Staunton, October 23 – The failures of Russia today are connected with the fact that everyone in it – including the authorities, the population, the church and those separate from the church – remain in a cultural sense “Soviet people” with all “the complexes” that entails, according to Academician Yury Pivovarov
Pivovarov, director of the Moscow Institute for Scientific Information on the Social Sciences (INION), tells “Pravoslaviye i mir” that he is not talking about the soviets as a form of governance – they “never worked and did not define the essence of the Soviet order.” Instead, he is referring to something “much deeper and more vital” (pravmir.ru/my-po-prezhnemu-zhivem-v-sovetskoj-rossii-video-1/
Of course, the academician continues, “the Soviet man is not the final sense on the ethnic or civic Russian but rather a task with which he must deal.” That is possible finally because “’the soviet’ is only one of the dimensions of the social and human” that has been preserved from the past into the present but “must be overcome.”
Even in someone like Solzhenitsyn, Pivovarov says, there are “elements of the Soviet” because the great writer defined himself as “the anti-Lenin.” That approach defines itself by its relationship to the Soviet. What is needed, however, is “not the anti-Soviet but the non-Soviet, the [ethnic] Russian, the Orthodox, the [civic] Russian, the all-European, and the Eurasian.”
This is possible because the Russians retained some of the past even in the worst Soviet times, being willing to declare themselves religious in the worst years of Stalin’s terror and saving the country during World War II. Such things show that sovietism was not able to entirely consume either the society or Russia itself.
But despite this, the academician concludes, “the soviet exists [to this day] in various ways.” For example, in relations between those who have power and those who don’t and among people who might otherwise cooperate; and in the fact that a few are getting fat while the great majority are suffering.
“All this,” Pivovarov says, “undoubtedly is a manifestation of the Soviet complex of a lack of feeling for the misfortunes of others and a lack of understanding of one’s own sinfulness. All this must be overcome. The Soviet must be overcome in order for Russia to recover.”