But carriers of filth, “rotten fascist scum” become all the people of an enemy country and everything that one way or another comes into contact with it.
This logic was first applied by the Russian state itself long before the war, when 10 years ago it adopted the law on “foreign agents,” who are to be deprived of their rights not for a specific offense, but simply for having dealings abroad and receiving money from abroad – no matter how much, no matter for what. Today, a boomerang effect: all Russian citizens are viewed as “toxic,” stained by evil. This is a traumatic experience. Used to being proud of your country – the memory of another, great war, even the sport victories of recent years – now you’re suddenly faced with international sanctions and distrust, even hatred by neighbors. Frustration from undeserved punishment (“why me?”) is the flip side of patriotic feelings. Everyone has them and, like religious belief, they depend little on conscious convictions; however, these feelings are deceptive, more easily fueled by pride than shame (hence propaganda so readily plays on them, seducing people with glory and greatness) and hardly assuming negative solidarity, or common, collective sin, which burdens the national conscience. Finding no escape from shame, some might even gravitate toward the regime, which cynically flaunts its shamelessness ("we aren’t ashamed"). Is there another way out?
In tribal societies, cleansing and redemptive rites were performed to get rid of sin and filth, including ritual bathing and sacrifices. In modern civilization, based on personal freedom and responsibility, even if such rites are possible, they are insufficient: the path to overcoming political guilt/filth lies in the personal realization of collective responsibility for our country. Guilt is purely negative, while responsibility should be positive and active. In our case, this is not just repentance for the evil committed in the name of Russia, but also the obligation to correct it, to protect our country not only from external threats, but also from our own rulers, who are ready to turn Russia into a pariah, feared and shunned by everyone.
What exactly should be done for this is a question everyone must find and answer for himself, with the general principle that conscious patriotism is responsibility – not “love for your homeland,” to which it is mistakenly reduced.