Postmodernism and the Value Crisis of the European Historical Science (№ 3, 2015)
The article analyzes causes and consequences of the shift towards postmodernism in Europe’s historiography against a background of social and political trends in Europe in the late 20th-early 21stcentury. The text focuses on the crisis of values in European studies of history, and, above all, the philosophy of history, which has been driven by postmodernism to eschew classical positivist notions of objectivity and validity as the fundamental values of historical knowledge. Consequently, leading European historical methodologists have arrived at the conclusion that historical science is predominantly aimed at reaching and maintaining public consensus on various political trends. The state of affairs in the 20th century impelled European historians to search for the roots of the European unity.
Keywords: Postmodernism, Philosophy of History, Historical Science of Europe, Historiography, Memory, Microhistory, Linguistic Shift.
Nikolai Berdyaev’s “Theocratic Socialism” (№ 3, 2014)
Basing on the analysis of Nikolai Berdyaev’s works of 1903–1917, the article reconstructs his project of “theocratic socialism”. It demonstrates the similarity between the concept of Berdyaev and the ideology of European religious Reformation, and also discusses the question of the relevance and applicability of Western experience of the Reformation in Russian socio-historical conditions.
Keywords: Reformation, Orthodoxy, theocracy, socialism, revolution, freedom, personality, new religious consciousness, Berdyaev, Merezhkovsky, Kartashov.
Russian Conservatism and its Reception the West through the Prism of Ideological Liberalism (№ 3, 2015)
The author focuses attention, first, on the poor reception in the West of Russia’s current attempt to define its national idea by reference to its own pre-communist philosophical tradition. He demonstrates that this negative reception, however, is conditioned by what may, optimistically, be temporary political-ideological exigencies, at a period when very little that is associated with the Russian leadership is able to get a fair or warm reception in mainstream U.S. publications. The author points out that the Russian religious philosophical tradition was widely considered admirable and constructive in the West prior to 2014. At present, however, the typical approach in the U.S. and European press is to contrast Russian realpolitik policies with abstract Western ideals rather than Western realpolitik policies. Meanwhile, the very existence of legitimate Russian ideals is dismissed. The author then turns his attention to Russia’s present efforts to define its own ideals in a conservative vein. He suggests that this effort demands a careful definition of categories and to this end distinguishes between ideological and non-ideological brands of both conservatism and liberalism. He urges Russia’s intellectual leadership to embrace the whole of its tradition (i.e. the best of its tradition) rather than only a part. He notes a tendency by Russian conservatism to privilege what in Plato’s Republic were the virtues of the Guardians (as opposed to the Traders). But the Russian heritage incorporates, according to the author, both liberal and conservative elements, even as it is ultimately grounded in а realm that lies beyond liberalism and conservatism.
Keywords: International Relations, Realism, Barack Obama, Demagogy, Liberalism, Conservatism, Ideology, Russian national idea, N. Berdyaev, G. Fedotov, V. Solovyov, I. Ilyin, Pierre Manent, Jane Jacobs, Plato’s Republic.
Projects of Total Democracy: Power of Referendums, E-Democracy, “One Man – One Vote” (№ 3, 2015)
This work regards total democracy as a commitment to solving problems and dealing with contradictions in modern representative democracies through maximizing equality and granting the public with direct access to the mechanisms of social control. The paper considers the proposals to create a “community” run by referendums, to establish online democracy, and to improve the egalitarian principle of “one man – one vote”. It also analyses the sociological and epistemological basis of these models. It draws a conclusion that the conservative approach is more promising, that is the use of the mechanisms elaborated at the earlier, relatively distant stages of political development, the use of mechanisms which take into account diverse particular features of the political process.
Keywords: Public Opinion, Referendum, Scientific Knowledge, Common Knowledge, Qualifications, Classes, Universalism, Particularism.
“Preserving the Future”: Konstantin Leontiev’s Seven Geopolitical Pillars (№ 4, 2015)
This article analyses the issues related to the “seven pillars” approach, K. Leontiev’s set of ideas about the new «Eastern Slavic culture», and his geopolitical ideas.
Keywords: Heptastylism (Seven Pillars), Anatolism, K. Leontiev, Geopolitics, “Eastern Question”, Constantinople, “Eastern Union”, Russian History, Russian Post-Reform Political Thinking, Historiosophy.
