Sociality of Modernity and the Phenomenon of the “Left”
Rozin Vadim
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.4.1-145-161
Abstract:

The article analyzes the views of the “left” and criticism of these views by the famous journalist, writer and analyst Yulia Latynina. In addition, the author cites the objections by Latynina from other journalists and political scientists: Andrei Loshak and Evgenia Albats. The author does not consider the disputable arguments to be solid and undertakes his own analysis. It offers a concise outline of the genesis of the modernist culture, starting from the crisis of antiquity and the Middle Ages. Several prerequisites of this culture are highlighted: the need to obtain funds for warfare and at the same time establish order in the territory under control, the processes of reform and counter-reformation, the transfer of the center of power from heaven to earth and, as a result, the formation of a new semantic project, the formation of a new European personality, the development of the economy and cities, the invention and the formation of the state, the struggle of citizens for their rights and ideals. The causes of the crisis of modern culture itself are also discussed: social life has become much more complicated (as a result, it has diverged from the initial ideas of modernity) and technologies have been created that allow the state, society and law to be used differently than intended. As a result, a need arose to build a new semantic cultural project. Such a project was formed by the “left”. It contains two basic principles: the requirement of social justice for all and the socialist organization (distribution, redistribution, taxation, benefits, pensions, etc.) as a way to implement these requirements. In addition, the “left” insist that the rich should share with other citizens. The author shows that the “left” see and think in the framework of the new cultural project that they have created, and therefore do not accept criticism of them. In conclusion, he discusses the anthropological conditions of a possible future culture. On the one hand, it is culture and sociality that determine the value orientations of people, and on the other hand, since a person makes a contribution to sociality, partly depends on his activity whether good prevails over evil.

The New Upper Class: Revolutionary Elite Rotation in the USA
Zhezhko-Braun Irina
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.4.1-162-190
Abstract:

The article analyzes the emergence of a new political class or elite in the United States, which is called the minority elite. This article is the first in a series dedicated to this topic. The author formulates three interrelated prerequisites that have caused the emergence of the new elite: the spread of the Affirmative Action (AA) to all spheres of public life and, above all, to the education system; the phenomenon of “woke” capitalism; a long history of minority protest movements. Experts take the current protests for a revolution; the author proves the opposite statement: protests are a direct consequence and one of the stages of a step-by-step revolution. Its roots lie in the long-term training of personnel for the revolution and social technologies for it, in the creation of financial, informational and organizational infrastructures of protest movements, and in moral defeat and the surrender of the intellectual class. Over the decades, hundreds of protest movements of various sizes have been co-organized in the United States and dozens of professional protest organizations have been formed. One of them, Black Lives Matter, has its own program, strategy, tactics and a solid budget. The goal of the organization is to create its own ruling elite. The Protestant (WASP) elite ruled the country for more than two centuries, in the second half of the 20th century it was replaced by the so-called intellectual elite. Harvard University, by its decision to raise the level of acceptance tests in the 1960s, spawned new, intellectual elite, California universities, by abolishing tests in the 2010-2020s, bring to power a new social group – the beneficiaries of the AA. The black movement is confidently entering the final phase of its development – the placement of its representatives in state and federal authorities, political parties and other social institutions. Ideologues of identity politics, primarily racial, have arrogated to themselves the position of mentors and experts on social justice and the protectors of civil rights in society. Other protest organizations have joined the BLM, with socialist-oriented organizations in the lead. These organizations have effectively “hijacked” a wave of protests and are already working on a socialist agenda for the Biden-Harris administration, if elected.

Memory Field: Design and Fight of Narratives
Logunova Larisa,  Rychkov Vladislav
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.4.1-191-213
Abstract:

The policy of memory is a strategy of interaction between power institutions and social groups in the public space on issues of national history. Images of social memory are used by actors to create narratives - complete, plot-complete narratives of past events. Social groups declare their identity and the right to their own interpretations of historical events through the creation of narratives. The clash of alternative interpretations of events leads to a mnemonic conflict, which is the reflection of the political struggle for the right to memory. Dialogue and mediation are tools of memory policy. The logic of this policy implies reconciliation and solidarity of all social groups that have survived a single historical fate, but have a differentiated social memory. People remember how these events reflected on the fate of their families.

