Poisoned feather. "Small cottages and pensions" (part 2)

Poisoned feather. "Small cottages and pensions" (part 2)
Poisoned feather. "Small cottages and pensions" (part 2)

"And I turned, and saw under the sun that it is not the nimble ones who get a successful run, not the brave - the victory, not the wise - bread, and not the wise have wealth … but time and opportunity for all of them."

(Ecclesiastes 8.11)

The future, according to de Barant, belonged to new generations in Russia. He believed that these "courageous merchants" will have descendants, and now they will not be as humble as their fathers. Parents will educate them, teach them different foreign languages, teach them how to wear tailcoats and shave their beards. Then they will travel around Europe, read books, and not only Russian, but also foreign, as well as newspapers. For example, the daughter of the owner of the apartment where de Barant lived spoke excellent French, painted, played the piano, had a pleasant manner, as if she had graduated from a Parisian boarding school. Then, having become educated, de Barant believed, the bourgeoisie, in addition to wealth, will also require power in order to become even richer, and on this path the road of Russia will converge with the road of Europe completely and completely. How a man looked into the water, right? All this was repeated, and even twice: first in tsarist Russia, then … in the USSR!


As you can see, already in 1877, many local newspapers had a completely modern look!

But as for the awareness of the Russian society, then … and it was not much inferior at that time to the same "enlightened" Europe. True, the size of the country gave rise to certain features, unknown to the Europeans of that time. The telegraph was already, even if it was optical, and the courier's communications were clearly functioning. But it happened, although rarely, that in remote areas of the country the message about the death of the sovereign and the accession to the new throne arrived a month later, or even more. For us, this seems to be a trifle, but at that time it shocked the local clergy. It turned out that they had been praying for a whole month "for the health" of the sovereign, but it was necessary to pray for something "for peace", which was a terrible sin. But the post office nevertheless operated. Printing houses, both state, private and synodal, were in each province, and numerous newspapers and magazines were published. Everything is like in Europe, isn't it? Well, and the optical telegraph … yes, it often did not transmit what was needed, as A. Dumas described it in his novel "The Count of Monte Cristo".

And then Russia took an important step in ensuring freedom of information. Soon after his accession to the throne, Alexander II abolished the censorship committee of his father. Well, then, in March 1856, he did say that "it is better to abolish serfdom from above than to wait until it begins to abolish by itself from below." And since he uttered these words in front of the Moscow nobility, it is clear that he did it not by accident. Because information about the words of the Russian sovereign spread throughout the country in the most lightning speed way, and not only among the nobility!


Even before the abolition of serfdom in Russia, there was, for example, such a newspaper in the country, which had as its purpose to raise the culture of agriculture in the country. Of course, it was not designed for peasants, but it was.

At the same time, the most surprising thing is that he said it, but he did not use any of the official channels for disseminating information in society, such as the telegraph and periodicals, in the course of preparing the peasant reform in Russia! These channels were not used on February 19, 1861.It is clear that all the work on its preparation was carried out in deep secrecy, on which Alexander II himself insisted. It is clear that not immediately, and far from everywhere, provincial committees were created, which were supposed to develop draft regulations on peasant reform. But to show their activities in print, it never even occurred to anyone. But it could be said that "the tsar-father, in his inexpressible mercy, deigned to point out the gathering of elected representatives from all the Great Ones, Malaya and Belaya Rus, and instructed them to think about how to resolve the issue of further ownership of souls in justice!"


Many newspapers in Russia were dailies. Can you imagine the amount of material that journalists had to collect for each issue? And this is in the absence of the Internet. True, the electric telegraph was already there!

Moreover, “you can't hide an sewn in a sack”, and information about the forthcoming reform, of course, was disseminated at all levels, including through the all-pervading popular rumor. In the language of modernity, a "information leak" was organized in order to say something, nothing, however, without informing! So, on December 28, 1857 in Moscow, during a gala dinner at a merchant meeting among 180 representatives of both the creative intelligentsia and the merchant class, the forthcoming abolition of serfdom was spoken of quite openly in speeches, and the servants who had "relatives" also listened to these speeches. through the villages. But that's all! No impact on public opinion was organized!

