What the reason is for the low passionarity of modern Russians

МОСКВА, 25 ноября 2021, Институт РУССТРАТ.

The decline in the passionarity of the Russian people has long been the subject of research by several generations of thinkers, both Russian and foreign.

These studies look like a diagnosis if they are written by Russian authors who stand on the position of a doctor concerned about treatment; as an intelligence report if our eternal geopolitical enemies write; as contemplation of the distant Mount Fujiyama, if “observers» write, those who are «neither friend nor enemy, but so», that is, descriptively, neutrally and distantly (and in fact, having not yet decided whether Russia is such a threat to them, or an annoyingly weakened situational ally). Not preoccupied, not gloating, but thoughtful. Like a peasant thinking about how his life will change if their neighbour’s cow dies.

Passionarity is a collective psychological state of a people that has a life cycle like all living things. That is, there is a phase of origin, growth, peak, alignment, decline and death. Passionarity is experienced by both young and old peoples, who have repeatedly gone through the downturns of this feeling in the past and the associated disintegration of statehood. Time passed – and passionarity grew, finding a foothold, and then the old, collapsed empires returned to the world stage and new ones were formed.

Passionarity is a sense of mission. A mission is something that goes beyond the limits of earthly life, which is more important than this life, since they go to death for the sake of the mission, even if they do not think in such categories. Passionarity is the afterburner of the engine. You can’t ride on it all the time, it is turned on for a short time to take altitude. Then you need a recuperation mode. The goal is achieved, passionarity falls, and decomposition processes begin quietly.

They lead to a catastrophe, which again requires explosions of passionarity to escape from it. This is how the wheel of ups and downs of popular activity works, alternating with indifference and the growing dominance of traitors and degenerates. The saved Motherland is decaying and again falls into danger, from which the militia under the leadership of informal leaders is going to save again, if the formal ones cannot cope with the challenge.

Bursts of passionarity are always accompanied by the rotation of elites, when the main backbone changes, and fragments of the old one become fellow travellers and advisers for a maximum of time. Then they get rid of them — when it’s soft, and when it’s hard.

Passionarity requires some kind of consensus of basic moral axioms – that is, theorems accepted by the majority of the population at this historical stage without evidence. In order to understand what is the reason for the decrease in the passionarity of Russians, it is necessary to consider the types of missions and each of them must be imposed on those who consider themselves to be Russian, whether it be an ethnic, territorial or cultural criterion.

In fact, there are not many missions, and they are all mixed up. One can only try to single out the one that dominates at the moment. Without a dominant mission, the people do not exist even at the stage of the national dying and dissolution of statehood.

The first type of mission is generic power and its accumulation. The idea of generic power can serve as a powerful source of passionarity. The dominance of this mission is characteristic of peoples in the barbaric stage of existence, tribal relations and pagan worldview. Europe and Russia passed this stage in the pre-Christian period.

Tribal power is a mission for peoples experiencing tribal organisation as the main form of collective existence. For many peoples of Central Asia and Transcaucasia, tribal relations have remained dominant in the folk tradition. Teips, Zhuzes and other forms of family-territorial clans rule there.

Their modern statehood (presidents, parliaments and other attributes) is a forced format, often formal and concealing the very consensus of the clans. The meaning of the mission is strengthening. Family, clan union, borders, relations with neighbours.

For modern Russians, the ancestral force is archaic, a museum exhibit. You can respect it, but no one will return to the bygone way of life and its way of life. This is a folklore theme, bearing the character of ethnographic festivals, where urban men and women dressed in ancient Russian embroidery reconstruct some elements of pagan rituals and form groups of lovers of antiquity.

In politics, this group of re-enactors is trying to appeal to certain sources, to which it is necessary to return to find the lost identity, but no one is really ready to live by those rules. The mission of the generic force cannot be a source of passionarity for Russians.

The second type of mission is religion. From paganism it passes into monotheism. The mission of religion is the mission of serving a higher ideal or a higher power in order to connect with this power, draw from it the missing power, and in some religions, the path to personal salvation. Tribal relations are quite preserved during the transition from paganism to monotheism, and often the synthesis of the missions of tribal power and religion in its monotheistic version becomes the basis of an acute national sense of one’s own identity and the mission associated with it.

In the limit, the religious mission strives to overcome the national framework, strengthening the passionarity of the idea carriers. Religious mission, generating religious fanaticism, overcomes tribal and national frameworks and becomes the first form of the ideology of globalism. For Europe, this form of passionarity was passed in the Middle Ages, in the era of the Crusades, and ended in the Reformation, and for Russia, the peak was passed in the Battle of Kulikovo, when, in the absence of the official metropolitan, the soldiers of various principalities of Russia were blessed by Monk Sergius of Radonezh, the informal most authoritative and charismatic spiritual leader of that time.

