Moderator of the first section Mikhail Shvydkoi – Special representative of the President of Russian Federation for International Cultural Cooperation
Mikhail Shvydkoi – Special representative of the President of Russian Federation for International Cultural Cooperation ( further Moderator) and I represent theRussian Federation. I am supervisor of studies ofStateUniversity. I was charged to chair the first session of the forum. I am the Higher School of Moscow State University, which is called Cultural Policy and Administration in the Humanitarian Sphere. Today we shall speak about a topic which at the first sight seems to take shape in the recent two or three decades. We shall speak of how the traditional values exist in the post-modernistic society and culture. It seems to me that the topic has been the subject of discussions not once, but I think that in the context of our forum it has a special sense. Because the very Forum has been devoted to the topic of how the activity of the modern man is connected with some stable fundamental imaginations about our ownselves. I developed several presentations in Moscow, but yesterday quite accidentally I came across an article by Georgi Adamovich, a well-known Russian man of letters, philosopher, literary critique, dedicated to Lev Shestov, a remarkable Russian philosopher, Russian existentialism, a man who perhaps is not well known in Russian cultural environment and in any case is not in the main stream of meditations of nowadays. Today people like to quote Ilyin, Slovensky, Korneyev. Shestov has remained, how to say, not in the focus of attention, but it would be useful very much to study the creative activity of Shestov for those who are engaged in the study of the problems of traditional values, their correlation with the modern knowledge, modern society, and modern neurosis. In this sense the article of Adamovich is noteworthy, because the thing is that two multiply to two is not four, and it is not a novelty. The thing is that virtue is evil, it is also not new, it is equal to saying that evil is some reincarnation of virtue. We learned it in the time of soviets from Bulgakov’s “Master and Margarate”, but in reality it is not like that, and all the time when mankind experiences huge historical changes, and I think that it has experienced them not once and will do it not once, if God allows, and each time there arises the question of traditional values, which for some people they are inside the man, for others – in the system existing outside of man. These problems are very conspicuous and acute now, and I think that today we shall try to speak of how much it depends on our understanding of the essence of the problem in reality, because we know much, we read much, we are well informed, but to my mind, our understanding, cognition in the present world are not more than they were a thousand, or two thousand years ago. Today much is spoken about the collision of cultures, about the dialogue among them. The topic is not new, believe me, today the world experiences something which is very identical to the things existing in the fourth, fifth, sixth centuries of our era when the Great Migration of Nations began, when the barbarians came to Rome and when the pre-Volga Bulgarians came to Frakia, in those years there was also bloodshed and sometimes dialogues of civilizations and cultures, which ended with birth of something more complete which it seems to us today. In one word, there is something to speak of, to talk about, particularly in such a high forum. Here we have our esteemed colleagues; two more persons are to come now: they are Mr.Piotrovsky and Mr. Konchalovsky, they are on their way here, they were in the hotel in the morning, I saw them, and their chance to appear here soon is very high But to begin our forum I would like to give the floor to my distinguished colleague and compatriot Dmitry Bykov. Mr. Bykov, do please!
Dmitry Bykov – Writer: Dear friends! Thank you for coming, first of all I must say that the topic is sufficiently complicated, and as you understand, not too easily pastime without a kind of interpretation, but I hope that after my explanatory presentation the passions will revive and we shall have a pleasant discussion. Once, when I learned literature from Andrey Donatovich Sinyavsky, I asked him a question which intrigued me very much: “Why does it horrify the Russian so much when there appears a vampire in their houses? Why not to be glad when a resurrected kinsman returns home?” Sinyavsky answered like this: “First it gladdens them, and then they understand that a dead man can live only on the account of live persons”. As a matter of fact, the vampire does not intend to bite his kinsmen. When we read “La Guzla” written by Mariamee or Pushkin’s versions, or the original grocery legends as they are, we notice that vampires, as a matter of fact, kiss, do not bite: it is an evidence of their aspiration for love, but they can not live without sucking the blood of others. And I remembered this formula by Sinyavsky very much: killing of the live – is the only form for the existence of the dead, only on the account of it the dead may suck fresh blood and ensure its life. In this sense the idealization of the past, which is current in many societies at present, seems to me very dangerous and, in the known to us sense, is vampirism. The tradition became such a refuge of incompetence, such a refuge of obscurantism which was chauvinism before. One deprived of a particular talent will suffice to follow the tradition, according to Viktor Plevin it is equal calling for help his father or elder brother when quarrelling with someone. As soon as he leans on the tradition, he is pardoned everything and everything is written off. One may not love and understand Nabokov or Marcos, but rely on the tradition – it is a struggle for morals, i.e., struggle of morals for morals. One may not understand the modernistic culture and from the height of traditionalism criticize the modernistic masterpieces, the dark square rectangle is not obligatory; it may be more understandable in Picasso and etc. Tradition very often becomes a cover and justification for the vulgar ignorance. Umberto Eko in his article “The Eternal Fascism” gave an exact definition of the feature which distinguishes fascism from communism, why such a point of view is worse. Communism is also not a cake, as the majority of post-soviet people we know it from our own experience, the characteristic feature of fascism is its reliance on the past, on the ideal of the past, it speaks too much about the tradition, but communism aspires for future, what is modern, to things which are obscure. There is danger in it, idealization of the past is more dangerous, because there is fear for future, fear for novelty in it. For me it is not a secret that the modern civilization, as we know it, is stricken with a deep crisis. I would like to remind a remarkable phrase from the above-mentioned Lev Shestov that crisis is the normal state of the man able to think. Many people like to repeat this phrase, and it is to the point to say that clever and talented orthodox clergymen, for instance, Andrey Kurayev, who says that crisis, is the normal state of mind of the Christian; it is true that crisis is the sign of life, of being alive. And the second consideration, of course, the modern civilization experiences crisis, but it does not mean at all that it has broken away from its roots. All the dead people once ate cucumbers, but they died not because they ate cucumbers. The present crisis in the world outlook of the modernistic society is connected not with the breech with its traditional roots. Archaic is a system of taboo, a system of prohibitions which are of great historic-cultural interest, but cannot be a guide for action now, it cannot, unfortunately, be a part of the present because of the loss of many taboos, and it is the history of culture. Therefore I would have expressed very simply. It seems to me that the place of archaic in the world of post-modernism and instead of traditions in the world of post-modernism, the place of historic-cultural and tradition must know its place, not claim for the role of the regulator of the present life. The present-day man possesses wit and heart sufficient not to fall into the abyss of relativism. Thank you for the attention.
Moderator: Thank you very much, I think that the beginning has been set sufficiently plebian, because such modernistic development today, particularly technological development, provokes the change of values, from my point of view, man is sufficiently conservative and becomes the bearer of the tradition. We have changed not much in the recent 2000 years not as a psycho-physiological being, but as a physiological being, something undergoes adaptation in our genotypes, but not so much as to enable us not to know our ancestors, let us say, those who lived 2000-3000 years ago. I give the floor to Rafiga Azimova, a remarkable philosopher, doctor of philosophy!
Rafiga Azimova – doctor of philosophy: Thank you very much! My presentation has been developed under the impression of your presentation which you did yesterday, and it is not only full of impression of that presentation, I even felt in it close approaches to the present-day situation from the point of view of world outlook. Abusing the time-limit I would like to read my short report. The stripe of the transition period, which is our contemporary, led us to the highway of the third millennium. Not being able to understand completely and critically, generalize its lessons and contradictions of the past century, we have already outlived the first decade of the 21st century. Observations show that most probably it is an indicator of survival for man and mankind morally and physically in the same degree. In not simple conditions of searches for democratic forms of social existence the problem of the status of personality, as a free subject of activity of formation of his spiritual potential, acquires today an extreme topicality which disturbs and makes one be careful; undoubtedly there has remained something else which inspires man today. Which incomprehensible aspects of the soul and thinking of man compel him to deviation and destructive actions?”People on the planet, – said recently the Russian president, – undoubtedly want to be sure in the stability of its future”. One of the priority tasks in the social policy of Azerbaijan is the task of formation of the human capital, which has been stressed not once in the speeches of our President. Pay attention, I think that all the people of the world able to think noted that the economic globalization goes on with a growing speed, which we can not tell about the humanitarian globalization. What can the philosophers suggest today who all the time presented the spiritual elite of the society, because due to its subject wisdom formed foundations, philosophy was the herald of symptoms and tendencies leading to destruction of the foundations life and mankind. It is known that when the three leading religions began coexist in the new era there appeared great conjectures, pivots of conditions of survival and development of society. If we move away from phenomenological philosophy, mankind intuitively in the dawn of its formation survived owing to very proto-sciences. I do not know why today we forget it, that is, the intuitive truth, which according to Descartes is truer than deduction owing to its simplicity. Proto-science left for mankind pivotal intransitive values, when it was ignored by mankind in different spans of history, it led the mankind to deadlock situation. I think that we experience such a situation today. Pay attention, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Confucianism are directions which have in fact outlined the fate of philosophical mode of life and philosophical mode of thinking of the road of development of mankind. Only one example from “Avesta” in this sense: order in space, in society and in the life of individual is interdependent all the time. We are aware that violation of this interdependence has always led to grave consequences along the history. The idea of humanitarian globalization, to my mind, continues to remain as an idea and a subject for philosophers to meditate. But in the 21st century this idea worries not only the philosophers. Very often we observe that alienation and self-alienation from anomaly have become a norm and threaten to destroy the order of life in the world. Dear friends, we must note that today we observe how the humanitarian layer of the world processes speedily is settling and it gives reason to suppose that if the mankind at the dawn of its formation survived due to its wisdom, to a great degree because of the intentions of its soul, but today being proud of an immense growth of civil material wealth it has ignored the basic fundamental values and taken the road of unending conflicts. I speak with a heavy heart about the conflicts not only because my people in the course of 20 years bears physically and morally the burden of conflicts incited by close-sighted politicians. I speak about it because the world community seems has got used to live in extreme situations, in conditions of inter-state conflicts and accepts it as a natural mode of our living. This is what frightens and worries us. Thus, today after thousands of years the idea of human globalization everything is still hanging in the air from hair. It is necessary to understand that the contemporary political orientations are able to speed the process by taking into account all universal problems such as ecological, social and medical. I remember something from the works of Pitirim Sorokin written in the forties of the past century: in his work “Social and cultural dynamics” he foresaw ‘the birth of twilight of emotional culture” and tried to point out the ways out of this darkness, the duty of present philosophers is to do it. Politically destructive technologists used by the short-sighted politicians of the 21st century clearly make it understandable that democracy as a tool of power for them serves the role of the shield in the cause of realization of their ambitious fleeting, instantaneous plans, as a consequence we observe that the function of democracy, which in the course of centuries bore the idea of social equality and justice has again occurred under the pressure of double standards. We must note that the theory of the golden milliand, export of democracy did not suit the traditions and historical mode of life all the countries. Today universal human values of world religions are intentionally distorted, used by some political leaders for their ambitious political goals. I finish my report, but want to note only that the models of democracy proposed by Aristotle in his time are used today very often as instrumental values, and unfortunately, for pure ambitious goals of separate persons or separate short-sighted group. Slave-pathology draws the mankind into its net more and more. Philosophy in its relation to democracy as a tool of administration in the hands of some people can not suffice today with its moralistic and forecasting functions. In the 21st century the philosophy of life of separate persons and mankind call philosophy for cooperation with political science, politicians and philosophers, thus, the humanitarian globalization continues to remain on the level of an idea, which, unfortunately, with great difficulty is digested on the level of political consciousness. Mankind, I think, must find out the ways for the solution of the problems, in other word, the ways on which the idea of humanitarian globalization could finally be materialized in the practical life of the world community. I finish my report with a question: what do we leave for our future generations, children and grandchildren as a heritage? Here is the intesensia of the modern dilemma: to be or not to be on the flourishing planet of Earth? Thank you very much!
Moderator: Thank you very much Ms Azimova! I thank everybody here, as it is a live discussion , I hope that all of you, dear colleagues, take part in it, let us try to make it a live conversation. WE began with two topics: the problem of traditional values, and naturally, the sub-topic will be universalization, that is, universal values. We shall speak about the universalization of cultures, globalization and existing values, both modernistic and traditional in these systems, but I would like to attract your attention to one simple thing, naturally I do not call anyone to argue on this topic, because it is an infinity which will involve the discussion of many hours, but there are some problems more serious when we speak about the universalization of cultures, about globalization, we all speak of fundamental values, that is, there are values which undoubtedly are the same for all. But it turns out that it is not like that at all. Therefore I want now to give the floor to my colleague Mr. Guglin, who represents the Council of Europe, he will speak now about the human rights, democratic values which are understood differently in various societies. WE may talk as much as we like in New-York, Washington or Strasburg about political correctness, but if we begin to speak about it in Pakistan, it will be something different. It does not mean at all that such fundamental values do not exist, or are not understood in the Orient, but as soon as we set great hopes on globalization, which in fact was suggested by inventors in Europe, then we proceed from the fact that the processes of globalization are connected with development, with the European values, in the first place, not very much liked by the people living in Asia, Africa, ant it evokes certain tension. While, the civil things are the same be they in Vietnam, or Gabon, or Sierra Leone: microphones working not well in some places, may work better in others. But in reality comprehension of fundamental values is completely different; therefore, we must not set hopes on globalization as a means of solution of all conflicts. But our colleague, who is deputy chief of department for the issues of youth and sports in the Council of Europe, perhaps knows about it more than me. Mr. Ulrich Bunjes, the floor is yours!