Meanwhile V.O. Klyuchevsky wrote that the result of such unpreparedness of minds for social changes was, first of all, distrust and even the most direct and fierce hatred of the authorities. After all, the defining feature of Russian society for many centuries has been its compulsory legality. The law in Russia was imposed on the people by the state, whether he wanted it or not. The Russians could not defend their rights and freedoms, because any of their actions against the legitimate government was viewed as an attempt on the state, the Motherland and the whole society as a whole (how little has changed, however, since then, eh? - author's note). This state of affairs created the most favorable basis for truly unlimited arbitrariness on the part of the authorities. After all, there was no real public control in the state under tsarism. Traditionally, legal consciousness was weak, the norms of public law and personal freedom were undeveloped (it is interesting that the concepts of law and freedom in the same French language are denoted by one word), and as a result, the people more easily endured, as A. Herzen wrote about this, the burden of forced slavery than gifts of excess freedom. Yes, the mentality of Russians has always been distinguished by strong social principles, but most of the population did not belong to the class of owners, was alienated both from the land and from the means of production. And this by no means contributed to the development of such qualities as individualism, respect for property and owners, and naturally pushed a significant part of Russians towards social nihilism and many hidden forms of resistance to their state. At the same time, the institution of the state has always played a very important role in Russia, therefore, the custom of easily obeying any dictates of the authorities is very deeply rooted in the social psychology of Russians, so long as they take on the solution of the most difficult issues of ensuring general life. "The people are silent!" - wrote A.S. Pushkin in his tragedy "Boris Godunov", that is, he did not support the authorities. But … he did not reproach her at the same time.


Illustrated supplements to the main edition were very popular in pre-revolutionary Russia. And why is also understandable.

According to the American historian Richard Robbins, a typical example of the attitude of the then Russian person to state power was the case of the Governor of Samara I.L. Blok, when in 1906, in one of the rebellious villages, he tried to calm the crowd of gloomy and aggressive peasants with his authority.They did not react to his admonitions, but surrounded him with a tight ring, and it was compressed more and more closely. If someone shouted: "Hit him!" the governor would have been torn to pieces. But then he, all trembling with inner fear, but outwardly calm, stepped straight into the crowd and said loudly: "Make way for the Russian governor!" The peasants, accustomed to obeying authority, and authority is strength, parted, and Blok freely approached his carriage and calmly left.

That is, knowing our people, it was quite possible to control them without bloodshed. And here the question arises, what did our authorities not know the secret "springs" of human actions and the motivation for their actions? Of course, they were known, described in the literature, and discussed since the times of Voltaire and Montesquieu. Moreover, since the era of Peter I, Russia has constantly met with manifestations of information hostility from neighboring states and responded to them, applying a number of specific methods for working with the public. After all, Russia at that time was positioned abroad as a barbaric, cruel and ignorant country. And after the Battle of Poltava, many reports were printed in the foreign press about truly incredible atrocities by the Russians against the captured Swedes *, and it was then that in the eyes of Europeans the brown bear became the symbol of Russia, which, as the Prussian king Frederick William I said, should be kept on a strong chain. So the news of the death of Peter I was received there with joy, which our envoy to Denmark reported to Russia with great indignation, and the future Russian Chancellor A.P. Bestuzhev-Ryumin.


A lot of publications published stories, stories, poems. A literate person could always find himself reading to his liking!

Later, during the Russian-Swedish war of 1741-1743. The Swedes used leaflets containing Levengaupt's appeal to Russian soldiers who entered Swedish territory. They said that the Swedes themselves would like to save the Russian people from … oppression by the Germans. Well, the appearance on the throne of Elizabeth Petrovna was accompanied not only by a laudatory ode to Mikhail Lomonosov, but also by a real information war, since the Western "gazetires" unanimously condemned everything that happened in Russia, and it turned out to be impossible to call them to order: "We have freedom of speech!" - Western ministers answered the Russian envoys.

