and not politicized people. It explains why twice in one century in 1917 and 1991, the Russian government failed quickly enough and nobody wanted to rescue it. In 1991 the Soviet Union disappeared and I don't remember that someone protested against this historical event. And if the government has no value, it has no right to existence. Polls say that today the Russians, as well as their ancestors feel discharged of the state and from society as a whole. They are connected with the family, with friends, with that whom they address on first-name terms. It is known that when the Russians say “we”, they mean those with whom they are in close relations, they don't mean the society as a whole.

So, the Russians live in entrenchments – terrible expression actually … Russia is the asocial and apolitical country. The Russians are a little interested in political life. They say that the Russians are the collectivists. No! The Russians are the most individualistic people in the world. And it defines the prospect and policy.

The policy in Russia is actually monopolized by small group of people. The majority of the Russians consider that the democracy is an invention, a facade behind which the government is supervised by the rich. The Russian parties are unpopular and the majority is ready to live at an one-party system. Not enough support is given also to civil liberties. When it was necessary to choose between freedom and order, 80% of people chose an order in Voronezh! Probably, they don't understand that there is no contradiction between freedom and order: freedom is impossible without an order!

The Russians feel their dispassionateness from society and the state – they leave rather in private life. It is indifferent for them who in the head of the government until they are allowed to be engaged in private life... The picture hardly will be purer and clear as public moods from cynicism to absolute indifference prevail. All consider that the wealth is acquired by unfair way. Welfare is distributed extremely unevenly: only 3, 6 million Russians have any assets. The spirit of business is weak in the country; the aspiration to safety, certainly, prevails over ambitions. Therefore only 9% of the Russians answered positively a question whether they want to be in power. 63% would disagree with it under no circumstances and here in the USA, I think, 90% would agree! And every year more and more Russians want that the state participated in national economy.

The young generation is more located to business and is more favourable to those forces which are connected with capitalism. But a lot of things are connected with nationalism and desire to trust in the Soviet past when Russia was the great power. The self-perception of the Russians is very inconsistent. Russia is proud by itself, by rich history, culture, openness, honesty, friendliness. First of all Russians like to be proud of the victories in space and in the Second World War. Russia, as it is considered, has the biggest friendliness in comparison with all other people. But the picture changes considerably when the Russians start comparing themselves with other nations. They suffer from a big inferiority complex. The lowest level of self-esteem and loss of national identity after 1991 … Attempts to create the new identity face Stalinism, communism or nationalism.

The Russians perceive themselves as they are in an environment of the enemies. It turns out that the enemy is necessary to people because he allows to rally the nation. Ideals of freedom were incapable to act as psychological cement. In 1999 the Russians were asked whom they consider as the greatest people. I will list: Peter the Great, Lenin and Pushkin, Stalin, Yury Gagarin. What are the general of these historical figures besides Pushkin? That they tried to make Russia as the great power … In fact, nostalgia on Soviet period is an attempt to find that feeling again, already lost of the great power …

74% of the Russians regret that the Soviet Union left and only 12% consider themselves as the Europeans. Two thirds believe that Russia is the great power, which has special place in the history. The USA is perceived especially unfriendly, perceived as the usurper, predominant force. Everything whatever the USA did on the international scene and even in space is perceived as their attempt to strengthen the domination in the world.

All this shows that it is little encouraging! The western democracies look with despondency how Russia is gradually transformed to the one-party state and the Russians approve such tendency in the majority very much. I have such impression that though it is swindled a little, on elections, as speak in America, nevertheless, Putin came to the power lawfully. In fact, it is explained by the Russian tradition of dominion at which the Russians refuse any influence on political life. Also any artificial unity is formed at the expense of confrontation with imagined enemies.

Russia and the Russian authorities shouldn't go in for foreign policy – they have to go rather in for domestic policy. In general the foreign policy isn't necessary to Russia! Russia usually uses the foreign policy for the self-glorification to become the empire. The empire isn't necessary to you! You have no enemies in fact – nobody threatens Russia! You have huge problems within the country and you need to concentrate on your domestic policy.

The democracy and all its elements are equivalent the anarchy for the Russians. I think that you have to change first of all the perception by the Russians of that freedom is allegedly incompatible with order. But if the Russians understand that it is possible, they will gradually change, especially, young generation. But it is the slow process: in my opinion, in the conditions of the world and, of course, prosperity, in 20-30 years you will have in Russia that we call a democratic regime. Here how much time is required! The political culture changes very slowly … In America we are the successors of English political culture, we think by the ideals of the XVIII century; and you too – by the ideals of the XVII-XVIII centuries.

America isn't the enemy of Russia. I was at war as the soldier in the Second World War and I remember how we admired what Russia did in battles with Nazism, how many they rescued the American lives at the price of their own! And then we looked with despair how Stalin accepted the anti-American course. When the cold war began, the Americans even were difficult to believe in it. Certainly, we were the enemies all these years, but the initiative, by the way, always came from you, instead from us!

The Americans have no hostility to Russia. I would say in the following way: America is the island in many respects; it was based as the unique power which differed from everything that was at that time. As the country chosen by God… And the Americans don't like to be interested in foreign policy at all. They are excited only that occurs at home. Look the American newspapers: 90% of only local and national news there. They write about the abroad only if there is the war or act of terrorism. If you asked the Americans, you wouldn't see hostility to Russia. Therefore, I think that it is necessary to educate the Russians.

Viewed : 2283   Commented: 2

Author: Vladimir Kuzmenkin

Publication date : 11 December 2012 01:00

Source: The world and we

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