S. F. Chernyakhovsky. Tradition, Modernism, and Ultramodernism
It would seem that the rigid separation and opposition of the world of Tradition and Modernity, that is, the world of reason, is inherently incorrect. The adherence to tradition and to the rational are just two stages of civilization and perceptions of the world. There are three reasons why this opposition is a mistake.
First, the world of tradition itself was not primitive. It was preceded by a world accumulation and formation of knowledge and traditions. This world, relatively speaking, is rational, ready for knowledge, still does not operate on abstract terms, and does not act like a representation of the world unity and its laws.
The Roman Empire arrived at a kind of feeling of this unity, but there is not enough knowledge to rationally explain this unity. Monotheism is the victor, which brought the principle of world unity to the level of adoption of traditions of this unity from previous experience, as representations of the external world and of morals and values, or the inner world. Thus, tradition itself has always been based on the adoption of management experience and not always on a rational interpretation of it.
Secondly, the transition to the world of rationality was not divorced from tradition; it was based on it. The humanism of the Enlightenment and the Renaissance would have been impossible without the humanism of the Antiquity and the humanism of Christian and Muslim eras.
Tradition evolves. Accumulated scientific knowledge and the scientific apparatus allow for a rational explanation of world unity. Faith in mind, the human capacity to know the world and man himself becomes a tradition. Thus, rationality can establish itself only because of its veneration and recognition of itself to become a tradition.
When the ideology of liberalism was formed, values were its basis. Generally, any ideology rationalized shows its relationship to the world based on axiology, on values. A value is always a product of tradition. And the values were freedom, the mind and property: a man is born free, and by birth, he has enough intelligence to manage both his freedom and property. That is why it is posited that a person is not actually free if they are deprived of their property because they will thus be dependent on those who hold the property.
Today the revered traditions of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment are also traditions just like the traditions of any world religion. For example, Aristotle was praised by ancient Greeks and was considered "divine" by Christians. And Muslims. And educators. And Marx and Lenin.
Third, that world that we consider the World of Tradition, i.e. the one that existed before the Modern era, has come to a crisis and gave way to modern times because the worshipping of the tradition, which had grown from previous knowledge, began to lag in development of knowledge accumulated in its framework. Breaking away from a rational basis, it became to fetter. Tradition sought a fight with rationality and lost.
But that very same Modern World of is trying to escape from the values on which it was based, declaring axiological relativism and the idea that there is no universal truth, while everyone has their own truth, starts to die, and cools off. Rationality without values killed the humanity in people. Humanity is in the possession of values, something bigger than its pure physiological existence.
Everything in Modernity transformed into its opposite. The human recognition of the supreme value became recognition of his right to remain animals. Recognition of an intelligent person’s right to freedom of behavior is the right to freedom from the mind. Recognition of the right to freedom of conscience is the right to freedom of conscience. Freedom of assembly is freedom of the Sabbath. Freedom of expression is freedom of defamation. The right to their own opinion is the right not to be considered a stranger. The recognition of the rights of minorities is the right of minorities to dictate to the majority.
Then came Postmodernism, with its moral and value relativism and declaration of the multiplicity of truths.
The simmering and degeneration of Modernism, which having renounced its own foundations began to turn into a kind of neo-paganism, started about a hundred years ago. Society of that very same Europe felt that it did not need rationality without values as well as irrational values.
And the first rebellion against the values of care became fascism a counter-modernism, who called for a return to the world of values, barbarism, the primordial state. Counter-modernism says that man has something to die for, while the simmering Modernism argued that life is above all and there is nothing to die for. And when they came to a head-on collision, it turned out that the one who had something to die for was always stronger than the one who wanted to live at any cost. It was found that the Modern rationality without values cannot do anything.
And it would not have survived this invasion. It was then saved by the existence of the Ultramodern (Sverkhmodern) World, triumphantly developed in Russia and the Soviet Union.
Those who say that the influence Renaissance and the Enlightenment never reached Russia do not understand anything in Russian history. Yes, their influence affected Russia later. But during the entire 19th century, during the time of Lomonosov and Pushkin, Russia lived by the ideas of the Renaissance and Enlightenment. You can certainly say that the Russian serfs of the 19th century did not read Voltaire, but neither did 18th century French peasants.
The Modernization of Russia (in the constructive sense of the word, not in a "Westernization" way) has the unique feature that with the approval of rationality, sacred valued cores were not destroyed. That is, to maintain the unity of the traditional and rational. This was also the essence of the Soviet project: the sacredness of balance and rationality. Therefore, in the beginning of the war the French surrendered Paris and the Dutch surrendered Amsterdam. The Soviet people did not give up Leningrad or Moscow, and stood their ground in Stalingrad. Who in France stood at the head of the Resistance? Conservative and Nationalist de Gaulle and the Communist Party of France – carriers of Traditions and Ultramodernism.
To say that Russia today is an "under-modernized country" and to call to get rid of tradition is by no means an urge to modernization in its classical sense, that is, not to the rationality of the 18th century, but by post-modernization, based on the degeneration of first the tradition of the rational and then of the entire human race.
Likewise, the methodologically incorrect start of success ofconstructive modernization (even if speaking about the old Modernity, and not Ultra-modernism) is considered the right of the government and the priority of laws. It is invalid for a number of reasons.
