«Парадоксальность речей Зиновьева была естественным следствием их истинности». Интервью
The article is devoted to a discussion of the creative legacy of the national philosopher, writer, and sociologist Alexander Zinoviev and is timed to coincide with his 100th anniversary. Abdusalam Guseynov, director of the Institute of Philosophy and member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who knew Zinoviev personally and is concerned with his legacy, discusses the influence that the philosopher had on Russia, the world, and the national intellectual space. Guseynov recalls how he met Zinoviev and shares his current impressions of that meeting. Guseynov speaks of Zinoviev’s enormous influence on Russian intellectual life and public consciousness in the second half of the 20th and early 21st centuries. However, the lines of this influence are hidden, sometimes silenced, and therefore this subject remains to be explored.
A special emphasis in the interview is placed on Zinoviev’s well-known formula “I am a sovereign state.” Commenting on its philosophical and scientific-sociological aspects, Guseinov notes that Zinoviev developed his philosophical views precisely in order to live properly, which gives relevance to his ethics. Zinoviev takes deeds rather than norms as his starting point, and moves from the individual to the general rather than vice versa, which characterizes his teachings as a “philosophy of the act.” Guseynov suggests that Zinoviev’s views and character grew out of the contradiction between the communist ideal and its realization in the Soviet experience. Here lie the origins of his criticism of real communism as well as his desire to become an ideal communist himself and to embody in his individual experience a communist ideal that is impossible in the social experience of the people.