April 12, 2014
Interfax has reported on a paper released by the Ministry of Culture in Russia entitled “Fundamentals of the State Cultural Policy,” and its contents are quite fantastic.
The authors assert that the basis of cultural policy should be the idea that “Russia is not Europe.” They call for the abandonment of the Western cult of Liberalism, specifically noting that “Multiculturalism” and “Tolerance” are dangerous to Russian society, and explicitly stating that all projects which are not consistent with traditional values must be deprived of all state support.
“Russia should be considered a unique and distinctive civilization, which cannot be reduced to either “the West” or to “the East” the paper reads, “Russia is not Europe. This is confirmed by the entire history of the country and its people.”
“It seems appropriate to include in the thesis document a renouncement of the principles of multiculturalism and tolerance. Preserving a single cultural code requires the rejection of state support for cultural projects which impose alien values on society,” the document says.
“Any reference to ‘creative freedom’ and ‘national identity’ cannot justify behavior which is considered unacceptable from the standpoint of traditional Russian values. This is not meant to limit the freedom of expression and the rights of citizens, but requires denial of state support for people and communities who demonstrate behavioral and cultural norms contrary [to tradition]” write the documents authors.
The document states that alien values cause “mental distress, which is manifested through an increase in crime, alcoholism, drug addiction, through the increase in the number of suicides and abandoned children, through increased morbidity and mortality.”
The draft also says that representatives of contemporary art, whose work is contrary to traditional values, must not receive support from the state. Projects should be selected in conjunction with a community of experts. Degenerate art “should not receive government support” and “the state should prevent a negative impact on the public consciousness.”
The Ministry of Culture states that it is unacceptable to oppose Russia and Russian culture “by virtue of their actual identity.” At its core, this cultural policy is based on the “principle of civilization,” which the authors accurately state is the opposite of Western Liberalism, which has been falsely alleged to represent an ideal path of development.
The document was signed by First Deputy Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation Vladimir Aristarhova and submitted for consideration to the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation. The project will also be presented to the public.