«Политическая свобода» versus «свобода от политики»: европейские странствия Карамзина как прототип русских поисков общественного идеала
Exploring the genesis of the search for social ideal one finds it in the late XVIII century writers – Prince Andrey I. Vyazemsky and historian Nicolay M. Karamzin. Both were «involuntary travelers», shunning anti-Masonic persecution launched by Catherine the Great. The surviving entries of Vyazemsky in his diary are extremely fragmentary, while Karamzin’s «Letters of the Russian Traveler» give us a rich and in many respects unexplored source if historical information. This philosophical travelogue, among other things, is an exposition of types of European regimes (German, Swiss, French, English) as a kind of competitive «social ideals». Karamzin elects Switzerland and in England, as the countries he loved from his youth. The author arrives at conclusion that, perceiving merits and demerits of social structures, Karamzin kept thinking that Russia, being European and Christian country, was capable of creating a harmonious society based on its own traditions.