“At the Walls of Chersonese”: Russian Philosophy and Crimea (№ 3, 2014)
The article includes three sketches dedicated to the eminent personalities of the Russian philosophical culture, whose lives were strongly connected with the Crimea. Writer, philosopher and publicist Konstantin Leontyev (1831–1891) took part in the Crimean military campaign of 1853–1856 as a medical officer in Kerch. He was the one who suggested creating «the uchebnitsa of natural sciences» in Nikitsky botanical garden. Nikolai Berdyaev (1874–1948) had deep existential experiences while visiting the house Evgenia Gertsyk in Sudak in 1909 and 1910. In 1914, Berdyaev’s ideological antagonist Ivan Ilyin (1883–1954), who was returning home from Germany after the beginning of World War I, happened to visit the same house. The town of Oleiz near Yalta is related to Sergei Bulgakov (1871–1944), who often stayed in the father-in-law manor. In 1909 Bulgakov lost his little son Ivan there. This event turned out to be the defining one in the thinker’s life. In 1918, Sergei Bulgakov comes back to the Crimea as a priest. There he wrote «The philosophy of name» and «The tragedy of philosophy». In the Crimea he thought about the correctness of a historiosophical choice of Russia, which resulted in the dialogues called “At the walls of Chersonese”. He was exiled from Sevastopol under the resolution of GPU in 1922, and never returned to homeland.
Keywords: life esthetic, historiosophy, landscape, intimacy, freedom, spirit, spiritual trials, imyaslavye (glorification of name), Catholicism, Bolshevism.
The Issue of Human Dignity in the Past and Present of Russian Thought (№ 3, 2015)
The concept of human dignity (dignitas) dates back to Roman law. Originally denoting “worthiness”, the word “dignity” now stands for a fundamental category of human rights, with the coins’ value evolving into inherent dignity, ensured by equal rights. To cite Protagoras, if man is the measure of all things, dignity can be described as the measure of humanity. The human rights system promotes and protects human dignity through the protection of one’s right to a decent life. Vladimir Solovyev was the first Russian thinker to speak about this right. In his reply to French journalist Jules Huret’s questionnaire on social issues in Europe (1892), he wrote: “There is an intrinsic value in every human being, and one possesses an inalienable right to an existance, which is commensurate with one’s human dignity”. The concept of dignity is one of the pillars of “The Basis of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church” (2000), with references to it made in Chapter X “Personal, family and public morality”. This document links human dignity to the human individual being in the image of God, through this establishing the foundation of true theonomous ethics, natural law. The value of human dignity has also been mentioned in the “Russian Orthodox Church’s Basic Teaching on Human Dignity, Freedom and Human Rights” (2008), which specifically examines the concept of human rights.
Keywords: Human Dignity, Morals, Human Rights, Inherent Nature of Dignity, Personality
Searching for Lost Tsargrad: Tsymbursky and Danilevsky (№ 1, 2015)
The article analyzes how Nikolay Danilevsky’s geopolitical ideas influenced Vadim Tsymbursky, and reveals the similarities and differences in the approaches of both thinkers to Russia’s internal and external geopolitics. Their ideas critically underline vulnerable points of each other’s concepts. Разбираются Danilevsky’s nationalism, pan-Slavism and the programme of the struggle for Constantinople are observed, as well as Tsymbursky’s ideas of «Island Russia», limitrophe zone, internal colonization, and his attention to the region of Novorossia. The author comes to a conclusion that the key problems stated by Danilevsky and Tsymbursky don’t have a solely geopolitical solution and demand the transition to chronopolitics, the consideration of civilizations not only as geographical, but also as historical and cultural integrals.
Keywords: Danilevsky; Tsymbursky; geopolitics; Constantinople; pan-Slavism; nationalism; “Island Russia”; civilization; limitrophe; Siberia; internal colonization; Novorossia; Konstantin Leontiev; chronopolitics; Byzantium.
Konstantin Leontiev and Eurasianism. Lessons of Russian Conservatism (№ 3, 2014)
The article examines the influence that Konstantin Leontiev works had on the formation of the Eurasianism through its founders. Social conditions of Russian emigration, which determined the formation of classical Eurasianism, are characterized.
Keywords: Konstantin Leontiev, classical Eurasianism, Russian Diaspora, Russian conservatism.
Classic Eurasianism and Its Modern Transformations (№ 4, 2015)
The article reveals the essence of classical Eurasianism in the 1920-1930s. The author makes a general critical evaluation of A. Dugin’s neoeurasianism. Neoeurasianism distorts classical Eurasianism, presenting the image full of xenophobia, racism and aggression. Meanwhile, the author demonstrates the intellectual potential of undistorted classical Eurasianism taking the example of A. Panarin’s heritage.
Keywords: Eurasianism, Neourasianism, Orientalism, Geopolitics, Russian Emigration, Atlantism, Russophobia, Mysticism, Conspirology.