From the victorious battle on the Don on the Kulikov field, religious sanction moved Russian passionarity to unite the split principalities into a single state around Moscow. The passionarity of the Russians on the basis of a religious mission was the highest and survived the demolition, going into decline after the Nikon reforms and the split of the church into Nikonians and Old Believers (Sergius of Radonezh fell into the Old Believers).

The period of decline of the sense of religious mission for Russian passionarity lasted from the Nikon reform to the reforms of Peter. The final death of the religious passionarity of Russians was revealed after the abolition of compulsory confession for soldiers by the Provisional Government in 1917. For the first time, almost no one came to confession voluntarily. The collapse of the churches and the era of militant atheism of the Soviet government showed that the religious mission in Russian passionarity is dead. It remained in everyday life, but they were already going to death for other purposes.

The third mission is revolution. This is the idea of restoring trampled justice by force, since the «old world, mired in sin,» did not voluntarily leave and did not give up power. Justice was restored by violence against the formerly ruling classes on the part of the formerly oppressed classes.

Violence was understood as a useful action to clear historical paths and a sacrifice on the altar of the revolution — here a religious mission was manifested in an anti-religious mission. Actually, the revolution was religion back to front. They believed in it the same way they believed in God before. It was served in the same way that God was served.

This is not the end of the similarity of the missions of religion and revolution. Both the missionaries of religion and the missionaries of the revolution were united by a common and main feature — self-denial. Self-denial, asceticism — that’s the sign of a real missionary, even from religion, even from revolution. When self-denial is dropped, the mission enters a time of profanation.

Russians have passed through this historical period, and have received this collective experience. It is precisely because of this that revolution cannot be the basis of passionarity of modern Russians. From the idea of the vanguard of society, it has turned into a marginal idea. Now revolutionaries are supporters of destruction, not creation. War, not peace. And since war is a sacrifice, no one wants to sacrifice their lives for the sake of the future rebirth of revolutionaries and the return of the old injustice anymore.

The fourth mission characteristic of modern society is the Social Olympus. The source of the social energy of the masses is the idea of a breakthrough to wealth, well-being, which is associated with the understanding that all this is possible if you occupy a higher step in the social hierarchy. This is no longer an idea of justice or service. This is the idea of a career, which is associated with the idea of a vertical of self-development. After all, to rise to the Social Olympus, skills and knowledge are needed.

In this regard, the source of passionarity of modern Russians is the circle of socio-economic ideas. First of all, social security, medicine, education and social elevators. Modern Russians are included in socio-dynamics under the slogan «career or revolution».

Under this slogan, the late USSR was destroyed, since the social elevators there were blocked. The Ukrainian Maidan 2014 was held under the same general slogan. All protests on the territory of the republics of the former USSR are carried out one way or another under this slogan, sewn into the paradigm of the collective unconscious of the post-Soviet masses.

The collision of the first and second types of passionarity with the fourth generates the defeat of the fourth. Lower meanings mobilise the masses of the modern and postmodern era, even post-cyberpunk, but they cannot compete with the passionarity of previous formats. They are winning not only the battle for influence on minds, but also the demographic battle. Passionaries of a career will always lose to passionaries of kin and spirit.

It’s simple: no one will die for a career. But it will be easy and active to betray. Whereas it is quite natural to die for one’s own kind and for one’s faith, which, again, is backed by one’s own people. The passionarity of a career degrades into rallies for taxes and wages, the passionarity of the family and faith — into sacrifice for the common good of those who remain alive. These are completely different types of social fuel.

The crisis of Russian passionarity is a crisis of higher meanings. Neither the cultural, nor the religious, nor the scientific, nor the administrative-political elites can yet formulate them. While society is looking for new meanings with all its spiritual and mental resources, mission hybrids are used, where all four types are mixed without the dominance of any one, and this will play off the cause of group conflicts in all wings of the political spectrum, from left to right.

In this situation, the conflict of ideas is replaced by the conflict of leaders. Coalitions are impossible because of the nuances of differences of opinion, and most often because of the personal enmity of charismatics. In this situation, centrists-technocrats rule, whose philosophy looks opportunistic and cynical, but whose pragmatism alone stabilises the situation until a new passionarity takes shape and makes its way.

The new passionarity is already emerging on the anti-globalisation wave and absorbs its entire agenda. Here is the conflict between LGBT people and traditionalists, and the digital revolution, and green energy, and social segregation of a new type. This also includes the conflict of developed countries with developing countries, the East and West with the isolation of the South and North, the struggle for a new format of globalisation that does not provide for Americanisation as its synonym.

The old classifications no longer work. Social groups and classes will be formed according to the criterion of the struggle for the unification and preservation of identity, without specifying its parameters, that is, including all known identities: gender, class, class, national-racial, cultural and linguistic, ideological. The death of one type of passionarity means the formation of another type. In the next 10 years, the strongest qualitative changes will take place here.

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