Libmonster ID: UZ-1024
Author(s) of the publication: L. B. ALAEV
Educational Institution \ Organization: Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Modernity casts a bright light on the events of the past, highlights their significance. The point is not that history is "a politics turned to the past," but simply that the historian has a better understanding of the period he is studying if he knows how it ended. These notes will also relate to the current situation, but their main focus is different: a reassessment of the past. The need for such a statement of the problem is connected, in particular, with the fact that the Institute of Oriental Studies is preparing to publish the fifth and sixth volumes of the History of the East, covering the XX century, and it seems to me that many authors involved in their writing do not sufficiently take into account the new realities and remain in the positions of"and so on.

Two events of recent years make us reconsider the views on the history of this century that prevailed earlier and still exist in our environment. This is the collapse of the Soviet Union and the terrorist act of September 11, 2001.

The disappearance of the USSR is not just the collapse of a superpower, it is the collapse of ideals, it is the disappearance of the former scale of values by which the course of world history was assessed-

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progressivity-reactionary figures, movements, and concepts-was defined.

Sometimes the collapse of the USSR is seen as the collapse of Marxism. The connection between these two phenomena is not obvious. The erosion of Marxist theory in Soviet social studies began long before the collapse of Soviet power. The greatest contribution to the vulgarization and vulgarization of this theory was made by those who were in charge of science. The question of the value of certain Marxist ideas requires separate consideration. This is not the subject of these notes. However, in order to be understood correctly (in particular, to defend myself against the accusation of a sweeping denial of everything that has been done by Marxist historical science), I will have to briefly outline my position on this issue.

It seems that the essence of Marxist theory can be reduced to the following postulates:: 1) the unity of the historical process and the inevitability of progress; 2) the objectivity of the process, its independence from the will and consciousness of people; 3) the stadiality of this process, the passage of humanity as a whole through a number of "scientifically" established stages (formations); 4) economocentrism, the idea of productive forces and production relations as driving forces of progress and factors social life; 5) a class - based approach to the analysis of all post-primitive societies, focusing primarily on the problems of exploitation and any form of protest; 6) violence as the main method of solving social problems and the main mechanism of progressive development.

At present, the desire to overcome the legacy of the past and get rid of the dominance of Marxist ideology is often expressed in the desire to discard all these postulates as a single complex. However, they require a differentiated approach.

The first two postulates are not directly related to Marxism. They are borrowed by Marxism from the Judeo-Christian tradition, which proceeds from the ideas about the unity of the origin of mankind, about the linearity of time (from the creation of the world to its end) and from the teleological understanding of history (going to the Last Judgment and the establishment of the kingdom of God on earth). They cannot be abandoned without breaking with the entire European worldview, i.e. it is practically impossible to do so.

The third postulate - about the stadiality of history, that humanity goes through a series of stages in its development - is also much older than Marxism. It was reinterpreted by Marx in the spirit of economocentrism; the stages in his understanding began to differ in "modes of production" and turned into "formations" (and this understanding may well be questioned), but the stage approach to history cannot be replaced by any other approach as long as we want to remain historians.

The civilizational approach that has now become the banner of proponents of a complete reinterpretation of history and a kind of password that initiates exchange has not (yet?) a theory that can be used in the study and teaching of history. It does not offer a system of civilizations and therefore does not organize historical material. Moreover, he puts forward as an analytical tool an indeterminate factor like "civilizational specificity" or "spirit of civilization", which may actually exist, but cannot be recognized by scientific methods.

The following three postulates constitute the essence of Marxism as a new (for the nineteenth century) teaching. They are morally and historiographically outdated and require revision. The point is not that the economocentric approach is flawed as such. It is no worse, though not better, than any other monistic approach, such as giving a structure-forming role to culture or religion. But the stages of history should be determined taking into account all manifestations of sociality. Each of these manifestations is an economy

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("mode of production"), the level of religious consciousness, political organization, etc. - all have their own logic of development, but over long time periods they are interrelated.

