Russian nihilist movement

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Portrait of a nihilist student by Ilya Repin

The Russian nihilist movement[nb 1] was a philosophical, cultural, and revolutionary movement in the Russian Empire during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, from which the broader philosophy of nihilism originated.[1] In Russian, the word nigilizm (Russian: нигилизм; meaning 'nihilism', from Latin nihil 'nothing')[2] came to represent the movement's unremitting attacks on morality, religion, and traditional society. Even as it was yet unnamed, the movement arose from a generation of young radicals disillusioned with the social reformers of the past, and from a growing divide between the old aristocratic intellectuals and the new radical intelligentsia.

Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin, as stated in the Encyclopædia Britannica, "defined nihilism as the symbol of struggle against all forms of tyranny, hypocrisy, and artificiality and for individual freedom."[3] As only an early form of nihilist philosophy, Russian nihilism saw all the morality, philosophy, religion, aesthetics, and social institutions which were in place as worthless and meaningless but did not necessarily see meaninglessness in all ethics, knowledge, and human life.[4] It did however, incorporate theories of hard determinism, atheism, materialism, positivism, and egoism[5] in an aim to assimilate and distinctively recontextualize core elements of the Age of Enlightenment into Russia while dropping the Westernizer approach of the previous generation.[6] Russian nihilism developed an atmosphere of extreme moral scepticism, at times praising outright selfishness and championing those who held themselves exempt from all moral authority.[7] In its most complete forms it also denied the possibility of common ideals, instead favouring a relativist and individualistic outlook.[8] Nihilists predictably fell into conflict with the Russian Orthodox religious authorities, as well as with prevailing family structures and the Tsarist autocracy.

Although most commonly associated with revolutionary activism, most nihilists were in fact not political and instead discarded politics as an outdated stage of humanity. They held that until a destructive programme had overcome the current conditions no constructive programme could be properly formulated, and although some nihilists did begin to develop communal principles their formulations in this regard remained vague.[9] With the widespread revolutionary arson of 1862, a number of assassinations and attempted assassinations of the 1860s and 70s, and the eventual assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881, Russian nihilism was fiercely mischaracterized throughout Europe as a doctrine of political terrorism and violent crime.[10][11] Kropotkin argues that while violence and terrorism were used, this was due to the specific revolutionary context and was not inherent to nihilist philosophy,[11] though historian M. A. Gillespie adds that nihilism was nevertheless at the core of revolutionary thought in Russia throughout the lead-up to the Russian Revolution.[12] Professor T. J. J. Altizer further states that Russian nihilism in fact had its deepest expression in a Bolshevist nihilism of the 20th century.[13]

Definition[edit]

"He's a nihilist," repeated Arkady.

"A nihilist," said Nikolai Petrovitch. "That's from the Latin, nihil, nothing, as far as I can judge; the word must mean a man who... who accepts nothing?"

"Say, who respects nothing," put in Pavel Petrovitch, and he set to work on the butter again.

"Who regards everything from the critical point of view," observed Arkady.

"Isn't that just the same thing?" inquired Pavel Petrovitch.

"No, it's not the same thing. A nihilist is a man who does not bow down before any authority, who does not take any principle on faith, whatever reverence that principle may be enshrined in."[14]

Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons, Chapter 5

The term nihilism has been widely misused in the West when discussing the Russian movement, especially in relation to revolutionary activity. Criticizing this misterming by Western commentators, Sergey Stepnyak-Kravchinsky stated that revolutionaries themselves simply identified as socialist revolutionaries, or informally as radicals. However, from outside Russia, the term nihilist was misapplied to the entirety of the country's revolutionary milieu.[15] The Encyclopædia Britannica attributes the probable first use of the term in Russian publication to Nikolai Nadezhdin who, like Vasily Bervi-Flerovsky and Vissarion Belinsky after him, used it synonymously with skepticism. Nadezhdin himself had applied the term to Aleksandr Pushkin. From there, nihilism was interpreted as a revolutionary social menace by the well-known conservative journalist Mikhail Katkov, for its negation of moral principles.[16] The term came into favour when accusations of materialism proved no longer sufficiently derogatory.[17]

The intellectual origins of the nihilist movement can be traced back to 1855 and perhaps earlier,[18] where it was principally a philosophy of moral and epistemological skepticism.[19] However, it was not until 1862 that the term was first popularized when Ivan Turgenev's celebrated novel Fathers and Sons used nihilism to describe the disillusionment of the younger generation, the šestidesjatniki, towards both the traditionalists and the progressive reformists that came before them, the sorokovniki.[20][nb 2] This at a time when the terms faced by serfs under the emancipation reform of 1861 were seen as bitterly failing.[21] The nihilist characters of Turgenev's novel take up the name of their own volition, stating that negation is the most necessary thing in the present age and as such they deny everything.[22] Likewise, the movement very soon adopted the name, despite the novel's initial harsh reception among both the conservatives and younger generation,[23] and wherever the term was not embraced it was at least accepted.[24]

The term realist was used by Dmitry Pisarev to describe the nihilist position and was also the name of a literary movement, literary realism, which had flourished in Russia in the wake of Pushkin.[25] Although Pisarev was among those who celebrated the embrace of nihilism, the term realism may have done away with the connotations of subjectivism and nothingness that burdened nihilism while retaining the rejection of metaphysics, sophistry, sentimentality, and aestheticism.[26] In a notably later political climate, Alexander Herzen instead presented nihilism as a product of the sorokovniki that the sestidesjatniki had adopted.[27] Contemporary scholarship has challenged the equating of Russian nihilism with mere skepticism, instead identifying it with the fundamentally Promethean character of the nihilist movement.[28] In fact, the nihilists sought to liberate the Promethean might of the Russian people which they saw embodied in a class of prototypal individuals, or new types in their own words.[29] These individuals were seen by Nikolay Chernyshevsky as rational egoists, by Pisarev and Nikolai Shelgunov as the thinking proletariat, by Pyotr Lavrov as critically thinking personalities, by Nikolay Mikhaylovsky as the intelligentsia, and by others as cultural pioneers.[30] Nihilism has also been attributed to a perennial temperament of the Russian people, long pre-existing the movement itself.[31]

Overlapping with forms of Narodism,[12] the movement has also been defined in political terms. Soviet scholarship, for example, often interchanges the designation revolutionary democrats.[32] However, the role of politics was seen as outdated and irrelevant by most nihilists.[33] Rather, they discarded politics,[34] and those who did hold political views or socialist sympathies remained vague.[35] Russian nihilism has also been defined in subcultural terms,[36] in philosophical terms, and incorrectly as a form of political terrorism.[10]

Historical context[edit]

Russian nihilism, as stated in the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "is perhaps best regarded as the intellectual pool of the period 1855–66 out of which later radical movements emerged".[37] During this foundational period, the countercultural aspects of the movement scandalized the country and even minor indiscretions left nihilists imprisoned for lengthy periods or in exile to Siberia, where grittier revolutionary attitudes fermented.[38]

At its core, Russian nihilism inhabited an ever-evolving discourse between the sorokovniki and the šestidesjatniki.[39][nb 2] While nihilism was not exclusive from them, the sorokovniki were on principle a generation given to idealism.[40] "Their attraction to the airy heights of idealism was partly a result of the stultifying political atmosphere of the autocracy, but was also an unintended consequence of Tsar Nicholas I's attempt to Prussianize Russian society", writes historian M. A. Gillespie. "Their flight from the harsh reality of everyday life into the ideal was prepared on an intellectual level by the theosophy of Freemasonry, which exercised great intellectual force in Russian at the time, especially among those whose intellectual education had been shaped by Böhemian mysticism of the radical orthodox sects, the so-called Old Believers."[41] Despite this, the sorokovniki provided the fertile soil for the šestidesjatniki's ideological advancements, even in their confrontations.[42]

