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Article

Вечное и преходящее в русском консерватизме

The article treats such subject as plurality of meanings of terms “conservatism” and “conservatives” which were in use in the Russian philosophical and political thought in second half of XIX – beginning of XX centuries. The study starts with definition given by Nicolas Berdyaev which poses the key dilemma of conservative (self)definition: either to mercilessly criticize all temporary existing from the point of view of “Eternity”, or to ascribe to all temporary existing a rank of “Eternal”. Through this dilemma it is possible to demonstrate how authentic conservative principles and meanings could have been presented in different and alternative ideological paradigms. Perpetual character of this dilemma in pre-revolutionary Russian conservative thought for a long time deprived of possibility for political representation, had brought about a fatal gap between conservatism “from above” and radical-left mood “from below”. And finally – collapse of Empire. In contemporary Russia there is a chance to escape such scenario due to assuming conservative principles as “spiritual braces” equally shared by authorities and the people.