MIA: Encyclopedia of Marxism: Glossary of People


Russian revolutionaries of the 19th century


Authors: Pavel Yudin and Mark Rosenthal;
Written: 1949-53;
First published: 1954 in A Short Philosophical Dictionary, fifth edition;
Source: https://filslov.ru/
Translated:by Anton P.


Pyotr Chaadaev

Chaadaev Pyotr Yakovlevich (1794-1856) – Russian idealist philosopher. Chaadaev’s name became widely known in 1836, when his first Philosophical Letter was published in the Teleskop magazine. In an atmosphere of cruel reaction under Tsar Nicholas II after the defeat of the Decembrist uprising, Chaadaev’s letter “shook all thinking Russia” (Herzen).

In this striking document, accusatory criticism of the backwardness and stagnation of feudal reality reached great force. It was a harsh indictment against serfdom. Chaadaev clearly saw that the reason for this stagnation was the social conditions in which Russia lagged. “This is a natural consequence of the present order of things, to which all hearts, all minds are subdued,” he wrote. Chaadaev showed that serfdom and the Byzantine Orthodox Church doom Russia to vegetation and ignorance.

He fought against Slavophilism, with its idealization of the patriarchal-feudal foundations of the Russian autocracy. He called on the progressive people of Russian society to end slavery and create conditions for the progressive development of Russia. But unlike the Decembrists, with whom he was close, Chaadaev saw the path of Russia’s progress not in a political upheaval, but in a gradual moral renewal. Developing an idealistic philosophical and historical concept, Chaadaev argued that the improvement of the human mind would lead humanity to an ideal social order. The government responded to Chaadaev’s Letter with brutal repression. Teleskop was closed, its editor was exiled, the censor was dismissed, Chaadaev was officially declared insane. All papers were taken from him, including eight Philosophical Letters.

In The Apology of the Madman (1837), Chaadaev explained that only love for the Russian people, the desire for happiness and progress in their homeland dictated to him a sharp criticism to which he subjected the social order of Russia in his Philosophical Letters. In the idealistic worldview of Chaadaev, anti-serfdom content is contradictorily intertwined with elements of mysticism, with reactionary ideas. He made a gross mistake, denying everything positive in the past of Russia, its advanced culture. Exalting Catholicism, seeing its reactionary nature, Chaadaev pinned his hopes on it for the abolition of slavery. The works and letters of Chaadaev were published in 1913-1914. in two volumes.

Timofey Osipovsky

Osipovsky Timofey Fedorovich (1765-1832) – Russian materialist thinker, professor of mathematics at Kharkov University (since 1803) and rector of the university (1813-1820). An active fighter against reactionary politics and against Arakcheev’s measures enforced at the university by famous mystics (the minister of spiritual affairs and public education, the president of the Bible society, the chief prosecutor of the Holy Synod, Prince. A. N. Golitsyn and the trustee of the Kharkov educational district E. Ya. Karneev). Osipovsky outlined his materialistic views in connection with the sharp criticism of the idealistic philosophy of Kant in the speech On space and time and the discourse On the dynamic system of Kant, pronounced in the ceremonial meetings of Kharkov University in 1807 and 1813. Osipovsky recognized the primacy of matter and the secondary nature of consciousness. “It is easy to judge,” he said, “that things and what such a concept in us cannot give birth to, what is not in them, and does not belong to them; for if they can give birth to any concept in us, then it must be necessary that something belonging to them corresponds to this concept in us from them; otherwise it might happen that nothing produces anything.” The laws of natural phenomena, according to Osipovsky, must be deduced not from themselves, but from the consideration of these phenomena “at different times, in different forms, in different attitudes to other phenomena.” Osipovsky passionately exposed Kantian fabrications, arguing that. these are pure chimeras, “inside only our head, involuntarily, but incoherently occurring, and having nothing to do with things, and therefore incapable of any application to them.”

In contrast to Kant, who deprived space and time of objectivity and tore off their departure from things, Osipovsky did not think of the existence of space and time outside matter, as well as the existence of the latter outside space and time. He said that “space and time are the conditions for the existence of things, in nature itself and in themselves, and not existing in our only way of feeling.” According to Osipovsky, time should not be considered “as something existing in nature by itself, but as a necessary product of the successive existence of things.” The concept of space “is produced according to the impressions emanating from it through our external senses to our internal senses.” Osipovsky sharply opposed the Kantian concept of a priori, pre-experienced origin of geometric truths. The truth of geometry, according to Osipovsky, is objective. The truths offered in geometry, he said, “agree with what is really seen in things.”

The reactionaries succeeded in 1820 to remove Osipovsky from the post of rector and the duties of a professor, but they could not blot out the trail of the ideas he was spreading. Osipovsky’s bold speeches against idealistic philosophy and his open struggle against obscurantists from Osipovsky’s voice found a response in the hearts of the progressive people of that time, brought up students in the spirit of materialism. It is no coincidence that in his denunciation Dudrovich pointed out that Osipovsky’s way of thinking “is the reason that almost none of the students at Kharkov University. part of mathematics of students, of which he is the head ... does not attend either the knowledge of God and Christian teaching, or lectures on the part of philosophy.” Kharkov University owed Osipovsky a high scientific level of teaching mathematics there. Osipovsky owned the best three-volume course in mathematics of his time. During his fruitful teaching career, he trained a number of students, among whom was the famous Russian mathematician Academician M.V. Ostrogradsky.

Nikolai Stankevich

Stankevich Nikolai Vladimirovich (1813-1840) – Russian idealist philosopher who played a prominent role in the Moscow philosophical circle of the 1930s, the so-called Stankevich circle (Stankevich, Belinsky, Aksakov, Botkin, Bakunin). In addition to the student’s historical work, the tragedy written by Stankevich in his youth, in addition to poems and translations, after him were fragments of the philosophical works My metaphysics and On the relationship of philosophy to art.

The main material characterizing the socio-political and philosophical views of Stankevich is his Correspondence, first published in 1857. According to his socio-political views, Stankevich was a noble educator. He condemned serfdom and reacted negatively to the reactionary official ideology. Stankevich counted on a peaceful, gradual abolition of serfdom. Stankevich’s moderately educational political position also determined the nature of his philosophical views. Highlighting the tasks of enlightenment, “educating mankind”, he saw in philosophy a means of improving people in “moral” and “mental” terms. According to our philosophical views, Stankevich is an objective idealist. His idealistic worldview had a religious character. Stankevich expressed his thoughts about the relationship between phenomena in the world and about development. However, Stankevich’s dialectic was idealistic. He spoke about the harmony prevailing, in his opinion, in the world. Unlike the German idealists, Stankevich attached great importance to experiential knowledge. At the end of his life, he expressed thoughts about the need to connect philosophy with life more closely. Science, he wrote, “must go into business, disappear into it.”

Stankevich’s ethical theory is built on the principle of “love” and on the denial of selfishness. In accordance with his philosophical and ethical principles, Stankevich also solved the problems of aesthetics. The task of art, in his opinion, is reduced to promoting the moral improvement of a person, fostering a feeling of love. Art for Stankevich is closely related to religion. In the conditions of the harshest reaction that followed the uprising of the Decembrists, even moderate enlightenment, even the idealistic ethics of Stankevich, far from revolutionary, had a progressive meaning, they opposed him to the camp of the serf-owners.

The Lyubomudry

In 1823, a literary-philosophical society was formed in Moscow among the noble youth, which received the name of The Society of All-Wise. The society included: V.F.Odoevsky, D.V. Venevitinov, A.I. Koshelev, the brothers Kireevsky, S.P. Shevyrev. In 1825 the society published the philosophical and literary almanac Mnemosyne. The Lyubomudry set themselves the task of waging a struggle against materialist philosophy in Russia and spreading Schelling’s idealistic philosophy.

Ideally, the Society of Wisdom as a whole opposed the Decembrists. It hindered the development of anti-serfdom ideology and materialist philosophy in Russia; therefore, the revolutionary-minded youth did not follow the Lyubomudry, but the Decembrists. Lacking success, the Society of Wisdom was closed in 1825. The publication of the almanac Mnemosyne also ceased. After the defeat of the Decembrist uprising and the suppression of the Polish uprising of 1830, reaction intensified in Russia.

Schelling’s idealistic philosophy is becoming widespread among the intelligentsia. During these years, V. Odoevsky became an extreme mystic, Pogodin and Shevyrev turned into ardent reactionaries, guides of the theory of official nationality, I. Kireevsky and others were propagandists of the Schellingian philosophy of revelation. The Society of Wisdom has played a negative, although not particularly noticeable, role in Russian socio-political and philosophical thought; from its midst came people who, in the 1830s and 1840s, during the years of the Nikolaev reaction, led the idealistic trends and opposed progressive and revolutionary thinkers.

The Decembrists

In the development of social and political thought and philosophy in Russia, an important place belongs to the noble revolutionaries, the Decembrists. Describing the stages of the revolutionary liberation movement in Russia, V. I. Lenin called the first stage, or period, a noble one. He points out that “the most prominent figures of the noble period were the Decembrists and Herzen.” The Decembrist movement in 1825 was the first revolutionary movement against tsarism. Secret organizations of the Decembrists were created to prepare and lead the revolutionary coup and develop the constitution of the future Russian state: the Northern Society headed by N. Muravyov and K. Ryleev, the Southern Society headed by P. Pestel and the Society of United Slavs, organized by the brothers Pyotr and Alexander Borisov.

However, the movement that embraced the advanced strata of Russian society was much broader and went beyond the confines of secret organizations. Secret societies prepared and organized in December 1825 armed uprisings against Tsarism in St. Petersburg and southern Russia (the uprising of the Chernigov regiment). The uprisings of the Decembrists, not associated with a general upsurge in the people’s struggle against Tsarism, were suppressed. The most prominent organizers and ideologists of the movement: P. Pestel, K. Ryleev, S. Muravyov-Apostol, P. Kakhovsky and M. Bestuzhev-Ryumin, were executed. More than a hundred members of the movement were sentenced to hard labor and exile to Siberia. The Decembrist movement united the advanced strata of Russian society, expressed the urgent needs of the historical development of Russia and reflected the discontent of the broad masses of the people.

