Nomenklatura Roots of the Russian Elite: 30 Years Later
Petrov Kirill,  Snegovaya Maria,  Chubarov Denis
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.3.1-93-122
Abstract:

The article is devoted to understanding the origins of the Russian political elite. Relying on the empirical material of 2021, the authors study whether social ties in the Soviet managing class called “nomenklatura” is an important factor determining the position within the top echelon of the Russian political elite. In order to explore the genesis of the Russian political elite, we used a cross-methodological approach as well as the research method based on tracking their social origin. Our empirical basis is an original database for identifying elites including two elite lists, positional and reputational ones. The positional list for our analysis includes 112 personalities who hold positions in power structures provided with significant influence at the beginning of August 2021. The reputation list for analysis includes 100 personalities, based on the widely cited expert model “Politburo 2.0”. To set up the connection between the current Russian political elite and the social group known to us as the Soviet “nomenklatura”, we use the combined method. The “nomenklatura” heritage rating given for career, family and educational environment we assigned and summarized. Based on the results of the study, the following results were reached: as for the positional list, 59 out of 112 personalities (52.6%) are related to the Soviet nomenclature (total ratings of 2 and above), as for the reputation list - 50 out of 100 (50%). Based on a descriptive comparative analysis of two independent lists, we conclude that at least a half of contemporary elite actors have this kind of background among the modern Russian top-tier elite, and another 13-15% can relate to it with a significant degree of probability. It is noticeable that the proportion we found approved regardless of the approach the list of elite personalities is based on.

The Main Trends in the Transformation of the Socio-Cultural Space in the Context of International Migration
Dumnova Elnara
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.3.1-123-138
Abstract:

The article presents an analysis of the main consequences of globalization in the context of changes in the socio-cultural space of globalizing societies. The methodological basis of the study was formed on the grounds of the triangulation of socio-philosophical, sociological and systemic approaches, the complex application of which made it possible to identify the consequences of cultural globalization that take place at different structural levels of social organization. A socio-philosophical analysis of the main potential scenarios for the development of cultural globalization has been carried out, which are defined as glocalization/localization and transculturalism. The role of the regional factor is revealed as determining the outcome of cultural globalization in a particular society and the choice of one or another trend in the transformation of the socio-cultural space, in particular glocalization. The significance of the factor of international migration in this process is substantiated.

The choice of the deductive logic of the presentation made it possible to illustrate some theoretical provisions with the data of an empirical study conducted in the spring of 2021 as part of a qualitative approach using in-depth and semi-structured interview methods. The sample design is determined by the following criteria: ethnicity (donor country), age, period of stay in Russia, educational status. The research case is presented by 12 informants - undergraduates and graduate students from China, studying at universities in Novosibirsk.

The interpretation of the data obtained made it possible to identify the mechanism for implementing the transcultural model for the transformation of the socio-cultural space of globalizing countries through educational migration on the example of Russia and China.

Based on the theoretical framework of the study, it was possible to come to the conclusion that in the process of cultural globalization, migrants are a very effective social category of “exporters”. However, depending on the type of migration and its subject, the results of such an impact vary and affect both the importing country, and to the exporting country of global culture. At the present stage of cultural globalization, the phenomenon of transculturalism has emerged as one of the trends in the transformation of the socio-cultural space, which is realized at the macro-, meso-, and micro-social levels. Its result is the expansion of living space to a transnational format, the formation of a drifting – transcultural identity and the diffuseness of cultures.

Woken Capitalism: How American Oligarchs “Are Saving” Democracy
Zhezhko-Braun Irina
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.3.1-139-174
Abstract:

