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De 7 noiembrie: Stalin, Putin si sfidarile memoriei

Vladimir Tismaneanu noiembrie 7, 2012 Cultura, Global / Europa, Politica & Doctrine
15 comentarii 1,791 Vizualizari

Candva, nu atat de demult, ziua de 7 noiembrie figura in calendarul sacru al comunismului global. Se aniversa puciul bolsevic din 1917 devenit, prin consecintele sale, o revolutie totalitara. Propaganda comunista prezenta aceasta zi drept inceputul saltului omenirii “din imperiul necesitatii in imperiul libertatii”. In fapt, incepuse aplicarea unui program fara precedent de exterminare sociala justificat prin comandamente utopice camuflate in limbaj scientist. Una dintre cele mai impresionante carti despre catastrofa sovietica se intituleaza “Utopia la putere”. Mirajul ideologic s-a evaporat, dar raman in urma nostalgii pentru timpurile presupus glorioase ale imperiului sovietic. Putinismul nu este o revenire integrala la stalinism, nu este intemeiat pe universalizarea terorii, nu-si propune transformarea conditiei umane. Dar acest nou tip de dictatura mentine in structurile sale ideatice si institutionale cultul liderului suprem, ingheata si mistifica memoria, transforma partidele in entitati derizorii, submineaza dreptul la protest, piratizeaza resursele economice si confera politiei secrete puteri de neimaginat intr-un stat democratic. Tot mai insingurat, tot mai suspicios, tot mai irascibil, Vladimir Putin aminteste de Stalin in ultimii sai ani de viata.

Despre aceste lucruri, despre eforturile de a salva memoria la ceasul restauratiei autoritare, scrie jurnalistul David Satter in fascinantul sau volum pe care il analizez mai jos.

Pertinentul volum al lui David Satter este un veritabil ghid pentru cei care doresc să înțeleagă avatarurile politicii post-sovietice din Rusia și eșecul elitelor și societății de a-și asuma trecutul traumatic bolșevic. Analist experimentat al problemelor sovietice și post-sovietice, Satter este un excelent ziarist și un exemplar cronicar al traiectoriilor intelectuale și politice din această țară. Principala sa teză este aceea că o entitate politică democratică în care individul este tratat în mod decent și în care drepturile omului sunt luate în serios nu poate fi construită pe un fundament caracterizat de amnezie, mistificare și minciuni flagrante. Principala problemă examinată de Satter este modul în care a fost abordată în Rusia mostenirea stalinismului, cum și de ce fantoma generalissumului continuă să bântuie imaginarul public și memoria colectivă. Splendid documentată și alert scrisă, cartea oferă prețioase episoade ce prezintă varii reacții la memoriile încă neasumate ale perioadei totalitare. „Democrația administrată” a lui Putin, de fapt un autoritarism latent care cuprinde o constelație de pretenții ideologice evidente și eclectice (etatism, Eurasianism, naționalism), este înrădăcinată în chiar această proliferare a negării trecutului.

Format în cultura conspirativă a KGB-ului, „Țarul Vladimir” rămâne profund atașat de fondatorul posedat al poliției secrete bolșevice (CEKA), Felix Dzerjinski, aristocrat polonez care a decis să renunțe la vis timpuriu de a deveni preot și s-a transformat într-un fanatic leninist. Capitolul care abordează eforturile continue de a transforma acest torționar într-un erou este în mod special revelator și profund tulburător. În mod similar, Satter scoate în evidență încercările de impune la nivel public admirația pentru Iuri Andropov, el însuși un leninist convins care, în calitate de șef al KGB în ani șaptezeci și optzeci, a supervizat persecuția dizidenților sovietici și neutralizarea oricărei forme de opoziție. Nu este surprinzător așadar că regimul Putin consideră astfel de personaje istorice nefrecventabile drept exemple de dăruire civică și idealism politic. În același timp, cercetători și jurnaliști independenți care doresc să salveze memoria de astfel de mistificări rămân izolați și par a fi angajați într-un demers donquijotesc pentru căutarea adevărului. Din acest punct de vedere, volumul lui Satter nu este doar un excelent raport asupra stadiului îngrijorător în care se află memoria și justiția morală în Rusia contemporană, ci și un efort de a sprijini acești activiști aflați în dificultate. De exemplu, membrii societății “Memorial”, care refuză să accepte politica oficială a amneziei.

Pentru Satter, Rusia este o țară „care nu a fost dispusă să își asume în totalitate adevărul despre de comunism.” După încercările lui Boris Elțîn, niciodată duse la bun sfârșit, de a organiza un proces al Partidului Comunist, situația a luat o direcție diferită: mitologiile perioadei sovietice au fost reabilitate și cei care continuă să insiste asupra atrocităților trecutului au fost din ce în mai marginalizați. Nu este nicio surpriză faptul că Viaceslav Nikonov, un analist politic apropiat de cercurile puterii și nepotul ministrului de externe al lui Stalin, Viaceslav Molotov, poate declara cu impunitate că „oamenii nu sunt interesați de trecut. Orice încercare de a dezgropa trecutul provoacă doar nemulțumire.” Rămâne de văzut cine sunt cei care resping asumarea trecutului și care sunt interesele acestora. Cum ne putem explica faptul că la două decenii după prăbușirea URSS nu a existat nici un act de expiere din partea statului rus pentru milioanele de victime inocente ucise de regimul sovietic?

