A People in the Absence of the People, or a View of Post-Communism from Below
The essay strives to explore the causes of the "absence of the people" (as a political category designating the agency of political action as something distinguishable from the demographic and ethnic readings of the "people") in the course of the post-communist transformations of Russia. By and large, these causes are portrayed as rooted in the specific version of capitalism that has taken hold of Russia as well as in the Soviet legacy of oppression it upholds, albeit in a modified form. The possibilities of the emergence of the people (in the aforesaid sense of the term) in the post-communist context of Russia are explored in the concluding section of the paper.
El español aunque tiene muy poco que ver en muchos aspectos con los habitantes del norte y centro de Europa, es europeo y latino, por su historia y por su cultura. A pesar de todo, algunos dicen que «África empieza en los Pirineos», y esto se debe a la dominación árabe de duración de casi ocho siglos. Para mucha gente, los españoles son personas pequeñas, morenas que pasan la vida cantando y bailando flamenco, son muy aficionados a la corridas de toros, que les gusta mucho perder el tiempo hablando de todo en las tertulias en la sobremesa y que cuando están contentos, que es muy frecunte, dicem «olé». Esta idea es falsa.
As is well known, inequality is typical of every or at least most societies (e.g., Davis and Moore 1945: 243). Sociology considers power, wealth, prestige, status and privileges to be the main social benefits and resources, whose distribution defines the major forms of inequality (see e.g., Davis 1942; Smelser 1988; Lenski 1966; Sullivan 1998; Collins 2004)1. Sometimes education (or more generalized – ‘skill capital’ [Perrucci and Wysong 1999]) is included in this list. For instance, Berger points out that education is the main ‘capital’ of the new ‘knowledge-class people’ (Berger 1986; see below about it; see also Coser and Znaniecki 1968; Gouldner 1978); Giddens supposes that education reflects and affirms the existing inequality rather than encourages its elimination (Giddens 1993). Toffler and others quite rightly regard knowledge among such resources (see e.g., Toffler 1990).
There are analyzed the encountered in the title kinds of exploitation, uncovered its social danger and given the criminal legal characteristics, pointed out the ways of counteraction in the article. The author substantiates the conclusions concerning the freedom from such kinds of exploitation and the measures of combating encroachments on this freedom. There is shown the significance of the civil society institutions for the relevant areas of penal policy.
Modern capitalism favors values that undermine our face-to-face bonds with friends and family members. Focusing on the post-communist world, and comparing it to more 'developed' societies, this book reveals the mixed effects of capitalist culture on interpersonal relationships. While most observers blame the egoism and asocial behavior found in new free-market societies on their communist pasts, this work shows how relationships are also threatened by the profit orientations and personal ambition unleashed by economic development. Successful people in societies as diverse as China, Russia, and Eastern Germany adjust to the market economy at a social cost, relaxing their morals in order to obtain success and succumbing to increased material temptations to exploit relationships for their own financial and professional gain. The capitalist personality is internally troubled as a result of this "sellout," but these qualms subside as it devalues intimate qualitative bonds with others. This book also shows that post-communists are similarly individualized as people living in Western societies. Capitalism may indeed favor values of independence, creativity, and self-expressiveness, but it also rewards self-centeredness, consumerism, and the stripping down of morality. As is the case in the West, capitalist culture fosters an internally conflicted and self-centered personality in post-communist societies.
According to interdisciplinary theory of architecture and sociology by A. Amin and N. Thrift, presented in their book Cities. Reimagining the Urban, the light sociality is the main way of individuals interaction in city space. In this context, consumption appears to be one of the basic forms of individuals self-expression on one hand, and on the other hand - one of the basic forms of urban communication. We deal with consumption in its general meaning - as a complex of all individuals consumption-related practices that are transparent in space of light sociality. Consumption practices become agents of light sociality, producing ambivalent encounters that emotionally affect individuals realizing those practices, and those who observe them. In this way consumption takes part in governmentality of the city spaces.
The book is published by the Italian-German Research Center on the basis of the International Scientific Conference «Imperium, state, civitas. Critical contribution to the concept of power in the postmodern era ", held in Villa Vigone (Italy) 19-21 March 2013. The book is a collection of the articles of Italian, German, Russian and Chinese professors of jurisprudence.
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.