The methodology of researching the politics of memory is based on sociocultural and historical-comparative analysis, combines phenomenological and constructivist approaches. In analyzing the problem, the article uses the theory of attraction fields of P. Bourdieu. Such a methodological construction helps to study the field structures of social memory, the specifics of constructing a narrative, and the possibilities of a political solution to the mnemonic problems of the nation. The policy of memory is presented as a tool for managing public consciousness in the mental structures of the community. It is contradictory, ideologically determined, involves the collision or coordination of alternative narratives. The structures of power that determine the rules of the “game” on the “memory field”, articulating “official narratives”, have the right to decide on the priority strategy of memory policy. But the influence on the formation of memory policy strategies is possessed by any social groups representing “unofficial” narratives. The construction of a memory policy is based on strategies — targeted, sequential actions that assert in the collective consciousness the version of national history as dominant. Strategies are embodied in variable scenarios - tactical measures of a situational nature that determine the moves and placement of acting characters for the implementation of strategies.

The authors identified the main types of memory policy strategies: reproach (realization of a “martyrdom”), oblivion of the tragic past (crowding out facts contradicting “heroic” interpretations from official narratives), conflict of interpretations (contradicting “official” and “unofficial” narratives), dialogue (discourse and coordination of interpretations) with the relevant scenarios of the development of the political situation - the chanting of “historical greatness”, silence, repentance, contradictory narratives, reconciliation and solidarity . The result of the analysis of the problems of social memory in Russia are the theoretical constructs of the narrative confrontation with the following options for scenario solutions that formulate memory policy strategies.

Violence in the Society of Symbolic Consumption
Bodrova Yuliya
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.4.1-214-229
Abstract:

The article considers violence in its symbolic form as a product of modern consumption and one of the attributes of mass culture. Despite the extreme urgency of the problem of violence in film and television, researchers in the field of psychology, sociology and pedagogy analyze this phenomenon by the impact of scenes of violence on various categories of the population, highlighting the possible relationship between violence on the screen and in life. This study focuses on the socio-philosophical analysis of violence consumption by modern people. The article considers various approaches to the study of consumption, as well as analyzes the symbolic essence of this phenomenon. How is the society of consumption associated with violence? What is the peculiarity of violence as a consumer product? Consideration of screen violence allows us to identify the main reasons underlying the demonstration of scenes of cruelty in films and on television. According to the famous American director Quentin Tarantino, violence is one of the cinematic techniques. If demand creates supply, what is the reason for the audience’s interest in acts of aggression on the screen? Forming of the information society is associated with the emergence of new technologies of violence included in the system of “producer-consumer” relations, through advertising. Violence is being democratized: it is now available not only to corporations and states. Each person can create their own reality according to their needs and ethical standards. In-depth consideration of these issues will allow us to look at violence as an element included in the system of symbolic consumption of the modern world.

Conditions of the National Elites Loyalty towards the Central Government in the Soviet Period of Russian History
Filippov Sergey
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.4.1-230-248
Abstract:

The article deals with the analysis of the Soviet national policy from a historical perspective with a focus on investigating into conditions of the loyalty of national elites towards the central government in the last period of the USSR existence. The indicators of the low level loyalty are as follows: supporting the ideas of national sovereignty and independence, participating in the national movement by ruling cadres, influential intellectuals and population. The author shows low sympathy of both groups of representatives: elites and broad population to nationalist ideas. The analysis is based on comparing contrastive cases – the Soviet elites of the Baltic republics (Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia) and Belorussia in their interactions with the central government as well as local population in the period from 1945 to 1991. These republics, their population and elites were similar regarding some important aspects such as historical and cultural as well as demographic characteristics in the case of Belorussia and Lithuania; some important features of the industry (big export-oriented enterprises) regarding Estonia, Latvia and Belorussia. At the same time, these cases showed a different level of the loyalty towards the Union center, namely, relatively high among the Belorussian Soviet ruling cadres and population and relatively low in the Baltic republics by the end of 1980s.