Westernizers[edit]

The Westernizers were the progressive wing of the 1840s and 50s intelligentsia who saw adopting Western European ideas as the necessary way forward for Russia's development. In general Westernizers were advocates of liberal reform, the abolition of serfdom, Western science and technology, and Enlightenment ideals imported particularly from France or Germany. Other preliminary figures of this generation include Ivan Turgenev and Vissarion Belinsky.[43]

Raznochintsy[edit]

The raznochintsy (meaning "of indeterminate rank"), which began as an 18th-century legal designation for those of the miscellaneous lower-middle classes, by the 19th century had become a distinct yet ambiguously defined social stratum with a growing presence in the Russian intelligentsia.[44] Put simply, the raznochintsy were "educated commoners".[45] Their backgrounds however, did not include peasants, foreigners, tributary natives, nor urban taxpayers such as merchants, guildsmen, and townsfolk, but instead included lower-end families of clergymen, civil servants, retired military servicemen, and minor officials.[46] While many of the most prominent nihilist thinkers were raised free from the extremes of poverty and hardship — some even having been born into aristocratic families — a connection between the raznochintsy and the new radicals has often been emphasized in comparison to the dominance of aristocratic intellectuals in previous generations.[47]

As early as the 1840s, the raznochintsy gained significant influence over the development of Russian society and culture,[48] the intelligentsia of this class came to be synonymous with the "revolutionary intelligentsia".[49] Vissarion Belinsky and members of the Petrashevsky Circle were among these, being prominent figures of the movement to abolish serfdom.[50] Of the nihilist generation, Nikolay Chernyshevsky, Nikolay Dobrolyubov, and Maxim Antonovich were all sons of unaffluent priests before turning to atheist materialism.

Russian materialism[edit]

Russian materialism, which quickly became synonymous with Russian nihilism, developed under the influence of Left Hegelian materialism from Germany and the delayed influence of the French Enlightenment.[51] The origins of this followed from Ludwig Feuerbach as a direct reaction to the German idealism which had found such popularity under the sorokovniki—namely the works of Friedrich Schelling, Georg Hegel and Johann Fichte.[52] However, it was in fact those among the older generation who were first characterized as nihilists,[53] and it was Left Hegelianism that the Schellingians began to define as nihilism.[54]

After severely struggling in the face of censorship — from which much of its core content is left unclear and obscured — the open academic development of Russian materialism would later be suppressed by the state after an attempted assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1866,[55] and would not see a significant intellectual revival until the late nineteenth century.[56] The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy states:

The only strictly philosophical legacy of the materialists came in the form of their influence on Russian Marxism. Georgii Plekhanov and Vladimir Lenin, the two thinkers most responsible for the development of Marxism in Russia, credited Chernyshevskii with having, respectively, 'massive' and 'overwhelming' influence on them. During the communist period of Russian history, the principal 'nihilist' theoreticians were officially lionized under the designation 'Russian revolutionary democrats' and were called the most important materialist thinkers in the history of philosophy before Marx.[57]

Left Hegelians[edit]

Mikhail Bakunin, often regarded as the father of Russian nihilism

Left Hegelianism in Russia began with those of the Westernizer generation who sought to radicalize Hegelian thought and build upon Ludwig Feuerbach's materialism. Among these were Alexander Herzen and Mikhail Bakunin, both sons of noblemen though Herzen had been born illegitimate. Bakunin became a Hegelian in 1838 and an extreme Left Hegelian shortly after visiting Berlin in 1840. That same year, Herzen began work on his own analysis of Hegel interpreted through August Cieszkowski and Feuerbach.

Both Bakunin and Herzen held concerns about the extremes of materialism. Whereas Bakunin is more strictly considered a Russian materialist, Herzen sought a reconciliation between empiricist materialism and abstract thought. He saw universalism as one of the great achievements of idealism which a crude materialism could threaten.[58] In one of the first serious attempts to give a radical left-wing interpretation of Hegelian dialectics, Bakunin wrote his 1942 article "The Reaction in Germany" and essentially foreshadowed later generations of nihilists with his infamous declaration:[59]

Let us therefore trust the eternal spirit which destroys and annihilates only because it is the unfathomable and eternal source of all life. The passion for destruction is a creative passion too![60]

Bakunin and Herzen began to meet rejection from others in the Westernizer camp for their open embrace of far-left politics. For Herzen this came with embracing the anarchist socialism of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, whose ideas he began circulating among Moscow's radical circles in the 1840s. The first roots of Bakunin's own interest in anarchism can also be traced to around this time. Bakunin was also the one to introduce Hegelian thought to Vissarion Belinsky.

Nikolay Chernyshevsky, utopian socialist a major intellectual force behind nihilism

Often considered the first of the šestidesjatniki, Nikolay Chernyshevsky became an admirer of Feuerbach, Herzen, and Belinsky towards the end of the 1840s. It was at this time that he drew towards socialist materialism and was in close contact with members of the Petrashevsky Circle.[61]

Transition to nihilism[edit]

It was not until the death of Nicholas I in 1855 and the end of the Crimean War the following year that this Feuerbachian materialist trend developed into a broad philosophical movement.[62] Alexander II's ascent to the throne brought liberal reforms to university entry regulations and loosened control over publication, much to the movement's good fortune.[63] The newly emerging generation continued to draw from the Left Hegelians but thoroughly abandoned Hegel and the German idealists from whom they had drawn their influence. Where those early thinkers such as Bakunin and Herzen had found use of Fitche and Hegel, the younger generation were set on their rejection of idealism and were more ready to abandon politics as well.[64] Historian K. Petrov writes that:

Bakunin and Herzen held nihilistic views and contributed to the nihilists' cause. One should, however, remember that some significant differences remain between the nihilist "fathers" and the nihilist "children". ... Although Herzen could be qualified as a nihilist in several senses, he was by virtue of belonging to an older generation, supposedly prone to philosophical idealism, still regarded as an "other" by some of the canonized nihilists among the 1860s generation.[65]

German materialists Ludwig Büchner, Jacob Moleschott, and Carl Vogt became new favourites. Further influence came from the utilitarian ideas of John Stuart Mill, though his bourgeois liberalism was detested, and later from evolutionary biologists Charles Darwin and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck.[66]

Dmitry Pisarev, nihilist philosopher

In 1855, Chernyshevsky completed his first philosophical work and master's dissertation "The Aesthetic Relation of Art to Reality" — applying Feuerbach's methods to a critique of Hegelian aesthetics. The mid-1850s also saw the emergence of Nikolay Dobrolyubov as a budding university activist and poet. As a fellow šestidesjatnik, he further elborated the ideas of Russian materialism and is at times seen as a leading nihilist.[67] Dobrolyubov had in fact occasionally used the term nihilism prior to its popularization at the hands of Turgenev, which he had picked up from sociologist and fellow šestidesjatnik Vasily Bervi-Flerovsky, who in turn had used it synonymously with skepticism.[68] Together with Chernyshevsky, of whom he was a disciple and comrade, Dobrolyubov wrote for the literary journal Sovremennik—Chernyshevsky being its principle editor. With their contributions, the journal became the primary organ of revolutionary thought in its time.[69] The two of them, later followed by Maxim Antonovich and Dmitry Pisarev, had taken up the Russian tradition of socially-charged literary criticism which Belinsky had begun. The discoursing of Russian literature allowed them the vehicle to have their ideas published that censorship would not have otherwise granted.[70] Pisarev himself wrote at first for Rassvet and then for Russkoye Slovo—the latter of which came to rival Sovremennik in its influence over the radical movement.[71]

