Essay 2 330g

Essay 2 330g - Creation and Destruction: Two Opposing...

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Creation and Destruction: Two Opposing Utopian Visions The so called “Time of Troubles” following Ivan IV’s death prompted a wide variety of Russian thinkers to ponder new, idealized ways for organizing Russian society as a whole. For centuries to come, the age-old question of how to best realize Russia’s destiny as the most supremely perfect societal arrangement on earth was debated by leaders, intelligentsia, artists, and radical insurgents. Of all the different conceptions for a utopian society presented, few are as fundamentally opposite from each other in purpose, yet profoundly similar in their methods as Peter the Great’s “Decrees” and Sergei G. Nechaev’s Catechism of a Revolutionary. With only a cursory examination, one immediately sees the glaring conflict between the two texts. Blatantly obvious is the difference in the intent with which each was text was composed and the type of change the author hopes to see in Russian culture and society. Peter sees it as his personal mission to drag Russia into the modern age by reforming Russian education, government, and culture towards a more enlightened, Western ideal. Since he is attempting to create a new, more perfect society, Peter’s decrees are concerned mainly with positive actions such as “To Establish”, “To Supervise”, “To recruit”, “To organize”, and “To increase”, all while avoiding that which “brings great harm to the government treasury and ruin to subject people” (CP 18-19). Conversely, Nechaev’s single concern is that which
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This note was uploaded on 03/29/2008 for the course SLL 330g taught by Professor Wolfson during the Fall '07 term at USC.

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Essay 2 330g - Creation and Destruction: Two Opposing...

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