As for these properly Marxist postulates, they have been and are being corrected. For example, it is already fully recognized that class struggle can often play a secondary role in the life of society in comparison with interethnic and interfaith struggles. Some other ways of this revision have also already been outlined. In this case, however, it is necessary to focus specifically only on the question of the role of violence in history. Marx's well - known expression "violence is the midwife of history" is fundamentally incorrect. The midwife doesn't kill the mother to free the baby. The mission of "midwife" should be passed on to reform. Only slow changes are lasting.

As already mentioned, our main historiographical problems do not lie in this plane. It is not Marxism that hinders us, but "Soviet Marxism", whose distinctive feature was the idea that the Soviet Union was at the forefront of humanity, and the consideration of all events from the point of view of the interests of the USSR and the world communist movement. This led to anti-Westernism, the tendency of moral support for everything that prevented developed countries from improving their economy and political system (democracy) and transforming the world, and the ideology of the "cold war". With regard to the study of colonial and dependent countries, and then the countries of the "third world", this was expressed in outright anti-imperialism, pathetic exposure of colonial exploitation, and unconditional moral support for the national liberation movement.

It seems to me that it is not fully understood that the Soviet Union was not the vanguard of humanity, that the struggle for socialism and communism in the XX century. it was not a pillar road of history. The consequences of this, as it seems to me, indisputable thesis are discussed below.

Now about the main conclusion from the tragedy in New York and Washington. It turned out that not only the Soviet Union defended false values, but also the West (the United States, the "imperialists") overlooked its true enemy.

Quite often in the press there is a thesis that after September 11 "the world has changed". This expression is not accurate, moreover, if taken literally, it is misleading. The events of September 11 are important because they showed that the world is no longer what many analysts and historians imagined it to be. The entire Cold War was the result of an inadequate perception of reality by both opposing sides. The global social movement must find the strength to overcome the previously blinkered perception of reality if this world is to survive. However, the old stereotypes are tenacious. Many see these events only as a tragedy that has befallen America, and often hint that it brought it upon itself. I'm not even talking about those who are openly happy about this. In this sense, unfortunately, the world has not changed.

Meanwhile, the situation is as follows: two giants fought and fought and suddenly discovered that both were sick with something like AIDS, that is, a disease for which there is currently no antidote.

I am confused by the lack of reflection on this issue. Many of my colleagues are like Bourbons: they have forgotten nothing and learned nothing. They think that Russia has simply weakened, that the concrete experience of building socialism has simply failed, but in principle everything remains as it was. The zero-sum game continues, and the fight against imperialism is still relevant, although now it has become more difficult to fight. Convincing someone who doesn't see the changes is, of course, impossible. I'd just like to say od-

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It is important that during the discussion, different opinions are more clearly formulated and clearly contrasted in the mentioned collective work.

No matter how one views the progressive development of humanity, it must be recognized that it occurs and ultimately makes its way, almost always bringing material suffering to the masses of the people and emotional experiences to the conservative-minded elite. And at all its stages, these two forces, each separately or combined, fight against it, often using barbaric methods. It is enough to recall the Luddites who smashed factories; Russian peasants who burned down estates and caused irreparable damage to Russian culture; sepoys in India, Ihe-Tuans in China, Wahhabis in India and Dutch India (Indonesia), etc. American slave owners and kuklusklanovtsy, modern Basque and Irish terrorists, as well as "anti-globalists". This list can be challenged, shortened, or expanded. That's not the problem. The very constant presence of anti-systemic, potentially destructive forces in any society is unlikely to be questioned by anyone.

History can be described and understood only if there is a coordinate system, a theory of the historical process, and an idea of what the overall direction of the process is. The theory may be expressed explicitly, it may exist somewhere in the subconscious, it may be more or less thoroughly justified, it may be new or outdated, but it is always there. I say this because there are historians both here and abroad who believe that they are not guided by any theory, but simply describe events "as they were". Such a position only shows that these scientists are childishly naive and do not analyze the peculiarities of their thinking.

I suggest that we assume that the world is moving towards a single post-industrial (or post-capitalist) society. This can provide a criterion for assessing the "progressiveness" or "reactivity" of certain events, steps, measures, etc., which we are so used to.

