¹ 3, 2022
The Concept of the State in the Philosophical-Political Theories of Sergei Hessen and Ivan Ilyin (“Legal Socialism” vs. “Legal Conservatism”)
The article is devoted to the comparative analysis of the interpretations of the state presented in the works of Sergei Gessen and Ivan Ilyin, two Russian philosophers of the first half of the 20th century. The article demonstrates that the similarity between these interpretations lies primarily in the rejection of legal nihilism and legal positivism. Both philosophers distanced themselves from the mechanistic view of society and the state, which is germane to classical liberalism, and defended the principle of the sovereignty of law in public life. Differences in the understanding of the essence of the state by Gessen and Ilyin are caused by the discrepancy between the initial axiological, worldview, philosophical, and methodological presumptions. Conceptually, Ilyin compares the state to an integral spiritual organism, while for Gessen the state is nothing more than the highest coordinating body in the system of public life. According to Ilyin, the state performs a dual function: it ensures the spiritual unity of the people and protects the spiritual autonomy of an individual. Gessen, for his part, sees the main task of the state in protecting the “impenetrability” of an individual and asserting her supra-legal status. The interpretation of the relationship between the state and law proposed by Ilyin is monistic: “law and order” equal to the “state law and order”. Gessen’s concept of “legal socialism” is pluralistic: the state legal order coexists with non-state (social) legal orders that emerge in various communities, while state power loses its role as the only source of positive legal norms.
¹ 4, 2021
Ideology in the Era of “Cynical Reason” (Interpretation of Ideology in Slavoj Žižek’s Works)
The article is devoted to the critical analysis of the concept of ideology developed by Slavoj Žižek, the modern Slovenian philosopher. The author reveals the possibilities and limitations of Žižek’s approach to understanding the phenomenon of ideology and considers the initial presumptions and methodological assumptions that this approach is based upon. The article shows that despite the indisputable originality, Žižek’s theory is not devoid of contradictions, and the interpretation of ideology as an illusion and mystification, which is justified within the framework of Marxist political philosophy, loses its foundations in the context of the post-structuralist methodology.
According to I.Demin’s conclusion, Žižek’s philosophical and political thinking falls prey to the scheme that Peter Sloterdijk defined as “mutual tracking of ideologies”. Criticism of ideology here implies criticism of one ideo logy from the standpoint of another, or criticism of “bad” ideology from the standpoint of “good” ideology. The “criticizing” ideology is not clearly articulated, but implicitly assumed. The fact that the “critic” of ideology prefers not to reveal his own bias constitutes an integral part of the strategy of ideological criticism, as opposed to scientific criticism.
Ideology as the principle that structures social reality obtains an allencompassing character in Žižek’s interpretation, since it underlies all human actions and human thinking. However, if there is no way to separate ideology from scientific knowledge, to distinguish between ideology, philosophy and religion, it turns out that ideology is everything and nothing at the same time. With this interpretation, “ideology” becomes an unoperationalizable concept for Social and Political Sciences, and therefore useless. At the same time, a number of the provisions formulated by Žižek (on ideological “fastening”, on the role of the enemy figure in the ideological discourse, etc.) may be in high demand in the course of developing an adequate methodological strate gy for studying the phenomenon of ideology, which distances itself from both “naïve” objectivist doctrines and the extremes of the political anti-essentialism and anti-universalism.
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