The Onset of Narcissistic Culture: Notes in the Margins
Yuriy Pershin
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.2.1-149-163

The response to the article by P.A. Orekhovsky and V.I. Razumov “The Onset of Narcissistic Culture: Consequences for Education, Science and Politics” is not a fully analytical review. It represents the result of certain empathy and it is also an attempt to articulate some thoughts generated by the reflection of modern social reality. The reviewed article was only the trigger for starting this work. Associations and intuitions, which appeared after reading of this article, indicate that the material presented by P.A. Orekhovsky and V.I. Razumov was able to bring the consciousness of a modern man out of the “comfort zone”. This fact suggests that the material presented by these authors has high relevance, which immediately raises the relevance of all its reviews. Despite the fact that the article under consideration is more essayistic than scientific, the object of investigation is narcissistic culture in modern conditions, when, according to P.A. Orekhovsky and V.I. Razumov, postmodernism serves as a unique medium for its dissemination. The subject – some features of its influence on the human community, including its manifestations in our country. As a set of methods of research or consideration of the problem, we use a combination of general logical methods, the method of historical analogies, elements of a systematic approach, as well as elements of an approach to social phenomena from the perspective of reconstructed archaic consciousness, its principles and its values.

The most general conclusions of reviewing the article by P.A. Orekhovsky and V.I. Razumov are that narcissistic culture is a relatively obsolete (do not mix it with ‘archaic’) variant of pathological social development. It gained new strength in the conditions of technological progress, the emergence (or rather, reproduction) of thinking, which in post-industrial society was defined as postmodern. During the recent political confrontation of social systems, it was used as an ideological weapon. It launched the processes that turned out to be poorly controlled and it can only be resisted from the standpoint of healthy conservatism and the promotion of traditional values.

Humanism, Post-Traditionalism and Secularism as Three Foundations of Contemporary Narcissism
Grigory Illarionov,  Vyacheslav Kudashov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.2.1-164-179

This paper is a critical response to the article by professors P.A. Orekhovsky and V.I. Razumov “The Onset of Narcissistic Culture: Consequences for Education, Science and Politics”. The idea of treating Western post-war culture as narcissistic has been expressed in the United States since the 1970s of the XX century, but it will also be relevant in relation to the post-Soviet culture of Russia. Considering the ambiguity of the cognitive metaphor of Narcissus in relation to the described socio-cultural transformations caused by the possibility of an almost arbitrary interpretation of something as narcissism, the article presents its own interpretation of the foundations of narcissistic culture. Following the idea of opposing a narcissistic culture to a culture of service, modern narcissism is viewed not so much as an individual’s selfishness, but as a loss of an object and opportunity for service. Secularism, understood in the spirit of Charles Taylor as the loss of any higher, transcendent, hierarchical ontological concepts, deprives a person of a higher authority that legitimizes any service to something. This means a horizontal ontology of equivalent objects that do not have the highest value in relation to the individual. Post-traditionalism means impermanence, “fluidity” of any institutionalized forms of sociality and their perception, the dynamics of the emergence and decline of which does not allow the individual to find an object of service. A person remains in conditions of “minimal humanism”, which means that this person, having neither a higher reality that determines it, nor the constancy of social institutions, remains for himself the only possible value, a kind of “narcissist against his will”. We also believe that narcissism is not an external, but an internal factor of social processes that constitutes the motives and interests of the participants in these processes. While agreeing with the thesis about the connection between narcissistic culture and postmodernity, we believe that it is not a “young culture” opposite to mass society. On the contrary, narcissistic culture is the culture of a mass society that has gone further along the path of secularism, post-traditionalism and humanism, just as postmodernity is called late, far-reaching modernity by such sociologists as E. Giddens, U. Beck, Ju. Habermas.

The Gracious Powers оf Individualization
Andrey Teslinov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.2.1-180-196

This article continues the discussion of the phenomenon of modern culture published in the paper by P.A. Orekhovsky and V.I. Razumov “The Onset of Narcissistic Culture: Implications for Education, Science and Politics”. Arguments are presented for those consequences that lead culture to new states and guide thinking to explain the efforts needed to strengthen it in the role of developing us.

The judgments are based on a sense-genetic conception of culture that eliminates the naïve identity between the concepts of ‘cultural’, ‘civilized’, ‘cultivated’, ‘ethical’, ‘aesthetic’, ‘high’ and other assessments of specific properties of human behavior. The method of deriving consequences from judgments is based on the dialectical regularities of the development of living wholes and the products of their activity.

For the sake of continuing the semantic line of the original article, an attempt is made to rely on the phenomena of narcissism disclosed therein to see in them the signs of the future, the approach of which one could rejoice in without demonstrating its quite understandable experiences as an ugly form of the value landscape of modernity. In this sense, the idea, not developed but sown by the authors, that “narcissistic culture” brings to the world high diversity that can serve as a stimulus for the beginning of a new round of human development is supported here. There is a reason for this thought. They point to the approaching of gracious time when anarchic individualism will develop into another form of long-term sustainable coexistence of people under conditions of heterogeneity of values and interests. These conclusions make it possible to outline the contours of the tasks that need to be solved now in order to multiply this grace.

