Staunton, April 17 – Education and enlightenment are not one and the same thing; and over the past century, Russia has become technically educated but not yet enlightened, Vladimir Pastukhov says. As a result, “not only residents of dying villages but many members of the Academy of Sciences” have views that remain medieval.
Such people, the London-based Russian scholar says, “can successfully make rockets and be world leaders in the ballet, but when it comes to humanitarian issues, they remain at the level of pithecanthropes,” a primitive form of human ancestors (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=625DC5A313FA9§ion_id=50A6C962A3D7C).
He argues that this disjunction between an increasingly schooled population and one that retains the values “unchanged from the 13th century,” was exacerbated by the Soviet experiment which simultaneously promoted technical education but did everything it could to prevent humanitarian enlightenment.
As a result, Pastukhov says, the medieval values of the population were not eliminated but in fact “multiplied many times over by the influence of all-penetrating communist propaganda.” And that has led to a Russia today which still appears technically advanced but is more backward in what matters most than one might think.
Enlightenment in its original sense is “a task that Russia has not yet begun to fulfill.” And unless it does, the Russian scholar says, it appears unlikely that any other problems the country faces will be solved. “Russia today is paying for centuries of ignorance,” often as now with the lives of others but soon once again “she will pay with her own.”