The important aspect of the Soviet national policy was establishing new national elites, educational and cultural institutions preserving their native languages as well as the promotion of native cadres into the positions of power in the regional administration. In some respects, this policy was similar to the “indirect rule” implemented in the imperial period of Russian history and consisted in the cooperation between the central government and local elites as the main approach to administrating a multinational state. However, in comparison with the previous practice tending to include national elites in the imperial nobility, the post revolutionary approach considered the creation of national elites through promoting local cultural and educational institutions that offer quite prestigious but specific positions occupied mostly by representatives of the respective ethnic group.

Creating local elites reduced the competition for “universal” positions since socialization and career of “national staff” were oriented towards national institutes. However, increasing numbers of “national staff” with limited positions for them had negative social consequences (elite overproduction). Intra-elite tension increased due to the migration from other regions (in the case of Latvia and Estonia). The other reason of this phenomenon was pursuing socialization strategies oriented to the places of origin (in the case of Lithuania). The attractiveness of the Baltic republics both for local population and migrants from other regions of the USSR was caused by a relatively high level of living standards in these union republics.

Location of big export-oriented enterprises in the territory of Belorussia created conditions for preferring socialization strategies oriented towards integration with the Soviet Union economy and, therefore, enhanced loyalty towards the USSR center from both elites and population. Besides, the administrative apparatus of the Soviet Belorussia was recruited extensively among participants of the Soviet partisan movement 1941–1944 what explains the devotion of the Belorussian elite to the Soviet symbols and values. At the same time, the base of the legitimization of the Soviet Lithuanian elite was its ability to control the anti-Soviet (nationalist) movement as well supporting national culture and language.

Social Progress in the Mirror of Education
Udalcova Maria,  Abramova Elena
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.3.2-392-406
Abstract:

The paper is devoted to the issues of social progress and conditions for its implementation, the main of which is education. The authors substantiate the topicality of the social progress study by saying that today the uncertainties and risks of sustainable development in the world are amplified. People become aware of their responsibility for the future of the whole society and they understand that meaningful actions of a large number of people have to be taken in the direction of becoming initiative and independent people who are aware of themselves as the creators of their own lives. The authors highlight the role of knowledge acquired from various cognitive systems (science, culture, art, literature, etc.) expanding the cognitive capabilities of a man and the possibilities of his/her creativity. In education, all knowledge acquired from different cognitive systems should be ‘sublimated’; it should become a civilizational institution which mission is to transform the world in the direction of social progress. The authors consider the risks of forming such an institution, including educational inequality in the quality and accessibility of education. The paper concludes that modern Russian education does not serve for social progress and not even for the market, but for financial capital.

Social Quality Model in the Study of Dynamics of Modern Societies Development: Opportunities and Boundaries of Application
Samsonov Vsevolod,  Zazulina Mariia
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.3.2-407-424
Abstract:

 This paper considers modern approaches to the study of social dynamics of modern societies, which have found conceptual expression in the theories of ‘quality of life’ and ‘social quality’. The gradual merging of these two theories is a trend that reflects both modern ideas about the specifics of the development processes in post-industrial societies and the idea of a ‘progressive’ type of social interaction between individuals and social groups, which is formed on the basis of new theoretical and methodological models. The authors show how these theories attempt to link ‘traditional’ economic statistics data and indicators that reflect integrative relationships within communities (such as social cohesion and social inclusion). The paper identifies the main research areas in the framework of the theory of social quality: economic security, social cohesion, social inclusion, powers and opportunities. Despite the fact that each of these areas includes its own group of indicators, they are interdependent, interrelated and should be examined in complex. Thus, within the framework of modern methodologies, society appears as the result of integration and interaction of fundamentally different-level systems, social (the level of individuals and interpersonal relationships) and systemic (the level of institutions). It is concluded that the combination of fundamentally different groups of indicators allows us to conceptualize and identify the relationship between social and economic processes at the collective and individual levels. The authors describe the scope of application of the socio-qualitative approach and its set of social development indicators in European and Russian politics. An attempt to assess the effectiveness of these theoretical and methodological approaches is carried out in the context of the analysis of such a social problem in the Russian society as the increased level of emigration outflow from the country in recent years.