Russia and Europe: Dialogue on Russian Philosophy (№ 3, 2015)
The author focuses attention on the recent publishing sensation – «The Black Notebooks» by Martin Heidegger, which emphasized the need for broadening the philosophical dialogue between Europe and Russia. The article analyzes the evaluation of Russian philosophy in the West: from the first study of T. Masaryk (1913) to the works of sovietologists and modern experts in Russian philosophical studies.
Keywords: “The Black Notebooks” by M. Heidegger, “Russia and Europe” by T. Masaryk, Russian Emigration, Russian Philosophy Abroad, Sovietology and Russian Studies, Europe-Russia Dialogue.
“The Philosophy of Inequality” by N. Berdyaev – the Manifesto of Liberal Conservatism (№ 3, 2015)
The report describes the concept of the ideological mix. Analyzing “The Philosophy of Inequality”, the author illustrates that N. Berdyaev voices purely liberal-conservative ideas in it. This fact accounts for valid interpretation and popularity of the book in Western Europe in the 1920s and 1930s.
Keywords: “The Philosophy of Inequality” by N. Berdyaev, Ideological Mixes, Liberal Conservatism.
The Eternal and Momentary in Russian Conservatism (№ 4, 2015)
The article pinpoints the plurality of meanings of the terms “conservatism” and “conservatives” which were in use in the Russian philosophical and political thought in second half of the XIX – early XX centuries, and gives a critical evaluation. The study starts with Nikolai Berdyaev’s definition of “conservatism” which poses the key dilemma: either to mercilessly criticize the momentary from the point of view of “eternity”, or to ascribe to the existing momentary a rank of “Eternal”. Through this dilemma it is possible to demonstrate how authentic conservative principles and meanings could have been presented in different and alternative ideological paradigms. The everlasting character of this dilemma in the pre-revolutionary Russian conservative thought for a long time deprived of a possibility for political representation, brought about a fatal gap between conservatism “from above” and radical-left mood “from below”. The ultimate outcome was the collapse of the Empire. The contemporary situation in Russia allows to escape such a scenario through assuming conservative principles as “spiritual bonds” tying authorities and the people.
Keywords: Conservatism, Liberalism, Progressivism, Reactionary, Revolution.
Peculiarities of Russian Conservatism. Map and Territory (№ 4, 2015)
Russian conservatism makes part of European political thought, as well as Russian party practices in Russia in the XIX century. The article consistently analyzes the stages of development of conservative ideology in Western Europe and in Russia.
Keywords: Ideology, Baroque, Romanticism, Conservatism, Reaction, Liberal Conservatism, Political Philosophy, Map, Territory.
Soviet Intellectual Community Converting to Russian Conservatism (On Spontaneous Anti-Communism Untying USSR Ideological Bonds) (№ 4, 2015)
The article identifies the interdependence of conservatism, including its Russian version, and anti-communism. It focuses on the ideology of the “Russian Party”, a departure in Soviet political thinking in the 1960s-1970s. The article contains its comparative analysis with the ideology and policies of “Polish Party”, the Polish intellectual community of the 1970s-1980s leading the “Solidarity” movement. It also highlights the differences between the “Russian party” and the Sixtiers.
Keywords: Soviet Political Thinking, “Russian Party”, Conservatism, Anti-Communism, The Sixtiers, “Polish Party”.
From «Island» to «Fortress»: Methaphor as an Instrument of Political Analysis and Practical Politics (№ 1, 2015)
This article is devoted to the representation of ideas, in particular, the use in the field of geopolitics, metaphors, analogies, comparisons, as well as cases of mythologizing ideologies. For this purpose, the author has made a comparison of the various narratives, methods and techniques of modern production of knowledge in the humanities in general, and in politics in particular. Taking the complex of ideas from the book “The Island of Russia”, the author of the article is going to highlight one of his key works in the context of contemporary issues, because, in his opinion, the most topical issue is the “dismantling” of the empire, discussion of which gives us the opportunity to be engaged in designing future.
Keywords: politics, geopolitics, history, philosophy of history, metaphor, formula, hermeneutics, myth, empire, power, governance.
The Image of Europe in Ethnosophical Portraits by Russian Philosophers (№ 3, 2015)
The author refers to the part of the philosophical legacy in which Russian philosophers dwell on national characteristics and qualities, on perception peculiarities of European peoples, on collective European identity and its positive and negative attributes. Thus, the author manages to highlight information which affects the images of “otherness” nowadays as well as it did in the past, and to bring to the fore the role of intellectuals in creating stereotypes, adopted by the masses, which use them as a “formula” to account for the behavior of the opponent.
Keywords: Ethnosophy, Ethnology, Ethnography, Nation, Mentality, National Image, Stereotype, Collective Soul, Psychology, Mythology, Philosophy, Regional Studies, Country Study, Regional Geography, Geopolitics, Europe, Identity, Self-Knowledge.