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RUSSIA XXI

< Issue No 6 from 2001 yr. >

The article is devoted to analysis of the peculiar phenomenon, i.e., interests groups as subjects of politics and emergence of them in this peculiar capacity in Russia. Investigating approaches to the problem that exist in the scientific literature author comes to conclusion that scholars have to pay the greatest attention to those interests groups that exert influence on power structures in order to realize their interests without direct claims for the political power. Such groups deserve the appellation of «pressure groups». Retrospective analysis of political role played by pressure groups created in big business stratum prior the October revolution allows isolate two stages in history of the state and big business relationships development in Russia: the period of Alexander II reforms and the period of industrial upsurge at the end of 19th and early 20th centuries. As the author demonstrates, there were two main obstacles to realization of the Russian bourgeoisie pretensions to power: lack of capital among the Russian businessmen and the political weakness of the Russian bourgeoisie.

The Power of Science and the Science of Power in Russia at the Beginning of the 20th (the end)

Given article is devoted to the consideration of one from principal problems in the history of the Russian science. This problem is relations between the science and autocracy in the beginning XX century. The author draw a conclusion, that in this time as the scientific association was a part of the tsarist bureaucracy, such the tsarist bureaucracy, through the bureaucratic elite, was a part of the scientific association. The social ground of this situation is the dissolution of the bureaucratic elite in the Russian intelligentsia, the institutional ground — the fact, nearly all scientists was the officials. Within the bureaucratic elite the representative of the humane sciences had a majority as compared with the representative of the technical sciences. Therefore, in point of view of the author, the autocracy of the beginning XX century was a form of the political supremacy of the humane scientific subculture. The author thinks that a conflict between the science and autocracy had inside-system character.
Contemplating on what the 20th century gave to the humankind the author comes to the conclusion that there is no reason to praise the century. Russia has particular and very strong reasons to be restrained in this respect. The problem is not just that the great state has disintegrated. The single legal, economic and socio-cultural space has disappeared. All bridges that had connected the past and the present have been burned. The unrestrained, boundless liberalization for Russia is even a greater absurdity than socialism building in a single isolated country. No reforms from above will transform Russia into the civil society where everyone will find conditions of self-expression. Politicians must offer the program in which the majority will see reflection of their own interests and aspiration.
The article is devoted to the 100-year anniversary of the first Religious-philosophical assembly held on November 29 (December 12), 1901, in Saint-Petersbourg. The author traces the Assemblies' pre-history and notes that these gathering marked a shift in the intelligentsia’s moods from positivism, materialism and atheism to idealism and religion. The «new religious conscience» phenomenon is described and movements in poetry, musical art, politics that evolved in parallel to the «new religious conscience» are mentioned. The Religious-philosophical assemblies were meetings of God-seeking Russian intelligentsia and representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church. Assemblies were presided by Serghi (Stargorodski, then a bishop and would-be Patriarch). The Church was represented by so bright personalities as archimandrite Antonin (Granovski), Bishop Innokenti (Usov), protopresbyter I.L.Yanyshev, hieromonk Mikhail (Semenov), righteous M.A.Novoselov, V.A.Ternavtsev, professor A.I.Brilliantov, A.A.Kireev, V.M.Skvortsov et al. On behalf of the intelligentsia «The Merezhkovskis' circle» (D.S.Merezhkovski, Z.N.Ghippius, D.V.Filosofov, N.M.Minski, A.V.Kartashev, V.V.Rosanov) proved to be influential at the Assemblies. Discussions arouse around such themes as «Excimmunication of Leo Tolstoi», «The Church and the authority», «Freedom of conscience», «The Christian marriage», «Christianity and violence», «Is the dogmatic movement possible?», «N.Gogol and Father Matthew». The Assemblies made a tremendous contribution to improvement of apologetics samples of which were given by many «Church people» who took floor at these meetings. Bishop Serghi’s appeal for unity of the Church and the intelligentsia remains to be important even a hundred years later.
The author presents analysis of proceedings and thoughts of Fernando Savater, the Spanish post-modernist philosopher and man of letters who is practically unknown in Russia but gained a renounce in the second half of the 20th century. The author examines origins of scandalous tint of Savater’s fame and tries to reconstruct the principal features of his concept of a man of society on the basis of the most important works written by Savater in 1980s and early 1990s. The author detects the origins of Savater’s scandalous fame in Savater’s attempts to reanimate the Derridan utopia and the ideal of «superman» inherent to this utopia. Both concepts rise and decline simultaneously. The problem of Derridan philosophy reanimation is treated as an attempt of orthodox post-modernism to enforce its Messianic and missionary positions in response to development of neo-Romanticism which was transforming ethics and aesthetics of post-modernism and emergence of other competitive ideological paradigms, neo-Catholicism in particular. According to the author, tendencies so vividly manifested in Savater’s works serve to be a vehicle for formation of not only «elitist» conscience but the «mass» conscience too.
The Ukrainian question was of great importance for the multi-ethnic Russian empire for, besides the threat of considerable deterioration of Russia' geopolitical situation in case of Ukraine’s secession, it undermined the ideological pillars of the «trialistic Russian nation», i.e., it was a factor which prompted the crisis of the Russian self-identification in the beginning of the 20th century. The authors note the inertness and amorphism that were specific characteristics of the Group of Ukrainian members of the 1st and the 2nd State Dumas. Members of the group normally were members of other factions, i.e., factions of Social Democrats, Labor, Constitutional Democrats and even the Union of October, 17. In the 3rd and the 4th State Dumas Ukrainophils did not establish a group of their own but tried to act through factions of the Labourists and the Constitutional Democrats. The Ukrainian question came to the fore and acquired the extreme acuteness in the 4th State Duma, especially during the World War I. Being unaware that their tactics potentially led to the fundamentals of the Russian statehood undermining the Constitutional Democrats and the Socialists used it as a minor card in their struggle against the government.

Heroes of the Battle for Moscow

The memory about the Great Patriotic war of 1941−45 and its heroes was sacred in our country. So much the worse that in the course of 'reform' history of this war has been subject to desecration, abuse, and defamation. Publications have appeared where it is argued that the well known examples of heroism and courage of the Soviet people are mere fictions produced by the Stalinist propaganda. Therefore, it is important to examine the total mass of information on the war and to avoid suppression of some secondary details of the heroes' biographies. For authors of the abusive books mentioned above use these minor facts are as their principal data for their distortions of the history. Familiarization with archive data on Natasha Kovshova and Masha Polivanova who names are not so widely known as Zoya Kosmodem’yanskay and Aleksandr Matrosov cannot leave anybody unimpressed. Their heroic deed is but one example of heroism manifested by the Soviet people on the battlefields of the Great Patriotic War.

D.D.Shostakovich's Correspondence with Americans. Year 1942

The publication of some documents from the State Archives of the Russian Federation offers much fascinating material testifying to the deep sympathy between the outstanding representatives of the cultural elites and artistic communities of the USSR and USA during the World War II. This sympathy has arose from the identical understanding of the common danger — the world fashism, which brought the horrors and tremors of War to the peoples of both countries. These understanding and spiritual closeness found their embodiment in the short correspondence between the great soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich and the world famous conductor of the New York philharmonic orchestra Arturo Toscanini emerged from the genuine historical occasion in the history of the antifashist Resistance during WWII — the first performance of the Shostakovich’s symphony № 7 in the USA on 19 July 1942. It was a passionate call for solidarity of the two great nations in their struggle against the brown plague and for a better world.