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Michael Zeleny [userpic]
the face of russian philosophy

Apart from scattered critical plaudits and academic credits as an author of an obscure masterpiece of originality far more profound than that found in popular literature of his homeland, Russian philosopher Dmitry Galkovsky is practically unknown in the English-speaking world. His finest moment took place a decade ago, in a 1997 award of a literary prize sponsored by Boris Berezovsky. Its report by The Voice of Russia deserves to be savored in its entirety:

Olga Bobrova reports: There are many literary prizes in Russia today, and this is gratifying. They are awarded by little-known literary journals and by prominent publishing houses, by mayoralties and national committees.
    Prizes bear the names of literary celebrities of varying importance — from local to universal. Last year saw the institution of the “Autumn in Boldino” prize in honour of the 200th birth anniversary of the Russian classic — poet Alexander Pushkin.
    The prizes are given sonorous names: “Landmarks” for contribution to the knowledge of history, or graceful ones — “Bronze Helix” for the development of science fiction.
    Two literary prizes were instituted in December — Booker and Antibooker. Booker is a traditional British prize awarded to Russian writers too at the expense of its own funds. Antibooker is a Russian prize, whose name points out that Russian patrons of arts are also ready to support their country’s literature. Antibooker includes four nominations, while Booker announces only one laureate. The British prize is awarded for previous year’s publications, and the Russian for the current year’s. This is the only difference. As for the rest, the two prizes are similar: both panels of judges do not proclaim their artistic biases — philosophical novels and detective stories can compete on an equitable basis.
    The Booker prize was won by Anatoly Azolsky for his novel “The Cell” — an almost detective story describing the harassment of geneticists under the Stalin regime. The Antibooker prize was won by Dmitry Galkovsky for his philosophical work “The Infinite Deadlock”. The book comprises 1500 pages. To describe its plot is impossible.
    A member of the Antibooker panel of judges, Andrey Vasilevsky, says: “This is a book of extremely complicated structure, a book of annotations to a text that does not exist. Fresh annotations are made to these annotations, which forms an endless chain. Finally all gets so complicated, that the author supplements the book with a special index as to how to use it. However very few people can understand how to use that index.”
    Dmitry Galkovsky’s book is a shocking composition, provocative in terms of the ordinary people’s perception of everyday life, politics and religion. It’s a scandalous book, and the panel of judges admits this.
    Here’s what another member of the panel of judges, Sergey Yesin, has to say: “This is an amazingly interesting reading for interesting persons, a breathtaking lacelike reading”.
Galkovsky declined to accept the monetary award that accompanied his prize. Over the past decade, he emerged as one of pioneers of Russian literary Internet, reproducing his writings as an online hypertext, boasting a popular LiveJournal blog complemented by an online coven of acolytes dedicated to systematic study of their master’s aporematic opera omnia, and creating a community of bloggers periodically reconvening in “Real Life”.
    Herewith the closing section of his programmatic 1994 survey of Russian politics and philosophy. It represents the first English rendering of his writings, to be followed by the first extended commentary on its content.

