Краткие заметки к спорам о Русской революции: вместо вступления
The utopian Communist ideal of a workers’ state, which was put into action after the Bolshevik takeover of power in Russia in 1917, provoked new types of social mobilization, adaptation, and domination and new political institutions. At the core of this experiment was the new concept of Labor Unions as a form of intermediate democracy which could potentially be transformed into a communal state based on the collective production and distribution of property, wealth, and social responsibility between broad nets of workers unions.In the sociological literature and international historiography, this social experiment was scrutinized as a rare or even unique historical example of how the abstract syndical concept of a stateless society (based on cooperation and solidarity rather than on bureaucratic control) could be put into reality. This form of self-government was interpreted as a substantive historical alternative to the traditional “bourgeois” state with its key institutions – parliamentarianism, the separation of powers and an independent judicial system. In some current left-oriented theories, this is considered a “model” experiment – successful, consecutive and effective in its initial stage (in the period of the so-called “War Communism” in 1918–20), but revised and finally rejected in the following period of bureaucratic Communism with its one-party hegemony and Stalinist dictatorship. In order to understand the scientific value of such statements, the author provides a detailed analysis of the principles, initial forms and implications of Soviet labor self-government in the early formation period (1918), using multiple primary sources – the minutes and protocols of central and local labor unions, the old and the new ones, which depict the social, professional, and administrative stratification of Russian revolutionary society during its formation. The author’s central argument is that the so-called deterioration of labor selfgovernment in Soviet Russia was rooted mainly in the internal transformation of unions as formal organizations rather than external pressure or strategic mistakes. From the very beginning the revolutionary labor unions were different from the typical Western social democratic unions – they had a different, more traditional, social background, and sought a different role in social transformation. A combination of internal and external factors in this transformation created the institutional basis for a new type of social inequality, the development of oligarchic trends in Soviet labor unions, and the formation of a new “labor bureaucracy”. The Bolshevist party exploited these trends but did not generate them. In other words, the whole experiment in workers’ democracy from its very beginning was profoundly unrealizable and belongs to the museum of human utopian social projects.
The article is devoted to the participation of Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian scholars in the national-state building after 1917, including the definition of the borders of new states
In the Foreword to the publication of excerpts from the Freienberg's Memoirs on Russian Revolution the author quotes letters written by Olga Freidenberg in 1917-1918. And makes a comparison of the three points on the chronological axis: the letters are from 1917-1918 and memoirs from 1937 and 1947 The comparison provides a picture of rethinking and reviewing of the February and October revolutions implemented by outstanding scholar and B.Pasternak's cousin and correspondent Olga Freidenberg.
The present edition continues the scientific series «Literature. XX century» (issue I – “Faces and Facets of the XXth Century”, 2009; issue 2 – “Literature and War. XX Century”, 2013; issue 3 – “Literature and Ideology. XX Centu‑ ry”,, 2016) based on the materials of the International prof. Leonid Andreev memorial conferences “Faces and Facets of the XXth Century” regularly hosted by the Faculty of Philology, Lomonosov State University of Moscow (MGU). As the edition coincides with the centenary of the Russian revolu‑ tion, the major part of the papers is focused on the influence of the event on the Western and Russian literature and culture (including the Russian Émigré literature), as well as on the Soviet-Western literary and cultural contacts of the 1920–1930s. The issue also considers the impact of various XXth centu‑ ry revolutions (political, social, aesthetic, technical, etc.) over European and American literature and culture.
2017 is the year of the one hundredth jubilee of the most important social and political event in European history and Russian history, namely the revolution of 1917. In the course of this jubilee year the International Laboratory for the study of Russian and European intellectual dialogue of the National Research University Higher School of Economics (Moscow, Russian Federation) organized and realized a project entitled “Russia one hundred years after the revolution of 1917.” In the course of this project three big international conferences dedicated to elaborating a philosophical perspective to the causes and results of the Russian revolution were held.
During the period of the so-called Silver age of Russian culture, three outstanding translators of the Greek tragedy, Tadeusz Zieliński, Innokentiy Annensky and Vyacheslav Ivanov, put forward the idea of the third, Slavonic Renaissance – the new rebirth of Antiquity, with the leading role of the Slavic peoples, particularly the Russians. They claimed that while the first Renaissance was Romanesque and the second German (in the era of Winckelmann, Goethe and German classical philology), the third one was supposed to be Slavonic. In the early Soviet period, the idea of Slavonic Renaissance brought about some unexpected results, first of all precisely in the sphere of theater. The paper focuses on how symbolist ideas got to be expressed in the performances of classical tragedies. Ivanov authored the expression “creative self-performance” that later, in the Soviet era, acquired the meaning of “non-professional performance,” such as comedies staged by “sailors and the Red Army soldiers,” Adrian Piotrovsky’s “amateur theatre,” and the pioneer reconstruction of the scenic performance of Aristophanes’ comedies done by Sergey Radlov, Adrian Piotrovsky, and others.
The letters of Eleanor Lord Pray (1868-1954) describe the reaction to the news of the revolution, the first rallies and demonstrations in the Far East, the revolutionary upsurge and its end, the intervention and rise to power of the Bolsheviks in 1922. Pray is often quite critical and notes her disappointment with modern society, and her look at current events reveals a regret about the past and the coming changes. The author writes about the complete absurdity of the ongoing social change and inconsistency of the revolutionaries. At the same time the enthusiasm for the possibility of a new bright future for Russia is replaced by bitter disappointment with what has happened. Special attention is given to intervention and to the relationship with the new government. In 1930, after 36 years of living in Vladivostok, finally losing all possibilities for living in Soviet Russia, Pray leaves the country forever.