By the late 1850s however, Chernyshevsky had become politically radicalized and began to reject Herzen's social discourse, devoting himself instead to the revolutionary socialist cause.[61] Alongside Chernyshevsky came Ivan Sechenov, who would later be credited as the father of Russian physiology and scientific psychology by Ivan Pavlov.[72] Chernyshenvsky and Sechenov shared the argument that the natural sciences were wholly adequate to study human and animal life according to a deterministic model, and Sechenov lent particular influence to Chernyshevsky in this regard. This more subtle argument was favoured since state censorship made no allowance for outwardly challenging its religious doctrines.[73]

Bazarovism[edit]

Ilya Repin's portrait of Ivan Turgenev, who popularized the term nihilism with his character Bazarov

Bazarovism, as popularized by Dmitry Pisarev, was the marked embrace of the style and cynicism of the nihilist character Yevgeny Bazarov from Ivan Turgenev's Fathers and Sons, in which the term nihilism was first popularized. Pisarev graduated university in 1861, the same year as serfdom was abolished and the first major student demonstration was held in St. Petersburg.[74] Turgenev himself notes that as early as 1862, the year of the novel's publishing, violent protestors had begun calling themselves nihilists.[75] The surge of student activism became the backdrop for Alexander II's education reforms, under the supervision of education minister Aleksandr Vasilevich Golovnin. These reforms however, while conceding an expansion of the raznochinnaya intelligentsia, refused to grant more rights to students and university admittance remained exclusively male.[76] Historian Kristian Petrov writes:

Young nihilist men dressed in ill-fitting dark coats, aspiring to look like unpolished workers, let their hair grow bushy and often wore blue-tinted glasses. Correspondingly, the young women cut their hair shorter, wore large plain dresses and could be seen with a shawl or a big hat, together with the characteristic glasses. Such a nihilist could, however, above all be identified by a reversal of official etiquette; the men demonstratively refusing to act chivalrously in the presence of women, and the women behaving contrary to expectations. Both sexes hence sought to incarnate Bazarov’s roughness, his "cynicism of manner and expression".[77]

Literary works and journals quickly became enrapt with polemical debate over nihilism.[78] Nikolay Chernyshevsky for his part saw Turgenev's novel as a personal attack on Nikolay Dobrolyubov, and Maxim Antonovich attacked the book with such vitriol that others in the movement took issue with him.[79] Pisarev famously published his own review at the time of the novel's release, where he championed Bazarov as the role model for the new generation and celebrated the embrace of nihilism. To him, Bazarovism was the societal struggle that must be toiled through rather than resisted—he attributed it to the exclusive and distinct spiritual strength of the young and their courage to face social disorder. The popularity of Pisarev's review rivaled that of even the novel itself.[80]

The atmosphere of the 1860s had led to a period of great social and economic upheaval across the country and the driving force of revolutionary activism was taken up by university students in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Mass arson broke out in St. Petersburg in the spring and summer of 1862 and, coinciding with insurrections in Poland, in 1863. Fyodor Dostoevsky saw Nikolay Chernyshevsky as responsible for inciting the revolutionaries to action and supposedly pleaded with him to bring a stop to it. Historian James Buel writes that while St. Petersburg faced threat of destruction, arson became rampant all throughout Russia.[81]

Turgenev's own opinion of Bazarov is highly ambiguous, stating: "Did I want to abuse Bazarov or extol him? I do not know myself, since I don't know whether I love him or hate him!"[82] Nevertheless, Bazarov represented the triumph of the raznochinnaya intelligentsia over those like Turgenev from the aristocracy.[83] Comparing to Ivan Goncharov's The Precipice, which he describes as a caricature of nihilism, Peter Kropotkin states in his memoirs that Bazarov was a more admiral portrayal yet was still found dissatisfying to nihilists for his harsh attitude, his coldness towards his old parents, and his neglect of duties as a citizen.[84]

What Is to Be Done?[edit]

Title page of the 1905 edition of What Is to Be Done?

Chernyshevsky published his landmark 1863 novel What Is to Be Done? while being held at Peter and Paul Fortress as a political prisoner.[85] By an extraordinary failure of bureaucracy, government censors allowed the book to be published without any trouble despite it being the most openly revolutionary work of its era and a direct product of the suppression Chernyshevsky had faced.[86] The novel marked a significant departure for Chernyshevsky into utopian socialism.

In the meantime, extensive castigation of nihilism had found its place in Russian publication, official government documents, and a burgeoning trend of antinihilistic literature. Notable earlier works of this literary current include Aleksey Pisemsky's Troubled Seas (1863), Nikolai Leskov's No Way Out (1864), and Viktor Klyushnikov's The Mirage (1864).[87] Also in 1864, Fyodor Dostoevsky published his novel Notes from Underground as a direct satire upon Chernyshevsky's novel. Interestingly, the protagonist both criticizes and is a parody of Chernyshevsky's views on egoism. Dostoevsky posited this dislikable glorifier of self-will as a more realistic portrayal of an egoist than the benign depictions of rational self-interest.[88] "[Chenyshevsky's] virtuous fictional creations were not the genuine, flesh-and-blood egoists whose growing presence in Russia Dostoevsky feared", writes scholar James P. Scanlan. "Yet the doctrine these pseudo-egoists advanced – rational egoism – was a genuine danger, because by glorifying the self it could turn the minds of impressionable young people away from sound values and push them in the direction of a true, immoral, destructive egoism."[89]

Chernyshevsky continued to write essays and literature while incarcerated. In 1864, he was sentenced and given a mock execution before being exiled to Siberia, where he served seven years in forced labour camps followed by further imprisonment.[90] Chernyshevsky gained a legendary reputation as a martyr of the radical movement and,[91] unlike Mikhail Bakunin, not once did he plead for mercy or pardon during his treatment at the hands of the state.[92]

Schism[edit]

Leading up to 1864, the movement underwent what Dostoevsky termed the 'schism of the nihilists'. The Sovremennik began taking a more moderate or even regressive position while Russkoye Slovo continued to push further into radical nihilism. Maxim Antonovich, now head of the Sovremennik's literary criticism department entered into bitter disputes with other publications ever since his disagreements with Pisarev over Bazarovism.[93] Under Pisarev, Russkoye Slovo took over as the leading journal of radical thought.

