In an interview published on April, 15 Russian Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinskiy provided his comments on the new Russian state cultural policy draft which proposes to reject multiculturalism and tolerance as non-traditional values to Russian people.
In particular, Medinskiy said to Kommersant:
No one will censor and ban anyone. I repeat for the third time, so that I am finally heard. Gentlemen, your freedom of creativity is enshrined in the Constitution.
But if you’d like to use theater or animantion to promote some perversions and strangeness, some marginal subculture of Breivik followers or opium smokers, [which is ] directly opposite the traditional values of our society — please, at your own expense. Not taxpayers’ money.
Speaking cynical language of economists, the state will invest only in those projects that do increase national cultural and human capital.
And if your cultural project leads to the fact that the number of Russians becomes fewer, their physical and mental health deteriorates, they become antisocial, aggressive, addicted to drugs, they do not want to learn and grow professionally, they abandon family values — I’m sorry. Such project [you] implement without the participation of the state, here you have complete freedom within the limits of the Criminal Code. [We] will not even look in your direction.
The concept of tolerance has long been criticized, primarily in the West. At the same time, indulgence to another [religious] faith, the ability to get along and work well together with a neighboring tribe is an integral part of our civilization code.
And tolerance is another thing. It is a dead, abstract principle, forcing one to submit to any alien action, including riots, ugliness, vulgarity. Of course, tolerance has a right to exist, but it should be a personal choice.
But to make tolerance as a principle of the state cultural policy is logically impossible. Then we’ll be tolerant not only to something unethical, immoral and ugly in art, we will have to be humble and accept simple unprofessionalism.
We are not for tolerance, we are for indulgence and common values. Indulgence towards representatives of other religions, races and nationalities is especially a traditional feature of Russian culture.
Tolerance is always a negative feeling, it is indulgence without love, a forced one, “against one’s hair.” And we’re seeing the consequences of imposing tolerance top-down in Europe: an impressive growth of nationalist movements in Austria, in France…
In Russia they originally relied not on tolerance, but on love and respect.
Now multiculturalism. Already in Europe it is abandoned, and our liberal intelligentsia still can not let go of this decrepit idea. Merkel, Cameron, Sarkozy repeatedly spoke on the collapse of multiculturalism. In our tradition, there is something even better: centuries of coexistence and co-operation of different cultures and traditions, built on uniting the community, rather than restrained, irritated endurance of each other. This, incidentally, is the most valuable experience in the world history. Colonizers in America, in India or Africa had a lack of it.
Multiculturalism is an isolated neighborhood of different cultures – without the “heat exchange”, without cross-fertilization and synergy. Elements of the puzzle are there, but there’s no single picture itself which should appear – not in sight. Because there are no common values, no common language, no common goal.
Russia is not just Europe. Russia is actually half of Europe. But it is much broader than just Europe.
Out of the “enlightened Europe” came to us ideological movements like racism, fascism, vulgar atheism, by the way, theory of communism with its “class hatred”, these are absolutely pro-western in their origin and spirit. I’m not even talking about the ” latest” things borrowed from the West like a cult of profit, anti-patriotism, refusal of non-traditional family and morality.
At first, we ‘re clutching at a trendy “kulturprodukt” from the West, but as times passes, it goes unnecessary, does not take root. And classic European art and classical European values remain forever.
In Russia they are now saved to a greater extent than in Western Europe. Perhaps we will see Russia as the last guardian of European culture, Christian values and a truly European civilization.
In terms of values the West now turns into its opposite, and Russia is forced to defend itself culturally against the “anti-Europe” to at least in itself preserve Shakespeare without pedophilia and “The Little Prince” with no homosexual “plasticity”.
Earlier in April, 3 contents of the new “Fundamentals of the state cultural policy” developed by the Russian Ministry of Culture were announced in Russian media. Drafters believe that the basis of cultural policy should be based on the “Russia is not Europe” statement. They also call to abandon the principles of multiculturalism and tolerance , and all projects that are not consistent with the traditional values should be deprived of state support.
Photo by W-contact-an (Wikimedia Commons)