- General definition
- The origins of the term
- Chadaev's background
- Further development
- Our people abroad
- Followers of this concept
- The essence of Berdyaev's work
- Opinions of other philosophers
- Deriving the general philosophical formula of the term
- Russian identity and its features
- Global meaning of the concept
- How is geopolitics related to this?
- Russian idea in a modern context
- The specifics of Russian philosophy
- Flaws of Russian philosophy
The identity of each individual ethnic group is very unique. The Russian people are no exception, boasting not only a distinctive culture, but also a stunningly deep and rich history. At one fine moment, all our we alth was combined into the so-called Russian idea. This is a term that characterizes us as an ethnic group that has its own traditions and history. Well, let's deal with this concept and all its nuances in more detail.
So, in the generally accepted sense, the Russian idea is a set of definitions that express the features of historical education and the special vocation of our people. This term has a deep philosophical meaning, and more precisely, it is the basis of the philosophy of the national people. The Russian national idea also plays the role of a kind of prism through which our writers, poets, artists and thinkers see the world.
It is important to understand that thisthe term appeared in everyday life not at all as a strict postulate or dogma. The Russian idea is, rather, a metaphor or a kind of symbol that has become a reflection of everything connected with our nationality in the global context over the centuries.
The origins of the term
The first very veiled and vague references to the ideas of the Russian people originated in the writings of the monk Violetheus in the 16th century. He became the author of the famous concept "Moscow - the third Rome", which is still being discussed in society. In short, Philotheus awarded such a high-profile title to the Principality of Moscow during the period of its prosperity, namely from the moment the reign of John III began. All the princes who held their supreme position were considered by the supporters of the concept to be the heirs of the Byzantine and Roman emperors. We also note that, according to the works of the monk, all the ideas of Russian culture at that time towered over the ideas of other existing nationalities. So they wanted to make a super-state out of the Moscow principality, popularizing all its paraphernalia and the heritage of the ordinary, common people.
It must be said that such a radical development of the Russian idea has become a good stronghold for the formation of further national consciousness. The period of existence of the Moscow Principality is also called the "Golden Age of Russian Holiness", since it was then that religion in our country reached its peak, and cultural life was closely intertwined with it. All this formed the so-called Russian catalog of ideas based on religion.
The history of the Russian idea continued only three centuries later. The people stood on the threshold of something new, everyone felt that the former, habitual rhythm of life needed to be changed. After the epochal uprising of the Decembrists in 1825, the key questions of the Russian national idea were again raised by Pyotr Chaadaev in his famous Philosophical Notes. He was the first to decide not just to describe, so to speak, in two dimensions, the essence and characteristics of our people, but to think about its purpose and vocation. An important point is that Chaadaev assessed the isolation of the Russian people from all the rest exclusively in a negative way. However, over time, he realized that the true Russian idea is neither good nor bad, it must be taken for granted and try in every possible way to understand its originality. For clarity, we can quote his brief statement, which was published in the Telescope magazine in 1836: "We belong neither to the West nor to the East. We are an exceptional people."
Regarding Chaadaev himself, we can say the following. He was under the constant sight of the tsarist police, since with his anti-monarchist works and very daring reasoning, he pretty much angered the ruling Nicholas I at that time. Despite all this, his essays were published in magazines and published as memoirs; the broad masses of people had the opportunity to get acquainted with the judgments of such a free-thinking author. It was thanks to Chaadaev, one might say, that the Russian idea appeared in Russia, as people began to think one after another about who they were in thisworld, what is destined for them and how to live on.
Soon the Russian idea appeared in Russian literature. For the first time, this term "soul" of all Russian writers was used by Fyodor Dostoevsky, who certainly knew what our country and its people really were like. The ingenious author owns the following words, written by him in 1861: “We predict that the nature of our future activity should be in the highest degree universal to all mankind, that the Russian idea, perhaps, will be a synthesis of all those ideas that are developed with such persistence, with such courage Europe in its individual nationalities".
