Philosophers against Prigogine and Malofeev
In December 2022, the Ministry of Justice added the philosopher Ruben Apresyan to the register of "foreign agents". The head of the ethics sector at the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the editor-in-chief of the journal of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences “Chelovek” bears little resemblance to a typical “foreign agent”: he did not speak publicly about the war in Ukraine, did not comment on political events, and acted almost exclusively in his scientific capacity - as an ethicist. However, it was in this capacity that Apresyan — as well as other philosophers, and at the same time the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences — served as an object of persecution by a number of “ultrapatriotic” media for almost two years.
The campaign was launched by Yevgeny Prigozhin-controlled RIA FAN, which in March 2021 published material accusing the Institute of Philosophy of engaging in “subversion”. The reason was the photo exhibition Existentia, held three months earlier, which, according to the authors of the publication, was too critical of Russian reality. Deciding not to dwell on the discussion of the works themselves, they moved on to the members of the "radical-liberal, anti-traditionalist group, which has long and densely occupied the sector of philosophical studies of ideological processes." FAN attributed Apresyan to this group of "Khodorkovsky and Soros agents" - he was charged with participation in an international educational project on the principles of non-violence in 1994 and the position of co-director in an international project funded by the Open Society Institute, dedicated to environmental ethics in teaching the humanities and social sciences. disciplines. However, the head of the ethics sector was not the only victim of attacks. Thus, the authors of the article recalled the collaboration with Mikhail Khodorkovsky to the head of the department of philosophy of culture, Sergei Nikolsky, and the monograph on gender culture in Russia, to the leading researcher of the institute, Olga Voronina.
In June of the same year, the Tsargrad TV channel of the Orthodox oligarch Konstantin Malofeev intercepted the championship in persecution. Recall that Malofeev is an entrepreneur closely associated with the special services, who was accused of raiding and fraud, and even became a defendant in a criminal case due to fraud with a VTB loan (however, soon closed - after Malofeev's active participation in organizing hostilities in the South-East of Ukraine).
Longread, titled "A Particularly Dangerous Almshouse: What's Wrong with the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences," used the same approach as the texts of the FAN, but the circle of defendants has seriously expanded. In addition to Apresyan and Nikolsky, the article mentions Abdusalam Guseinov, chief researcher of the institute, Aslana Gadzhikurbanova, scientific secretary, Yulia Sineokaya, head of the history of Western philosophy, and Andrey Smirnov, director of the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The general leitmotif of the accusations is the collaboration of philosophers with foreign (primarily German) organizations and the study of foreign philosophy (for example, Blue-eyed "is an active propagandist of the work of Friedrich Nietzsche", and Smirnov specializes in medieval Islamic philosophy).
The general leitmotif of the accusations is the collaboration of philosophers with foreign organizations and the study of foreign philosophy
As a commentator, the traditionalist Alexander Dugin was invited to judge the usefulness of the institute. "Tsargrad" does not agree and calls for the transformation of the Institute of Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences into "an institute for the study and promotion of Russian philosophy", which should be "the brain and ideological center [of the Academy of Sciences], the coordinator of scientific research." In a subsequent major publication , the TV channel claimed that the Institute of Philosophy "is carrying out destructive work against the national, spiritual and state foundations of Russia" and characterized it as "the think tank of the liberal-destructive, protest, cosmopolitan movement in Russia, rooted in Soros and Sharpe."
The failure of the raider capture
In the winter of 2021, the campaign against the Institute of Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences seemed to bear fruit. The candidacy of Smirnov, who has headed the institute since 2015 (since 2020, in the position of acting director), was not approved by the Ministry of Education. Instead of him, Candidate of Sciences Anatoly Chernyaev, a specialist in Russian philosophy, was appointed to the post of acting director, who had previously been removed from his posts as deputy director and head of the sector for the history of Russian philosophy. As a Novaya Gazeta source said at the time, the decision was preceded by the rejection of another candidate proposed by the institute.
The institute's staff did not accept the decision, which Vladimir Sidorin, head of the Russian Philosophy Sector, described in a BBC commentary as a raider takeover. On December 22, the day the new interim took office, the Scientific Council of the Institute of Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences published a statement in which he expressed "categorical disagreement" with the appointment, stating that in his previous posts Chernyaev proved "his complete incapacity for administrative work in the scientific team." The philosophers' demarche was supported by dozens of other scientific teams, and already on December 28, by a new order of the Minister of Science and Higher Education Valery Falkov, Guseinov was appointed to the position of Acting Director of the Institute of Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who retains this post to this day.