Sunt de acord cu Satter, care consideră că niciun stat de drept, nicio democrație funcțională și credibilă, nu poate exista dacă ilegalitățile trecutului continuă să fie ignorate și sistematic banalizate. Apelând la tot felul de raționalizări, rușii (ori cei mai multi dintre ei) au evitat să-și asume propriul trecut apasator. Rezultatul acestei regretabile situații este că moralitatea în Rusia este sub asediul cinismului și al disprețului generalizat pentru valorile pe care odată le afirmau dizidenții: civism, demnitate și memorie. Statul rus actual are prea puține motive să promoveze etosul antitotalitar. Biserica Ortodoxă, cu propria istorie de martiriu dar și complicitate, încearcă să anexeze memoria victimelor în beneficiul propriei imagini, care este prezentată drept una a rezistenței continue împotriva comunismului.

Unul dintre cele mai bune capitole ale volumului de față discută fascinația pentru comunism, un subiect captivant care este încă de actualitate. Nu sunt foarte convins că la sfârșitul anilor șaptezeci bolșevismul încă era un proiect mesianic mobilizator. Era de fapt o dogmă osificată și rutinizată. Visul originar al revoluției mondiale fusese abandonat în favoarea unui expansionism imperialist tradițional. Cu toate acestea, timp de decenii comunismul a funcționat precum o religie seculara care a oferit principalele repere și direcția morală pentru generații succesive. Amoralismul real al bolșevismului era ascuns de proclamații retorice obsesive despre egalitate și fraternitate. Era o ficțiune, dar o ficțiune electrizantă.

Acest liant cvasi-etic este acum regretat de acei numeroși nostalgici care preferă să își amintească victoria împotriva Germaniei naziste în detrimentul ororilor Gulagului. Comparat cu experiența Europei Centrale si de Est în justiția de tranziție, Rusia efectiv și-a suspendat renasterea morală. Motivele acestui eșec sunt indubitabil legate de slăbiciunea voinței politice. Putin s-a declarat drept admirator al lui Alexandr Soljenițîn, dar manualele de istorie oficiale, publicate cu binecuvântarea lui Putin, au fost doar vulgare încercări de a legitima teroarea anilor treizeci ai secolului trecut. Dacă Rusia se va transforma într-o reală comunitate democratică, atunci în sfârșit va trebui să confrunte problemele examinate și identificate atât de judicios de volumul lui David Satter.

David Satter, It Was a Long Time Ago, and It Never Happened: Russia and the Communist Past (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 2012) recenzie de Vladimir Tismaneanu în “International Affairs”, vol. 88, no. 4 (2012), pp. 904-905 (traducere din limba engleză de Bogdan C. Iacob).

http://yalepress.yale.edu/book.asp?isbn=9780300111453

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Currently there are "15 comments" on this Article:

  1. cristian spune:

    pe 7 noiembrie 1933 s-a nascut mama mea ,chiar pe fisia de granita din satul BAINET! SUCEAVA,tras dupa razboi !

  2. Mircea Paul Vasiliu VASILIU MIRCEA PAUL spune:

    Simplul fapt că Rusia ţine de arhive şi acum, cu dinţii şi ghearele, refuzînd deschiderea lor, ar trebui să-i intrige pe mulţi. Din păcate platitudinea curentă sună cam aşa: „Eh, atunci a fost ce-a fost, însă ce-i acum e acum.” Zău ? Atunci pentru ce ruşii ascund şi astăzi fapte petrecute cu 50-60-70 de ani în urmă?
    DE CE ?
    Pentru ce în momentul ocupǎrii României, imediat dupǎ 23 August 1944, sovieticii au cerut (printre multe altele) originalul unei depeşe din veacul anterior ? Era vorba despre cunoscuta telegramǎ din 19 Iulie 1877, prin care Marele Duce Nicolae, comandantul suprem al armatei ruseşti de operaţiuni în Balcani, bǎtut crunt de trupele Imperiului Otoman, solicita ajutorul militar al Principelui Carol al Romaniei.
    PENTRU CE ?
    Fiindcǎ cine stǎpîneşte prezentul, stǎpîneşte trecutul. Şi cine stǎpîneşte trecutul, „aranjeazǎ” viitorul. CUM VOR MUŞCHII LUI !

    Și acum dați drumul la comentarii subtil-ticăloase care îneacă totul în palavre.

    • T.B. spune:

      @ Vasiliu M.P.:
      E incorecta afirmatia ca rusii ar tine inchise arhivele vechi de decenii. Eltan le deschisese tuturor, inclusiv americanilor, care prin 1991-92 trimisesera la Moscova o echipa de cateva zeci de cercetatori care microfilmau de zor documentele de interes pentru ei, inclusiv arhiva PCUS sau arhiva Cominternului. De altfel, partea din arhiva Cominternului referitoare la PCR se afla copiata pe microfilme si la Arhivele Nationale din Bucuresti. Tot pe microfilme se afla la Arhivele Nationale tot ceea ce au dorit echipele de cercetatori romani care s-au deplasat la Moscova prin anii 90.

