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Sayers, Sean


Abstract: The modern Marxist approach toward the analysis of the Communist alternative to global capitalism is not utopian, but at the same time goes beyond the tradition of “scientific communism”. From the point of view of Marx, communism is a historical stage of the future, which does not arise ex nihil; it is a natural product of evolutionary (quantitative) and revolutionary (qualitative) transformations of capitalism due to the social and economic contradictions. In contrast, modern Marxists (A. Badiou, L. Althusser, D. Bensaid) believe that communism is the absolute “break” (“rupture”), a sudden “event” which has no causes in the past. Moreover, for them the future of communism is not a natural result of the immanent development of capitalism representing just a “Communist horizon”. The author of the atricle shows that the qualitative – revolutionary – changes are not absolute, total, sudden, and spontaneous ruptures, as they are represented by Badiou, Althusser, and others. They do not arise out of nowhere. On the contrary, there is an essential connection between consistent, quantitative phase of the revolutionary, high-quality breakthrough, which is its outcome. There is continuity, as well as discontinuity. A revolutionary break may well seem to be sudden and unexpected, but it is never entirely unheralded. Although capitalism is in crisis, there is no sign of the forces, which as Marx believed would bring about its overthrow, and create a new society. The capitalist world is still riven by the contradictions that Marx describes, and it will eventually lead to the emergence of forces that will abolish it, and create a more socialist form of society. The author cannot prove or demonstrate it, because today is not the time to point out the forces that are necessary if the alternative is created. Therefore, it is ultimately a matter of faith: faith in communism. But, this is not the mere blind faith implied by Badiou’s notion of a sudden revolutionary “event”, and his dematerialised “idea of communism”. The faith involved in Marxism is very different. It is the belief that communism is not a mere “idea” but an actual tendency of history itself. This belief is grounded in the Marxist theory of history and its analysis of the forces at work in capitalism.
Keywords: Marxism, communism, capitalism, history, rupture, event, determination, faith, A. Badiou.

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Koryakovtsev, Andrey


Abstract: Key Marxist category is the socio-historical activity (practice). In considering Marxist view, the author identifies such a feature as projectivity – mental, conscious orientation towards the future. The success of human activity depends on the extent of consistency of purposes and conceptions with human conditions of activity, properties of its subject, and the quality of used means. The utopianism, an idealistic nature, parameters and characteristics, or, on the contrary, realism, – these are characteristics of the degree of compliance. Therefore, it is necessary to distinguish between proactivity and utopia. Non-Marxist concepts of social utopias are based on their mix. This leads either to apologetics utopian consciousness, or to condemnation of  transformative social projects. In both cases, it depends on political preferences and does not correlate to the scientific objectivity. Engels links utopian social projects of the New Time to special “way of understanding” of social development. The article clarifies that this “way of understanding” consists of methodological eclecticism. Based on Marxist approach, the article formulates three criteria of utopian quality. The first takes place when the thinker tries to detail to predict future social status. According to the second one, utopianism consists of the insufficiency of the means with the original idea of radical transformation of society. The third criterion is the discrepancy of the objective results of implementation of social projects and their original intentions, despite the fact that the project itself is practically possible. In the light of these criteria, the article analyzes social projects of the New Time, particularly focusing on the teachings of T. More, T. Campanella, F. Bacon, and J. Lock. He concludes that they embodies methodological and ideological polyphony. In each of them one can detect both features of bourgeois-democratic (liberal), and antibourgeois (communist/socialist) approach. Therefore, it is not correct to assign them to particular ideological doctrine.
Keyword: social utopia; social projection; human activity; Marx; Engels; More; Campanella; Bacon; Lock; utopian socialism; methodological polyphony; ideological polyphony; liberalism; communism.

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Political science


Bo, Rothstein


Abstract: In the article, the theory of correlation between corruption and trust is substantiated. On a broad empirical basis, it is shown that the behavior of people in society, their ability to trust other people, and to observe the general rules of the game primarily depends on their beliefs about whether they can trust public institutions of the state. The author argues that the lack of trust in state institutions and public officials because of their corruptness and  dishonesty – irrespective of whether it is true or not – inevitably generates distrust at the interpersonal level. Consistently proving this thesis, the author distinguishes and describes three interrelated causal mechanisms that determine correlation between corruption and social trust: 1) the inference from public officials; 2) the inference from people in general, and 3) the inference from oneself. At the same time, the author’s theory ends up in the idea of human nature, the essence of which he sees in the pursuit of reciprocity. The idea of reciprocity implies that people always decide how to act relying on their beliefs about how the others will act in the future. Thus, if they believe that most of their fellow citizens cheat on taxes or bribe officials to obtain a desired benefit or advantage, they will act exactly in the same way in order not to lose. At the same time, the principle of reciprocity works when people believe that the others will likely observe the general rules of the game. It is the idea of reciprocity that allows the author to substantiate the thesis that the level of corruption and trust in society directly depends on the design of institutions.
Keywords: social trust, social capital, corruption, reciprocity, social traps.

