Intelligentsia exhumed: nationalist trends among contemporary Russian intelligentsia
Since the late 1980s, we witnessed vigorous attempts to bury the Soviet intelligentsia along with Soviet literature. Some efforts along these lines were truly inspired (Anninsky, 1992Anninsky, L. (1992). The suppression of the intelligentsia. Will it persist till 2000? [Vytesnenia intelligentsia. Will it persists till 2000?]. Ogonek, № 29-30, pp. 28–29. [Google Scholar]; Yampolsky, 1991Yampolsky, M. (1991). Rape by confession [Iznasilovanny pokaianiem]. Literaturnoe obozrenie, 8, 89–96. [Google Scholar]). And yet, forecasts about the imminent demise of Russian intelligentsia have proved premature. Plenty of people still identify themselves with this vaunted group. Some go out of their way to sell their services to the official authorities, to Vladimir Putin – the surprising monarch that emerged after breakup of the Soviet Union. Others, still in self-criticism mode, agitate against the reigning powers and official establishment or sport a decidedly apolitical attitude. Then there are those who enjoy a cozy relationship with the establishment and milk it to their advantage.
Structurally, the situation uncannily resembles the one that prevailed in the Soviet era. The notion that the intelligenty will transform themselves into pragmatic intellectuals – a common assumption in the 1990s – didn’t pan out (Kordonsky, 1994Kordonsky, S. (1994). Intelligentsia as a national elite[Intelligentsia v roli nationalnoi elity]. Predely vlasti, 1, 134–152). The intelligentsia is still very much with us, even though it has adapted to the circumstances.