Cultural hegemony, sobornost, and the 1917 Russian Revolution

Tamara Prosic

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Abstract

This essay is an attempt to develop a more consistent understanding of the success of the Russian Revolution by involving the culturally particular setting in which the revolution happened: namely, the cultural dominance of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, the religion professed by the majority of Russians in 1917. In critiquing Antonio Gramsci s interpretation of the success of the revolution, the paper examines the multiple meanings of the Eastern Orthodox Christian idea of sobomost (conciliarity) and the type of collectivism it promotes. It goes on to argue that this experience and familiarity with religious sobornii/conciliar collectivism resulted in the formation of a functionally analogous secular political phenomenon during the revolution, namely the workers councils (soviets), the sine qua non of Russian Revolutionary success.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204 - 225
Number of pages22
JournalStasis
Volume3
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Antonio Gramsci
  • communism
  • cultural hegemony
  • Russian revolution
  • sobornost

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