  3. Hantzy spune:

    Vorbeam azi cu un coleg din fosta URSS si i-am amintit de MRSO, care a avut loc in noiembrie.
    Mi-a raspuns ca “asa e! azi sunt 95 de ani de la eliberarea de sub tirania tarului!”

    N-am mai avut replica. Dar mi-am amintit: nu stiuse nici de 1968, nici de 1953, nici de 1956 si chiar crezuse ca romana e limba slavona. Noi parca invataseram mai mult in scoala, chiar daca despre Casa Regala tot putin se stia. Poate fi o explicatie si pentru iesirea controversata a unui demnitar roman: stia istorie cat colegul meu rusofon.

    • Trecem peste faptul ca nu tirania tarului a fost “rasturnata”, ci un guvern legal, de orientare liberala. Tarul fusese eliminat politic prin Revolutia din Februarie 1917. Premierul Rusiei in octombrie (stil vechi) 1917 era Fiodor Kerenski, legat direct de stanga anti-bolsevica.

  4. I. Petrescu spune:

    iar incepand cu ziua de azi 7 noiembrie va insemna si altceva pt stanga desantata, nerusinata si cu amnezie selecta. de la Lenin la Obama calcatul fara nerusinare peste valori, promisiuni goale si aruncatul de pomana continua.

  5. comentariu spune:

    Rusia si Putin sunt greu de inteles.Propaganda si deformatia profesionala au adunat elemente din trecutul uniunii pe care Putin le aplica cu stingacie si este clar ca nu are nici planuri mari si ca nici nu stie si nici nu ar putea sa le aplice.In fapt Putin este un nostalgic care nu intelege prezentul asa cum Churchill a inteles ca imperiul nu mai este putere de prima clasa.
    Putin nu are idei noi si tate cartile lui sunt jucate de mault dinainte de alti lideri sovietici.
    Singura carte actuala este legatura cu Germania.
    Este apropierea dintre doua puteri de mina a doua respectiv a treia, care chinuie Europa si incurca politica Americana.

  6. T. Bucur spune:

    ” …dar manualele de istorie oficiale, publicate cu binecuvântarea lui Putin, au fost doar vulgare încercări de a legitima teroarea anilor treizeci ai secolului trecut.”
    Domnule Profesor, prin anii 70 am citit capitolul despre Stalin din Marea Enciclopedie Britanica. Se incheia asa (retin exact cuvintele): “Cu toate acestea, nu trebuie uitat ca Stalin a preluat Rusia de la plugul de lemn si a lasat-o cu pile atomice”. Se subintelegea ca teroarea a fost astfel legitimata.

    • Depinde cine a scris acel articol. In acei ani erau extrem de influente in Marea Britanie tezele lui Isaac Deutscher, istoric de orientare trotskista originar din Polonia, biograful deopotriva al lui Stalin si al supremului sau rival. In cartea sa despre Stalin, Deutscher propunea o viziune hegeliano-marxista: nu nega crimele, dar le vedea ca pasi necesari spre implinrea Ratiunii in Istorie. O critica devastatoare a iluziilor lui Deutscher a propus comentatorul politic si istoricul (tot originar din Polonia), Leo Labedz, editorul excelentei reviste din acei ani, “Survey”. Recomand aici cartea lui Labedz, “The Use and Abuse of Sovietology”, prefata de Zbigniew Brzezinski si editata de Melvin J. Lasky, Transaction, 1989. Capitolul despre Deutshcer se intituloeaza “Historian, Prophet, Biographer”. Din punctul meu de vedere, fraza din “Britannica” pe care o citati tine abuzul sovietologiei.

      http://www.amazon.com/The-Abuse-Sovietology-Leopold-Labedz/dp/0887382525

      Pentru o evaluare contemporana, tot in “Britannica”:

      http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/562617/Joseph-Stalin/13394/Assessment

  7. Andrei spune:

    30% din PIB-ul Rusiei provine din petrol și gaze naturale. 60% din exportul Rusiei provine din aceeași sursă iar 50% din buget se hrănește tot de acolo. Atâta vreme cât petrolul și gazele naturale își vor menține prețul actual sau vor crește, cred că formula actuală de guvernare nu riscă să fie contestată, nu la nivelul intelectualilor ci să spunem al oțelarului din Ural. În fapt, e un fel de țarism mascat, și cu dividende materiale pentru populație la care Nicolae II nici n-ar fi visat. Făcând abstracție de industria de armament și ceva fosile din fostul conglomerat spațial, din toată floarea industriei sovietice nu a rămas nici un singur obiectiv capabil de a concura pe piața internațională la nivel de paritate cu marile corporații occidentale sau asiatice. În fond, a investi parte din venitul generat de hidrocarburi în populație este cât se poate de onorabil. În ce privește sistemul politic, mă tem că doar o răsturnare a balanței fiscale și comerciale ar putea să genereze tensiunile menite să facă pe omul de rând să caute o alternativă.