The Analysis of Social Fears of Today’s Retirees: On the Example of Analysis of Food Consumption Practices
Shirinkina Nataliya
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.3.2-425-439
Abstract:

This article discusses the collective fears peculiar to people of the third generation and associated with consumer practices. The author analyses various methodological approaches to the study of fears of Russian and Soviet society. The author draws attention to the fact, that behavior of people of the third age is influenced by various groups of factors. A sociological study was conducted in the period from November 2017 to February 2019. The research method was an interview. The materials of the interview allowed to group consumer fears into three groups. The first group of fears is related to credit practices and banking products. The second group of fears is related to modern technologies. The third group of fears is related to food. The potential danger of food is a constant concern for the third age people. They are convinced that a modern man consumes substandard and harmful products, which provoke the development of many serious diseases and reduce life expectancy. Fears have a multi-layered nature. Pensioners are afraid not only of the toxicity of products, but also of unreliability of the information provided about these products. Consumer fears express deep-rooted attitudes and stereotypes in relation to all new and alien things: fear of new social conditions and norms, fear of market mechanisms of production and distribution of goods, alien forms and symbols of social and cultural life. Fear of all the new finds its continuation in consumer fears.

Study of Sociality and the Problem of Social Action
Rozin Vadim
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.2.1-11-28
Abstract:

The article raises the question of the relationship of social study and social action. It is noted that at present, sociality is understood differently than during the formation of social sciences. This is not about social laws, but about non-linear processes that are described using a systematic approach and synergetics. In this case, a social technician relies on knowledge gained in the course of studying sociality, reconstructing a specific history of sociality, and social trends of today. The author sets the task to characterize the relationship between social characteristics identified by social researchers, such as economics, state, society, power, masses, culture. He shows that sociality can be represented as consisting of three areas. The first distinguishes three main subsystems: the state, society and the economy, and the state was the constituent element. In the second anthropological sphere, the author identifies a new European personality, communities, masses, society, understood no longer as in the first sphere, but in anthropological terms. Individuals and communities in the anthropological sphere, as a rule, operate in two modes - normative and parasitic (rent-building, the use of social structures for other purposes). In the third area, encompassing the other two, sociality is seen as a popular phenomenon. The point is that the state and society are not one, there are many of them, and they enter into various difficult relationships (struggle for territory and resources, competition, helping each other, exchanges of various kinds, etc.). The main processes of sociality are distinguished and characterized: globalization and modernization, the implementation of social schemes and concepts, the processes of “post” and “counter”, the process of setting and solving problems (“challenges” and “answers” ​​to them). In the last part of the work, the author's version of the reconstruction of a concrete history of sociality, as well as social trends of the present, is proposed.

Could Civilization Elite Be Formed in Russia?
Cheshev Vladislav
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.2.1-29-47
Abstract:

The article discusses some features of the formation of the political and intellectual elite of Russia associated with the awareness of the civilizational characteristics of Russian society. Based on the experience of researching this topic by the domestic and foreign thinkers, the author raises a problematic question of whether Russia can be considered as one of the examples of a civilizational structure. Civilizations are very broad geopolitical associations, which form in their existence the corresponding elite strata. The text draws attention to the characteristics of the elites, their role in society. The elites of society are heterogeneous; they arise in different social strata. The elite appears as an informal association of such groups. The author points out the importance of the existence of political and intellectual elites, whose mutual support creates the necessary correspondence between worldviews and practical actions in society. The author draws attention to the ethical characteristics of elite groups, in particular, to the relationship of individual morality with the awareness and fulfillment of public duty imposed on elites by their position in the society. The author agrees with the opinion of V.O. Klyuchevsky, who pointed to the particularities of the formation of state consciousness of the princely elite of the period of Kievan Rus. It is not an ethnic consciousness, it begins with an understanding of the territorial community of lands and the people living on it, united by princely power. In the feudal period, the role of the intellectual elite with necessity was played by the Orthodox clergy, who turned not only to the formation of personal morality of people, but also to understanding the ideology of the Moscow state. The historically inevitable transition to the industrial stage of development required the formation of secular consciousness and a new elite capable of its development. The author points out the important role of historical consciousness as an ethical basis for intra-elite harmony and for the consensus of society and the elite. Under these conditions, a contradiction arises in the Russian elite between attempts to comprehend their own civilizational identity and orientation toward a Western model of development. The author points to the unresolved nature of this contradiction and its influence on the modern history of Russia.