MYTHOLOGY AND POLITICS
The paper examines archaic culture which has been fixed in the people’s world outlook, cultural values, language and has had an influence on political culture. The author traces the impact of life conditions and pagan believes of ancient Slavs on their attitude to the state and the power in the Christian and then in the Soviet periods of history. He tries to analyse the mythological images and symbols and the ways in which they helped to translate archaic culture hundred years after the factors which had given the birth to that culture ceased to exist. The author shows how archaic elements of political culture differ from traditional – related to great religions – and modern – rational and functional. The author also analyses the conflict potential of archaic culture.
The basis for the analysis of the modern social and political situation in Russia is the concept of social and cultural crisis (or socio-cultural crisis), which in relation to an individual has adopted the form of the crisis of identity. The crisis has caused the damage not only to the system of rational (or taken for such) values and norms existing in public consciousness, but to the traditional symbols and stereotypes characteristic to public consciousness. At the same time the process of activation of archaic elements of mass consciousness (which become the foundation for new historical and cultural and political myths)has taken place. The need for re-integration demands to overcome the identification crisis, which leads to the disintegration of Russian cultural and political space. The newly adopted ethnic, regional or any other sub-cultural identity may serve as the basis for the process of re-integration. Under these conditions one of the main characteristic features of Russian modern cultural and political development becomes the process of active myth-creation in all cultural spheres, including political culture. This myth-creation process has become a kind of compensation for socio-cultural and identification crises.
The article is dedicated to the study of socio-cultural and socio - psychological prerequisites of the process of Russia’s division into the political regions. According to the author, the main ideological means of redistribution of the rights and plenary powers from the centre to the regions are regional social and political myths.
The article deals with Y. M. Luzhkov’s contacts with Russian regional leaders. In the author’s opinion the main reason for the mayor’s particular attitude to the construction of the system of his relations with the regional ruling elite is the political regime in Moscow, founded by Y. M. Luzhkov, which creates some obstacles for him to consolidate federal elite around himself. The article examines the possibilities Luzhkov’s regional policy has and its restrictions. The author believes that Luzhkov has to chose either to found regional clientele or to form a coalition with the regional leaders. If the mayor of Moscow chooses the second variant, it can lead to the further decentralisation of Russia.
The author analyses the governor election campaign in the Kranoyarsk Kray in April, 1998, which Alexander Lebed won. The article deals with the study of electoral preferences dynamics in urban and rural regions of the territory between the first and the second rounds of the elections, with the arguments the main candidates produced. Special attention is given to the social and political situation after the victory Alexander Lebed had: the conflict between the governor and the local elite, the scripts for his removal from the post.
The article studies a new political phenomenon of Russia’s social life, which is formation of independent political role of Russia’s large cities. Municipal elections have become the main event that constitutes the inner political space of a city and defines its «face». The article is based on the results of the election campaign in the cities of Lipetsk, Kaliningrad, Nizhy Novgorod and St Petersburg.
According to the data received as a result of lengthy interviews typical expectations of electorate are analysed depending of the age and place the voters live (in a city or village). The analysis of specific combination of moral personal qualities, social and professional characteristics, party-membership and political preferences gives an opportunity to create a portrait of the three most popular ideals of a deputy: «a deputy – protector», «a master», «a people’s servant». The influence of typical expectations of the voters on the results of the elections into the assembly is defined by the comparison of the candidates in the elections in 1998 and the members of the new assembly.
The subject of the article is the stages and tendencies of the Cossack movement formation. The author of the first, in fact, research of the Cossacks in 1980-ies – 1990-ies tries to find the answer to the question whether this movement has any future in the third millennium.
The article is the text of the presentation of the head of the Department for Eastern Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland for the European Commission Office in Bonn. The author emphasises the fact that it is Russia itself and political events taking place in Russia that cause the most complicated problems for the European Community. The author shares his understanding of the process of the development of the relations between the European Community and the Russian Federation.
Doctor Luger Folmer is the Secretary of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. In his speech pronounced at the anniversary of the Federal Institute for the Oriental and International scientific researches in Keln on April, 21, 1999, doctor Luger Folmer dealt with the problem of preservation and continuation of the relations of partnership between Russia and Germany, taking into consideration the negative consequences of the events in Yugoslavia. «We need Moscow, - he emphasised, - to put the end to confrontation and to carry out the strategy of peace and stability in South - Eastern Europe.»
The author analyses the political processes in Russia and enumerates the main events that took place in Russian political life in spring of 1999.