Staunton, May 22 – Despite the constitutional ban on a state ideology, the Putin regime is de facto reviving a state ideology by pushing for the creation of a Pioneer-like youth organization, the display of Soviet flags, and talk about the defense and promotion of traditional Russian values, the editors of Nezavisimaya gazeta say.
“The reanimation of the Pioneers” and the use of Soviet flags not only represents a kind of “cancellation of post-Soviet Russia but also “the de facto reanimation of a state ideology,” the paper says in a lead article, noting that the individual moves have much popular support and don’t appear as dangerous as they are (ng.ru/editorial/2022-05-23/2_8442_editorial.html).
Many people don’t see patriotism or traditional values as an ideology at all, Nezavisimaya gazeta continues. “But the very formulation of the problem indicates indirectly that the family and the school aren’t capable of coping with the education of patriots and that traditional institutions are not influential enough on their own.”
Consequently, the central government must step in to provide young people with clear definitions of concepts like traditional values and patriotism which otherwise will remain unclear to many, the paper suggests those at the top of the Russian political system have concluded and thus decided to revive the Pioneers.
For the Kremlin, the editors say, “neither patriotism nor Russian moral and spiritual values should be vague.” And to that end, the authorities are defining them “more and more concretely,” w,ith patriotism ever more often understood as “anti-Westernism or to be more specific anti-Americanism.”
And traditional values are more and more often defined as anti-liberalism, a perspective which “very often assumes the form of a struggle against any deviation in personal and sexual lives from the standards of the majority. Today, the paper says, the regime will probably add “’an anti-Nazi’ layer” to the mix.
Such an arrangement is hardly coherent or powerful in the ways that Soviet ideology was, but at least for now, the Putin regime has decided that it is both necessary and sufficient for the rising generation.