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The Fourth Russian “Oprichnina”: Worldview Confrontation. P. 150–158

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Section: Philosophy, Sociology, Politology




Aleksey A. Lagunov
North-Caucasus Federal University; ul. Gagarina 400, Mikhaylovsk, 356240, Stavropol’skiy kray, Russian Federation;


The article analyses three periods of accelerated modernization of all aspects of Russian social life (the oprichnina of Ivan the Terrible, the reformation of Peter I and the building of a socialist society). The above periods are similar in the fact that they contributed to the elimination of the political and economic strategy of power elites that was hindering social development. This strategy was based on satisfying the needs of the elites and on the well-founded tradition of boyar “feeding”, which later evolved into an all-embracing phenomenon of corruption. In addition, these three “oprichninas” destroyed the former ideological foundations, thus weakening the historically entrenched Orthodox worldview. it should be noted that the first two “oprichninas”, without changing the Orthodox ideology in general, nevertheless prepared public consciousness for its reorientation on a quasi-religious course. The open persecutions on the Orthodox ideology that followed during the Soviet period and the active secularization processes taking place in the world have changed Russian public consciousness so profoundly that it is now problematic to talk about the possibility of creating a unified state ideology; rather, an ideological dialogue is needed about common moral and cultural values. According to the author, Russia today is yet again experiencing “oprichnina”, the fourth in a row, which is standing “oprich” (beyond) the entire world and is at odds with the globally accepted worldviews, which include consumptive attitude towards the world based on the idea that the human mind prevails over nature and has a license to do anything. Therefore, this new “oprichnina”, unlike the previous ones that were predominantly managerial, becomes, in its essence, a worldview oprichnina, and its universal scale cannot be compared with that of Russia.


historiosophy, oprichnina, secularization, symphony of authorities, Orthodoxy, quasireligions
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