The Decembrists set themselves the task of destroying the autocracy and monarchy in Russia and establishing a republic, liquidating serfdom and establishing democratic freedoms in a revolutionary way, by organizing an armed uprising. Associated with the general patriotic upsurge of the Russian people caused by the Patriotic War of 1812, the Decembrist movement had the goal of clearing the paths of Russia’s national development. The nobility of the Decembrists was expressed in the fear of a popular revolution and in the indecision of tactics during the uprising, in the narrowness of the planned transformations. Lenin wrote: “The circle of these revolutionaries is narrow. They are terribly far from the people.”

Plans for the future structure of the Russian state were given in the Russian Truth, written by P. Pestel, but in fact, was the result of the collective creativity of the Decembrists, in the draft constitution, written by P. Muravyov, and in the Rules of the United Slavs. In these documents, advanced socio-political ideas of that time. On the basis of criticism of the state system in Russia and criticism of the vices of the bourgeois democracy of the United States, Britain and France, the Decembrists gave a theoretical justification for the need to establish a republican system. The requirement of the monarchy in the constitution of N. Muravyov was a tactical device for attracting broader layers of the nobility to the movement. V.I. Lenin noted the republican tradition, established by the Decembrists in the advanced Russian social thought. The struggle for the republican system and the elimination of the serf system expressed the bourgeois character of the Decembrist movement. The implementation of even the most moderate transformations outlined by the Decembrists would direct the development of Russia along the capitalist path.

The progressive materialist philosophy of the Decembrists was closely connected with the plans for the revolutionary reorganization of Russian society. The most important role in the formation of the philosophical outlook of the Decembrists was played by the materialist tradition in Russian philosophy, stemming from Mikhail Lomonosov and Alexander Radishchev. The Decembrists also studied the works of the materialist philosophers of Western Europe. The materialistic philosophical views of the Decembrists were based on serious knowledge of the natural sciences.

The main ideological enemies against whom the Decembrists directed their philosophy were the dominant ideology of serfdom, religion, mysticism and idealistic philosophy. They saw the task of philosophy in finding the truth, in enlightening reason and cleansing it of harmful prejudices. Philosophy makes it possible for a freedom fighter to develop the necessary moral qualities: love for the motherland, humanism, the desire to devote all his strength to the struggle for the happiness of people. Attaching such great importance to philosophy in the struggle against the autocratic-serf system, the Decembrists were intensively engaged in the development of the main problems of philosophy. In secret organizations, circles were created in which heated debates took place on questions of knowledge, the structure of matter, etc.

Representatives of materialist philosophy were such leaders and ideologists of the movement as I. Yakushkin, N. Kryukov, P. Pestel, P. Borisov, I. Gorbachevsky, V. Raevsky, etc. Yakushkin in his philosophical work What is Life? wrote that objects of nature exist objectively, outside of us. The material world exists in space and time. “All real images are contained in a known space. All phenomena occur in a certain time,” wrote the Decembrist A. Bestuzhev.

Based on the achievements of science of their time, they believed that matter consists of atoms, or “units”, which are in perpetual motion and fill the infinite, immeasurable space of the world. Cohesion, coalescence of atoms leads to the formation of world bodies. The Decembrists expressed the bold idea that the formation of worlds is taking place at the present time. The material world, according to the Decembrists, is subordinated in its development to objective, “immutable” laws. One of the most important objective laws is the law of causality. Matter in its development gives rise to living beings, the peak of development of which is man. Man is on a par with all living things on earth, but man is fundamentally different from all other animals in his ability to think.

Thought is a special ability of the material substance, the brain. The ability to think appears as a result of a long process of evolution of living matter. The Decembrists did not reduce thinking to matter and saw its special, specific properties. Yakushkin wrote: “Just as with a high degree of heat, light manifests itself, just as with the highest development of life, thinking manifests itself ... But the very manifestations of thinking are just as different from the manifestations of life, just as the manifestations of light are different from the manifestations of heat.” The Decembrists recognized the human cognizability of the material world. They associated knowledge with human activity. There are two paths leading to knowledge: experience, or feelings, and reason. Feelings under the influence of external objects give ideas, sensations, which are transmitted to the brain with the help of nerves. P. Kryukov wrote, that under the influence of external objects there is a “concussion” of the nerves, and “any concussion of one or several nerves sets the brain in motion.” But the senses cannot give full knowledge.

Only the mind reveals the commonality in objects, the connection of phenomena, the laws of the development of the material world. The mind is able to reveal the essence of objects. The truth of knowledge is verified by reconciling new concepts with old ones and eliminating the contradiction between them. None of the Decembrists understood the significance of practice as a criterion of truth. The Decembrists-materialists were the first in Russian philosophy to criticize the idealistic German philosophy of I. Kant and F. Schelling, criticized the empiricism of J. Locke and the dualism of R. Descartes. They considered idealism and scholasticism to be the enemies of the human mind. Within secret organizations, they fought against the followers of idealism among the participants in the movement. The idealists were the Decembrists N. Muravyov, E. Obolensky, V. Kyukhelbeker, G. Batenkov, and others. The struggle of the Decembrists against the autocratic serf system inevitably led to a struggle against religion and the church, the ardent defender of serfdom. Religion, they said, promotes oppression and is the enemy of freedom.

Materialist philosophy and deep knowledge of natural science helped the Decembrists to come to atheism, to a complete denial of God. The Decembrists saw the roots of religion in the lives of people, in their desire to embellish an unbearably difficult situation with the hope of a better life in the afterlife. The materialist philosophy of the Decembrists was advanced for their time. But the limitation of the entire movement also determined the limitation of the philosophical views of the Decembrists. Their materialism was metaphysical. The Decembrists remained idealists in explaining social life. They attributed the decisive importance in the development of society to education. Far from the people, they believed that the social order could be changed through a military revolution led by the Secret Society. This is the reason for their defeat.

The revolutionary movement of the Decembrists and their materialist philosophy were of great importance in the development of the liberation movement and philosophical thought in Russia. The Decembrists were patriots of their homeland and deeply loved their people, the Decembrist Movement was defeated, but their cause was not lost. “The Decembrists woke Herzen up. Herzen launched revolutionary agitation” (Lenin). Developing the materialist tradition in Russian philosophy, the Decembrists had a great influence on the formation of the second generation of Russian revolutionaries, the revolutionary democrats. The materialistic line in Russian philosophy goes from the Decembrists through A.I. Herzen to V.G.Belinsky, N.G. Chernyshevsky and N.A. Dobrolyubov.

The Petrashevites

The Petrashevtsy were a circle, in terms of their composition, mainly of raznochin leaders who acted in the anti-serfdom, bourgeois-democratic revolutionary movement in Russia in the middle of the 19th century. It was headed by M.V. Butashevich-Petrashevsky. The circle did not have a well-defined and detailed plan of action. Some of the Petrashevists, inclined towards landlord-bourgeois liberalism, recognized only peaceful propaganda, the other part consisted of supporters of revolutionary methods of struggle. The Tsarist government decapitated the circle before it had time to finally take shape organizationally and ideologically politically. In 1849, four years after its foundation, the circle was destroyed.

The Petrashevites were full of hatred for the social and political conditions prevailing in Russia at that time. “My fatherland is in chains, my fatherland is in slavery,” said Khanykov bitterly, speaking at an evening with Petrashevsky. On the famous “Fridays” of Petrashevsky there was a discussion of reports, speeches, abstracts on various theoretical and practical issues, there were talks about organizing a secret society, about an uprising, about the emancipation of peasants, about judicial reform, freedom of the press, and the revolutionary democratic ideas of Herzen and Belinsky.

The radical views of the Petrashevites were reflected in the second issue of the Pocket Dictionary of Foreign Words, whose closest collaborator and editor was M. V. Butashevich Petrashevsky. He owns the explanation of such words as materialism, mysticism, morality, natural law, nationality, etc. Mysticism, wrote Petrashevsky in the dictionary, is the greatest delusion ... most of all hindering success. of the human mind: this is an absurd system. The name materialists, explains Petrashevsky, really fits only to those people who thought equally about matter and spirit and were convinced that there is nothing in the world but matter. The Petrashevites did not recognize God, many of them were atheists and inclined towards materialism.

Religion, according to the Petrashevites, creates such an authority in the person of God, to which they begin to attribute all the norms of morality and politics operating in a given society in the interests of the strong, in the interests of the winners. The Petrashevists were champions of education, science, knowledge, opposed ignorance, superstition, religion. Any knowledge, whatever it may be, according to Petrashevsky, is knowledge of reality. By discovering the laws of nature and society, knowledge helps a person. The Petrashevists criticize the German idealists for being cut off from life, for being abstract. The Petrashevite Kashkin speaks of the need to apply the empirical method in the field of social sciences. The disadvantage of these sciences, he sees in the fact that they do not rely on facts and do not analyze them. Kashkin criticizes Hegel, who, instead of proceeding from nature and man, made abstract thinking the object of his research.

He was confident that the rulers, truly enlightened, “guided by the bright idea of ??social welfare, will introduce new better institutions and society, governed by them, in the hope of leaving a memory of themselves in posterity.” The living conditions should be transformed so that they meet the desires and needs of the person. The Petrashevites did not doubt that a society is possible where the satisfaction of the needs of some will not contradict the interests of others, where personal egoism is absorbed by the egoism of groups, and vice versa. Such a harmonious society will be free from all the negative sides and vices inherent in feudalism and capitalism According to Petrashevsky, all previous forms of marriage and family cannot be considered satisfactory, because they are based on the economic and political oppression of women. Thus, Petrashevtsy stood for the transformation of social life in accordance with the natural nature of man. The Petrashevists were significantly influenced by Charles Fourier.

Petrashevsky and his comrades set as their goal all possible assistance to the implementation of the idea of ??socialism in Russia. Their socialism was utopian. By socialism, many of the Petrashevites meant an idea far from the scientific socialist system. But in the conditions of Russia at that time, their struggle for “human happiness” meant a struggle for the freedom and rights of the Russian serf peasantry. This struggle was directed against serfdom, against oppression and humiliation of man. The merit of the Petrashevites is that they opposed the feudal-serf system and fought against idealism. In this way, they made a valuable contribution to the development of the Russian liberation movement and Russian social thought.

Vissarion Belinsky

Belinsky Vissarion Grigorievich (1811-1848) – an outstanding representative of Russian materialist philosophy, a great revolutionary democrat, the founder of revolutionary democratic aesthetics, a genius literary critic. Belinsky’s revolutionary-democratic, materialist outlook was formed under the influence of the growing struggle of the peasantry against the landlords and Tsarism.