Ulrich Bunjes – Head of Youth Department of the Council of Europe: Thank you, professor! Thank you very much. I apologize that I speak neither Azeri nor Russian, so, I address you in a foreign language. I will make two points. One is directly linked to your last comment on the values that unite us and secondly, I would like to make comments on what we could call the operational side of these values. The title of this session which is traditional value systems in the post-modern culture in fact raises a number of very difficult questions. What is a traditional value? What is a value system? What is a modern culture? What is a post-modern culture? It would be difficult probably even in this room to achieve consensus on all these topics. Take the example of social justice. Social justice is a demand which you find in almost all kinds of current youth protests around the world. At he same time, it is an integral element of many, if not all, world religions. Is it modern or is it traditional or is it post-modern? I’m working in the inter-governmental, international organization, the Council of Europe, which really has no mandate to express itself on the values of the citizens ofEurope. We are convinced that cultural heritage expresses these values, has high value. And we are also convinced that in order to progress in a globalized world, we need shared values, values to which all of our society is a principal and also each individual can agree. We are convinced that we don’t look very far to find the values that unite us. They are the universal human rights, the magna charter of the modern world, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and yet the European Convention of Human Rights and all the other international human rights instruments. They are the yardstick to judge old and new values. And these values are, of course, not static but they are instead of development. Yesterday we celebrated the European and international day against capital punishment. In the European concept of human rights, capital punishment is a violation of human rights. So, in our assessment, in our view, this is not a defensible tradition. And if you put this into the framework of this entire forum which looks at the inter-cultural dialogue, you find that learning to live together is part of our security. One could call part of our security. Only if we learn to live together with different values systems, then, we can live together safely.
My second remark concerns the operational side. The question how do we address these values? How can we make these values practical? Allow me to start this point with a word of caution. Several speakers yesterday mentioned that some of the Western-European political leaders recently criticized multi-culturalism as a failed policy. Many observers in fact, were let to believe that Cameron, Merkel and Sarkozy criticized the fact that we live in a situation of cultural diversity. But nothing could be further from the two. In fact, the criticism and reactions to these criticisms showed once again that the term multi-culturalism is a very dangerous notion. It comes with the high risk of confusion. Because it is not clear, and we do not know whether it refers to an ideology, a set of practical politics, or to social reality. This is precisely the reason why the group of eminent persons, which was mentioned yesterday also by the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, why this group of eminent persons proposed not to use this term to avoid endless misunderstandings. Now, in the view of the Council of Europe, it is much more fruitful to address the operational dimension of the politics to address the cultural diversity. The Council of Europe has done this in the ground-breaking document published in 2008 which is the White Paper on Inter-Cultural Dialogue which looks at the operational dimension and then, of course, it looks at many different challenges, it looks at legislation, it looks at the questions what do we have to do to educate, what do we have to do in the media, what do we have to do in urban planning, what do we have to do in the probation of social services. They all must be adapted to address the multi-culturality, the cultural diversity in the midst of our societies in order to give everyone, regardless of cultural identity, regardless of values, regardless of the languages in which these values are expressed, a chance to enjoy equal dignity and to enjoy human rights.
And this, this is my final remark, is a task which is shared by many state orders. It is shared by public authorities, by teachers, by civil society organizations, by religious communities, by minorities and majorities alike, by many others who are active members of our society. I could give you many examples of how we address this. Let me just give you one example which we think is important. We are starting a project which trains young people not only in terms of human rights but also how to fight for these human rights on the internet. We call it human rights defenders online. Then, for us it is an advanced form how to translate these values of human rights in the era of what you might call post-modern society which is in fact, very often people from civil societies, people from youth organizations, from other organizations, also from religious communities in many cases who are the driving forces in this new form to express the values and to fight for the values with us. And to rebuild a sense of togetherness in Europeand to continue to build a culture of living together, it is a basis for complete political action. And that is a very modern and a very power taking value, at the same time also a very traditional one. Thank you very much!
Moderator: The problem touched upon by Mr. Ulrich is a kind of discussion at any rate and I appeal to all who takes part at the discussions, as far as the item touched upon by all of you is not only the matter of terms, the item you speak about is of human rights in internet and in online, the main matter is in the conception itself if it is changed when dealing with the human rights in a virtual world. My point of views is: it is really a serious problem for discussions and I want to mention it once more. There are some issues, solution of which causes great difficulties even with the help of correct municipal regulations. I hope you understand me. Because there are certain instincts inside of each of us, though Dmitri Lvovich considers it archaism, there is voice of blood inside of us if it was so simple. Everything is written in my beloved play written by Lessing “Nathan the Wise (Mudriy)”: three religious, three different roads, but one God. We keep saying it since XVIII century. The first staging of the play was in 1946 after the Second World War in Germany with Volfgang Haints in the leading role all the same as was mentioned above. Mr. Ilber Ortayli is a phenomenal multi-culturalist. He was born in Austria, studied in America and now he is director of the famous Topkapi Museum, he is also professor of two universities in Istanbul and Ankara, the biggest in the history of Turkey. Here is a shining example of winner, the winner of globalization of culture. Welcome Mr. Ortayli!
Ilber Ortayli – Professor, doctor, Director of “Topkapı Palace” Museum: Thank you, dear Chairman! I am very glad to be here with you and I’d like to mention some items briefly. In the years of estrangement we have to preserve this historical environment in every city, not only in Istanbul, in Rome, because I think it is the common wealth of mankind and not only national wealth of mankind. And the next and the last point is very interesting. We live in the epoch of translation and the translations carry out everything very well, with great success. On the other hand, globalization of our world finds expression only in the English language. I think it is very dangerous. We have to go back to XIX century, when writing in Europe was in Greek and Latin, in Russia and in the Caucasus in Persian and Arabic. Sultan Mehmet II, our military leader knew Greek, Italian, Persian and Arabic. Since we are called Renaissance – the Epoch of Renaissance, we have to read classic literature, especially in Latin, Greek, Persian and Arabic. People in Israel speak in modern Ivrit and in classic texts taken from the Bible today. And we have to go back to the Epoch of Renaissance and it will be simply the birth of new epoch. Preserving of heritage means preserving historical thought, and I think it means a new humanitarianism. Thank you very much!
Moderator: Thank you very much, professor Ortayli. We are very grateful to you for your speech and I know that you need to leave us now. Surely you can do it. Just I want to draw your attention to the fact that professor Ilber told us that we had to return to the languages of XVII, XVIII, XIX centuries. But I want to point out that all our graduates are eager to speak only English as they think English is the language of globalization. People used to speak Greek; all the population universe spoke Greek. It was the only language forGreece and its colonies. Now all our contemporaries try to speak English. The English language is the same at present like Greek at that time. Then the people began to speak Latin and they liked Latin then, like the people like English at present. Then the people began to speak Persian or in parallel with Greek. May be earlier the people spoke Persian. In fact, there always were the languages which were the languages for the huge civilized areas. May be we’ll like Chinese in 100 years. Surely, it is not desirable. I say it in general. When we speak about English like “the scoundrels make us speak English”, we are mistaken. No one makes us speak English. It is simply convenient for communication and for internet and no more. Therefore, I want to tell you that there were languages which are valuable for globalization at present. Gentlemen, I ask you to listen to Mr. Konchalovsky.
Konchalovsky Andrei Sergeevich – Film writer: I think very much was said about globalization including your speech, but I think we don’t take into account the fact that Europe colonized whole world within 4 centuries. People have chosen English not because of it bad globalization, but because ignoring the great civilizations of the world Europe gradually colonized the world I think. It is point of view of Mr. Shvenk first of all. If we take the history of the world which we studied within 500 or 600 year, we can understand that those were the most obscure centuries. Everything began in Greece, Athena, Rome and Palestine, pantheism… I don’t mean Palestine, I mean Israel, Judaic culture which is Euro centrist and it led us, I think, to absolute distortion. If Europe colonized the world for 400 years, now the world is colonizing Europe, which was formerly considered the leading light for the whole world. I think nostalgia for XIX century is determined by the new phase which the mankind has entered today. I want to bring to your kind notice that a French philosopher told that some remarkable historical events took place as a result of positive new mentality of the people. Now I think that the mankind begins to encroach on a new and very important phase of the history. It is mostly determined by internet today. Internet has become a new source of information which creates absolutely new political situation in itself. I don’t consider it very attractive, because we all live with certain illusions but becoming older when the former illusions are changed by the new ones – Now we have illusion that we are gradually approaching the bright future when either information of the world of information will tell the mass about it – a colossal illusion. Recently I read, you know, that a housewife couldn’t get her house from the trade center after shopping because GPS in her car was out of order. The devise in her car always helped her, but now it was out of order and she was helpless. What does it mean? It means that internet not only provides you with information, but also deprives you study and spoils your memory. It is a very important problem which has a bad effect on the person. I call it barbarity. I speak about it because Europe is in its initial values. There are slavish – political proprieties. And these political proprieties are turned into a dictatorship leading to various unpleasant cases. Yesterday Sergey Leonidovich Kapitsa told me that not a young professor of an American University wanted to open a rather heavy door and help a girl with a printer in her hand and he was discharged from the University for sexual harassment. The political proprieties today deprive people the possibility to ask what is truth, or democracy. Everybody is talking about democracy today, even dictators. What is democracy if to take it outside of political proprieties? There are two postulates: rights for general elections and social guarantees for everybody. These are the main two factors in democracy. General elections in Africa, even not only in Africa, very often lead to repartition of property, spread of religious fanaticism and now it usually ends with dictatorship. Though general elections and forms of elections are formally observed, the people don’t think if it is truth or not, they are inclined to think more of it as a lie, and if yes, then what is the proportion of lie in it. General elections as well as democracy have colossal shortcomings in principle. Pope Benedict told about it nicely well. He was in Berlin recently and made a marvelous speech. I suggest you all to read it. He said that “the majority of problems regulated by law must be solved by the majority of votes. The support of majority may serve criterion for the adopted law. But still it is obvious that the support of the majority is not enough for the fundamental law concerning the human rights touching upon the dignity of a person as well as the mankind. Anyone holding responsibility has to find personally the criterion to be studied before adopting the law.” So in the given part of the above mentioned speech of Pope Benedict one can find that values must be reconsidered. I think it is of great importance. Pope Benedict told that when Tsar Solomon ascended the throne, God asked him what he wanted to get: power, health, money, and Solomon said that he’d like to get the “reasonable heart”. Pope Benedict called it an irrational approach and even titled his article as “Reasonable Heart”, and he commented that the clear reason was a positive and rational approach to one’s life. The illusion of clear reason is a triumph of positivism in Europe and leads to big problems today, said the Pope. Because clear reason dictates democracy to be create for the sake and with the help of changing the existing regime by force. Welcoming it in Libya we still don’t know what the final result will be. We are aware of the events in the Northern Europe, but know nothing about the real situation in the Northern Africa. We do not know what the final result of remarkable youth movement will be as they know how to destroy, but don’t know how to create and build. They have to build and restore the values of culture of one, or other nation achieved within centuries. There is an illusion that the values of every nation are the same. But this is one of the main mistakes and I think it is the result of haughtiness of the West as regards to others which started long ago, since the time of colonization. We ignoring at present the wisdom of China. The wisdom of the Moslem world, the wisdom of the Indian, but try how ridiculous it is, to teach them. Neither China nor India tries to teach others and may be that is the reason what we’ll never speak Chinese. To be obliged or to do it deliberately is different concepts. We can do it if only we want it. That is why I think such an illusion that we all move in the same and right direction is criticized by a good British philosopher, who is not so famous unfortunately because of his political incorrectness. His name is John Drake. He put forward a conception criticizing the positivism and liberal thought which is widely used in Europe. He said that the progress in itself, our belief in it, it is illusory because of accumulativeness of the speech at all. Science is extremely extending its knowledge, is improving and disseminating its knowledge of world, but still remains the same as it was 5000 years ago. It states that any civilization built in high ethnics may appear and as any new generation may come to absolute catastrophe and the barbarity may turn to the next generation. It is quite enough to see that a human being is turned into an animal in Abu-Grebe prison. It refers not only to prisoners, the overseers as well. A man can easily be turned into animal. Very often we forget about it and think that a man is a perfect creature. I think that it is a colossal illusion and the wisdom of the Ancients, of the present day religious and cultures and it confirms that a good will and an ill will exist side by side and live inside of a man since the very beginning. That is why we always live with certain illusions. I want to finalize my thoughts of illusions. A regular issue of the magazine “A Big City” is published. We have such a slogan here “Enough”! It has just been published, it is the last issue. “Be surprised when you are humiliated, stop fearing, and struggle for your values, demand honest elections, send both of them to retirement.” Here is one the remarkable illusions. If to send both of the to retirement, then you will immediately have a just state, where everybody will feel free and at least flourishing life will start in your country, colossal liberal people will appear. The matter is nevertheless what happens. The idea is transformed in accordance with culture. Marxism in England remains a Marxist up to now, sitting at the fire-place and smoking his pipe and saying that it is early and the day hasn’t come yet. Marxism has slaughtered 9 millions of people within 4 years. That is why we have to be careful when speaking about universal values, the most courageous people who believe the reincarnation for the ones believing that much can be done, even maximum can be done within four years of presidential elections are greatly mistaken, I think.