Attempted assassination of Alexander II[edit]

Conspiracy organisations[edit]

Revolutionary organizations during the 1860s took only the form of conspiratorial groups.[94] From the revolutionary turmoil of the years 1859–1861, which had included peasant uprisings in Bezdna and Kandievka, the secret society Zemlya i volya emerged under the strong influence of Nikolay Chernyshevsky's writings.[95] Among its key members were Nikolai Serno-Solovyevich, his brother Aleksandr Serno-Solovyevich, Aleksandr Sleptsov, Nikolai Obruchev and Vasily Kurochkin. The full extent of the organization spanned St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Perm, and several cities in Ukraine.[96]

The group supported the intellectual development of social and political thought that expressed the critical interests of the Russian peasantry, and also worked to publish and disseminate prohibited revolutionary writings and ideas to commoners, intellectuals, and soldiers. Alexander Herzen, Nikolay Ogarev, and Mikhail Bakunin all kept contact with its leadership. Zemlya i volya accrued supporters within the Russian military and allied itself with revolutionary activity in Poland.[96] In league with the organization was the Ishutin Circle, founded in Moscow in 1863, under the leadership of Nikolai Ishutin.[97] Historian Shneer Mendelevich Levin writes:

During 1863, the revolutionary situation in Russia virtually exhausted itself. The general peasant uprising, toward which Zemlya i volya was oriented, did not take place, and the Polish uprising was suppressed. Under these conditions, the revolutionary work of Zemlya i volya began to die down. Many members of the society were arrested or were forced to emigrate, and by the spring of 1864, Zemlya i volya had dissolved itself.[96]

After the disappearance of Zemlya i volya, the Ishutin Circle began to unite various underground groups in Moscow.[98] The group arranged the escape of Polish revolutionary Jarosław Dąbrowski from prison in 1864. The same year, the group founded a bookbinding workshop, then in 1865, a sewing workshop, a tuition-free school, and a cotton wadding cooperative. They failed, however, in their attempts to arrange Chernyshevsky's escape from penal servitude. Ties were forged with Russian political émigrés, Polish revolutionaries, and fellow organizations in Saratov, Nizhny Novgorod, Kaluga Province, and elsewhere. The Circle then formed a steering committee, known as the Organization, and a sub-group within it known as Hell.[99] Dmitry Karakozov, who was the cousin of Nikolai Ishutin, joined the Circle in 1866 and on April 4 of that year carried out an attempted assassination of Alexander II, firing a shot at the Tsar at the gates of the Summer Garden in Saint Petersburg. The attempt failed and Karakozov was sentenced to death.[100] Nikolai Ishutin was also arrested and sentenced to be executed before ultimately being exiled to a life of forced labour in Siberia.[101] In total, thirty-two members of the Circle were sentenced.[102]

Surge of antinihilism[edit]

Russian nihilists tied to chairs on horse-drawn platforms and paraded past groups of soldiers on their way to execution in St. Petersburg

Following the attempt on the Tsar's life, the political environment in Russia immediately began returning to the stifling atmosphere of Nicholas I's rule.[103]

Dostoevsky published his following work, Crime and Punishment, in 1866, particularly in response to Pisarev's writings.[104]

Revolutionary period[edit]

Sergey Nechayev, nihilist revolutionary most often associated with propaganda of the deed and terrorism

Re-establishment of Zemlya i volya[edit]

Zemlya i volya was re-established in 1876,[105] originally under the name Severnaia revoliutsionno-narodnicheskaia gruppa (Northern Revolutionary-Populist Group), by Mark Natanson and Alexander Dmitriyevich Mikhaylov.[106] As a political party, the organization became the first to separate itself from past conspiratorial groups with its open advocacy of revolution.[107] The party was predominated by Bakuninists,[108] though became the first truly Narodnik organization to emerge.[109]

End of Nechayev and the first nihilist revolution[edit]

Sergei Nechayev heightened aggression within the movement and pressed for violent conflict against the tsarist regime. He appeared on the scene in 1868, and soon afterward fled to Switzerland.[110] Bakunin, an admirer of Nechayev's zeal and success, provided contacts and resources to send Nechayev back to Russia to found a new secret cell based organization, called the People's Retribution (Russian: Narodnaya Rasprava), based on the principles of the Catechism.[111] The uncompromising tone and content of the Catechism was influential far beyond the mere character Nechayev personified in the minds of the revolutionaries.[112] The organization had just a few dozen members when student Ivan Ivanovich Ivanov—one of Nechayev's first and most active followers—began to protest the leader's methods. This threat to his authority spurred Nechayev into action. He secretly gathered the group members closest to him, declared that the mysterious imaginary central committee possessed the evidence of Ivanov's betrayal, albeit not producible for security reasons, and obtained his death sentence.[113] Author Ronald Hingley wrote: "On the evening of 21 November 1869 the victim [Ivanov] was accordingly lured to the premises of the Moscow School of Agriculture, a hotbed of revolutionary sentiment, where Nechayev killed him by shooting and strangulation, assisted without great enthusiasm by three dupes. [...] Nechayev's accomplices were arrested and tried", while he managed to flee back to Switzerland again.[110] Upon his return from Russia to Switzerland, Nechayev was rejected by Bakunin for taking militant actions and was later extradited back to Russia where he spent the remainder of his life at the Peter and Paul Fortress.[114] Due to his charisma and force of will, Nechayev continued to influence events, maintaining a relationship to Narodnaya Volya and weaving even his jailers into his plots and escape plans. In December 1881 69 members of the prison guard were arrested and Nechayev's prison regime was rendered exceedingly harsher. He was found dead of scurvy in his cell on 21 November 1882.[115]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Occasionally, nihilism will be capitalized when referring to the Russian movement though this is not ubiquitous nor does it correspond with Russian usage.
  2. ^ a b The Russian terms sorokovnik and šestidesjatnik are used for the sake of accuracy in delineating the two generations. The former is often translated as 'man of the forties' and the latter as 'man of the sixties', though the sixties in this sense may include as early as 1855.

References[edit]