In the 1830s-40s. the entire ideological and political struggle in Russia was centered around the issue of serfdom. In the 1830s Belinsky was an educator, an enemy of serfdom, but he had not yet come to revolutionary conclusions. From the beginning of the 1840s, Belinsky firmly took the position of revolutionary democracy and led the ideological struggle against serfdom, for the revolutionary liberation of the oppressed peasantry. He acted as a predecessor of “the complete displacement of the nobility by commoners in our liberation movement.” Although Belinsky had not yet put forward in a direct form the slogan of the peasant revolution, as Chernyshevsky and his associates later did, but in fact he had already come to the conclusion that only a popular revolution could wipe out serf slavery from the face of the earth and liberate working people.

Belinsky mercilessly criticized all three “strongholds” of landlord Russia: serfdom, autocracy, and the church. The famous letter to Gogol of July 3, 1847, which was banned until 1905, is the most wonderful evidence of Belinsky’s revolutionary democracy. This revolutionary testament, which summed up Belinsky’s literary and socio-political activities, “was one of the best works of the uncensored democratic press, which retained enormous, living significance to this day.” This letter, like all Belinsky’s works in the 1840s, was a deep expression of the interests of the oppressed peasant masses, their moods and aspirations. Belinsky followed a difficult path in the development of his philosophical views. In the first period of the formation of his worldview, which lasted until about the end of the 1830s, his head stood on the positions of philosophical idealism. However, he soon broke off from idealism. Belinsky the revolutionary, passionately striving for the struggle for the liberation of the working people, could not come to terms with idealist philosophy, which erected a barrier between thought and practice, between theory and life.

In the early 1840s, in the course of the struggle against Russian and Western European reactionary ideology, his transition from idealism to materialism was accomplished. Belinsky becomes a conscious, convinced materialist in philosophy and passionately defends the principles of materialist philosophy. He claims that a person’s consciousness and ideas depend on the material external environment, that “the most abstract mental representations are still nothing more than the result of the activity of the brain organs, which are inherent in certain abilities and qualities.” Belinsky makes fun of the mystics and supporters of the vague philosophy of German idealism, who, living forever in abstractions, consider it beneath their dignity to study nature and the human body.

Fighting against agnosticism and skepticism, he seeks to strengthen in people confidence in the possibility of true knowledge of the world. His transition to the position of materialism allows him to develop and more deeply substantiate his dialectical view of the world. Development can never stop at anything, Belinsky argues. Forward movement, from the lowest to the highest, Belinsky considers an immutable law of life. Development in nature and society is conditioned, according to Belinsky, by the struggle of internal contradictions, contained in essence, phenomena, it is accomplished through the destruction of the old and the creation of the new. “Everything living,” he writes, “is the result of a struggle; everything that appears and is affirmed without a struggle, everything is dead.”

His materialism is not free of elements of anthropologism; he often speaks about man in general, deriving his mental activity and moral qualities from the physiology of man. The source of social progress, movement forward, as well as the source of all inertia and immobility, he sees in human nature, and he depicts the struggle of the new with the old as the struggle of reason with prejudices. However, his materialist philosophy differs significantly from the anthropological materialism of Feuerbach, with whose teachings he became acquainted at the time when his transition to materialism was already completed. In contrast to Feuerbach, Belinsky seeks to apply to human life the idea of ??development, the principle of historicism. The needs of a person, his interests, the person himself, according to Belinsky, change as a result of the historical development of society. Belinsky proceeded from the class nature of society and attached great importance to the struggle between the forces of the old and the new. He wrote that “each of our class has everything its own, special: and dress, and manners, and way of life, and customs ... So great is the separation that reigns between ... representatives of different classes of the same society!”

Belinsky was influenced by the early works of Marx. He read the German-French Yearbook, in which Marx’s articles On the Critique of the Hegelian Philosophy of Right and On the Jewish Question were published, and regretted that he could not popularize the ideas expressed in these works of Marx in feudal Russia. Belinsky is alien to contemplation in his approach to reality. His worldview has a militant, effective, revolutionary character. His thoughts and ideas are subordinated to one goal: the revolutionary transformation of society on a democratic basis. In the sociological views of Belinsky, one of the central places is occupied by the idea of ??historical regularity.

According to Belinsky, the change of one historical epoch to another, the transition from one system of social relations to another is by no means accidental and does not occur at the whim of rulers and legislators; this transition is made due to historical necessity, conformity to law. However, Belinsky could not scientifically substantiate the idea of ??historical regularity and bring it into line with the real course of history: his mainly idealistic understanding of the history of society interfered. He did not see that the fundamental and decisive cause of the struggle of classes, the struggle of the new with the old, is primarily the mode of production of material wealth. He had not yet singled out the working class from the general mass of the oppressed; the proletariat for him is only the most suffering element of society.

But Belinsky made a number of materialistic guesses in sociology. He understood that the masses of the people played a decisive role in history. Power, Belinsky believed, must, in a revolutionary way, pass into the hands of the entire mass of the working people. If, he said, the masses of the people still do not decide the fate of society, then the future fate of society depends on them: “...when the masses are asleep, do what you want, everything will be your way”; but when they wake up, then the question of the emancipation of the peasants “will be decided by itself, in a different way, 1,000 times more unpleasant for the Russian nobility. The peasants are very excited, sleep and see liberation.” Belinsky was an ardent supporter of the development of industry, trade, and railways in Russia.

He saw the progressiveness of capitalism in comparison with the feudal-serf system and at the same time understood that now the bourgeoisie is not fighting, but triumphant, that capitalism will not be able to resolve new issues, that it will not bring freedom and happiness to the masses. Equality, according to Belinsky, can be achieved only after the elimination of the rule of the bourgeoisie, which he calls a syphilitic wound on the body of society. Belinsky was a utopian socialist. He declared that the idea of ??socialism became everything to him. His utopian socialism. differed from the utopian socialism of Western European thinkers: he was merged with revolutionary democracy. Belinsky hoped not to destroy the system of social slavery peacefully, but through a violent revolution. Belinsky was a great patriot of the Russian people; his patriotism was based on revolutionary democracy.

He fought against the Pan-Slavists and the Slavophiles who aligned with them, who praised the dark, negative aspects of Russian serfdom. At the same time, he castigated the “careless vagabonds in humanity”, cosmopolitans, bourgeois-landlord liberals, Westernizers who tried to turn Russia into an appendage of capitalist Europe, belittling the Russian people and their culture in every possible way. Belinsky considered the inalienable qualities of the Russian people to be courage, resourcefulness, sharpness, strength of spirit, lack of mysticism and religious contemplation, the ability to wide scale in their activities, diligence, wisdom, heroism in the fight against external and internal enemies. These qualities of the great Russian people allowed them to defend their land, freedom and independence from foreign invaders.

Belinsky has repeatedly stressed that the patriotism of the Russian people plays an exceptional role in the preservation and strengthening of Russia’s independence. Belinsky was a supporter of friendship between the masses of various nationalities, sought to awaken sympathy for the oppressed peoples of Russia and rebelled against any national oppression and violence. He deeply understood the need for close communication and cooperation between different peoples of the world and wanted Russia to show all peoples an example of a commonwealth of nations, a new happy life. Belinsky in 1840 expressed a prophetic thought about the great future of Russia: “We envy our grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who are destined to see Russia in 1940, standing at the head of the educated world, giving laws to both science and art, and receiving a reverent tribute from all enlightened humanity.”

Belinsky is the founder of revolutionary democratic aesthetics and criticism. He gave a materialistic definition of the essence of art. Art, according to Belinsky, is a reproduction of reality, it is a repeated, as it were, a newly created world. Belinsky belongs to a deep theoretical foundation of artistic realism. He fought for the recognition of the high social role of art and condemned the contemplative attitude of art to reality. True art, Belinsky considered only deeply ideological art, which gives people the right direction in life, fights against social oppression. Real art does not turn away from the people, but lives their life, awakens them to fight against the oppressors, calls the people forward. “Nationality is the alpha and omega of the aesthetics of our time” wrote Belinsky.

His literary critical works were invaluable for the development of Russian literature. They have retained their freshness, their significance for the present. Soviet art uses everything of value created by Belinsky in the field of aesthetics and literary criticism, learns from him intransigence to everything backward in art, accepts his ideas about the high purpose of advanced art, about heroic service to the people and the Motherland.

The main works of Belinsky: Literary Dreams (1834), Works of Alexander Pushkin (1843-1846), A Look at Russian Literature of 1846 (1847), A Look at Russian Literature of 1847 (1848), Letter to N.V. Gogol. July 3, 1847 and others. The selected philosophical works of Belinsky were published in 2 volumes (1948); the complete works in 13 volumes; his letters, a significant part of which are not inferior in their content to theoretical works, were published in 3 volumes (1914). A number of his manuscripts and materials were published in 1948-1951. in Literary heritage in 3 volumes.

Alexander Herzen

Herzen Alexander Ivanovich (1812-1870) – a great Russian revolutionary democrat, an outstanding materialist philosopher, a brilliant publicist and writer. Herzen’s socio-political and philosophical views were formed during the growth of the Russian revolutionary movement as a reflection of the imminent changes in the socio-economic structure of the country. Herzen’s worldview was greatly influenced by Russian advanced, revolutionary and materialistic thought. Lenin’s article In Memory of Herzen is the key to a correct, Marxist understanding of Herzen’s worldview, his role in the Russian liberation movement and the main stages of his activity.

Herzen belonged to the generation of noble revolutionaries of the first half of the 19th century. The uprising of the Decembrists awakened Herzen, notes Lenin. Herzen was an implacable enemy of serfdom and autocracy. He saw the whole meaning of his life in the struggle for the abolition of serf slavery, for the liberation of the Russian people from the oppression and tyranny of the autocracy. Persecuted by the government, Herzen was forced to go abroad in 1847, but even there his entire activity was devoted to the struggle for the interests of his homeland.