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Martyanov, Victor


Abstract: In societies of Late Modernity, the role of interpersonal and institutional trust is growing. Growth is fundamental for the success of the popular concepts of organic modernization, post-material values, open access society, social capital, reduce transaction costs – increasingly important factors for the further development of humankind. These trends are possible within the fundamental conditions of the dominating market exchange and strong civil society. However, in the Russian context, the peripheral market formed by the reforms of the 1990s paradoxically did not create but rather destroyed the values and institutional background of Modern trust model for the majority of the population. Trends of statization of the society are associated with the compression of the middle class and modern social groups, deriving autonomy and resources primarily in the market and civil structures. Rental-estate shift in the social stratification is catalyzed by the fact that in a crisis model of survival the autonomy of market exchange is shrinking amid strengthening of hierarchical state allocation mechanisms diminishing resource flows. Rental-caste elites build socio-political configuration, in which citizens who do not really trust each other will compensate mutual alienation by allocating trust in the state and its agents, and thus forming a specific anti-modern consensus. At the same time, people with high social capital do not show high confidence in the Russian institutions, having a higher level of interpersonal trust. Significant divergence of trust types in different social groups points to a fundamental gap. It is a conflict between the most modernized part of the community and its vision of the organization of social and political order, and elites deliberately seeking to support rent-estate social order and associated pre- and antimodern social groups. This contradiction is considered as the main catalyst for the future social transformation of the Russian society, being evident in the economic, cultural, generational and even in the geographical dimension.
Keywords: anti-modern consensus, state, trust, conflict, modernization, post-materialist values, market, social capital, stratification.

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Ilyinykh, Alexey


Abstract: The article is devoted to the legal analysis of changes in the territorial basis of local self-government in Russia connected with the establishment of a new municipality type – the intracity area. The article presents the characteristic features of the establishment and individual elements of this type of municipal unit. In the article, special attention is devoted to the experience of the implementation of new types of municipal units in Chelyabinsk where the process of implementation of this project hasn't stopped at a stage of legal regulation and has reached its «logical» end in formation of independent municipalities, unlike the other two cities (Samara and Makhachkala), where the opportunity of its formation was fixed on the legislative level. The article encompasses the issue of the necessity and reasonability of the implementation of new type of territorial unit through a prism of purposes declared by initiators and associated with overcoming distance between city municipal authorities and general population, which has a negative impact on people's livelihood. The article considers special aspects of intracity areas formation in detail, and draws attention to the existing gaps in the legislation regulating this procedure, in particular – the account of public opinion over such transformations; the number of deputies; terms of work of the previously formed local self-governing authorities, and the lack of transitional period. As a result of the legal analysis, existing problems are identified: the ones associated with abandoning from the direct election of the formation of local self-government authorities of the city district and intracity areas; the delimitation of authority and property between city district and constituting intracity areas; the low level of budgetary provision of intracity areas; the status problems of bodies of the territorial public self-management, and order of recall of elected officials. The article formulates proposals to improve legislation concerning the strengthening of the status of intracity areas, and the resolving its problems in cooperation with the city district, in which they are included. In addition, potential legal problems requiring further solution are defined.
Keywords: territorial basis of local self-government; intracity area; city district with intracity areas; local government; issues of local value.

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Semitko, Alexey


Abstract: The article is devoted to the attitude towards the concept of priority of rights and freedoms of a person as major legal principle of liberalism in Russian and foreign legal sources. The approach, which rejects availability of this concept within the liberal theory and denies the supreme value or priority of rights and freedoms of a person in general, i. e., in theory and practice, is critically analyzed. The understanding of international standards of democracy and liberalism in Russian and foreign sources is discussed. It is indicated that the idea of priority of human rights lies in the basis of liberalism, and it is connected both with advantage and personal freedom, as well as with other ideas, for example, the ideas of natural rights, constitutional state, and supremacy of law. It is emphasized that the priority of human rights has nothing in common with the absolutization and hypertrophy of these rights. The later contradicts not the interests of society, but the powers of state apparatus. If to deny or – what is even simpler – not to protect the priority of human rights, then there is nothing else to do then to approve the priority of the government and its representatives – government employees. Any type of government including democratic one shall be limited to human rights, which in that case are higher, more important, and prior. The state is a mean of protection of human rights, which being the purpose (I. Kant), are the main, leading, prior beginning in this pare of categories. The mean though being extremely necessary for the achievement of the goal and at the same time something secondary and subordinate, sometimes possesses – as in case with the state – significant power, from which it is necessary to protect certain individual as it is seen by liberalism. Liberalism speaks about primacy of the individual over the state, but not over the society. This idea is often confused in the Russian sources where the formula of the priority of human rights over the state is criticized, and the opposition of individual to society but not the state is attributed to it. The government, even democratic, does not carry out the mission of human rights protection “automatically”; civil society shall be mature enough “to stimulate” these activities of the state. Considering the Western attitude towards the idea of the rights and freedoms of the person and their priority, it is explained why today this idea is not so much spoken in comparison with the Russian political and legal sources.
Keywords: priority of human rights; rights and freedoms of person; liberalism; democracy; state; personality and state; constitutional state; constitutionalism.

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