The 63rd issue of NZ, though being not thematic, is devoted to several topics interrelated with each other. First of all, this is various aspects of what is usually called “political theory”. In new section “Political Theory and Depoliticization” there is an article of the London philosopher, orientalist and writer Alexander Pyatigorsky “Contours of the Future Forms of Political Thinking”. The author analyzes some categories of political thinking of the present in its relation to visions of “future” typical to the modern Western society. We are glad to date this publication to the author’s 80th anniversary.
Contours of “political thinking of the past”, namely of the antiquity, may be followed in two articles of Comparative Studies section — an article of the American researcher Sara Monoson (“Citizen as Erastes: Erotic Imagery and the Idea of Reciprocity in the Periclean Funeral Oration”) and an article of the historian of culture and translator Vadim Mikhaylin (“Does Misery Like Company? Situation Code Conversion as a Communicative and Political Resource”). We hope the reader will be not confused with a rather exotic interpretation of the known Periklean statement about “polis”…
Today’s Russian politics — in the period of a heavy economic crisis — is presented in the article of the known political scientist Alexey Makarkin “Party System of Modern Russia and the Crisis Beginning”. The theme of crisis is developed in sections of NZ permanent columnists: Alexander Kustarev (“Down with Credit!” — about today’s destiny of classical Western economic concepts), Alexey Levinson (“Middle Class and Middle Mass” — once more about disputes on Russian “middle class”, which does not exist for sure), Evgeny Saburov (“Myths of Not-Ancient Non-Greece” — about economic discussions and crisis expectations).
The “historical” line started with texts of Monoson and Miklaylin is continued by Yury Zaretsky’s analysis of the shorthand report of the meeting of Moscow mediaevalists in the heat Stalin’s “campaign on struggle against cosmopolitism” (Case Study section). The problematics of history of the USSR and the Soviet historiography of the Middle Ages converges here. Zaretsky’s article is one more remark in the discussion which has begun with regard to the heritage of the Soviet mediaevistics several years ago. The theme of “humanitarian knowledge and the politics” is picked up by authors of the section “On Political Dimension of Social Sciences: Between Academy and the Higher School”. Victor Voronkov brings forth a problem of politicization of social studies, in particular sociology. Sergey Sokolovsky throws a sketch of history of the Russian anthropology and its present condition. Andrey Ranchin opens a cycle of articles about education reforms in Russia.
Another significant block of materials is devoted to the relations of the Soviet and Post-Soviet state, of the society and church. Sergey Shtyrkov investigates a phenomenon of so-called “accusatory ethnography” of the Soviet times (on an example of the Northern Ossetia), Nikolay Mitrokhin offers some kind of a summary sketch of particular structural problems of Russian Orthodox Church in time of patriarchate of Alexis II. A postscript to Mitrokhin’s article becomes an essay of the NZ editor, Kyrill Kobrin, who provides his comments on “a media picture” of Alexis II’s funeral.
In Politics of Culture section there are two articles about symbolical measurement of political history of Russia. Dmitry Gorin considers a phenomenon of ideological “struggle against historical time” from the beginning of the 20th century until today. Oleg Ryabov undertakes the culturological analysis of such an important symbol for Russia, as “a bear”. In Political Economy of Culture section there is an article of the NZ editor-in-chief Ilya Kalinin “Fatherland and Sons Corp.” At last, another Case Study section — a curious psychological and historical and cultural analysis of “madness” of Peter Chaadaev (“The Madman in a Mask of a Wise Man, a Wise Man under a Mask of the Madman”). In our traditional NZ Interview there is a conversation with Georgy Kaytukov, the former employee of “Médecins sans frontières” organization.
The 63rd issue of NZ ends with traditional review sections — New Books and Russian Intellectual Journals’ Review (Vyacheslav Morozov and Peter Rezvykh). We recommend to pay attention to Alexander Stykalin’s polemic notes concerning a collection of articles to the 80th anniversary of formation Moldavian ASSR in the administrative structure of Soviet Ukraine.