The philosophical doctrine of Herzen is a direct continuation and development of the views of Russian progressive thinkers, of Lomonosov, Radishchev and the Decembrists. Herzen is a brilliant and largest representative of materialism. “In the serf Russia of the 1840s, he managed to rise to such a height that he rose to a level with the greatest thinkers of his time.” Herzen saw the positive elements of the Hegelian dialectic, which he sought to rework in accordance with the revolutionary democratic tasks of the time. While Hegel in every possible way obscured the revolutionary side of dialectics, Herzen saw in dialectics the algebra of revolution. Dialectics, wrote Herzen, “extraordinarily liberates man and leaves no stone unturned from the Christian world, from the world of traditions that have outlived themselves.”

In his main philosophical work, Letters on the Study of Nature, Herzen gave a deep criticism of idealist philosophy and opposed metaphysical materialism, which, in his words, “from the side of consciousness, methods is incomparably lower” than dialectical idealism. Herzen demanded a combination of materialism with the idea of ??development, a combination of natural science with philosophy, theory with practice. “Philosophy without natural science is just as impossible as natural science without philosophy,” he wrote. Herzen clearly reveals the depravity of the philosophical idealism of Hegel and other idealists. It is in vain that thought claims to be the first in relation to nature, he declares; not nature arises from thought, but, on the contrary, thought from the development of nature. Herzen proclaims the triumph of materialistic philosophy.

The materialist Herzen also sharply criticizes that simplified, one-sided materialism, which “went directly to the destruction of all immaterial, denied the universal, saw the separation of the brain in thought, in empiricism a single source of knowledge, and recognized the truth in some particulars, in some things, tangible and visible.” Clearly seeing the limitations of vulgar materialism, Herzen requires a combination of empiricism with thinking, which, in his opinion, will cause an unprecedented flowering of science and philosophy. “Empiricism will cease to be afraid of thought; thought, in turn, will not move away from the motionless alienation of the world of phenomena; then only the out-of-essence object will be completely defeated, for neither abstract metaphysics, nor particular sciences can master it.” Only philosophy, “grown up on empiricism, is a terrible forge, before the fire of which nothing can resist.”

His historical and philosophical concept was a major achievement in pre-Marxist historical and philosophical thought. He reveals the opposition of materialism and idealism, the struggle between them, gives a number of deep assessments and characteristics of various theories and views. However, not being a historical materialist, he could not understand the laws governing the development of philosophy and in a number of cases gave incorrect assessments, for example, some aspects of French materialism. Lenin highly valued Herzen’s Letters on the Study of Nature. About the first of the letters, Empiricism and Idealism, Lenin wrote that it “shows us a thinker who, even now, is head and shoulders above the abyss of modern natural scientists-empiricists and darkness to those of today’s philosophers, idealists and semi-idealists. Herzen came close to dialectical materialism and stopped before: historical materialism.”

After the defeat of the 1848 revolution, Herzen experienced a spiritual collapse. Deeply shocked by the failure of the Parisian workers, whose revolt he witnessed directly, Herzen curses the bourgeoisie; he understands that without a new revolution, without the destruction of the existing order, there is no way to a brighter future. But he does not see a force capable of leading the struggle, does not see the paths leading to victory over the old system. Herzen did not know the true laws of the development of society, he remained an idealist in his views on history, although in a number of questions he expressed deep thoughts about the laws of historical development: such are his thoughts about the role of the masses in history, about classes, etc. But he did not understand that the force that is called upon to destroy the rule of the bourgeoisie is the proletariat.

Herzen was a socialist, but his socialism had no scientific basis and belonged, as Lenin pointed out, to those forms of bourgeois and petty-bourgeois socialism that were finally killed by the June days of 1848. Herzen’s spiritual collapse after 1848 was “the collapse of bourgeois illusions in socialism. Herzen’s spiritual drama was a product and reflection of that world historical era, when the revolutionary spirit of bourgeois democracy was already dying (in Europe), and the revolutionary spirit of the socialist proletariat was not yet ripe.” Later, Herzen acted as the ideologist of peasant utopian socialism.

He believed that after the abolition of serfdom, bypassing the capitalist path of development, Russia was using the peasant community for the transition to socialism. His theory of peasant socialism was closely associated with his revolutionary democracy. Herzen, wrote Lenin, saw socialism “in the emancipation of the peasants with land, in communal land tenure and in the peasant idea of ??the right to land.” The idea of the right to land and equalizing division of land was the formulation of the revolutionary aspirations for equality on the part of the peasants who fought for the complete overthrow of landlord power and the abolition of landlord ownership. But in this socialism, according to Lenin’s definition, there was “not a grain of socialism, it was a beautiful-hearted phrase, a good dream.”

Herzen’s skepticism after the defeat of the 1848 revolution was, however, a form of transition from the illusion of “supra-class” bourgeois democracy to the inexorable class struggle of the proletariat. In 1869, Herzen breaks with the anarchist Bakunin and turns “his gaze not to liberalism, but to the International, to that International led by Marx, to that International that began to gather the shelves of the proletariat, to unite the world worker.”

True, his weakness during this period was also reflected in the fact that he believed that socialism should come out with “a sermon, equally addressed to the worker and the owner, the farmer and the bourgeois.” In this respect, there is a great difference between Herzen and Chernyshevsky; Chernyshevsky always understood that the social order could be changed, not by preaching, but only by revolutionary violence against the exploiting classes. Herzen (until 1861) showed vacillations, deviations from democracy to liberalism, but with the atom the democrat still prevailed in him. “It is not Herzen’s fault, but his misfortune,” Lenin points out, “that he could not see a revolutionary people in Russia itself in the 1840s. When he saw it in the 1860s, he fearlessly sided with revolutionary democracy against liberalism. He fought for the victory of the people over Tsarism, and not for a deal between the liberal bourgeoisie and the landlord Tsar. He raised the banner of the revolution.” Herzen’s great merit is that he created a free Russian press abroad. The Bell and the Pole Star, published by Herzen in the 1850s and 1860s, educated the young generation of Russia in the spirit of an irreconcilable struggle against serfdom and autocracy.

Herzen was a great patriot of his homeland, he infinitely loved his homeland, its working people and hated its oppressors. He fought against the sycophancy of the government “elite” abroad, against cosmopolitanism. Herzen opposed the national oppression of peoples by Tsarism; defended the freedom of the Polish people, who rebelled against the oppression of the autocracy. Herzen sharply and mercilessly criticized the Western European bourgeois order, arguing that the death of capitalism is inevitable.

Herzen owns a number of brilliant works on art (Who is to blame?) In them, he also fights against serfdom and autocracy. In his works on art, his humanism, high ethical views, and the demand for realism in art are clearly expressed. Herzen fought against the lack of ideology in art, defended the principle of nationality. His views on art were formed under the influence of the revolutionary democratic criticism and aesthetics of Belinsky, the artistic realism of Pushkin, Gogol, Lermontov. The main works of Herzen: Dilettantism in Science (1843), Letters on the Study of Nature (1845-1846), Letters from France and Italy (1847-1851), From the Other Shore (1847-1850), The past and thoughts (1852-1867), Letters to an old friend (1870). Selected Philosophical Works in two volumes was published in 1948.

Nikolai Ogarev

Ogarev Nikolai Platonovich (1813-1877) – noble revolutionary, publicist, thinker and poet, associate of Herzen; along with Herzen, he was one of the most prominent public figures of the noble period in the history of the Russian revolutionary liberation movement in the 1830s and 40s. Ogarev remained an active participant in the revolutionary struggle in the subsequent, raznochinsky, period of the liberation movement in Russia in the 1850s and 60s. At the very beginning of the difficult and dangerous path he had chosen, Ogarev met his associate, comrade and friend, Alexander Herzen, with whom he walked hand in hand throughout his life. Like Herzen, Ogarev was brought up on Russian literature, on the ideas and traditions of Russian revolutionaries: Radishchev, Ryleev, the Decembrists, Ogarev and Herzen studied together at Moscow University. They managed to unite around themselves a close circle of noble youth.

The activities of this circle attracted the attention of the Tsarist gendarmes; in 1834 Ogarev and Herzen were arrested and exiled. In 1840 Ogarev appeared in print with his poetic works, imbued with ideas of liberation, deep sympathy for the enslaved people. Chernyshevsky wrote that in Ogarev’s poetry “he found an expression of an important moment in the development of our society,” that is, the liberation movement, that “Ogarev has the right to occupy one of the most brilliant and clean pages in the history of our literature.” The name of Ogarev will be pronounced with love and often, Chernyshevsky wrote, and “it will not be forgotten unless our language is forgotten.”

In 1847, Ogarev first came out with publicistic articles on the social structure of Russia, in which he expressed his anti-serfdom and democratic convictions. In 1850 he was arrested again, but the Tsarist gendarmes could not substantiate the accusations against Ogarev of creating a “communist sect”. He was released, after which in 1856 he emigrated abroad. Together with Herzen, he published Kolokol, General Veche, etc., was a co-editor of these publications, published his articles and poems in them. Ogarev devoted the last 20 years of his life to journalism and propaganda of revolutionary theory.

At the time when Ogarev lived and fought, all social issues were reduced to the struggle against serfdom and autocracy. Ogarev’s activities were devoted to this struggle. He called for the immediate abolition of all serfdom, both landlord and state; insisted on the transfer of land to the common ownership of peasant communities and on the establishment of artel cultivation of the land. Ogarev opposed any class strife, against the caste of officials. He demanded the introduction of equality and the establishment of such a state system in which people who are elected and responsible to society will rule the country. At the same time, Ogarev sharply criticized the formal character of bourgeois democracy in the countries of Western Europe and America.

Ways and means for the implementation of the socio-political program developed by him were presented to Ogarev in different periods of his activity. In the mid-1830s, he spoke out for a peasant revolution, then, after the accession of Alexander II, he recommended the path of peaceful reforms. After the reform of 1861, Ogarev was one of the first to declare that “the people were deceived by the Tsar, the old serfdom was replaced by a new one.” During this period, he again and finally returned to the idea of ??a peasant revolution. In 1861-1862. Ogarev was a member of the central committee of the secret society Land and Freedom; he developed the program of this society, participated in the establishment of its practical activities. In the 1860s, Ogarev criticized the liberals and tried to get closer to the students of Chernyshevsky, with the “young emigration.”

Ogarev was looking for the correct theoretical foundations of the scientific understanding of social development. Public life, in his opinion, is a living stream, a process. History, he said, “does not develop according to the program; it goes ahead with its inevitable results from the existing circumstances.” Ogarev considered the social character of people’s life, their needs for food and conveniences of life, the productive activity of people, and the economy of society to be important factors in history.

