Russian Westernism is a phenomenon of the Asian soul

Nikolai Berdyaev (1874-1948)

In the first issue of the "Annals" is printed very typical article by M. Gorky "Two Souls", which apparently determines the direction of the new magazine. The article revolves around the eternal themes of Russian thought, around the issue of East and West. With this theme related to the age-old feud Slavophiles and Westerners. Topic — basic to our national identity and is very responsible; topic — the basic philosophy of history and requires a serious philosophical training.

Treated it as our famous writer? Gorky wrote in a tone as if making a discovery. It appears feels first westerner radical in Russia. "We believe that the time has come when the story imperiously demands of honest and intelligent Russian people that they were subjected to a comprehensive study is an original, fearless criticism. We need to deal with the Asian layers of our psyche. "

You would think that the study and criticism of our identity is only now about to begin. But after long decades of Westernization was the dominant trend in Russian thought. No people reached such self-denial as we are, Russian. Phenomenon — absolutely impossible in the West, where nationalism flourished. And where does one find this deification of Western Europe and the Western European culture, if not in Russia and in Russian? Denial of Russia and idolatry of Europe — a phenomenon very Russian, Eastern, Asian phenomenon.

It is an extreme Russian Westernism is the phenomenon of the Asian soul. You can even make such a paradox: the Slavophiles, whose views are, by the way, I mostly do not share Russian were the first Europeans, as they tried to think of themselves as Europeans, not to imitate Western thought, as children imitate. Slavophils tried to do in Russia is the same as what I did in Germany, Fichte, who wanted to bring awareness to the German original way. And here is the reverse side of the paradox: the Westerners were Asians, their consciousness was a child, they were treated to European culture as could only refer people who are completely alien to her, for which European culture has a dream of a distant, but not the inside of their essence.

For the Russian-Asian Westerners West — the promised land, beckoning image of the perfect life. West remains completely external, unknown to the inside, far away. We Westerners have almost religious reverence caused by distance. Since children are adult life, which seems to them an amazing and seductive precisely because it is completely alien to them. Truly in the Russian soul is "Asian layering" and they always felt in a very radical type of Gorky Westernism. In a radical Westernism Russian intelligentsia has always been a lot of not only Russian brand, alien to the West, but also completely Asian. European thought distorted beyond recognition in the minds of Russian intelligentsia. Western science, western intelligence acquired the character of some deities unknown critical West. Even Buchner, third-rate popularizer of superficial ideas into a catechism, inspiring religious attitude. The intrinsic value of the same thoughts and knowledge we have always denied. But from this it is time to get rid aziatstva Russian people, Russian cultural person.

From the book NABerdjaeva The fate of Russia 1918.

See also Konstantin Leontiev. What and how our liberalism is bad? 1880.

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