Jewish Thought, Utopia, and Revolution
In response to the grim realities of the present world Jewish thought has tended to retreat into eschatological fantasy, but rather to project utopian visions precisely on to the present moment, envisioning redemptions that are concretere, immanent, and necessarily political in nature. In difficult times and through shifting historical contexts, the messianic hope in the Jewish tradition has functioned as a political vision: the dream of a peaceful kingdom, of a country to return to, or of a leader who will administer justice among the nations. Against this background, it is unsurprising that Jewish messianism in modern times has been transposed, and lives on in secular political movements and ideologies. The purpose of this book in to contribute to the deeper understanding of the relationship between Jewish thought, utopia, and revolution, by taking a fresh look at its historical and religious roots. We approach the issue from several perspectives, with differences of opinion presented both in regard to wath Jewish tradition is, and how to regard utopia and revolution. These notions are multi faceted, comprising aspects such as political messianism, religious renewal, Zionism, and different forms of Marxist and Anarchistic movements.
This chapter analyzes the inflamed political debates that took place among prominent Jewish publicists in Weimar Berlin. The "Berlin debates" articulated the tragic dilemma of the Jews as being simultaneously the subjects and the victims of the Russian Revolution.
This article addresses the question of philosophy and political program of contemporary Russian conservatism. The author analyses historical origins of this doctrine and the role of conservative romanticism in a framework of the current political process. From this position the author focuses on comparative analysis of Russian and West European forms of phenomenon under consideration.
This article studies the issue of democratization of countries within globalization context, it points to the unreasonably high economic and social costs of a rapid transition to democracy as a result of revolutions or of similar large-scale events for the countries unprepared for it. The authors believe that in a number of cases the authoritarian regimes turn out to be more effective in economic and social terms in comparison with emerging democracies especially of the revolutionary type, which are often incapable to insure social order and may have a swing to authoritarianism. Effective authoritarian regimes can also be a suitable form of a transition to efficient and stable democracy. The article investigates various correlations between revolutionary events and possibilities of establishing democracy in a society on the basis of the historical and contemporary examples as well as the recent events in Egypt. The authors demonstrate that one should take into account a country's degree of sociopolitical and cultural preparedness for democratic institutions. In case of favorable background, revolutions can proceed smoothly (‘velvet revolutions’) with efficient outcomes. On the contrary, democracy is established with much difficulty, throwbacks, return to totalitarianism, and with outbreaks of violence and military takeovers in the countries with high illiteracy rate and rural population share, with low female status, with widespread religious fundamental ideology, where a substantial part of the population hardly ever hears of democracy while the liberal intellectuals idealize this form, where the opposing parties are not willing to respect the rules of democratic game when defeated at elections.
Gastronomic consumption practices are one of the main ways of forming the corporeal human identity, a marker of his/her cultural and social status. Specificity of food as a material medium of symbols and signs, which are assimilate d at the level of the most direct corporeal experience, determines its consumption as a complex system of communication links. Today, the practice of food consumption in the form of fast food is especially relevant and registers new forms and ways of communication, not only gastronomic, but also reflecting power and new gender relations. It can be argued that it is in the form of fast food (Mac-food) the symbolic content of food overcame and absorbed its physical and technical aspects.
Ernst Bloch and His Contemporaries is a much needed concise yet comprehensive overview of Ernst Bloch's early and later thought. It fills an important gap in research on the history of German thought in the 20th century by reconstructing the contexts of Bloch's philosophy, while focusing on his contemporaries - Georg Lukács, Walter Benjamin, and Theodor Adorno. Ernst Bloch's influential ideas include his theory of utopian consciousness, his resolute inclination to merge aesthetics and politics, rehabilitation of hope, and atheistic conception of Christianity. Although Bloch's major early texts, Spirit of Utopia and Traces, have recently been translated into English, and there has been renewed interest in Bloch over the last 15 years, he is still relatively unknown compared to other left German-Jewish intellectuals. Ivan Boldyrev places Bloch's often enigmatic prose within contexts more familiar to English-speaking readers, and outlines the most important messages in Bloch's legacy still relevant today to European intellectual discourse, in particular aesthetics and philosophy of history.
In this article the author attempts to explain the events occurring in the country taking into account the specificity of the Ukrainian political culture. From the point of view of the author, a key player in the Ukrainian revolution in 2014 was the Ukrainian society itself, and any attempt to comment the situation of modern Ukraine, first of all, should take into account civil conditions of the society itself. Qualitative state of civil society in Ukraine outrun the quality of the ruling elite, which inevitably provokes new confrontations and conflicts.
In his article Vladimir Kantor explores the destiny of Russia intelligentsia within the context of cultural crisis that took place at the turn of XIX and XX centuries, analyzing the Vekhovs, a group of leading intellectuals who ran a collection of essays, titled "Vekhi", studying their relationship towards that Russian cultural phenomenon. To author, the intelligentsia is considered as a critical factor in the development of Russian history. Within a context of the struggle around the "Vekhi", by referring to famous philosophical and literature books, published in 1909, the author focuses on relationships between intelligentsia and ordinary people, their attractive and repulsive interaction, which represents the key theme of the Russian destiny. Any historical movement occurs through tragedy; heroes who move the history have to sacrifice themselves to provide that movement. Confirmation to that idea would be rejection and exclusion of the Russian intelligentsia from the country's mentality throughout a number of generations which ultimately led to its tragic being.