But, being in the position of an idealistic understanding of history, he saw the content of the historical process in the improvement of people’s consciousness, which ultimately determines the progress of all areas of society. The development of society is carried out, according to Ogarev, in the struggle of the new with the old. New in social life is in direct contradiction with the historically established form of the past. Ogarev, like Herzen, considered the establishment of socialism to be the goal of the struggle against the autocratic serf system. His utopian socialism was closely associated with faith in the peasant community and peasant labor cooperatives.

In his materialistic philosophy, to which he came in the mid-1840s, Ogarev proceeded from the recognition of the real world surrounding man, from the recognition of the eternally existing and constantly changing nature, matter. Based on the data of contemporary natural science, he argued that the human mind reflects the laws of the development of nature and society.

He argued that sensations are the source of our knowledge. Ogarev sharply opposed idealism, which “rejects a fact with disdain if it contradicts it.” At the same time, he criticized empiricists who are content only with observing facts, neglecting their theoretical generalization. Ogarev argued that never and nowhere were convictions free from the practical interests of various estates and groups. “I am for a party in philosophy,” he said. Ogarev sharply castigated the ideologists of the conservative landlord class for the fact that their philosophy played into the hands of the Tsarist government and reaction and that it supported the old conditions of social relations, practically beneficial for them. His philosophical views as a whole are characterized by the features of limitation, characteristic of everything before Marxian materialism.

Ogarev was an ardent patriot of his fatherland, a staunch defender of the interests of the masses. Like his friend and colleague Herzen, Ogarev played a significant role in the preparation of the Russian revolution.

Nikolai Dobrolyubov

Dobrolyubov Nikolai Alexandrovich (1836-1861) – a great revolutionary democrat, materialist philosopher and literary critic. Together with N. G. Chernyshevsky he was the ideologist of the peasant revolution in Russia. In the 1860s, a wave of peasant uprisings against serfdom and Tsarism arose in Russia. Lenin, noting Dobrolyubov’s services to his homeland, wrote that he is dear to all educated and thinking Russia as a writer who “passionately hated arbitrariness and passionately awaited a popular uprising against the internal Turks, against the autocratic government.”

In a number of his works, especially in the articles The Dark Kingdom and A Ray of Light in the Dark Kingdom, Dobrolyubov gave a deep criticism of the autocratic-serf system in Russia. He called serf Russia the dark kingdom. Dobrolyubov saw a way out of this dark kingdom of serfdom and tyranny only in the revolution. No reforms can change the position of the peasantry. He was distrustful of the peasants’ emancipation being prepared, thereby expressing the peasants’ distrust of the reform.

Dobrolyubov exposed the liberals, angrily castigated their fruitless chatter about reforms and progress. “We do not need words that are rotten and idle, plunging into a smug slumber and filling our hearts with pleasant dreams, but we need a fresh and proud word, making the heart boil with the courage of a citizen, leading to wide and distinctive activity” he said, and he considered the peasantry as the most oppressed class of Russian society. The peasant revolution, in his opinion, will be the result of the merger of separate uprisings into one all-Russian uprising, which will destroy tsarism and serfdom. Dobrolyubov devoted his entire life to the preparation of the people’s peasant revolution.

Dobrolyubov believed that the future system, born of the revolution, would not be similar not only to the autocratic-serf system, but also to the bourgeois, capitalist system of Western European countries. Dobrolyubov calls Western democracy praised by Russian liberals as hypocritical, defending the rights of the rich, since the people in these countries remain a slave to the tyranny of the rulers. Parliament is a simple talking shop. Under capitalism, the working people are under double oppression: capitalist and feudal exploitation. “And it turned out,” wrote Dobrolyubov, “that the working people remained under two oppression: the old feudalism, still living in different forms and under different names throughout Western Europe, and the bourgeois class, which seized the entire industrial region.” Dobrolyubov saw the struggle of the working class against the bourgeoisie, revealing the contradictions of capitalist society, Dobrolyubov came, however, not to scientific socialism, but to utopian socialism. Not explicitly the laws of the development of society, he, like all revolutionary democrats, considered it possible to establish a socialist system after the peasant revolution. He directly called himself a socialist and a supporter of the republican form of government. In the future ideal republic, according to Dobrolyubov, all oppression is eliminated, parasites, villains, scoundrels are expelled from society, and holy brotherhood and equality are established without any advantage of nobility. The basic principle of the new society will be the distribution of material wealth but the quantity and quality of labor expended.

“Most importantly, it is necessary that the value of a person in society is determined by his personal merits and that material benefits are acquired by everyone in strict proportion to the amount and dignity of his labor.” Utopian socialism was for Dobrolyubov and all Russian revolutionary democrats the most progressive direction social thought in Russia and Western Europe in the pre-Marxian period. Dobrolyubov, however, did not understand that the victory of the peasant revolution would create conditions for the development of capitalism. The victory of the peasant uprising would have been a huge step forward for tsarist Russia and would have created the conditions for developing the struggle of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie.

The whole struggle of Dobrolyubov, all of his works are permeated with deep patriotism. He saw his great task in the liberation of the Russian people from serfdom and autocratic oppression. He saw the remarkable national traits of the Russian people, who had put forward from their midst great scientists, poets and thinkers. He caustically and evilly ridiculed the admiration for foreign countries, mercilessly exposed the cosmopolitans who madly renounce their homeland. The patriotism of Dobrolyubov, like all revolutionary democrats, was an expression of deep faith in the creative forces of the people, their revolutionary energy and the great future of their Motherland.

His revolutionary democracy was closely associated with philosophical materialism. His materialistic philosophy was a continuation and further development of the materialist tradition in Russian philosophy, stemming from M.V. Lomonosov and A.N. Radishchev. His teachers, who had a decisive influence on the formation of his worldview, were the great revolutionary democrats V.G.Belinsky, A.I. Herzen and N.G. Chernyshevsky. In all his works, Dobrolyubov confidently pursues a materialist line in solving the main issue of philosophy (see). He considers the material, objective world to be primary, consciousness, secondary, derivative.

His materialistic solution to the fundamental question of philosophy is based on the achievements of the natural sciences of that time. In full agreement with science, he argued that the material world affects a person, causing sensations. “We feel,” Dobrolyubov wrote, “that something is acting on us everywhere, something different from us, external, in a word, not me. From this we conclude that besides us there is something else, because otherwise we could not feel any external action on our self. Hence it follows that the existence of objects is recognized by us only because they act on us” The material world is subject to its natural laws. Dobrolyubov considers the desire to find a certain mysterious meaning in nature as completely unscientific, worthy of medieval alchemists.

By reference to mysterious forces, many natural scientists, wrote Dobrolyubov, try to cover up their ignorance of the laws of nature. He exposes the metaphysical concept of force as an ability divorced from matter. “Force is a fundamental, inalienable property of matter and cannot exist separately,” Dobrolyubov wrote. Force as one or another property of objects is inseparable from the material objects themselves. Therefore, the strength of the human brain, its ability to think, is a completely natural phenomenon inherent in matter at a high stage of its development. This means that there are no two opposite principles in man, just as there are none in the world.

There is a single material world and a human inseparable being. Dobrolyubov rejects as a completely unscientific dualistic division of the world and man into two essences: material and ideal. However, he by no means belittles the enormous significance of a person’s spiritual life and considers it absurd to assert coarse vulgar materialism, “as if a person’s soul consists of some subtlest matter.” Dobrolyubov considered the law of development to be the most important law of the material world. Nature and social life are subject to this law. “In the world, everything is subject to the law of development ... In nature, everything proceeds gradually from the simple to the more complex, from the imperfect to the more perfect; but everywhere the same matter, only at different degrees of development.”

He considered this universal movement and development to be the basis of the qualitative diversity of the material world. There is no stagnation and immobility in society and in human thought. Dobrolyubov also materialistically resolves the second side of the fundamental question of philosophy. He believes that a person can cognize and cognizes the material world around him. He exposes agnosticism and reckless skepticism, as well as religious fables about the limited abilities of the human mind. A person, according to Dobrolyubov, in the process of cognition goes from the impressions caused in our feelings by external objects to the disclosure of their essence. Cognition is determined by the practical needs of life and is tested by human activity.

Based on the materialist theory of knowledge, Dobrolyubov deeply developed the philosophical foundations of Belinsky and Chernyshevsky’s aesthetics. He was a great literary critic. He considered artistic creation as a reflection of objective reality in human consciousness. He saw the common between science and art in the fact that they have one object: the material world surrounding a person.

An artist must be a thinker and not copy reality, but reveal the internal connections and sequence of phenomena, generalize facts and draw conclusions. The truth of the artistic image is not in the random signs of the phenomenon, but in the disclosure of the essence, the characteristic features of the phenomenon. Dobrolyubov demanded from the artist an image of the typical in phenomena, revealing their essence and connection with the surrounding reality. From literature, he demanded service to the working people. His aesthetic theory was of great importance for the development of advanced Russian art and literature.

His materialism was limited, he could not extend the materialistic explanation of the laws of nature to social relations. The reason for this was the economic and political backwardness of Russia at that time. His revolutionary democracy determined in his general idealistic views on the development of society a strong materialistic tendency, which was expressed in his recognition of the decisive importance of the masses in the historical process. Historical events need, according to Dobrolyubov, to be assessed by the impact they have on the people.

Having established the decisive importance of the masses in history, Dobrolyubov basically correctly resolved the question of the role of great personalities in the progressive development of mankind. He did not oppose the great personality to the masses, but revealed the connection between the people and the great person expressing their interests. In an effort to reveal the internal laws of the development of society, he pointed to the great importance of the class struggle. In the historical development of society, according to Dobrolyubov, the material side plays an important role, the distribution of benefits between people. However, in general, in his view of the development of society, Dobrolyubov remained an idealist.

Dobrolyubov drew atheistic conclusions from the materialistic explanation of the laws of nature. He saw the roots of religion in man’s fear of incomprehensible natural phenomena. He exposed the reactionary role of religion, instilling superstition and ignorance and calling on the masses to be patient, showed a direct connection between religion and politics.