  1. ^
    • "Nihilism". Encyclopædia Britannica. Nihilism, (from Latin nihil, "nothing"), originally a philosophy of moral and epistemological skepticism that arose in 19th-century Russia during the early years of the reign of Tsar Alexander II.
    • Pratt, Alan. "Nihilism". Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. In Russia, nihilism became identified with a loosely organized revolutionary movement (C.1860-1917) that rejected the authority of the state, church, and family.
    • Lovell, Stephen (1998). "Nihilism, Russian". Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Taylor & Francis. doi:10.4324/9780415249126-E072-1. ISBN 9780415250696. Nihilism was a broad social and cultural movement as well as a doctrine.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Nihilism". Encyclopædia Britannica. Peter Kropotkin, the leading Russian anarchist, defined nihilism as the symbol of struggle against all forms of tyranny, hypocrisy, and artificiality and for individual freedom.
  4. ^ Petrov, Kristian (2019). "'Strike out, right and left!': a conceptual-historical analysis of 1860s Russian nihilism and its notion of negation". Studies in East European Thought. 71 (2): 73–97. doi:10.1007/s11212-019-09319-4. S2CID 150893870. Russian nihilism did not imply, as one might expect from a purely semantic viewpoint, a universal "negation" of ethical normativity, the foundations of knowledge or the meaningfulness of human existence.
  5. ^
  6. ^
    • Lovell, Stephen (1998). "Nihilism, Russian". Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Taylor & Francis. doi:10.4324/9780415249126-E072-1. ISBN 9780415250696. The 1860s were once described by Trotsky as 'a brief eighteenth century' in Russian thought. The Nihilist thinkers sought to assimilate and resynthesize the main trends in Western materialism and positivism. As usual in Russia, imported ideas were treated selectively and deployed in quite distinctive intellectual formations.
    • Edie, James M.; Scanlan, James; Zeldin, Mary-Barbara (1994). Russian Philosophy Volume II: the Nihilists, The Populists, Critics of Religion and Culture. University of Tennessee Press. p. 3. on the whole the Westernizers were an obsolete older generation in the eyes of the Nihilists
  7. ^ Frank, Joseph (1995). Dostoevsky: The Miraculous Years, 1865–1871. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-01587-2.
  8. ^ Kline, George L. (1967). "Pisarev, Dmitri Ivanovich (1840–1868)". Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Macmillan Reference USA.
  9. ^ Gillespie, Michael Allen (1996). Nihilism Before Nietzsche. University of Chicago Press. pp. 140, 143, 160. ISBN 9780226293486. First, the positive or constructive side of nihilism was never clearly defined. For some radicals, it was vaguely socialist, based on the idea of the village commune (mir). Others saw a managerial class as the basis for the new order. Most nihilists, however, were convinced that this positive goal could only be properly formulated when the chains of repression had been broken."; "This strange lack of concern was apparently the result of their belief that politics was linked to an outdated stage of humanity."; "The nihilists' neglect of politics, which they saw to be outdated, proved in this case to be their undoing.
  10. ^ a b "Nihilism". Encyclopædia Britannica. The philosophy of nihilism then began to be associated erroneously with the regicide of Alexander II (1881) and the political terror that was employed by those active at the time in clandestine organizations opposed to absolutism.
  11. ^ a b Kropotkin, Peter (1899). Memoirs of a Revolutionist. Houghton Mifflin. The movement is misunderstood in Western Europe. In the press, for example, nihilism is continually confused with terrorism. The revolutionary disturbance which broke out in Russia toward the close of the reign of Alexander II., and ended in the tragic death of the Tsar, is constantly described as nihilism. This is, however, a mistake. To confuse nihilism with terrorism is as wrong as to confuse a philosophical movement like stoicism or positivism with a political movement such as, for example, republicanism. Terrorism was called into existence by certain special conditions of the political struggle at a given historical moment.
  12. ^ a b Gillespie, Michael Allen (1996). Nihilism Before Nietzsche. University of Chicago Press. p. 285. ISBN 9780226293486.
  13. ^ Altizer, Thomas J. J. (1997). "Review: Nihilism before Nietzsche by Michael Allen Gillespie and Metaphysics by Michel Haar & Michael Gendre". The Journal of Religion. University of Chicago Press. 77 (2): 328–330. doi:10.1086/490005. JSTOR 1205805.
  14. ^ Turgenev, Ivan. "Chapter 5". Fathers and Sons. Translated by Garnett, Constance. (quoted as shown)
  15. ^ Pipes, Richard (1964). "Narodnichestvo: A Semantic Inquiry". Slavic Review. 23 (3): 441–458. doi:10.2307/2492683. JSTOR 2492683. S2CID 147530830. Ill-informed authors of that time usually referred to all Russian revolutionaries as "nihilists." Well-informed ones either did not refer to narodnichestvo at all, or employed this word correctly in the specific, narrow sense of the mid-1870's. ... The same holds true of the writings of no less an authority than Stepniak-Kravchinsky. ... In Russian Storm Cloud, protesting the misuse in the West of the word "nihilist," he says that the Russian revolutionaries themselves use two names: a formal one—"socialist revolutionaries"—and a colloquial one—"radicals."
  16. ^
  17. ^ Petrov, Kristian (2019). "'Strike out, right and left!': a conceptual-historical analysis of 1860s Russian nihilism and its notion of negation". Studies in East European Thought. 71 (2): 73–97. doi:10.1007/s11212-019-09319-4. S2CID 150893870. liberal critics called the radicals "materialists"; but then, when it was no longer sufficiently derogatory, they came to prefer the term "nihilists".
  18. ^
    • Lovell, Stephen (1998). "Nihilism, Russian". Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Taylor & Francis. doi:10.4324/9780415249126-E072-1. ISBN 9780415250696. Russian Nihilism is perhaps best regarded as the intellectual pool of the period 1855–66 out of which later radical movements emerged
    • Nishitani, Keiji (1990). McCormick, Peter J. (ed.). The Self-Overcoming of Nihilism. Translated by Parkes, Graham; with Setsuko Aihara. State University of New York Press. ISBN 0791404382. Nihilism and anarchism, which for a while would completely dominate the intelligentsia and become a major factor in the history of nineteenth-century Russia, emerged in the final years of the reign of Alexander I.
  19. ^ "Nihilism". Encyclopædia Britannica. Nihilism, (from Latin nihil, "nothing"), originally a philosophy of moral and epistemological skepticism that arose in 19th-century Russia during the early years of the reign of Tsar Alexander II.
  20. ^
    • Petrov, Kristian (2019). "'Strike out, right and left!': a conceptual-historical analysis of 1860s Russian nihilism and its notion of negation". Studies in East European Thought. 71 (2): 73–97. doi:10.1007/s11212-019-09319-4. S2CID 150893870. Even so, the term nihilism did not become popular until Turgenev published F&C in 1862. Turgenev, a sorokovnik (an 1840s man), used the term to describe "the children", the new generation of students and intellectuals who, by virtue of their relation to their fathers, were considered šestidesjatniki.
    • "Nihilism". Encyclopædia Britannica. It was Ivan Turgenev, in his celebrated novel Fathers and Sons (1862), who popularized the term through the figure of Bazarov the nihilist.
    • "Fathers and Sons". Encyclopædia Britannica. Fathers and Sons concerns the inevitable conflict between generations and between the values of traditionalists and intellectuals.
    • Edie, James M.; Scanlan, James; Zeldin, Mary-Barbara (1994). Russian Philosophy Volume II: the Nihilists, The Populists, Critics of Religion and Culture. University of Tennessee Press. p. 3. The "fathers" of the novel are full of humanitarian, progressive sentiments ... But to the "sons," typified by the brusque scientifically minded Bazarov, the "fathers" were concerned too much with generalities, not enough with the specific material evils of the day.
