“Russia: living in a “negative reality”, Mykhailo Mishchenko (Razumkov Centre, Ukraine)

Presumably, people always strive for a better life. All political ideologies since the American and French revolutions have emphasised the right of man to be happy. The 1776 US Declaration of Independence proclaimed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Even communist, fascist and national socialist ideologies promised happiness, at least to their followers (but they did not promise it to other people). 

However, the ideology (more precisely, ideological practices and social mythology) of modern Russia in this respect fundamentally differs from all other ideologies just because the topic of happiness is actually off the agenda. For example, the notions of “human rights and freedom” and “dignity”, were called “borrowed from Western European philosophy” by the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Cyril, one of the “pillars” of Russian political mythology. Instead, he suggested emphasising “faith, love for the country, sacrifice, without which our history is inconceivable. It and our prosperity are built, among other things, on the sacrifices of the previous generations. On those who died in the war defending their families, on those who worked desperately in the most difficult conditions developing our country’s economy, there were victims, too… How can we not mention love for the country, loyalty, duty, sacrifice?”.

Read more here.