This process is led by Western societies. The fact that they are declining, "entangled in contradictions", experiencing a "crisis of materialistic culture", etc., has been talked about on all continents, including in the West, for two hundred years. However, the" crisis " is still dragging on. I fully assume that the time will come when Western civilization will really exhaust its resources and the leading role in the world process will pass to the East (for example, to the Far East). However, for now, whether someone likes it or not, Western countries retain leadership in all areas: in the economy, culture and, as a result, in the military field. Those who continue to believe that the future of humanity is socialism must admit that the Western countries are closer to it than the USSR society once was. Both in terms of the level of development of the productive forces, and in terms of the standard of living of people, and - most importantly, from the point of view of the theory of socialism - in terms of the level of social security. It would be fine if this were the case in Sweden, where "democratic socialism" is officially being built, but even in the United States, where the word "socialism" is odious and used as an expletive, nevertheless, the contradictions inherent in capitalism are really overcome.

This does not mean that the United States as a state or its leaders is in all cases the bearer of progress. This does not mean that they do not commit mistakes and crimes. This does not mean that all of them are filled with only one desire - to bring progress to humanity. Their interventions in a variety of conflicts around the world, mostly justified, can also be destructive. For example, it seems to me that their policy towards Kosovo, according to a well - known saying, is more than a pre-election policy.-

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thinking about it, it's a mistake. This means only that the hopes of humanity, including those of Russia, are linked to the success of the Western world.

What was the main content of the post-October Revolution era? This is the most fundamental and most controversial issue. Previously, we understood it as a struggle between capitalism (imperialism) and socialism and the gradual ascendancy of the latter. It seems to me that it has now become clear that this struggle expressed only one relatively minor contradiction of the epoch, or that this struggle was one of the manifestations of a broader, global confrontation between progressive and non-systemic, destructive forces. Despite the fact that it forced developed countries to spend huge amounts of money on arming and supporting anti-communist movements, this did not prevent them from going their own way: from an industrial society to a post-industrial, information society.

Those who feel "sorry for the state" put forward the thesis that the humanization of capitalist relations and the improvement of the working people's situation in the countries of developed capitalism were influenced by the October Revolution. As if the capitalists were afraid of the appeal of the ideas of socialism and began to raise the standard of living of workers. This is a comforting children's song. It seems to me that the humanization of capitalism is an objective process that necessarily follows from the laws of its development. If we look for a decisive impetus to this process, it is probably the intensification of the class struggle in America at the end of the nineteenth century, and then the crisis of 1929-1933.

Even from the rejection of the thesis about the "general crisis of capitalism", which occurred in Soviet times, it logically followed that October did not open a new era in world history. The countries of the West continued to develop according to the laws of capitalism (or, if you prefer, in Marxist terminology - according to the laws of transition from one formation to another), and they would have developed exactly the same way if there had been no" camp of socialism " at all! Just as it happened, they would have exhausted the potential development of an industrial society and moved on to a post-industrial one. The presence of the" socialist camp " and the danger of nuclear war may have slowed down this process, or perhaps even accelerated it, because the need to improve the military industry diverted resources, but spurred technical thought.

In this perspective, the activities of the Comintern and then the International Department of the Central Committee of the CPSU should be viewed as subversive, as a manifestation of destructive, non-systemic forces, some of which were listed above. The role of communist parties in different countries is more difficult to assess. Following instructions from Moscow, they acted as a destructive force. Reflecting and defending the interests of the working class and other working people, they played the role of opposition necessary for the development of a democratic society and contributed to the humanization of capitalism. Accordingly, it is necessary to carefully consider the activities of movements and their leaders who spoke out from anti-Soviet and anti-communist positions. If the pathos of their speeches was to defend democracy and individual freedom, then they should not be treated negatively.

The professional task of orientalists is to review the concepts of colonialism and the national liberation movement. This problem was a priority in Soviet Oriental studies. However, very one-sided approaches were used. The emphasis was placed on colonial exploitation and not enough attention was paid to the modernizing impulses that colonial regimes gave, and in general the very fact of the close connection of the colonies with the mother countries. Sympathetic coverage was given to any anti-European movements, even those that were an expression of traditionalist reaction and were accompanied by barbaric atrocities and destruction.

