Russian textbook not patriotic enough?

Russia's Ministry of Education has taken an economics textbook that has been used in upper secondary education for more than 20 years off its list of recommended books. The author was requested to make his book more patriotic: criticism of government decisions was inappropriate and the current economic policy was to be commended, he was told. Commentators say the state is interfering in matters that don't concern it.

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Wedomosti (RU) /

In the best Soviet tradition

Ideology has no place in any science, including economics, Vedomosti argues:

“Accusing an economics textbook of not being patriotic enough goes too far. Until now iif anyone it was the authors of history textbooks who were confronted with such problems. And in such cases patriotism is interpreted in the best Soviet tradition: as approval of the state leadership's policies. But that tradition has no place in modern Russian schools. Let's not kid ourselves: economics is a science, and making it adapt to an ideology will kill it. ... Schools must teach the fundamentals of economic thinking and analysis, and these must not be tainted by ideology.”

Ekho Moskvy (RU) /

Petty officials hunting down luminaries

Historian Leonid Mlechin attributes the authority's actions to petty-minded individual interests in Echo of Moscow:

“Behind every ideological campaign there are always personal and structural interests. Officials are tireless in tracking down deviations and anything that doesn't conform to the general line. They live from this! And quite well too; it's not like hammering for coal in the mines. In this line of work unimaginable career prospects are open to people with poor qualifications. You accuse a professor or a world-class scientist of a lack of patriotism - and take his post. You detect a lack of patriotism in a textbook - and push through your own textbook”