Дмитрий Евгеньевич Галковский
Основная проблема русской истории — это проблема сохранения и развития западного индивидуализма в условиях полуазиатского мира. То есть задача выживания европейского человека в экстремальных условиях периферийного пространства, отчасти колонизируемого, отчасти отторгаемого у азиатских государств. Анализ русской интеллектуальной и духовной культуры XIX-XX вв. показывает, что эта очевидная и легко формулируемая задача была осмыслена и поставлена в весьма неясной и поверхностной форме. Причины этого следует искать в слабом развитии интеллектуальной культуры в России. Дело не в неправильном социальном приложении абстрактного мышления, а в некоторой онтологической дефектности самого этого мышления, к тому же находящегося в силу ряда особенностей России в чрезвычайно затруднительном и двусмысленном положении. В результате проблему индивидуального существования приходилось решать скорее внешними методами: до революции — путём социальной сегрегации, после революции — эмиграцией или социальной мимикрией.
    Азия — это не только прямой антипод Европы, но в значительной степени просто нарушение масштаба. Меры. Исключительная личность всегда вызывает ненависть, всегда оказывается, что она что-то должна какому-то низколобому сельскому учителю, который бросается на неё из своей подворотни в безумной ярости проигравшего самца. Но в Европе личность защищена авторитетом и юридическими нормами. Однако погружённый в защитный кокон личной безопасности европейский “носитель идей” начинает всё более отчуждаться от интеллектуального диалога. Духовная жизнь становится всё более анонимна и формальна. Социология и вообще философия становятся неприличны, и в сущности, личность “мыслителя” подвергается всё большим унижениям. Возникает разделение риторики и специального знания. Философия была последним прибежищем европейского дилетантизма. Антигерманская риторика после победы во второй мировой войне стала элементом европейской либеральной культуры, поэтому человек, утверждающий, что немцы не убивали 6 миллионов евреев, становится человеком некультурным, неприличным, и подвергается остракизму. С другой стороны, реальный политик, не имеющий правильной информации о происхождении и особенностях мифа “холокоуста”, не может принимать ситуационно адекватных решений, и потому особое значение приобретает “тайное знание”, которое в конце концов вообще отчуждается от каких бы то ни было конкретных носителей и, видимо, навсегда скрывается в катакомбах архивов. Принятие правильных решений становится анонимным, возникает анонимный клан “аналитиков”, каждый из которых имеет доступ к собственной ячейке информации, тоже в свою очередь имеющей несколько степеней секретности. Человек вообще исключается таким образом из сферы принятия решений. Процесс “конституциализации” идёт дальше, и вслед за конституционным монархом появляется конституционный президент, конституционный кабинет министров, конституционный парламент. Создаются юридические, религиозные и экономические правила, которые детерминируют поведение конкретных личностей и общества в целом. Причём эти правила на известном этапе развития представительной демократии подвергаются автоматическому ситуационному перепрограммированию. Аналитические центры становятся всё более мощными и специализированными и единственным дееспособным субъектом современной культуры становится тайная полиция, тоже, разумеется, “конституционная” и находящаяся в пугающей независимости от конкретного человечка, занимающего пост её руководителя. Изменяется взгляд на идейную жизнь общества и на “культурных деятелей”. Это взгляд через замочную скважину, сводящий все проявления человеческой деятельности к естественным отправлениям. Но подобное господство над автономной личностью оборачивается полным инфантилизмом — вечно юный мир духа превращается в животный “мир взрослых” — мир половозрелых самцов и самок, за которыми тоскливо “наблюдает” маленький барабанщик из КГБ. Ошибка материализма, самого примитивного, но и самого древнего философского мифа заключается лишь в одном — он совершенно не нуждается в персонификации. Поэтому Демокрит был не нужен (он, кстати, за 2500 лет и остался в гордом одиночестве). Вся пьеса материализма очень проста — поднимается занавес, зрители видят огромное зеркало, смотрят на него положенные два часа и расходятся по домам. Ошибка Ленина заключается в том, что он был. Собственно, русские в безумной попытке перескочить через целую историческую эпоху попытались построить анонимное постиндустриальное общество, заменяющее духовную жизнь правильной и ожидаемой артикуляцией. Отсюда и понятно единственное реальное достижение социалистического общества — создание системы тотального сыска, по сравнению с которой тайные полиции прошлого века золотушная дилетантская отсебятина, и которой современные Бээндэ и Цэрэу униженно подражают, благодаря далеко продвинувшихся новаторов за науку. Ошибка была лишь в том, что в России риторика совпадала с наукой и, например, лия слёзы о 6 миллионах замученных в газовых камерах евреев, это государство превратило в армию “подпоручиков Киже” реальные миллионы евреев, благополучно эмигрировавшие в тыл СССР во время второй мировой войны. В результате подобной борьбы с буржуазной биологией и антисоветской физикой хитроумие превратилось в маразм, и встал вопрос о специальном создании неспециальных вещей, просто биологии и просто физики. Сейчас советский мир с библейской наивностью пытается породить настоящие вещи — настоящий суд, настоящий парламент. Бывший кэгэбистский всезнайка недоверчиво подходит к садовой скамейке, долго щупает НАСТОЯЩАЯ ЛИ.
    В советской истории более всего ужасает естественность процесса создания новой индивидуальности. Советская личность закрыта и совершенно не поддаётся воздействию извне. Представьте, что в своём ребёнке вы узнаёте свою судьбу. Ровно в 4 года 2 месяца и 8 дней он заболевает ветрянкой в полном соответствии с вашей историей болезни; в 9 лет 1 месяц и 27 дней — находит на тротуаре истрёпанный том сказок Андерсена; в 13 лет 6 месяцев и 4 дня — с точностью до секунды ломает руку во время велосипедной прогулки. В 15 лет весной — влюблялся в молодую учительницу английского. И все ваши попытки и намёки на то, что такое же было с вами, не производят на него никакого впечатления. Он их просто не слышит, отгороженный от вас толстым стеклом своей судьбы. Диалог с ним так же невозможен, как диалог с чайным грибом, который “растёт” внутри банки с подсахаренной водой.
