The Commemoration in Russia of the Centenary of the 1917 Revolution(s):
Comparative Analysis of Rival Narratives
Professor, National Research University Higher School of Economics; Principal Researcher, Department of Political Science, Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences, RAS, firstname.lastname@example.org
elibrary_id: 197217 |
The article presents the results of the study of public commemoration of the centenary of the February and October revolutions in Russia as the episode of politics of memory. It compares historical narratives of the key mnemonic actors – the ruling elite, the Communists, the Russian Orthodox Church, the “Conservatives”, the Liberals etc. The analysis is based on the recent texts of politicians and public intellectuals from these groups. The historical narratives are compared by five criteria: 1) the main idea (that usually follows from the mission / political program / identity); 2) the plot (that is usually focused on the story about tragedy and trauma that Russia experienced in the 20th century); 3) the events that come as causally linked elements of the narrative; 4) the main actors; 5) the lessons that should be leant. It is concluded that actually the commemoration of the centenary of the revolution(s) took part in the context of a fragmented memory regime. However, the discrepancy of competing interpretations have not brought an open public conflict because the mnemonic warriors either experienced a lack of resources for more active propaganda, or partly shared the attitudes of the ruling elite. As a result, by avoiding the official commemoration the latter escaped direct public discussions, and could turn the commemorative process to the “peaceful” path.
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