An outstanding representative of Russian revolutionary democracy, a materialist philosopher, a great literary critic, Dobrolyubov was one of the forerunners of Russian social democracy. The classics of Marxism-Leninism highly appreciated the activities of Dobrolyubov as an outstanding thinker and fighter for the liberation of the Russian people from serfdom and autocracy.

Nikolai Chernyshevsky

Chernyshevsky Nikolai Gavrilovich (1828-1889) – the great Russian revolutionary democrat, materialist philosopher, critically utopian socialist. The leader and ideological inspirer of the revolutionary democratic movement of the 1860s in Russia, Chernyshevsky was one of the outstanding predecessors of the Russian Social Democrats. Chernyshevsky consistently pursued “the idea of ??a peasant revolution, the idea of ??the struggle of the masses for the overthrow of all the old powers.” A whole generation of Russian revolutionaries was brought up on the works of Chernyshevsky, from which, as Lenin put it, breathes with the spirit of the class struggle.

His contribution to the development of Russian materialist philosophy is exceptionally great. He was a consistent materialist, an implacable opponent of philosophical idealism. “Chernyshevsky is the only truly great Russian writer who, from the 1850s up to 1888, managed to remain at the level of integral philosophical materialism and discard the pitiful nonsense of neo-Kantians, positivists, Machists and other confusionists.” Under the leadership of Chernyshevsky, the materialists criticized the camp of Russian idealists, which united all the reactionary elements that fought against the liberation of the people. Chernyshevsky deeply criticized the idealism of Kant, Hegel, Berkeley, Hume and the positivists, and he developed materialistic views, which were the pinnacle of pre-Marxist materialist philosophy. In contrast to the old, contemplative materialism, His materialism was revolutionary and effective. The contemplative approach to reality was alien to Chernyshevsky.

He completely subordinated his theoretical views to the cause of the struggle for the liberation of the commoners, that is, the working people, from serfdom and bourgeois slavery. In the field of the theory of knowledge, Chernyshevsky took strictly materialistic positions. He sharply criticized Kant’s agnosticism and other idealistic theories that deny the knowability of the world. He saw the source of knowledge in the objective world, influencing the human senses. He called practice the touchstone of any theory. Chernyshevsky did not dismiss like Feuerbach Hegel’s dialectic, and sought to rework it in a materialistic spirit. In a number of areas – in political economy, history, aesthetics, art criticism – Chernyshevsky gave excellent examples of a dialectical approach to reality.

However, due to objective circumstances – the conditions of serfdom in which Chernyshevsky lived and fought – he could not rise to the dialectical and historical materialism of Marx. Chernyshevsky’s materialism is not free from a number of essential shortcomings. Chernyshevsky himself called his materialism anthropological. The narrowness and limitation of anthropological materialism lies in the fact that it regards man as a part of nature, as a biological or physiological being, outside of his social production activity, not as a product of one or another. public relations. Hence the weakness characteristic of anthropological materialism in questions of the theory of knowledge, the inability to extend materialism to the history of human society, etc.

However, his revolutionary democracy helped him overcome many of the weaknesses of anthropological materialism. So, for example, Chernyshevsky came close to a materialist understanding of the phenomena of social life. This was especially evident in his understanding of the class nature of contemporary society, the irreconcilability of class interests, and in his understanding of the struggle between classes as the driving force of development. Chernyshevsky also saw the connection between the ideology and consciousness of people with the economic conditions of their life; he emphasized that the interests of the people are of fundamental importance in the history of society. He considered the masses to be the protagonist of history. “No matter how you reason,” he wrote, “only those aspirations are strong, only those institutions are strong that are supported by the mass of the people.” His sociological views were closely associated with his revolutionary democracy. In considering questions of philosophy, political economy, aesthetics, ethics, Chernyshevsky was above all a revolutionary democrat, the inspirer of the revolutionary struggle of the oppressed masses against tsarism and serfdom.

He understood perfectly well that only revolutionary violence can destroy the foundations of serfdom and clear the way for the people to a new life. He hated the liberals with all his heart, who covered up the exploitative essence of the serf and capitalist order with a beautiful-hearted phraseology. His greatest merit is the merciless exposure of the counter-revolutionary essence of Russian and Western European liberalism. During the period of the peasant reform, he fought against the servility of the liberals to the serf-owners. He, Lenin pointed out, perfectly understood “all the narrowness, all the squalor of the notorious peasant reform, all its serfdom character.” In his novel Prologue, Chernyshevsky created vivid and typical images of Russian liberals, in which the words about the liberation of the peasants are sharply at variance with the deeds. Lenin called Chernyshevsky and his opponents, the Russian liberals of that time, representatives of two fundamentally opposite historical tendencies, historical forces in the struggle for a new Russia.

Chernyshevsky paid much attention to the question of the state. He perfectly understood the real purpose of the state in feudal and bourgeois societies, the essence of its unbridled despotism. Therefore, as a revolutionary democrat, he associated the possibility of emancipating the peasantry and other working classes with the transfer of state power into the hands of the people themselves. In this spirit, he brought up the advanced Russian youth of that time; he rallied the revolutionaries, taught them to be loyal to the people to the end. The journal Sovremennik, headed by him, was the voice of the revolutionary forces of Russia in the 1850s and 1860s, the organizer of the revolutionary struggle against serfdom, the organ of the peasant revolution.

Chernyshevsky dreamed of going over to socialism through the old peasant community. He did not know and could not yet know that only the proletariat is the force that is capable of building socialism. However, in his theory of socialism, Chernyshevsky rose significantly above the Western European socialists-utopians and came closest to scientific socialism. He pinned all his hopes on the revolution. His utopian socialism was closely associated with his revolutionary democracy. In contrast to Western European utopians, he did not disdain politics, he himself was a major revolutionary politician. He understood that socialism can be created only on the basis of developed technology and that only the masses of the people themselves can be its creators.

His works in the field of political economy are of great importance. Marx pointed out that Chernyshevsky as an economist masterfully clarified the bankruptcy of bourgeois political economy. Lenin called Chernyshevsky a remarkably deep critic of capitalism. Chernyshevsky exposed the vulgar bourgeois economists with their desire to gloss over the irreconcilable contradictions of capitalism. Chernyshevsky mercilessly criticized the vulgar American economist Carey for his preaching of the harmony of class interests. He called his system of economic views the political economy of the working people. The main idea of ??the political economy of workers is the idea of “??a complete combination of the qualities of the owner and the worker in one and the same person.” Labor, he said, must cease to be a salable commodity.

His services in the field of aesthetics and literary criticism are extremely great. In his work Aesthetic Relations of Art to Reality, Chernyshevsky gave a devastating criticism of Hegel’s idealist understanding of art and formulated the basic principles of revolutionary realistic art. The literary and critical works of Chernyshevsky, as well as the works of Belinsky and Dobrolyubov, had a huge impact on the development of advanced Russian literature, painting, music; they have retained their significance to this day. Art, according to Chernyshevsky, has as its task to truthfully and realistically reproduce life, to give a correct explanation for it and to pass judgment on reality. He demanded criticism of serfdom from art and, with his aesthetic principles, contributed to the development of the direction of critical realism in Russian art. At the same time, in life itself, in its development to new, higher social forms, Chernyshevsky argued, and not in abstract ideals one should see the truly beautiful. He highly raised the social ideological role of art. Chernyshevsky is a prominent writer, author of wonderful works of art: What is to be done?, Prologue<, etc.

The Tsarist government brutally dealt with Chernyshevsky: subjected him to civil execution and then sent him to hard labor and exile in Siberia, where he spent more than 20 years. But neither hard labor nor exile broke the will of this remarkable revolutionary and thinker. The great patriot of his people, Chernyshevsky fought against the cosmopolitanism of Babst, Chicherin, Katkov. With all his heart, he hated nationalists and racists. Chernyshevsky devoted his whole life to serving the Motherland, and his struggle for a better future for the people played a great role. The most important philosophical works of Chernyshevsky: Aesthetic relations of art to reality (1855), Essays on the Gogol period of Russian literature (1855-1856), Critique of philosophical prejudices against communal ownership (1858), The anthropological principle in philosophy (1860). The most important philosophical thoughts were expressed by Chernyshevsky in letters to his sons from exile in 1876-1878 etc.

Mikhail Bakunin

Bakunin Mikhail Alexandrovich (1814-1876) – a prominent representative of anarchism, an ardent enemy of Marxism and scientific socialism. In his youth he was an idealist, far from politics. Then, in his views, a turn towards petty-bourgeois radicalism begins. In 1840 Bakunin went abroad. His anarchist views took shape in the 1860s, during his second emigration after fleeing Siberia. Bakunin was a member of the First International, from which he was expelled in 1872 for his reactionary activities: from an anarchist standpoint, he waged a stubborn struggle against Marxism as a theory and tactics of the labor movement.

The philosophical and sociological views of Bakunin during this period are a mixture of materialism in the understanding of nature with idealism and metaphysics in the understanding of society and serve as the basis for his anarchist doctrine. As Marx and Engels pointed out, Bakunin’s anarchist theory is extremely eclectic. Drawing a future society, Bakunin combines the idea of ??collective property as a characteristic feature of communist society with the Proudhonian anarchist idea of ??the absolute freedom of the individual, which he declares to be the highest goal of all human development. Bakunin borrowed from Saint-Simon the idea of ??abolishing the right of inheritance, which should supposedly be the starting point of a social revolution.

To this mixture of ideas Bakunin added the idea of ??a political, economic and social equation of classes. Marx subjected this bourgeois invention to devastating criticism, showing that the equation of classes is nothing more than the idea of ??“harmony between capital and labor.” The main thing that Bakunin takes from Proudhon is the anarchist denial of the state and political struggle. Bakunin, Engels wrote, “has a kind of theory, a mixture of Proudhonism with communism, and in his Proudhonism the most essential is that the main evil that should be eliminated, he considers not capital, and, consequently, not the class opposition between capitalists and wage earners. workers, which arose as a result of social development, and the state.”

Bakunin fiercely opposed Marx’s teaching on the class struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat. Bakunin opposed the political struggle of the working class to establish its dictatorship as a tool for building a communist society through social struggle, social revolution the entrance to the ayarchist-communist-atheistic paradise, as Marx wrote with irony.

