Following L. Gumilyov, we know that the history of peoples is driven by groups of super-energetic human individuals – passionaries who strive to achieve the highest degree of self-realization, even despite the risk to their own life and health. By uniting in consortia and spurring ordinary “harmonious” individuals to action, the passionaries create new ethnic groups, states, organize revolutions, and force the “nag of history” (V. Mayakovsky) to gallop. The sacrifice of passionaries goes beyond all the norms of ordinary “harmonious” people who eschew the whirlpools of history and want to live in the interests of their family. The latter are aimed at calmly raising children, building houses and roads, growing cereals or grazing their cattle. But the absence of passionaries in human society (due to their increased tendency to sacrifice and rapid expenditure) leads to the loss of the ethnic group’s abilities and will to fight, to breakthroughs, and, ultimately, to development in general. A society without passionaries at a certain moment becomes incapable of anything and… it crumbles, becoming, at best, building material for other ethnic groups, and at worst – just nothing, zilch. An example is the Avars, about whom Nestor the Chronicler said, “They died without leaving a trace.” There was a great nation, and then they were gone. They disappeared – there is no better way to say it!
This is how our world is structured – if everyone wants to live quietly, with their own small interests, then your society will not quietly exist for long.
Comparing the potential ability to fight for their national rights among my fellow countrymen Tatars with the potential of the Bashkorts in the same area, I should say that, unfortunately, the comparison is not in favor of the descendants of the Great Bulgar. The Tatar ethnic group is aging, aging! It strives, like a pensioner tired of life’s hardships, to find a quiet place to watch events from the sidelines, without risking getting into an unpredictable whirlpool of events. The life goals of this conditional pensioner are undergoing changes: for the sake of peace and comfort, he agrees to concessions that until recently seemed unacceptable to him. He is ready to give up moving forward, if only there is no sliding back, to the worst conditions that he once experienced.
There are still plenty of brave Tatar guys around, ready to do desperate acts in order to stake out a good place in life for themselves. Tatar girls, determined to achieve success for their future families, are also not uncommon in Volga cities and villages. There are many intellectual truth-seekers who are not intimidated by repression, and many thinking Tatars courageously and presciently point out the threats that the people are facing. But the traditional patriarchal way of life in Tatar society, cultural foundations and customs dictate obedience to the elders, to the authority of superiors, and to restraint in criticism. Public opinion predominantly supports the existing status quo. The influence of the national establishment, which shapes the agenda in the Republic of Tatarstan, also plays a huge role; the reins of the state cart are in the hands of people who are inclined to consume the existing goods, and not to conquer new ones. Power in the Republic belongs to those who diligently monitor the appearance of passionate “weeds” in the public garden, and, in coordination with the metropolis, diligently weed out these “weeds”. The people are consistently and successfully instilled with the idea that it is better to enjoy the consumption of the acquired goods (by renouncing national subjectivity – the language, a part of the constitutional rights, the national culture, etc.) than to take risks fighting for new ones.
It could seem that what is wrong with the desire to live quietly and peacefully, in comfort created with your own hands? I agree, there is nothing wrong with this… except for the prospect that your children and grandchildren will hardly be able to enjoy peace for a long time. This comfort and peace will be taken away from them, and they will be made servants (and maybe slaves) by stronger and more energetic people, ready to fight with hands, feet and teeth for the sake of appropriating other people’s goods, easy to acquire due to the lack of will of the former legal owners.
This is where I would like to talk about the example of the Bashkorts. They have found the strength not to wait for conditions for victory, and often go to the extent of creating opportunities for struggle themselves. We are already reading about the desire to build a prototype of the armed forces of the Free Bashkortostan on the basis of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. We already know about the Bashkorts fighting against the Russian army in Ukraine, we know about the guys from the Republic of Bashkortostan who shed their blood and even died for the sake of the existence of the Free Bashkortostan. This is a good example for other Bashkort daredevils who do not agree that a Russian commander in Khabirov’s volunteer battalion beat them with a truncheon like cattle, threw them into a pit or hung them from a tree for two days.
When 85 years ago, A. Hitler’s comrades were in a hurry to send troops into the Sudetenland, the Nazi dictator said the following, “It is too early. The Sudeten Germans should shed their blood and find their heroes!” Please forgive me for this politically incorrect example, but the principles of the struggle have not changed since then. The Tatars, the Bashkorts, and any other indigenous peoples should not count on independence brought by someone from outside. Without effort and sacrifice, you will not even be able to keep it!