The problems of preserving Russian national identity at the present stage are considered in the article. The authors analyze the sources, the main stages and ways of forming the self-consciousness of the Russian people. They note that its formation is inextricably linked with the process of the formation of the Russian national culture and national self-consciousness. The views about the features of the Russian character, the peculiarities of the Russian soul, embodying the spiritual essence of the people of Russian thinkers such as F.M. Dostoevsky, V.S. Solovyov, N.A. Berdyaev etc. are investigated in a socio-philosophical context. The article emphasizes that with the collapse of the USSR, a one-time surrender of the positions of a great country took place: there appeared an ideological vacuum, there was no consolidating idea or ideals. The authors show the differences in the principles of the existence of Russian and Western civilizations, the current increasing pressure on the Russian state and citizens literally in all spheres of life, the authors note as well that the economic and information wars against our country threaten the unity of Russia as a multi-national state. Russophobia and the socio-economic anomie of Russian society are considered among them. The authors come to the conclusion that in order to develop the self-consciousness of the Russian people, it is necessary to preserve Russian culture and the Russian language, strengthen inter-ethnic ties, educate young people on the examples of the historical past, folk traditions and customs, enhance the role of the Russian Orthodox Church as the traditional moral authority of society.
The article is devoted to the analysis of cultural synthesis, which emerged in the Jewish Autonomous Region. Cultures-participants in this synthesis are the cultures of the Amur peasantry and Jewish settlers of 1920s - 1930s. The first community was formed in the last decades of the XIX century in the conditions of mass migration of the peasantry to the Amur lands. Huge benefits, relative weakness of power on the eastern outskirts of the Russian Empire led to the formation of a unique community based on the principles of self-organization, distancing itself from any authority. But that community was destroyed during the Sovietization and suppression of anti-Bolshevik uprisings. As a result of the repressions and flight of peasants to China, the region turned out to be uninhabited, and the “relic” of the community participated in the synthesis, reproducing the most archaic and sustainable social and economic practices (setting for autarky, mutual support, egalitarianism, network principles of social interaction, hunting, fishing and gathering in terms of self-sufficiency). The resettlement of Jews from the former “Pale of Settlement” for Soviet power had a completely utilitarian meaning: the reduction of overpopulation in the western regions, the settlement of the “empty” Far East. There was an additional reason for the resettlement of “working Jews” – it was necessary to detach a former resident of the “Pale of Settlement” from the community based on religion. As a result, the project of creating a new Jewish culture was implemented – “national in form and socialist in content”. At the same time, the internal ties and economic practices of the new settlers were formed under the strongest influence of the local peasantry. As a result there appeared such a structure where the Jewish component was responsible for communication with the outside world, and the peasant one was responsible for the economy of the region and communication inside the community.
The article covers the current situation in the Jewish community of the Jewish Autonomous Region (JAR) and the significant place of the “Jewish factor” in the social structure of the region. The Jewish factor is not always confined to ethnicity. Surveillance and in-depth interview were the main research methods used by the author. The study is conducted due to a grant from the “Khamovniki” Foundation for Social Research. Despite a small number of Jews living in the region (according to the data of the All-Russian population census and the estimated data of Jewish communities themselves), the “Jewish factor” is significant in the regional life. Jews and the “Jewish factor” are present in all areas of the autonomous region. They are an important part of the administrative, cultural, and business elite of the JAR. Thus, it is Jews and Jewry that are a kind of band which binds together the fragmented territory of the JAR. A unique new ethno-cultural community with its own special features and self-identification is being formed on a Jewish basis. Non-Jews by birth often perceive Jewish culture, the history of specific features of the JAR as part of their own identity. Within this new community, there exists and develops a traditional Jewish communal infrastructure with a synagogue, a kosher public catering, education, etc. The presence of a small, but actively functioning Jewish Orthodox community contributes to the preservation of the Jewish core and Jewish character of the JAR, as well as the consolidation of broader social groups (including government officials), Jews and non-Jews around the Jewish historical and cultural heritage of the region. Jews and the Jewish factor in the JAR are the connecting link for the heterogeneous economic-geographical and ethno-social structure of the region. The functioning of the Jewish communities of the JAR contributes to the formation of a “multinational Jewish people” in the JAR (according to the concept of Simon Kordonsky). The development of Jewish communities and the consolidation around them ensure strengthening of the ethno-social potential of the Jewish Autonomous Region.