Russia, Bakunin believed, would bypass capitalism. Bakunism was one of the ideological sources of populism. Marx and Engels subjected Bakunin’s theory and his disorganizing activity in the European labor movement to crushing criticism, showed the petty-bourgeois essence of Bakunism, hostile to proletarian socialism. A devastating criticism of the theory and practice of anarchism was given by Lenin and Stalin, in whose writings the anarchists are exposed as enemies of Marxism, hiding behind the socialist flag.

Dmitry Pisarev

Pisarev Dmitry Ivanovich (1840-1868) – an outstanding Russian materialist and revolutionary democrat, a passionate champion of the abolition of serfdom and the emancipation of labor from the oppression of capital. After graduating from St. Petersburg University in 1861, Pisarev devoted himself entirely to journalism, becoming the head of the leading journal Russkoe Slovo and following in it the line of Chernyshevsky’s Sovremennik, the line of revolutionary democracy. During his short life path (Pisarev drowned at the age of 28; he was a political prisoner in the Peter and Paul Fortress) Pisarev managed to do a lot for the development of Russian social thought. In the years when Belinsky and Dobrolyubov were no longer alive, when Herzen was in distant exile, and Chernyshevsky in Siberian mines, Pisarev becomes the “ruler of thoughts” of the advanced public, especially the student youth. The ultimate goal of all our thinking, he said, is to “resolve the forever inevitable question of hungry and naked people.” As a student, he declares himself an enemy of serfdom. Pisarev called for the violent “overthrow of the successfully reigning Romanov dynasty.” Unable to openly call for revolution, he completely surrenders to the idea of ??spreading scientific knowledge among the people. He believed that the growth of enlightenment would increase the productive power of labor and help raise the welfare of the people.

At the same time, he emphasized that the growth of industry, the growth of wealth in the country in itself does not in any way solve the question of the welfare of the masses. Pisarev points to France and especially England, where the growth of wealth is accompanied by the progressive impoverishment of the working masses. He organically linked the propaganda of historical knowledge, natural science and industrialism with the democratic transformation of the political and economic social order. Pisarev tries as clearly as possible to show the decisive role of the masses themselves. He calls the liberals “a bastard of various sizes who amuse themselves with progressive phrases.” He strongly condemns the policy of reconciliation of parties: it is necessary to fully, to the end, disclose political differences, and not gloss over them.

Having gone through the evolution from abstract humanism to revolutionary democracy and utopian socialism, Pisarev becomes a bold propagandist of the ideas of socialism. He was deeply convinced that the future belongs to socialism: “Medieval theocracy fell, feudalism fell, absolutism fell; someday the tyrannical domination of capital will also fall.” Pisarev foresaw that for Russia, too, with the development of its industry, the labor issue would become the main issue of life and politics. Pisarev’s activities developed at a time when, according to the deep definition of V.I. Lenin, socialism and democracy in Russia were still merged together. Therefore, the most advanced leaders of the country, including Pisarev, expressed the interests of the working people in general, the interests of the exploited masses, which in general were still peasant masses.

In his philosophical and sociological views, Pisarev continued the materialist philosophy of Chernyshevsky. Pisarev constantly – from Epicurus to Chernyshevsky – singled out and defended the luminaries of the materialist camp in philosophy, constantly – from Plato to Hegel, to Yurkevich and A. Grigoriev – exposed the lies of idealism, its theoretical failure, his reactionary political orientation. Matter and motion, according to Pisarev, are indestructible, eternal and endless in the forms of manifestation: “Not a single piece of matter, not a single particle of force disappears in nature.” The laws of nature are also material in nature: they all “equally follow from the necessary and eternal properties of the infinite world substance.” Being, matter are primary, consciousness is secondary.

The entire spiritual world of a person, including unconscious motives, illusion, etc., are all reflections of external phenomena in the human psyche. Man, says Pisarev, is not a passive body of nature, but an active, active being. Science is not arbitrarily invented by man: “It is a snapshot from nature, nature itself, exposed, unraveled, having revealed its laws to the inquiring mind of man.” Pisarev recognized the objective nature of science, resolutely condemning such concepts in which only the subjective opinion of the speaker is expressed, and not the objective property of the subject in question. Art, artistic creation, as well as scientific, according to Pisarev, is a form of reflection of reality. In the 1860s in Russia, the struggle between materialism and idealism took on a particularly acute character on issues of aesthetics.

Idealists, following Schelling, argued that artistic creation is aimless, not amenable to the control of reason. Pisarev spoke out in the most resolute manner against reactionary aesthetics, against pure art, defending the ideas of socially oriented, meaningful, democratic art. A poet, Pisarev said, must reflect the pulsation of public life, passionately hate social injustice, write with the blood of the heart and the juice of nerves. Defending the materialistic foundations of Chernyshevsky-Dobrolyubov’s aesthetics, Pisarev, however, made serious mistakes.

So, he denied the social, cognitive significance of music, sculpture, painting, denied the great significance of Pushkin’s work. In matters of aesthetics, the historical limitations of Pisarev’s philosophical views were most pronounced. His great contribution to the materialistic theory of knowledge is his idea of ??the role of fantasy, dreams in cognitive and creative creativity. VI Lenin pointed out the deep ideas of DI Pisarev about something useful in his work What is to be done? and in Philosophical notebooks Along with mechanism and metaphysics, Pisarev’s works also contain strong elements of dialectics. One of the first outstanding Darwinists in Russia, he was completely independent of Muller-Haeckel and even earlier formulated the biogenetic law of development. Pisarev clearly saw the struggle between the dying old and the emerging new.

Especially many remarkable dialectical ideas were expressed by Pisarev in his sociological discourses. In understanding the laws and driving forces of historical development, he generally remained on the idealistic positions of pre-Marxist sociology. He took the development of knowledge and popular consciousness as the basis of progress. However, his works already contain many elements of a materialist approach to historical facts. As an economist, Pisarev developed the labor theory of value. Pisarev paid great attention to the role of labor and the working masses in the historical process. He came close to a correct understanding of the role of the material needs of the masses, the role of the economic factor, the decisive role of the masses in the development of society. The driving force of history, according to Pisarev, “lies always and everywhere, not in units, not in circles, not in literary works, but in general and mainly in the economic conditions of the existence of the masses.” As an ideologist of the toiling peasant masses, he was on the whole a supporter of revolutionary methods of struggle against the exploiting system of society.

The influence of Pisarev for his time was very great. The advanced thinking part of society both in Russia and in neighboring Slavic countries was read to them. He had a tremendous revolutionary influence on the development of Russian natural science. Outstanding figures of Russian science, Bach, Pavlov, Timiryazev and others recognize the influence of Pisarev on them. Under the influence of his sociological views, as well as the views of N, G. Chernyshevsky, the worldview of Serbian revolutionary Svetozar Markovich, Bulgarian revolutionary L. Karavelov and other leading figures of the Slavic countries was formed. Philosophical and socio-political works of D.I. Pisarev include: Historical Sketches (1864), Heinrich Heine (1867), The French Peasant in 1789 (1868), etc.

Nikolai Shelgunov

Shelgunov Nikolai Vasilievich (1824-1891) – a prominent Russian publicist and public figure, revolutionary democrat, associate of N.G. Chernyshevsky. Even in his student years, Shelgunov was imbued with the ideas of Herzen, Belinsky and Chernyshevsky. In the 1850s, he established contact abroad with A.I. Herzen and wide circles of the Russian revolutionary emigration. Upon his return to his homeland, Shelgunov joined Chernyshevsky’s Sovremennik.

In the journalism of N.V. Shelgunov, a prominent place is occupied by the popularization of natural science and criticism of works of art, but it was mainly devoted to issues of history, politics and socio-economic relations. In solving the main question of philosophy, Shelgunov proceeded from Chernyshevsky’s materialistic propositions about a single material nature, about a single human body, which is part of the rest of the material world, a product of the development of matter. Shelgunov criticizes idealistic propositions about innate ideas, about the primacy of consciousness. The mind processes only the material that it receives from the impressions of the outside world, says Shelgunov.

In 1861, NV Shelgunov published an article entitled The Workers’ Proletariat in England and France in Sovremennik. In it, he outlined the content of F. Engels’ book The Condition of the Working Class in England and thus acquainted the Russian public with F. Engels’ outstanding Marxist work, which undoubtedly influenced the development of Russian social thought. Defending F. Engels from the attacks of the reactionary camp of Russian journalism, Shelgunov wrote: “Among the writers attacked by Hildebrant is Engels, one of the best and noblest Germans. This name is completely unknown to him, although European economic literature owes him the best essay on the economic life of the English worker ... Engels calls evil by its name and does not want this evil.”

Philosophically, in addition to the named work of Shelgunov, the most interesting are his articles: Socio-economic fatalism, The loss of ignorance, Attempts of Russian consciousness, Letters about education. In his views on society, Shelgunov basically remained an idealistic enlightener, despite to the fact that he often paid tribute to the role of the masses in history. In his literary critical speeches, Shelgunov fought for the progressive role of art, for art that contributes to the development of society. Shelgunov exerted a progressive influence on his contemporaries as a talented publicist, denouncer of serfdom and the exploitative, bestial nature of growing capitalism. Tsarism brutally persecuted Shelgunov. Shelgunov spent several years in prison, for many years he was in exile.

Pyotr Lavrov

Lavrov Petr Lavrovich (1823-1900) – Russian petty-bourgeois public figure, publicist and sociologist, subjective idealist and eclectic, ideologist of populism. He outlined the views of populism in most detail in his main work, Historical Letters, written in the late 1860s. He was a member of the populist organization Land and Freedom, and then the party Narodnaya Volya; supporter of tactics of individual terror. He was a member of the First International, was familiar with Marx and Engels and corresponded with them. Lavrov verbally declared his agreement with the economic theory of Marx. However, in reality, being an eclectic, he defended the subjective method in sociology, political economy and denied the applicability of the Marxist doctrine to Russia.

Following the reactionary French sociologist Comte and other positivists, Lavrov had a negative attitude towards theoretical thinking, towards philosophy, tried to “rise” above materialism and idealism, to avoid solving the fundamental question of philosophy, in fact he defended subjective idealism and agnosticism. Lavrov argued that historical events are uniquely individual and do not admit of generalization, cannot be summed up under general objective laws. According to Lavrov, the subject of sociology should not be considered social life, but the individual with its ideals about the future system, by which he meant the petty bourgeois system, without the big bourgeoisie and the proletariat, without contradictions and class struggle. He considered the role of personality in history to be decisive.