The article is a continuation of the series on US presidential campaigns. The latest of these, “A Shadow US Presidential Campaign”, revealed that the donor consortium Democracy Alliance sponsored a secret campaign against candidate Donald Trump in favor of the Democratic candidate, ostensibly “to save democracy”. The alliance-funded political infrastructure has given itself a mandate to transform the electoral system in 2020 under the pretext of ensuring safe voting amid the pandemic. The article describes the history of the emergence of oligarchic alliances in the United States and the extent of their influence on the political life of the country, and in particular, how private foundations directly interfere in elections and donate millions of dollars to organize and finance official counting of votes at the presincts, as happened in 2020. It is noted that the academic study of the influence of oligarchs on the electoral system is difficult due to the secrecy of this activity and, as a result of it, the insufficiency of the sources. The reasons why the classifications of oligarchies available in the literature do not clarify the essence of this problem are analyzed. The author gives a new interpretation of oligarchs and donor political consortiums as independent political subjects. The conditions and limitations of the compatibility of the oligarchs and their consortiums with democracy are discussed. The oligarchs are not divided into Republicans and Democrats, although they have to decide from time to time for which team (party) they are going to play in the next election cycle. There are currently two main opposing consortiums of donors in the US: conservatives and liberals, or “right” and “left”. The article describes the characteristics of consortiums as political entities distinct from other donor entities. The author analyzes a separate cycle of political philanthropy, as well as the political infrastructure of both consortiums. The conditions and limitations of the compatibility of the actions of the oligarchs and their consortiums with democracy are discussed. The article analyzes what exactly are the specific threats to democracy from the oligarchs, their consortiums and political structures sponsored by them, as well as where the actions of the oligarchs come into direct conflict with democratic institutions. The author discusses various deoligarchization strategies in the US and their effectiveness.

On the Emergence of Ideals for the Development of Society
Teslinov Andrey
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.3.1-175-194
Abstract:

The article substantiates the approaches to the generation of social ideals and the ways of their fulfillment in the situation in which Russian society finds itself in the spring of 2022. The general characteristic of this situation is the development of society, which takes place in the mode of a jump-like transformation of its foundations.

It is known that development is a change of the unchangeable. How can one think of new, qualitatively different forms of society’s existence without an improved repetition of the known? How is it possible to think of a way into the Unknown, which threatens society’s spiritual, moral and existential existence if not its physical one? Such questions arise for any thinking person, but with a special tension for those responsible for the step into the Unknown, which will permanently determine the fate of the people entrusted to them.

The methodological approach to answering these and related questions consists in finding the conceptual foundations of existing and possible solutions about the long-term ideals of social development and justifying the very approaches to their development. It is shown that such foundations cannot arise in the course of deployment of ideas about the development that are proposed in economics, sociology, political science and other aspect evolutionary theories. The foundations for ideals of social development are found in the synthesis of discoveries of systemology, physical economics, quantum physics and cultural science based on its semantic-genetic concept. The author shows that the lines of development of these scientific approaches to comprehension of reality gradually converge in explaining the possibilities of humanity in creation of long-term stable trajectories of its existence.

The result of the undertaken study of possible approaches to the choice of society’s path to the future is the identification of three significantly different types, which can be deployed in the form of five ways of generating the social ideal. The possibilities of their fulfillment with a matured demand are substantiated.

Critical Attitudes among the Soviet Scientific and Academic Intelligentsia in the Historical and Socio-Cultural Context of 1960-1990s
Filippov Sergey
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.2.1-68-85
Abstract:

The article deals with investigating into the conditions of the critical attitude spread among scientists and academicians during the period of 1960s–1990s towards some aspects of domestic and foreign state policy of that time. At the same time, the motives for such a criticism seem not to be obvious, since the social status and well-being of the scientific and academic intelligentsia, as well as its public prestige, was one of the highest among the socio-professional groups of Soviet society. To perceive criticism of Soviet scientists as a form of struggle against the regime does not seem entirely correct, since the critically thinking Soviet scientists did not seek to popularize their socio-political ideas and attract supporters from other social groups. On the contrary, the discussion on “complex” political and socio-economic aspects of the Soviet society took place within closed communities. In addition, the Soviet scientific intelligentsia of that time, unlike the pre-revolutionary intellectuals, did not idealize people; they did not have a sense of “guilt” towards it, as well as the idea of selfless “serving the people”. Soviet scientists perceived themselves as an elite, even aristocratic group, and this idea found expression in the science-fiction novel “Hard to Be a God” by the Soviet writers Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. The main character of the novel is the historian Anton, who was sent to the Arkanar Kingdom on an alien planet and assumed the role of an aristocrat named Don Rumata. He masterfully uses a sword, enjoys phenomenal success with women and contributes to the progress of local humanity. The Soviet intellectuals of that time constructed their own elite professional and social identity using the practices of prestigious consumption and behavior and pursuing specific socialization strategies that were alternative to the official Soviet norms and rules of behavior. The self-identification of scientists as an elite group within the Soviet society was based on the social conditions for the development of science in the USSR in the 1950s–1960s such as a high level of prestige of scientific and academic activities, high expectations from science as well as creating relatively autonomous scientific centers (“Academic Town” or ZATO (‘closed administrative-territorial formation’) – closed towns with secret research installations). Such settlements were quite independent from the local and regional authorities being subordinated directly to Moscow. Besides, secrecy of closed cities or facilities limited the possibilities of the direct control and interference from regional party and state authorities in the activities of scientific institutions and scientists.

