О некоторых тенденциях осмысления Первой мировой войны, революции и большевизма современниками
Осмысление современниками переломного периода в истории России и мира, начало которому положила Первая мировая война, имело свои особенности. Выявление их в свете происходящих в настоящее время дискуссий позволяет оценить сделанные тогда выводы, составившие первооснову последующего изучения. В этот ряд включены и предчувствия представителей творческой интеллигенции. Среди вопросов, впервые затронутых современниками, но остающихся научно актуальными, – уровень модернизации России, достигнутый к 1914 г.; место эсхатологии в духовной атмосфере предвоенных и военных лет; соотношение революции и мировой войны; феномен большевизма в связи с войной и др.
«Браво “старый” Вольский!» Письма А.В.Руманова, Н.Валентинову (Н.В.Вольскому). 1947–1960 годы
Публикуемые письма отражают повседневную и интеллектуальную жизнь русской эмиграции во Франции после Второй мировой войны. Автор писем реагирует на анализ Вольским опыта XX столетия. В центре внимания корреспондентов особенности предреволюционной России и ее культуры, а также связь советской истории с досоветской. Одна из сквозных тем переписки – интеллигенция, ее роль в событиях этой эпохи, ее эволюция.
Thoughts Caused by a Letter. Once More about Intelligentzia on the Eve of February, 1917
In years prior to the fall of the Russian autocracy intelligentsia circles discussed urgent issues of war and patriotism, authority, inevitability or possibility of revolution. Activities of these circles were a part of political everyday reality and are reconstructed on the basis of coevals' correspondence including a little-known letter written by M.F.Andreeva to M.Gorky.
The Russian Foreign Community, the Jewish Question… (from the 1920s to the 1940s)
The author elicits the diversity of the Russian émigré positions in respect of the Jewish question, considers factors that defined these positions and finds out what place this question occupied in the social and political life of the Russian community abroad. The dynamics of emigrants' opinions and attitudes is tracked in connection with the international climate and changes that were occurring in the USSR. Interactions of the German Nazis and the Russian extreme conservatives are characterized. The analysis is based on results of the recent studies and correspondence and political writings of F.I.Dan, B.I.Nikolaevski, M.V.Vishnyak, N.V.Volski (Valentinov) and other emigrants who touched this range of questions and, in particular, the attitude towards anti-Semitism, to the Bund’s fate and to the Zionist idea.
Nicholas II and the State Duma: a New World?
The author examines the version according to which Nicholas II was not a conservative, he was a moderate liberal, adherent of constitution and of the popular representation. Presumably from the very outset of his reign Nicholas consistently implemented a project of monarchy renewal and acted irrespective of opposition or revolutionary movements. This version presents a special case of Nicholas II idealization connected with the present-day ideological conditions but unconfirmed by sources. The negative attitude of the emperor to the State Duma was determined by his traditionalist outlook, the idea of continuity without changes and of stability as the tranquility. In the early 20th century the autocracy was the real form of government as well as the mythology a part of which was the autocrat’s faith in the mythical people. The official concept of the autocracy started to contradict the logic of modernization process. The fate pf Stolypin’s reforms revealed that the reformist potential of the autocracy had been exhausted. The gap between the authorities and the changing reality coupled with widely spread religious indifferentism brought about the situation when the regime proved to be absolutely insulated at the critical moment.
Public in pre-Soviet Russia.What Can be Gained from Studyof the Entity?
Place of non-governmental organizations in the process of civil society formation in early 20th century Russia, various interpretations of «public' notion, interrelations of public structures and the state are content of a new monograph of A. S. Tumanova which is analyzed in the article. Study of these issues enables us to give an answer to a more wide question whether there was a potential for further modernization of the Russian society or not and whether modernization was interrupted by the WW1 and revolution or not. Material consolidated in the book reveals inconsistency of the pre-revolutionary situation. A. S. Tumanova analyzes factors that influenced the gradual withdrawal of bureaucracy from the total control of the public. However the author thinks that the proper measure of control was not found.
The author analyses strong and weak aspects of the collection published in connection with the jubilee of Contemporary Russian History Museum (former Museum of Revolution) and elucidates problems arising from historical-political character of such museums. The collection is dedicated primarily to history of the museum, to its founders and officers. It enriches understanding of cultural development peculiarities in the Soviet period. Valuable reminiscences about the museum are published for the first time. The author notes that balance of scientific popularization and ideology, information and propaganda in the museum exposition requires a special treatment and expresses his doubts about selection of the museum foundation date and the official name of the museum.
The author tracks down the evolution of known publicist and historian N. Valentinov (N.V.Volsky) opinions in the course of his long life. Valentinov, a non-party democrat and Socialist, since 1930 a forced emigrant demonstrated a rare independence of judgments as well as ability to critical self-judgment. He was interested in difficult problems of the Russian history that were banned in the USSR as subjects of scientific investigation. In particular, Valentinov was interested in such subjects as transformation of Russia before the WWI, potential of the New Economic Policy, role of intelligentsia in the country modernization, Marxism on the Russian soil, personality of Lenin and ideological roots of Bolshevism, Russia and Europe, causes of the Stalinist regime validation, causation of this regime by short-term circumstances and traditions of the national conscience, world-views and public positions of Gorky, Block, Andrei Belyi et al. Valentinov was an objective scholar and many his observations and conclusions preserve their importance to this day.