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However, in accordance with the postulate of "Soviet Marxism" formulated above, criticism of colonialism was directed only to the West, and national movements aroused sympathy only if they destroyed the colonial empires of Western countries. Russia, by definition, was always right, and the demonstrations on its outskirts were manifestations of feudal reaction, as well as the result of the machinations of the same Western countries. It was seriously argued that the Russian Empire, and even more so the USSR, were not empires at all, and certainly not colonial empires. What was immutable was that "their" empires were being torn apart by national contradictions, while "ours" had finally resolved the national question. I hope that a comment on this thesis is not required now.

The most "weighty" argument in favor of the fact that Russian colonialism did not exist was the consideration of the faster development of the outskirts compared to the center of the empire and the transfer of funds from Russian regions to "foreign"ones. However, all this must be counted - by period and by country. In any case, the idea that European countries have developed modern industry by siphoning off funds from their colonies is nothing more than a propaganda cliche. It is tenacious, because until now, 40-50 years after independence, local elites explain the backwardness of the former colonies by referring to the "heavy legacy of colonialism" and justify their mistakes and crimes in the leadership of countries.

The economic relations between metropolitan areas and colonies are well studied. The fact that the results of these studies did not become the property of a wide circle of historians, in particular Orientalists, is the fault of these very "broad circles". It is known that during the first period of colonialism (XVI - XVIII centuries) there was an outflow of precious metals from Europe to Asia, so it is not necessary to talk about the "colonial tribute" that supposedly fertilized Western Europe during this period. Monopoly merchants, shareholders of the East India Companies, were enriched, but at the expense of the European consumer. During the nineteenth century, the situation changed: Europe's industrial superiority allowed it to actually siphon significant amounts of money from the colonies and dependent countries of Asia - about 2% of their GDP .1 As for the third period of colonialism, the so-called imperialist period, at that time the profitability of owning colonies decreases again and the selfish and calculating colonialists are freed from them. "New elites (in developed countries). They were not economically interested in maintaining colonial exploitation", while the national liberation movement "in most cases played only the role of a catalyst in the process of collapse of the colonial system" 2 .

Economically unjustified attempts to seize territories are quite common in politics. It is known to what extent the development of Spain and Portugal was set back by their colonial policy in the XVI-XVII centuries. Germany and Italy, having lost their colonies, only benefited from this. Other metropolitan countries, having got rid of the colonies, made an impressive leap in the economy. So the statement about the development of the outskirts of Russia at the expense of its center (if it is true-it is still necessary to calculate) cannot serve as proof that its policy was not colonial .3

The collapse of the USSR and the processes taking place in the CIS countries provide additional material for thinking about the progressiveness of colonialism. There is a tendency to ignore or deny everything positive that Russia has done on its outskirts, just as "anti-imperialist" propaganda is being conducted in the former colonies of Western countries.

By the way, about "imperialism". As a theoretical construct, Lenin's concept of the" highest "and" last " stage of capitalism was simply wrong. It emerged on the basis of really new economic and political phenomena,

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The "Five Signs of Imperialism" observed at the beginning of the twentieth century turned out to be temporary phenomena associated with the second technological revolution in the West and the systemic crisis that arose in connection with it. The crisis was overcome, and development took a different path .4

"Imperialism" is also used as a dirty word for Western powers. This is a purely propagandistic cliche, which it would be better not to use in scientific works, but to leave it to the hapless leaders of Asian and African countries and journalists.

"Imperialism" also refers to any aggressive policy. This is quite a natural word usage. In this case, we must also talk about Soviet imperialism, which, by the way, is being done by many people both in the West and in the East.

The neologism "neocolonialism" was coined by Soviet Marxists during the collapse of the colonial system in order to explain the contradiction between dogmas and reality. According to the dogmas, the colonies could not be freed from their dependence except under the leadership of the proletariat.: under the leadership of communist parties). When the process of transfer of power by the colonialists to the local elite ("bourgeoisie") began to take place, it was initially simply not recognized. Then, when it was no longer possible to deny the political independence of the former colonies, the concept of "neocolonialism"was invented. The point was the same: although political independence has emerged, the colonies continue to be exploited economically. The dogma has not suffered. (One textbook on the modern and contemporary history of Asian and African countries explicitly states that "neocolonialism" is the fourth stage of colonialism.) 5

This term has also taken root well because it was picked up by the leaders of the liberated states. Often, when they are unable to cope with the tasks of governing, they attribute the lack of progress and improvement in the situation of the masses to the machinations of "imperialism" and "neo-colonialism", which in fact are due to the incompetence and corruption of the ruling elite. However, now another scapegoat is more fashionable - globalization.