The paper considers peculiarities of settlement of the present Jewish Autonomous Region by different ethno-social groups. The author discusses the conditions and factors determining intergroup relations. The article defines and describes the types of conflicts (contradictions) among different ethno-social groups that determined the role and importance of these groups in the region. The author outlines six successive stages of the territory settlement by different groups over the last 200 years. It is highlighted that large groups of settlers and the periods of their settlement did not overlap in time. These are the groups of the Cossacks and the Old Believers, the Transsib builders and workers involved in the industrial development of the region, the Jews and the Tajiks, the representatives of the Caucasian peoples. All groups differed according to the following important characteristics: the origin and previous ethnic history, cultural stereotypes and economic practices of households, they also had confessional differences. Finally, the groups had different population and demographic characteristics. Basic relations were established between those ethno-social groups which were specializing in different economic spheres and developing different resources: commerce, entrepreneurial activities, handicrafts (Tajiks, Armenians, Chechens, Dagestani, Azerbaijani, and also Old Believers), budget and administrative resources (Jews, Russians and Armenians). All the above mentioned factors contributed much to the special character of relations among ethno-social groups in the region. The relations can be characterized as contrasting and conflicting. They determine a unique socio-demographic status of the region and allow to assess the ethno-social potential of the territory. Diversity and contrast provide the overall high social potential of local society, where the Jewish ethnos stands out against the background of all the others. The modern territory of the region is divided into several “zones of influence” of different ethno-social groups. It resembles “a patchwork”. The region, as an administrative entity, is divided into three parts, loosely linked. The northeastern part, the Middle Amur lowland, has been inhabited by Russians and Jews, and now Tajiks are pouring into the region. The northwest of the region, the mountain-taiga territory of the Small Hingan, is controlled mainly by Russian representatives of the period of Soviet development and a small Russian Old Believer community. The south of the region, the territory adjacent to the Amur, forms a “zone of influence of the frontiers”: these are the descendants of the first-settlers – the Cossacks and the current military men. The Azerbaijani and the Chinese also have great influence here. Territorial “patchwork” creates several “spheres of influence” for different ethno-social groups. They are supposed to have a competition for the administrative resource among the groups controlling these parts of the territory. The Jewish group holds the key positions here, the representatives of which for various reasons occupy a central place in the current system of economic relations and political-administrative relations. There is a discrepancy between the real situation and the external ideas about the region, its political, social and demographic status and ethnic potential. According to the estimates and official statistics on the number of Jewish population in the region, the influence of the Jewish ethnic factor turned out to be significantly larger than it appears from the outside. The influence of the Chinese factor, on the contrary, turned out to be significantly less important not only in the socio-political sphere but also in the economy. The factor of interethnic relations turned out to be very significant and has an undoubtedly positive significance. The factor of confessional differences between the key ethno-social groups ─ several Russian groups, Jews, Tajiks and Chinese ─ is equally positive.
The paper estimates the modern ethno-social potential of the administrative territory - the Jewish Autonomous Region, highlighting the importance and system-forming role of the Jews. The first introductory article of the cycle presents the author's concept of the ethno-social potential of the territory. Ethno-social potential is an integral part of social and, more broadly, human potential. The concept is defined by the authors as the possibility and ability of representatives of various ethnic groups to use ethnically specific cultural and historical traditions and economic practices as resources for achieving the goals of social development of both individual ethnic groups and the entire local society. The authors describe the methodology of phenomenological social research. The main qualitative methods are immediate observation and interview. The results are based on the empirical materials of field research. The article outlines the historical and socio-political prerequisites of the formation and current state of the ethno-social composition of the Jewish region. The main reasons for the uniqueness of the region are, firstly, in several successive stages of the settlement of the empty areas of the Amur lowland by ethnically diverse populations. Secondly, the unique state status of the Jewish people in this territory does matter. The Jewish national district has been the first nationwide state formation of Jews for two millennia that defines a special nature of the interstate relations between Russia and Israel. The settlement of the territory continues in the post-Soviet period. This is also a unique experience for modern Russia. The constitutional status of the region is being discussed. Autonomous administrative territory is represented by the only subject of the Russian Federation. This provides a unique position of the region in the administrative-territorial system of the Russian Federation. The consequence of this is the impossibility of changing this status of the Jewish Autonomous Region without changing the Russian Constitution. The first co-author of the article (S.G. Kordonsky) proposed the original concept of “multinational Jewish people”, the methodological foundation of which is his “fan matrices theory”.
