To strengthen Russia's future, an elite coalition is encouraging the government to embrace conservative ideology, with an emphasis on traditional marriage, big families, homeschooling, creation science, and reduced exposure to mass media.
Addressing a panel of experts from around the world, top Russian activist Alexey Komov discusses conservative Christian principles, pointing out the integral place these traditional values hold in Russia's future, particularly in the government.
Komov, representative of the World Congress of Families in Russia and the CIS, spoke at the third international Chișinău Forum, held in Moldova on September 20, 2019. Video and transcript available below.
- World Congress of Families
- Moving to Russia
- Multipolar World vs. The Establishment
- The Danger of Mass Media
I'm happy to be here today, and to see all of you, and I will share some of my thoughts on the very important ideas that we are discussing here.
First of all, I want to say a couple words about my activities in Russia. Among other things, I am an expert member of the Global Council of All Russians. . . . Hundreds of experts have gathered together now, in order to determine a long term plan for development for Russia, called the "Russian Dream 2050".
So, we are developing a long term plan for Russia, in terms of economy, politics, ideology, social and demographic issues, and then hopefully it will be presented to Mr. Putin and the government. And I want to stress that this is happening probably for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union thirty years ago, because for those decades we didn't have any ideological plan. And actually in our constitution it is written that there should be no ideology in Russia. So we just were doing in the 90s, and in the 2000s, just trading — we sell oil, we sell gas — and there is no ideological dimension to the foreign policy of Russia.
And I think it is very important that now is the time for Russia to define what Russia wants, and what is the long term vision of Russia, internationally.
There were some very important lines of observation made by Mr. Dugin, about the lines between Russia and China, opposing a unipolar world. There may be some disagreements to this, but it is important to define.
Also, in these projections, it is calculated that by 2050 Russia will have a population of less than a hundred million people, which is 1.5 times less than now. And we need to change dramatically the situation in terms of demography. Otherwise, who will defend Siberia and the Far East? Who will build the bright future?
World Congress of Families
And here I come to the important point of supporting large families, of supporting traditional family values. . . . We are supporting and defending on an international level the natural family concept, as the union between one man with one woman, and many children.
We have the World Congress of Families, which is probably the largest platform uniting pro-family thinkers with actual politicians. The last forum we had in Italy, in Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet, who had the very traditional relation of opposite sexes. And we had Matteo Salvini speaking at our World Congress of Families, a Minister of Education, a Minister of the Family for Italy, a Hungarian Minister - Katalin Novak.
And this simple concept of supporting traditional values caused huge controversy. It has almost split the government in Italy, because Salvini and Igor came and actually supported it, and five stars - they were strongly against it. There were about 20,000 protestors — feminists from all over Europe, protesting against our congress, and the next day there was an even larger manifestation of 30,000 people in favor. So we see that this is a very important, a very sensitive dimension.
So, having this in mind, we have come to the realization that unless we change the mindset of the future generation, nothing can change in the longer term.
So me and my wife Irina, we started to homeschool our three boys, and we have launched a whole curriculum about how to educate children at home in accordance with our values. And we know that there are many negative dynamics in the public education system. One of them is this compulsory sex education that is imposed in Europe. And during the Obama administration they even imposed transgender toilets in all public schools. Trump canceled this, but still, it's a huge problem.
Moving to Russia
And we see now many people from western countries immigrating to Russia because of this. And we are even thinking to form a special agency that will be checking those people who want to move to Russia for ideological reasons, and then giving them a streamlined green-card type of paper, for admission to Russia.
And we have very interesting families. For example, Fr. Joseph Gleason who is from Texas, he is American, with eight children. So, he became an Orthodox priest and moved to Russia. And he lives in a little wooden house with wood nalichniki [ornate Russian windows], a very traditional Russian house — I have been to his place. And he is a hero.
And then a person from Brazil has moved to Russia.
So it's really an interesting development that people from wealthy countries are finding themselves in a situation where there they cannot educate their children in a normal way, so they are forced to look for a safer place.
And so we have launched this Classical Conversations program, and we have grown by four times last year. We have about 2,000 children studying in 80 cities, from Vladivostok to Kaliningrad, all over Russia, and then Ukraine, Belarus, we are starting in Cyprus, and then the day after tomorrow we are having a meeting with local Moldovan homeschoolers. If you want to come, you can join us at 2:00 PM in the public library here in Chișinău.
Homeschooling is growing very rapidly. We are using the classical model, which has two-and-a-half thousand years of history. . . . We are using the education techniques that have proven to work very well for over 2,000 years, and it's called seven liberal arts, consisting of trivium and quadrivium.
Trivium is the three stages: grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric. And this is the natural process of processing any information. So, just to give you a quick example, if you want to teach me how to make a pizza:
- First, you need to learn about ingredients, what you need to put into this. And this will be the grammar stage of knowing the basic facts.
- Then you should learn how to put the ingredients together, and it will be the interaction and relation between them, the results, which will be the dialectic stage, of interaction.