Moderator: Thank you very much! I’d like to put forward my arguments to each thesis of the speech, but it is impossible because of lack of time. Still I want to mention and I want to remind you, to come back to the thought that Europe is colonized by the world, as well as the world byEurope. When Europe was colonized by the world, when the world colonized Europe, when the Roman Empire collapsed and Asia colonizedEurope in IV-V centuries, about the great migration of people, which formed new ethnic groups as a matter of fact. I think we’ll not speak about it. I would ask professor, director of Vienne Academy of Arts Mr. Cerarrdo Lo Russo. Do please!
Gerardo Lo Russo – Director of the Roman Academy of Arts, Professor: In the past we tried to find the exception on the fundamental principles. Thank you. I don’t speak English, so I will read only from the context. And after, if you like I will say something in Italian language.
Mentioning the paradox, if we want to know the cooperation between the process and the values, we approve them in four decisions. The present is like a mirror that reflects the past and the future. The achievement of idea for about the space led us to see, for example, the world like a frame. Today they mention almost over the same appearance that take the presence of a context: television, cinema, postcards and video, mobile phones at home or at work, at office or at holiday. We are always under their impressions. So the concept about the constant aspect is succeeded by this phenomenon.
I think it is important to lead the science for interpreting the fashion. As we are reading a comedy books, in fact, when people produce, when they will write the moments and simples, it means a capability of their creativity, in the Renaissance, for example. The human figure in the middle age was trend to lead the tension and knew what to do and how to use the meaning of the mis-tradition ever life.Today there are many types of derivation: marks, logos, and it is completely difficult to use the part of humanity in the next fashion. Just we transmit the mind using the all I said about and all in the world that recognizes the gesture. But this is not the main concept we must take care of. We need to take care of these historical values more than ever. The transmission from old to new, the relations between teachers and students, between friends are so important. Because we need the physical contact, skin contact, need to use other senses that modern methods give us.
So if global system of communication decreases the difference, the traditional conception will be more important than in the past. In short, the difference is a great necessity for all humanity. And this is a paradox. For example, in a few years the shop assistants are more able to do simple calculations also using the electronic instruments. If you move the focus on the psychological aspect, the situation is changing more paradoxes for the dependence of post modernity and cultural growth of radical change but haven’t to generalize or dramatize. Admitting such confusion is an important meaning like the human right and like a grade between male and female. It depends also on the value of difference, the reach of the balance of the post modern culture. So I can say that post modern culture is reaching the highest attitude. It all depends on the probably context, even the continuing relation, that mentioned. We have sometimes an event, sometimes a progress .We don’t do a personal choice.
All people must bring a new spirit to this sense. The human beings always support the paradox. So if we see all the existing difference, one day may be we will become more educated about this. It is very important area in the national operation. Using the context, human figure mustn’t forget about the existence of paradox. It is necessary to use the intellectual ability to differ paradox prom the context. Thank you!
Moderator: With great pleasure I introduce to you Mikhail Borisovich Piotrovsky, as Arabic was mentioned here as a universal language, and I think Michail Borisovich Piotrovsky, director of the State Hermitage, understands it better than any other one here.
Michail Borisovitch Piotrovsky – Director of the State Hermitage: Well, thank you! It is a great pleasure for me to take part at this discussion, I’ve just come from Rodos Island and there I took part at the International Forum on civilizations, and there were discussions related to the present day problems. Finally we all came to the conclusion that the problems today depend on the selection of culture. It embraces almost all spheres of the life of mankind today: economics, politics and all the rest is also a part of culture and it is proved today. The world crisis, existing or not existing or may emerge. Undoubtedly it is a cultural crisis, as crisis of such cultural stereotypes, it is a crisis as a result of which the word value begins to mean money, but it does not mean what very often we want it to mean, and to cope with it, it is possible to apply to it some cultural method, understanding that there are virtual situations and you will use all kinds of post-modernistic words as crisis, that is a system of simulators, and it is necessary to get rid off the existing idols and replace them with something else, and here is another remark that when we speak about the traditional values, that is, the traditional values of the present day – it is the market economy, it is the notion of the right of an individual, not merely of human. What is today’s post-modern or post-modernism. It is one of the synonyms we used, and a whole section was devoted to it, not to religion, but to post-singularity. I think that one of such examples for me, the symbol of postmodern of nowadays is Wikipedia. It is a symbol of information accessibility, symbol of non-professionalism in all spheres. It is the peculiarity of time. It is not something good or bad, it is only the peculiarity of the present day. It is one of the idols of our time. The main thing is in it, of course, is the peculiarity of the post-modernity. As it was already mentioned – it is irony, the ironic attitude towards cultural values. There were many accursed in the epoch of historicity of eclectic, there was a serious attitude towards traditions, to the Russian traditions, now that historical epoch has been rehabilitated, there is an ironic attitude to cultural values, to cultural heritage, a new historicity, a new form of cultural heritage and a new interest in the old is born from this irony. In this way things are transforming. I think that what is born from the mentioned irony and from the smirks at the carnivals, in general, understanding such a simple thing as a fact of devolution, in fact, a mutual assistance as an important form, which must replace, perhaps, competition in human relations and strengthen the significance of professionalism.
Another thing, in general, is post-singularity, it is the rebirth of religious sensation, religious institutions, but here also, it seems to me, it is necessary to remember and understand that the talk is about completely new things, yes, new religious sensations are born, institutions, but there appear new phenomena in the religion, of course, it is possible to break away from political correctness, for instance, here is all the fundamentalist Islam, but it must be mentioned that the present fundamental Islam is not the same as the medieval Islam, it is radically new. Jihad, which is in the foundation of Islam, is based on negation of reliability of tradition about jihad. In Christianity, in Protestantism the solution of such a question as the Christian Zionists is absolutely something new, a new phenomenon with very far-reaching consequences. In our Orthodoxy, I do not want to go too deep into it, that is, it seems that there are things connected with the emotion of restoration of justice which actually concerns not the restoration of justice, but has quite a different role. The family values, which are reviving now, are again family, family, family. Family is a society, and the society should be built as a family. If to address an Arab in Arabic in an Arab street, in the Arab world there is the notion of street, the Arab street teaches what it is to teach, and the youth act as the street dictates, it goes against the family values, and there is new family values contradicting the old ones. And it is in the same world, stored, certainly, in family values against which this new family very important thing acts here. Elements from this traditional heritage penetrate into the world through irony, such set of traditional virtues ,which the communists tried to introduce into the society, are lack of restraint, temptation, honor is here the thing which they deprived our society, but which gradually comes back after much being scoffed. And the practical side of it. All the same I work in the museum, and the practical role of a museum in all these situations is very big and good. First of all, it is the transformation of idols into museum subjects, into pieces of art, that is, many representations are very important for the culture of the world, in general. Idols and struggle against them, their removal and destruction lead to great cultural conflicts, but by the time when the Protestants in Europe started to destroy idols of the Mother of God, pictures, then there appeared the concept art, all the idols became objects of art subjects which one may admire, there appeared art markets, there appeared museums, therefore, in fact, the Protestants gathered collections of Catholic art, art antiquity, nobody object against it, particularly, because it was a museum art, and further they waited for the day when hour will come. Another important thing is museum itself, it is very important today for preservation of memory, that is, the Japanese tradition. What is memory, it is very simple. Memory is the main sign of human life. Memory is the right of our immortality. Correction of primitiveness of our life, events, changes which occur in it. We, not only in Russia, now have flat reforms which must level all, make everybody equal, in the real sense of the word. And here again the institutions of culture, non-standard, non-university, can play an important role. We have now an education reform, it is really good, because it allows come and study in Petersburg, Moscow, in the whole Russia, and it is really taking place, but in this case the level of education falls, and the level of people, who want to be distinguished, falls, too. In this process the museums play an active role, they deposit everything in reality. Now the reform in the army is coming, it is very good, a strong army is being created, but the notion of the code of honor and all the rest are being forgotten. The museums, including our Hermitage, are partly engaged in national, military ceremonies and many other things, may take part in them through discussions, and in this case the change of old idols and destruction of all their simulators and all kind of imitations takes place. In life we all make efforts to change something in exchange of an original thing, but I think that post-modernism lacks this originality, to introduce originality demands great efforts. Thanks!
Moderator: Thanks! Colleagues, I am compelled, unfortunately, to hurry up, therefore simply I want to thank you for very interesting ideas, and we will move further. I would like all the participants of our forum to pay attention to the document which is among the materials received by you this morning. This document is called the Baku Declaration. As we are one of seven platforms, on which most different problems of today are being discussed, and all the platforms have this document, we have distributed them, by the end of the day we must have all your remarks and considerations, if there is any, we must either accept them or reject, and I am sure that it has been compiled well and with an easy heart. With great pleasure I shall ask Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul, Nobel Prize writer, phenomenon of our globalizing world, to have the floor.
Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul – Nobel Prize laureate for Literature: I’ve heard English spoken faster that I’ve ever heard. I have heard the words which involved me like I still don’t have idea what has been discussed. But I got the simple clear points, this is the fact. It caused some problem and it will be like it with me. (The audience laughs and applauses). Speak what you want. That is a good way of getting information because I learnt so many subjects and problems, I heard about Asians, about Asians around the Europe, about homosexual marriages, about inventions in Europe and other things that we speak about every day and it all have been discussed. I’ll talk if I’m asked to. I’ll make a speech in few words, I’m sure it will be few. I don’t have many words. I would like to talk about making a subject like multi-cultures, not rare subject, subject of few words, like subject for political rightness, for political practice – that’s where the problem begins. If you’re no longer looking at the facts of life but you’re dealing with what you consider, with right views, you just get to nowhere because in the date of multi-culture it’s wrong to impose another culture of people who have their own already. I’m taking it off from England. England has its own culture but there is a movement to foot there in the name of multi-cultures also to impose the culture of eleven communities, and these eleven communities are from Asia mainly, also from Africa. Now you are taking them from Eastern Europe, and then got away from their own countries because their culture is too stifling. That’s one thing they do. They should celebrate one they have got for brave. There will be trouble there with this kind of language, with this kind of thinking. I’m sure that there’re people here who know how to deal with this kind of problem. I don’t want to know them all. I want to pass it on to the people who will get what I have said. Thank you!
Moderator: You know that I want to tell only one thing. I do not think that we publicly argued. We are simple, that is everyone stated the point of view. But the today’s world so is arranged, it too probably, a postmodernism. Actually, we have felt ourselves as successors only. It is colossally a wearisome problem, from my point of view. Nelli Vasilevna Motroshilova nods in negation.. But I think that a problem of today, for many of us, anyway, consists in feeling plurality of novelties. It is very difficult actually because we not often speak about the Middle Ages, about man and all the rest, that is, we have connected it with a certain unity that is very difficult, it is possible, it is difficult enough, because for the political writer to understand the scientist medievalist is not less difficult than for the representative of the fundamental Moslem to understand the representative of the fundamental Judaism ,though there exits problems between them, I hope, that all the same, that when we speak about traditional values , you will forgive me. Let’s think that all people are more ideologized than me, all the same, the higher values on the earth are human life, and man, if we can agree with it, which is difficult, because a variety of people do not think so, and another half thinks about it quite differently. But if we agree that the supreme value is human life and mankind, it is all the same, every time it approaches to the to the edge and fall into the abyss, Well, anyway, in that history which we know, looking into that abyss, even sometimes plunging into it, then leaving it, we can agree on some compromise, because the non-conventional qualification for me and unique, perhaps, is human life. And further the set of questions for which have no answers at present, and if I had. I would not sit here, but be somewhere, probably, already in heavens. I once again thank all the participants of discussion. Anton, you wanted to tell something, I am sorry, Dmitry, you also want some minutes, we shall give it. Now I ask Andrey Konchalovsky to disclose his view.
Andrey Sergeevich Konchalovsky – Film director: Here you speak if I remember the simple question: what is human life. It is, of course, humane from your point of view, and in general, to consider human life as the main value that provides human life. As if it is difficult to understand. Because human life, if it is under the influence of pacifism, where human life is the most important, it leads to ecological catastrophe for the sake of preservation of human life ,all is choked alive around and the mankind becomes similar to the most harmful fungus, and if to consider human life from the point of view of philosophy of cosmology, then respect for human life as for the life of any animal, and in general, to space as a whole, then human life should be considered that the person needs to be a little restrained, otherwise anthropo-centrism will lead to ecological catastrophe. Thanks!
Moderator: I Thank you! Well, man not simply an animal. Church representatives are sitting here, and they know it better than I. Well, please!
Rafiga Azimova – Doctor of Philosophy: As the continuation of your opinion, the main problem of the day is that with the increase of civilized values we have not noticed the exhaustion of human resources and humane in the person. Therefore it seems to me that man gone off from nature is the most predatory exploiter of this nature, and from it there arises the conflict of the nature with man. Man can not cope with his internal claims. He is not capable, so it seems to me that he will return to his own self. And the greatest problem, that is the return to his own self, to his essence as man is impossible without the work of the soul, the soul ceases to work. Besides, who has been endowed by God this qualities. Thank you!