The problem of the formation of civil society is relevant in the post-Soviet space for nearly thirty years. Formation and foundation of a civil society is a fairly long-term historical process, conditioned by certain economic, political, legal and sociocultural factors. Emphasizing that the formation of the economic and political and legal foundation of a civil society is of paramount importance, the author believes that the creation of socio-cultural conditions and the prerequisites of civil society is not less important, and represents a process that is considerably complex and time-consuming. One of the most important socio-cultural components of a civil society is civil culture, which is a subsystem of a complex integrated system of culture. The author notes that the basic elements of civil culture are legal, political and ecological culture. Using the data from sociological research, the author studies the state of civil culture in Kyrgyzstan and comes to the conclusion about the low level of general and civic culture of individuals and society as a whole, the lack of self-reliance and independence of civil institutions, the lack of mutual consent and trust in society. This hinders the process of the formation of civil society. In this regard, the need to use the historical experience of the political, legal and ecological culture of the traditional Kyrgyz society, which relied primarily on morality and integrity, is actualized. The author notes that the peculiarities of the existence of nomads living in extremely difficult natural conditions contain a considerable potential and resources for effective regulation and coordination of collective interconnections in society and in nature, which seems to be quite important for the formation of civil society. At the same time, it is noted that there is a need for a dialectical approach to the problem of the formation of a civic culture that involves the denial of negative manifestations of the past culture while preserving everything positive and conducive to the progressive development of the society.
The article is dedicated to the role of institutional determinants in the reproduction of ethnic diversity. Ethnic diversity is considered in two aspects: as a result of personal identification (nominative aspect) and as a supra-individual phenomenon (normative aspect). The aggregate of ideas about "what means to be someone" and "who is called to be someone" by nationality (ethnicity) is the basis for the reproduction of ethnicity as a set of rules that includes membership rules and borders management mechanisms. However, the ethnicity itself is inscribed into broader social context from which these rules and mechanisms have been growing. Objectified structures which together constitute a social order are the institutional determinants of ethnicity. As such ones, the article stands out the State, the market, and some informal structures: family, kinship, and community. The author notes the distinction between the economic-cultural types and economic structures of different peoples as the basis of ethnic inequality. The article highlights the role of the State in strengthening or mitigation of status inequality of ethnic groups and reveals the significance of informal institutions in the reproduction of ethnic diversity. Informal institutions can relieve the tension caused by social barriers, can guard the society from rifts, and can prevent excessive polarization of its various segments. Another aspect of informal institutions is their ability to create new barriers and constraints. The author concludes that an activity of formal institutions creates prerequisites for ethnic stratification, while informal institutions represent self-organization. Ethnicity exists in both fields: in the field of managed modernization and in the field of spontaneous self-organization. At the intersection of formal and informal modes of social institutions work, special conditions for ethnicity reproduction are formed. The author provides examples of how the status of separate classes of Russian Empire patrials determined the specificity of ethnicity reproduction in the Russian Empire. On the examples of individual cases, the paper considers the specific occurrences of reproduction of ethnic diversity at the intersection of activities of informal structures, the state, and the market in the conditions of modern Russia.
‘The Great Retreat’ or ‘the Great Maneuver’: N. Timasheff’s Concept and Ideological Changes in the USSR of the 1930sM.Yu. Shmatov
The article deals with problems of ideological, cultural and social transformations in the USSR during the 1930s. The main purpose of the research is to show how historians can use the concept of a famous Russian and American sociologist N.Timasheff to study Bolsheviks’ policy in the period when Stalin’s regime had already been approved. The author tries to verify some Timasheff’s positions using Soviet and foreign empiric materials of that age. First of all, there is a detailed overview of Soviet everyday-life and analysis of changes in this sphere during the 1930s. Secondly, the author tries to find and explain the reasons of those transformations in Soviet official documents and in discourse of the authorities, media and culture. As a result, the author shows that all processes of ‘reforms’ were under total control of the Centre. The article gives a review of the situation inside the country and in the Soviet foreign policy. The author comes to the conclusion that ‘the threats of war’ and the crisis in ideological sphere made Stalin and his regime drive to some changes in the official ideology, not in the real policy. The author disagrees with N. Timasheff, who said that the reforms were the part of the ‘national process’, but all changes were only in the interests of the authorities and the process of Soviet nation-building was not completed. However, the scientific value of Timasheff’s concept of ‘the Great Retreat’is recognized. The main result of the research is the idea of a new term to explain Stalin’s policy in the 1930s: ‘the Great Maneuver’. According to the author it gives a better understanding of the nature of visual changes in the country and its social and cultural life.