  8. Alexandru Grosu spune:

    Rusia ca stat s-a bazat intotdeauna pe violenta. Daca ar disparea violenta, ar disparea si statul rus. S-ar petrece ceva ce s-a petrecut in Iugoslavia in anii 90 ai secolului trecut. Numai ca evenimentele vor fi mult mai dramatice, daca luam in consideratie armamentul nuclear pe care-l poseda rusii. Timp de cateva secole Rusia a strans fortat in jurul sau diferite popoare si neamuri, le-a insuflat frica si respect pentru “marele tatuca-tsarul-ortodox” ori marele tatuca secretar general al PCUS. A folosit religia unde nu a putut folosi arma sau le-a folosit pe ambele, a mintit, a violat, a corupt. . A scris istorie falsa, a creat legend, a inventat mituri Daca va recunoaste si va condamna aceste crime se va risipi ca un castel facut din nisip.

  9. Mos Ion Roata spune:

    Un material indirect care aduce lumina in demeniul fumdamental al cauzelor impunerii bolsevismului. Tradus de mine.

    “Killing God” and the Reformist Puritan movement as a political-religious project, in Erich Voegelin’s vision.

    Abstract
    With the XVII-th century, as a consequence of the inter-confessional conflicts and the dawn of the positive sciences, from the civilisation point of view, the European states would consolidate along with the emergence of new visions on man and the world. A large part of the peoples of those countries would enter a state of deep religious crisis, manifest in a loss of identity and adoption of older beliefs. Such tendency would worsen further with the eighteenth century by acquiring new meanings and forms of thought as subjective existential intellectual attitudes, consequent to the outcome of the conflict between faith and reason; the latter was consecrated by the French Revolution of 1879 as a true “deity” while the Christian faith was simply outlawed. Against this background, man’s Becoming and the history of his Redemption as “image of the image of God” would be replaced by a social adventure along the horizontal dimenssion of an unprecedented autonomous materiality, detrimental to the Theology of the Cross, a void horizontal lacking any religious meaning. It is a time when many philosophical thinkers as well as religious leaders, would produce all kinds of models of reality in which God would be either a Deus Otiosus or a God who would no longer have a place in the world. Henceforth, many would start living with the feeling that if God is not dead, as yet, then it is their their duty to “kill” Him in the meaning of liberation from the ecclesiastical tutelage, exterioral and reluctant to the new ideals of humanity . An example would be the Puritan movement in England, a movement that would demonstrate most clearly how to make the Gnostic transition from the ideal of God’s kingdom – ideal promoted by the Great Church – to the ideal of a Terrestrial Paradise.
    Key Words: Religious reform, Gnosticism, Parusianic movements, Puritan movement, Gnostic Koran.
    Preliminaries
    55 years after the appearance of the work “Political Science and Gnosticism”, we will try – and not incidentally, in the context of the aforementioned – to honour the memory of an outstanding teacher, Erich Voegelin, one of the great supporters of the Gostic theory within the politics of modernity. Although at the time of its publication, this work did not enjoy too great a success in the New World, as well as in Europe actually, where the various Gnostic type movements are dominating more or less from the underground the nowaday’s scene of the American and European culture and civilization, his work ,,Science, Politics and Gnosticism”, has grown into a reference book by the relevant explanations on “killing” God starting from a radical Gnostic-dualistic thinking that has survived throughout the entire European culture from Antiquity into modernity, as a work of the autonomous man through the “Parusianic ” mass movements.
    Ancient and modern Gnosticism or how to get to the “killing of God”,
    in Erich Voegelin’s vision.
    - The case of the Puritan movement -