Moderator: Thanks a lot! I would like to notice that we touched upon a very important problem. Certainly, besides the irrational values there are rational values. For rational and irrational values the topic is absolutely different, and in this case the greatest problem whether we bear in ourselves the ethic postulates, or whether it is outside of ourselves. This is a separate and completely serious topic. I adhere to the first position. Dmitry Lvovich, please!
Dmitry Bykov – Writer: I shall express my opinion quickly and shortly. I will begin, of course, with human life as a supreme value, because it is anatomical, otherwise all values would have stopped living together with every living being that is the problem. Here Andrey Sergeevich in his brilliant speech and real rhetorical art, without any exaggeration, has shown a number enough serious substitutions. It seems to me that these substitutions should be discussed and clarified. Certainly,Europe has ceased to be the center of civilization of the world. Certainly, we will start talking Chinese, but not because the values of Europe have compromised themselves, that is whyEurope has refused them, and the West has refused them as a whole. Post-modernism it not the phenomenon of progress, this is the phenomenon of recession, a phenomenon which recoil in the cave, a phenomenon which refuses verticality. Europe returns to idols, America returns to idols, this refusal in itself is the consumer civilization, this civilization refuses progress, and because of it progressс has moved to China, China became strong not because of the quantity of values, not because of Confucianism, but because of a big jump forward, sufficiently abnormal, and then owing to that soft reaction of that non-foolish Den Siaopen progress still remains the main value.
Moderator: You know such optimistic notes remind me the speeches of the times of my Komsomol youth. We, I think, we shall have break, because there are two more discussions very interesting discussions ahead of us. One of them will be led by my colleague and the organizer of all our victories, a remarkable person, rector of theUniversity ofLanguages, the third panel of modeling will be our colleague from Poland Cezario Vozinsky, and I hope that it will be interesting. Thanks all!
The text of verbatim report was provided by Azerbaijan Language UniversitySecond working section
Moderator of the second section Samad Seyidov – member of the Parliament of Azerbaijan, rector of Azerbaijan University of Languages.
Member of the Parliament of Azerbaijan, Rector of Azerbaijan University of Languages, Samad Seyidov (further Moderator): the Russian language. We have some guests from Russia, as well as some Russian-speaking guests from other countries. We have the English language. In general, there is no problem for the University of Languages in speaking Russian, English or Azerbaijani. I welcome you all again. With your permission we shall continue the second part. Taking the opportunity of the presence of the guests I shall express my thoughts in Russian. Dear friends, I am happy to see you and to greet you. We are starting today’s work of discussion of the second section, and the first section proved once more how difficult it is to find unanimity, even despite the fact that the opinions expressed by all the participants of the first panel meeting principally resemble in some aspects, but during the second panel we decided to give more accent to the traditional national values. We decided to bring some national character into our section, that’s why , we have here the professor from the University of Glasgow in our section, he is an ex-president of the Parliamentary Assembly, Mr. Rene, from Moscow Institute of Philosophy – Nelly Motroshilova, Azerbaijan University of Languages – Ms. Svetlana Jabrailova, archbishop Sergey Zvonaryev. It will be very interesting for us, in connection with the ideas we heard at the first section. Here is also head of Department of Philosophy of Azerbaijan University of Languages, and your obedient servant. I hope the discussion will be interesting and I would like to start right now and to give the floor to Nelly Motroshilova who represents Moscow School of Philosophy and is well-known not only in the CIS countries and the countries of the post-Soviet bloc, whose ideas and works have charmed a great deal of philosophers, psychologists, the people who are familiar with this field. Please, the floor is yours.
Nelly Motroshilova – Professor, Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) Institute of Philosophy: You know, I feel like arguing, but the problem is that the ideas and opinions I would like to contradict, were expressed by the people who have already left. Our style of discussion here is like that: I will speak and you will find everything out later. And I think that Andrei Konchalovsky was right concerning the discussion of the values, there are a lot of illusions and prejudices in this sphere, and the first thing we heard during our conversation is that we used to have some human values, somewhere and some time, they were fine, bright and so on. There used to be some morality but now everything is broken. In my opinion, if somebody thinks so – it is a very big folly. All times were turbulent, more or less conflicting, and as for the values, I would like to assure you that at all times there were arguments, there were never smooth times, no one could say “I know what common values are”. I will give a couple of examples, let’s say from the times immemorial, the talks about the values begins when something or somebody, some substance is placed to such a level that it appears to be higher than others, more significant than others, in some respects. You remember the Protagorian formula “the person is a measure of all things”, existing, that they don’t exist, non-existent, that they don’t exist. In reality, we should consider that the person is a measure of all things used, etc. You see, it is quite different. Nevertheless, it is one of the first formulas of human values referred to the human being himself. The human being is higher than anything else, Plato argued. He was not right in it. The person cannot be a measure of all things, including the ones he created, and Plato proposed another formula: “God but not the human being is the measure of all things.” Here is the first argument about the values. Let’s take the topics Mikhail Efimovich outlined concerning the value of human’s life. There were whole epochs when the value of human life was neither high, nor the highest. It was in the Medieval. The review of this thesis as to the people being not the main value, he is a subordinate value; consequently, his life is not the main thing. The main thing is his spiritual side, the new times of Renaissance reviews it, the human being becomes the cornerstone, and all the same the versatility rules this topic. For example, Descartes considered this topic to be about the relationship of people and nature. He said “the human being is the owner and the conqueror of the nature”. And Bacon thought differently: “The human being is the servant and the interpreter of nature”, that is, there are always at least two-three dozens of opinions. It means that there is a valuable argument, and each epoch transfers not the ready-made set of values to the other epoch, it transfers a few projects of values, generally speaking, a few discussions of values, and so on. Andrei Konchalovskiy said, for example, that we always consider the European values to be the main ones. Excuse me, who, which of us? Which of us? Just look what severe arguments there are not only between the Europeans and Europeans, but within Europe itself. Here is a good example – the European Union. The Europeans created this union long before they asked themselves: “on which common ground shall we unite?” The theme was raised, and I emphasize it, after the first steps to unification, about the European identity, besides, it was the question about the common European values. Let’s suppose it is about the struggle for the human rights and freedoms. All the same, the discussion turned out to be fierce. And it always happened so throughout the history. We think that values and freedom, equality and brotherhood are the things inherited by us from the French Revolution and so on. Just mind, that the moment it was done, the moment the French Revolution created something on the basis of these values, the arguments started. And one of the examples of such an argument is the attitude of the German classics to these slogans. “Yes”, the Germans said, I mean Kant, Hegel, and Frederick Shelling and so on. “Yes, freedom is good.” But in case it is not the only value, it is not the sole one. And Kant believed that freedom should go only with responsibility, the rights – only with responsibilities in any respect. The Philosophy of Law is built on this principle. Hegel added something. He said: “I am sorry, what equality? How can we fight for the values, as we are called for fight for something, then for uniting something?” Equality is impossible, and even if it was possible, it would be a ruinous idea. The equality does not exist and will never do, and for the following reasons: Kant said earlier: “The only form of equality, the one we should fight for, it is the equality of all people before the law.” What equality could here be after the guillotine, after the Jacobin dictatorship and so on. … In other words, everybody realized that these are slogans, these demands for the values include these notions, and all the same there should be such demands, European values, for instance, which will unite the Europeans. I do not insist that such values exist, there is some unification around certain principles, ideas, but this is a reality, ideal reality, there are so many interesting things around, interlacing of such theoretical, religious and other laws. I am deeply concerned in the things I have just spoken about. And one more thing, the thing I would like to finish up. I am of the opinion that throughout history we witness the accumulation of valuable speculations or maxims, besides, they emerge discussions. I stand on such a topic which I tested through the up-to-date discussion of values: “Antithetic” or when one asserts something, the force emerges which is proving quite the controversial thing. And neither side is right without the other one in confirming these values. And something is clearing out in this debate. In my last book called “Civilization and Barbarism in the Epoch of Global Crises” I gave the details of some arguments in Europe, in the European conscientiousness, in European philosophy around this problem of values referring to the human being, his essence, democracy, education, to the value of philosophy and so on. And a very important topic of mind, conscious, refers to the post-modernism; actually it was a massive attack on the mind. In short, the discussion, the struggle is going on continuously, there is not a ready-made formula, nothing of absolute nature, so, to say that we, the Europeans can and should set an example, to impose something on somebody, it is illusion, and nobody understands it. Still I think we can speak about the values of civilization, about the common values of civilization, which our epoch is upholding, trying to realize and revise it somehow. How are such demands of civilization embodied, to say briefly? I think, they are the commandments of all world religions, of all great religions which formulate the rules of moral behavior, I would say, the Christianity creates the other religions as well. “Man – it sounds proudly”, this phrase should be forbidden, “man” does not sound proudly, at least now, and there is no hope that in future it will sound proudly. To curb pride – it is the issue of human being. Kant said that the man is made of disfigured wood, and nothing straight can be carved from this wood, thus, the necessity of law, moral and so on. And here is Kant’s last, categorical creation – what is it? It is one of the articulated values of civilizations. The ones conceived as transitory, transnational, and so on. Do you remember such an example: behave in such a way that your will’s maxim could be the basis of the universal law at all times? By the way, in the Soviet times there was a translation of the word under target which can mean in all times a small mistake. Kant conceived it with the civilized expanse. And I really think that is not the talk about the way the man really behaves, but the way he wants to behave. Thank you!
Moderator: We have a person here who, due to his occupation had to protect these values and is continuing to do so, it is the Chairman of the Parliament of the European Union Association, where three great values- democracy, human rights and the supremacy of law have not been abolished yet. That’s why it is my pleasure to give the floor to Mr. Rene.
Rene Van der Linden – Former President of Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), Chairman of Azerbaijan-Netherlands Friendship Society: Thank You very much.
First of all I want to share some experience that I gathered and learned in the Council of Europe.
Europe after 1945 had done extremely important decisions and these decisions. They said never again what had happened two times in 1918 and in 1940-1945.
Then we decided to create the conditions for living together in a peaceful way and these conditions were as you mentioned implementation of the rule of law, democracy, human rights, social origin and cultural uniformity.
And I believe today these values are important for all the countries, as you know Council of Europe is a values community. European Union is not in first place in values, because countries of EU doesn t discuss financial matters, trade matters, but Council of Europe is a vallue community. I don’t like to teach because to teach Europe is not accepted.
If you cooparate then you can make progress, you can learn by yourselves. To my mind, it is a life of learning.
One of the key issues is that the people has right to lift the conditions. As for me the most important thing is to lift conditions.
As long as many poeople are excluded from the society , we can not say that we share the same values. These are the reasons for conflicts.These are the reasons for the people to war ,in my mind.
One of the key elements is to respect the others. If you respect the others we can also learn what is wise,what we can add to the whole values to the other cultures. Just before us there was somebody who said we deny the wisdom of China that teach you much.
I agree with this.
I can tell you that Asian Parliementary Assembly came to the Council of Europe to discuss how to keep the members in a way of living togehter . Asian Parliementary Assembly consists of a lot of parliements from different countries as Philippines , Thailand, China, Indonesia and others. And I believe that only in this way we can share the common values.
We also say that in all society especially in the western societies we have free dominance of modernism, of individualism , a lack of common community, a lack of personal responsibility. Then we also lack in the showing good examples. I have to show good examples to my people. If I do not show good examples, they do not give me trust, they do not believe me.
I want to underline that the moral values, ethical norms are essential for all the societies. I was very pleased to manage to talk I am a Roman Catholic. I started a religious dialogue when I was the president of Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe. I invite first Secretary-General of Islamic Confernece to show that we have to live together and religious dialogue is as much importnat as a cultural dialogue and I fully agree that we have separation between state and religion. But if you want discussing the cultural dialagues we can not put aside the intrareligious dialogues.
I want to finish this by saying that the overall perception is too much for peoples’ beliefs. We have a lot of missunderstandings. We have a lot of prechances. I organised meeting between Turkey and Netherlands. And if you can see what kind of prechances from both sides are between different religions, cultures, different countries. I believe that it is our task to overcome this, all the problems based on the moral values, moral assignments and behaviors for all the societies.
Thank you very much.
Moderator: Thank you very much. Values are very important for all of us. Sometimes, especially in my experience we see some double approaches to the values, and we as a country are suffering from these double approaches, therefore I am immediately returning to the representative ofAzerbaijan, Madame Abdiyeva, she is a philosopher, head of the Department of Philosophy.
Adelia Abdiyeva, assistant professor of the Department of Philosophy of AUL: First of all I would like to explain what post-modernism is, as a philosopher. These are the processes which go after the modernist period, which on the peak of the previous period, on the peak of the accumulated experience, create something new. Change of generations is always a painful process; it is never smooth and simple. As Ms. Motroshilova stressed in her speech, it is always misunderstanding. Let’s take an example from the History of Russian Literature – “Fathers and Sons”. This conflict can never be overcome just because it should be so, because there are some standards, norms which are to be met. And to my opinion, post-modernism appeared on the peak of these standard norms of values. That is, postmodernism allows treating all these processes and tendencies freely, more democratically. We shouldn’t focus on some frames, some fixed rules, rather, we should strive to express the attitude towards certain phenomena and processes happening in the society more freely. I think you have raised a very interesting problem, stating that the things which serve the values for one generation are not the values for the other one.