Stand-Up as an Indicator of Passionarity: To the Methodology of the Question
Ibragimov Radiy,  Amzorova Diana
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.2.1-86-100
Abstract:

The article deals with a scientific substantiation of the possibility to solve an essential methodological goal — social diagnosis of human capital on some concrete social practice, taken as an indicator. A humorous genre ‘stand-up comedy’ is suggested to be chosen as the indicator. Arguments: 1) It is one of the most energetically developing areas with a youth audience in Russian mass culture. 2) The economic side of the project, its capitalization in the literal sense of the word, is also actively developing. 3) High level of the individual success, which allowed for the consideration of a stand-up comedian as a local ‘growth point’. 4) The last argument allows involving the arsenal of the passion theory, reconsidering the problem from a social energetic point of view. 5) It, therefore, allows considering irregular distribution of stand-up communities localization as an effect of passion theory erosion in a particular region (The Republic of Khakasia). Stand-up was analyzed from different points of view: philosophical, historical, aesthetic, economical, political and micro-sociological.

As a result of the analysis a number of provisions were put forward which allow designing empirical research programmes. For instance, by using an idea that laughter is alienated aggression, one may clarify the perspective of social tension studies. Historical analysis showed that stand-up metamorphosed from a Protestant sermon and may be the indicator of westernization of both society and its regional localizations. Political studies of the problem allowed formulating relativity of the social and aesthetic resonance of comedy. Micro-sociological analysis helped to define the mechanism and distribution tendency of passion theory tension in an audience.

As a result of the study certain thematic clusters and an algorithm of their logical interdependence were defined, aimed at empirical research, which will make it possible, in short term, to implement methodologically valid study of human capital by using a stand-up comedy as an indicator.

Falsehood from the Standpoint of Inverse Analysis
Sevostyanov Dmitry
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.2.1-101-114
Abstract:

The article presents a socio-philosophical analysis of such a phenomenon as a falsehood. The analysis of falsehood is based on the study of inverse relations in a hierarchical system. Since the lie itself can be considered as a hierarchical system, and in addition, it is implemented in a hierarchical social system, this approach is reasonable. Inversion is a form of system relations in which some lower element takes on a dominant value. This situation is observed, in particular, when a falsehood occurs. The ability of the system to form inversions depends on the organizational principles that determine the hierarchical subordination of elements in the system. System inversions occur when one organizational principle contradicts another. Inversion, which has developed in a hierarchical system, is an increase in internal contradictions that can destroy this system from the inside. The very fact of falsehood is generated primarily by the peculiarities of human thinking. A verbal thought is significantly different from a verbal utterance in the process of communication. What matters, however, is the strength and direction of these differences. The falsehood itself can be considered as a hierarchical system in which at least four organizational principles can be identified. The first such principle distributes statements according to the degree of their inconsistency with the real state of affairs. The second principle places statements in a hierarchy according to their degree of plausibility. The third principle is based on the degree of anti-sociality of the falsehood. Finally, according to the fourth principle, the hierarchical relationship between statements depends on whether the statement affects the reflection of facts or opinions. As a result of the interaction of these statements, inverse relations are formed in the system of falsehood.

