Russia in the Context of Global Transformations

Capitalism and Communism, Culture and Revolution

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In Russia in the Context of Global Transformations (Capitalism and Communism, Culture and Revolution), the authors focus on the dramatic changes in Russia’s socio-economic system over the past hundred years. The contradictions of Russia’s triumphs and tragedies are studied in connection with the shifts in the world economic system.

Basing themselves on the views of the Post-Soviet School of Critical Marxism, the authors show the causes and consequences of the main shifts in Russia’s development during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Topics addressed include the October Revolution, the contradictions of post-revolutionary development, the disintegration of the USSR, the collapse and stagnation during the post-USSR period and the prospects for overcoming contemporary problems.

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Aleksandr Buzgalin, Dr. Sc. in Economics (1989), Lomonosov Moscow State University, Professor of the Faculty of Economics. He has published monographs and numerous articles on the capitalist and socialist economic systems, including Twenty-First-Century Capital (Manchester University Press, 2021, with co-author Andrey Kolganov).

Lyudmila Bulavka-Buzgalina, Dr. Sc. in Philosophy (2007), Lomonosov Moscow State University, Professor of the Centre for Contemporary Marxist Studies, Faculty of Philosophy. She has published monographs and numerous articles on Soviet culture, including The Phenomenon of Soviet Culture (in Russian, Cultural Revolution, 2008).

Andrey Kolganov, Dr. Sc. in Economics (1990), Lomonosov Moscow State University, Head of the Laboratory for Comparative Studies of Socio-Economic Systems. Among his recent publications on capitalist and socialist economic systems is Twenty-First-Century Capital (Manchester University Press, 2021, with co-author Aleksandr Buzgalin).
Preface

Acknowledgements

List of Diagrams, Figures and Tables

Introduction How Should the Global Transition Be Understood? Toward a Methodology of the Post-Soviet School of Critical Marxism
 1 Marxism in Post-Soviet Russia: From Orthodoxy to the Post-Soviet School of Critical Marxism
 1.1 Russia Since 2000: The Spectre of Marxist Studies

 1.2 The Post-Soviet School of Critical Marxism: An Introduction


 2 Obsolete Postmodernism: The Dialectics of Non-linear, Multi-scenario Social Transformations
 2.1 On Some of the Reasons for “Forgetting” Dialectics

 2.2 New Answers to the Challenges of new Problems: The Dialectics of the Decline and Genesis of Social Systems


 3 Beyond the “Pyatichlenka” and “The Collapse of Civilisations”: The Social Creativity of Free Association vs. Activism
 3.1 Beyond the Realm of Economic Necessity: The Dialectics of Progress/Regression

 3.2 The Individual in History: The Activism of Agents of Progress and Regression


Part 1
Context: Culture and Revolution
1Revolution From October 1917 Towards Communism
 1 Toward a Theory of Communist Revolution: Some Additions to the Traditional Positions of Marx and Lenin

 2 Revolution as the Practice of Social Creativity: The Masses and the Intelligentsia, the Social Creator and the Boor

 3 The October Revolution: Practice as the Impulse for the Development of Theory


2Culture Bakhtin and Dialectics
 1 Why Bakhtin?

 2 The World of Bakhtin: Prologue

 3 Dialectics as the Basis of Bakhtin’s World

 4 Dialogue: A Window into the World of Collaborative Creativity

 5 Vivat Carnival!

 6 Why do they Need Bakhtin?

 7 Bakhtin Versus Post-modernism: Integrity and Responsible Activity

 8 Bakhtin Versus Post-modernism: “Oneness” and the “Philosophy of the Deed”

 9 Bakhtin Versus Post-modernism: Humanism

 10 Bakhtin Versus Post-modernism: Epistemology

 11 Bakhtin Versus Post-modernism: Historicism


3Revolution and Culture Bakhtin, Mayakovsky and Lenin
 1 Revealing the Concept (in Place of a Foreword)

 2 Culture as Revolution: Creation vs. Alienation. Bakhtin and Lenin

 3 Revolution as Culture: The Proletkult and/or Soviet Culture. Lenin and Mayakovsky

 4 P.S. Revolution, that Gives Birth to Culture: The Renaissance, the ussr and the End of the “End of History” (in Place of a Conclusion)


Part 2
ussr : Birth, Death and Future
4The Birth Lenin
 1 Creating the Impossible: Lessons of Lenin’s Legacy (to Mark the 150th Anniversary of the Birth of V.I. Ulyanov-Lenin)