Progressist Golitsyn and his Diary
The diary of Prince V.M.Golitsyn, a Moscow liberal public figure contains diversified information on life of Moscow and Russia in pre-revolutionary years. This valuable source also allows making an opinion on the personality of Golitsyn. In spite of his aristocratic ancestry Golitsyn’s views made him closer to bourgeois circles than to the gentry. From the diary a researcher may derive new data on the progressists' party which emerged before WWI and on progressism as a social-cultural phenomenon. Golitsyn’s reflections covered a wide range of problems that excited him and his contemporaries. These included social, political, moral problems. Taken together, observations and opinions of Golitsyn create a multi-dimensional picture of the Russian reality of the early 1900s with all its inherent principal antagonisms.
Was it Early or Late? Marginal Notes on Well-Known Pages of History
The author clears up to what extent transformations that determined peculiarities of the Russian modernization of the 19th and early 20th centuries (abolition of serfdom and start of transition to constitutionalism) were well-timed. The author assesses capability of Russian rulers to meet challenge of the time, traces consequences of collision between «early» and «late» that occurred in their policy, finds out an extent of the society’s readiness for reforming and role of other factors that affected behavior of politicians. In particular, the author characterizes attitude of Nicolas II toward the «constitution» he granted. Doing that the author takes into consideration the archaism of the last Czar’s worldview. The author argues that delay with reforms and inconsistency in their implementation contributed to destabilization of the society. In conclusion the author collates historians' statements on validity and justification of search for alternatives of development in the past and on danger of intellectual speculations.
On «the Czarist Okhranka» and «the Departamental» History
Reminiscences of the Czarist secret police leaders are the source which allows shed light on the problem of the potential for reforming and increasing longevity of the Russian monarchy, hunt down elements of continuity that existed between pre-revolutionary and the Soviet political systems in reality and in perception of contemporaries including those who compared «the okhranka» with the CheKa. Describing technologies the «okhranka» employed in its struggle against the revolutionary and opposition movements, the memoirists at the same time performed as the departamental historiographers. They try to understand the circumstances due to which the «okhranka» proved to be incapable to save the monarchical regime. Their opinions, observations, assessments, precise as well as biased ones, reflected condition of the ruling elite, contradictions within the bureaucratic stratum on the eve of events that staggered Russia in 1917.
Grigori Aleksinski's star hour
G. Aleksinski’s life seen against the background of events Aleksinski was involved in allows a better understanding of peculiarities of Bolshevism as a phenomenon not just political but also social and cultural, genetically connected to the popular conscience’s peculiar mental features and to perception of the world by the intelligentsia in Russia. Aleksinski, the flamboyant denouncer of the Bolshevists who had been a supporter of Lenin earlier, was an odious figure among the post-October emigrants and retained a reputation of a Bolshevist of a kind. Those who described Aleksinski in this way meant not his views (these were not distinguished by their stability) but a specific style of behavior, psychological sketch of his personality. Aleksinski, the perpetual denouncer remained a lone politician even in his star hour, when the sensational declaration on the Bolshevist leaders' ties with Germany was published.
In the revolutionary conditions the patriotic moods the initiators of the action and Aleksinski aimed at did not display any stability and did not prevent Bolshevists from coming to power. However one of the advantages the Bolshevists had in comparison to their competitors was precisely the open rupture with the tradition of moral restraints in politics. What was at that time estimated as the moral deficiency at the individual level was converted in the instrument of the revolutionary mobilization of the people and of power retaining
The «Kikes and Masons' Conspiracy» from the History of Myth Perception
The author considers the Russians' attitudes to the notorious myth about the world conspiracy made by Jews and masons. The myth emerged at the end of the 19th century within the stream of the Russian conservatism evolution and proved to be the result of the deliberate myth-making. Prior to the revolution of February, 1917, the rightist monarchist organizations tried to use the myth as an instrument which helped them to enhance their influence on the ruling groups. Later the myth acquired the anti-Communist trend and became an explanation of the old regime collapse. In the USSR the myth’s revival occurred in the years when Stalinism reached its climax. However, nowadays the myth is disseminated by and finds its adherents among those who returned to the initial, pseudo patriotic version of the myth. Tracing back peculiarities of each phase of the myth existence and considering the environment in which the myth was perceived the author relates and collates mythologems to the real history of the Russian masonry, the significance and role of which in the events of the early 20th century are obviously exaggerated.
On Some Tendencies of the World War I, Revolution and Bolshevism Comprehension by Contemporaries (the end)
With reference to considerations on peculiarities of contemporaries interpretation of the Russian history tipping point connected with the World War I the author draws the attention to perception of patriotism problem prior to 1917 and afterwards, to various interpretations of Bolshevism as a political phenomenon. Characterization of schism deepening among the culture celebrities includes analysis of A.Blok and other so called “intellectuals-turncoats” social and political positions. The author puts the question whether it is possible to understand “acceptance” of October as the complete approval of Bolshevist ideology. Furthermore, the author substantiates the conclusion that the power of observation and insight of writers immersed in the life of new Russia allowed them in some instances to define the vector of the Soviet state and society development with a greater accuracy than that was done by ?migr?-changers of landmarks and Eurasians.