At the round table the problem was discussed of using mathematical methods in the analysis of historical process, or methods of historical macrosociology. On the one hand, it is obvious that in the history different societies have certain regularity, which can be examined by statistical methods. This applies to demographic waves as well as to certain economic realities, etc. For instance, we can point to the Kondratieff’s waves. If we take it for granted, it appears that it is possible to speak about the corresponding laws. However two problems appear straight away – the quality of data on which to rely, and the ratio of the peculiarities of the history of some particular societies and the general laws which characterize any society. Economists, the most advanced in application of mathematics, are building system models, while historians are just approaching to this. There is inductive approach to these issues as well, when historians use statistics to analyze certain specific processes. Also such issues were discussed such as the transformation of professional history into applied political science, which is certainly counterproductive from the point of view of science as such, and the problem of the access to the archives. In addition, it was indicated that there is a deep connection between historical research and such complex discipline as adaptology. Participants also discussed the problems of interpretation of historical data and the status of social sciences in general.
STATISTICS OF THE INITIAL PERIOD OF THE DEPORTATION OF THE PEASANTRY IN THE 1930–1931 YEARS: THE POSSIBILITIES AND LIMITATIONS FOR HISTORICAL RECONSTRUCTIONKrasilnikov Sergey
At the end of the 1980s in the context of the policy of «opening of the archives»” historians got an access to government statistics on repressions of the Soviet era. With the obvious advantages of a centralized accounting of repressions significant gaps in the accounting and dynamics control of deported to special settlements peasantry in the 1930 1931 years were revealed. Deportation and the creation from the very beginning of special settlements could not but cause disruption and misrepresentation of statistical reporting, such a kind of information is called «gray hole». Social chaos generated chaos in statistics. Both institutional factors (interdepartmental contradictions and uncoordinated actions of secret police, a huge turnover of staff of the commandant’s offices, etc.) and behavioral factors (active and passive forms of peasant resistance) influenced the accounting of exiled farmers. As a result the statistically recorded special settlements population loss in the period amounted to half a million people, or a quarter of the number of deportees, but accurate data on the mechanisms and relationships of various forms of such catastrophic deportation statistics were not fixed. This publication analyzes the causes of the information «failure» of corporate statistics.
AGRARIAN ECONOMY OF SIBERIA DURING THE WORLD WAR I AND THE CIVIL WAR: THE PROBLEM OF INTERPRETING STATISTICAL SOURCESRynkov V.M.
Agricultural statistics data are analyzed through supplementary types of sources, which provide a critical look at the key statistical sources – agricultural census in 1916, 1917 and 1920. The cross-sectional analysis of statistics, record keeping and narrative material have enabled the author to conclude that the growth of agricultural production in Siberia during the World War I, as it is drawn from well-known statistical sources, can hardly be considered reliable, with the production growth still rising according to some indicators even during the Civil War.
From the first days of the war there appeared a large number of cartoons mocking the German army and the German people in the French press and on postcards. These cartoons - often woefully primitive and vulgar- allow to understand the reasons which forced the French to fight against the Germans, they show how the French perceived the war, especially in the beginning of the conflict, when the cartoons appeared in large numbers, and when they expressed the most cruel motives. Firstly, caricatures ridiculed the Germans. Secondly, they emphasized the danger caused by their invasion, accompanied by atrocities. Thirdly, the cartoons depicted the abomination, and the inhumanity of the enemy, both these qualities made the Germans an intermediary between a man and a pig. Caricature is, certainly, a popular aspect of propaganda, which turned out to be quite consistent with people’s preferences. This kind of genre is not only the evidence of the atrocities of the war, but also reveals the cruelty of creative thinking and is a constituent part of that total war.
SOCIALIST-REVOLUTIONARIES ABOUT THE ESSENCE AND CHARACTER OF THE BOLSHEVIST REGIME IN THE YEARS OF CIVIL WARMorozov Konstantin
The author analyzes how Socialist-Revolutionaries estimated the character of the Bolshevik regime. He considers this in the context of the opposition between Socialist-Revolutionaries (PSR) and Bolsheviks as representatives of two branches of the Russian socialism – Narodnichestvo and Marxism. This opposition had a long history and roots. It must be taken into account that their doctrines had different nature and were derived from different concepts. At the same time it is a fundamental issue that Bolsheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries argued in the frames of one socialist paradigm, but PSR offered another model of socialist society and other ways and means of its construction and they estimated the Bolshevik regime from this point of view. The evaluations of the Bolshevik regime differed among the PSR members according to the group attachment of this or that PSR member. Centrists and Left-Centrists argued that adventurous and ill-considered actions of Bolsheviks pursuing among others selfish interests would lead to the discredit of the conception of socialism in the eyes of the masses and impede the movement to it in future. “The Right-Wing PSR members” including the group of Avksent’ev and Fondaminsky saw the near future of Russia in recovery of destroyed economy mainly on the capitalist basis and by “the formation of a healthy productive bourgeoisie” but necessarily with simultaneous development of democracy, self-government, cooperation, trade-unions and with PSR cooperation with other democratic parties for common or coordinated actions. V.M. Chernov characterized the Soviet regime as a form of state capitalism. All those Socialist-Revolutionaries stated from the very beginning: the impossibility of building socialism in the country with unready economic, social, cultural and psychological prerequisites; the regime relies not on the mass initiative but on the coercion and intimidation; the development of state terror to enormous quantitative and qualitative degrees which had no analogues in the previous history and destroyed the society structure; the degeneration of the Bolshevik party itself (E.M. Ratner pointed out this fact, which happened in 1922, at the PSR Trial, speaking about moral experimentation of Bolsheviks) – all this was confirmed during the next decades