    Erich Voegelin is the thinker who, for the first time in history of the research on Gnosis, has not just embarked on an analysis of the coincidential structures shared by the antic Gnostic thinking and the modern political thinking, of the lines separating the political and religious gnosticism, but also the political analyst who revealed the radical negativity in the eresiarchic-religious Gnosticism and the modern political Gnosticism, both being reductionist Gnosticisms and responsible, in his vision, for much of the decline visible in the Occidental culture and civilization. With a remarkable erudition and economy of expression, he brings to light the relevance of the relationship between religion and politics, between the religious Gnosticism and the philosophical-political Gnosticism in the perspective of the political science. Specifically, he would start in his approach from a few arid and less appealing topics such as the Behistun inscriptions, the Mongol orders of submission, the controversy on the altar of goddess Victory in the Roman forum during St. Ambrose and St. Augustine, and the neo-Gnostic revolt during the Puritan Reformation in England. Erich Voegelin detects the causes for the perversion of the old and the new societes in the abandonment of the old politikei episteme of Aristotle and Plato, “perversion” due to the apparition in the history of the human thinking of the Gnostic dualist thinking model, a polarizing model of dialectical type acting according to the exclusion rule “either-or” and that would highlight the religious-existential tension in the existential binome God-man. Erich Voegelin would identify this paradigm model of knowing the autonomous man, connecting the knowledge to the political-religious revolt in the bond established between the Existence and the Truth of the world, represented in various forms, from ancient times up to the period of the modern positivist, Hegelian, Marxist or National Socialist thought. At the end of his quest, the researcher would conclude that all the aforementioned orders and movements are only reformulated versions of the ancient Gnosticism, falling and being circumscribed to the wider gnosiological scope. The idea of a gnosiology, an autonomous Gnosis addressed to a certain intellectual paradigm whose roots lay in Late Antiquity, whose roots have reverberated throughout the history of European culture would be reflected in the form of various “pseudo-morphoses” that invaded all sectors of society, literature, religion and politics. This observation of Erich Voegelin’s it is not a recent discovery, if we consider that, in 1835, appeared the work of Ferdinand Christian Bauer, Ancient Gnosticism and the Contemporary Philosophy of Religion, the last part of this paper analyzing: 1. The Philosophy of Nature with Schelling, 2. The Doctrine of the Faith with Schleimacher and 3. Hegel’s Philosophy of Religion, the speculation of the German idealist thinkers being correctly placed with the persistence of the Gnostic thinking movement started in Antiquity . This paper of Bauer’s synthesizes 100 years of research works of famous authors such as Jochan Lorentz von Morsheim and Jacques Matter, authors who have researched the history of sects and Church heresies thinking in terms of scientific analysis and conventional analysis, of the perspective of the relation between faith and reason . It goes without saying, would say Erich Voegelin, that with the Enlightenment and German Idealism, the Gnostic movement that circulated in “hidden underground as a tradition of Europe” as different Gnostic heresiarchic forms, would be rendered at the dawn of Humanism and Renaissance with a strong socio-political tinge to invade the old institutions of the state. The main representatives of modern Gnosis would be identified by Voegelin on the one hand in the religious movements of the Reformation, on the other hand in the ideas promoted by Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche and Heidegger, the latter ensuring passage of the political religious project to the revolutionary phase of the change with the apport of the mass movements.
    Although at first the Gnostic nature of those movements was not visible, there were plenty of events taking certain forms of Gnostic militant action, such as the movements of Luther, Calvin, Zwingli or the English Puritan movement, subsequently reaching the “prohibited” ideological vision of Marx and the anarchist Bakunin, the first activities of Lenin, the intellectual neo-positivist, communist or fascist movements. To explain this new political phenomenon in full swing starting with the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, some temporary substitute terms would be invented, such as “neo-pagan”, “socio-political myth” or ” political mystics “, notions, that, however, would not explain the backgound origins of these movements. This confused state of the political science, of the inadequate understanding of this political phenomenon, lasted until the eve of the Second World War, when the meanings of gnosis and Gnosticism started to be deciphered both in their existentialist key, applied to the ancient man – starting from the historical perspective towards the Gnostic typology – and to the modern man, to whom the hermeneutic circle of the Gnostic typological key can be applied in reverse, starting from the existential experience of what man is, where it comes from and where he goes . Under the influence of a deeper understanding of ancient Gnosticisimului and its connections with Judaism and Christianity – and not only -, influences that have affected the political expressions of modern Gnosticism, a new interpretation would develop in these conditions about the meaning of European intellectual history and modern politics. To decypher ancient Gnosticism in this respect, will be notable the works of Willhelm Busset, Die Hauptprobleme der Gnosis (1907), Hans Jonas, Gnosis und Spatantiker Geist (1934) and Die Gnosis by Heins Leisegang (1934), and for the modern period Prometheus by Hans Urs von Balthasar (1937-1947), Outraged Man by Albert Camus (1951) or The Drama of the Atheistic Humanism (1945) by Henry de Lubac, who would become true “philosophical-religious” and ”socio-political’ milestones” for understanding the historical continuity of Gnoseology from Antiquity to Modernity, a continuity starting from a certain attitude of subjective intellectual rebellion which the aforementioned have experienced, intellectual attitudes that would subsequently leave their mark on the new movement that they would animate. Erich Voegelin would distinguish no less than three stages in the evolution of their Gnosticised and Gnosticizing spirit, that would make the transition from Truth of Reality to the Non-Truth of intellectual deception. The first step is self-deception based on the temptation for power of the “libido dominandi”, when the speculation of a cultural creative thinker degenerates growing into an intellectual error. This first step becomes deceit because of the psychological context in which it occurs. In the second stage, the pseudo-thinker becomes aware of the non-truth of his statements and speculation, yet he persists in them, forcing them on his followers through ”dogmatization”, thereby becoming an intellectual impostor opponent of the Absolute Truth. In the third stage gnostic thinker will rebel against God, which revolt is finally recognized as reason for imposture, for the substitution of God with the autonomous man. The dissatisfaction of the Gnostic, arising from a certain state of things, however, should not be surprising; everyone of us all has a reason to be dissatisfied with some aspect of a situation in which we may find ourselves; the basic problem is how to handle this situation and especially the attitude to take in order to overcome it. A third characteristic is the firm belief that saving the world from the influence of disorder by evil which prevails over the “lenient thinking” of the leading institutions is likely to be made by each of us, henceforth the order of things must be changed by any means. Here we come to the essence of the revolutionary Gnosticism, which Gnosticism states that it is possible to change the order of things, such change falling in field of human action, and that the act of salvation is possible by man’s own endeavour. The Gnostic’s mission in this action will be aimed at finding solutions, at determining and achiveing the changes. Knowing the method of change – Gnosis – is actually the central concern of the Gnostic, by finding and building a formula to save the Self, and the world too, starting from the Gnostic availability to undertake not only the mission of Religious Prophet but also as Political Leader who would proclaim both the autonomous knowledge and the salvation of mankind. Essential to understanding such political sectarianism, which begins with the nineteenth century, is to Voegelin, the work of Norman Cohn The Pursuit of the Millennium (1957).
