EDITORIAL: Our Journal and Historical Science
"Problems of History" will soon celebrate the 40th anniversary of its foundation. The editorial briefly reviews the path traversed by the journal in these four decades.
Much attention is devoted to the tasks facing the journal today and to the main trends in its activity. The article describes the unflagging efforts of the Editorial Board to make the journal more popular and attractive to the reader. In conclusion the article enumerates the major problems and periods on which the efforts of researchers should be concentrated.
I. M. VOLKOV. The Collective-Farm Village During the First Postwar Year
The article briefly surveys the state of Soviet agriculture and collective farms after the end of the Great Patriotic War.
Analyzing the causes responsible for the difficulties in the field of restoring and developing agriculture, the author draws attention to the grave consequences of the war, notably the acute shortage of the labour resources and the seriously weakened material and technical basis. The article stresses that the existence of favourable objective conditions in the country, primarily the prevailing socialist system, made it possible successfully to cope with the task of overcoming the grim consequences of the war. I. M. Volkov shows the strenuous effort made by the collective- farm peasantry, the working class and the entire Soviet people to restore agriculture and ensure its further development. The difficulties of the postwar rehabilitation effort were aggravated by the 1946 drought, which affected the country?s southern areas and caused serious difficulties in providing the population with adequate food supplies. The author also makes a point of stressing the mistakes and shortcomings in the management of collective farms (highhanded administrative methods, violation of collective-farm democracy) which emerged in the process of agricultural rehabilitation. A series of measures taken by the Communist Party and the Soviet government in 1946 - 1947 to overcome the lag in agriculture and their consistent implementation had a beneficial effect on the development of Soviet farming in the postwar period.
P. M. ROGACHOV and M. A. SVERDLIN. The Concept of "Nation"
The article emphasizes the importance of clearly defining the concept of "nation" for a scientific analysis of the new phenomena characteristic of the development of nations and the progress of the national-liberation movement in the contemporary epoch.
While fully subscribing to J. V. Stalin's definition of the concept "nation," which has become fairly widespread in Marxist literature, the authors at the same time propose a number of essential amendments to the old definition with due account to these new phenomena. Drawing on their analysis of extensive factual material, the authors arrive at the conclusion that a nation is an historically evolved community of people, characterized by a stable community of economic life (if there is a working class), territory, language (especially literary), self-consciousness, distinctive ethnic traits, as well as certain peculiarities in psychology, customs and traditions, culture and liberation struggle.
Examining the types of nations, the authors come out against the concept of a "bourgeois nation," showing the utter groundlessness of all attempts to elevate this concept to the type of nations in conditions of capitalism in the contemporary epoch. They propose to characterize such nations as "socially heterogeneous." A diametrically opposite type is represented by socialist or "socially homogeneous" nations in the sense that they are free from class antagonisms. The authors propose to regard the nations now being formed in conditions of the national-liberation struggle as nations of the "transitional type."
A. M. SAKHAROV. The Church and the Formation of a Centralized Russian State
A. M. Sakharov shows in his article that the Church in Russia was not only an ally of the Grand Princes who ruled the country in the period of centralization of the Russian lands, but also appeared in the role of their constant and serious opponent. In the first half of the 14th century, the author writes, the Moscow Princes won over the Church by granting it extensive tracts of land, which greatly helped them in their struggle for power. But during the reign of Dimitry Donskoy there occurred the first serious conflict with the Church. In the subsequent period the Church did not support the Grand Prince during his conflict with Novgorod at the close of the 14th century. The author stresses that notwithstanding its hostile attitude to Catholicism, the Church came out against the resolute actions of Grand Prince Vasily II, who refused to recognize the Florentine Union, because this could serve as a precedent for direct interference of secular power in the affairs of the Church.
At the time of the feudal war a considerable part of top-ranking Church dignitaries supported the enemies of the Grand Prince; they agreed to a compromise with Vasily II only in the subsequent period, when the general situation had changed. The decisive clash between the Grand Princes and the militant clergy occurred at the turn of the 16th century-the period of formation of a single national state. Further consolidation of the positions held by the militant clergy resulted in perpetuating the most important survival of feudal disunity in the shape of the Church with its possessions, and in strengthening the conservative trend in the entire medieval Russian culture.