    В подобной вторичности советского мира раскрывется его пошлость. Сначала этот мир заново открывает для себя эпическую поэзию, и Багрицкий и Сельвинский, вслед за Тредиаковским и Державиным, воспевают чудо-богатырей украинских местечек. Потом в период оттепели “советские люди” вдруг открывают для себя лирику и, несмотря на наличие в русской культуре Пушкина и Лермонтова, Евтушенко и Рождественский пишут “по второму разу”: “Я помню чудное мгновенье” и “Выхожу один я на дорогу”. Потом появляется авангард, причём все попытки указать на столетнюю историю модного модернизма от Брюсова до Хлебникова не производят никакого впечатления и упрямые “концептуалисты” заново переживают филологические эксперименты столетней давности. Это невиданный в мировой истории культурный процесс двойничества и самозванства. Включённость в этот ритм приводит к ощущению собственной мёртвости. Я никогда и ничего не мог изменить в этом мире. Я стоял на месте с 17-ти лет, и лишь мир изменялся, на глазах “облазил” — возникала динамика, совершенная иллюзия какой-то “творческой эволюции” или хотя бы заурядной карьеры. Внутри время остановилось, и только прошлое возвращается в настоящее. Я всегда бесконечно превосходил окружающий меня мир, следовательно, всегда ощущал его зловещесть и злокачественность. И отчётливо понимал, что любое ДЕЙСТВИЕ или будет совершенно безответно, или явится включением в действие другое. Другое время, другой мир, другую судьбу. В этом мире само действие есть ошибка. В этом мире всё понимают как повторы или это действительно является повтором. Отсюда пресловутая “повторяемость” русской истории. Западное время сломалось у русских, и Гамлет всё умирает и умирает “на бис” в дурной бесконечности, то есть превращается в актёра. Быть может, только повтор молитвы истинен и вечен. Здесь повторение действия не пОшло и освобождает от цепи бесконечных пародий. И это едиственный путь сохранения достоинства в русском мире, единственный истинный путь. Покаяние есть единственно достойная форма неуспеха индивидуального существования. Признание себя личностью в России — это признание в неудаче. Признание себя исключительной личностью — признание в исключительной неудаче, неудаче окончательной.
    Я выбираю способ восточнохристианского покаяния. Иногда мне кажется, что я умру как медовар из “Верескового мёда” и тайна русского индивидуального сознания так и останется моей внутренней трагедией. Второй русской философии не будет. Но в более трезвые минуты я со всей отчётливостью понимаю, что это лишь жалкая и даже позорная стилизация краха собственного индивидуального бытия, жалкой личности “обывателя”, задавленного проклятым русским бытом, человека, на которого всю жизнь орали матом полоумные советские мещане и который после унылого идиотизма второсортной советской “десятилетки”, после психиатрической больницы им. Кащенко и автомобильного завода им. Лихачёва ценой унижений наконец дошёл до состояния относительно достойной жизни одинокого неудачника. Прожив 35 лет в постоянном преодолении “трудностей” (от побоев со стороны однокласников до слежки со стороны тайной полиции), я со всей очевидностью вижу невозможность переломить смысл своей жизни и слишком хорошо вижу внутренние причины собственных неудач. Размышления о развитии русского самосознания оборачиваются холодным фиглярством, констатация фиглярства — интеллектуальным ханжеством, и как всё-таки писатель я чувствую невозможность достижения на русском языке достойной и естественной позиции рефлексирующего “я”. Сюжет оказывается размытым, герой — ложным, впечатление от прочитанного — неприятным. Это нечто вроде генетики, занимающейся мухами. Цели достойные, и генетики в русской истории оказались страстотерпцами, да помещённые в пространство романа они всё равно выглядят гадами. Муха — животное нехорошее и хорошие люди не могут заниматься мухами. А тут ещё логика развития сюжета требует сделать “второй ход”, необходимый для хотя бы плохонького интеллектуального романа, и несчастный умник-муховед, превратившись в персонаж русской истории, естественно становится мушиным Повелителем, а это уже и подло-съ. Сам тип “умника, судящего и рядящего всех и вся”, в русской культуре ошибочен. Он вызывает антипатию. Тип мудреца, всю жизнь безнаказанно умничающего и затем тихо умершего глубоким старцем и благоговейно похороненного благодарными кенигсбергцами, совершенно невозможен в России. В России это судьба Фомы Опискина. Быть может, тяга к церкви, к религии и религиозной философии у русских мыслителей — это лишь траур по своей несостоявшейся личности. Несчастье и горе заставляет вспомнить человека о Боге, бояться Его, просить у Него помощи и защиты. И роль ничтожного неудачника, вынужденного, чтобы не выкинули на улицу, зарабатывать на хлеб интеллектуальной эквилибристикой в каком-то “сборнике”, самим своим видом настолько пародирующем “Вехи”, что заключительная констатация этого выглядит продолжением смехового действа — клоун уже смыл грим, переоделся и вышел на улицу, но толпа его узнала и снова начала хохотать… эта роль достойна лишь для человека, не имеющего никакой роли и никакого достоинства. Возможно только позорное бегство, не как обретение, но как продолжение потери достоинства — жалкое прошмыгивание “за кордон” под всеобщее улюлюкание и пинки.
    Свободная личность, если это несчастье произошло с тобой и ты есть, — беги из страшного русского мира. Ты не обретёшь ни счастья, ни сочувствия, ни справедливого воздаяния, ни даже свободы от русских снов, — тебя ждёт так мало, так глупо: всего лишь мир, где тебе не нужно будет СДАВАТЬСЯ, и где сам факт своего бытия ты не будешь осознавать как нечто ошибочное, нечто порочное. Ведь ожидающая тебя в противном случае позиция “современного русского интеллектуала” есть гнусность, ибо после всего произошедшего с Россией единственно возможное рациональное отношение к миру — это равнодушное презрение ко всему и вся. Долгожданный (но характерно, что более чем запоздавший) антитезис евразийства, собственно, “восточничества”, показал, что подлинная сердцевина русских это бездушная и артистическая “манипуляция”. “Система Станиславского”, с бездушным интеллектуализмом спланировавшая анфиладу взаимообразно опускающихся и поднимающихся занавесов — дверей и окон в Азию и Европу, чтобы очередная группа впущенных на сцену русской истории “чудаков” послужила удобными статистами, “человеческим материалом” для чудовищного по уровню своей предумышленности спектакля — русской истории. Русские здесь могут быть садистами или мазохистами, но это неизбежно их спектакль и ставят они его в общем-то для своего удовольствия. Это — мир, сообразный их менталитету, мир, где они наиболее сильны и где наиболее осуществляются их способности — мир, пахнущий гримом и пОтом театральной уборной, мир подлого театрального “коллектива”, именно своей подлостью и уродством и отрицающего саму форму коллективной жизни, столь ненавистную западному одиночке, но столь же неизбежную, как налёт монголоидности, свойственный типичному русскому лицу — иногда просто азиатской маски с европейски разработанной лицевой мускулатурой, скрывающей азиатскую кукольную неподвижность и кукольную же азиатскую подвижность: механические улыбки и насекомоподобную злобу.
    — Дмитрий Евгеньевич Галковский ([info]galkovsky), Russian philosopher, historian, and writer of liberal convictions and cosmopolite ambitions, Русская политика и русская философия, 1994-1996