I believe that just as in nature the struggle is always taking place and the strongest survives, the same happens with the system of values. The values which are rational, more acceptable for the society, and accepted by the majority as their own, inner self, such values survive. In this sense, post-modernism is the next step and will always be. Because there will always be modernism and then post-modernism, etc. It means the battle between the existing opinion and the following one, the new one, and this is, from the philosophic point of view, the source of development, the reason of development.
Unfortunately, not everybody in the society understands it. The people who live in the society are more pragmatic, are connected with certain standards and rules. And because of that some misunderstanding which Mr. Seyidov mentioned, is happening. Some relationships established in one society, are not acceptable in another and are not understandable in another society, thus, the double standards appear, double approaches, etc.
Here we heard that everybody should serve as an example. A good idea. Not to order how to live, not to teach how to live, but to show what is right, reasonable, acceptable for everybody. The previous speakers talked about tolerance, multiculturalism, etc., Today’s society is multicultural and should be tolerant. Why did double standards appear? It is always due to misunderstanding.Azerbaijanis now in the very complicated situation, in the situation of war. And being in this situation we are looking for this understanding. The values which are important for us, we think, should be the common values, should be accepted in the world. And the world values, which are accepted by us, which we are trying to follow, are important for us. The traditional system of values, surely, cannot remain unchangeable, constant. It cannot be so, because the world is developing, changing. The world outlook is changing, and consequently the world systems of values. But there is some kind of a basis around which our relationships with other cultures, with other systems of values should develop. This is a very important tendency in the globalised world, and the post-modernist tendencies help us find orientation in these processes. Thank you for your attention!
Moderator: We are grateful to you for your ideas and for your words. Generally, the tendency is being followed apparently in all cultures. All the same. Firstly we appeal to the investigation of the subject. This subject heads us to the philosophers and then we apply to God. We’d like to ask the clergymen in the church, what they think about transitory ideas, which exist among us, how they perceive that world in which the more we develop the more we address God. It seems that we know everything about atomic nucleus, we even have reached antimatter. But the more we run through the secrets of the nature, the more we appeal God. This is disposition or it might be paradox and I ask the respected archbishop Sergey Zvonarev to answer to this paradox.
Sergey Zvonarev – Protohiery of the Moscow Patriarchate: Thank you very much. I don’t want to seem like a retrograde as journalist Dmitry Bykov fromMoscow identified .I’d like to sound an alternative point of view to his words, his position concerning the role and place of traditional values in the contemporary world.
Traditional values are not museum or the shelves full of books, covered with dust and in which there are various books about what are good, what is bad, how to behave and how to treat the other people and how to marry.
Traditional value is an inner composed organism which is not a part of the past and the present; I believe there will be a place for it in the future too.
Tradition serves creating connection among generations, which passes the values of ancestors to descendants sensible to the surroundings with reality from the prism of experiences of previous generations. It’s impossible to tear out the human from the environment where he was born or values which he took without any harm. Besides it losing the values means the loss of the human society and people. Today we speak about existence of certain universal values.
1) We know that there exist various cultures where the assertion about behavior of a human has been accepted as a value. But the central nucleus is the same.
2) There are different views that can be called universal values.
It was noted fairly that a moral law is universal for the mankind, for everyone who lives in Africa, Europe, Asia andAmerica. Attempt to find other example presenting a system of rights and freedoms never has been worked out by a human.
The respected Mr. Rene Van der Linden spoke about fracturing staged of mankind, namely about the end of the World War I and World War II and about the worldwide Declaration of rights and freedom of a human.
But have the wars ended? Aren’t there any seats of tension and confrontation of people? Don’t the contemporary events in North Africa and Irag tells us that human life in the eyes of people who make so called great politics doesn’t mean anything?
Can the system of rights and freedoms of a human, its interpretation with general declaration of rights and freedoms of a human be called universal and unchangeable values? Our conference is called: “XXI century: hopes and challenges”
We can speak about the quantity of challenges and problems which exists in our modern world for a long time. I’d like to say that the quantity is not decreasing but their number and sternness is only increasing. Can the conception of rights and freedoms of a human with secular outlook manage these problems?
We’d better speak about dignity of the human, necessity of protecting the human, life and necessity of the human’s life freedom. There is no mechanism of dispatching except the education system. It is possible conventionally speaking, to teach school children and students the main and essential norms of mutual relations of a human with others, rights and freedoms at schools and universities. But motivating, using and conducting. It in one’s own life practically is impossible because the very system of rights and freedoms of a human tells us that we can reach the inner freedom, the inner world of a human. But what is inside of a human- it is not in our competence.
Sorry we can’t interfere with this inner world. We only offer any pattern of human’s existence, particularly, rights in accord with a system of rights and freedoms of a human. But the mechanism doesn’t exist and only religion can reach the heart and soul of a human, explain, and motivate a human to follow the moral laws. It comes out those universal, moral laws which are a universal value, for all the mankind can be a similar image of the God. It can dispatch the heart of a human only by means of religious traditions but no means secular outlook can inspire and motivate. That’s why I agree with Ilham Aliyev, President of theRepublicofAzerbaijan. Yesterday while talking he said that intercultural, inter-civilizational dialogue is incredible, without interreligious influence. These two mutually related processes and religion are the safeguards of the traditional values. Let’s think what other institutions can dispatch traditions in a modern society?
Having thought about it, may be we’ll find that development of families in the West and in the Europe can’t dispatch the family values, but religion can dispatch these traditional values- these clips about which we spoke at the very beginning. Today may be there is no district where someone could be taught to something. The Same Europe having refused its Christian legacy, unfortunately, has lost the model that could transit through time: this model construction of a family interrelations of individuals, respected attitude to the environment because the rational conscious doesn’t appeal the notion about the God, about the moral law, that can restrict a human for his unrestrained attempt for consumption. And only the moral law tells a human that you are a human tells a human that you are a human being, you must learn to sacrifice yourself for welfare of people who are close to you, even you can give your. Life to help the others, at the cost of your own life you can earn well-being of other people.
The humans who at the cost of their own life gained the others’ life are heroes and selfless people who didn’t value themselves and their own lives which were very valuable for them too and they were able to sacrifice their lives in order the others could live. We speak about such people proudly. The human who acquires all these is not an ordinary one and I’d say again the roots of such occurrences are in the heart and soul of a human.
Whatever the technologies are remarkable, nevertheless how much we are engaged in studying the micro world, nanotechnologies, arrange life in other planets, we can’t get rid of his inner world.
The human also will be very unhappy in outward conditions of prosperity if everything inside has become rotten and ruined and nothing can inspire him to be kind to the others and charge him energy of kindness. Completing my speech I’d like to say that we must apprise our traditions and we must never sacrifice them for certain abstract ideas which are often vague for us, but they are fashionable nowadays, because they are uttered from civilized districts and they seem to us more developed and improved, we must apprise and protect our traditions and completely perceiving what they mean today conveyed to us. They are not dusty museum exhibits, but live conditions of modern life.
Moderator: We are very grateful to you for your interesting ideas which are very difficult not to agree with. We can only add that not only religion inculcates or has right to access to the human soul, but perhaps knowledge also has the right to exist in one’s life. In all sacred writings and at the same time in the Holy Koran the role of a scientist, of a man engaged in science is appreciated particularly highly.
There is even a special chapter which says that the educated man’s word is more important than a clergyman’s. I’m sure that in the Talmud and in the Bible and in all other holy scriptures we can find such foot-notes. There is one more way, to my mind, about which we shouldn’t forget- this is education.. This is the right of a teacher to interfere to the soul of a child and bring the children nowadays. The biggest problem in the world is getting education.
It’s not in vain Europe,America,Azerbaijan,Russiaexperience enormous difficulties in this direction and they test permanent stages of reforms. There is an answer for it,Azerbaijanhaving 95% Muslim population increases quantity of synagogue or Muslims take part in the activity of repairing and restoring a church. A Catholic church has been opened inBakuin the most beautiful place recently. Do you know why? I think we have talked about it repeatedly, let my colleagues hear it. May be we hate only one european value which means tolerance. Why? Because if we interpret the word “tolerance” it means: “I hate you, but I’m obliged to be with you”. But there is no such thing inAzerbaijan. I can’t divide my soul in two parts because one part of my soul belongs to Christians, one part of my soul is European, and the other part is Muslim. How can I be tolerant to myself? I can respect myself, but I can not be tolerant to myself. I’d like Professor Hyu o Donnel University of Glasgow answer this question.
Hugh O’Donnell – Professor, Glasgow University: My message for today to you is in the topic of post-modernism. I do understand that there are problems, difficulties. But as an educator I hope to be able to describe you that there are valuable things happenning in our society. I want to add some things to what a number of speakers have said. I do not start from the resolution that traditional values are by definition positive. This is not my view. Traditional values that I have researched in detail are patriarchic.At the same time post-modernistic values are necessarily negative.Some speakers touched on this point. In my own country the post-modernistic values are how do you understand it, how it is challenged by a number of existing hierarchies which in my opinion widely need to be changed. Value systems are numerous. I do not want to go all of these. I am going to tell one value in particular. This is the value of community. I very much prefer the notion of living together. My focus is very different from the previous speakers. My field of research is popular culture and particular media popular culture. So I focus on popular culture as it images from television, press and mostly television. I live in the UK. The Uk was the fast European country to start and join towards post modernity. Post modernity like many events started in US because this country is culturally and linguistically diversified. But we got post modernity rather than any other country did. We got the past modernity rather more before nearly 10-15 years before the VS.
The particular aspect of popular culture that I focus on is old TV drama which the English call soap opera. I do not know whether you know this term but soap opera is an old English drama which in principle never finishes.It celebrated its 50th anniversary last year which absoutely shows no sign for finishing.
Traditionally cultural forums have a pure evaluation criteria.It took us a long time to realize that we make a significant mistake underestimating the importance of popular culture. I will demonstrate some examples. The soap operas in Britain come out on Friday a week. The total population was just over 60 million .
The soap operas had 3 times more viewers than the most watched news program ( I have nothing against news program). And it had 10 times more viewers than the best-selling newspaper.
It should have been clear that we really want to understand what is going on in society, we needed to pay more attention to a cultural form. This is one of the things that attracted my attention to soap opera. The second thing was that the essence of sopa opera. I actually analyzed the soap opera all over the Western Europe. Soap opera set itself a task of reflecting reality of society in its terms and participating in social arena. One of the things we do about this in my own university is having a Master program and I spend a lot of time working with them. I always ask them where you get them from? They get them from Tv news, from the press. They are constantly changing. What is the public debating in Britain?
The relationship between soap opera and news is continuous. One of the key elements of soap opera is their defence of value of community. They are absolutely predicated on the defence of value of community. They have been like this since 96s.
The characters in drama have become commonplace. The characters are obviously of British origin, living in London.
I came from Scotland. In Scotland we have our own soap opera that have different characters (e.g. Polish). Values set by soap opera are materialized by drama. The characters should behave boldly , be educated, mostly work.I am finishing now, sorry for being long.We must pay more attention to our popular culture.Thank You very much!
Moderator: Thank you very much, professor, for your words. I think that it is really very important to take account, the essence of your speech that we should pay more and more attention to the culture like that. Just now we know what is going on in your country. For me I do not know what is going on in your country with post-modernism. Therefore, I switch on the Russian language. I want to know what happens to post-modernism in my own country, how to develop the culture, which interventions should be done for this purpose? I think the chairman of the chair of Foreign Literature will answer to this question best of all. Svetlana khanum, please.
Professor Svetlana Jabrailova: Continuing the theme connected with globalization, about its shortages or advantages, keeping on arguments about globalization whether it is good or bad. I’d like to note that all our daily life is accompanied by television. Television is the most cheering simulacra which embodies in itself ties of virtual and real images of our existence. If sitting at home I can be aware of all the events happened in the world, if I can accept at home such people, sitting here in the hall, as Michail Shvydko, Dmitry Bykov, Anton Koncalovsky, Nelli Motrosilova who are live mythologies of contemporary intellectual life, then as an intelligent I feel good and comfortable.
Returning to the essential problem of our forum- traditional values systems in the post modernist cultures. I’d like to the followings: everybody goes on to speak about post modernism already quite for a long historical period, beginning roughly from the II half of the past century. Nowadays, having passed the period of forming its stages postmodernism starts to keep within a certain system, allows us rephrasing to say that it is not innovation. A great number of associations arise here and as a specialist in literature I want to ask for analogy of German romanticism which is one of the most remarkable stages of development of the world culture. The philosophy of German romanticism, as known is composed on two contrasting systems chaos and space. In this sense it is possible to speak about aesthetics of German romanticism which is absorbing world sensation of the epoch’s revolution with apotheosis independence, freedoms and enthusiasm, namely German romanticism turned the channel of the world culture to the side of renewal of all traditional paradigm carried in soul of integration of styles, genres, outlet from the habitual chronotope of endless chaos. And what can we say about Goethe? Formally he belongs to the epoch of Enlightenment. He is so all seized in his geniuses that proteism of Goethe’s gift was expressed best of all in his “Faust”.
