July 22, 2005 by AK
Russian liberal observer Leonid Radzikhovsky writes:
If taken to extremes, Russian society’s response to its wrenching modernization could degenerate into a nationalist revolution led by xenophobes. A different and healthy conservative response is possible if the tattered remnants of old threads, torn apart in the course of postcommunist modernization, can reconnect and grow together in a new way.
I think I know what the guy means, and I more or less agree. Except that I am a nationalist and a xenophobe myself.
I am a nationalist because I want a Russian political nation to emerge at last.
I am a xenophobe because I do not want Russia to be swamped by immigrants from the Central Asia and the Caucasus.
I am also a nativist because I am in favor of citizenship laws that would allow people of Russian ancestry to regain Russian citizenship if they so choose, much like ethnic Germans can return to Germany. I also support easy naturalization for people of Ukrainian and Belarusan lineage. I support the rights of minority ethnic groups native to Russia and oppose the importation of non-native minorities.
I am an ethnocentrist because I would prefer to keep the current ethnic balance with ethnic Russians being the majority group with a 80%+ population share. Native minorities should feel neither second-class nor privileged citizens. Immigrants should be encouraged to assimilate into a natively Russian group, preferably through the ultimate means, intermarriage.
I am a moderate assimilationist. I am well aware of the fact that the Russians, as an ethnic group, are of mixed Slavic/Finno-Ugric/Turkic/Other ancestry and, despite my esthetic preferences, support assimilation of minorities (primarily immigrants) through mixed marriage.
I believe in both negative liberty, which is limited government, and positive liberty, which is economic and social opportunity. Liberty for us.
I expect that, in order to enter the era of PC and rights for minorities, Russia will have to go through an era of un-PC and rights for the majority. As it was growing into the world’s greatest economy, the United States remained, by today’s standards, terribly xenophobic, nationalistic and racist. Yet by the time of Brown v the Board of Education, it was the greatest free country on the planet.
I opposed imposing perverse diversity on the nation. Russian culture and history, if properly understood, are extraordinarily diverse in themselves.
I would prefer, if possible, to expel Chechnya from Russia, with parts of its current territory permanently annexed to Russia.
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