new russian history


In a long introduction to the discussion that ensued, Putin complained that there was “mishmash” (kasha) in the heads of teachers of history and social sciences, and that this dire situation in the teaching of Russian history needed to be corrected by the introduction of “common standards. ” (Four days later, a new law, introduced in the Duma and passed with record speed in eleven days, authorized the ministry of education and science to determine which textbooks be “recommended” for school use and to determine which publishers would print them.) There followed some instructive exchanges:

“A conference participant: In 1990-1991 we disarmed ideologically. [We adopted] a very uncertain, abstract ideology of all-human values…. It is as if we were back in school, or even kindergarten. We were told [by the West]: you have rejected communism and are building democracy, and we will judge when and how you have done…. In exchange for our disarming ideologically we have received this abstract recipe: you become democrats and capitalists and we will control you.

Putin: Your remark about someone who assumes the posture of teacher and begins to lecture us is of course absolutely correct. But I would like to add that this, undoubtedly, is also an instrument of influencing our country. This is a tried and true trick. If someone from the outside is getting ready to grade us, this means that he arrogates the right to manage [us] and is keen to continue to do so.

more from TNR here.