I. I. ZHIGALOV. The Struggle in the British Trade Unions on Problems of War and Peace (1955 - 1964)
The article stresses that Great Britain is the birthplace of trade unionism. The trade union movement in that country has a number of specific features compared with other industrially developed capitalist countries. It can exert a powerful influence on the country?s policies, which is of great international significance considering that Britain is the second biggest nuclear power in the Western world and an active participant in Nato. Drawing on extensive factual material, the author gives a concrete historical analysis of the attitude of the trade unions affiliated to the British TUC towards such major international problems as the Suez aggression, the nuclear problem, the struggle for peace and disarmament, etc. The article devotes particular attention to those phenomena in the trade unions which testify to a definite evolution in their attitude to problems of war and peace in 1955 - 1964. Pointing out that the struggle of the British trade unions for peace and disarmament was extremely complicated in character and developed very unevenly, I. I. Zhigalov at the same time shows that their attitude to the political struggle in the period under review signifies a step forward compared with the situation which obtained in the past. Trade-union opposition to the military and political plans of the country?s imperialist circles has exerted a definite influence on the serious differences over military and foreign policy, which have been mounting in British society during the past decade.
P. P. GAIDENKO. Bourgeois Philosophy of History and Its Efforts to Disclose the Real Content of the Historical Process
The article examines the principal stages in the development of the bourgeois philosophy of history. At the turn of the 20th century the philosophy of history concentrated its attention on questions of historical knowledge and methodological problems of historical science. Along with the Kantians and positivists, whose general philosophical position (the transformation of philosophy into gnosiology) required that the philosophy of history be viewed as gnosiology of history, such outstanding thinkers as W. Dilthey, G. Simmel, M. Weber, B. Croce and others focussed their attention on methodological problems. "Methodologism" was a peculiar reaction to those trends in the philosophy of history which, being associated primarily with the name of Hegel, regarded logic as the substance of the historical process and approached historical events from the viewpoint of the "universal" - the nation, the state resulting from the historical process.
The period after the first world war was marked by attempts to transform the philosophy of history from the science on historical knowledge into a science on the structure of historical reality. The philosophy of history is no longer faced with the task of determining ways and means of historical knowledge - it now has to indicate ways and means of historical action. The initial theoretical basis for this trend of philosophico-historical thought is provided by "philosophy of life," and in the last quarter of the
century - by existentialism. This is graphically illustrated, in particular, by the evolution of the Spanish philosopher J. Ortega y Gasset, whose efforts were chiefly devoted to research in the sphere of history and culture. Reorientation of this kind substantially altered a number of accents: the philosophy of history is, essentially, being transformed into a central branch of philosophy as such, and the question concerning the structure of historical being is proclaimed the principal question of philosophy.
J. HAVRANEK. I. KORZALKA, J. MESAROS and Z. SOLLE. The Role of the Popular Masses in the Czech and Slovak 19th-Century National Movement
The article examines the specific features of the Czech and Slovak 19th-century national movement. The Czechs arid Slovaks developed as nations in conditions of national oppression prevailing in the Hapsburg monarchy. The authors analyze the general problems of parallel development and reciprocal influence of two closely-related Slav peoples - Czechs and Slovaks. The article reveals the internal roots of the Czech and Slovak national movement, laying particular emphasis on the role played by the popular masses - the working class, the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie, as well as by the social organizations and political parties of this movement. The authors make a point of stressing that the Czechs and Slovaks entered the new, 20th century in different conditions. Despite their unequal position, the Czechs constituted a bourgeois nation that was strong economically and fully developed politically and culturally, whereas the Slovaks, groaning under unbearable national oppression and lagging far behind the Czechs in their social development, did not yet attain the level of economic, social, political and cultural progress capable of ensuring their existence as a modern nation. It was at that period that the two fraternal nations established closer ties which, following their national liberation, led to the formation of a single state embodied in the Czechoslovak Republic.
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