    From the above work, which addressed the ancient and the modern Gnosticism, worth mentioning is the conclusion-statement by Erich Voegelin, who noted that the period after the inauguration of the new era after the cosmological civilizations of Mesopotamia, Syria and Egypt, with the VII-th century II century BC, when a series of empires of the East succeed one another, when there occurs not only the loss of independence by Israel through the expansion of the Roman Empire, but also population movements with the subsequent interpenetration of cultures and religions that ceased having any control over the actions of history, a state of extreme loneliness would appear in the whole body of the world, a state of intellectual disorientation and material insecurity. Although numerous efforts have been made at understanding this alienatig phenomenon, circumscribed to the loss of the teleological and axiological meaning of existence – loss resulting from the collapse of old institutions and ethnic cohesion of all kinds – worthy of consideration, says Professor Voegelin, would be efforts of the philosophical-stoic reinterpretation of man, the Salvation idea promoted by the religions of Mysteries of various types, of the Hebrew and Christian Apocalypse and Eschatology, as well as efforts by the Gnostic speculation which, denying everything previuosly thought and experienced as meaning of existence, would bring a new – negative – perspective on human knowledge and history. For the Gnostic man, the world is a prison, he lives a world deemed as inferior, a world where man has strayed and where he must find a way to the House of Light where the has come from. Unlike the ordered Hellenistic cosmos where man feels “like home” or, unlike the Judeo-Christian world which God created “good”, the Gnostic vision would not consider contemplating the so-called order of the world subjected to various changes in which man has no say. Therefore, the great existential questions of Gnosticism will repeatedly refer to the origin of man, the condition of man’s being thrown into the world, to escaping from this world and returning to the True World by means of a special Knowledge. In the ontology of the ancient Gnosticism, this is achieved through a Stranger God, hidden, who comes to the aid of of man and shows him the Way out of the prison of this world, subjugated by the God of the Old Testament or Zeus of the Greek religion. Thus, within the ontological possibility, the Gnostic man must fulfill his liberating work on his own. If, through his psyche, he belongs to a predetermined order of the world – nomos – that which will spur him to freedom and progress will be Pneuma – the spirit – which would turn him not inward, but outward. Therefore, the effort of this liberation, which for him is the equivalent of a separation from the world where he is chained in, involves the dissolution of the old world order represented by a decadent psyche that must be to be changed and which, at the same time, will involve acquiring and releasing the powers of Pneuma. Self-salvation through accumulation and release of the Pneuma powers retains a magic of its own, which is not harmless in its action, the goal being always the destruction of the old world and winning a new world order through the release of the knowledge of Self. Beyond the fact that man recognizes himself trapped in this world will give, the Gnostic gnoseology will also offer a knowledge on the means to escape from it, means that would in reality increase the clutter of the society. If the ancient Gnostics had a tendency to remain politically silent, being a contestants of the religious of their time, their concern only being the spiritual salvation from the material world of the body, later modern Gnostics would become revolutionaries and destructive by using new teleological symbolic forms, axiological and militant-activis forms. The revival of the ancient Gnosticism as a modern mythology, the “Myth of Continuous Progress ” is due above all to the Protestant Reform, the (TN – political) power resulting from the increased urban centres, the increase of trade volume and different human occupations moving from manufacturing production to the industrial production. The spiritual power of the soul, which in primitive Christianity and ancient Gnosticism was put in service to the aim of sanctifying life, is now put under the sign of an ever-increasing tenssion arising from the two options of the antinomial-Christian thinking and dialectic thinking that are operating in binary categories. In modernity, such tenssion would be inherited with the historical origin of Christianity, which is seen as a Jewish Messianic movement. In this Messianic movement, the early Christian community life oscillates between the eschatological expectation of the second coming of Jesus Christ the Redeemer, who was to bring the Kingdom of God, and the active role of the Church seen as the Apocalypse of Christ in history. Since the Parusia did not occur as expected by the early Christians, the Church would evolve according to the writings of the Holy Apostle Paul from an eschatology of the reality seen within history to an eschatology of the trans-historical supernatural perfection. As part of this development from the “not yet” to the “already”, the essence of Christianity would be separated from its historical origin, the separation starting with the life of Jesus Christ the Redeemer who is fulfilled on Pentecost with the descent of the Comforter or Holy Spirit and the establishment of the Church as visible entity, which would have for eschatological pathos among other practical-doctrinary consequences, the revolutionary proclamation of the millennium in which Jesus Christ, descending from heaven, will rule over the Earth with His saints. In modern times, this speculation on a divine-human Kingdom of Jesus Christ the Redeemer on the edification of the millennium would be a constant to be taken over by neo-Gnostic thinking. This thinking would embrace unusual forms against the paradoxical logic of the Church and Kingdom of God through the reduction of the Christian eschaton to the mechanisms of the human intellect’s binary logic and human endowment with the attribute of God, man who would implement the significance of another eschatological accomplishment, this time autonomous and achiever of a terrestrial Paradise.
    The modern neo-Gnostic speculation would overshadow the core thinking of the “Mediterranean tradition” – the Greek philosophy, Judaism and Christianity – by withdrawing the prerogative of transcendence and the endowment of man with the meaning of fulfillment by Gnosis only – by reason -, eschatological fulfillment that would advance in history starting from the experience of civilization rather than the experience of spirituality. To the limitation of the core at this Mediterranean tradition and fundamental uncertainty of the human knowledge about the Divine Transcendence and all that exists, modern Gnosticism would oppose the arrogant pride of the loss of contact with the Divine Reality and the overestimation of man’s own abilities in an effort to overcome the restlessness and quest of human life by building a terrestrial paradise and an attempt to forget that man is a created spiritual being. Unfortunately, no matter how valuable would be the projects sustained by the promoters of such a pseudo-program which oscillates between excess and lack, they would not manage to serve as a substitute for the inner quest for that transcendent reality that motivated Plato or Apostle Paul. This would make Modernity to be a paradox, an era of progress by means of the advance of science and technology that would bring life to an unprecedented level in terms of material comfort, health, acts of charity, but on the other hand, the centuries after the Reformation would also bring along civil wars and numerous diseases and passions with unimaginable destructive consequences . The modern society would become increasingly materialistic, leading to increasingly widespread alienation from the spiritual