“Prologue in the heaven” – one of the two prologues written to the tragedy is the reflection of the idea of systematic and hierarchy when everything is composed on the analogy of harmony as the “first image” of the universe. Here creating music of existence Goethe brings universal chaos to harmonic symmetry. God embodies the creature Mefistofel- negation, but they are inconceivable without each other. Mefistofel creates favor wishing everybody evil. There is difference in each occurrence. Even any idea which is completely good turns into absurdity. That’s why always existing two antagonistic vectors-vertical and horizontal, space or chaos, hierarchy or process can’t exist without crossing in this point and of course it’s it not truth, but the situation and idea serving us as far as post-modernism concerned with arising in the USA-in the country poly-cultural and reflecting best of all combination of pop-culture with the culture of elite as a philosophical discourse at the moment has lost its non-appealable tone.
To my mind, its new phase has begun, rhythms, dynamics of post modernistic culture has been forgotten, the traditional values for a modern human seem to be rudimentary and archaic. Everything is repeated but in a new wave, circle of the history: the same ideas, games, collage, ironic sense of previous experience, allusions, deconstructions, mutual penetration and synthesis, various types of cultures and so on. But in the centre of all these is the human living in the world and not deprived from the traditional orientations. I’d like to apply Mikhail Svydko. He has an excellent program on TV called “An Asylum for Comedians”, it is very symbolic nowadays. When in the context of post modernistic change of life paradigms we transferred from epoch of dominating tragic disasters to comics, everyone feels more natural in the role of Homo lumens playing and namely such philosophic removal being attracted to the general play, tolerance to carnival festivities of our life helps us to survive in hard conditions of today.
Moderator: Thank you very much. I think you that stated that post-modernism is emerging and developing in theUSA. But I suspect that thanks to such discussions, which are taking place here now, post modernism is emerging and developing inAzerbaijan in front of us. Certainly, today’s culture includes enormous quantity of questions, positive and negative ones. And to answer to all these questions is very difficult. The most striking thing is that the more we answer the questions, the more questions arise. This is an unchangeable and unpreventable process of the society. Today we have been the witness of the creation on this stage. I want to express my gratitude to the participants for those wonderful, bright ideas which they stated, for the atmosphere of deep sincerity which they created and for the belief in the values which they protected.
The text of verbatim report was provided by Azerbaijan Language UniversityThird working section
Moderator of the third section Cseario Vodzinsky – professor.
Michail Shvydkoi – supervisor of studies of the Higher School of Moscow State University: My respected colleague, Prof. Cezario Vodzinsky , from thePolishAcademy of sciences, one of the greatest experts on the discussed topic, will continue. Before he begins his activity as a moderator, I’d like to share my opinion with you, after which he will take the microphone and will lead the Conference panel. Thus, I’ll remind you that we are going to speak about the model of moral personality in postmodernism culture. The floor is given to Cseario Vodzinsky. Cezario , please.
Professor Cezario Vodzinsky (further Moderator): Thank you very much, Mikhail Schvedkoy, excuse me please, but I think that I am in difficult situation, because Mr. Shvedkoy invited me here to make a presentation. Only yesterday I learned that I would be a moderator. From one side I’ll read a report as Cesario Vodzinsky, from the other side as Cesario Vodzinsky’s double will be a moderator. Excuse me please, I’ll speak in Russian. I think that on the theme of postmodernism, and debates about postmodernism can be formulated with Denichko’s words said about the Kremlin in “Moscow – Cockerel”. He said the following, I quote: “All people say Kremlin, Kremlin, and Kremlin. I heard about it, but I have never seen the Kremlin”. In discussions and debates about post-modernism, which exists half a century, in results quite a bit, not to say anything positive. Discussions are already going 50 years, but we do not know the answer of the main question, what is postmodernism, i.e. we had many answers. Everything else they are mostly ambiguous and often contradictory to such an extent, that the term “postmodernism”, there is a concept that can be fitted to any content. One of the Polish critics of postmodernism has suggested the following:”Someone, somewhere, sometime, something, said”. Subsequently like “The Kremlin, Kremlin, Kremlin”, definition of post-modernism ambiguous and contradictory. There are two main strategies in definition of postmodernism: The strategy, which realizes postmodernism in relation to modernism. In the frame of strategy we can define three models:
1. Post-modernism, in primarily is continuation of modernism, in, basically a continuation of modernism, from which it is not fundamentally different.
2. Post-modernism, really means a continuation of modernism, identifies new, unknown nature of modernism.
3. Postmodernism is a complete break with modernism and its radical critique.
From the first formal comparison of these polar to each other relations should be a simple conclusion: from the point of incurable ambiguity of the term postmodernism it can be considered as concepts, i.e. concepts, which act with such heaps of arguments in favor of this thesis, not only that they do not agree with each other, but in fact contradict one another.
In the interpretation of dreams, Frit tells the story of the borrowed kettle. A neighbor, who borrowed a kettle, returns it with scorched hole. But to the claims of the owner of the kettle answers that the first, he gave back the kettle undamaged, and the second the kettle was holey when he lend it, the first , generally, he didn’t take any kettle.
The second strategy of definition seems more refined and is in the policy of definition of post-modernism with the performative copytalks. A formative utterance is a statement which, through its utterance leads to a state of things being talked about. For example, if Mikhail Shvydko opens today’s session, but he does not describe the events, which must take place properly, in its context. The complicity of formative utterance lies in the fact that, it is burdened with unavoidable contradiction, which is is impossible to distinguish words from things, and in this it is significantly inappropriate.
The other definition of performed utterance is compared with the situationAlicein Wonderland, when she tries to describe the disappearance o f the cat. It is said there: Yes!- thought Alice,-cat-with a smile is a rarity, but a smile without a cat, I just do not know what it is. Ultimately the question of postmodernism, there is no response, regardless of the definitive strategy. The meaning of this question seemed to disappear, the cat, or the ambiguity and inconsistency of some possible answers is attached to the contradictory performative utterance.
I suggest at this moment the other way out of difficult situation. I suggest changing a language, discarding the western regions, to think about postmodernism in Russian. It can be seemed, that realization of postmodernism in Russian is bunched up, senseless. Why? Because it is the attempt to transfer of post-modernism in the modernism environment, Russians considered to have such environment, and as it was, regardless of the tremendous effort and upgrades. Those exerted from the time of Peter the Great, his upgrade time and further. And it does not depend from its cultural modernism. He exceeded all other with his courage experiments. Let us then stay on the basis of stereotype, if in common sense to quire of about postmodernism not in the language of postmodernism. Let me in this experience make brief remark. When in Western regions say that, postmodernism (in foreign language), we are involved in ambiguous polarity of modernity and modernism. However the situation changes, when the words into Russian language are not calqued in the process of translation, but are translated in their own way. Then we have to face with special expression-“post-modernism”. What is the meaning of “‘post” linked with the word modernity? Thus, the meaning of modernity changes. As the word “modern” has the meanings “the present time, recent time” and “contemporary”. Returning to our subject, I would like you to take the risk with a provocative hint. Provocative, because, in Latin provocation means call to the voice. It is confirmed thatRussia, for at least two centuries has been in a state of historical transformation. But what does it mean?-to be in a state of historical transformation? I’ll define it as “to be in the cleavage, to remain in schism”. I think, we know what schism is, it is breaking, splintering of historical schism, which was in the middle of XVII century in Orthodox Church of Russia. We all know that schism, as ecclesiastical event surmounted church borders. It was not limited with reforms which took place within the church, but gradually and forever became ecclesiastical, physical and metaphysical revolution. The thesis about the role of revolutionary schism in history ofRussiais neither new, nor isolated. We can recall what Nicolay Berdyayev said about the Russian idea:” Russians are the dissenters, this is the feature of our national character”.
I don t want characterize the Russians and the Russian idea. Instead of it, I would like, in simple way, with the help of the tools that used Rodion Raskolnikov to differentiate the structure. The simple thesis is :Split – an experience turmoil of unprecedented scale, because in the scale of Russia. This is a problematic experience, anarchy, non-obviousness, in a result, a long sequence of transitivity of such orders, as underground and surface, and the divine, holy and sinful, legal and self-styled, orthodox and heterodox, salvation and condemnation, grace, and consumption, and in the end of Christ and the Antichrist. In its consequences authoritative negligence and transitivity of schism reaches a bottomless base and covers the spiritual world of ancientRussia. It means tectonic shaking the pillars of Russia for which since the split is in a constant trance. What does trance mean? Follows deregulation, and as a result, transitivity of these orders. As well as the theory of organized system, the whole word and the development of Christianity allowRussiato behave as constitutionally for Christian development, and difference between good and evil. The experience of schism leads to, opened space, abyss as Nietzsche said: “Schism-is the experience of indiscernible differences between good and evil”. The hypothesis that Russia is divisive, and it means that, it is more historically experienced, having lost the ability to distinguish between good and evil…The penultimate word, because there cannot be the last word. When we want to describe the smile without the cat, let us look closely at the history of schism and read Dostoevsky, because Dostoevsky is the great analyst of the experience of schism. Then it will be possible to achieve, that the others could not do. Berdyayev’s confirmation that the Russian people are schismatic, we can read:”The Russian people are for post-modernism “. But in this meaning, these people for post-modernism define all our postmodern modernity. Thank you very much. Now I shall listen. If it is possible, I shall ask Vasily Istratov, representative of “Russkiy Mir” Foundation, to continue our discussion.
Vasily Istratov – The head of “Russkiy Mir” foundation: What can I say? Russian people always had difficulties with Polish people. The case is, if our dear colleague yesterday was informed that he had to make a speech, I learned about my speech, about two minutes, when I took my sit. That’s why I hoped to think over my speech, while the others are having the floor. Now we have the brilliant speaker, who made a prepared speech and it means, now I had to compete with him. It is very difficult, that’s why I am not going to do that. It’s pity that, I missed the previous round table meeting today.
Our dear moderator nodded at me to begin speaking, I’ll share my thoughts regarding the topics of our meeting, as a whole, what I heard during the day and during the morning session, and partly today’s meeting. I am very glad the postmodernism experts do not know exactly what it is, and that’s why I am not being the expert of this sphere, hoped to know something about it, in order to have enough information to form an opinion. Once I can say it is likely related with that we do not deal with experts. The fact is that somebody tries to understand the process, phenomenon, events; in the first stage everything seems clear, this is white, red, dark blue, green-everything is clear. As we begin to analyze it thoroughly, to look attentively at these parts, under the microscope, it turns out, that each of them consists of many different colors and it is not so clear. On the first stage everything is clear, on the second stage, when the man is really dealing with this, he (she) does not understand much about. And only it is a rare fact that people reach the third stage. And when talking about something that according to experts still incomplete, it is difficult to understand the phenomenon. That’s why I admit that, the absence of understanding of postmodernism means that the people are not seriously dealing with. Go ahead. And what is postmodernism then? It is a world where we live in. It came up with this name, in order not to use, not to print the expression. Expression is very complicated thing, not always used. But the word postmodernism, though, is equivalent to printed expression, quite usable. It sounds good.
This is one concept. And there is another concept, which is the concept of progressive thinkers, philosophers, artists, even politicians, linguists, which are going ahead. That is true. We can give the most famous examples. I came up with some examples related to the visual arts. For experts on post-modernism picture is a lag from the present. If it is visual art, it is like two people doing something on the street. So it is visual art of postmodernism. The case is that 95% of artists are drawing with canvas. We are speaking about the process that can be on high level, among 2-3% of population. The others among population even do not know what postmodernism is and do everything with old method. And the same is with the other things, what we are speaking about.
I noticed that in the first part we discussed the human acquisition. Compared with its ancestor, man may be less intelligent, but a more informed. This is absolute difference. Moreover, the large information content does not mean that he thinks better. Apparently understands worse. Students of the medieval university for two-four years could be taught to all that mankind knows at the present, that it became impossible to have the XVIII century, although the crisis of university education is still going on. Now there was a terrible thing called cyberspace or what you call it, where information flows in large numbers. And it became theoretically impossible. The result is a gradual shift that characterizes the current phase of specific knowledge. People do not try to acquire the knowledge. In case of something they would see, what someone else has already complained to unverified information, and move on. As a man of traditional education it does not bother me, but frighten me. At present we face a crisis, directly the disappearance of professionalism in all spheres. It becomes impossible due simply to the volume of information that you have. Though, recently inMoscowI mentioned in my lecture, that after graduation of University for a long time I have been working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Knowledge of history of which I acquire, was quite superfluous. All this was unnecessary. Only 10 % of knowledge that I studied and remembered was enough. Well, this might be a little easier.
