Rabotyazhev Nikolay
Left-Wing Conservatizm: Nostalgia for Utopia?
Publication Type:
The very existence of such political phenomenon as left-wing conservatism can be explained by the fact that conservatism and socialism initially possessed some contact points. Conservatism and socialism were the reactions to the process of modernization, both of them denied liberal civilization based on individualism, rationalism and power of money. In tsarist Russia Slavophiles and radical populists (narodniki) contrasted the values of Russian peasant community with the individualism of bourgeois Europe. After the 1917 October revolution some groups of right-wing Russian emigrants have declared that communism was not the break with Russian tradition but its peculiar continuation (“smenovekhovtsy” (“Change of Signposts” group), national Bolshevism of N. Ustryalov, Eurasianism). At the same time Soviet ideology became gradually more nationalist, and in 1970s communists-“neoslavophiles” – spiritual forerunners of the present Communist Party of Russian Federation (the CPRF) – argued that there was a succession, not gap between the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire. In post-communist Russia leftwing conservatives oppose the westernization and assert that because of communitarian, collectivist and statist nature of Russian tradition socialism was its organic product. After the Russian Communist party’s restoration in 1993 leftwing conservatism became the dominant trend in its leadership. In 1990es the leader of the CPRF Gennadyi Zyuganov revised ideology of the party combining communism with Russian patriotism, Marxism with the views of Russian conservative philosophers of the 19th century. Another version of left-wing conservatism is elaborated by Izborsk Club some members of which intend to carry out a synthesis of “red” and “white” ideological traditions. Analyzing the worldview of the CPRF and Izborsk Club the author draws the conclusion that contemporary Russian left-wing conservatism is the narrow, one-sided version of conservatism possessing certain reactionary features. 

 


Keywords: Conservatism | Socialism | the Communist Party of the Russian Federation | Izborsk Club | Russian Tradition | Slavophilism | National Bolshevism | «Smena vekh» («Change of Signposts») |

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