Of course, Dostoevsky does not form a clear definition of this term, but presents it in context, as if referring to these words as a matter of course. But it is in the works of this author that we see our being, our people, their customs and mores as they really are. Dostoevsky's novels clearly articulate the Russian idea of the 19th century, which, as it turned out later, is not only a symbol of that time, but the eternal banner of Russia.
Our people abroad
In 1888, Europe, and later the whole world, first learned what it is and that the Russian idea exists in general. Solovyov Vladimir - a domestic publicist, philosopher, thinker and poet published an article that was called "The Russian Idea". He presented his thoughts on this matter through the prism of religion, again raising the question of the destiny of our people. Here is one of the author's key quotes:"The national idea is not what a nation thinks of itself in time, but what God thinks of it in eternity."
It was Solovyov's "Russian idea" that became the reason for interethnic discussions on this topic. At the international level, in the community of thinkers and philosophers, questions began to be raised about how directly Russian culture and history influenced the development of the West and East. And also to what extent our nationality was able to absorb the traditions of other ethnic groups, which became a stronghold for creating something new.
Vladimir Solovyov himself determines the development of the Russian idea according to three simple principles:
- The first principle is centripetal, suppressing any variety. This feature is borrowed from the East.
- The second principle is centrifugal, which gives freedom to individualism, selfishness and anarchy. Trait borrowed from the West.
- The third principle is Slavism as a bearer of the two previous extremes, like a "sponge", which absorbed only the best from the West and the East and synthesized it into something new.
According to the thinker, it is Russia that should lay the foundations of a global theocracy based on the principles described above.
Followers of this concept
The advent of the new, twentieth century, for Russia has become a fatal period in history. The revolution, two wars, constant hunger and shortages did not allow thinkers to fully reveal their potential and convey those very bright thoughts to the tormented people. However, in 1946, the lightNikolai Berdyaev's book "The Russian Idea" is published. He can be called the only follower of Solovyov, who wisely and taking into account the new time presented to the world the consensus of the existence of the Russian people and its purpose.
The book gives the reader the opportunity to look at the "Russian idea" through the prism of history and religion. Based on his research, the author draws the following conclusions, which can be called a brief review of his essay: "The nature of the Russian people is very polarized. It is characterized by both humility and renunciation, and rebellion, which requires justice. There is a place for compassion and they are cruelty. Russian people are characterized by a love of freedom, but they are prone to slavery. But most importantly, a Russian person has a special love for the land, and his land itself is different than in the West. The mysticism of blood or ethnicity is alien to him, but inherent mysticism of the earth".
The essence of Berdyaev's work
The Russian idea for this author, as well as for his predecessor Solovyov, is a global issue. Berdyaev reveals it through God and religion, but at the same time he also makes a huge bet on the self-consciousness of the Russian people. The author claims that the Russian people do not like the order that is characteristic of this world, and rejects it in every possible way. And he is striving to create a certain City of the Future, New Jerusalem, which will unite all races, unite the people of the entire planet and become the embodiment of the Holy Spirit. All this is the very plan of God, the very purpose and idea thatcarries the Russian people and the land on which they live. It is Russia, being both in the West and in the East, that can become the gateway to a new era and a new world.
Opinions of other philosophers
Detailed, in the form of a work or a book, or briefly, many Russian thinkers spoke about the Russian idea. Among them, the words of Ivan Ilyin deserve special attention, who was a fierce opponent of Soviet power and believed that this regime of government suppresses the essence and purpose of the Russian people. It is worth noting that, unlike Solovyov and Berdyaev, Ilyin does not propose to consider all aspects of being and culture, but forms the image of national unity, choosing only the brightest and best of what is inherent in it. The statements of this philosopher can be quoted: “The Russian idea is what is already inherent in our people, what it is right in the face of God and what makes it original and stands out among other nationalities. At the same time, this indicates our historical task and This is all that we need to learn from our ancestors and pass on to our children, what we need to grow and develop in all spheres of life - in culture, everyday life, religion, art and laws.The Russian idea is something living, simple and creative. She embodied the most significant times for our country, found its reflection in the most noble people and their no less significant deeds."