National Specifics of the Language Worldview
Elena Vaganova
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2022-14.2.1-197-211

This article presents the main approaches to the study of the national specifics of the language worldview. The relationship between the concepts of "worldview", "language" and "thinking" is determined by the ontological foundations of the formation of a linguistic picture of the world as a structural unity of ordered elements. The national specificity of worldview is determined by the subjective perception of reality, which is reflected in the worldview and the implementation of the received ideas and knowledge about the world in speech activity. National specifics includes historical processes and phenomena, way of life, living conditions, traditions, customs, national consciousness and personal self-identification. The worldview can be presented as a system of categories. The subject connection of categories goes back to the ideas of Aristotle. Aristotle defines categories as the most general concepts of the world and ways of knowing it. The role of categories in human cognitive activity is unique. They serve as a means of mental division, grouping, classification of surrounding objects and phenomena, that is, they help to organize the elements of the worldview. The concept of worldview and model of the world is related. Image of the world - is a system of coherent images of reality, reflecting the ethnic and cultural consciousness in a certain perception of the world. Ethnic and cultural image of the world is due to the system coordinates, through which people perceive and interpret the reality around them. The world model is a scheme that is filled in the minds of the displayed objects of reality, in other words, the content includes a picture of the world.

The University Mission in the Humanitarian Dimension: Stating the Problem
Olga Zinevich,  Tatyana Balmasova
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2021-13.3.1-116-132

The article focuses on the mission humanitarianism of a university as a social institution from the perspective of social ontology. The mission is viewed as a perfect benchmark (supreme goal and purpose) necessary for university existence as well as for maintenance and authorization of its institutional identity. It is shown that despite the changes in functionality of universities under the conditions of knowledge-intensive economy development (use of business models in interaction with the society), the humanitarian orientation has not lost its significance since it is necessary for the existence of a university as an institutionally organized specific educational activity, including knowledge generation, storage and transmission. Key institutional characteristics are considered that reveal the importance of humanitarianism for preserving the university as a unique social phenomenon. The authors are guided by the methodology of moderate constructivism – the study of value and meaning of human mentality, ideas and ideals in forming the institutional design of social reality. The role of the ideal and the intentionality of human actions in the construction and function of an educational social institution, which is expressed in the university corporation’s drive to be orientated at values, which give positive social significance to its activities and are aimed at achieving good, are explored. The university produces and conveys knowledge through establishing a knowledge subject, in other words, it forms the very intention to achieve a socially significant result not only in an objectified form of knowledge, but also in the form of evolution (development) of an individual who can produce and use knowledge for the good of society and for their personal advancement. In this context, the mission is understood to be a supreme goal and an ideal benchmark in the concrete historic practices of university education in forming a knowledge subject who must master the fundamental values ​​necessary for society’s existence. The university mission is based on the concrete historic interpretation of the key socially significant goal of education: the development of a “human being” who acts for the good and benefit of society and its members via conveying the thesaurus of universal human values in their concrete historic theoretical and ideological formats.

“Red Funeral”. New Funeral Rites in Early Soviet Russia
Andrey Savin,  Alexey Teplyakov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2021-13.3.1-205-228

The article analyzes the emergence of the so-called red funeral ritual in the 1920s in Soviet Russia as an important component of political everyday life. The first part of the article examines the funeral rituals of representatives of the Bolshevik elite. The second part attempts to characterize the transformation of funeral rites among the “common” population. The analysis undertaken clearly shows the undoubted political and public nature of funeral rituals in early Soviet Russia. Initially, Soviet funeral rituals were powerfully influenced by radical utilitarianism and total nihilistic denial of the religious worldview, intensified by the excesses of the World War, Revolution and Civil War. Nevertheless, nihilism and utilitarianism, the highest expression of which was the idea of ​​cremation, were quickly pushed out by a new funeral ritual, the key elements of which were demonstration and “theatrical ritual” with its music, processions, pretentious speeches and fireworks, in many respects borrowed from military funerals. The main role in the emergence of the red funeral ritual was played by the cult of fallen heroes, which in turn was a guarantee of political immortality of the Bolshevik leaders. As a result, the red funeral became an important element of the alternative Bolshevik culture. The concept of Vladimir Buldakov, who characterized revolutionary funeral rituals as “neo-pagan”, is at least controversial. The attempt to make funerals of the Bolshevik elites a model for mass funerals collided with conservative rituals, especially in the countryside. With regard to the 1920s, at best, we can talk about the emergence of a kind of “the effect of dual faith", a specific symbiosis of red and religious funeral rites. Thus, in the 1920s, the process of a new Soviet ritualism development was far from complete, including the Soviet party and state elites, as evidenced by the fluctuations between party asceticism with its utilitarian attitude to ashes and splendid funerals of leaders.

