Thursday, August 18, 2022

Putin’s Promotion of Patriotism among the Young Will Be Just as Counterproductive as Soviet Efforts Were, Petranovskaya Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 23 – Vladimir Putin’s efforts to instill patriotism in young people by setting up special classes in schools and organizing something like a revived Pioneer youth movement will have the same impact that their Soviet predecessors did, Lyudmila Petranovskaya says.

            On the one hand, the didactic methods both the Soviet and Putin systems employ will bore children and alienate them from the very ideas that the leadership wants to promote, the HSE psychologist says; and on the other, the falseness of those presenting such classes will mean that the children will feel they are being used (,

            As a result, Petranovskaya says, Putin will, just like his Soviet predecessors, create not a new generation of patriots but one consisting of cynical people who do not trust anyone and who see people as inherently dishonest who only mouth what they are told or what they believe will help them.

            And such attitudes will stunt the intellectual and personal development of the young and thus have the most unfortunate set of consequences for Russia’s future, reducing to almost nothing the possibility that people will be able to work together on the basis of trust and thus build something that all will value and support.

            Petranovskaya says she can testify to this process because she attended school in Soviet times and saw it at work. Putin also underwent this process, but he came to believe that it was the best possible one because the cynics and hypocrites it produced might not be totally loyal but they would never be able to come together to challenge the powers that be. 


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