VOYTENKO A.A. Pygmalion and the Owl of Minerva: The Philosophy of Revolution by N.V. Ustryalov

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.3.19 

Anton A. Voytenko

Doctor of Sciences (History), Leading Researcher

Centre for Egyptological Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Prosp. Leninskiy, 29, Bld. 8, 119071 Moscow, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. The article examines the theoretical views on revolution as a socio-political phenomenon advanced by N.V. Ustryalov (1890–1937), main ideologist of National Bolshevism.

Methods and materials. The article focuses mainly on the publicistic works by N.V. Ustryalov. The task of identifying general theoretical constructs dissolved in the general journalistic discourse or veiled for tactical reasons requires the correct interpretation of images and symbols, careful analysis of all the content, as well as the “reverse” formatting of it in a consistent concept.

Analysis. Ustryalov differentiated revolution from other similar social phenomena (coup detat, riot, rebellion, etc.). In his point of view, revolution has several unique features: it follows sine and passes its peak in the middle, it “deepens” at its peak to a “clear idea”, which is not implemented, and it is characterized by “heterogeneous goals”. There is a good reason to assume that Ustryalov considered the stages of the French Revolution as an invariant for a revolution as such. In the article, the stages of the Russian Revolution in Ustryalovs assessing are analyzed: its general coincidences with the French revolution, the difference in their secondary factors and scenarios.

Results. The author suggests that Ustryalov based on his analysis of the Russian Revolution and the general development of Russia in the 1900s–1920s of the 20th c. was able to formulate a version of Russian history of modern times that is relevant and actual at the moment, because it explains consistent dialectical continuity from the Russian Empire to the USSR, and is the least traumatic for the historical memory of the majority of the population of Russia at the present stage.

Key words: Nikolay Ustryalov, National Bolshevism, Russian Revolution, history of intellectual pursuit in Russia in the 20th century, Russian emigration.

Citation. Voytenko A.A. Pygmalion and the Owl of Minerva: The Philosophy of Revolution by N.V. Ustryalov. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2020, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 214-224. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.3.19 

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Pygmalion and the Owl of Minerva: The Philosophy of Revolution by N.V. Ustryalov by Voytenko A.A. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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