Immutability and wearisome nature of the Vatnik-imperial argument is worth mentioning. The classic example of the demagogy “but you have blacks being lynched / and you killed the Indians” is not at all obsolete in their methodology, it never thought to fall out of favor. Yes, it’s still being spread. What can you do, there are no other true ideas. So Russian propaganda has to act according to Dr. Goebbels’ tried-and-true template: “A lie repeated a thousand times is perceived as truth”.
That is why even now they take out the mothballed phrase about the fate of the Indians in America and project it onto the current situation of servile “small” peoples in the russian federation.
Without justifying the American pioneers of the Wild West era, we would still like to note that the conditions and circumstances of colonization are very different.
The North American autochthonous people went to war with white aliens while in the primitive communal stage of tribal society. They had no statehood of their own. Numerous nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes competed with each other, sometimes forming military alliances. In many tribes initiation rites included compulsory killing of one or more enemies. The excess of passionarity and the lack of cultural development did not allow preconditions for the emergence of a proto-state to emerge and did not allow peaceful coexistence with the white colonists.
Under natural conditions, the rudiments of the state of North American aborigines could have emerged in 200-300 years. Unfortunately, history did not give them that chance, confronting them with the white settlers, for whom the war for territory was a war for survival and whose material culture was incomparably superior. In an unequal, brutal struggle on both sides, the Redskins lost to the Paleface and joined the American super-ethnos (USA) .
Now the U.S. establishment has come to its senses and is trying to help save Indian culture. Sometimes sincerely, sometimes to show a good tone, but the moment has passed. Indian peoples have been swept up in the wave of globalization, eroding national identities that have not yet been fully formed. No financial injections or grants can help here, Indian culture can only be preserved as a relic, a museum and tourist curiosity.
In the russian federation this is not the case, or almost not. For example, Bashkortostan and Tatarstan, before becoming part of Muscovy, had three hundred years of experience as part of the states of the Golden Horde, the Kazan and Siberian Khanates, and the Nogai Horde. These peoples had a written language, religion, commodity production, an advanced economy, and trade. Cultural development proceeded naturally and, one might say, successfully.
But then the Tatars were conquered. I would speak cautiously about the voluntary accession of the Bashkir tribes in the XVI century, because they did not have a truly free choice. History indicates that the desire for independence in these two Turkic peoples has remained unchanged for centuries and periodically manifested itself in the form of uprisings, struggles for autonomy, various forms of anti-government protests, as well as in the understanding of their separateness and difference from russians. This understanding existed both politically and at the domestic level in the following format: we agree to live next to the russians, but we want to remain ourselves and be guided by our own will in making important decisions. But it doesn’t work that way! The colonizer cannot do this, for he foresees in such a decision the near end of his domination.
Let us make it clear that we are talking about the russian colonizer. Britain, the Netherlands, France, Belgium and other countries that had colonies, some in time and some not so much, were able to draw conclusions from the emerging political situation and, by the second half of the twentieth century, had let the colonies go free. For russia, such a step was unacceptable – it knocked out a fundamental staple from under its feet – a myth of imperial greatness, without which the existence of the empire itself became problematic. Neither the USSR nor the russian federation could or will be able to do this.
Therefore, due to the factors listed above, it does not matter that the languages are adapted to modernity, are suitable for science, literature, that there is potential for independent development of the peoples of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan, that the peoples themselves wish to do so. Here, the famous Voland’s principle from Bulgakov “They will come and give everything themselves!” won’t work. No one is going to give anything. They will persuade, intimidate, deceive, bribe, quarrel and confront.. They will find a dozen more ways to cheat, but never to let go! This is not the United Kingdom, you damned colonialists, or the United States, you hypocritical racists! And whoever does not understand this and incites our friendly constituent entities of the federation to separatism, we will cut off their arms, put them on stakes, set them on wheels and quarter them. We have centuries of experience in this business!
I only doubt that it is possible to slow down objective-historical processes for a long time. The russian federation has little margin of safety at the moment, and it is dwindling. There are no signs of a way out of the impending economic, political, and cultural degradation. The proverbial scrapes are propaganda slogans not designed for critical reflection. And there are more and more people in the republics of the Idel-Ural who know how to make sense of and criticize them.
When things falter, spiritual leaders and field commanders must appear, and it will be very good if their appearance is synchronous and synergistic. Then the effort can lead to success, which will translate into the creation of one’s own state, perhaps in interaction with friendly neighbors. And the form of such interaction can be found with reasonable discussion and mutual respect. I’m quite happy with the idea of a “Federation of Idel-Ural States” here. But that’s for later, that’s for the people to decide. And first, to take the government by the throat and force it to meet the demands of the people, and if it doesn’t want to, it will be replaced by fair and transparent elections.
I do not see any possibility for preservation of national culture and identity under the colonial version of events, if the current state status of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan is preserved. Except for cultural reservations with songs and dances in national costumes, with laughing russian tourists as spectators.