“Spring Palace Paintings” in Chinese Traditional Painting
Anna Zavyalova
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2021-13.1.2-414-424

The article considers the erotic genre of traditional Chinese art, chun gong hua (‘spring palace paintings’), which was developed in painting. The study uses comparative - historical, cultural and historical methods, as well as methods of systematization, analysis and synthesis. The author traces the formation and evolution of the genre, reveals its specific features. The paper analyzes the system of artistic images of the works of chun gong hua, reveals that they are based on the ideas of Taoism, which are visualized through painting, which made it possible to reveal a second, meaningful plan of paintings filled with metaphors and allegories. Particular attention is paid to the characterization of expressive means, specific techniques and visual techniques of the genre.

The study shows that due to the richness of images, artistic and expressive means and techniques, juxtaposition of the conditional and the real, double transformation of nature, the first impression of seemingly pornographic images of naked bodies and erotic scenes is subdued. The high artistry of the ‘spring palace paintings’ allows us to attribute them to the unique works of Chinese traditional art.

The Phenomenon of Metamodernism in Contemporary Russian Art (On the Example of Paintings by V. Pushnitsky)
Denis Podlednov
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2021-13.1.2-425-441

The article is devoted to the analysis of the functioning of metamodernism in the field of Russian contemporary art. Researchers of metamodernism talk about the revival of historicity, depth and affect that were lost with the era of postmodernism. Metamodernism is characterized by oscillation, metaxis, new sincerity, neo-romantic sensuality, reconstruction, etc. In this paper, the author attempts to analyze markers of metamodernism in the visual arts using the example of the artist Vitaly Pushnitsky (St. Petersburg). The material for the study was a research interview with the artist V. Pushnitsky, as well as a semiotic and formal-stylistic analysis of his works (2015-2020). The author comes to the conclusion that through such markers of metamodernism as oscillation, reconstruction and appeal to new sincerity, the artist V. Pushnitsky seeks to show the reality in which the artist is at the stage of searching for new artistic means of expression. Along with this, through certain compositional and color features, V. Pushnitsky pays tribute to such artists as Pierre-August Renoir, Claude Monet, Leonardo da Vinci, Francis Bacon, as well as the Japanese poet I. Kosugi.

Three links in a Golden Chain
John Bigelow
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.4.2-372-393

One of Plato’s dialogues, the Timaeus (ca 370 BCE), describes an abstract numerical pattern that is said to have guided the creative work of an artisan, the Demiurge, who designed both the soul that animates the material world as a whole and the souls of each of the sentient beings that live within this world. Any artist or artisan who took this creation story seriously might reasonably be motivated to take guidance from this same numerical design in his or her own creative work, hoping thereby to mirror the macrocosm in the microcosm of a work of art. Have any artists in history tried to do that? Three likely candidates will be examined here. The first is Plato himself (in a short narrative of the generation of the pantheon of Greek gods, which he recounts in the Timaeus). The second is an unknown Medieval author of an epic poem about Charlemagne (The Song of Roland, ca. 1100 CE). The third is Iris Murdoch (in a novel, The Unicorn, 1963).

Back to the Future: A New Reality in Old Texts
Marina Burgete Ayala
DOI: 10.17212/2075-0862-2020-12.4.1-38-58

The article proposes to consider the concept of nonlinearity as a metaphor performing the function of acquiring new knowledge, using this concept as a tool in the strategy for reading, understanding and interpreting texts, regardless of their national, language or temporary affiliation. The current situation of uncertainty and unexpected changes that affect all walks of life form challenges that make us look at the future of mankind in a new way. The questions, set today, inevitably make you wonder if today’s events are so unique. Has mankind previously encountered something similar? Namely: were there in the history such situations, the era, in which people had to react to the fact that “overnight”, by historical standards, rebuild and change radically their life, break the habitual foundations of society, revise them on a global scale? Similar events to the contemporary ones were observed in the first century after the discovery of America, in which epidemics were one of the “actors”, causing irreparable damage to the indigenous people of the New World and practically destroyed it. This process was reflected in the texts of the chronicles, as it was understood by contemporaries, both winners and losers. Is it possible to learn from this experience and how to project this knowledge onto a new possible reality? The author considers texts, fragments from chronicles of the XVI century, which describe epidemics that erupted in New Spain at the height of the conquest and the first decades after it. The purpose of the article is to show the relationship of processes between the predicted end of globalization nowadays and the technogenic civilization transformations. Various aspects of this relationship identified through the application of non-linearity metaphors allow us to reconstruct and interpret the historical reality as a complex continuous process. This, in its turn, gives an opportunity to formulate and set new tasks for research in various areas of knowledge.