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Privatization of Victory

Privatization of Victory
Fedoseev Ilya 13.05.2009

Those readers who are already older than thirty for certain remember ideological campaign being developed in the early nineties (also before disintegration of the USSR). Say, it is time to forget about opposition between "red" and "white" (I quote these words because during the period described they had a bit different meaning, rather than at the time of Civil war). We have only one Russia and consequently - it is necessary to reconcile for the sake of it. Thus paradoxically for demonstration of that reconciliation exclusively "white" symbols were used - eagle-mutant, thricolour, icons and other sacerdotalism. Though if to think in over, it is natural: how else could the winners reconcile with the conquers but having conceded them victory?

New owners, it is necessary to recognize, managed with the task rather badly. The further Yeltsin's social and economic policy came, less signs of agreement could be seen in society. The reality is all the same primary and if social conflict ripens in it - no symbols could help to eliminate it. While it could soften - propagation nevertheless happens to be rather effective.

That was the time, in the middle of last decade, when authority chose the most successful symbol - Victory. Indeed, unless all people gained it? Unless it happened not under the guidance of Stalin (being represented now, certainly, by Yeltsin-Putin-Medvedev)? Unless for the sake of Victory all disagreements in the country were not forgotten (so why not to forget them now?). Here you are, sirs-companions, reconciliation symbol.

Though Victory of 1945 was stressed from the beginning of 1990th years by opposition, that symbol better than anything suited for being privatized by authority. It's not important that holiday on May, 9th especially since Putin's time annually turns out to be humiliation of not only Muscovites but also veterans being let only in the form of special favour and after numerous checks to celebratory action meant only for the heads. Authority privatized Victory and now parasitizes on it with all its might.

For already two decades official propagation has been repeating that the victory over Nazi Germany had not class, not party but national character. Authors like gone Vadim Kozhinov and other researchers of smaller caliber unanimously asserted that immoral and spiritless Europe infected with spirit of profit always had an axe to grind with Sacred Russia. In 1945 above mentioned Russia once again won it. Have fun, brave Russian!

It turns out that the communists have already nothing to do with it - their role was reduced to being on the way of the Russian people. Huge role, it appears, was played by prayers of the priests without which Victory would not take place (it's not clear though what could be said about those rather numerous priests who prayed for victory of the German weapon). Plus to that - dormant in each Russian state spirit, great examples of Kutuzov, Suvorov and Alexander Nevsky... Plus Stalin - already not the communistic leader but orthodox leader of the orthodox country.

That is where the Russian propagation gained greatest of its victories. It used to be successful in other points too but never as was here. After all if Victory belongs not to the USSR, not to the communists but to Russia - it doesn't matter what authority is present in this Russia. It turns out that the present authority is not worse, than any other. In understanding of the Russian propagandists the main merit of any power consists in the mere fact of its existence. Authority - is the highest blessing by itself. Other merits are desirable but are not obligatory. Authority weighs.

It is curious, by the way, to compare in this aspect Yeltsin and Putin. The first Russian president did not get tired to remind: I gave you civil liberties (what do these liberties mean, if it is possible to give them and to take away?), I gave you democracy (having shot thus parliament and crushed constitution.)... Putin said nothing of the kind. He underlined only: I rule you and that is my merit. If I'm - authority, it means that I am good by definition.

Here you are where invention with St. George Ribbon appeared in time. Tying it somewhere a person thereby joins both Victory and Russia - but absolutely abstracted Russia, «Russia in general». The very view of this ribbon - sending both to the Soviet guards units and to imperial Order of St. George founded by Catherine II, cancelled by emperor Pavel and restored by his son Alexander. The social meaning - both of the award and Victory - remains aside.

Political scientist Boris Kagarlitsky analyzing serial film "Penal Battalion" devoted to war hits the mark: "Native land of heroes of "Penal Battalion" - is something absolutely abstract. Something that is necessary to love though nobody can explain plainly, why. Meanwhile for people who took part in the Great Patriotic War, Native land was absolutely concrete. It was inseparable from their life experience - good and bad. There were Dneproges and Gulag, "Special Branches" and Eisenstein's films, horrors of collectivization and enthusiasm of industrialization. A lot of people condemned reprisals but supported party, hated and was afraid of People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs but sincerely admired Stalin, secretly sabotaged senseless party orders but died with party-membership card in their pockets. It is possible to consider it as tragedy, it is possible to call it absurdity but such is our History".

Not abstract Native land but real USSR won that war. The war was not against Russia as it was (however, "Russia as it was" never existed in reality, that's why the mere question loses its sense). Capitalism mortally frightened by October managed to gather in one place the most mean, dishonourable and severe that was in it. The German Nazism which appeared in result was used as a striking power against the Soviet Union. Not Germany but Nazi Germany was at war against the USSR and it was it that was conquered - but conquered not by abstract Russia but by concrete red, communistic Soviet Union which was headed by people who still kept charge of October.

Is pleasant to notice, however, that populace actually is not so silly, as it seems at first sight and propagation influence on it becomes weaker every year. Let's say this year on May, 9th there were less striped ribbons and celebratory procession (at least in Moscow) had clearly left character.

It seems that the day when Victory will be returned its primordial red colour is near.

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