Shadow Campaigning in American Politics
Zhezhko-Braun Irina
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.1.1-163-193
Abstract:

Participants in the shadow 2020 presidential campaign openly admitted to forming a secret conspiracy alliance against candidate Trump and funding actions that violate existing electoral laws. The author analyzes the term «shadow campaign«, as well as the real goals of the shadow campaign of 2020. The article shows that the Democratic Party is gradually losing significant segments of its social base and is taking extraordinary measures to win the support of new population groups, in particular «the new American majority«. A third political force, distinct from the two leading parties, has realized that the Democrats can win elections only by seizing control over the electoral process and reformatting their electorate. A third political force has assumed a mandate to correct the electoral system under the pretext of saving democracy. In the context of the epidemic, the shadow campaign of 2020 with money from private business has imposed new rules and methods of work in the election campaign with money from private capital. There was actually an act of privatization of elections by big business. The article analyzes, using the example of the state of Wisconsin, a number of actions of the shadow campaign that went beyond the framework of the current electoral laws. The Wisconsin case study shows that left-wing organizations have carried out a historically unprecedented takeover of county election commissions by activists from nominally non-partisan but overtly ideological organizations in key counties amid the chaos caused by the abrupt shift to absentee voting. The mechanism of the destructive influence of oligarchs and activists on the institution of elections in Wisconsin is described: the issuance of grants under the conditions of changing the rules of elections, party bias in the issuance of private grants, the weakening of the system of control over the quality of voting, the infiltration of election commissions by political activists, the admission to vote of persons who do not have the right to vote. The shadow campaign was operating to seize control over the elections, but this has nothing to do with saving democracy.

The Russian State We Have Not Built (Structural and Industrial Analysis)
Govorukhin Grigory,  Kim Viktoriya,  Dudchenko Olga
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.1.1-130-148
Abstract:

The article considers the state as a social institution, historical formation and political system. The crisis of modern states that have to deal with the problem of the pandemic, building up a new system of social relations between the state and the society is a starting point for the current analysis. The authors focus on Russia before and after the pandemic. Social and political processes of the post-Soviet state are in the center of investigation too. The authors also touch upon the question of a political entity created on the territory of post-Soviet Russia, which is the state nominally but not objectively. The authors use a comparative-historical analysis appealing to the history of the West European states of the period of the Roman Empire disintegration as well as barbarian kingdoms creation. Analyzing post-Soviet Russia the authors draw some parallels with Kiev Russ. They also suggest a structural and industrial model of the state formation in order to analyze the modern Russian state: one of the social structures of the former state became a determinant and dominating factor, and that is not territory, though it is more customary to think so. The super union appeared on the post-Soviet territory as the result of some political processes. One more aspect of the analysis is the investigation of the elite, i. e. clientele, its purposes and opportunities, as well as the correlation of the elite and bureaucracy in the Russian society. The investigation of the state management mechanisms is completed with the social reaction analysis, feedback on the social changes performed. The authors present the results of sociological investigations of the Khabarovskiy Kray population. In the conclusion, the authors say that the pandemic revealed and made stronger some social tendencies in building a structural and industrial state manifesting social conflicts between power and society.

Confucius against Covid (Some Aspects of Chinese Experience in Dealing with a Pandemic)
Komissarov Sergey
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.1.1-149-162
Abstract:

From the end of 2019 to the present day, the world lives in a constant confrontation with the epidemic caused by coronavirus infection. The first country to experience COVID-19 attack was China. The data on the number of cases and deaths from this disease are tens, and sometimes hundreds of times less than in most developed countries, especially if we take into account the huge population of the PRC. During 2021, mortality caused by coronavirus remains practically zero, and the number of cases per day varies from a few persons to two dozen, and they always came from abroad. To achieve this, it required mobilization of all medical and administrative resources on the part of the authorities, as well as the observance of discipline and complete loyalty to the activities carried out on the part of the population. Many observers – journalists and then scientists – suggested that moral values articulated within the framework of Confucian ideology should be singled out among the factors that contributed to the establishment of control over the epidemic. Not all specialists agree with this approach. But it seems to us quite justified, since a similar picture can be observed in those countries of East and Southeast Asia, whose civilization was formed under the strong influence of Confucianism. Among the socio-cultural factors contributing to the successful fight against COVID-19 and its consequences, one can also name the active use of the methods of traditional Chinese medicine, especially Qigong and Taijiquan complexes. We suppose the Chinese experience in this sphere could be useful for other nations.