Vladimir Kantor   1
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

Revolution as the Sleep of the Mind

2018, vol. 17, No. 2, pp. 226–241 [issue contents]
In this article author raises one of the most acute problems of human society, the problem of people’s behavior during periods of sharp social upheavals such as riots and revolutions. In comprehending great social upheavals, one can see how the mind disappears from society in these epochs, how the mind ‘falls asleep’, and how dreams give birth to monsters. The leader informs the crowd that everything is allowed, promising a golden dream first, and then a golden age. Husserl saw the decline of reason as the root cause of the European crisis in Revolutionary Russia in 1917. It was as if a numbness had struck the supporters of power, for they were fascinated by an unknown force since the February disaster. There was a “numb calm” (Heidegger). The personality disappears, the mind disappears, and society becomes simply a mass. After the abdication of the emperor who lived “the narrow realities of the present” (Schopenhauer) and who lost the ability to reason and assess the consequences of events, the elite sections of the Russian army were sworn in by the French ambassadors “whose names they did not even know”. It is understandable that the mind fell asleep not only of those in power, but also among its opponents. Then came the “great dope” (Bunin). Lenin, who was called a German spy and would arrive in a sealed car driven through a hostile Germany, would speak of the need for a civil war to the masses zombified by Bolshevik propaganda, and would be enthusiastically received.
Citation: Kantor V. (2018) Revolyutsiya kak son razuma [Revolution as the Sleep of the Mind]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 17, no 2, pp. 226-241 (in Russian)
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