We need to make a reservation. The economic disparity between developed and developing countries leads to the transfer of funds. If you want, you can call it exploitation. However, another view is not without reason: funds flow in the opposite direction - in the form of loans and assistance, as well as in the form of new productive forces (at least computerization), which cannot be created in these countries themselves. In any case, colonialism, as well as neocolonialism, has nothing to do with it. The development of many countries of the former "third world" - several generations of NIS-proves that" neocolonialism "is very useful for" neocolonized " countries.

Among the dogmas that have a scientific status, but in reality - an ideological content, the following is common: the gap between developed and developing countries continues to widen. Apparently, this thesis can be proved if we take the total indicators of all developing countries, including the "developing" ones in quotation marks, with which neither their governments nor the world community knows what to do. However, there was a sharp differentiation among the "developing" countries. Most of them are slowly catching up with Western countries 6 .

One of the scientific tasks of Orientalists is to write a new history of colonialism, in which the crimes of European countries should not be hushed up, but their role in modernizing Eastern societies (including Russia) should be shown, in bringing these societies out of the historical impasse, their contribution to the development of education, law and the judicial system should be reflected, and due attempts (which in many cases turned out to be unsuccessful) to introduce Eastern societies to the democratic system.

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The study of the history of the national liberation movement requires a more sober approach. Apparently, it is necessary to clearly distinguish between two types of movements. Some movements against the colonial regime were led by bourgeois social groups and ideologues who put forward slogans of democracy, the creation of a modern state and freedom of economic development. Others went and still go under the flag of returning to traditional values. In them, xenophobia and" anti-phorinism " form the core and main meaning. This line of struggle can be called reactionary anti-imperialism.

It is especially dangerous to see progressive features in those movements whose leaders use the factor of confessional community and religious slogans to mobilize the masses. Such movements not only reanimate the layers of medieval reaction and set the East against the West, but also divide the Eastern peoples themselves, i.e. they are harmful even from the point of view of the "struggle against imperialism". I will give you an example from a topic that is close to me. The movement led by B. G. Tilak, a "revolutionary" and "democrat", dealt a blow to the national liberation movement in India, as it opposed Hindus to Muslims. And the opposite example: Muhammad Ali Jinnah least of all thought about Islam as a religion, wanted to give the Muslim movement a secular character, was sure that he was creating a secular state of a Muslim "nation" - and in the end the Muslim Republic of Pakistan turned out.

Another controversial issue is the attitude towards "moderation" and "radicalism" in liberation movements. Moderate leaders who did not raise the question of immediate independence, called for spiritual development and the spread of education, and made compromises with the colonial authorities, receive in our monographs and textbooks contemptuous names of "compromisers" or even "traitors". The hotheads who called for an immediate armed struggle enjoy strong sympathy. In general, the more blood that has been shed in the struggle against "imperialism", the more "progressive" and "successful"this struggle looks. The question of whether these radicals were simply adventurers who harmed their own people and called on them to make unnecessary sacrifices should have been studied more carefully. Not every foreign power is worse than its own. Scientifically, it is quite legitimate to ask whether a given society is ripe for becoming independent. The situation in modern African States (almost without exception) makes us wonder whether they are capable of being independent even now, not to mention whether they were ripe for independence by 1960.

Since Lenin's time, any anti-imperialism has been considered useful for the interests of the Country of Soviets and in this sense "progressive". It seems to me that the usefulness of such movements (the most striking example is the Iranian Revolution of 1978-1979) from the point of view of the geopolitical interests of a particular power (for example, the USSR, or Russia) cannot be considered as an indicator of progressiveness.

It is clear that the approach to national liberation movements as a "reserve of the world proletarian revolution" is absolutely outdated, if only because there was no world proletarian revolution and will never be. What is less clear is that Russia is no longer a competitor to" imperialism " on the world stage and therefore has no interest in a movement that undermines the positions of Western powers in certain Asian or African countries.

