Peter Chaadayev and Michael Katkov: stereotypes and contradictions of images

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Abstract


This article discusses the complex dialectics between the conservative and the liberal trends in the development of Russia´s socio-political thinking; it does so by studying the worldviews of Peter Chaadaev and Michael Katkov. What makes this issue relevant is the circumstance that the present generations of Russians are searching for their national identity, an identity that has practically been lost in the current circumstances of cultural degradation, of decreasing cultural values in the society, and of shifting meanings. The author compares the conceptions of Russian thinkers and public figures and focuses on the main facts and factors that determined the search for the national identity of social thought in Russia in the 19th century. Considering the methodology of the issue, the author comes to conclusion that it is necessary to turn away from the dichotomy towards an integration, and towards an understanding of the complex and controversial world of an individual in the non-linear movement of history. The task that the present paper formulates is to understand the new logic of the development of socio-political thought in nineteenth-century Russia not on the basis of the traditional contradistinction of the conservative and liberal ideologies, but through the synthesis of their positive principles in the historical context. The author sees the link and succession of the conceptual provisions of Peter Chaadaev and Michael Katkov. The ideology unites various institutions and systems, the individual and the people into a whole, facing the challenges of the country´s modernization. As a result, the well-known formula - autocracy, Orthodoxy, populism (narodnost´) - makes a deep semantic meaning, in close linkage with the original spiritual tradition of collectivity (sobornost´) and spiritual and moral values.


About the authors

Alexey Vladimirovich Lubkov

Moscow Pedagogical State University

Author for correspondence.
Email: mail@mpgu.su
1, Malaya Pirogovskaya St., Moscow, 119991, Russia

Doktor istoricheskikh nauk [Dr. habil. hist.], Professor, Corresponding member of Russian Academy of Education, Rector of the Moscow Pedagogical State University.

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