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RUSSIA XXI

< Issue No 4 from 2011 yr. >

On development beyond the Modern’s limits: for what do we need it?

The article is devoted to problems of development beyond the Modern’s limits. What does it mean? In the first place it is necessary to change symbolic notions, to cease putting high hopes on «modernization» and to ponder over strategies of Russia’s development in the contemporary world. Our country has to say some new word which would allow building the whole system of social relationships differently, in Russia as well as beyond its frontiers. It is necessary to deliver the strategy of development beyond the Modern’s limit at the world level. Are prerequisites for that available? Yes, such prerequisites are contained in the Russian history and the cultural heritage of Russia. However, so far we have to investigate the background and purposes of «de-Sovietization» that invite the destruction of the Russian mentality’s imperial core. So far it should be admitted that «de-Sovietization» project is tantamount to the total destruction of everything, tantamount to destruction of our future.

Problems of International Economic Comparisons: China, Russia and other Countries within the geoeconomic Pattern of the World

The paper focuses on multivariate and controversial estimates of economic size and development level of China in the late 20th — early 21st centuries. The correlations of the economic potentials of China, Russia and the United States at the beginning of the 20th and early 21st centuries are considered. The reliability of International comparison program 2005 results for defining the countries' positions in the geoeconomic structure of the modern world is discussed. In conclusion, authors attempt to summarize the economic development of the «rich» and «poor» regions of the Earth over the past 2,000 years.

«Another» Jews: Jewish Question in the Terek and Kuban Cossacks Territories (the Second Half of 19th- the Beginning of 20th Centuries)

The article is devoted to the attitude of the Russian officials to the mountain Jews in the second half of 19th — the beginning of 20th centuries. Many laws, restricted rights of the Jews appeared in the 1880-s. One of them was the law 18th June 1892 against the Jews of the Terek and Kuban Cossacks areas. This territory was not included in the pale of Jewish settlement, but before the law of 1892 it was opened for some categories of Jews who had rights to live temporary out of the pale of settlement. When this law was issued, the Russian officials did not pay attention to the fact, that besides the European Jews this territory was also native land of the mountain Jews. Therefore as the Russian officials as local one had problems connected with realization of this law.

«That the Russian well, the Germans — Death?» Land Tenure Relations Agrarian Reform in Volga German Colonies (1900−1914)

Paraphrasing Napoleon’s well-known statement that «politics is destiny», one could assert that economy became destiny of Volga Germans. The adoption of backward farming methods made disappear specific features of this population group, causing its factual «economic assimilation» or, so to speak, «economic acculturation» until early 20th century. As a result, the Volga German peasantry faced, during the 1905 Russian’s revolution and the years of the Stolypin agrarian reform, the very same problems and conflicts as their Russian counterparts. If they opted to evade the challenge of modernisation (e.g. by emigration) instead of meeting it in the same radical way, it was solely due to their status as a non-Russian-speaking national minority.
The author examines two great epics of the Ancient world: the Epic of Gilgamesh and Iliad. Though both compositions were created on the mythological basis they differ from each other substantially by their pathos. Iliad is a hymn to war. Its battle scenes are replete with pictures of atrocities, mutilated corpses, streams of blood. The epic praises deeds of valor performed by kings whose meaning of the life was reduced to looting and protection of spoils of war. On the contrary the Epic of the Person, Who has seen everything, places friendship and cooperation on the high pedestal because friendship and cooperation are the guarantee of the humankind’s triumph over hostile elements. Sumerians' outlook and religious beliefs were in many ways alien to individualism. Hence a great difference between Sumerians' mentality and that of the Western civilization people. The Sumerians' world was wide and embraced natural being. It places nature and its vastness above the kindred, self-centered interest. That world balances the material and spiritual and raises the sensual above the rational which is usually brought in by act of an empowered individual’s will or by his striving but such persons are self-interested.

Gogol and People of Galicia (on one Forgotten Article Published 100 Years ago)

The author deals with perception of N. V. Gogol’s creative works by inhabitants of Galicia (Rusyns of Galicia). The author succeeded in searching out and introducing into the scientific turnover historical material which nowadays is virtually unknown. N. M. Pashaeva exposes one of the least studied aspect of the national and public movement in Galicia (nowadays West Ukraine) from the mid-19th century to the present day through history of the Galician readers' familiarity with creative works of the great Russian writer and his personality.

Beyond the 2000s: The Russian Federation and Transnistria

The author focuses on a new situation which is emerging around so called «unrecognized states» on the post-Soviet expanse by the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century. After 2008 when Russia recognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia two states remained to be unrecognized: Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Transnistrian Moldavian Republic. The fact that these two states are still unrecognized makes prospects of their recognition even more uncertain. Meanwhile the public opinion in Karabakh and Transnistria perceived acts of Russia as a coarse selection which was deprived of any legal ground. That could not but have impact on the people’s self-perception. The author emphasizes that due to peculiar historical circumstances that relates predominantly to Transnistrian Moldavian Republic (Transnistria) and concentrates attention on situation in this state. The author notes the contrast between changes in conscience of the Transnistrian people and the RF leadership slow response to the «Transnistrian settlement» which over the past year has moved to the center of Western states' foreign policy attention. In conclusion the author emphasizes that such inertia on the part of Russia taken together with indifference of the preponderant part of the Russian public to developments on the Dniester in future may turn back to Russia by loss of considerable part of Russia’s influence in the South-Western direction.

The American Fairy Tale (about Oliver Yourgen's Book)

The article is a review of «Dreams of Uncle El», the book by American writer Oliver Yurgen. The American fairy detective story provides not only a pretext for critical review but causes serious thought about the place fiction book in the contemporary cultural context. First of all, the author wonders whether O. Yurgen’s book may have its own reader in Russia or not. The book is not just a story for adolescents. It is also a peculiar message addressed to the Russian book market and contemporary Russian culture. Will such book be required in present-day Russia? What will be its Russian readers? Is the humanistic literary tradition (one of contemporary representatives of the tradition is Oliver Yurgen, the American writer and thinker) still possible in Russia?