ИНТЕЛРОС > №131, 2020 > Summary


08 октября 2020


[стр. 343—344 бумажной версии номера]

The 131st NZ issue is organised around two major themes: the problematisation of the notion of “the political” and the revision of certain views on the Second World War: those that have once again come to dominate the “patriotic” mainstream strain of Russian historiography.

Our regular columnist Alexander Kustarev opens the first theme with his essay “Party Politics and Its Alternatives”, in which he attempts to outline possibilities of democratic governance on the far side of the traditional political setup, one based on party representation and competition between various powers linked to appropriate societal structures. The theme is further developed in Richard Marshall's interview with Sharon Lloyd, a professor at the University of Southern California, in which Hobbes' legacy is given a new relevance in the context of contemporary political philosophy and moral theory.

The section “Anarchy: Between Politics and Ontology” talks about new possible foundations of the political. Its contributors include Martin Holbraad, Morten Pedersen and Eduardu Viveiros de Castro, who in their joint article “The Politics of Ontology: Anthropological Positions” aim to identify anthropological developments potentially linked to the bridging of the gap between the ontological and the political, through the notion of the otherwise. Evgeny Kuchinov in “Worthless Tools, Heaps of Bodies and Ontology […] against Politics” takes Heidegger's reflections on technology as a starting point to raise the question of a relationship between ontology and politics, his argument based on a potential anarchic escape beyond the limits of tool-dominated reality made possible by the creation of non-functioning technological objects. Denis Shalaginov in “Wild Geophilosophy, or The Earth against the State” offers a detailed analysis of the conceptual foundations and the genealogy of ideas that characterize Eduardu Viveiros de Castro's anarchic anthropology. In “After the Last Man: Images and Ethics of Becoming Otherwise”, Elizabeth Povinelli, a professor of anthropology and gender studies at Columbia University, continues to reflect on the ontological and political potential of the otherwise, introducing it into the sphere of such concepts as horizon (Alexander Kozhev), rhizome and fold (Gilles Deleuze). The section concludes with “ferations.world: On the Cartography of a Lost Scale”, an article in which Nikita Sazonov and Ekaterina Nikitina present some fascinating examples of political connections between natural and sociocultural phenomena.

The second topical section focuses on the Second World War. The historian Igor Dolutsky in “Memory?! Pride?! Reflections on the Second World War and the Warmongers” compares the 1938 Munich Agreement and the German–Soviet Nonaggression Pact signed in Moscow in 1939. The comparisons are made against the background of an offensive war on enemy territory, a concept that grew out of the idea of a world revolution. Mark Edele in “The Soviet Culture of Victory” reconstructs in historical detail the process whereby the Soviet regime dealt with its subjects' war experience and used the specific culture of victory to promote its own reproduction. The historian Pavel Gavrilov uses the partisan movement in the Leningrad region to consider the role of mass violence, which was typical for the prewar Soviet society, in the mechanisms that shaped resistance in occupied territories and formed various group identities (national, social, ideological, ethical, etc.).

The subject of war is further considered in the section Politics of Culture. The sociologist of religion Dmitry Uzlaner in the first part of his article “Russia in Transnational Culture Wars” describes the global logic of culture wars fought in the name of traditional national values by transnational organisations of a far-right and conservative bent. Olga Togoeva's “Mediaeval Motifs in Contemporary Political Caricature: The Case of Marine Le Pen” (published in Case Study) analyses one of the examples of this conservative ideological agenda. Also we turn once again to the cultural experiment conducted in the city of Perm, the subject of Gleb Zhoga's “Cultural Politics and Economic Crises: Another View on Perm's «Cultural Revolution»”.

Two pieces in this NZ issue deal with the global pandemic that has affected the world in the past six months. In his regular column Sociological Lyrics, Aleksey Levinson analyses the ways in which Russians have reacted to the state's attempts to fight the pandemic and its attendant economic crisis. Evgeny Kuchinov explicates the range of problems featured in two books by Giorgio Agamben – “Creazione e anarchia. L'opera nell'età della religione capitalista” (2017) and “L'uso dei corpi” (2014) – starting from a heated discussion that was initiated by Agamben's short piece “L'invenzione di un'epidemia”, in which emergency measures introduced to fight the disease were pronounced “excessively fussy, irrational and completely unmotivated”.

Igor Smirnov's long essay “Looking back at the Era” diagnoses our time as an era that has deprived itself of a future; a result of its inability to transcend itself by turning to the experience and imagination of the otherwise (which provides an unexpected link to the contents of the first section).

The issue concludes with the Russian Intellectual Journals’ Review by our regular contributor Alexander Pisarev, as well as a New Books section featuring several new titles. They include “Revolting Prostitutes: The Fight for Sex Workers' Rights” by Juno Mac and Molly Smith, reviewed in a long piece by our editor, Kirill Kobrin.

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