Conference e-mail

The Aleksanteri Institute

Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki

Past Aleksanteri Conferences

Grigory Olekh (Siberian State University of Water Transport)

The Basic Values of the Russian Civilization and its Further Historical Destiny: The Experience of Application of the Organicism Theory

The fundamental values of any kind, including the Russian civilization are directly connected with the place and time of its formation. Russian socium was formed as a single, holistic organism at the turn of the 14th-15th centuries, in the process of overcoming socio-ecological crisis caused by the consequences of the "little ice age", "the great Russian plowing" and rapid demographic growth of the population of North-Eastern Russia. The nearest exit from this historic deadlock then became a mass transfer of the Russian village on the rails of predatory, parasitic development of the surrounding space using the semi-nomadic fallow tillage farming system. The need for huge tracts of land encourages the Russian peasantry to continuous military and economic colonization hand-in-hand with the State. As a result, by the beginning of the 17th century Russia becomes, and to this day remains the largest country in the world with one of the lowest population densities. The consequence of the described phenomena and processes become despotic hyper-centralized State and socially inert servile society that supports the current needs of the State. Key socio-cultural qualities of this society are total militant collectivism, low self-esteem, economic and social parasitism, the ethics of poverty and timeserving. The four modernization cycles undergone by the Russian civilization during the 18th and the beginning of 21th centuries, allowed it to make a giant scientific-technical and socio-economic spurt forward, rising from stage of traditional society to stage of modern one. However, the underlying sociocultural values acquired by Russian society at the time of its inception, hinder the forward movement, each time returning civilization to its original state of unfreedom, with the dominant role of the despotic State and subordinate position of servile society.