And it was then that the Russian envoy to Holland A.G. Golovkin also suggested that the government pay the "impudent gazetteers" some "cash dachas" and small annual pensions "to keep them from such reprehensibility." True, at first the government was afraid of the expenses, they say, we can't buy all of them, there won't be enough money, and if we buy a part, the “offended” will write even more. But, on reflection, we decided to apply payments and "dachas" all the same! The first person to whom the Russian Foreign Ministry began to pay "a pension to keep from reprehensibility" was a certain Dutch publicist Jean Rousset de Missy. And although he annoyed the empire a lot with his "pashkvili", he reacted to the "subsidies" from the Russian side with full understanding, which is why both the content and the tone of his articles changed dramatically! The Dutch press from Russia received 500 ducats a year, but the publications necessary to strengthen the country's image appeared in it immediately! Prior to that, newspapermen called Elizaveta Petrovna nothing but "parvena on the throne," but here it immediately turned out that never before in Russia had there been such a worthy monarch and such grandeur as came under the blissful rule of the daughter of Emperor Peter. That's even how … Sounds like modern times, doesn't it? And if it looks like, then the question arises, what then do we lack for this very thing: knowledge (here they are), experience (not to borrow it), money (there is always money!), Desire … or is it all conceived like that, that is, the fact that the Europeans throw mud at us, and we "sluggishly" answer them, is there some deep meaning initially?

Poisoned feather. "Small cottages and pensions" (part 2)

As in the USSR in 1941-1945, the tsarist army published their own army newspapers during the First World War.

By the way, both the Russian and Soviet governments - yes, they used this method with success, and they did everything the same, starting from paying for articles written by "their" foreign journalists, and to organizing special trips around the USSR known by their progressive views of writers from Europe and the United States. Moreover, it is clear that they were only shown what the authorities wanted to show them.

That is, the effectiveness of monetary incentives for journalists was well known in Russia long before Alexander II, and he should have known about it! That is, he should only have given the command to journalists to start writing in their newspapers about the upcoming reform so that everyone was waiting for it like manna from heaven. And they tied all their hopes, hopes and thoughts with his, the king-father, name! But … none of this was done. It seems that there was a smart and enlightened tsar, but he did his will in the silence of the cabinet, content with spreading rumors, and did not use the press to support the reform in the minds at all! Alas, he apparently did not understand the meaning of the printed word. And I have not seen in Russia what the Frenchman de Barant has seen … that people, even cabbies, are already reading!

Although, how did you not understand? To write like this means to write a lie! He should have understood! The fact is that it was in Russia in 1847 that a special magazine for soldiers began to be published, which was called "Reading for Soldiers", which was published in such a way as to educate and educate them! The officers were obliged to read it to the soldiers (by the way, they were taught to read and write in the army!), And judging by the content, it was devoted not only to their military profession, but also talked about carpentry and joinery, how to become a tanner and cheese maker, that is, this magazine prepared the soldiers for a future peaceful life!


It is interesting that magazines in pre-revolutionary Russia were … more popular than newspapers. The latter were seen as a source of gossip and news. One could think about the content of the magazines! True, not everyone had enough money for them, but the intelligentsia, of course, read all the most popular magazines.

We will tell you more about this magazine and similar publications in the Russian Imperial Army here, however, it is so clear - the government of the Russian Empire did not neglect the influence by the force of words. And only in the case of the abolition of serfdom, for some reason, the provincial press, which had in his hands, was not used at all. Well, we will tell you about how it turned out for him next time …


Look - war is war, but how many and what books were the Russians invited to subscribe to ?! The country was "reading" even then, with more than 70% of the population illiterate.

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