world. Unlike Christianity, where the soul and the body was intended for transfiguration and sanctification of life, the new Modern Gnosis would now focus not on saving soul and body, but on the hubristic attempt to build a terrestrial world where man redeems himself and where the eternal destiny of man replaces the life of the Spirit. Nietzsche, says Voegelin, best expressed that demonic diversion of separating man from God by the solution “Love yourself by pity when you will not need your God and you will be able to play the whole drama of the fall and redemption until its end within yourself.” How could this miracle of salvation by oneself be accomplished? The historical answer, writes Voegelin, can be found in various types of Gnostic action that made modern civilization what it is. One of these actions is to gain literary and artistic achievement that offered fame to the humanist intellectuals, action continued with the discipline and economical success of the Holy Puritan or the revolutionary utopian action hoping to give rise to the communist or other kind of Gnostic millennium . Voegelin would distinguish two stages in the manifestation of Gnosis: one that extends to the Renaissance, the Gnosis being religious manifested as a sectarian heresy, and which the Church managed to slow down to some extent by the works of the Fathers, and the modern stage, when it becomes a real world power – Weltmacht- which actually means “killing God”, speculatively committed by explaining the divine being as a product of man. For Erich Voegelin, the process starts from the Gnostic revolution, revolt carried out in two stages: 1. The first one is identified with the Reformation itself, seen as a successful invasion of the Western institutions by the Gnostic movements. Interesting in this respect is the interpretation given by him to such fundamentalist Protestants of the English Puritan kind, whose strong argument against their enemies was, “We are of God’s: he that knows God understands us.” To understand such assertion, Professor Voegelin would analyze the Puritan impact on the English public order in view of the observations of a brilliant witness-in-person of those events, that of the “reasonable” Hooker , to which he would add the explanation of the impact of the psychological mechanism under which the Gnostic mass movements operate, emphasizing in particular the attitude demonstrated by the new proselytes. At first, says Hooker, any movement would need a “cause” . This term was coined by the Puritans, a term which would become subsequently a formidable weapon in achieving their goals. To promote the “cause”, the Gnostic supporting it would expresses in the ears of the crowd, criticism over the social evil and especially the behavior of the upper classes. The frequent repetition of these allegations would induce among the audience the belief that those who talk are people of great integrity, zeal and holiness. The next step is to assign the whole state of affairs to the incompetence of the government actions. After such preparation, the recommendation appears for a new form of government that is seen as a remedy for all evils perpetrated until then by the old government. The next step is to strengthen the Gnostic attitude by “convincing gullible people and prone to such special illumination by the Holy Spirit, intercessions that make them to be considered elected ones. ” This unique experience whereby they discern the truth of things in the world would cultivate aong them a high degree of separation between themselves and the rest of the world: from then on, the world would consist of “brethren” and “the others”. A special role in fully becoming “brethren” would be entrusted to the women, says Hooker, because they have a less rigorous judgement, are emotionally impressionable and are better placed in terms of family tactics. In these circumstances, people would prefer not only the company of their likes, but would inadvertently accept advice and guidance from those who indoctrinate them. Hooker, writes Voegelin, noted that puritanical attitude was based so much on the Holy Scripture as on some “hidden” selfish political purposes, using the Holy Bible only for citing certain verses taken out of their context and useful strictly to their cause. Such an attitude would ignore the traditions and rules for the interpretation of the Scripture that had been previously developed. To hide their anti-Christian position, the new neo-Gnostic movement, lacking mass success, would develop two technical instruments that would remain until today the great instruments of the neo-Gnostic rebellion. The first tool concerns the interpretation of the Holy Scripture, interpretation that needed being standardized in order to systematically reformulate the doctrine in terms of the Scripture as was some time ago given by Calvin in his Institutes . That was a guide for the correct “reading” of the Scripture, which would lead to the genuine formulation of truth, making useless for the new believers to resort to older theological literature. The second instrument refers to the adherent’s obligation to exercise voluntary self-censorship, every faithful member of such a movement keeping away from any literature that could provide arguments against that movement. In conclusion, the Protestant Reformation would have put a taboo on the classical philosophy and Christian theology, the new movement of the English Puritans being more than an anti-Christian tendency hidden beneath some distorted ultra-Christianity; it would be a political religious Gnosticisant attitude which would use, in order to reach its goals, the purely religious-Christian motives of the Holy Scripture. Calvin’s work would be considered by the Austrian author, in this context, as “the first Gnostic Quran, deliberately devised” for the use of the new believers.
    Other stages of the Gnostic revolution and other “Quran’s” would be found in Diderot and D’Alambert’s Encyclopedias, in the works of Marx, Lenin and Stalin, and also in Scotus Erigena’s. Writing about those observations of Erich Voegelin’s, one of the most titled experts on Gnosticism, the Rumanian Ioan Petru Culianu wrote: “The ‘Qur’anic’ character of all those works involves active exclusion of everything they actually intend to replace. Thus, the Reform did not operate acording to the law of argumentation and persuasion. Its truth was immutable and indisputable, promoting a totalitarian society. Totalitarianism means too, in these circumstances, the fulfillment of the Gnostic search of a civilian theology. Nowadays, the neo-Gnosticism, as a manifestation of the Christian eschaton, was manifested in two distinct forms: Marxism … and westernization, which involves the destruction of the soul’s spiritual truth and contempt for the question of the existence.”
    We see here a real indictment that Voegelin addressed to that Gnosticizing modernity, guilty of all those aberrations of the modern history under whose mark the entire history of the twentieth century stood. Unlike Spengler, author of the Decline of the West, whose vision was pessimistic, the vision advanced by Erich Voegelin would be full of hope with possiblity for reversing the decline of modern civilization and the positive recovery of what was lost from the philosophy of ancient Greek, Judaism and Christianity. Like any other thinker, Voegelin wrote in light of his own experiences within the society in which he lived and spent his childhood. He had seen his homeland fall under Nazism, which led to his escape across the border. The traumatic experiences of the time had left with him a bitter taste and an utter disbelief in mass movements, but at the same time with hope for change to the better; for him to understand a phenomenon equalled to an accumulation of positive data, which would prevent one from doing further mistakes in the future, whence his striving to understand the symbolic structures of mass movements and the symbolic complexes adjacent to such movements.
    Bibliography
    1. Manolache, Stelian, The Gnostic and Manicheist Dualism from teleological perspective, ed. Universităţii Transilvania, Braşov, 2009
    2. Matter, James, The Critic history of Gnosticism and its influence on the religious and philosophical sects in the first ten centuries of the Christian era, 1928
    3. Voegelin, Erich, The New Science of Politics – An Introduction, ed. Universitatea Chicago Press, 1987
    4. Voegelin, Eich, Science, Politics and Gnosticism. ed. Henry Regnery Company, Chicago, 1968



