locale:
scientific journal
RUSSIA XXI

< Issue No 3 from 2010 yr. >

Counteroffensive of the Modern: Options and Alternatives

The contemporary world has transgressed the line which divides the old world of the Modern (the world of rational secular civilization) from the archaized world which denies valued of humanism and development. Destinies of the Modern depend on politicians who due to various reasons are not ready to counteroffensive of the Modern and incapable to advocate its values. The Modern has many enemies. First of all, it has strategic enemies, i.e. the post-Modern and the counter-Modern. They share the negative attitude towards progress and possibilities of development. For instance, Radical Islam easily finds allies precisely on the basis of fight against the Modern. At the same time any attempt to justify the Modern civilization system by religious motives causes its inner degeneration and accelerates its fall. The negative nature of the post-Modern corresponds to the general trend which is aimed at overcoming of national states' culture and proves that humankind have neither history not possibilities for development. In these conditions the Modern is being destroyed ruthlessly and steadily. Contemporary political leaders should to recognize the danger posed by the current situation and to act not in defense but in offense because for the Modern which embodies the movement forward any stagnation is tantamount to its final and ultimate defeat.

The Post is Surrendered. The DDR’s Last Year. Extracts from Diaries of the Advisor-envoy of the USSR Embassy in Berlin

The fall of the Berlin Wall was the most dramatic event of the 1989−1990 crisis in the German Democratic Republic. The opening of the border crossing points of the Wall for unimpeded passage that happened late night on 9 November 1989 was later called a peaceful revolution. However, GDR continued to exist after that event. That period that ended on 3 October 1990 is much less known even in Germany, let alone the rest of the world. The end of GDR was the beginning of a new world, in which we live now, and a better understanding of the circumstances of its disappearance means a deeper comprehension of the mechanisms that govern our existence today. In the year of the 20th anniversary of the unification of Germany, it would make sense to recall how it was prepared. Nothing was as easy as it seemed from afar. The notes from the diary of the then Minister-Counsellor of the Embassy of the USSR in the GDR will help reconstruct the history of that period, along with the publications of the press of that time, which was quite sensitive to all the turns in the course of the solution of the national problem of the Germans.

«The Vilest Might»: on the End of the University Epoch and Reform of the Russian Higher Education

The author discusses the reform of higher education in the present day Russia and, in particular, transformation of educational system in accordance with Bologna Convention. The reform is considered against the historical background of higher education model changeovers that occurred from the Antiquity up to the present day. In the traditional educational system the value of knowledge was not utilitarian. Humanitarian disciplines occupied a high position in the traditional educational system. In the consumption society knowledge and education acquire extremely practical value while moral component of education is reduced to grafting of some simplest skills of socialization. Education needs changes but the ideology of total orientation to demands of market and cuts in expenditures determines current involuntary, often forced transformations and can bring about enormous losses.

The Image of Man in the Work of Johann Eckhart. The Theory of Ecstasy

This article on the essential teaching of great German mystic Meister Eckhart (c.1260−1328) is the result of many years of personal study. The article introduces to his anthropology and his scholastic theory of ecstasy and is divided into three chapters. The first chapter is an overview of heretical studies of man («Le Mirouer des simples ames» of M. Porete, anonymous «Schwester Katrei» etc.) from the 13−14 centuries which had an influence on Eckhart’s theology. The second and third chapters are a description of Eckhart’s study of ecstasy, that have in the author’s view a lot of common traits with the theological teaching of Byzantine theologian Gr.Palamas. The reseach is aimed to find a common approach to the comparison between German and Byzantine theology and mysticism of the late Middle Age.

1944-1945: The Red Army in East Europe

In the first part of the article the author deals with attitudes of population of Poland, Yugoslavia (Serbia), Czechia, Slovakia and Bulgaria towards the Red Army as it entered territories of these countries in 1944−1945. The author characterizes the USSR policy to these countries and analyzes the Nazi propaganda in the East European countries, demonstrates positions various political forces involved in the Resistance movement and struggle for national liberation at the terminal phase of the WW2 took in respect of the USSR. The article is based on Russian archive materials, published documents and the most recent literature.

Russia — USA: Two Countries, Two Worlds

The author matches two worlds, Russia and USA, against each other and analyzed the history of Russian-American relations which is characterized by recurrent changes of thaws and cooling-downs. In particular, the author deals with opinions of two prominent thinkers and experts in cultural studies of the past, Toсqueville and Keiserling, about possible paths of Russia and USA future development. The time has proved accuracy of these thinkers’ many judgments. The author pays a particular attention to the new monograph by V.L.Mal’kov “Russian and USA in the 20th century”. Mal’kov considers relations of two countries in close connection with problems of spirituality, of the world perception by Americans and Russians taken as cultural entities with their inherent similarities and dissimilarities. The author pays a great attention to cooperation of two countries during the initial phase of the Great Patriotic War and to role played by Franklin D.Roosevelt in development of this cooperation and, first of all, in establishing diplomatic relations between two countries and in creating anti-Hitler coalition with the USSR participation.

P.S. Details of Life of Franklin D.Roosevelt, the USA President

From his entrance into public life before World War I through the years of Truman administration and up until his last days Felix Frankfurter, a prominent American lawyer and university professor with a profound concern to the whole sphere of human rights and social reform was always at the vital center of American politics. He reached a key position in American intellectual elite during the Great Depression in the 1930's and thanks to President Roosevelt’s promotion became an influential member of the US Supreme Court. He was known as a leading adviser to the New Deal administration. Moreover he was closely associated with «the Roosevelt’s family circle» and frequently took part in conversations with the president behind the closed doors of the White House. Frankfurter’s previously unpublished letter to a friend from April 24, 1945 describing the first reaction on Roosevelt’s death and analyzing the future of American politics gives a vivid reflection of the transitional time the American nation was to live though in the immediate postwar situation.