Low level of reasoning
However, the failure to replace the director did not stop the media campaign. So, already in April, Tsargrad accused the “influential liberal “raft” of working for the “Soros structures” and the American billionaire John Templeton. Among the goals of their activities, according to the TV channel, are “ethically justifying the use of military force, justified by the interests of protecting democracy, <…> the limited national sovereignty on national natural resources” and “creating some kind of ecumenical “natural theology”, not related to any of the existing traditional religions." In the same month, a short anonymous denunciation was published in Arguments of the Week: according to it, in response to the Presidential Administration’s demand “not to repeat Western philosophy, but to develop ‘ours’,” the leadership of the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences made it clear that “it’s time to switch to a mode of operation, which was well mastered back in the 1970s, when they thought one thing, but said and published something completely different.
Later, in September, Prokhanov’s newspaper Zavtra joined the persecution: in addition to the usual accusations of philosophers of working for the West, the author of the article “Trojan Horses” Alexey Goncharov attacked gender theory (for “legitimizing LGBT +”) and bioethics (associating it with "American biolaboratories on the territory of Ukraine"). Another November publication , signed by the same name, established an even more compromising connection between the activities of Huseynov, Sineoka and Apresyan and "British", "Western" and "international structures", the most sinister of which - Mi-6 - although it appears in the title , unfortunately not mentioned in the text. It is noteworthy that both articles caused a buzz, even though "Aleksey Goncharov" is apparently a fictional character. There is no information about him on the newspaper's website, and the photo used in the profile is sold in stock under the expressive name "Bald, Thoughtful, Mature, Man." However, two weeks later, the main ideas of the text were voiced by Den's YouTube channel close to the newspaper (1.5 million subscribers).
The newspaper "Zavtra" established a sinister connection between Huseynov, Sineoka and Apresyan with "British", "Western" and "international structures"
In parallel with the attack of large media, since 2021, the conflict has been covered by Lyubov Tsoy, head of the Moscow School of Conflictology and a member of the Zinoviev Club, an “expert research platform” of MIA Rossiya Segodnya. Its co-chairs are the propagandist Dmitry Kiselev and the widow of the philosopher Alexander Zinoviev Olga. Despite the outwardly balanced nature of the publications, Tsoi unambiguously took the side of critics of the Institute of Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences: for example, in December 2021 she stated that the decision to appoint Chernyaev “is quite logical and managerially correct”, and in January 2023 she wrote that the conflict “exposed the mechanism penetration of the ideology of Russophobia into Russia through the projects of the ethics of non-violence and tolerance”.
Commenting on the accusations against the employees of the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, philosopher and culturologist Ilya Inishev, who was dismissed from the HSE in December because of his statements about the war in Ukraine, notes an extremely low level of argumentation. “Gender studies were nowhere near the Institute of Philosophy. All this is still a matter of the distant future. The scammers apparently have no idea what they're talking about. Until recently, participation in international projects was actively encouraged by the state itself. The indispensable mention of Soros in this context is a well-established marker of the sad intellectual conditions of those who mention it, ”the scientist notes. On the other hand, according to Inishev, work on ethics as such "undermines the existential foundations of the Russian authorities (or rather, those who seized the Russian state apparatus), and the ethics of non-violence, even more so." “Everything that limits their irrepressible thirst for murder and torture is dangerous for them,” Inishev emphasizes.
The attack continues
Apresyan was included in the list of "foreign agents" on December 10. On January 12, the philosopher, together with the musician Andrey Makarevich, also declared a "foreign agent", registered the Philosophy of Non-Violence LLC. A week later, it was added to the same list.
If the attempt to appoint Chernyaev was, in general, the result of non-public decisions, then the initiator of declaring the philosopher a “foreign agent” is known - he became Vitaly Borodin, head of the Federal Project for Security and Combating Corruption (FPBK), spoiler of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) Alexei Navalny. The former security official responsible for declaring the organization undesirable and shutting down the “Project” announced that he had filed a complaint against Apresyan on August 11. The accusations did not differ from those previously voiced by Tsargrad, of which Borodin is a frequent guest. “This is a member of the team of the Acting Director of the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences Abdusalam Huseynov, who in our country is very persistently developing the LGBT theme and the ethics of non-violence and closely interacting with agents of influence. Today, I officially turned to the head of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for Moscow, Oleg Anatolyevich Baranov, with a request to conduct a full-fledged check against Apresyan, ”the head of the FPBC wrote in his Telegram channel.