The main challenge in Russian history is the challenge to preserve and develop Western individualism in the conditions of a semi-Asian community. In other words, it is European Man’s goal to survive in the extreme severity of a provincial space, being partly colonized and partly annexed from Asian states. An analysis of Russian intellectual and spiritual culture of the XIXth and XXth centuries shows that this obvious and easily formulated goal has been interpreted and posed in a rather vague and superficial way. The reasons for this should be sought in the underdevelopment of intellectual culture in Russia. The trouble lies not in the erroneous social application of abstract thought, but in a certain ontological deficiency of this thought, which moreover finds itself in an extremely challenging and ambiguous position, owing to certain peculiar traits of Russia. As a result, the problem of individual existence mainly had to be addressed through extrinsic means: before the revolution, through social segregation; after the revolution, through emigration or social mimicry.
    Asia is not only the direct opposite of Europe, but largely a mere violation of proportion. Boundless. An exceptional individual always evokes hatred; he always turns out to owe something to some lowbrow rural teacher, who accosts him from his porch with mad fury of a defeated male. But in Europe the individual is protected by the authorities and legal statutes. Nevertheless, submerged in a protective cocoon of personal security, the European “Kulturträger” is becoming more and more alienated from the intellectual dialogue. Spiritual life is becoming more and more anonymous and formal. Sociology and philosophy in general are becoming obscene, and in essence, the character of a “thinker” is suffering ever eggravating indignities. Rhetoric becomes separated from specialized knowledge. Philosophy was the last refuge of European dilettantism. Anti-German rhetoric that followed the victory in the Second World War became an integral part of European liberal culture, and thus any man who claims that the Germans did not kill 6 million Jews, is deemed uncultured and indecent, and subjected to ostracism. On the other hand, a real politician who lacks correct information regarding the origin and special characteristics of the “Holocaust” myth cannot take actions appropriate to the circumstances, and that is how “secret knowledge” acquires great importance and eventually becomes alienated from any concrete bearers, and perhaps forever disappears in archival catacombs. Decision-making becomes anonymous; there emerges an anonymous clan of “analysts”, each of whom enjoys access to a private compartment of information, which in turn has several degrees of secrecy. Thus men become generally excluded from the decision-making process. The “constitutionalizing” process advances further, and after a constitutional monarch, there appears a constitutional president, a constitutional cabinet of ministers, a constitutional parliament. Legal, religious, and economic rules become established, and determine the conduct of concrete individuals and the society as a whole. And these rules at a certain stage of development of a representative democracy are subject to automatic reprogramming according to special circumstances. Think-tanks become ever more powerful and more specialized, and the only competent entity left within modern culture is the secret police, naturally just as “constitutional” and frightfully independent from the manikin charged with its supervision. The outlook on the cultural life of the society and the “cultural elite” undergoes a change. It peeks through the keyholes, reducing all manifestations of human activity to carnal transactions. But such domination over autonomous individuals turns into utter infantilism, as the evergreen spiritual universe evolves into a beastly “adult world” — the world of nubile males and females, mournfully “overseen” by the little drummer boy of the KGB. The error of materialism, the least sophisticated but the most ancient philosophical myth, is but one, that it has no need to personify. Thus Democritus went unneeded (and incidentally, exulted in proud solitude for 2500 years). The materialist spectacle is very simple — the curtain rises, the spectators see a huge mirror, observe it for the mandatory two hours, and return to their homes. The error of Lenin consisted in existing. In effect, Russians insanely attempted to jump over an entire historical era by trying to build an anonymous post-industrial society that would replace spiritual life with correct and predictable verbiage. Hence the understandably unique real achievement of the socialist society, the creation of a system of total detection, compared with which the secret police of the prior century are a scrofulous bunch of extemporizing dabblers, and which modern BND and CIA meekly imitate, thankful to the avant-garde for its instructive innovation. They erred only in the Russian coincidence of rhetoric with science, whereby, for example, whilst shedding tears for 6 million Jews massacred in gas chambers, this state turned real millions of Jews who emigrated safely to the hinterlands of the Soviet Union during the Second World War, into an army of “lieutenants Kijé”. As a result of struggle against bourgeois biology and anti-Soviet physics, cunning degenerated into senility, giving rise to the issue of special development for general-purpose entities, mere physics and mere biology. Today the Soviet world with biblical naivety attempts to engender real entities, a real court, a real parliament. The former KGB know-it-all warily approaches a garden bench, groping it at great length — IS IT REAL?
    The most appalling aspect of Soviet history is the effortlessness of creating a new kind of individual identity. A Soviet individual is impenetrable and immune to external influences. Imagine that you recognize your own fate in your child. At exactly 4 years 2 months and 8 days he contracts chicken pox in full accordance with your medical history; at 9 years 1 month and 27 days, he finds a dog-eared volume of Andersen’s fairy tales on the sidewalk; at 13 years 6 months and 4 days, to the nearest second, he breaks his arm on a bike ride. In the spring of his 15th year he falls in love with a young English teacher. And all your attempts to point out, or hint at, the same events in your life, make no impression on him. He simply fails to hear, separated from you by a glass wall of his destiny. A dialogue with him is as impossible as a dialogue with a kombucha colony that “grows” in a jar of sugar water.
