Wednesday, August 31, 2022

‘Russian Empire a Balance of Russian Centralism and Disintegration,’ Prokhanov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Aug. 4 – The Russian Empire has always been “a balance of two deep historical forces: Russian centralism” which leads to the flourishing of the state and society “and the forces of disintegration” which destroys centralism and leads to the collapse of the state and times of troubles, Aleksandr Prokhanov says.

            Whenever one of these gets the upper hand, there is a reaction, the Russian nationalist writer says; and what is happening now is the revival of Russian centralism after a period when the forces of disintegration were in the dominant position. That revival, he says, is only beginning and will soon spread to the intellectual world as well (

            “Soviet power was a wise and careful balance of these two forces: harsh centralism and moderate liberalism which did not reach a boil,” Prokhanov continues. But “this balance was destroyed during perestroika,” and “the Yeltsin decade was a time of the eradication of everything Russian and deep.”

            According to the Russian writer, during that time, “Russian and patriotic ideas were driven to the periphery of public life, and the word ‘Russian’ became if not a synonym of fascism then the synonym of a loser.” But with the arrival of Putin, there was the recovery of centralist and patriotic consciousness.

            Liberals were driven “out of many spheres of Russian life,” but there are still many places where they hide out and must be driven from, especially in higher education and the arts. For along time, “patriots were kept distant from universities, political institutions, and literary and artistic prizes.” Now, it is time for them to return and fill these places.

            That is the next step, Prokhanov suggests in conclusion, that Russian centralists must make to restore the balance of Russian history destroyed by Gorbachev and Yeltsin in alliance with the West.

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