- And then if you want to teach to others how to cook pizza, that will be the rhetorical stage.
So, before bombarding children with tons of information on different subjects, first we give them tools for how to learn anything, how to process any information, and how to distinguish between good and evil. So, I think this is a very important development.
There are over three million homeschoolers in the world, most of them in the United States (two-and-a-half million), and in Russia it is estimated to be a hundred thousand children.
And there is also a huge resistance against homeschooling, because it is a real freedom of education, which is a basic human right. It is mentioned also in the Declaration of Human Rights in the United Nations, article 16.3, that the family is the fundamental unit of society that should be protected, and parents are the prime educators of children. It is not the state.
For example, in Germany during the 1930s, homeschooling was banned by Adolf Hitler, and this law is still valid in modern day Germany. And it is used to brainwash children in this unipolar, totalitarianism, multiculturalism, and politically correct liberalism. And parents are even put in jail for refusing to send their teenage girls to sexual education lessons in German schools. And we think this is the new totalitarianism that we should be fighting against.
Multipolar World vs. The Establishment
Coming back to those important points that were discussed by the distinguished speakers earlier today, about the unipolar versus multipolar world, I think that we should really start even deeper. I think that in human nature, it is important to identify what is good and what is evil. And humans are made in this way. That is a very important philosophical question, and there were different answers to this question throughout history.
So-called "Right" politicians, and so-called "Left" politicians, have been giving different answers to what is good and what is evil. So, the "Right" conservative politicians were saying that we need to stick with tradition, we need to respect God and the natural way of things, while the "Left" were saying that we need to have more social justice, and to fight more against big finance, and there are clashes between social classes, and that was the traditional paradigm.
But now we see the transformation of this old paradigm, and actually the new enemy of both true "Right" and the true "Left" people, is the Establishment. So this unipolar globalist Establishment is the common enemy of both Left and Right. And I think the future lies in the area of finding this common ground, and defining the positive vision for the future — What should be our steps forward? — And having this one enemy, which is the Establishment, actually can unite both Right and Left politicians.
And we see this rise of new populism with Salvini, Straffe, and Trump . . . or the movement by Steve Bannon who tried to unite the European conservatives. So we see these new developments that need to be taken into consideration.
And I think that on the left side of the political spectrum, there have been big mistakes made in recent decades. Instead of fighting for the real interests of workers, of the poor, they have moved to defending some strange fantasies like gender theories, the rights of mosquitos — these environmentalist, green people — so for them, the mosquito is more important than human children, who need to be aborted because there is supposedly a danger of overpopulation, from Malthus' ideas.
And so I think the left movement was hijacked by people like George Soros, who has only recently contributed another eighteen billion dollars to this Open Society Foundation, that was already mentioned several times earlier. And they have moved from real, genuine rights, and the real problems of defending the poor, from social justice, to some weird fantasies.
I think that we need to realize that there is a new paradigm, of Establishment versus the rest — of the center of this unipolar world, versus the periphery of everyone else. We should be fighting with this new totalitarianism, and this new totalitarianism has different manifestations. In education, I already mentioned this brainwashing of new generations. In the mass media — it is very important to realize how powerful the mass media are.
The Danger of Mass Media
There are statistics that from the time of the child is born, until he or she reaches 17 years of age, in total they consume more than 65,000 hours of mass media influence: internet, social media, TV, Hollywood. This is six times more than the time children spend in school, and this is thirty times more than children spend talking with their parents — not sitting silently watching TV, but talking. Fathers and sons spend on average only two minutes per day talking to each other. And this is sixty times more than the time spent in church. So mass media are really the main educators of young children.
So we — in our house — for I think the last 20 years, we don't have TV, at all. So, we think that this is a much healthier environment, not to watch TV.
An interesting thing I have noticed is, when you stop watching TV, they start inviting you to speak on TV, because then you have your own ideas to say, that TV wants. So please stop watching TV, if you want to influence the world.
And also this new totalitarianism is fighting against religion, and we have heard about agnosticism and all these occultic, satanic sects, and I think that this terrible fire in Notre Dame de Paris was very symbolic to show this whole dynamic of the real attack against church, and it was a very sad and terrible thing to see.
But also this consumerism, egoism, hedonism, materialism, and also Darwinism, is so much imposed as a religion on children, although the new data — scientific data — especially in the area of genetics, and in all other areas of science and biology, says that the theory of Darwinism cannot explain. The theory of evolution is breaking and falling apart. The facts cannot be explained by this. And the much better explanation is that the world must have an intelligent Designer, and intelligent Creator, and that brings us back to the truth of religion.
So, I want to conclude with a quote from the ancient thinker and rhetorician, Cicero. And Cicero used to say, more than 2,000 years ago, he said,
"Times are bad. Children are no longer listening to their parents, and everyone is writing a book."
So, I hope all of you are writing your own books, and I hope that this third conference in Chișinău will write, if not a new book, at least a chapter in this great movement towards a better world, towards real freedom. And with God's help, we will be victorious.
Thank you, Yuri, for inviting us. Thank you.