Deriving the general philosophical formula of the term
Against the background of all of the above, we can formulatethe so-called catalog of ideas in Russian, about the Russian people and the Russian land, which originates at the origins of the formation of the state and ends with modern times. What aspects did the Russian idea include?
- Love for the Motherland, which goes hand in hand with patriotism.
- The historical mission of the Russian state and its purpose. The revival of the concept of "Moscow - the Third Rome", as well as the assertion that the Russian people are the messiah.
- Features of the historical path of Russia, intersection with other cultures and nationalities and synthesis of traditions.
- The specifics of the existence of the Russian people or, as they say, "the Russian soul".
- The values that are inherent in this "soul" are national and universal.
- The role of the state and the intelligentsia in shaping the foundations of life.
It turns out that the Russian idea is an inextricable circle that includes all aspects of the life of our country. It begins at the foot, that is, in the everyday life of any ordinary person. And ends in the ruling elite and those close to it. It is the relationship of these two, so to speak, layers, as well as the thread of religion that permeates the entire history of the people, that form the very self-consciousness and place that Russia occupies in the world.
Russian identity and its features
A very important role in the formation of the idea of any ethnic group and its culture is played by the self-consciousness of each individual person. Like it or not, no matter how special and unique a person may be as a person, he lives insociety, therefore, to a greater extent follows the stereotypes and judgments inherent in this society. It is by these criteria that other, different from ours, ethnic groups and communities (or nations) identify us and define us among many others. What are the features of Russian self-consciousness? What characterizes us?
- Mysticism. They literally permeate our entire history and way of life. The basis for the birth of mysticism was the teachings of St. Gregory Palamas (Hesychasm), which appeared in the late Byzantine period. The main ideas of the work were: knowledge of the extrasensory world, mental prayer, the possibility of perceiving the energy of God, silence, etc. All this, even in those distant times, was closely intertwined with the so-called "Russian quests" and was reflected in religion and in everyday life. It must be said that later all these elements of religion were synthesized with such concepts as "ration" and "feelings". Most likely, this is why the spiritual life of the Russian people is more united and integral than in the West.
- Historicism. The most important trump card of the Russian people, most likely, is its history. Moreover, such a feature was inherent in him not only in recent years, but also in very distant times. History, in turn, is again closely intertwined with religion, and these two concepts form a new philosophy, which becomes a mirror of the people. The most striking example of historical and sacred thought is the idea of sobornost.
- Aestheticism. It manifests itself already in more secular spheres of life, such as art, philosophy, morality. The most striking examples of the manifestation of the Russian idea in art, we have alreadytouched briefly. These are the works of Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, poems and stories by other authors, as well as articles and works of thinkers.
Global meaning of the concept
The present time is characterized as the era of globalism. For this reason, the Russian idea right now can become a sense-forming component. In other words, due to the formation of a unique, original and very multifaceted concept of the Russian people, the whole planet can be spiritually enriched, which will lead to the unity of the people all over the world. Why exactly at the expense of a single state - Russia? One should look into the root of the idea of this country:
- First of all, the priority of the unity of the whole world is seen.
- The values that the Russian idea prevails are generally accepted. These are freedom, justice, fraternity, tolerance, solidarity, non-violence, etc.
The fact is that the spiritual priorities of any other state or ethnic group are currently very divided. People are focused on their own, autonomous, so to speak, dogmas, beliefs and truths, which most often run counter to many other arguments. Russian culture, which has been closely intertwined with religion and spirituality for centuries, has become a single substance. Moreover, it absorbed the origins of various other cultures, which enriched it to a greater extent and made it multifaceted. That is why, both earlier and now, it is believed that it is the Russian idea that is the very postulate of unity that will open the door to something new for everything.the world, not just for your country.
How is geopolitics related to this?
