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RUSSIA XXI

< Issue No 3 from 2000 yr. >

The author sums up results of the first 100 days of Putin’s tenure, of 100 days euphoria burning out, of 100 days of choice between action and pretence of action. The author introduces the notion of «the Family» and defines it as the damaged, maimed section of the Russian society. He calls for undertaking whatever is possible to localize this section and to prevent the society as a whole from transformation into «the Family». The author refers to the recent Pushkin Square explosion and, having considered arguments brought forward in favor of the «Chechen trace» of the tragedy, makes the principal emphasis on the ascending power of the 21th century, Islam which is slowly consolidating mass, just awaken from its lethargy due to the shock of colonization, and on «the System», i.e. the section of Islam which agreed to become an instrument for certain Western forces' strategy of «the Big Game» «the Big Elite» plays.

The Making of the Soviet Industrial System (the end)

The subjects of the article’s concluding part are the modernization of the Soviet industry over the 50s and 60s and the subsequent events which brought about its structural crisis. It is noted that this modernization marked one of the most successful periods of the Soviet economy development. Peculiarities of the Soviet world-economy and the peculiar forms of maintenance of its structural and technological balance are demonstrated. According to the author, the reason for the Soviet industrial system’s structural crisis is the conflict between attempts to maintain high rates of the Soviet world-economy's structural core development and maintenance of the structural and technological frameworks for the economic growth. The author emphasizes that this conflict emerged due to competition with the West which went along in the military as well as in the consumption spheres.

GULAG and Aushwitz: The Comparative Research's Meaning and Function

The East-European change of regime found his ideological legitimation in the identification of fascism and «communism» in which the main discourse of this epoch concentrated. In the centre of this ideological legitimation there stands the Auschwitz-Gulag analogy. The author shows the political and ideological motivations, function and arguments of the newly actualised analogy of «AUSCHWITZ AND THE GULAG». The origin of this analogy was determined by the political aims of different political forces in the period of Cold war. After the change of regimes the identification of AUSCHWITZ AND THE GULAG became a rightist-conservative «narrative» in the historiography and in the streamline official political discourse. The function of this identification is to push out to the periphery of existence the system-critical thinking and movements as «extremes». The totalitarianism as a «theory» today has only one function in the historiography: the total criminalization of the history of the Soviet Union and «Communism» (see for example: «The Black Book of Communism»). The author shows that Auschwitz (Endlösung) and Gulag had different reasons and different aims, and also that to deny these differences means the historical relativization of the Endlösung. The author argues for the depolitization of this subject, which means to take seriously the archival research and scientific elaboration.

Secret Service Versus the Imperial Chancellery: Myth or Reality?

The article deals with the creation and activities of the «Holy retinue» which was the secret organization of the court Russian aristocracy. According to the conventional story, its aim was to defend the Emperor’s family and to fight «revolutionary false doctrines». However, the analysis of this body’s activities and prospects set forth by the body’s members demonstrates that in fact the body was set up to carry out the political control over the secret services. The author points out the similarity of the «Holy retinue» and the ideological counterintelligence inside the KGB of the USSR. The author thinks that the issues he raised in respect of the «Holy retinue» history, relationships between the KGB and the Soviet Communist Party’s elite cannot but be a subject of interest for the contemporary Russian politicians.

Peter I, Catherine II and the Shaping of Foundations of Russian Foreign Policy

The article focuses on the formation of basic trends in Russian foreign policy under Peter I and Catherine II. In the author’s view, the spectacular rise of Russia from a negligible international entity at the end of the 17th century to a great power status by the close of the 18th century was due not as much to objective factors as to personal qualities of Russian rulers. Only those who proved capable of conceptual thinking and of imposing their will on others managed both to secure the country’s vital interests through territorial gains and to obtain a prestigious role of Europe’s balance-holder.

The Last Days of the Third Republic of France

Herewith is digest of confidential meeting of the Council on Forein Relations (USA, New York City), July, 15, 1940 with count Carlo Sforza’s report on the last days of the Third Republic in France. The principal point of the eyewitness review of the generally known Italian politician and diplomat sounded like that: the basic reason for the collapse of France in June 1940 is not German tank divisions, Stuka dive bombers or espionage. These weapons assisted in the defeat but they were not fundamental. The real explanation is psychological. In contrast with the First World War (1914—1918) which unified France, the beginning of World War II divided the nation into two camps. It is the existence of these two Frances, Carlo Sforza argues, which more than anything else explains the collapse of the postversailles France. Generally speaking the lower and middle classes regarded Germany as the great enemy and believed in fighting to the bitter end. On the contrary the upper classes were implacably opposed to any kind of war with Germany for they were hipnotized by one danger and only one: Bolshevism. «They would have welcomed a war with Russia any time». That was the most essential Sforza’s account concerning the higher priority interests of the French upper classes during the crucial years of 1939 and 1940. The tragedy of France told by Carlo Sforza brings us to a historical parallel with the breakup of the Soviet Union in the course of which «the Petain syndrome» played almost the decisive role.

On Overcoming the Economic Crisis in Russia

In the short essay the author deals with issues related to the urgent measures that are to be taken to come out of the crisis and to promote right tax and budgetary policies, administrative reform and reform of pensions.