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Vladimir Tismaneanu


Vladimir Tismaneanu

Vladimir Tismaneanu locuieste la Washington, este profesor de stiinte politice la Universitatea Maryland. Este autorul a numeroase carti intre care "The Devil in History: Communism... Citeste mai departe


MIHAI MACI – Cel de-al doilea volum din Colectia Contributors.ro

"Atunci când abdică de la menirea ei, școala nu e o simplă instituție inerțială, ci una deformatoare. Și nu deformează doar spatele copiilor, ci, în primul rând, sufletele lor. Elevul care învață că poate obține note mari cu referate de pe internet e adultul de mâine care va plagia fără remușcări, cel care-și copiază temele în pauză va alege întotdeauna scurtătura, iar cel care promovează cu intervenții va ști că la baza reușitei stă nu cunoașterea, ci cunoștințele. Luate indi­vidual, lucrurile acestea pot părea mărunte, însă cumulate, ele dau măsura deformării lumii în care trăim și aruncă o umbră grea asupra viitorului pe care ni-l dorim altfel." - Mihai Maci

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Apreciez toate comentariile, pe cel al doamnei doctor Virginia Batog indeosebi. Este si raspunsu...

de: Prof. Vasile Ghetau

la "Revenind la Sănătatea românilor. Sunt corecte datele asupra mortalității pe cauze de deces?"

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(An essay by Vladimir Tismaneanu and Marius Stan)