Andrei Teslya 1
  • 1 Pacific National University, 136 Tihookeanskaya Street, Khabarovsk, 680035, Russia

The Russian Conservative: On the System of K. P. Pobedonostsev’s Political Views in the 1870–1890s

2017, vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 151–172 [issue contents]
Konstantin Petrovich Pobedonostsev (1827–1907) is one of the most prominent and politically influential representatives of the Russian conservative and nationalist lines of thought. For a quarter century, he held the position of ober-procurator of the Holy Synod, undertaking a more-or-less active interference into the other directions of the ideological policy of the Russian Empire. At times, his influence turned out to be decisive, or at least significant. Our aim is to show that Pobedonostsev possessed consistent political views but underwent rather subtle alterations that were definitive for the direction of his political efforts. Our primary focus is on the system of ideas of the organization of Russian monarchy, as reconstructed on the basis of utterances in articles and epistolary heritage, though first of all on the analysis of the concepts of “lowborn folk” and “lowborn people” in their political meaning. We also focus on his understanding of the nature of the Russian monarchy and the idea of the ideal “Russian Sovereign.” “Being lowborn” is understood by Pobedonostsev as the ability to “feel properly”, that is, the truthfulness of an immediate reaction which cannot be obscured with consequential pressures or one’s own reflexive agency. Pobedonostsev claims that his own role, as well as the role of those of his kind close to the throne, is to be the spokesman of feelings and aspirations of those “lowborn people,” and, in the most responsible cases, to become a “lowborn man” himself, reacting to what is happening in accordance with “people’s feelings,” “tradition”, and “legend.” Additionally, the concept of “freedom” within Pobedonostsev’s views, and its relation to the notions of “authority” and “free might,” is analyzed.
Citation: Teslya A. (2017) Russkiy konservator: o sisteme politicheskikh vozzreniy K. P. Pobedonostseva 1870–1890-kh godov [The Russian Conservative: On the System of K. P. Pobedonostsev’s Political Views in the 1870–1890s]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 16, no 1, pp. 151-172 (in Russian)
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