On December 19, in a lengthy interview with Argumenty Nedeli, Borodin again repeated the main theses of the attacks that had been published before. Describing Apresyan and Huseynov as “real Russophobes”, he stated that the two philosophers “did everything according to Western manuals, received all the inputs from there, as well as financial and organizational support”, and also “tried to introduce the LGBT program within the youth environment, creating appropriate groups influence throughout Russia.
Two philosophers “did everything according to Western manuals, received all input from there, as well as financial and organizational support”
As a year earlier, on December 22, the Scientific Council of the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences responded to the harassment with a statement announcing that a campaign was being waged against him to disseminate "knowingly false information." In the text, the scholars noted that the international activity featured in the publications of the pseudo-patriots is “a common form of international scientific activity” and “is supposed to be a state task carried out by the Institute.”
Despite appeals to the Criminal Code and a generally conciliatory tone, the attacks continued. So, on December 26, the Zavtra website published an article by the philosopher and propagandist of the Zvezda TV channel Dmitry Vinnik, in which he declared the “complete inadequacy” of the statement. On January 19, “Aleksey Goncharov” commented at length on the answer of the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and on the same day “Tsargrad” released a new libel with the loud title “Philosophy from Judas: betrayal of the Russian world by academicians”. Apparently, the campaign is far from over: referring to its "source", the channel predicts that "only Apresyan <...>" organizational conclusions "in some areas of activity of the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences will not end."
Philosophical and IP RAS sources interviewed by The Insider agree that the ongoing attacks on the institute since 2021 can hardly be the result of a grassroots initiative by authors and editors of several media. Sources call Konstantin Malofeev, an open supporter of the ultra-right ideology of the “Russian world”, the most likely coordinator of the persecution.
Malofeev was associated with a campaign against the institute back in 2021: then Ridovka reported that on the first day, as acting director of the Institute of Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Chernyaev was accompanied to the workplace by Vyacheslav Razgulov, a former employee of the Investigative Committee and a lawyer from Tsargrad, who has no philosophy whatsoever. relationship. In addition, the re-signing of the contract with Smirnov was blocked by the plenipotentiary representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Central Federal District Igor Shchegolev, in 2008-2012 - the Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications, who was suspected of having close ties with the oligarch, who at that time occupied important positions in the Russian communications market.
Back in December 2021, Smirnov called the Zinoviev Club another active participant in the campaign. Indeed, apart from the publications of the MKSH, there are other signs of an ongoing conflict between the club and the Institute of Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences. As Novaya Gazeta noted, at the end of 2021, Chernyaev was appointed to the position of acting institute on the day Falkov met with Olga Zinovieva. In addition, the failed director of the Institute of Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences periodically attends club meetings: for example, in March 2022, he participated in a discussion on the topic “Why Russia is right. Russophobia as a New Holocaust”, and in September he spoke about emigration at the round table “100 Years of Woe from Wit: From a Philosophical Steamboat to a Philosophical Airplane”. In May 2022, Zinoviev accused the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences of “falsifying the legacy” of her late husband and stated in an interview with Arguments of the Week that she forbids the institute from holding “any events” in memory of the philosopher in the year of his centenary. The indignation of the co-chair of the Zinoviev Club was caused by the publication by the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences of a book critical of Zinoviev's personality. The widow reported that she had submitted an application to the Investigative Committee.
However, the sources interviewed believe that the Zinoviev Club still plays a secondary role in the campaign against the institute. So, according to Inishev, he is “a kind of transmission mechanism from Malofeev to the direct participants in the events, in order to give what is happening the appearance of an “intra-academic” conflict.” In turn, a philosopher familiar with the situation, who wished to remain anonymous, believes that the participation of the Zinoviev Club in persecution is more of a tactical nature: “They are not bulkokhrusty and not monarchists, but sovkodrochers, so they do not share the ideological platform of the Malofeevites.”
To a lesser extent, other representatives of the philosophical community, for example, the political scientist and philosopher Alexei Chadaev, were also situationally involved in the persecution of the staff of the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences. “Now, after joking offers to head the Institute of Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, he has fallen off the campaign and is having fun launching drones,” the source notes.