  21. ^
    • Scanlan, James P. (1998). "Russian Materialism: 'the 1860s'". Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Taylor & Francis. doi:10.4324/9780415249126-E050-1. ISBN 9780415250696. By 1861 the radicals were disappointed by the slow pace of reform, and especially by the illiberal terms of the emancipation of the serfs in that year.
    • Edie, James M.; Scanlan, James; Zeldin, Mary-Barbara (1994). Russian Philosophy Volume II: the Nihilists, The Populists, Critics of Religion and Culture. University of Tennessee Press. p. 5. When emancipation finally came in 1861, however, it was a bitter disappointment to the men of the sixties, for its terms gave the serfs little chance of economic self-sufficiency or genuine freedom.
  22. ^ Frank, Joseph (1995). Dostoevsky: The Miraculous Years, 1865–1871. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-01587-2. For it was Bazarov who had first declared himself to be a "Nihilist" and who announced that, "since at the present time, negation is the most useful of all," the Nihilists "deny—everything."
  23. ^
    • "Fathers and Sons". Encyclopædia Britannica. At the novel's first appearance, the radical younger generation attacked it bitterly as a slander, and conservatives condemned it as too lenient
    • Crosby, Donald A. (1998). "Nihilism". Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Taylor & Francis. doi:10.4324/9780415249126-N037-1. ISBN 9780415250696. Bazarov's nihilism quickly became famous in Russia and was warmly endorsed by certain revolutionary groups there in the 1860s
    • "Fathers and Sons". Novels for Students. Retrieved August 11, 2020 – via Encyclopedia.com. when he returned to Saint Petersburg in 1862 on the same day that young radicals—calling themselves "nihilists"—were setting fire to buildings
  24. ^ Petrov, Kristian (2019). "'Strike out, right and left!': a conceptual-historical analysis of 1860s Russian nihilism and its notion of negation". Studies in East European Thought. 71 (2): 73–97. doi:10.1007/s11212-019-09319-4. S2CID 150893870. In this context the very term "nihilism" was, if not embraced, so at least tolerated and occasionally used self-referentially—as the nihilists saw themselves.
  25. ^
  26. ^ Petrov, Kristian (2019). "'Strike out, right and left!': a conceptual-historical analysis of 1860s Russian nihilism and its notion of negation". Studies in East European Thought. 71 (2): 73–97. doi:10.1007/s11212-019-09319-4. S2CID 150893870. Pisarev responded by writing an enthusiastic review ... endorsing the young generation's embrace of nihilism"; "Although realism, like nihilism, implies the rejection of metaphysics, sophistry, sentimentalism and aestheticism, it may, however, harbour a more positive and objective approach to reality, in contrast to nihilism and its connotations of subjectivism and nothingness.
  27. ^ Petrov, Kristian (2019). "'Strike out, right and left!': a conceptual-historical analysis of 1860s Russian nihilism and its notion of negation". Studies in East European Thought. 71 (2): 73–97. doi:10.1007/s11212-019-09319-4. S2CID 150893870. Herzen, being one of the latter, argued in 1868, six years after the publication of Turgenev's novel and Pisarev's review (and hence in a different political climate), that the šestidesjatniki's nihilism had essentially been introduced by the sorokovniki.
  28. ^ Gillespie, Michael Allen (1996). Nihilism Before Nietzsche. University of Chicago Press. p. 139. ISBN 9780226293486. This nihilist movement was essentially Promethean"; "It has often been argued that Russian nihilism is little more than skepticism or empiricism. While there is a certain plausibility to this assertion, it ultimately fails to capture the millenarian zeal the characterized Russian nihilism. These nihilists were not skeptics but passionate advocates of negation and liberation.
  29. ^
  30. ^
    • Korotov, Iu. N. (1979). "Chernyshevskii, Nikolai Gavrilovich". The Great Soviet Encyclopedia. Retrieved September 17, 2020 – via TheFreeDictionary.com. Chernyshevskii described the lives of new types of persons—the "rational egoists," who live by their own labor, lead a new kind of family life, and disseminate the ideas of socialism in practice.
    • Gillespie, Michael Allen (1996). Nihilism Before Nietzsche. University of Chicago Press. p. 144. ISBN 9780226293486. These Promethean cadres were called "new people" by Chernyshevsky, the "thinking proletariat" by Pisarev and Nikolai Shelgunov, "critically thinking personalities" by P. L. Lavrov, and "cultural pioneers" by others. N. K. Mikhaylovsky called them intelligentsia.
  31. ^ Nishitani, Keiji (1990). McCormick, Peter J. (ed.). The Self-Overcoming of Nihilism. Translated by Graham Parkes; with Setsuko Aihara. State University of New York Press. ISBN 0791404382. Nihilism in Russia is said to have been deeply rooted in the radical temperament of the Russian people before it took the form of thought.
  32. ^
    • Scanlan, James P. (1998). "Russian Materialism: 'the 1860s'". Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Taylor & Francis. doi:10.4324/9780415249126-E050-1. ISBN 9780415250696. During the communist period of Russian history, the principal "nihilist" theoreticians were officially lionized under the designation "Russian revolutionary democrats"
    • "Nihilism". The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (3rd ed.). 1970–1979. Retrieved September 23, 2020 – via TheFreeDictionary.com.
  33. ^ Gillespie, Michael Allen (1996). Nihilism Before Nietzsche. University of Chicago Press. pp. 140, 143. ISBN 9780226293486. Most nihilists, however, were convinced that this positive goal could only be properly formulated when the chains of repression had been broken"; "This strange lack of concern was apparently the result of their belief that politics was linked to an outdated stage of humanity.
  34. ^ Gillespie, Michael Allen (1996). Nihilism Before Nietzsche. University of Chicago Press. pp. 143, 160. ISBN 9780226293486. This strange lack of concern was apparently the result of their belief that politics was linked to an outdated stage of humanity."; "The nihilists' neglect of politics, which they believed to be outdated, proved in this case to be their undoing.
  35. ^
  36. ^
    • Edie, James M.; Scanlan, James; Zeldin, Mary-Barbara (1994). Russian Philosophy Volume II: the Nihilists, The Populists, Critics of Religion and Culture. University of Tennessee Press. p. 6. among the Russian students who used the name "Nihilism" to dignify youthful rebelliousness, this rejection of traditional standards went still further, expressing itself in everything from harmless crudities of dress and behavior to the lethal fanaticism of a revolutionary like Sergey Nechayev.
    • Stites, Richard (1978). The Women's Liberation Movement in Russia: Feminism, Nihilism, and Bolshevism, 1860-1930. Princeton University Press. pp. 99–100. ISBN 0691100586. Nihilism was not so much a corpus of formal beliefs and programs (like populism, liberalism, Marxism) as it was a cluster of attitudes and social values and a set of behavioral affects—manners, dress, friendship patterns.
  37. ^ Lovell, Stephen (1998). "Nihilism, Russian". Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Taylor and Francis. doi:10.4324/9780415249126-E072-1. ISBN 9780415250696. Russian Nihilism is perhaps best regarded as the intellectual pool of the period 1855–66 out of which later radical movements emerged
  38. ^ Buckley, J.M. (2008). "Nihilism". The Midnight Sun, The Tsar and The Nihilist: Adventures and Observations In Norway, Sweden and Russia. Whitefish, MT: Kessinger. pp. 335–351. ASIN B008I9E4MA.
  39. ^ Petrov, Kristian (2019). "'Strike out, right and left!': a conceptual-historical analysis of 1860s Russian nihilism and its notion of negation". Studies in East European Thought. 71 (2): 73–97. doi:10.1007/s11212-019-09319-4. S2CID 150893870. Russian nihilism was essentially a product of the 1860s evolving dialogue between sorokovniki and šestidesjatniki
