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scientific journal
RUSSIA XXI

< Issue No 4 from 2006 yr. >

The Prosecutor General’s Resignation: a «Technical Solution» or the Outset of Major Political Transformations?

The author examines the dismissal of the Prosecutor General not as a single event but as a component of a major political process and pays the particular attention to the alliance between Ustinov as a member of «Krasnodar grouping» and I. Sechin, the deputy head of the President’s administration. The author draws a parallel between resignation of Ustinov and resignations of A. Korzhakov and Yu. Skuratov and points out that excessive economic and political ambitions of clans that included the aforementioned persons are the common denominator in both cases. In case of Ustinov this hypothesis finds confirmations in the following events: attacks on Alpha Group, Gazprom, LUKoil and Transneft'. It means that the Prosecutor General office under Ustinov as well as under Skuratov initiated proceedings that affected too many influential figures. Sechin-Ustinov group much in the same way as Korzhakov-Barsukov-Soskovets group earlier sought after establishment of its monopoly over the key export segments of the Russian economy. The author indicates mistakes the Prosecutor General might commit and examines political and psychological consequences of the resignation for Sechin grouping and for the Russian power at large.

The Tormentor’s power. Conventional Models of Tyranny in the Russian History

The author undertakes an attempt to examine models of the tyrannical power that emerged in the Russian literary culture of the 11th to 17th century. The author identifies and analyzes the predominant ways of description of the conflict between the victim and the ruler-tormentor. Original ideological constant of the martyrdom for the sake of the faith was augmented by a new prototype plot based on typological story of Cain and Abel. The first Russian saints were beatified by the Church precisely as the innocent martyrs. Other victims followed their suit and also humbled themselves before their murderers and persecutors. However, as early as in pre-Mongolian period a new conventional model of a proud and unjust coreligionist was being developed. Since authority of a ruler must not extend to his subjects' souls the resistance had to be furnished to such prince. Gradually this notion acquired an eschatological tinge and the early Christian mythologeme of a martyr opposing the ungodly authority asserted itself with a new vigor. Eschatological expectations and prophetic protest became obvious and audible in the epoch of Schism. The semantic dominant tenet of the Russian medieval doctrine of power was the power’s establishment by the God and that tenet influenced the discursive practices.

On the Russian Philosophy of Law (P.I.Novgorodtsev’s School)

The Russian school philosophy of law emphasizes the fact that by virtue of legal norms that by perforce are to be laid down with the «axe-cut precision» people are able to provide for regulation of the social life just at the lowest level where a person agrees to act like an automation-machine. Rights of the «humane in a human being» can be protected only by a more powerful system which, alongside with the law, also includes morality and religion. Therefore the liberal slogan «the supremacy of law» is a cheap politics which mislead people. In Russia the greatest contribution to understanding and recognition of non all-sufficient nature of the legal system was made by P.I.Novgorodtsev and his disciples among whom the best known are I.A.Il'in and B.P.Vysheslavtsev.
The idea of the «Teutonic captivity» under which the Russian philosophy fell was expressed by Sobolev. Later on this idea was subject by some critical revaluation by I.F.Shapovalov. According to the author of the comment, the assertion that German philosophical ideas exerted a one-sided and sinister influence on the Russian intelligentsia that was unable to get free of the way of thinking which was alien to the Russian soil is to be rethought considerably. It is quite evident that the fact of captivity cannot be denied. But was that captivity really the Teutonic' one, i.e. were shallow and vapid rationalistic opinions of the Russian intelligentsia the results of the passion the Russian intelligentsia felt precisely for the German philosophy? On the contrary, the German is to be considered as an ally of the Russian religious and philosophical reflections in its struggle against common place rationalism and doctrinarianism. The author sees the origins of the intellectual paradigm wedded to speculative ideas and ready-made intellectual prescriptions exactly in the French tradition, in the French positivism of the 19th century in particular.
This article, which takes its title from the famous song «Nightingales, O Nightingales» of the Great Patriotic War, seeks to discover the source of the Russian historical ballad «Il'ya of Murom and the Nightingale-Robber» in a spell to gain the power of the mythical Indian eagle Garuda. Two different forms of such a tale exist: a semi-Buddhist shamanistic spell-song from Mongolia, and a medieval Armenian magical spell-tale whose earliest variant is close to the Mongolian form. The tale would have reached Russia most likely via Central Asia, via Iran. The Armenian version is Christianised; the Russian, assimilated to the heroic genre. It is suggested that the eagle becomes a nightingale (slavii, solovei) because of the connection of the latter with the potent word (slovo) and the glory (slava) acquired by a hero through bardic acclaim: so the bard Boyan in the Song (Slovo) of the Campaign of Igor' is called the «nightingale of olden times».