Law and Revolution: The Impact of Soviet Legitimacy on Post-Soviet Constitutional Transformation
The systematic investigation of the Russian revolutionary tradition in comparative, historical, and functional perspective provides the possibility to understand its impact on the creation of the modern world and contemporary social and political system. The article discusses the meaning, formation and evolution of the Soviet Project –the concept and practice of social and legal reorganization in Russia inspired by Marxist philosophical ideas and fulfilled during the period from the Bolshevist Revolution of 1917 until the collapse of the Soviet regime in 1991. On the ground of cognitive theory approach in historical studies, the author examines the role of Communist myth in the formation of the Soviet state, ideological and legal grounds of one-party dictatorship, the nature of nominal constitutionalism, and the role of institutional continuity in the formation of the current political system. He shows the place of the permanent grounds (ideology, nominal constitutionalism and dictatorial impetus) as well as the place of changing parameters of the Project (Soviet, federative and class-oriented regulation) regarding their formal and informal influence on political regime’s legitimacy and cumulative impact on the system’s transformation and failure. In this context the author discusses the evolution of legitimating formula of political regime from Tsarist times to the collapse of the Soviet regime as represented in ideological programmatic, nominal Soviet constitutionalism (1918, 1924, 1936 and 1977 Soviet Constitutions), and changing practices of the social mobilization. That makes possible the general evaluation of the revolutionary heritage and its influence on the current Post-Soviet ideological priorities, political system, legal transformation, and prospects for its modernization.