Glossy culture
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The mass subculture has such a strong influence on young people that it is extremely difficult to build a reasonable defense against it. In the absolute majority, apart from some exceptional manifestations, it appeals not to the reason, but to the instinct. If we look at advertisements, glossy magazines, at the information flow that comes from the TV screen, we will see that everything is aimed at using human instinct to achieve specific goals - commercial, ideological, maybe even political, albeit to a lesser extent.

Man is so constituted that the voice of instinct is very strong. If God had not put this instinctive force in our nature, there would have been no continuation of the human race. We would have died of hunger, thirst, and cold. By instinct, we protect ourselves. Instinct is a kind of signaling system that ensures the survival of the individual. This is how the animal world exists - animals exist, reproduce, and survive only thanks to the voice of instinct.

Man differs from an animal precisely in that God has given him another inner strength - a moral principle. Scientists argue about the origin of morality and cannot definitively say what it is, because if morality is separated from the Divine principle, it practically hangs in mid-air. 

This does not mean at all that non-believers are people without morality. This is a profound mistake. An unbelieving person can be moral, not because he is an unbeliever, but because a moral feeling is strongly developed in him. It is learned through conscience. It is impossible to explain the existence of morality from an agnostic, atheistic point of view. Indeed, why should I sacrifice myself in the name of another? Life is given only once. Why should I give something to someone else when I need to acquire as much as possible for myself? If we detach morality from real life, people really turn into animals and live on the basis of instinct. 

The dangerous influence of a certain part of mass culture on the youth’s consciousness lies in the fact that this culture exploits instinct, primarily sexual instinct, destroying the moral principle of a person. Every-thing related to the realization of the sexual instinct is extremely active and seductive early in life, and one’s internal moral brakes break. You need to be a very mature and strong person to control your behavior, especially if the external environment constantly provokes the failing of the brakes, developing a very dangerous philosophy: am I worse than another? 

The popular culture that makes those brakes fail reminds me of a man who is cutting a branch he sits on. I once said to one person, not the worst of those on our tele-vision: when I watch your films, I have the impression that you have no children of your own, no wife. You not only wrest the ability to control the brakes from others, but also from yourself, from your wife, from your children.

Human civilization, living by the law of instinct, is not viable. No legal culture, powerful legal field or developed legislation are capable of regulating human behavior on an hourly basis - only the voice of conscience can do that. When we are told: live as you want, just do not offend others (and this is the philosophy of modern liberalism), we are spurred into living according to the law of instinct. That is why there is no concept of sin in modern liberal philosophy. There is only a pluralism of the behavioral model, and morality is nothing more than a conventional concept: “what is moral for you is immoral for me”. This philosophy, incorporated into the legislation of many countries and in many ways, forming counter-mod-ern mass cultures, is fatal for human civilization.

The sooner humanity realizes that morality is a way of survival for the collective, the family, the individual, society, and the entire human civilization, the better. If our youth understands this we will be the strongest, because the strength of the nation lies in the strength of the spirit. 

Speech at a meeting with students of Kaliningrad universities, Kaliningrad, March 23, 2009

If we analyze the entire information flow - television, the Internet, the mass media, printed books, and films, they all (maybe not 100%, but the absolute majority) work to form a person - a citizen of instinct civilization. No high ideals! Why are we then surprised that some girl at a meeting with the President at the Faculty of Journalism says with a certain pride: I am a straight A-pupil, but my main goal is to go abroad. Because there is a higher level of consumption, there is more money there. Moreover, if a person’s dominant and central goal setting is consumption, for this dimension of life, then we are clearly losing everything. Because Russia still has a long way to go to raise the level of consumption to the level of consumption in other countries and provide people with the same wages. 

There are areas where no salary can compensate for the risks and sacrifices!... No salary can compensate for death, human deformity, or disability. You cannot motivate a soldier with any salary to charge into the enemy; only the highest motivation, only a sense of duty will motivate him. A sense of duty that is a moral and at the same time an ideological concept.

Our civilization today does not create a sense of duty. Everything is aimed at forming an instinctive approach: I have to satisfy my needs, and the more the better; the more money I spend on it, the better. It is on this field that we all exist. 

Speech at a meeting of the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin with the leaders of traditional religious communities of Russia, Moscow, February 8, 2012

No living organism can eat synthetic products for a long time - sooner or later it will get sick. Therefore, society as a living organism cannot feed on pseudo-culture and glitter - cheap tabloid detective stories instead of literature, “star” shows instead of real music. This synthetic “culture” also carries some “values” - pseudo-values   of the consumer “paradise”, love of luxury, frivolity, and irresponsibility.

Pseudo-values   lead to the degradation of society. The only problem is that a person does not see this degradation instantly. Indeed, there are some types of human activity where a mistake or a crime is immediately visible. The surgeon’s mistake is determined instantly while the person is still lying on the operating table. The politician’s mistake is visible from some historical distance. The priest’s mistake is visible in a longer historical perspective - just like the mistakes or crimes of people who destroy a culture that carries basic moral values.

We all have to choose between living, real values and surrogate products that replace real culture. Someone may argue: “Well, not everyone has time to listen to and read masterpieces. Besides, bad taste is not a sin. Why is the Church so worried? “ 

I can foresee such questions. Yes, bad taste is not a sin, but in practice, it can very often lead to sin. There-fore, cultivation of taste also has a spiritual dimension. Is this not the source of Dostoevsky’s great phrase that beauty will save the world? Aesthetics and morality are concepts of the same order. Where external disgrace takes place, very soon spiritual disgrace can also fol-low, because disgrace, and destruction of harmony is a challenge to the order of the world established by God... 

…Today we need to create conditions under which our society, first, the youth, will itself renounce vulgarity and the dominance of what is called pop music and glamor. Real culture, the enormous wealth we possess, should be more attractive than glamor and pop music. The main thing is that society should have a real choice between real culture and pseudo-culture. Book counters and airspace should not be filled with light, “hot”, marketable products. A person should see not only glitter around him, but also real creativity and art. Then it will be possible to say that people have been given a real choice. 

Today there is no such choice. Look at the television pro-grams. Is it possible to correlate the entire muddy stream that today befalls primarily the youth’s consciousness and our people in general, with those rare manifestations of high culture, strong intellect, moral principle, which at some moment we can see on the television screen not to mention the Inter-net? Why not conduct some research on the percentage of pseudo-culture and anti-culture in the media versus the percentage of culture that elevates the human character? We all know well that the word “culture” comes from the word “cultivate” i.e. “to cultivate oneself”; one’s inner world. So, what percentage of television programs are aimed at ensuring that a person cultivates himself intellectually, spiritually and aesthetically, and what is aimed at destroying all this and replacing it with pseudo-culture?

We need to create mechanisms to support our culture with the involvement of the broadest public groups. Concern or culture should become a public national affair - if necessary with the participation of the state. 

Speech at an expanded meeting of the Patriarchal Council for Culture, Moscow, February 22, 2012

A concentration of money in conditions of moral lawlessness is very explosive. When a person lives immorally, but has no money, he can cause damage to himself, his family, maybe neighbors. However, where there are big finances, evil can spread to millions of people.

In fact, this is what happens. We know, for example, that those who have money, control the mass media and if the media disseminate things that are dangerous to a person’s moral life, or dangerous political myths, if they provoke clashes between nations, millions of people fall under this propaganda. 

Speech at a meeting with representatives of the All-Russian public organization

Business Women, March 28, 2014