¹ 1 - 2001
Gutorov V.A.

Philosophy of Politics at the Turn of the Millennium: the Fate of Classical Tradition

The article by V.A.Gutorov is devoted to modern discussions in philosophy of politics. In the author’s opinion, the experience of the 20th century, and first of all the phenomenon of totalitarianism, have urged reconsideration of the basic postulates of the classical tradition of political thought — tradition dating back to Kant. The acceptance, if temporary, by the peoples of Europe, of totalitarian regimes based on suppression of person has called in question the idea that man, by his nature, strives for freedom and that this striving has fundamental significance for politics. The phenomenon of totalitarianism has justified the most pessimistic ideas of man’s nature having confirmed Hobbes’ thesis that most people are prepared to give up freedom and justice for the sake of security. The author also tells about other peripeteias in political philosophy of the postwar period, for instance about L.Strauss’ attempt to revive the classical tradition on a non-egalitarian basis, and about the argument with him that C.Lefort and M.Oakeshott waged.