The author substantiates his opinion that I. A. Goncharov's novel "Oblomov" is a philosophical and symbolic literary text. The method of symbolization the characters allows the author to include into the novel a system of philosophical ideas revealing the cultural and historical specificity of Russia. So, for example, the character of Oblomov, according to the author, was formed as a generalizing type of some psychological traits of real Russian people. But gradually it was transformed into a symbol of the Russian "in general". Another character, Andrey Stoltz, symbolically embodies the synthesis of the Russian world and the West. Not only people perform a symbolic function in the novel. Oblomov's gown is a symbol of the Islamic East, which is sharply different from the Indo-Buddhist Far East. Thus, the philosophical depth of the novel is achieved through symbolization of characters, not by a collision of abstract ideas. The philosophical content of the novel is to identify the specificity of Russia (the "Russian soul") in its opposition to "the West" and "the East”. The "West" is treated as the mechanical, moving force, opposed to the fixed, inert "East". At the same time, the Western principles are immanent to the Russian ones, while the Eastern principles are transcendent, and they are connected with the Russian principles only mechanically. The specificity of Russia is in its "spiritualized" impulse towards the transcendental meaning of the existence. The philosophical content of the novel, thus, reproduces the Slavophile complex of ideas. However, unlike the Slavophiles, Goncharov created the novel not about greatness, but about self-destruction of the "Russian soul." The main characters of the novel experience an existential crisis due to the loss of meaning in life. But the feminine part of the "Russian soul", which embodies its dynamic and strong-willed principle, is not capable of transcendence. And the male part of the "Russian soul", which has this transcendence ability, is weak-willed, passive and cannot resist the fatal influence of the "East". Thus, the novel "Oblomov" is considered to be anti-Eurasian and it warns against "the Eurasian temptation".
THE TERM AND THE CONCEPT OF “DEMOCRACY” IN THE POLITICAL LIFE OF CHINA IN THE FIRST THIRD OF THE XX CENTURYP.S. Kormich, I.V. Oleynikov
The paper examines the perception and designation of political terms in China in the first third of the twentieth century. It mainly focuses on the interpretation of the terms “democracy” (power of people), “freedom”, and “nation” in the understanding of the Great Chinese revolutionary Sun Yat-sen. Almost in all languages, the term “nation” means a certain union of people (sometimes the word has a specific meaning, as in the case of demos, sometimes an abstract one, as in the Russian language). However, at the same time, etymologically it is not associated with the word “man”. “Nation” is a certain, rather multiple abstraction, not associated with a specific unit “a person” although formally implies a person in the plural. In Chinese, it looks different. Therefore, the etymological context of political terminology in Chinese reality is very important. The term “democracy” (power of people) in Chinese has also an ambiguous origin; there were several designations and variants of writing, which had a number of distinctive features, all of them were in active use from the middle of the XIX century, and sometimes even the meanings of those variants opposed each other. As a result, Sun Yat-sen suggested his understanding of democracy as an opportunity to manage any united or organized group of people, basing on strength and power, to achieve the state’s freedom, with the obligatory sacrifice of individual freedom, but with the political equality for the nation. Mao Zedong proposed the theory of a “new democracy” which was a new stage in the development of Marxism, containing the most important provisions of Marxist theory. The new interpretation of the Marxist theory as a new stage in the development of Marxism was substantiated by the need of its “Sinification”. But in essence, it was not just about “Sinification” of Marxism (adaptation of Marx's general theory to the concrete conditions of China), but about the creation of “Chinese Marxism”, developed as the theoretical tool of leadership in anti-imperialist, anti-feudal revolutions in colonial and dependent countries. Chiang Kai-shek, not without reason, considered himself the follower of Sun Yat-sen’s cause, however, he partly opposed the ideological democracy credo (power of people) of the founder of the Kuomintang, he also denied the possibility of implementing democratic principles in China until the 1950s. Following Sun Yat-sen, Chiang Kai-shek paid particular attention to the role of the state, opposing the interests of an individual and the state. Thus, the ideas put forward by Sun Yat-sen continue having a significant impact on the development of China's political theory and practice in the subsequent period of time. Of course, SunYat-sen's ideas are not always taken with approval, but even when his ideas are criticized, nevertheless, the ideological concept of his theory remains the basis for the subsequent revolutionaries of China.