Staunton, Nov. 10 – After a series of articles suggesting that Russia’s problems and the solutions to them are beyond the imagination of most in Moscow, Vladimir Pastukhov offers a concluding comment and then five steps he believes the Moscow government should take to restore the prospects of Russian civilization.
According to the London-based Russian analyst, “the Russian world today is like a damaged file in a computer: it exists somewhere but access to it has been lost.” To restore that link and thus promote a renaissance of Russia, Moscow needs to take five big steps (novayagazeta.ru/articles/2023/11/10/spasti-tsivilizatsiiu).
First of all, Russians need to recognize that they are in the midst of a civil war and end it because unless they do, one side will have to continue to try to destroy the other; and such attempts will inevitably lead to thoughts of revenge by the latter, something that will keep the civil war going. Russians must remember that “all wars end except for civil ones.”
To escape from that “vicious circle,” there is only one way out and that is to seek, achieve and accept “compromises between ideological enemies,” not an unprincipled one but rather on the basis of “acceptance of definite principles as “indisputable.” That hasn’t happened in Russia for more than 30 years, but it must if Russian civilization is to have a future.
Second, Russians are going to have learn again how to make friends with everyone, including those they see as their most obvious opponents. Instead of trying to destroy them by force, they must be embraced, a call that may seem utopian but again is the only way forward for Russia.
Third, Moscow must build infrastructure to “a new ‘window on Europe’ but already one not to the West but to the East through the United States, Japan and South Korea.” Fourth, Moscow must give such projects priority because “Russia will not e able to exist for long” if its eastern and western portions are “connected only by the thin isthmus of the Trans-Siberian.”
And fifth, Pastukhov says, “and perhaps most important of all,” Moscow must put in place in support of “this complex new infrastructure,” a different civilizational paradigm based on democracy, federalism and rule of law.” A dictatorship of the force structures can’t manage the new role of Russia as “an intermediary civilization.”
Making this last change may seem the most utopian because “everything we have known about the state unity of the Russian people up to now” depended on the role of centralized bureaucratic state. Changing to a different arrangement is a task “comparable to the complexity” of the measures Peter the Great and Lenin carried out.
“But that does not mean,” Pastukhov concludes, that it is theoretically impossible. And so those who want to save Russian civilization need to ask themselves whether they are ready to meet that challenge or “go down” with Russian civilization, “wailing, cursing, denouncing, but doing nothing” to prevent that.