    Vulgarity of the Soviet world reveals itself in this derivative nature. First, this world rediscovers epic poetry, and Bagritsky and Selvinsky follow Trediakovsky and Derzhavin, in singing praises to the superheroes of Ukrainian shtetls. Then during the thaw “Soviet people” all of a sudden discover lyric poetry for themselves, and, despite the presence of Pushkin and Lermontov in Russian culture, Yevtushenko and Rozhdestvensky compose anew “I remember a wonderful moment”, and “Alone I set out on the road.” Then appears an avant-garde, and all attempts to point out the centennial history of fashionable modernism from Bryusov to Khlebnikov fail to make any impression and stubborn “conceptualists” relive hundred year-old literary experiments. This is a cultural process of replication and imposture unprecedented in world history. Inclusion in this rhythm leads to a sense of one’s own mortification. I never could change anything in this world. I remained in place since I turned 17, and only the world changed, crawling before my eyes; there appeared a dynamic, an utter illusion of a certain “creative evolution”, or at least of an ordinary career. On the inside, time has stopped, and only the past returns as the present. I always surpassed the world around me to an infinite degree, and therefore, I always sensed its foreboding and malignancy. And I clearly understood that any ACTION will be either perfectly unavailing, or will ensue in an action of another kind. Another time, another world, another destiny. In this world, action itself is a mistake. In this world, everything is understood as recurring, or it really does recur. Hence the notorious “recurrence” in Russian history. Western time underwent fractures in Russian hands, and Hamlet is always dying in a vicious circle of endless encores; that is, he is turning into an actor. Perhaps only the recurrence of a prayer is true and eternal. Here alone repetition is not vulgar, as it breaks the chain of endless parodies. This is the only way to maintain dignity in the Russian world, the only true way. Repentance is the only dignified form of failure in personal existence. To recognize oneself as a person in Russia is to admit failure. To recognize oneself as an exceptional person is to admit exceptional and final failure.
    I choose the way of Eastern Christian penance. Sometimes it seems to me that I will die as died the brewer of “Heather Mead”, and the secret of Russian individual conscience will perish as my inner tragedy. There will be no second act for Russian philosophy. But in more sober moments, I clearly understand that this is only a pathetic and even shameful embellishment of collapse in a personal, individual being, a contemptible “philistine” character crushed by the accursed everyday Russian life, a man abused throughout his life by obscenities screamed at him by half-witted Soviet commoners, stupefied by drab idiocy of a second-rate Soviet secondary school, an alumnus of the Kaschenko Psychiatric Hospital and Likhachev automobile factory, who at the cost of utter debasement has finally achieved the relatively decent life of a lonely failure. After 35 years of constantly overcoming “difficulties” (from beatings by my classmates to surveillance by the secret police), I see in all clarity the impossibility of overcoming the meaning of one’s life and see all too well the inner causes of one’s own failures. Reflections on the genesis of Russian consciousness turn into cold buffoonery, acknowledgments of buffoonery turn into intellectual hypocrisy, and being after all a writer, I sense the impossibility of achieving a dignified and unaffected position of a reflecting self in the Russian language. The plot is wishy-washy; the hero is a phony; the impression from reading is unsavory. This is akin to a genetic study of flies. The goals are worthy, and geneticists suffered martyrdom in Russian history; and yet, placed into a narrative, they still look like vermin. The fly is an unsavory animal, and good people cannot concern themselves with flies. And besides, here the logic of storytelling demands “the second move”, required even for a middlebrow novel of ideas, and the hapless fly breeding brainiac, turned into a character from Russian history, naturally becomes Lord of the Flies, and that is dastardly, dear Sir! The very type of “a brainiac, judging and disguising one and all”, is wrong for Russian culture. He is scorned. The type of a sage, philosophizing his life away with impunity, quietly passing away as an ancient relic, and reverentially interred by grateful Königsbergers, is impossible in Russia. In Russia it is the fate of Foma Opiskin. Perhaps the hankering of Russian thinkers for the church, for religion and religious philosophy, is merely a mourning for their frustrated individuality. Misfortune and sorrow force man to think of God, to fear Him, to ask Him for aid and shelter. And the part of a poor loser, compelled on the pain of being ejected into the streets, to earn a living with intellectual prestidigitation in some “symposium” that in its very appearance is so parodic of Signposts, that the final statement of this appears to prolong the farce — the clown has already removed his makeup, has changed his costume, has descended into the street, but the crowd has recognized him and resumed its laughter… this part is worthy only of the man who has no character and no dignity. The only option is a shameful flight, not as a realization of dignity, but as a prolonging of its loss — a pathetic trespass of national boundaries stimulated by universal jeers and jabs.
    Free individual, if this misfortune befell you and you exist, flee this horrible Russian world. You will not find happiness, or sympathy, or just reward, or even freedom from Russian dreams; your prize is so slight and so simple: merely a world where you do not need to SURRENDER, and where you need not construe the very fact of your being as something erroneous, something corrupt. For the part of “a modern Russian intellectual” that awaits you otherwise, is infamous; because after all that befell Russia, the only possible rational attitude towards the world, is disinterested contempt for every thing and every man. The long-awaited (but characteristically, more than belated) antithesis to Eurasianism, in fact, to Orientalism, has shown that the true substance of Russians is a “manipulation”, at once soulless and artistic. The “Stanislavsky system”, with its soullessly and cerebrally planned enfilade of curtains, interconnected as they fall and rise, doors and windows to Asia and Europe, enabling the next group of “cranks” admitted onto the stage of Russian history to serve as a convenient troupe of bit players, the “human fodder” for a spectacle heinous in the degree of its premeditation, the spectacle of Russian history. In this matter Russians may serve as sadists or masochists, but it is of necessity their performance, and they mount it by and large for their own pleasure. This is the world that conforms to their mentality, a world where they are at their strongest, where their talents are best realized, the world that reeks of makeup and sweat of a theatrical dressing room, the world of a sordid dramatic “collective”, which denies with its turpitude and ugliness the very form of collective life, so odious to the Western individualist, but just as inevitable as the Mongoloid cast, so characteristic of a typical Russian face — sometimes a mere Asian mask with facial muscles conformed to European fashion, which conceals puppet-like Asian stiffness, and equally puppet-like Asian mobility: mechanical smiles and insect-like malice.
    ― translated by MZ
Crossposted to [info]larvatus, [info]history, and [info]philosophy.

