Monday, January 27, 2020

More Money for Patriotic Education Not Producing More Patriotism in Russia, Polls Show

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 23 – The Russian government has operated on the assumption that spending more money on patriotic education will produce more patriotism and the allied conviction that no one will put a price on something that is now at the center of Russia’s national idea, Igor Nikolayev says.

            But neither of those convictions is justified, the economist says, because patriotic feelings ebb and flow according to broader concerns – they were especially high after the annexation of Crimea, for example, and because the effectiveness of money spent for this purpose can be tested by polls (

            Unfortunately, many of those involved in such activities are only too pleased to hide behind these assumptions and ignore the polls in the belief that no one will question what they are doing, as absurd and out of date as many of their ideas are, including some language in their programs which should raise eyebrows but hasn’t.

            Moscow’s state program to boost Russian patriotism is replete with language that at the very least misleads what the goals of this program are. For example, the current program calls for all citizens to know 300 percent more about it. How can this be? the economist asks. “Is it possible that each Russian must now study the Program three times?”

            Poll results show, he continues, that Russians haven’t become more patriotic than they were despite massive spending. It is possible that patriotic propagandists are getting paid more, and it is also possible that they do not recognize that “hysterical hurrah patriotism and sincere and deeply held patriotism are far from one and the same thing.” 

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