But, nevertheless, a crisis of professionalism, which occurred last time, I explain to myself as a huge amount of information that the human brain at the present time can not pass through. This creates a real challenge for the nearest future. My grandchildren’s generation turned out to study considerably less than they were expected to know. In my own time I thought I knew far less than my grandparents’ generation. By the way, I return to the idea that the youth are considered nihilists alienated from all neglected traditions. And then they themselves blame their children. That is, if now we speak of the break of traditions which take place more strongly than usual, it is not some principle phenomenon. By the way, Dmitry Bykov who seemed to be let pass forward on purpose and was expected to excite all of us, fulfilled his duty. One point confused me, or rather attracted my attention. Old generation Ancestors suck blood of young generation. If we remember different associations, for instance in legend how a pelican feeds her young ones with her own blood – we come across with circumstances. I am not sure if Bykov expressed his considerations, however today the process ran in the reverse order. The past draws the youth’ blood, it might be the compensation for the pelican. Anyway, I would like to touch upon one point in particular; it is the problem of language. It was touched upon in the first part. It was also said that it is paradoxical. It was suggested to abandon everything to learn Arabic, Persian know what it is connected with and if it is the process of reversibility. But, naturally, language gets simplified. When I say it, please don’t think that I am engaged in propagation and support of the Russian language. I must admit that I and not only I encounter here, in the Russian-speaking Azerbaijanwhich is obvious at once, with the simplified retreat of language including Russian. Of course, one can refer to the influence of the English language. By the way, I am not the supporter of the conservation of language at all and banning foreign words in it, as if the language variant does not receive foreign words. Then it is a dead language. Foreign words cannot be pushed in the dead language, but quite enough and possibly unlimited number of foreign words can be pushed in the living language. The living language digests it. However, in any case, in my opinion, of course, it is the process of simplification, not of alteration that is dangerous; as we deal here not with communication, but that with the help of language we interpret the surrounding world. If our language is reduced to five hundred words, then the interpretation of the world will become as primitive as the volume of your vocabulary. The Russian language is one of the richest. All speak of their language, and we say that almost all great languages are inclined to emphasize the richness of their language, and as a rule, it is well-grounded. Therefore, my statement about the Russian language does not insult the other languages at all in order to place them at another stage. No! However, any language is an instrument and aptitude to both understanding oneself and speaking to others. Without language very little can be done. Mathematicians interact without language, with the help of formulae, however this is not the main variant of interaction among people. For this purpose one should learn formulae not less than language. Somehow, we are not Chinese, we interact with words, not through ideographic script, and we have language imitating human voice. Thus, one should understand that language is situated deep within our psychology. And a few words about the last presentation. It is interesting that we still exist in the split, even since the XVII century. In the XVII century Russiawas on the periphery of the world civilization, but the following centuries were associated with split. The word ‘split’ is a terminological moment. As a teacher, I would correct that schism does not exist in Russian. They don’t argue about terminological moments, they agree on them.
Moderator: Thank you very much. One can speak of the simplification of the language in the language which has nothing to do with simplification. Plato said that beauty is a difficult and complicated thing. I think in this sense one can hope that the communiqués betweenPoland andRussia will be beautiful. Thank you. I invite Firangiz Ali-zade, chairwoman of the Composers Union of Azerbaijan.
Firangiz Ali-zade – chairwoman of the Composers Union of Azerbaijan: At the moment I am suffering the same fate as the previous speaker. I also found out recently that I was going to speak at such a dignified forum. But it is very pleasant to me to speak here. I am a musician, and will speak very precisely, for in music the concepts ‘modernism’ and ‘post-modernism’ have very clear limited meanings, and in this sense it seemed to me that at this panel musician’s words should sound very appropriate and didactic to have a full picture, since, as you know, the Azerbaijani music is an enormous wealth. For many centuries great art of mugham has been formed, reaching its prime in XVII-XVIII centuries. Also, ashuq music, folk songs have been formed for many years.
The history of our composers’ music started in the XX century, and it is obvious that many phenomena related to modernism and composers’ technique reached us with great delay. And our composers’ school was launched in the XX century, and Gara Garayev, my teacher, great Azerbaijani composer said, “Within 5 years we have to pass the road Europe has passed for 20-30 years’, and his own creative activity demonstrated a wonderful example of potential to bridge this time span. Modernism is the heroic time of trap – the European musical culture – it is 1960s. 1960s is the boom of information, these are special years. In the formerSoviet Unionthere was such a well-spread notion – the generation of the 60s. And I ascribe myself to the 1960s, for at that time we studied at the conservatoire. That was an ardent time when we snatched the page of the banned score out of one another’s hands.
In those days there was no Xerox, we copied them and in the morning returned them and so on. And of course, the Azerbaijani music, on the one hand preserved its naivete, as if it had begun to cognize the world, and on the other hand made brave steps forward, as for example, the Third Symphony of Gara Garayev in cacaphony manner. Therefore this all moved forward in parallel. Some composers stuck to tradition and some others made broad steps and covered this space and did very interesting experiments not only within the frames of the Azerbaijani music, but also within the borders of the former Soviet Union , for instance, concert of Radion Shedrin of the Third Symphony of Gara Garayev. How did they use the technique? This is the hostile bourgeoisie ideology. It is forbidden. Technical personality must acquire only the technique, but logically remain on some platform.
Modernism of the sixtieth, if to speak about the motherland of our esteemed moderator, then it is the greatest art of two polish composers: Tutaslavsky and Penedercky.
I remember how with great delight we listened to their compositions devoted to the victims ofHiroshimaand three poems composed to the words of An. Shopgin. It was really modernism of the highest flight. Among the German composers there was K. Shtabxauzen whose works sounded not long ago, probably five-six years ago, unfortunately a year before his death. Modernism has its exact temporal frames – the 60s, and then as if this phenomenon began to spread: – in theUSAit was J. Grom, in Germany it was Shtabxauzer, in Italy – Luccanno Meria, Lucha None, in Poland – two composers which I have already mentioned.
What is postmodernism? From the point of view of modern music of the 20th century it is the reaction to modernism, for instance, the remarkable Ukrainian composer Serdkevsky. He became popular in the west as a Ukrainian modernist. He said: “The music of romanticism began to compete with modernism, and as usual romanticism won”.
Of course, in the practice of concert halls, in the concerts of great conductors victorious was modernism, the music which embodies the classicism of baroque, romanticism and post-romanticism. And today that music reigns in the concert halls, in the variety art. Modernism had to make room for and the composers of the present day – post-modernists, they though much on the question: why the modernists are paid so much attention, why are they supported financially and morally? They had great gifts in their life. What was the tragic life of Arnold Noberg or Anton Veber the composer who died in Viennaand etc. They suffered too much in their life, propagating their art which in the 60s gave way to this music. When Schubert invented this system, he said:”I invented the system which provided the first place for the German music at least for 100 years in advance”. All the time in my lectures in the MusicAcademyI begin with this question whether it is right or not. And all the time I answer that it is right and wrong? Because, the truth is always in the mid. At the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries the composers, of course, those who respect their own selves, who have professional training, there are not persons unaware of this system. Everybody must learn and know it. On the other hand, the great composers of the 20th and 21st centuries may do without this system and compose in the post-modernistic style. Here what makes one be careful is the first post modernism. Dear philosophers, linguists, I want to attract your attention that each epoch in music, I can say concretely, called itself somehow, took a definite name. We knew that it was baroque; we knew that it was classicism; we knew that it was romanticism; we knew that it was modernism. Only post-modernism does not call itself, does not call itself music, reaction to modernism. There are allusions in it, there are collages in it, there is the combination of many styles, and there is conversation with the listener through these allusions. There is the knowledge of all the musical process of the world. It has become confirmed as the only one and truth, today we se a reaction not only to modernism, but to the whole history of music and to all the music art.
At the end I want to say that post-modernism has found its reflection in the Azerbaijani music, too. Our young composers compose in this style. They know sufficiently well all the styles and therefore can appeal to such complicated matters.
Moderator: Thank you very much for this musical prompting. I think that it will be good if all the countries listen to music more. Now I ask Professor Bahram Amir Ahmediam.
Professor Bahram Amir Ahmadianm My speech was in English and was written in English. However, I wanted to speak Azerbaijani for the respect of this land and for the respect of my compatriots. I was bringing flowers to you fromTehran. But at your sight I lost my consciousness, fainted and dropped the flowers.
Now I am asked, “Who are you?” I say, “I am Iranian”. They say, “But you are Azerbaijani”. I go toIranwhere I am asked, “Where are you from?” I say, “I am Azerbaijani”. InAzerbaijanI am asked, “Where are you from?” I say, “I am fromTabriz”. InTabrizI am asked, “Where are you from?” It is this identity that makes difference. Everyone has got one address. In this modern world the national identity is a very important matter. Post-modernism wants to deprive you of your identity. It wants to separate people from their past. Our poet Bulud Garachurlu says, “The only thing I can manage is to introduce your past to you. If you want to live with dignity, you should look to see how your forefathers lived”. This defines my identity. Who am I? There are three great factors in identity. One is geography. They ask, “Where are you from?” The name of the place will be mentioned. It is either a point, or a country or a city or a district or a settlement. Human beings should introduce the place of their dwelling. It is based on the science of Geography. In connection with my research, I checked Azerbaijani textbooks. Then I studied and found out that geography is well developed inAzerbaijan. They have introduced their Motherland to their citizens very well. Your scholars wanted to teach you, “Where are you from?” Then I would like to know what has happened to the land I come from. For this reason I need to learn history, the vivid and true history. During his meeting with historians, his Excellency Ilham Aliyev wrote that the true history ofAzerbaijanshould be re-written on the basis of historical documents. Because he wants the younger generation to know what this land has gone through. They should draw a lesson from it. Any nation that does not learn from History will be obliged to live its history anew. Hence, Mr. Ilham Aliyev attaches great importance to this issue. In order to know what the land has gone through, one should have a good knowledge of language and literature as well. From this point of view, the Azerbaijani literature is a very rich literature. Since long, since the XVIII century, since Mirza Fatali Akhundov they have tried to teach us this language. I was born inTehran. My parents were fromTabriz. I studied atTabrizUniversityfor 4 years, I haven’t seenAzerbaijan, haven’t been there. But here I am speaking Azerbaijani. I speak Azerbaijani at home as well. Wherever I meet an Azerbaijani, I speak Azerbaijani to him. This language has penetrated into my blood, my soul never to leave them. How come it that some say they are pressurized inIran,Azerbaijannot to speak their language. Our mother sang us the same lullaby sung to you. My mother taught me “su” for water not “ab”. She taught me “a dream” not “khab”. This language is not dead, it is everywhere. The Azerbaijanis are the indigenous people ofIran; they haven’t migrated from somewhere else. Sometimes I notice them to mispronounce words. From this point of view, I noticed that Azerbaijani textbooks have been well developed. But I have one remark. Sometimes we want the new generations to have good relations with their neighbors. His Excellency President has instructed the relations be established correctly. I find them writing sometimes Great Azerbaijan, unitedAzerbaijan, from Derbent to Gazvin. The Armenians did the similar thing. In the middle they have written Greater Armenia. Greater, from sea to sea. The Kurds also wrote something like that. We find the north-western part ofIranin 3 maps. These words force me to tell that esteemed Mr. Ilham Aliyev was right to instruct writing the true history, modern history versus post-modernism. Then everything will remain in the past.
Dear friends! Here I found that this history for reason and language. It has a great role in our national identify, and there are some customs and traditions that we can make use of and open perspectives to our future. First, Novruz holiday. In my opinion, Novruz as a holiday has great impact on national identify. For this holiday is celebrated everywhere from the West of China to Anadolu. But I conducted research; nowhere else this tradition is as valuable as in Azerbaijan. Since here they have written a book “Ilakhir charshanbalar” (The last 4 Tuesdays of the year). Azad Nabiyev has written it. These Tuesdays are not celebrated inIran at all. There is one Tuesday, the last Tuesday of the year. But here there are 4 Tuesdays. The book identifies these customs and traditions as legacy to us from the past. We have maintained them. I have translated that book into Persian, and it has been published inTehran.
And the same can be said about music. In the Soviet period we heard the Azerbaijani music from Bakuradio, from here and there. Now the Soviets have collapsed, new generations have come. We thought that there would not be previous music; the national music would be replaced by the post-modernist music. Then you had some 20, 50 renowned singers, Bulbul, Rashid Behbudov and others. They sang mughams, they sang songs. Now when we switch to Az TV channel we find a mugham competition there. New generations sing your classic music. It is promoted. I am very delighted. Part of this music leads to ashug music. We also hadashugs, these ashugs unfortunately almost extinct. But when ashugs were attached importance here, it had a positive impact on ashug poetry in Iran as well. Now they wear good ashuq costumes too which shows that this tradition has become valuable and new generations attach importance to it too. They want to maintain it in their identity and protect it. Azerbaijani art week was held in Iran. They went to Iran from here with ensemble, dance groups. Music arrived; there were many things, and I saw that the Republic of Azerbaijan is in a very strong state. It has turned into a very strong region within the region. And this is because it preserves the customs and traditions. The ashug poetry says, “When the tongue, the mouth gets tired of word, ask the string to tell the essence. If lips speak, they will catch fire. The hands should speak of these efforts”. That is, music speaks when the tongue, mouth get exhausted of word. From this point of view, the Azerbaijani music is a very rich music. It can play an important role which can have a great impact on the music of the neighboring countries, too.
In Iranand other Eastern countries I notice that new generations do not respect the elders. But in AzerbaijanI saw it existing. On a bus, here and there when your brave young men get up at the sight of old men and women, and give their seats to them. But it exists not everywhere. You respect elders much. Hence, esteemed late President Heydar Aliyev (may he rest in peace), gave an instruction to establish the Board of Elders(Aghsaqqallar Shurasi). Nowhere else, mainly in the former Soviet country, there is a board of elders. The Azerbaijani culture, these traditional values have been very well maintained which is the result of the efforts of both the state and the Azerbaijani people. Thank you!
Moderator: Now I say it is high time to make a transition to German. I would like to ask Eva-Maruia Auch from the Humboldt University.