Comments

Please. That's not the only Russian philosopher, believe me. That's not the face of Russian PHILOSOPHY, even if he can be (perhaps) considered as A face of Russian "virtual intellectuals."

No kidding?

Shouldn't you be spending your time starting an internet feud somewhere, Spartacus?

Surely Russia boasts a few real intellectuals somewhere?

As real as it gets.

CHAPTER I.

1. The great sages approached Manu, who was seated with a collected mind, and, having duly worshipped him, spoke as follows:

2. 'Deign, divine one, to declare to us precisely and in due order the sacred laws of each of the (four chief) castes (varna) and of the intermediate ones.

3. 'For thou, O Lord, alone knowest the purport, (i.e.) the rites, and the knowledge of the soul, (taught) in this whole ordinance of the Self-existent (Svayambhu), which is unknowable and unfathomable.'

4. He, whose power is measureless, being thus asked by the high-minded great sages, duly honoured them, and answered, 'Listen!'

5. This (universe) existed in the shape of Darkness, unperceived, destitute of distinctive marks, unattainable by reasoning, unknowable, wholly immersed, as it were, in deep sleep.

6. Then the divine Self-existent (Svayambhu, himself) indiscernible, (but) making (all) this, the great elements and the rest, discernible, appeared with irresistible (creative) power, dispelling the darkness.

7. He who can be perceived by the internal organ (alone), who is subtile, indiscernible, and eternal, who contains all created beings and is inconceivable, shone forth of his own (will).

8. He, desiring to produce beings of many kinds from his own body, first with a thought created the waters, and placed his seed in them.

9. That (seed) became a golden egg, in brilliancy equal to the sun; in that (egg) he himself was born as Brahman, the progenitor of the whole world.

10. The waters are called narah, (for) the waters are, indeed, the offspring of Nara; as they were his first residence (ayana), he thence is named Narayana.

11. From that (first) cause, which is indiscernible, eternal, and both real and unreal, was produced that male (Purusha), who is famed in this world (under the appellation of) Brahman.

12. The divine one resided in that egg during a whole year, then he himself by his thought (alone) divided it into two halves;

13. And out of those two halves he formed heaven and earth, between them the middle sphere, the eight points of the horizon, and the eternal abode of the waters.

14. From himself (atmanah) he also drew forth the mind, which is both real and unreal, likewise from the mind egoism, which possesses the function of self-consciousness (and is) lordly;

15. Moreover, the great one, the soul, and all (products) affected by the three qualities, and, in their order, the five organs which perceive the objects of sensation.

16. But, joining minute particles even of those six, which possess measureless power, with particles of himself, he created all beings.

17. Because those six (kinds of) minute particles, which form the (creator's) frame, enter (a-sri) these (creatures), therefore the wise call his frame sarira, (the body.)

18. That the great elements enter, together with their functions and the mind, through its minute parts the framer of all beings, the imperishable one.

19. But from minute body (-framing) particles of these seven very powerful Purushas springs this (world), the perishable from the imperishable.

20. Among them each succeeding (element) acquires the quality of the preceding one, and whatever place (in the sequence) each of them occupies, even so many qualities it is declared to possess.

21. But in the beginning he assigned their several names, actions, and conditions to all (created beings), even according to the words of the Veda.

22. He, the Lord, also created the class of the gods, who are endowed with life, and whose nature is action; and the subtile class of the Sadhyas, and the eternal sacrifice.

23. But from fire, wind, and the sun he drew forth the threefold eternal Veda, called Rik, Yagus, and Saman, for the due performance of the sacrifice.

24. Time and the divisions of time, the lunar mansions and the planets, the rivers, the oceans, the mountains, plains, and uneven ground.

25. Austerity, speech, pleasure, desire, and anger, this whole creation he likewise produced, as he desired to call these beings into existence.

26. Moreover, in order to distinguish actions, he separated merit from demerit, and he caused the creatures to be affected by the pairs (of opposites), such as pain and pleasure.

27. But with the minute perishable particles of the five (elements) which have been mentioned, this whole (world) is framed in due order.

28. But to whatever course of action the Lord at first appointed each (kind of beings), that alone it has spontaneously adopted in each succeeding creation.

29. Whatever he assigned to each at the (first) creation, noxiousness or harmlessness, gentleness or ferocity, virtue or sin, truth or falsehood, that clung (afterwards) spontaneously to it.

30. As at the change of the seasons each season of its own accord assumes its distinctive marks, even so corporeal beings (resume in new births) their (appointed) course of action.

31. But for the sake of the prosperity of the worlds he caused the Brahmana, the Kshatriya, the Vaisya, and the Sudra to proceed from his mouth, his arms, his thighs, and his feet.

32. Dividing his own body, the Lord became half male and half female; with that (female) he produced Virag.

33. But know me, O most holy among the twice-born, to be the creator of this whole (world), whom that male, Virag, himself produced, having performed austerities.

34. Then I, desiring to produce created beings, performed very difficult austerities, and (thereby) called into existence ten great sages, lords of created beings,

35. Mariki, Atri, Angiras, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Praketas, Vasishtha, Bhrigu, and Narada.

36. They created seven other Manus possessing great brilliancy, gods and classes of gods and great sages of measureless power,

37. Yakshas (the servants of Kubera, the demons called) Rakshasas and Pisakas, Gandharvas (or musicians of the gods), Apsarases (the dancers of the gods), Asuras, (the snake-deities called) Nagas and Sarpas, (the bird-deities called) Suparnas and the several classes of the manes,

38. Lightnings, thunderbolts and clouds, imperfect (rohita) and perfect rainbows, falling meteors, supernatural noises, comets, and heavenly lights of many kinds,

39 (Horse-faced) Kinnaras, monkeys, fishes, birds of many kinds, cattle, deer, men, and carnivorous beasts with two rows of teeth,

40. Small and large worms and beetles, moths, lice, flies, bugs, all stinging and biting insects and the several kinds of immovable things.

41. Thus was this whole (creation), both the immovable and the movable, produced by those high-minded ones by means of austerities and at my command, (each being) according to (the results of) its actions.

42. But whatever act is stated (to belong) to (each of) those creatures here below, that I will truly declare to you, as well as their order in respect to birth.

43. Cattle, deer, carnivorous beasts with two rows of teeth, Rakshasas, Pisakas, and men are born from the womb.

44. From eggs are born birds, snakes, crocodiles, fishes, tortoises, as well as similar terrestrial and aquatic (animals).

45. From hot moisture spring stinging and biting insects, lice, flies, bugs, and all other (creatures) of that kind which are produced by heat.

46. All plants, propagated by seed or by slips, grow from shoots; annual plants (are those) which, bearing many flowers and fruits, perish after the ripening of their fruit;

47. (Those trees) which bear fruit without flowers are called vanaspati (lords of the forest); but those which bear both flowers and fruit are called vriksha.