A purely situational attitude towards independence movements has been established in political, journalistic and scientific usage not only in our country, but also abroad. If a movement corresponds in some way to the state interests (most of them, of course, misunderstood), it is called "national liberation" and is thus awarded a diploma of"progressivity". If it does not suit someone, it is called "separatist" and they are denied moral support.

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Public support for the national liberation movement often leads to the ennobling of its methods and leaders. Atrocities committed by colonialists are called "atrocities". And the atrocities committed by freedom fighters are "excesses", or they are directly justified. But the baseness of some does not make them nobler than others.

Meanwhile, there are no objective dividing lines between separatism and the national liberation movement. For example, mass distribution is not a criterion. It is never possible to determine how many participants joined the movement just because otherwise they would have been declared "traitors", "traitors" and "their own" would have been destroyed. For example, Sikh terrorists in Punjab or Tamil terrorists in Sri Lanka kill more "traitors" than punishers.

At one time, the promotion of the slogan of self-determination of peoples was a transfer to the ethnic group of the individual's right to freedom and to dispose of himself. But individual rights have always been understood - they simply cannot be perceived otherwise-as limited by the rights of other individuals. A person, in accordance with liberal views, is free within the limits that do not affect the interests of other people. The principle of self-determination of peoples was understood (apparently, not through thoughtlessness, but through the malicious intent of political elites) differently - as the exclusive right of one nation to a certain territory and the infringement of the rights of other nationalities living in the same territory. Now there are almost no territories inhabited by one ethnic group in the world, and if there are such territories, then this is probably the result of genocide or ethnic cleansing, i.e. the result of a crime.

The right of nations to self-determination in the current sense is undemocratic, because it violates the rights of minorities. This "right" is actually used only by the political elite of the titular nation. The principle of self-determination has long since become a tool of ambitious leaders who have nothing more to offer the slave peoples for ideological justification of atrocities. Even the most noble and enlightened leaders of national liberation movements should not be idealized. After all, the activities of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru clearly show personal interests and promiscuity in the means to achieve power. In the work of many other leaders, these motives predominate.

We need to make a reservation. An objective analysis of the situation cannot determine the policy. We must remember that politics is made precisely by the elite of the people, who at the moment express, if not the deep aspirations and real interests, then at least the momentary moods of a part of the people. The purpose of these notes is not to formulate the principles of foreign policy, but to clarify conceptual issues. Scientific and political approaches may contradict each other, moreover, they do not coincide in principle, because the researcher and the politician have different goals. It would only be necessary to abandon the Soviet syndrome - the desire to subordinate "scientific" conclusions to the momentary desires of the authorities and thereby create the illusion of a" scientifically based " foreign policy. The last postulate should not raise objections from my opponents, since a significant part of the Russian scientific elite is currently strongly opposed to the foreign policy of rapprochement with the West pursued by the Russian government.

The principle of territorial integrity of the State, unlike the principle of self-determination, has neither a democratic ideological background nor moral grounds. In this sense, it is not a principle at all, but a method of approach to ethnic conflicts, to separatism as a phenomenon. Humanity has become convinced that its violation leads to more bloodshed than its observance. If the political elites do not feel sorry for their people, then the principle of inviolability of borders recedes into the background.

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compared to the "high goal". If this elite is not only political, but also spiritual, it will seek a less bloody solution to the conflict than redrawing borders.

On the other hand, it is quite illogical to fight for the territorial integrity of your country by killing your own citizens.

As scientists, we are not obliged to look back at the leaders of the Eastern countries and their political and spiritual elite, forming our assessments of certain movements and events. They are not our allies. They have their own interests, least of all coinciding with the interests of Russia (if we leave aside the interests of objective scientific analysis). Along the way, we note that Orientalists can also contribute to the understanding of our Russian problems if they pay close attention to the mistakes and crimes of the power elite of the liberated states in their research. Their study has practical significance, which we traditionally strive for. In the former USSR, much of what happened in the liberated countries is repeated. Authoritarianism in a visible democracy, embezzlement of national wealth, corruption, capital flight, and brain drain-all of this can be described in the countries we study and provide rich material for both the power structures (if they want to study it) and the opposition (if the latter is smart enough to use it). It is necessary to clearly state the problem of the responsibility of the elite to the peoples that it has undertaken to lead independently.

