RANEPA Rector Vladimir Mau’s book presented at International Non/Fiction Book Fair
RANEPA Rector Vladimir Mau’s book, Revolutions: Mechanisms, Preconditions and Consequences of Radical Social Transformations, has been presented at the press center of the International Book Fair Non/Fiction 2017 in the Central House of Artists in Moscow.
The new book is devoted to problems of theory and history of great revolutions. The author analyzed several revolutions – in England (the 17th century), France (the late 18th – early 19th centuries), and Russia (the early 20th century). Dr. Mau provides rationale for the idea of specific revolutionary nature of Russia’s post-communist transformation based on a comparative study of revolutions of the past. In his book, he especially focuses on Russia’s experience of radical transformations of the early and late 20th century.
“The object of research in the book is revolution. It covers the consistent patterns of revolutions, the theory of revolution, and actually contains essays on the revolutions of the early 20th century,” Dr. Mau pointed out. The Soviet-to-Russian transformation was unique because Russia is the only country where communism had not been imposed. Therefore, its withdrawal from communism was not a national liberation movement; it was about overcoming our own problems and controversy.
The author regards revolution as a rare and unique phenomenon, a mechanism for resolving controversy, which implies a radical transformation of society along with a collapse of regime. “Transformations of society can be achieved under state control; such profound reforms can be accompanied by a certain amount of violence. On the other hand, there can be a collapse of the state without any systemwide transformation. The regime collapses for some reason, but the country does not move anywhere for years or decades; it stagnates. It is only a systemwide transformation with simultaneous collapse of the state that is revolution,” he explained.
Great revolutions provide good lessons of transformation, of hedging the risks in other countries, which learn the lessons of prior revolutions. Important lessons regarding social welfare and equality were learned by more developed countries, primarily by developed bourgeois democracies in comparison with Russian society. The main cause of revolutions is the collapse and bankruptcy of the elite, its inability to solve many of the problems facing society or to find some kind of consensus and launch an evolutionary transformation. A revolution involves a split of the elite, a split of society in terms of basic values, because this is what causes the collapse of the state. This is a fairly long process, and the period of the emergence of a new consensus is what we mean by revolution, the author added.