48. But the various plants with many stalks, growing from one or several roots, the different kinds of grasses, the climbing plants and the creepers spring all from seed or from slips.

49. These (plants) which are surrounded by multiform Darkness, the result of their acts (in former existences), possess internal consciousness and experience pleasure and pain.

50. The (various) conditions in this always terrible and constantly changing circle of births and deaths to which created beings are subject, are stated to begin with (that of) Brahman, and to end with (that of) these (just mentioned immovable creatures).

51. When he whose power is incomprehensible, had thus produced the universe and men, he disappeared in himself, repeatedly suppressing one period by means of the other.

52. When that divine one wakes, then this world stirs; when he slumbers tranquilly, then the universe sinks to sleep.

53. But when he reposes in calm sleep, the corporeal beings whose nature is action, desist from their actions and mind becomes inert.

54. When they are absorbed all at once in that great soul, then he who is the soul of all beings sweetly slumbers, free from all care and occupation.

55. When this (soul) has entered darkness, it remains for a long time united with the organs (of sensation), but performs not its functions; it then leaves the corporeal frame.

56. When, being clothed with minute particles (only), it enters into vegetable or animal seed, it then assumes, united (with the fine body), a (new) corporeal frame.

57. Thus he, the imperishable one, by (alternately) waking and slumbering, incessantly revivifies and destroys this whole movable and immovable (creation).

58. But he having composed these Institutes (of the sacred law), himself taught them, according to the rule, to me alone in the beginning; next I (taught them) to Mariki and the other sages.

59. Bhrigu, here, will fully recite to you these Institutes; for that sage learned the whole in its entirety from me.

60. Then that great sage Bhrigu, being thus addressed by Manu, spoke, pleased in his heart, to all the sages, 'Listen!'

61. Six other high-minded, very powerful Manus, who belong to the race of this Manu, the descendant of the Self-existent (Svayambhu), and who have severally produced created beings,

62. (Are) Svarokisha, Auttami, Tamasa, Raivata, Kakshusha, possessing great lustre, and the son of Vivasvat.

63. These seven very glorious Manus, the first among whom is Svayambhuva, produced and protected this whole movable and immovable (creation), each during the period (allotted to him).

64. Eighteen nimeshas (twinklings of the eye, are one kashtha), thirty kashthas one kala, thirty kalas one muhurta, and as many (muhurtas) one day and night.

65. The sun divides days and nights, both human and divine, the night (being intended) for the repose of created beings and the day for exertion.

66. A month is a day and a night of the manes, but the division is according to fortnights. The dark (fortnight) is their day for active exertion, the bright (fortnight) their night for sleep.

67. A year is a day and a night of the gods; their division is (as follows): the half year during which the sun progresses to the north will be the day, that during which it goes southwards the night.

68. But hear now the brief (description of) the duration of a night and a day of Brahman and of the several ages (of the world, yuga) according to their order.

69. They declare that the Krita age (consists of) four thousand years (of the gods); the twilight preceding it consists of as many hundreds, and the twilight following it of the same number.

70. In the other three ages with their twilights preceding and following, the thousands and hundreds are diminished by one (in each).

71. These twelve thousand (years) which thus have been just mentioned as the total of four (human) ages, are called one age of the gods.

72. But know that the sum of one thousand ages of the gods (makes) one day of Brahman, and that his night has the same length.

73. Those (only, who) know that the holy day of Brahman, indeed, ends after (the completion of) one thousand ages (of the gods) and that his night lasts as long, (are really) men acquainted with (the length of) days and nights.

74. At the end of that day and night he who was asleep, awakes and, after awaking, creates mind, which is both real and unreal.

75. Mind, impelled by (Brahman's) desire to create, performs the work of creation by modifying itself, thence ether is produced; they declare that sound is the quality of the latter.

76. But from ether, modifying itself, springs the pure, powerful wind, the vehicle of all perfumes; that is held to possess the quality of touch.

77. Next from wind modifying itself, proceeds the brilliant light, which illuminates and dispels darkness; that is declared to possess the quality of colour;

78. And from light, modifying itself, (is produced) water, possessing the quality of taste, from water earth which has the quality of smell; such is the creation in the beginning.

79. The before-mentioned age of the gods, (or) twelve thousand (of their years), being multiplied by seventy-one, (constitutes what) is here named the period of a Manu (Manvantara).

80. The Manvantaras, the creations and destructions (of the world, are) numberless; sporting, as it were, Brahman repeats this again and again.

81. In the Krita age Dharma is four-footed and entire, and (so is) Truth; nor does any gain accrue to men by unrighteousness.

82. In the other (three ages), by reason of (unjust) gains (agama), Dharma is deprived successively of one foot, and through (the prevalence of) theft, falsehood, and fraud the merit (gained by men) is diminished by one fourth (in each).

83. (Men are) free from disease, accomplish all their aims, and live four hundred years in the Krita age, but in the Treta and (in each of) the succeeding (ages) their life is lessened by one quarter.

84. The life of mortals, mentioned in the Veda, the desired results of sacrificial rites and the (supernatural) power of embodied (spirits) are fruits proportioned among men according to (the character of) the age.

85. One set of duties (is prescribed) for men in the Krita age, different ones in the Treta and in the Dvapara, and (again) another (set) in the Kali, in a proportion as (those) ages decrease in length.

86. In the Krita age the chief (virtue) is declared to be (the performance of) austerities, in the Treta (divine) knowledge, in the Dvapara (the performance of) sacrifices, in the Kali liberality alone.

87. But in order to protect this universe He, the most resplendent one, assigned separate (duties and) occupations to those who sprang from his mouth, arms, thighs, and feet.

88. To Brahmanas he assigned teaching and studying (the Veda), sacrificing for their own benefit and for others, giving and accepting (of alms).