S. Huntington believes that with the end of the Cold war, we are on the threshold of a new world conflict between "big civilizations". He noted that the internal European contradictions have abruptly weakened. If during the new era wars and contradictions between the so-called powers were the main core of world politics (including the period of two world wars and the period of the "cold war") While European conflicts were resolved on a global scale, now the removal of these conflicts has created a new situation.

But the contradictions in other regions have not yet been resolved and are escalating. The inter-African wars are just beginning. Indo-Pakistani tensions may escalate to a large-scale war. Contradictions within the Muslim world, and even among Arab countries, are also a very explosive problem.

Will history repeat itself upside down? In other words, will intra-Muslim contradictions or intra-South Asian conflicts become global in their consequences?

By the way, the continuation of the Cold War may well have led to such an option. There were already situations when the "tail was twirling the dog", when the United States (or other Western powers) and the USSR, pursuing, as it seemed to them, their geopolitical goals, were on the verge of war in the interests of some third world countries: Nasser's Egypt, Iraq, India, North and South Vietnam, North and South Korea. South Korea, Israel. Iran, too, could have taken advantage of the situation if the leaders of the anti-Shah revolution had not been too outspoken. Even the events in Iran in 1978-1979 could have suggested to the world community that anti-imperialism and anti - communism are essentially one and the same phenomenon. But political scientists continued to calculate the ratio of anti-American and anti-Soviet statements of Imam Khomeini, dreaming of turning Iran against its "main" enemy.

The Soviet leaders thought that they were manipulating the national liberation movements and the liberated countries, directing them against " imperialism." And the American authorities saw the main threat in "communism" and strongly supported all anti-Soviet forces, regardless of their ideology and degree of frenzy. The leaders of the "non-aligned" countries and the commanders of the" guerrilla " movements skillfully used the situation of confrontation between the great powers to milk them both (and China too).

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All these forces were not real allies of either the Soviet Union or America. The great Powers nurtured anti-system forces that were essentially hostile to both of them.

The anti-Western rhetoric of the leaders of developing countries should not be taken with enthusiasm and taken at face value by our Russian "anti-imperialists". This rhetoric is not sincere. Defending "identity" means, in fact, only using conservative sentiments rooted in the masses to legitimize the regime. When Eastern leaders say that Western democracy is not suitable for their people, it is only evidence that the established elite in power does not want changes and genuine democratization. When Mahathir Muhammad says that "Western values are only Western values, and Eastern values are universal values" 7, this is not evidence that he has deeply embraced the civilizational approach, but only a manifestation of an inferiority complex, which naturally turns into a complex of arrogance.

By the way, let's return to the civilizational approach. It is possible that it has some positive meaning, and it can be useful when studying history. But so far, its practical application to the history of Russia is aimed at" freezing " its development along the universal path, at isolating it, and, in essence, serves as a justification for a return to autocracy and xenophobia.

Another issue that has emerged is the main contradiction within developing countries. It turned out that it is not contained in the dichotomy of capitalism-socialism, nor the state - private sector, nor the "left"-"right" forces, but in the confrontation of modernizing and traditionalist forces. This can also be formulated in another way: Westernism - pochvennichestvo, secularism-religiosity (communalism). A powerful wave of traditionalism has swept through Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, some Arab countries, and in recent years, India. This is not just a setback, a reaction, it is the convulsions of a traditional society undergoing modernization. Traditionalists take all their fundamental ideas from the West, use imported institutions (for example, they come to power through elections), but at the same time proclaim the struggle against everything Western, independence, "self-reliance", juche, swadeshi, etc.

