At What Square did Decembrists March out?
Analysis of historical sources demonstrates that in the Decembrists' time the square where they staged their uprising was called in three different ways: it was referred to as the Senate square, St. Isaac’s square and Petrovskaya square. Name ‘the Senate square' has never been the official name. However the historical facts are irrelevant for those who live with and by a myth of historical memory. The struggle for historical memory is a way of the struggle for power. The recent renaming of Decembrists' square in Saint-Petersburg is a vivid episode of this struggle. «Restoration» of historical name is a terminological special operation aimed at discrediting of the Decembrists' metaphor of uprising which the intransigent opposition tries on itself. The Confucian «correction of names» has brought about only emphasizing of the rebellious symbolism ingrained in the memorial place around the Copper Horseman. For a long time the Senate square is not just an urban place-name. It is one of the most important cross-points of national historical time and space. The time is stopped there. The Senate square mentioning within any context revitalizes the glorious day of 14 December 1825, in the Russian people’s memory.
Jubilee article (1929) as Stalin's hidden autobiography
The article deals with the jubilee article by St.Krivtsov, published in the journal "Under the
banner of Marxism" and dedicated to the 50th anniversary of Stalin (1929). It reveals the complicity of the jubilee writer himself in the arrangement of accents in his own biography of the party
leader and the head of state, which makes the article by Krivtsov at the same time and a hidden
autobiography. Stalin keeps silent about the painful facts of his political failures and looks ahead
to the future, in which he sees himself as the main theorist of the country, although in the journal
"Under the banner of Marxism" no one writes about him so yet. Stalin's main argument is the turn
to the construction of socialism in one single country and the need to assess the "practice" of new
construction higher than dogmatic Marxism. It is not theory that determines the future, but the
"practice" of socialism that is the criterion for the theoretical front in the USSR.
Marxism dialectics; Stalin; philosophical front; totalitarianism
The Chocolate Hare. The Intelligentsia’s Pushkin-Decembrist Myth at the Turn of Millennia
The Pushkin-Decembrist myth of the Soviet times, according to which the national poet did not find his way into the conspirator ranks solely due conspirators' careful attitude to Pushkin’s literary genius, is being subject to a comprehensive revision nowadays. The higher power and Orthodox monarchists who enjoy the power’s support are creating an image of a consistent and coherent admirer of the empire and the loyal son of the Church. Such person could have only short-term and superficial relations with Freemasonic Decembrists. The intelligentsia is also creating a new design of the myth, and this design provides no place to revolutionary moods. Liberal Pushkin does not share his more resolute friends' opinions about a coup d’etat and even more so their ideas about a regicidal dagger. Though Pushkin’s opinions diverged from opinions of his friends he had friendly feelings to them and called upon harsh but just Czar Nicholas to demonstrate mercy to them. In this interpretation interrelation of the Soviet myth characters is being changed. Pushkin is no longer a younger friend and a like-minded man of revolutionary Decembrists. Vice versa, now Decembrists are considered as an element of Pushkin’s environment. Indifference to self-giving Decembrists (as they were presented by A.I.Herzen and since his times had been seen as the archetype of the Russian intelligentsia) is an evidence of rapid estrangement of the current ‘creative class' from the tradition of a selfless life for the sake of the people’s enlightenment. Properly speaking, intelligentsia as a social group which unites people who are ready to sacrifice their time, money, freedom and even their lives for the sake of social interests and common good does not exist any longer. Heroic loners are unable to influence a demoralized majority of ‘very special people' (as A.I.Herzen defined them) of creative professions who are absorbed, along with ‘the trash' they despise so much, in the values of comfort.
«Anathema to Those Who Dare to Mutiny and Treason against Them». «Decembrists» Mythologeme in Writings of the 21th Century Orthodox Monarchist Publicists
The political rhetoric in Russia relies on two ‘principal' myths, myth of power and myth of opposition. In the myth of power the first person of the state is presented as an embodiment of Saint George crushing the serpent of the external enemies and their internal agents. In the opposition myth fighters against the establishment are presented as knights-Decembrists who took the unequal fight against the dragon of autocracy. When the myth of power is attached to the Decembrist rebels it transmutes into the counter-myth. The criticism is carried on from two standpoints that are hardly compatible. The first standpoint is the standpoint of pragmatists in power. Technologists of power understand that transfer of the Decembrists to the ranks of «bad» heroes of the black-and white historical memory is tantamount to elimination of extremely important symbolic foothold of all dissidents. So they, with no excessive enthusiasm, are engaged in re-writing of history within limits set out in the office circular. Political writers clustering around the various Orthodox organizations of national-patriotic orientation act in a quite different way. The Orthodox monarchists are disinterested romanticists of the isolationist authoritarian regime. They believe that the Russian people will begin in accordance with notions of Orthodoxy, autocracy and national spirit if the Decembrists are erased from the historical memory.
«Lermontov's Great-Uncle»: History of One of the Ancient Artifacts from the Decembrist Myth
During the soviet era it was allowed to include historical figures in the research related to Decembrists. The cultural momentum maintains the use of the «acceptance» in the modern world. Such an inclusion by modern researchers of the D.A.Stolypin, the granduncle of the M.Yu.Lermontov to friends and associates of the P.I.Pestel is very noticeable. On the one hand, this «fact» is gain access to the authoritative biographical reference books; on the other hand, it is based on very dubious sources. In the process of «translation» the original «message» has acquired additional figurative details.
«Without Decembrists there would be no Communists»: Lenin’s «First Generation» in the CPRF’s Myth Desiging
The author considers employment of memory about Decembrists in the CPRF propaganda, correction of Lenin’s concept of «three generations» in accordance with challenges of the time, i.e. «quest for ethnic roots», «struggle against terrorism».