 2 But at the Same Time as the Revolution was Inevitable, it Lacked Sufficient Preconditions


5Death The Contradictions of the System and the Lessons of its Collapse
 1 Why and How the ussr Departed from the Scene: Toward a Systematisation of the Main Approaches

 2 The Path to the “Realm of Freedom”, or the Red Line of History: A Theoretical-Methodological Interpretation

 3 The ussr : The Hypothesis of Mutant Socialism

 4 The Social Forces of Development and the Downfall of the ussr : The Creators of the Future, the “Red” Bureaucracy and Philistinism

 5 The Immediate Reason for the Demise of the ussr : The Strengthening and Subsequent Degeneration of the “Red” Bureaucracy as the Social Creativity of the Masses Expired

 6 The Underlying Causes of the Downfall of the ussr

 7 The Degradation of the “Red Line”, and the Reasons for the Disintegration of the ussr

 8 The Tragedy of Socialism


6The Future Soviet Culture and its Renaissance
 1 The Question of Subjecthood

 2 The Renaissance and Soviet Culture: Fundamental Traits

 3 The Renaissance and Soviet Culture: Contradictions in Common


Part 3
Russia- xxi : Why Stagnation?
7Political Economy The Jurassic Park of Russian Capitalism
 1 The Russian Market: Those Who Win Are Not the Best Runners, but the Best Sack-Racers

 2 The Owners of Russia: the Anatomy of the “Dinosaurs” Property Relations and Rights: The Peculiarities of Russia

 3 Clan-Corporate Groups: Their Structure and Channels of Power

 4 The Process of Reproduction in Russia: How Capital Prefers to Parasitise Social and Natural Resources, and Acts as a Brake on Social Development

 5 The Parasitising of Natural Rent and the Ageing of Fixed Capital

 6 Social Obstacles to the Transition to an Intensive Type of Reproduction


8Culture The Destruction of Individuality in a World of Simulacra
 1 Introduction

 2 Negation as a Simulacrum of Transition

 3 Culture as Market

 4 The Present-Day Basis of Our Existence Has Already Exhausted Itself

 5 Cultures and the Market: What Relations between Them Are Possible?

 6 Simulative Consumption

 7 Culture as an Industry of Alienation

 8 Breaking the Tie with the Ancestral Human

 9 The Abstract Nature of the Being of the Individual

 10 The Negation of Subjecthood – the Rejection of the Idea of the Individual

 11 Culture as Market

 12 The Media Industry – the Production of the Private Person

 13 Conclusion


Part 4
The History of the Future
9The End of the “End of the History”
 1 The Red and the Black: The Conflict Has Never Ended

 2 The Measure of the Socialisation of Capitalism: Growth ‒ Contraction ‒ Renewed Growth?

 3 Why Has the Liberal Project, Whose Triumph Was Celebrated Thirty Years Ago, Been Unable to Clinch its Final Victory?

 4 The “End of History” Had Come to an End

 5 In Search of Alternatives to Conservative Liberalism

 6 An era of Growing Economic, Social, Political and Ideological Conflicts Is Approaching

 7 Toward a Criticism of Our Critics


10The Contradictions of Globalization and the Future of Alterglobalism
 1 From Neoliberal Globalization to a New Empire

 2 The Phenomenology of Alterglobalism

 3 The Technological, Economic and Social Preconditions for Alterglobalism

 4 Principles and Contradictions of the Alterglobalist Movement

 5 The Positive Program of Alterglobalism.


11Communism as It Is Today
 1 Žižek from a Different Angle: Communism as a Question for Our Times (in Place of an Introduction)

 2 Towards a Practical Strategy for Abolishing Intellectual Private Property and the Exploitation of Creative Activity

 3 Associated Social Creativity: Communism as the Practice of Consciously Changing the World

 4 Beyond the State: Free, Voluntary Working Association as an Abstraction of the Practical and Timely Forms for Doing Away with the State

 5 Doing Away with Social Alienation: The Struggle for Nature, Society, Humanity and Culture as Communism

 6 Communism as Theory


Postscript

12The Coronavirus is Stirring the Impulse to Communism
 1 Self-isolation as the Road to … Solidarity

 2 The Virus Is “Democratic” – Consequently, Social Justice Is to Everyone’s Advantage

 3 Closed Borders as a Prologue to … Internationalism


Conclusion


Index

All interested in understanding the background to historical events in Russia, especially academics and institutes in the social sciences as well as students and educated lay people.
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