Some philosophers, in particular A. L. Yanov, put forward the following idea. If the Russian people is viewed as a kind of messiah for the whole world, and it is viewed in such a context regarding the political borders of the state, then this is pure chauvinism. However, this judgment did not become a turning point in the history of the Russian idea. Many other thinkers, relying not only on their own works, but also on the achievements of their predecessors, pointed to the fact that this term does not define the relationship of the people with the state. This concept is deeper, which covers the whole spectrum of life, the formation of a nationality, its customs and traditions, as well as the formation of national strata.
Russian idea in a modern context
If we look at everything through the prism of culture, philosophy and morality, then not only modern Russia, but the whole world that we can see today, is on the brink of an abyss. The most important spiritual values have been lost, there is no unity of faith, commitment to something, traditions and cultural heritage are crumbling before our eyes. Under such conditions, it is the Russian idea that acquires a special meaning and becomes extremely important for understanding. If people “wake up” in time and turn their eyes to the very idea of unity, harmony and prosperity, then humanity will be able to open new doors, move into a new era, become an order of magnitude higher, smarter, spiritual and richer. As we see for ourselves, so far these deep and extremely wise thoughtsif they break through into the "sinful" world, they compete there with hundreds of resistances. Perhaps in the near future people will be able to find the strength to revive national unity and remember what the history of their people was like and what culture can teach.
The specifics of Russian philosophy
Well, now it's time to state the main ideas of Russian philosophy, according to which the people live and, based on which, thinkers and philosophers created their famous works.
- The Russian idea is closely connected with Hellenism, the origins of which are in Greek Christianity.
- The people are given special attention.
- Problems of morality, law and goodness stand out especially brightly.
- Man is considered as a part of the world, as its indispensable mechanism. Personality is never opposed to nature.
- Especial attention is paid to experience and intuition.
- The development of such a thing as catholicity. This implies the unification of all people who are ready to join God voluntarily, on the basis of love for the Almighty. There are a number of spiritual values that allow each person to feel part of God's plan and at the same time remain themselves. It is worth noting that in Western spiritual teachings, as a rule, the bearer of spirituality is the patriarch or the clergy. For the Russian idea, such a definition is alien, therefore the church itself or God himself is considered the stronghold of religion.
- Of course, religiosity is the main idea of Russian philosophy. It is present not only in the works of thinkers, but also in creativity, in particular infiction of such authors as Dostoevsky, Bulgakov and others.
- A phenomenon that is characteristic of the Russian idea is the formation in the late 18th and early 19th centuries of such a concept as a philosophical and artistic complex.
Flaws of Russian philosophy
An idea that calls to unite the people of the whole world under one banner, which is alien to violence, fear and hatred, of course, sounds very attractive and promising. However, she, alas, found flaws, because of which she still cannot fully open up. How can one characterize the disadvantages of the Russian idea or philosophy?
- Lack of taxonomy. All concepts are very vague, they lack precision. They have a colossal philosophical load, but are far from always applicable in practice.
- Unfinished business. The philosophers we talked about above only dared to put their thoughts on paper, to provide people with spiritual food for reasoning. But they did not form all this into a single postulate that could guide.
- Underestimation of rationalistic designs. The whole essence of the Russian idea comes down to spirituality and religion. But in the course of these reflections, we forget that the real world is completely different and lives, rather, according to "Western" rules, rather than according to the laws of unity and friendship.
The Russian idea undoubtedly needs to be improved, but its essence is the very core that everyone who is interested in making our world better, brighter and kinder needs to hold on to.
All of the above can be considered a kind of catalog of world ideas in Russian. And it can be described as the reflections of a group of like-minded people who are far from reality. But in any case, it is worth recognizing that the Russian idea is something ingenious that has echoes not only in the people, their religion and history, but in the very being, nature and people who live hand in hand with it, in the creations of these people and their actions, in the story they are creating right now. For a Russian person, according to philosophers, the only way to the light is God, but in order to achieve enlightenment, you need to sincerely want to become a part of God, and not just blindly follow the instructions.