  40. ^ Petrov, Kristian (2019). "'Strike out, right and left!': a conceptual-historical analysis of 1860s Russian nihilism and its notion of negation". Studies in East European Thought. 71 (2): 73–97. doi:10.1007/s11212-019-09319-4. S2CID 150893870. Accordingly, nihilism, as a movement, did not exclusively consist of šestidesjatniki."; "The term nihilist, I suggest, in its significant association with the šestidesjatniki, should in this context be understood in relation to the idealist of the sorokovniki generation.
  41. ^ Gillespie, Michael Allen (1996). Nihilism Before Nietzsche. University of Chicago Press. p. 137. ISBN 9780226293486. (quoted as shown)
  42. ^ Petrov, Kristian (2019). "'Strike out, right and left!': a conceptual-historical analysis of 1860s Russian nihilism and its notion of negation". Studies in East European Thought. 71 (2): 73–97. doi:10.1007/s11212-019-09319-4. S2CID 150893870. Though the sorokovniki had provided the šestidesjatniki with theoretical grounds for ideological advancement, the two generations became increasingly confrontational towards each other.
  43. ^ Petrov, Kristian (2019). "'Strike out, right and left!': a conceptual-historical analysis of 1860s Russian nihilism and its notion of negation". Studies in East European Thought. 71 (2): 73–97. doi:10.1007/s11212-019-09319-4. S2CID 150893870. initially influenced by sorokovniki like Herzen and Belinsky, and also Turgenev
  44. ^ Wirtschafter, Elise Kimerling (1992). "Problematics of Status Definition in Imperial Russia: The Raznočincy". Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas. 40 (3): 320–321. JSTOR 41048847.
  45. ^ Walicki, Andrzej (1998). "Chernyshevskii, Nikolai Gavrilovich (1828–89)". Chernyshevskii, Nikolai Gavrilovich (1828–89). Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Taylor & Francis. doi:10.4324/9780415249126-E008-1. ISBN 9780415250696.
  46. ^ Wirtschafter, Elise Kimerling (1992). "Problematics of Status Definition in Imperial Russia: The Raznočincy". Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas. 40 (3): 322–323. JSTOR 41048847.
  47. ^ Petrov, Kristian (2019). "'Strike out, right and left!': a conceptual-historical analysis of 1860s Russian nihilism and its notion of negation". Studies in East European Thought. 71 (2): 73–97. doi:10.1007/s11212-019-09319-4. S2CID 150893870. It has frequently been stressed that many of the šestidesjatniki were so-called raznočincy, which means that there would have been greater social diversity among them than would be found in the older generation, comprised of mostly ethnically Russian nobility from St. Petersburg or Moscow. This is true to a certain extent. But the historiographical tendency to equate nihilism with raznočincy has rightfully been criticized. Many of the prominent šestidesjatniki were of noble birth like their "fathers", or at least children of clergymen, both lacking first-hand experience of repression and poverty
  48. ^ "Raznochintsy". Encyclopedia of Russian History. Retrieved August 18, 2020 – via Encyclopedia.com. From the 1840s the raznochintsy had a significant influence on the development of Russian society and culture, and became the main social stratum for the formation of the Russian intelligentsia in the 1860s.
  49. ^ Wirtschafter, Elise Kimerling (1992). "Problematics of Status Definition in Imperial Russia: The Raznočincy". Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas. 40 (3): 321. JSTOR 41048847.
  50. ^ "Raznochintsy". The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (3rd ed.). 1970–1979. Retrieved September 18, 2020 – via TheFreeDictionary.com. The democrats among the raznochintsy, who had produced a number of outstanding leaders of the emancipation movement (V. G. Belin-skii, the Petrashevtsy) before the peasant reform of 1861, played a prominent role in the post-reform revolutionary movement
  51. ^
  52. ^
  53. ^ Petrov, Kristian (2019). "'Strike out, right and left!': a conceptual-historical analysis of 1860s Russian nihilism and its notion of negation". Studies in East European Thought. 71 (2): 73–97. doi:10.1007/s11212-019-09319-4. S2CID 150893870. Even earlier, older generations had pejoratively depicted the sorokovniki as nihilists.
  54. ^ Gillespie, Michael Allen (1996). Nihilism Before Nietzsche. University of Chicago Press. p. 138. ISBN 9780226293486. It was this apotheosis of man that outraged the Schellingians and led them to characterize Russian Left Hegelianism as nihilism.
  55. ^ Scanlan, James P. (1998). "Russian Materialism: 'the 1860s'". Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Taylor & Francis. doi:10.4324/9780415249126-E050-1. ISBN 9780415250696. The actual content of the 'materialism' preached by the radicals of 'the 1860s' is not always clear. As indicated, they often avoided the term itself for reasons of censorship"; "Government repression after 1866 put an end to the open development of this materialist movement
  56. ^ Frede, Victoria S. (2010). "Materialism and the Radical Intelligentsia: the 1860s". In Hamburg, G. M.; Poole, Randall A. (eds.). A History of Russian Philosophy 1830–1930: Faith, Reason, and the Defense of Human Dignity. Cambridge University Press. pp. 69–89. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511712227.004. ISBN 9780511712227. Materialism returned to intellectual prominence in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
  57. ^ Scanlan, James P. (1998). "Russian Materialism: 'the 1860s'". Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Taylor & Francis. doi:10.4324/9780415249126-E050-1. ISBN 9780415250696. (quoted as shown)
  58. ^
  59. ^ Edie, James M.; Scanlan, James; Zeldin, Mary-Barbara (1994). Russian Philosophy Volume II: the Nihilists, The Populists, Critics of Religion and Culture. University of Tennessee Press. p. 3. When Mikhail Bakunin closed his essay, "The Reaction in Germany," with a celebration of "the passion for destruction," he was in effect anticipating the men of the 1860's
  60. ^ Bakunin, Mikhail (1842). "Reaction in Germany".
  61. ^ a b
  62. ^ Scanlan, James P. (1998). "Russian Materialism: 'the 1860s'". Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Taylor & Francis. doi:10.4324/9780415249126-E050-1. ISBN 9780415250696. But the materialist trend in philosophy that Feuerbach inspired did not become a broad movement in Russia until the death of Nicholas I in 1855 and the end of the Crimean War a year later.
  63. ^ Edie, James M.; Scanlan, James; Zeldin, Mary-Barbara (1994). Russian Philosophy Volume II: the Nihilists, The Populists, Critics of Religion and Culture. University of Tennessee Press. p. 5.
  64. ^
  65. ^ Petrov, Kristian (2019). "'Strike out, right and left!': a conceptual-historical analysis of 1860s Russian nihilism and its notion of negation". Studies in East European Thought. 71 (2): 73–97. doi:10.1007/s11212-019-09319-4. S2CID 150893870.
  66. ^ Edie, James M.; Scanlan, James; Zeldin, Mary-Barbara (1994). Russian Philosophy Volume II: the Nihilists, The Populists, Critics of Religion and Culture. University of Tennessee Press. pp. 5–6.
  67. ^
  68. ^ Petrov, Kristian (2019). "'Strike out, right and left!': a conceptual-historical analysis of 1860s Russian nihilism and its notion of negation". Studies in East European Thought. 71 (2): 73–97. doi:10.1007/s11212-019-09319-4. S2CID 150893870. Dobrolyubov, perhaps himself a role model for Bazarov, came to the term nihilism through the šestidesjatnik and sociologist Vasilij Bervi-Flerovskij. In 1858, Bervi-Flerovskij used nihilism as a synonym for scepticism
  69. ^ Edie, James M.; Scanlan, James; Zeldin, Mary-Barbara (1994). Russian Philosophy Volume II: the Nihilists, The Populists, Critics of Religion and Culture. University of Tennessee Press. p. 11. [Chernyshevsky] began to write for some of the leading literary journals, soon becoming principle editor of the Sovremennik (The Contemporary). Together with his friend and disciple Nicholas Dobrolyubov, Chernyshevsky have The Contemporary its character as foremost organ of radical opinion in the sixties.
  70. ^
