L. G.Fishman

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  • 1, 2024

    • No Disrespect to the Reactionary

      The article addresses the question of why, despite the seemingly long-standing accumulation of economic and technical conditions sufficient for building, if not communism, then socialism, the left-wing forces are unable to take advantage of this, and yield the initiative to the right-wing, conservative, and even reactionary forces. The author explains this situation by the rationale that the mindset of the left is still dominated by a flat liberal progressivism characterized by cliché ideas about the progressive and the reactionary, but it lacks tools to adequately assess the reasons for the “reactionary” sympathies of the broad masses and to admit that these masses have “grounds for concern” at the very least.

      As a theoretical basis, the article uses the concept of human prehistory of the classics of Marxism. The author demonstrates that the underlying dichotomy of the alienated and authentic, human and inhuman does not coincide with the dichotomy of “reactionary” and “progressive”. The Modern Age is examined as both an epoch of reaction (in the literal sense of the word, net of ideological connotations) and that of progress. In order to resolve these issues, the author introduces the concept of retropractice, which is supposed to help adequately describe these seemingly “reactionary” and “conservative” sides of Modernity. Retropractices, in contrast to “reaction”, possess an emancipatory and alienation-reducing potential. The flaw of the left is that they fail to comprehensively conceptualize the meaning of retropractices because they view them only as “reaction” and “conservatism” in the usual sense. However, socialism, if realized, will largely turn out to be precisely a set of retropractices.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2024-112-1-6-28

      Pages: 6-28

  • 3, 2023

    • Our Wrong Ruling Class: What to Expect from It?

      The article presents an analysis of the double problem that arises in the study of the contemporary Russian ruling class: one aspect of this problem is related to an adequate theoretical description of this class, and the other aspect concerns its self-positioning. The author considers the main paradigms of theoretical understanding of the nature of this class — as bourgeoisie, as bureaucracy, and as nomenklatura. The article demonstrates that, regardless of the adequacy of the description of Russia’s ruling class within the paradigms of bourgeoisie and bureaucracy, in the current situation the class prefers to position itself as the heir to the Soviet nomenklatura. Such a positioning endows the Russian ruling class with a much greater historical subjectivity than it could claim if it positioned itself as bourgeoisie or bureaucracy.

      The catch, however, is that in reality the Soviet nomenklatura possessed a very limited historical subjectivity and needed an external “editor” (regulator). The modern Russian ruling class has inherited this trait, which caused a number of difficulties that it experienced in the ideological and axiological spheres. Therefore, one should not expect global world-building projects from this class. The maximum that it can offer to other citizens is to increase their share of rent in the form of social payments, a Far Eastern hectare, and salaries to members of the special military operation. Taking populist steps, manifested in the refusal to show off their success, could become another component of the strategy of rapprochement with ordinary citizens. An “ideology” that is being formed around such a strategy will become a design of a new social contract. Today one can only guess what such contract will be about.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2023-110-3-47-66

      Pages: 47-66

  • 4, 2021

    • Heir and Bastard (Notes on the Social Genesis of Ressentiment)

      The article focuses on redefining the social genesis of ressentiment. The concept of ressentiment, widely used today in the form shaped by Friedrich Nietzsche and fine-grained by Max Scheler, turns out to be both overly and insufficiently connected to the social structure of the societies, for the analysis of which it is used. The reason is that although Nietzsche’s and Scheler’s ideas about ressentiment refer to the socio-structural aspects of its genesis, they do so in a contradictory and incorrect manner. Without noticing their own contradictions, both thinkers elevate genesis of ressentiment to the moral standards of the lower classes. Using the examples of younger heirs and bastards of the medieval aristocratic families, as well as the examples of other relatively privileged social groups, the author shows that one should rather seek the genesis of ressentiment within higher social strata. At the same time, the author shows that the moral feelings and behavioral strategies germane to ressentiment can be adopted and are adopted by representatives of other classes. In this form, it attracts attention in times when the oppressed classes obtain real opportunities to change their position, or, at the very least, they receive reasons to believe that they could achieve more if such an opportunity had been given to them.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2021-103-4-145-162

      Pages: 145-162