Uchaev Ye. I.

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  • № 1, 2023

    • Unthinkable Doomsday: Postapocalyptic Nature of Modern Political Realism

      The article discusses the relevance of political realism in the times when a total planet catastrophe is possible. According to Ye.Uchaev and M.Kharkevich’s hypothesis, modern political realism is a post-apocalyptic direction of thought, which is based on the belief that a final state of the world has arrived. Therefore, now that human survival is under threat, realism could be rejected due to the denial of the postapocalyptic worldview, which historically made realism possible, rather than external reasons.

      The article defines political realism as an approach towards international relations that assumes the inevitability of conflicts between multiple political actors. The authors claim that such an approach requires interpretation of time as infinite. Based on the works of Bruno Latour and Eric Voegelin, Uchaev and Kharkevich show that such a perception of time was formed at the turn of the Middle Ages and the New Age through the self-positioning of Modernity as a post-apocalyptic era, and the state within the Modern era — as a post-apocalyptic subject. The study of the texts of modern political realism confirms the hypothesis about its post-apocalyptic nature. A consistent realist position is found only after the post-apocalyptic self-perception took root in Europe (roughly in the middle of the 17th century) as a result of the triumph of a sovereign state. The realist position is most clearly revealed in the concept of the balance of power of the late 17th—18th centuries. The authors who wrote before or on the eve of this turning point (Niccolò Machiavelli and Thomas Hobbes) in their works turn to the apocalyptic-utopian horizon, where disunity is transformed into political unity. In turn, the threat of the total nuclear war that emerged in the middle of the 20th century becomes an incentive for Hans Morgenthau, John Hertz and Reinhold Niebuhr to overcome realism and develop projects for global political reform. However, according to Uchaev and Kharkevich’s conclusion, overcoming realism will remain incomplete until the problem of the political subject of global reform is resolved.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2023-108-1-40-63

      Pages: 40-63