The socio-political and philosophical-sociological views of Lavrov meant a step back from the revolutionary democracy of Chernyshevsky, Dobrolyubov and Pisarev. With his subjective idealistic and eclectic ideas, Lavrov weakened the revolutionary democratic camp. The revolutionary democrats, led by Chernyshevsky, sharply criticized Lavrov’s philosophical and sociological exercises.

Marx and Engels sharply criticized his populist subjective-idealistic and eclectic views, which are closely related to his policy of compromise, with his attempts to reconcile the Bakuninists and Marxists in the First International. Of great importance in the struggle against his populist views were the works of Plekhanov. The petty-bourgeois subjective-idealistic views of the Narodniks were finally defeated by V.I.Lenin.

Maxim Antonovich

Antonovich Maxim Alekseevich (1835-1918) – one of the greatest representatives of the advanced Russian philosophy of the 1860s, grouped around Chernyshevsky. The activity of Antonovich, like that of other people of the sixties, developed most vividly during the years of the struggle for the abolition of serfdom and reflected the revolutionary ferment among the peasantry, who fought against serfdom.

After graduating from the St. Petersburg Theological Academy in 1859, Antonovich abandoned his spiritual career. Fascinated by the ideas of Belinsky, Herzen and Chernyshevsky, the ideas of representatives of advanced natural science, Antonovich becomes a materialist and atheist even in his student years. Personal acquaintance with N. A. Dobrolyubov finally determined the place of Antonovich in the social struggle. Having become an active contributor to Sovremennik, at the insistence of N. G. Chernyshevsky, he began to write articles on philosophical topics. The most important of them are: Contemporary Philosophy, On Hegel’s Philosophy, Two Types of Contemporary Philosophers, Contemporary Physiology and Philosophy, Contemporary Aesthetic Theory, Love Explanation with the Era. Antonovich also wrote a lot on natural science. His works Charles Darwin and His Theory, The Unity of the Physical and Moral Cosmos, The Unity of the Forces of Nature, The Life of Plants, The Life of Animals, On Vapors and Steam Engines and many others were popularized in Russian society by the advanced natural -scientific knowledge, co-I acted in the formation of a scientific, materialistic worldview.

Antonovich strongly criticized Hegelian idealism, Kantian agnosticism, idealism in Russian reactionary journalism and passionately defended and promoted the materialism of N.G. Chernyshevsky. He took an active part in the struggle of Chernyshevsky against the Russian idealists, led by Yurkevich and Katkov, and in his military speeches he consistently defended the principles of philosophical materialism, the materialist theory of knowledge. His articles, in which he, relying on the data of physiology, refutes the arguments of agnosticism and develops the materialistic theory of reflection, and at the present time have not lost their freshness and interest. However, the philosophical views of Antonovich lagged significantly behind the views of his teacher, Chernyshevsky. Chernyshevsky’s materialism is closely linked with politics, with the revolutionary democratic struggle; 8a the reorganization of society; his writings breathe with the spirit of the class struggle. Antonovich, on the contrary, pays main attention to natural science and education. Later, he completely abandoned politics and devoted himself entirely to the promotion of scientific knowledge. Antonovich’s materialism remained contemplative, metaphysical, despite some elements of dialectics.

As a literary critic, Antonovich demanded from art that it reproduce reality and serve the interests of society. The most striking work of Antonovich, devoted to literary criticism, was his article Asmodeus of Our Time, and with which Antonovich defends the revolutionary democratic aspirations of the sixties against slander from the liberal camp. He promotes and defends the aesthetic theory of Chernyshevsky. But due to the limitations of his general philosophical views, he expressed certain provisions that contradict the militant spirit of Chernyshevsky’s aesthetic theory. In recent years, having moved entirely to the field of natural science, Antonovich opened his own chemical laboratory, intensively studied geology. In the field of geology, he owns independent research and discoveries. Selected Philosophical Works by M. A. Antonovich were published in 1945.

Nikolai Mikhailovsky

Mikhailovsky Nikolai Konstantinovich (1842-1904) – Russian sociologist and publicist, leader of liberal populism, enemy of Marxism. In the journals Otechestvennye Zapiski and Russkoye Bogatstvo, which he edited, Mikhailovsky waged a fierce struggle against Marxism. A supporter of the subjective method in sociology, Mikhailovsky argued that society is a crowd with monotonous, gray, everyday ideas, the heroic personality organizes the crowd, introduces a temporary connection into it, and carries away to fight.

The idealistic theory of heroes and the crowd served as the basis for the populist tactics of individual terror. Lenin and Plekhanov waged a merciless struggle against these tactics of the Narodniks and their reactionary idealist theories.

Lenin protested against the attempts of liberals and bourgeois democrats “to pass Mikhailovsky as a socialist and to prove the reconciliation of his bourgeois philosophy and sociology with Marxism.” In fact, Lenin wrote, not only in the economic field, but also in philosophy and in sociology, Mikhailovsky’s views were bourgeois-democratic views, veiled by “socialist” phrases. A characterization of the essence of Narodism, the fallacy of Narodnik views, is also given in the Short Course on the History of the CPSU (b).

Georgy Plekhanov

Georgy Valentinovich Plekhanov (1856-1918) was one of the first Russian Marxists. There are three stages in his activity: from 1875 to 1883 Plekhanov was a populist; from 1883 to 1903 he was a Marxist; since 1903 Plekhanov turned to the right: he became a Menshevik, a leader of Bolshevism, he betrayed revolutionary Marxism. In emigration (went abroad in 1880) he broke with populism and in 1883 organized the first Russian Marxist group, Emancipation of Labor, abroad. The group members translated into Russian a number of works by Marx and Engels, printed them abroad and secretly distributed them in Russia. For the perception of scientific socialism, Plekhanov was prepared by the revolutionary ideas of Herzen, Belinsky, Chernyshevsky and Dobrolyubov. His theoretical work related to this period was of immense benefit to the Russian labor movement. Plekhanov devoted his talents, his exceptional literary abilities to the justification and defense of Marxism, its spread in Russia.

His works such as Socialism and the Political Struggle, Our Differences, On the Development of a Monistic View of History, cleared the way for the victory of Marxism in Russia. Plekhanov was the first Russian Marxist to oppose the Narodnik theory. With his labors, he dealt a serious blow to populism. On the basis of an analysis of the economic relations of post-reform Russia, he showed all the harmfulness and groundlessness of the Narodnik theories about Russia’s transition to socialism through the peasant community, about the non-capitalist path of Russia’s development. But Plekhanov and the Emancipation of Labor group as a whole, had serious mistakes. The group’s program also contained remnants of populist views. So, for example, they accepted the tactics of individual terror.

The final ideological defeat of Narodism was completed in the 1890s by Lenin. Plekhanov did not understand that only in alliance with the peasantry would the proletariat triumph over Tsarism. In some of his works, he did not take into account the peasantry at all. “Apart from the bourgeoisie and the proletariat,” he said, “we see no other social forces” on which one could rely in the revolution. Plekhanov saw the liberal bourgeoisie as a force capable of supporting the revolution. These mistakes were the embryo of his future Menshevik views, the starting point of his denial of the hegemony of the proletariat in the bourgeois-democratic Russian revolution.

When the draft of the party program was being worked out inside Iskra, Plekhanov tried to replace the slogan of the dictatorship of the proletariat put forward by Lenin with the vague slogan “dictatorship of the working people and the exploited.” After the Second Congress of the RSDLP, Plekhanov adopted a position of conciliation towards the opportunists, and then he himself slipped into opportunism and joined the Mensheviks. In 1905, he took liberal positions on the question of revolution and fought against the Leninist tactics of the Bolsheviks. During the years of the Stolypin reaction, he was in a bloc with the Bolsheviks against the anti-party August bloc. Later, Plekhanov finally went over to the camp of opportunism. During the world imperialist war (1914-1918) he defended the Menshevik defencism tactics. He was hostile to the Great October Revolution.

His political evolution was reflected in his theoretical works. All the best that Plekhanov wrote on the philosophy of Marxism belongs to the period 1883-1903, before his turn to Menshevism. “His personal merits are also enormous in the past. Over the course of 20 years, 18831903, he produced a mass of excellent writings, especially against the opportunists, Machists, and Narodniks.” His great merit is his struggle for philosophical materialism, against idealism, against numerous attempts to combine Marxism with. Kantianism. Plekhanov sharply criticized Bernstein’s revisionism. His works contain a serious Marxist elaboration of certain questions of the materialist understanding of history, such as the question and the role of the individual in history. Lenin also pointed out major shortcomings and errors in his philosophical works.

Plekhanov, for example, made a grave mistake in supporting the idealistic theory of coginition, opposed to the Marxist theory of knowledge, separated the theory of knowledge from dialectics, not seeing their unity, not understanding that dialectics is the theory of knowledge of Marxism; vaguely distinguished between materialistic and idealistic understanding of experience, leaving a loophole for idealism; reduced the laws of dialectics to the sum of examples; overestimated the role of the geographic environment in the socio-historical process; often portrayed the great Russian thinkers of the 19th century, the revolutionary democrats, as simple imitators of Western European philosophers.

His criticism of the Machians was abstract. He did not see the connection between Machism and the crisis in natural science. The theoretical roots of his mistakes lay in his underestimation of the qualitatively new that was introduced into philosophy by the founders of Marxism. The social roots of his mistakes are the influence of bourgeois liberalism and Western European opportunism on him. Plekhanov did not take the position of creative Marxism, he approached Marxist theory dogmatically, did not see the movement of the center of the revolutionary movement to Russia, did not take into account the peculiarities of the country’s development in the new concrete historical conditions of the era of imperialism and proletarian revolutions.

Plekhanov was a talented literary critic and did much to expose the idealistic, anti-scientific understanding of literature and art. The views of Belinsky and Chernyshevsky had a great influence on the development of his aesthetic views. Plekhanov worked out a number of questions of Marxist aesthetics. He fought against the idealistic understanding of art, against the decadent slogan “art for art” and in his literary-critical articles defended the requirement of ideology in artistic creation. His most important works: Socialism and Political Struggle (1883), Our Differences (1885), On the Development of a Monistic View of History (1895), Essays on the History of Materialism (1896), On the Materialist Understanding history (1897), On the question of the role of the individual in history (1898).