Eva-Maria Auch, Humboldt University, Berlin: Thank you very much. To be honest, as a German I felt embarrassed after the long speech of Professor Bahram. I apologize in case my language is simple. I learned just yesterday that I was included.
My speech is informative rather than theoretical, comprised of wise ideas like the speeches made today. I am also a historian. Of course as an orientalist I have a strong interest in local traditions like my colleague who has just presented.
But I just want to say a few words, to give an explanation. My colleague fromGermanymade the first speech this morning. And I just think that the concepts such as “European and non-European restrictions” are already out of date. One can certainly perceive them as their own or belonged to the others. We say thatAzerbaijanis a member of the European Council. Then the question should be put quite differently. These are just the thoughts that I have had today.
I completely agree with the fact that the demands which are often made by different organizations and political structures can only reach the signing of a number of protocols, declarations, and do not go any further. It is not a coincident, in fact. That is exactly what the word “nation” means in different languages – Azerbaijani, Arabic, Persian, and Ukrainian.
In my opinion, our European international organizations have not reached this so far. At my lectures, for instance, I like working with different terms like “нация” in Russian, “nations” in English, and “nation” in German. The core of the term is that different meanings have their own history. But I often think that we have not arrived at it yet. And that’s why there are so many misunderstandings. However, we seem still to have common values, especially in politics and culture. You are a perfect example – I am just amazed. You perfectly exemplify modernity, classicism, tradition, and post-modernity. Bit there is still something in common. I want to say that I think we should learn the values of others. This is our task and I should perform it as a historian as well. Therefore, the first information we heard about the opening of the first chair of history ofAzerbaijaninBerlin, inGermany, in the centre ofEurope, a year ago is also a step in this direction. In my opinion, this is also a very important step and an important task in this direction in order to study each other, namely our values. Do not evaluate each other. I think it is also very important. We are often black and white. Someone this morning said that the world is black and white. And the truth is in between. We do not often find that middle. We like to assess, to discover something, whether it is right or not. So we must educate our young generation to be able to make a choice independently. They must be educated, they must be taught.
There is a need for thinking people/intellectuals. We often differ in the choice of the values we need. I choose myself as an individual. I feel that we have more of it inside us. But it does not mean that my culture is richer. It is just that my abilities and possibilities to choose from different values, whether they are of Asian, Arabian, Persian or German origin, are of secondary importance. What we need is a full-grown adult – grown, well educated and widely knowledgeable as well. I completely agree that we should know more languages. As to the English language, we need the tools of cognition and communication. I am sorry I can’t convey my feelings, my emotions through the internet like a human being. All this thoughts have arisen against a background of today’s discussion. What else would I like to present besides the chair of history?
I want to invite all my colleagues and especially the young students to get acquainted with the history ofAzerbaijanin our institute, inGermany. I would also like to inform you briefly about the project we are going to work on. I have prepared the text and presentation, but I think the theme, in itself, may already be like some reactions that she can talk about the death. Few people admit that the death is also part of our life. It only seems to be so far. If I approach such a project it will be said that she wants to study death inAzerbaijan, in theCaucasus. In order to get a picture, I would like to say that theCaucasusis often considered to be the region full of wars and conflicts.
We are certainly interested in a real death, in demographic changes in recent 20 years, but we are also interested in the way the rituals have changed in general. If we see tents in the street it seems that our traditions are the same and are likely to remain unchanged.
However, there are changes within all the rituals. Before a son could bury his father, but nowadays he may work in Siberia or somewhere in another country and cannot arrive in time. Maybe families are no longer together and have lost their traditional format.Such are the results of the whole migration process, unemployment, etc. Besides the matter of death, we are interested in this aspect of the rituals and in general, how do people live with death. As you know, the process of individualization is going on in the West. We observe such processes here as well. And what is the reaction of your society? It may be interesting for us. Maybe your experience is also very important for us to know.
Another aspect is a discourse on death. It is a discourse on society and values in postmodernity. Maybe we are not here with regard to death and postmodernity in Azerbaijan. I would like to invite anyone who is interested in issues touched upon in the project to cooperate. I have prepared the presentation. Unfortunately, I cannot show it to you. Thank you for your attention!
Moderator: Now, dear friends, I want to give the floor to Mr. Aydin Ali-zade, Doctor of Philosophy, fromAzerbaijan.
Aydin Aliz-ade, Doctor of Philosophy, Institute of Philosophy, Sociology and Law, Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences: Thank you. Today I would like to touch on the theme ofAzerbaijan. I think it will be of interest to you. We are talking about post-modernity and modernity. I would like to touch on the problem from the aspect of where we are and where I live. I can talk about what is going on there – inAmerica, in Europe, inRussia. As I live here, I can talk about the things surrounding me. I think that this theme/topic will be interesting to all of you. We have the following state of affairs. Going outside you may certainly see thatAzerbaijanis a traditional Muslim republic. But Islam is not felt here somehow. On the one hand you may come to the logical conclusion that it is a good thing. All the women in Arab countries wear closed dresses, but the girls here wear miniskirts and the boys go to disco clubs, etc.
All this certainly exists. It is clear that these modernistic phenomena occurred in Azerbaijan. They took place at the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century when, still under the influence ofRussia and Europe, a galaxy of Turkic enlighteners began to emerge here inAzerbaijan. They were working on the enlightenment of Muslim people then in the Russian Empire. And they were also working here. Thus, they were able to develop a traditional society. This, in fact, marked the beginning of our modernism. Thereafter modernistic phenomenon continued with a soviet shade, that is, social realism which was later destroyed. The question is what exactly was destroyed?
First, our traditional religious outlook was destroyed. We are all witnesses of the fact thatBakuis a European city, much more European than the cities of theCentral Asia.Azerbaijanhas progressed more than the Central Asian republics which were also included to the field whereAzerbaijanwas located. The question arises as to whether modernism was completely realized inAzerbaijanand to what extent we are ready for the transition to postmodernism. Of course, I express my own debatable views. It is just my opinion. I consider that the only problem is that the activity in the sphere of enlightenment inAzerbaijanat that time was incomplete. Their success was only partial. Pragmatic traditional thinking of the Azerbaijani people was not completely broken. And the problem still exists. But it is of different nature. It seemed that there existed religious values which were, in fact, removed by the Azerbaijani enlighteners. However, the traditional ones, which are even older, have still been preserved in strata and remain so far. Our society continues its conservative lifestyle in such a dogmatic form. This dogmatism starts from personality and penetrates into the community. In what does it manifest itself? We have such an approach that there must be common standards of morality. When someone does not behave in a way accepted in the community, it is immediately said: “Look at him. How can he behave in such a way? We knew his father, grandfather and great grandfather. He seems to be no longer an Azerbaijani.” This is a very real problem here. One type of opinion and one type of public/social consciousness is being cultivated. Our state supports freedom and democracy. That is fine/great. However, our lower/grass-roots structures, our family, our community are very conservative. In fact, the grass-roots structures in which dogmatism have not yet been broken down hinder the development of state and state policy as well. We have such a problem arising from this. Well, I want to give an example. It is said everywhere: “Oh, what a great achievement of the Azerbaijani people! Adults are respected and revered here…” etc. I qualify it as a natural slavery, in fact, subservience of one person before the other one. In what this subservience is manifested? The question arises, how many adults who deserve to be respected are there? We observe so many seniors who do not deserve this respect and who terrorize the youth. Why should we respect such an adult? Or there is such an authoritarian regime in a family – Respect your parents! What if they are not worthy of respect? The result of all this is the enslavement of the Azerbaijani citizen still in the very infancy. They live and are brought up in slavery and then they become slaves themselves. Thus, such a psychology is formed that if a person is a slave then he/she tries to make a slave of the younger generation. Slavery creates slavery. In fact, it leads our young people to slavery. Further on, in adulthood, as in the army, the old humiliate the young, and then the young become old and humiliate further. Currently, we have the same situation in our society. A person becomes an adult and his/her aim is to suppress the younger. This psychology is inside his subconscious. The same is in the family. Here is an example. Why should everyone love the Azerbaijani national song?
I understand that someone can love the national melody mugham. But I, for example, do not like mugham. And I cannot say openly about it. Such an abnormal situation we have. What should we do now? I think that in order for the society to be truly modern and postmodern, it is necessary to have debates in society. There is a social network, internet, and Face-book now. The youth make use of it. Be more active; criticize all the values that exist in our society. Do not hide deficiencies, speak, and express dissatisfaction. Only in this case you and your opinion will be heard.
Moderator: Thank you very much for such a speech against the slavery…
Shukufa Jabarova, associate-professor of the chair of philosophy of Azerbaijan University of Languages: It is very difficult to speak after such an emotional and really post-modernistic speech. Nevertheless, I would like to return to the course of our discussions held in the previous panels. From my point of view many philosophers here have already spoken on this topic. I am a philosopher, too. One of the first who spoke of re-evaluation of the values in the European culture was Friedrich Nietzsche. When he declared the death of God, in reality he declared the death of values developed along centuries which passed from generation to generation. With this declaration he made it known that there was growing a crisis in the whole European culture, which in that period claimed to the world leadership from the point of view of Euro-centrism. He stressed that the whole history of the European culture presents the struggle of various beginnings – Apollonian and Dionysian, which fought against each other, but achieved nothing. These ideas were picked up by post-modernist and presented in new time and light. They also underline that the modern culture has neither height, nor depth. The values developed along centuries were changed. The extreme form of post-modernism refers to these values. But at the same time nothing is suggested instead of them, and it can not be like that. That is, we can not ignore personality, today we speak about it if not distinctly, you know. It is true that post-modernism denies the dictation of reason which reigned in the European culture for centuries. The modern culture must suggest something instead of it, you know. Though we say that post-modernism denies all the existing past traditional values, nevertheless, it develops some values, because it is impossible to deny absolutely everything. That is, on the one hand, in the frames of post-modernistic culture, in the broad sense of this word, by culture one understands ideas, views, philosophy, and world outlook, in this sense the post-modernistic world outlook is sufficiently democratic and does not determine any frames for man, for thinking personality. The flight of fantasy here is unlimited. On the other hand, without any orientation it is impossible to find out the right way. How to find out the right way if there does not exist any? You know, in essence post-modernism speaks of the crisis, re-evaluation of all this values and offers each of us to choose what is close and understandable to us. I. Ilyin compares post-modernism with chimera, stressing that it is not able to offer something established. In this sense post-modernism has not yet said its final word. We shall still witness new regenerations of post-modernism.
There must be certain values, whether traditional or newly-born ones, without values the society can not exist. To proceed with the idea suggested by Mr. Samed Seyidov, I would like to say that namely education enables us to build the bridge, with the help of which we may establish communication between the past and present. Owing to education we know and may preserve the best developed by mankind and reject what is senseless. Just in this very sense great responsibility lies on philosophy. When other sciences to not make efforts to penetrate into the souls of people, to impress the minds in the first place, philosophy is one of those sciences, which is and always be, which closely connected with the soul of man. Finishing my presentation I would like to appeal to the words of my teacher Vyacheslav Semenovich Stepin, philosophers know him well. In one of his interviews in the journal “Problems of Philosophy” (Вопросы философии) he said that many people say that the death of philosophy has come (including post-modernism, this word in broad sense refers to cultural studies). But, nevertheless, since there is mankind not deprived of thinking, since mankind thinks not only of daily life, its existence as a living being, but also of things it must think of, that is, to be a human being, philosophy will fulfill its ideological role and the role of educating man’s soul and will always be topical and necessary. Thank you for the attention.
Moderator: Thank you very much. At the end of our session I would only like to note that in Paris in 1968, on the walls of Paris there were many paroles God is Dot – Nietzsche, then signatures. In the same place and in the same time there appeared another parole – Nietzsche is Dot and the signature – the God. I do not know who is right in it. Thank you very much for the attention.
Samad Seyidov: Mr. Moderator, thank you very much for observing the panel.
Dear friends, esteemed guests! Since 10 o’clock up to now we have had very nice discussions. The words, emotions generated in the course of the exchange opinion are just in our favor. And the organization of such high level meeting, conference testifies to the level of development ofAzerbaijan. It shows the present-day status ofAzerbaijan. Here our friend, the professor fromIranexpressed his opinion on the Azerbaijani language. Do you know why we speak English, Russian? For anyone can speak fluently in our language, in our dialect. In countries where people are deprived of speaking their own language freely, the fates of those countries are also vivid from history. TheAzerbaijangovernment, the Azerbaijani society has raised the Azerbaijani people’s language, music, culture to the world level. If it were not so, today the world-renowned people sitting here would not be in front of you. If it were not so, the great thinkers of the world would not exchange their opinions here. They would not feel in need of your opinion. Today the conference held on this level inAzerbaijanis only the I Humanitarian Forum. There will be more Forums of this kind and I express my deep gratitude to you and to our esteemed guests in this Forum and bow before them. Thank you for coming and participating.
Dear friends! Our government has taken some necessary measures and the quintessence of the very nice, logical speech the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan delivered yesterday has found its reflection in the Statement of Baku Forum. This statement was distributed to all in the first minutes of today’s meeting. In 3 languages: Azerbaijani, English and Russian, in the working languages of the conference. I am sure everyone has read it in these 6 hours. I am sure we are able to approve this document as a main document. I kindly ask those who are for the approval of the document to raise their hands. Thank you, see you soon.
The text of verbatim report was provided by Azerbaijan Language University