First, the law recognizes and works only when it becomes part of tradition. And that means it has to prove itself as rational and distinguished in its moral validity. It is a right because it is a right, which implies a sanction for non-compliance. But the sanction fully works only when a moral authority recognizes it as a law. If the basis of the law does not contain tradition, morality, and, accordingly, a certain share of justice, sanctions will not ensure compliance. Napoleon was able to ratify his great Code only because imposing it and brutally forcing those to comply to it, he relied on the moral intention of the French Revolution.
Since the laws in Russia have often been a problem and the aphorism that their rigor is counterbalanced by their non-compliance was born precisely because the power of proclaiming laws too often ignored how the people went about their lives. If we assume that people lived on the grounds of tradition and sacred values, while the government lives by rationality, then there is still a need to argue about what people should do. But the rational mind pushes for the conclusion that if the seemingly rational laws would be contrary to the people living on traditional grounds, then tradition would be swept away tradition or erased by any wishful thinking of the authority. And the government that makes the laws, rejected by society, can hardly be considered a carrier of rationality and modernity. Generally speaking about the values of modernity, it should be noted that it considers the people as the sole sovereign. And the government has the right to accept only those laws that the people are ready to accept.
By the way, the very principle of the rule of government ("sovereignty rights", the government limited by law) can be viewed in two fashions. In relation to the sovereignty of the government, that is, its arbitrariness: it is progressive. In comparison with the "sovereignty of the people", that is the priority of its will it is a reactionary.
Secondly, the statement about the importance of the rule of law as a leader in the beginning of Modernism is a mistake because from the point of view of modern Western theories of legal state, this is important but by no means the rule of the political and institutional output. This is the so-called "third level of state" out of five. Above it is the "social state" and furthermore the "ecological state", although it is believed that its formation in the West has not been completed.
Any politician in the West who now proclaims that the law is above justice is even booed in this postmodern society.
Yes, a critical awareness of various traditions is of course necessary and important. But first, it needs to be critical and not nihilistic. Secondly, mockery of those who cherish tradition, albeit old ones, is not allowed. Thirdly, by rejecting some traditions, it is necessary to create others. And to find traditions of the past on which we can rely and the nation will honor in one way or another. Fourth, rationality in and of itself cannot be the driving motive of action. A person will never follow logical arguments if he does not recognize the value of reason and logic.
Rationality needs to become part of the emotional in order to follow a rational path.
The problem in Russia today is not that it is "under-modernized" and that it was forced for a quarter of a century to try to turn away from the development of the ultra-modern format (the unification of rational and traditional values) to the postmodern one, to the domination of the dominated and emasculated rationality, ripped from tradition and values which are today in its own homelands in Europe and the US and is in absolute moral crisis. This has been recognized by Angela Merkel, David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy, none of whom know how to escape.
By the way, Alvin Toffler, creator of the concept of the information society, said that an increase in the role of traditional values will grow as a result of the world’s turn toward a unification of personalization.
By analyzing the fairness of the thesis that the rational type of behavior and consciousness depends on a person's ability to live in a political and spiritual freedom, it should be noted that it would not make sense if you do not specify that the very concept of freedom is very different for savage and civilized humans. For the former, it is the freedom from restrictions. For the latter, it is the freedom in restrictions and in the voluntary acceptance thereof. Freedom for one is to burn Rome, while freedom for another is to build St Paul’s Cathedral.
For a man of classical modernism, intellectual freedom may lie in the ability to read and comprehend Voltaire. For the post-modern man it is the right to throw the book into the fire, yelling "Into the junk heap ya go!" For the ultra-modern man it is the ability and the need to re-release it and read the words: "It is possible to become a communist just by mastering the knowledge accumulated by mankind.
Freedom in general is valuable only when it is based on the acceptance of traditional values, including humanism and reason. Because without it means the destruction of freedom. Freedom to insult holy sanctities. Freedom of humiliation, for those who remained faithful to the traditions of civilization.
And it is wrong to say that civil society, which is currently a popular subject, has still not become a daily reality in Russia, not accepted by a lot of people. More precisely, so to speak it is simply to be unfamiliar with the scientific understanding of the category of "civil society". Because civil society is not just some special people who present their demands to the government for to mature. Civil society is a set of social relations mediated by the state. It is not those who oppose something in themselves and refer to the language of law. It is everyone who lives in the community, not only in respect to the State, and appeal primarily to the language of justice. Because the language of rights is the language in varying degrees of formal conventions, and the language of justice (which, of course, refers to the different classes differently) is the language of creatures. Civil society is the world of private and corporate interests, while the state is more of the world of common interests, even though here and their disputed interests.
Citizens speak of their rights granted to them on any grounds. The citizen will speak primarily about fairness. Rights are valuable when they are derived from justice, and induce indifference when there is no relationship to it.
It is not entirely correct to say that "modernization" (even in its original meaning) is not compatible with life in the customs of Antiquity. For the British, going through with their modernizing revolution, discussed the covenants of early Christianity, about the customs of "good old England", on standards of the Magna Carta adopted in 1210. The French, executing their revolution, appealed to the fact that they are "descendants of free Franks" and to the intellectual heritage of Antiquity. Americans rebelling against the King of England, also relied on the rules in 1215, and accounting for its 200 years the current Constitution on the Mayflower agreement drawn up and signed by over 150 years before.
Denial of traditions in the name of modernity generates not intellectually free men but illiterate mankurts. And modernity, rejecting its connection to the parent tradition, degenerates into a post-modern decadence and either decomposes and rots or falls under the blows of counter-modernism if Ultra-modernism does not come to its aid.