In October 2010 influential filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov published an extensive “Manifesto of Enlightened Conservatism” which was published as “Right and Truth” in polit.ru. (Read in Russian here.)
The defense of serfdom attributed to Mikhalkov, which I posted yesterday, may well be a fake, but his conservative views are well-known and worth reading. A shorter overview (and critique) of his Manifesto was published in Vedomosti and translated in The Moscow Times. I am taking the liberty of copying that article in full (below) as it might be interesting for our students in Russian history classes. Lest they (students) think the debates and views of Russian conservatism are archaic, they can see them returning in the extremely conservative new laws on homosexuality, on diversity within the Russian Orthodox Church (the rules on “insulting believers” are very broadly construed), and in the takeover of the Russian Academy of Sciences (long a bastion of independent thinking).
Here is Moscow Times’ overview of Mikhalkov’s manifesto. If anyone has a translation of the full Manifesto, it would be excellent to post it as an attachment on this website or somewhere else.
“Mikhalkov’s Disturbing Manifesto”
Translated from Vedomosti. Published in The Moscow Times on October 29, 2010.
Film director and self-proclaimed monarchist Nikita Mikhalkov> caused a big stir Wednesday when he released his 10,000-word political manifesto titled “Right and Truth.”
The main theme of the manifesto was that Russia needs a strong leader who will guide the country along its “special path” to become prosperous and powerful. This is nothing new.
The manifesto comes several days after the Russian Union of Rights Holders — under the aegis of the Cinematographers’ Union, which
What type of government and civil society does
It was comforting that
For example, Pobedonostsev fiercely criticized the Russian judicial system at the end of the 19th century. “When the courts are separate from the state (in our grief this has already been done), it becomes a tool of the ruling party. … A united authority is Russia’s only guarantee of truth. … [In the West,] there are lies, fatal lies for Russia.” If
Leontyev opposed not only political liberalism, but also technological progress, including railways. This is also a questionable ideological foundation for advancing Russia’s modernization agenda.
Above all, it is not clear what exact kind of conservatism
The big question, of course, is how to achieve law-abidingness. Unfortunately,
To be sure, Russians, too, have an important role to play in building enlightened conservatism: They are assigned the role of practicing “loyalty, obeying authoritative power and respecting rank.” A peaceful union between citizens and the state is best achieved, we are told, through “civil and church obedience, not administrative coercion.”
The construction of a constitutional monarchy has a special place in the manifesto. Strengthening the federal vertical power structure must occur alongside the strengthening of local and regional power structures. This thesis, however, goes against 19th and 20th century Russian history, when Moscow consistently viewed local power bases as “fifth wheels.”
Throughout his career as a director and a de facto political and ideological mouthpiece for the Kremlin,