First of all, I want to reassure readers: with America nothing will happen. The excitement in Charlottesville to anything significant will not lead and can not lead. The country has been living for 240 years under the same Constitution, which during this time was made 27 amendments, of which the first eleven — in the XVIII century.
photo: Alex geldings
The U.S. emerged as a community of self-governing communities of immigrants, retain their original appearance, and all these cosmetic changes — the abolition of slavery, granting women the right to vote, allowing same-sex marriage — not in any way alter its essence, but only increases it. If it was fair, I would argue that in 500 years, America will act the same Constitution. We can say that the history in the States has stayed since their Foundation. Even in world war II, there were elections for governors and presidents, and the state mechanism never gave failures. The only time this happened was in 1861, when the Civil war broke out.
In fact, the events of that time and stirred up America today — so strong was the shock that God’s chosen country happened suddenly so much bloodshed, so far the Americans can’t get over and everyone goes back to the memory of those tragic years.
In Russia do not understand the essence of the Civil war 1861-1865. In school we were taught that bad southerners-slave owners didn’t want to release their slaves to freedom, and that’s why I started all this confusion. Accordingly, generals of the South were smeared we have black color, almost like Nazis. What was the shock of my generation, when those who emigrated to the United States or just read books on their history in the original, learned that in America, a cult of generals Lee, Jackson “Stone Wall” and others. Puzzled, we asked ourselves: how is this possible?! Why in democratic States honor the memory of these criminals?
The initial shock then gave way to admiration: here’s how to treat their story with respect, with no black-and-white stereotypes, to find a place in the Pantheon of heroes for all the brave and courageous regardless of political affiliation. (Mark TWAIN, incidentally, also managed to serve in the Confederate army.)
Now it turns out that the right was still the Soviet history books, even the most primitive and General Lee fought on the wrong side of history and should be posthumously cursed, because Yes, he defended the interests of slaveholders, not some abstract principles of liberty and true federalism, and was a racist. So the principle of a dissident audience “read Soviet Newspapers, and I understand the equal opposite of” not working
Attitude to the legacy of the Civil war in America has passed several stages. By the end of 70-ies of the XIX century it did not differ particularly from the Soviet “Hooray, Hooray, the evil dissenters of the Union and the slave owners punished!”. Then, after the failure of Reconstruction, the elites of the North and South entered into a compromise, “was admitted a tragic mistake that led to mass bloodshed, forget the old and let us be friends”. The interests of the freed blacks by default, was forgotten in America for many years prevailed the racism.
The progressive reforms of the Reconstruction era (the first years after the war) was given to reverse: blacks are in fact deprived of electoral rights, and in the country for nearly a century have established racism in the most disgusting forms. (If the same Constitution that today, is the question of “American values”: they, like any concept, thing about-very loose.)
When the 60-ies of the last century began the campaign for civil rights, the same Reconstruction began to be considered as an interesting and useful experiment (there the essence of what the northerners had achieved the election of blacks to the Senate and house of representatives, but owing to the inexperience of colored people, among them deputies, there was a lot of corrupt and incompetent individuals, and that discredited the good start), and so-called Carpetbaggers — the Yankees came from the North to the southern States, — not as robbers and rogues, and as humans, driven by business interests. But the southerners were allowed to keep the memory of its heroes, and count them as such. It seemed that all was found an acceptable compromise.
But there it was. The situation is approximately the same as the principle in the army “don’t ask, don’t tell.” What seemed a reasonable compromise long-term, today rejected as shameful homophobia. From now on, no compromises, monuments to the generals-slaveholders should be removed, no mutual concessions no longer relies.
In principle, America is in this respect not alone. The same process is under way in Spain, a monument to Generalissimo Franco and built it with the monuments in memory of the civil war. Basically, what happened not so long ago (criterion dust has not settled yet) and that too revered, should be removed if it is causing strife.
In Russia on the background of America the quiet, smooth surface so the grace of God. War stories do not threaten us. Incidents with installations of plaques Kolchak and Mannerheim has attracted the attention of a tiny number of people and was resolved quite peacefully, although absurd (Admiral Marshal — war criminals as V. I. Lenin and I. V. Stalin is not). And the scandal with the infamous “Matilda” takes place mostly on the Internet. It is inconceivable that she pressured people.
In Russia there is no articulated request for change historical policy. The population is indifferent. There is a strong and widespread interest groups that have rebelled against something or in someone’s defense. Historical policy is entirely in the hands of the state, which sees in history only to rally moments and don’t allow for “arbitrary” interpretation.
In the US war of historical identity due to the fact that there are active and influential community for southerners against southerners. Between parity, antywane become stronger as it is now. In Russia nothing of the sort. Character only one — the Kremlin. Yes, it is possible to influence, to persuade, to send notes, but the decision is always with him. Convinced up — and reburied Denikin and philosopher Ilyin. Not persuaded — and Kolchak still “not rehabilitated”. The governors White and Tkachev threatened, respectively, to return the historical name Vyatka and Ekaterinodar. But they were not allowed, “so as not to inflame passions.” Same with regularly thrown in mass-media the idea of reburial of Lenin — up carefully watching for a reaction. And be sure: they consider that the time has come and public relations buns will turn out more than mallets — demolish the Mausoleum immediately. After all, swung into “sacred”, having cancelled November 7, and nothing.
Monuments to Lenin and other miscellaneous streets of Kirov and dzerzhinskih in Russia, thousands and thousands. But they are inviolable. The current post-Soviet identity easily absorbs and the king-priest, and his killers. And no disharmony. As a request for their demolition or rename does not exist, and the government is not so stupid as to deliberately stir up discontent by their actions, the current situation will continue indefinitely.
It is important to understand one more circumstance. 1990-e years have shown that you can be anything an avid anti-Communist, to erect monuments, even Vlasov, but spend quite a antisocial rate, with the greatest disregard to relate to the needs of the population. In the eyes of the Russians of historical reconstruction completely discredited the efforts of “reformers.” No rename will not replace the bread. To seriously attend to the problems of history and identity, it is first necessary to begin to live a quiet and full life. And we are still far from that.