89. The Kshatriya he commanded to protect the people, to bestow gifts, to offer sacrifices, to study (the Veda), and to abstain from attaching himself to sensual pleasures;

90. The Vaisya to tend cattle, to bestow gifts, to offer sacrifices, to study (the Veda), to trade, to lend money, and to cultivate land.

91. One occupation only the lord prescribed to the Sudra, to serve meekly even these (other) three castes.

92. Man is stated to be purer above the navel (than below); hence the Self-existent (Svayambhu) has declared the purest (part) of him (to be) his mouth.

93. As the Brahmana sprang from (Brahman's) mouth, as he was the first-born, and as he possesses the Veda, he is by right the lord of this whole creation.

94. For the Self-existent (Svayambhu), having performed austerities, produced him first from his own mouth, in order that the offerings might be conveyed to the gods and manes and that this universe might be preserved.

95. What created being can surpass him, through whose mouth the gods continually consume the sacrificial viands and the manes the offerings to the dead?

96. Of created beings the most excellent are said to be those which are animated; of the animated, those which subsist by intelligence; of the intelligent, mankind; and of men, the Brahmanas;

97. Of Brahmanas, those learned (in the Veda); of the learned, those who recognise (the necessity and the manner of performing the prescribed duties); of those who possess this knowledge, those who perform them; of the performers, those who know the Brahman.

98. The very birth of a Brahmana is an eternal incarnation of the sacred law; for he is born to (fulfil) the sacred law, and becomes one with Brahman.

99. A Brahmana, coming into existence, is born as the highest on earth, the lord of all created beings, for the protection of the treasury of the law.

100. Whatever exists in the world is, the property of the Brahmana; on account of the excellence of his origin The Brahmana is, indeed, entitled to all.

101. The Brahmana eats but his own food, wears but his own apparel, bestows but his own in alms; other mortals subsist through the benevolence of the Brahmana.

102. In order to clearly settle his duties those of the other (castes) according to their order, wise Manu sprung from the Self-existent, composed these Institutes (of the sacred Law).

103. A learned Brahmana must carefully study them, and he must duly instruct his pupils in them, but nobody else (shall do it).

104. A Brahmana who studies these Institutes (and) faithfully fulfils the duties (prescribed therein), is never tainted by sins, arising from thoughts, words, or deeds.

105. He sanctifies any company (which he may enter), seven ancestors and seven descendants, and he alone deserves (to possess) this whole earth.

106. (To study) this (work) is the best means of securing welfare, it increases understanding, it procures fame and long life, it (leads to) supreme bliss.

107. In this (work) the sacred law has been fully stated as well as the good and bad qualities of (human) actions and the immemorial rule of conduct, (to be followed) by all the four castes (varna).

108. The rule of conduct is transcendent law, whether it be taught in the revealed texts or in the sacred tradition; hence a twice-born man who possesses regard for himself, should be always careful to (follow) it.

109. A Brahmana who departs from the rule of conduct, does not reap the fruit of the Veda, but he who duly follows it, will obtain the full reward.

110. The sages who saw that the sacred law is thus grounded on the rule of conduct, have taken good conduct to be the most excellent root of all austerity.

111. The creation of the universe, the rule of the sacraments, the ordinances of studentship, and the respectful behaviour (towards Gurus), the most excellent rule of bathing (on return from the teacher's house),

112. (The law of) marriage and the description of the (various) marriage-rites, the regulations for the great sacrifices and the eternal rule of the funeral sacrifices,

113. The description of the modes of (gaining) subsistence and the duties of a Snataka, (the rules regarding) lawful and forbidden food, the purification of men and of things,

114. The laws concerning women, (the law) of hermits, (the manner of gaining) final emancipation and (of) renouncing the world, the whole duty of a king and the manner of deciding lawsuits,

115. The rules for the examination of witnesses, the laws concerning husband and wife, the law of (inheritance and) division, (the law concerning) gambling and the removal of (men nocuous like) thorns,

116. (The law concerning) the behaviour of Vaisyas and Sudras, the origin of the mixed castes, the law for all castes in times of distress and the law of penances,

117. The threefold course of transmigrations, the result of (good or bad) actions, (the manner of attaining) supreme bliss and the examination of the good and bad qualities of actions,

118. The primeval laws of countries, of castes (gati), of families, and the rules concerning heretics and companies (of traders and the like)- (all that) Manu has declared in these Institutes.

119. As Manu, in reply to my questions, formerly promulgated these Institutes, even so learn ye also the (whole work) from me.

surgat, this was slightly amusing a year and a half ago.

Cease.

Какой ужас!

I think that Your interpretation of Galkovsky’s works is one-sided and tendentious (from the photo to the translated fragment). You are concentrated on the problems of interpretation of Jews by Galkovsky, but it is not the main theme of his topic. You write about shocking (for You) forms but miss essence of his thought. The same collage can be done with texts of Voltaire, Heidegger, Badiou, Zizek etc. So what?

what collage?

The photo is supplied by the author. The text is translated without elisions or interpolations. All expressions of shock and boredom have been suppressed. Where do you see any room for one-sided and tendentious interpretation?

"He's cool. That's been the image throughout the presidency, cool," said Sergei Markov, Kremlin-connected head of the Moscow-based Institute for Political Research.

Fuck me if sound bytes haven't infected the global consciousness.

jews- knew your place ( it is near the shitting pot!)

The jew - Galkovski could not be any of
"the face of russian philosophy".

He could be a russian jew but NOT Russian!

Rememeber it,you, shity jew from Odessa!

Re: jews- knew your place ( it is near the shitting pot!)

I am sure that any shortcomings that your obedient servant and his esteemed subject might suffer in representing the face of Russian philosophy, would be remedied in due course by autochthonous worthies regurgitating their innate ratiocinative effluvia. Thank you for rising to the occasion with your perspicacious contributions.