See en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/copy/60836 for a notorious interview of President Putin from last June, partly summarised here below. See these “Comments” next week for a commentary.
What is happening in the West . . . in Europe as well? The ruling elites have broken away from the people, because of the gap between the interests of the elites and the overwhelming majority of the people . . . . This means that liberalism has outlived its purpose, because, as our Western partners have admitted, liberal ideas such as multiculturalism, have proved to be no longer tenable.
When the flood of migrants into Western Europe brought the migration problem to a head, many people admitted that the policy of multiculturalism is not effective, and that the interests of the core population should be considered . . . . Maybe a wall between Mexico and the United States could be going too far . . . but President Trump was at least looking for a solution. Otherwise, who is doing anything? . . . Ordinary Americans say, Good for him, at least he is working on ideas and looking for solutions.
On the contrary liberals are doing nothing. Sitting in their cosy offices they say that everything is fine, but those who are facing the situation every day down on the streets in Texas or Florida are not happy, because they can see serious problems ahead . . . . Is anyone thinking about the people? The same is happening in Europe. I have discussed this with many of my colleagues, but nobody has the answer. They say that present laws exclude a hard-line policy . . . . Well then, change the law! In Russia we are making immigrants respect the laws, customs and culture of Russia, so in Russia too we have immigration problems, but at least we are doing something about it.
On the contrary liberals assume that nothing needs to be done . . . . The migrants can kill, plunder and rape with impunity because their rights as migrants must be protected. What rights are these? Every crime must have its punishment. In fact, liberalism has become obsolete. It has come into conflict with the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population. In the name of liberalism one may now claim, for instance . . . that children can play five or six gender roles . . . but everyone pursuing life, liberty and happiness as they see it cannot be allowed to overwhelm the culture, traditions and traditional family values of millions of people making up the core population.
As for religion, it cannot be pushed out of this cultural space. We should not abuse anything. Russia is an Orthodox Christian nation, and it is not a Catholic nation, but from Russia we sometimes get the feeling that the same liberalism is at work, using elements and problems of the Church itself to destroy the Roman Catholic Church . . . . I consider this to be incorrect and dangerous. Have we forgotten that all of us live in a world based on Biblical values? Even atheists, living in this world, profit by those values. We may not be daily or public practitioners of our particular religion, but deep down inside there must be some fundamental human rules and moral values. In this sense, traditional values are more stable and more important for millions of people than liberalism, which in my opinion is coming to an end.
Then if liberalism is over, does that mean that tyranny is on its way? Not necessarily. A certain variety of opinions must always have free play. What matters is that the interests of the general public, millions of people living their daily lives, should never be forgotten . . . . Thus even liberals should be treated with a certain respect, but liberals cannot go on dictating to everybody as they have been doing for the last several decades, both in the media and in real life. For instance, how have they put certain subjects out of bounds? Let liberals have their say, but let them no longer absolutely dominate the public arena.