The post-World War II story looks like a battle of blind giants, watched condescendingly by a" non-aligned " foe and waiting in the wings to strike. Soviet and American leaders nurture reactionary forces all over the world that are hostile to civilization and progress, and eventually face a deadly threat. Responsibility is borne, as stated, by both parties. But I would charge the American side to a greater extent. The Soviet leaders were still prisoners of a certain ideology, "ideological" fighters against capitalism and "imperialism". They were the attacking side. The "enemy" was strong, and it seemed logical to use any methods of struggle, including immoral and illegal ones. Seeing manifestations of anti-communism all over the world, the Soviet leaders quite logically regarded them as manifestations of inertia," unconsciousness "of the masses, or the results of the" machinations "of insidious" imperialist " forces. The leaders of Western countries only defended themselves. They defended their well-established prosperous world, the ideals of democracy and human rights. By definition, they could have a broader view of the world and its processes. They were aware of widespread anti-Western and anti-American sentiment around the world, including in Western countries themselves. But they also hoped for the irresistible appeal of their ideas and for economic progress that would solve all their problems. Until September 11, nothing made them open their eyes to the most serious danger. You don't have to give a long list of anti-Soviet and anti-Communist movements, including openly bandit ones, that they supported with money and weapons without understanding,

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what this will lead to for them. It is enough to mention Afghanistan, where American soldiers are dying, to correct the mistakes of previous American administrations. The revision of views on modern history from this point of view is important from a scientific point of view, if history is a science and seeks to adequately reflect past reality. It is even more important for the future if we want to understand what is happening.

The enemy of civilization is not the entire non-Western world. If this were not the case, the West would already be doomed to defeat. However, the economic development of recent decades, including globalization, has torn many societies, countries and large sections of the population from the stagnant world in all countries that want not to oppose themselves to development, but to integrate into it. But there is a serious danger of misidentifying the enemy again: seeing it in Islam, in the Muslim community as a whole, or in other equally broad and diverse communities, say, in the peoples of Tropical Africa. It is not an easy task to isolate anti - system forces in all countries that should be suppressed (it would be better, of course, not by military methods, but economically and ideologically), and isolate them from the masses who want to live in peace, but there is no other way. So far, the "fight against terrorism" is being conducted using methods that lead to the multiplication of terrorist forces.

The peculiarity of the current stage of confrontation with non-system forces is that they are not concentrated in one place that could be surrounded, isolated and somehow destroyed. Civilized countries were currently "lucky" with the choice of target - the odious Taliban regime caused indignation in itself, and besides, Afghanistan also became a haven for an international terrorist, on whom a solid dossier was kept. "World evil" was personified. It became clear where to throw the bombs. But the continuation of such a scenario-the designation of other "centers of evil" and actions against countries, rather than against reactionary forces in these and other countries, including Western ones - would be another mistake, more than a crime.

Discussion is needed on a wide range of issues, some of which are covered in these notes. The pluralism of opinions that really exists in the scientific community should be clearly articulated.


1 See A. M. Petrov's chapters (III and IV) in the collective monograph " The Evolution of Eastern Societies. Synthesis of traditional and modern", Moscow, 1984.

Shirokov G. K. 2 Sotsial'no-ekonomicheskaya evolyutsiya: Zapad-Vostok [Socio-economic evolution: West-East], Moscow, 1999, p. 15.

3. I. G. Yakovenko ("The Russian State: National Interests, Borders, Prospects". Novosibirsk, 1999) proposed to distinguish between two types of empires: 1) traditional, medieval, and theocratic empires, the meaning of which is an irrational desire to take over the whole world, and 2) modern colonial empires, built on the rational principle of exploitation of colonized territories. From this point of view, Russia/USSR was not a colonial state. But there is little consolation. In this case, it turns out to be a pre-colonial, medieval formation.

4 It makes no sense to describe this story in detail. Shirokov G. K. Paradoxes of the Evolution of capitalism (West and East) is a monograph devoted to him. Moscow, 1998.

5 I don't want to link it so that I don't advertise this tutorial.

Melyantsev V. A. 6 Information revolution, globalization and paradoxes of modern economic growth in developed and developing countries. Moscow, 2000; . Economic growth in Developing Countries: Achievements, Contrasts and Paradoxes. 2001. N 1. pp. 69-83; N 2. pp. 67-75; N 3. pp. 68-80; Belokrenitsky V. Ya. The East at the turn of the century - some results and prospects of development // East (Oriens). 2001. N 5. pp. 66-88.

7 Cit. po: Huntington S. P. Zapad unikalen, no ne universalen [The West is unique, but not universal]. 1997. N 8. P. 91.


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