¹ 3 - 2001
Achkasov V.A.

Russia as Crumbling Traditional Society

The author tries to answer the question of what are the reasons of the failures of Russian liberalism and liberal reforms. He notes that Russia does not comply with generally adopted rules and demonstrates extraordinary stability of the quality of social relations and of traditional consciousness, even under conditions of most radical changes. Of course, by the relations and the consciousness in question, converted forms thereof are meant, deep-rooted with enormous stability, however, in tradition. So that the “overtaking” modernization in Russia creates just “islands of novelty” in traditional society. The main way to realize this kind of modernization is the so called “imitation”. It implies just imitation of involvement of the whole society into the reforms process initiated by the government whereas society in its majority, structurally and mentally is not ready for radical changes. Breaking abruptly with the past leads to purely symbolic, formal changes and after some time all regains its circles. In this situation, tradition turns out to serve as the determinant of the limitations of the reforms, of their legitimation, of their intensity and direction.