About patriotism, you can talk a lot, beautifully and for a long time. It is possible, for example, to say that patriotism is a high sense of devotion and love for one’s Motherland. One can cite a huge number of apt statements in support of this thesis. But what does true patriotism mean? What does it mean to be a true patriot of your country?
Recently, we have the most unlimited possibilities for obtaining a variety of information. As a person, passionately interested in studying the past of our country, especially its “white” spots, I read many books, watch films based on original documents. And that’s what I want to say. At present, the book-breaks are filled with books by Suvorov, Gordievsky, Kalugin. Those who do not know what the authors are, quietly buy their books and read. And I was always interested in the authors. And it turned out that Suvorov was a former Soviet intelligence agent Rezun, Gordievsky was a security officer who had fled abroad. It seems that General Kalugin, who had hastily moved to the United States at the time of Yeltsin and who did not even think about returning to Russia, had left quite near them. About this in the people say: “On the thief and the hat burns.” But – “
However, I’m talking about something else. I’m thinking: they went to school too, passed graduation and entrance exams, read Russian and Soviet classics… And they certainly wrote essays on a free subject, how they loved the Motherland, what patriots they were, and backed up their words with convincing examples from life and fiction. And then they were sure to be checked and rechecked for reliability. And not only them, but also all relatives – up to the fifth-tenth tribe.
But how then could it happen that as a result of upbringing, checking-recheckings, they became what they were?
I do... not know if there is any answer to this question, some plausible explanation for such actions. But these people, in my firm conviction, have never been and, unfortunately, will never be patriots of their homeland. You can persevere with beautiful verbiage for long and hard, proving that they showed patriotism by the fact that after an escape to the best of their abilities and capabilities, they fought against the inhuman Soviet regime; you can come up with a thousand more excuses. But there were dissidents in our country who were persecuted by the ruling regime. There were people who were not afraid to express their protest against the invasion of Soviet troops in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Afghanistan. They protested, but remained patriots of their homeland. Moreover, it seems to me that their actions were dictated precisely by a sense of patriotism.
I just think that for most people brought up by the Soviet system, the slogans about patriotism were pure populism. Filled with false words, they were completely devoid of any value content.
But patriotism is an exceptional feeling. And in this exclusivity there is a foretaste of the only great truth. It consists in the fact that the people, like the individual, have their own destiny. And the people to which we belong by birth, must become one of the imperishable and irreplaceable forms in the hierarchy, which is the complete completeness of the content of our life. There is always a danger that the anticipation of the great truth will again, as in the Soviet times, turn into an empty, deceptive and pernicious claim. And so that this does not happen, you need to declare: “I love my Motherland” – turn into a patriotic duty: “Help the Motherland with word and deed in the realization and fulfillment of its highest destiny.” To each. And first of all – with respect to yourself.