Motivation of whistleblowers
In 2021, competition between the Russian Dream 2050 development strategy created by the World Russian People's Council and the Russian Civilizational Development Project, developed within the framework of the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences under the leadership of Smirnov, was named as one of the possible motives for the attack on the institute. However, in reality, the motivation of informers is more complex, experts believe.
“For the Malofeev group, it is impossible to raise the question of either-or. Rather i-i. This and the desire to reformat the institution into an institution of ideology is good for both Malofeev himself and his entourage sincerely believe in the ideas of imperial nationalism based on Orthodoxy and spiritual and moral values, no matter how they are understood. And the desire for material support is to turn the Institute of Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences into such a social security, clean it from “enemies and traitors” and seat priests there. Fortunately, they are just as sincerely sure that nothing needs to be done at the Institute of Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences. But not the last motive is the motive of revenge. For last year's shameful failure. When the apple was already in their hands, but it didn’t work out to bite, ”explains a source at the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who wished to remain anonymous.
“This is a specific story about specific people and their ambitions, reinforced by the status of members of their clan, like Shchegolev, convictions, like Malofeev, a name, like Dugin’s, although he’s rather on the sidelines, or careerism and a thirst for revenge, like Chernyaev’s” , adds the expert.
In turn, Ilya Inishev also believes that "in this case, both motives are combined: both the struggle for access to resources and the ideological indoctrination of the institution." Оценивая роль Дугина, он полагает, что традиционалист, взгляды которого часто оцениваются как фашистские, может быть «основным потенциальным бенефициаром» возможных кадровых перестановок в ИФ РАН, однако считает, что их последствия могут выйти за рамки собственно философского сообщества:
«Едва ли сегодня возможно взять институт под свой контроль, не продвигая близкую российскому режиму повестку. С другой стороны, занятие ведущих позиций в Институте философии может дать ультраправым дополнительные ресурсы, а главное — легитимацию в глазах „общественности“, которой им пока не хватает».
Относительно акцента критиков ИФ РАН на русской философии ученый поясняет, что это «устоявшийся термин, обозначающий российскую философию дореволюционного периода», которая «в достаточном объеме присутствует в институте в качестве поля исследований». «Это исторически и культурно локальный феномен, который едва ли поддается какой бы то ни было актуализации. Скорее всего, именно эта ее черта [изоляционизм] и привлекает российских правых радикалов», — полагает Инишев.
Идеология вместо философии
Какова бы ни была мотивация участников кампании, ущерб от захвата руководящих позиций в ИФ РАН лицами, близкими к Малофееву или Дугину — или же самим Дугиным — выйдет далеко за пределы организации и философского сообщества в целом, полагает источник The Insider в Институте философии. По мнению философа, захватчики не смогут поддерживать подобную уникальную организацию:
«Институт всегда был организацией, в которой были представлены разные взгляды — и либеральные, и консервативные. Что удивительно, всё это уживалось в диалоге. Один из хулителей сказал, что они пытаются всё перевести в академическое стойло — это потрясающая метафора: для него непонятно, что люди могут вести дискуссии в академической плоскости. <…> Действительно, были люди непримиримые, они могли не здороваться в коридоре и не пить чай вместе, но, тем не менее, находили слова, чтобы спорить и не соглашаться. В этом смысле институт — уникальный клуб по-разному думающих людей. Понятно, почему это раздражало. Такую организацию построить быстро сложно. Это не секта, как дугинская компания».
Критики ИФ РАН, по его мнению, не видят разницы между философией и идеологией как «оправданием реальности происходящей и грядущей»:
«Суть нападок заключалась в том, и ее сформулировал очень ясно Дугин, что “в условиях нынешней острой фазы цивилизационного противостояния позиция, которую занимают русские философы по отношению к недружественному западному миру, не менее важна, чем позиция по отношению к Западу генералов, а Институт философии РАН стратегически должен быть приравнен к генеральному штабу Вооруженных сил Российской Федерации”».
Превращение Института философии в идеологический орган приведет к тому, что он «уже не будет собой», полагает философ:
«Не дай бог, если власть перейдет не к философам, то, наверное, институт перестанет быть собой. Это будет трагедия для страны, потому что институт существовал 100 лет, а философия — это в какой-то мере самосознание народа: утеря философии ведет к дезориентации, что, в общем-то, и так является проблемой в последнее время. Это будет утратой и для философии в целом, и для России».