    • Scanlan, James P. (1998). "Russian Materialism: 'the 1860s'". Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Taylor and Francis. doi:10.4324/9780415249126-E050-1. ISBN 9780415250696. The Russian tradition of 'civic criticism', inaugurated by Vissarion Belinskii, was developed further by Chernyshevskii, Pisarev, Dobroliubov and others, in part because the discussion of literature offered them a relatively protected forum for the social critique they could not publish directly.
    • Чернец, Л. В. (1990). "Антонович Максим Алексеевич". In Николаева, П. А. (ed.). Biobibliographic Dictionary. Vol. 1. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
  71. ^
  72. ^
    • Scanlan, James P. (1998). "Russian Materialism: 'the 1860s'". Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Taylor & Francis. doi:10.4324/9780415249126-E050-1. ISBN 9780415250696. Its fullest legal expression in Russia came in the published writings of Chernyshevskii, Sechenov and Pisarev
    • Haas, Lindsay; Lewis, Margaret (1999). "Discoveries in the Human Brain. Neuroscience Prehistory, Brain Structure, and Function". Brain. 122 (4): 785–786. doi:10.1093/brain/122.4.785.
  73. ^ Scanlan, James P. (1998). "Russian Materialism: 'the 1860s'". Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Taylor & Francis. doi:10.4324/9780415249126-E050-1. ISBN 9780415250696. Because outright denial of God's existence or rejection of faith as a source of knowledge could not readily be camouflaged to avoid censorship, the attention of Chernyshevskii, Sechenov and others in their works ... was directed primarily towards establishing the reductionist thesis - that is, towards functions, from the most 'animal' to the most refined, are materially based and can be exhaustively comprehended by the natural sciences. ... Sechenov's contribution to this argument is evident
  74. ^ Petrov, Kristian (2019). "'Strike out, right and left!': a conceptual-historical analysis of 1860s Russian nihilism and its notion of negation". Studies in East European Thought. 71 (2): 73–97. doi:10.1007/s11212-019-09319-4. S2CID 150893870.
  75. ^ "Fathers and Sons". Novels for Students. Retrieved August 11, 2020 – via Encyclopedia.com. Turgenev himself recounts what is now a famous anecdote from his life, when he returned to Saint Petersburg in 1862 on the same day that young radicals—calling themselves "nihilists"—were setting fire to buildings
  76. ^
    • "Great Reforms (Russia)". Encyclopedia of Modern Europe: Europe 1789-1914: Encyclopedia of the Age of Industry and Empire. Retrieved August 11, 2020 – via Encyclopedia.com. The guiding figure in the university reform was A. V. Golovnin, the minister of education from 1861 to 1866. The new statute took shape against the backdrop of increasing student activism. Despite their refusal to grant students more rights, the reformers granted university professors considerable autonomy over curriculum, hiring and promotion, and internal university judicial proceedings. ... The University Statute did not open universities to matriculation by female students.
    • "Raznochintsy". Encyclopedia of Russian History. Retrieved August 18, 2020 – via Encyclopedia.com. After the opening of university education for the middle class, the number of educated people in the Russian empire rapidly increased. Thus increased the number of raznochintsy.
  77. ^ Petrov, Kristian (2019). "'Strike out, right and left!': a conceptual-historical analysis of 1860s Russian nihilism and its notion of negation". Studies in East European Thought. 71 (2): 73–97. doi:10.1007/s11212-019-09319-4. S2CID 150893870. (quoted as shown)
  78. ^ Lovell, Stephen (1998). "Nihilism, Russian". Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Taylor & Francis. doi:10.4324/9780415249126-E072-1. ISBN 9780415250696. Thereafter Nihilism quickly became the subject of polemical debate in the journal press and in works of literature.
  79. ^ Frede, Victoria S. (2010). "Materialism and the Radical Intelligentsia: the 1860s". In Hamburg, G. M.; Poole, Randall A. (eds.). A History of Russian Philosophy 1830–1930: Faith, Reason, and the Defense of Human Dignity. Cambridge University Press. pp. 69–89. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511712227.004. ISBN 9780511712227. Some readers, including Chernyshevskii, viewed Fathers and Children as a personal attack on Dobroliubov."; "[Antonovich's review] was so vituperative that it embarrassed many of his contemporaries.
  80. ^ Petrov, Kristian (2019). "'Strike out, right and left!': a conceptual-historical analysis of 1860s Russian nihilism and its notion of negation". Studies in East European Thought. 71 (2): 73–97. doi:10.1007/s11212-019-09319-4. S2CID 150893870. Pisarev responded by writing an enthusiastic review that at the time became almost as famous as the book, endorsing the young generation's embrace of nihilism, as well as its coronation of Bazarov as its role model. ... According to Pisarev, Bazarovism, and the "realism" it represents, draws upon those with sufficient spiritual strength, a characteristic by him exclusively attributed to the young. Moreover, they possess the courage and capacity to face the times as they really are, despite whatever haunting social "malady". This is exactly what "Bazarovism" is: a malady that must be lived through rather than resisted in order for the patient, that is, society, to become healthy again.
  81. ^
    • St. John Murphy, Sasha (2016). "The Debate around Nihilism in 1860s Russian Literature". Slovo. 28 (2): 48–68. doi:10.14324/111.0954-6839.045 (inactive December 31, 2022). The city of St. Petersburg erupted in flames in the spring and summer of 1862. Students of St. Petersburg and Moscow Universities, acting on an upsurge of revolutionary activism, had begun demonstrating their frustrations. Fyodor Dostoevsky blamed Nikolai Chernyshevsky, who at the time was a radical writer. The tale goes that Dostoevsky went to the home of Chernyshevsky to plead to him to stop fuelling the fires. While Chernyshevsky was no arsonist, this story is symptomatic of the 1860s atmosphere. This period was a time of great social and economic upheaval within Russia.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: DOI inactive as of December 2022 (link)
    • Buel, James (1883). "Chapter 5". Russian Nihilism and Exile Life in Siberia. St. Louis, MO: Historical Publishing Co. p. 95. In 1863 Poland, that had dreamed of an untrampled autonomy, at least since 1815, became the scene of a bloody insurrection, while all over Russia blazed up incendiary fires, and St. Petersburg was threatened with destruction.
  82. ^ Gillespie, Michael Allen (1996). Nihilism Before Nietzsche. University of Chicago Press. p. 138. ISBN 9780226293486. Turgenev's own opinion of Bazarov was ambivalent. "Did I want to abuse Bazarov or extol him? I do not know myself, since I don't know whether I love him or hate him!" (FAS, 184; cf 190).
  83. ^ "Fathers and Sons". Encyclopædia Britannica. In sociopolitical terms, [Bazarov] represents the victory of the revolutionary intelligentsia over the aristocracy, to which Turgenev belonged.
  84. ^ Kropotkin, Peter (1899). Memoirs of a Revolutionist. Houghton Mifflin Company. Goncharóff, in "Precipice," taking a real but unrepresentative individual of this class, made a caricature of nihilism. Turguenéneff was too good an artist, and had himself conceived too much admiration for the new type, to let himself be drawn into caricature painting; but even his nihilist, Bazároff, did not satisfy us. We found him too harsh, especially in his relations with his old parents, and, above all, we reproached him with his seeming neglect of his duties as a citizen.
  85. ^ Edie, James M.; Scanlan, James; Zeldin, Mary-Barbara (1994). Russian Philosophy Volume II: the Nihilists, The Populists, Critics of Religion and Culture. University of Tennessee Press. p. 14.
  86. ^ St. John Murphy, Sasha (2016). "The Debate around Nihilism in 1860s Russian Literature". Slovo. 28 (2): 48–68. doi:10.14324/111.0954-6839.045 (inactive December 31, 2022). The manuscript for the novel was forwarded on to Sovremennik by the prison censor and published in 1863. With fantastic irony, the novel, which was to be the most revolutionary work of the nineteenth century, was published without difficulty. The publication has aptly been called "the most spectacular example of bureaucratic bungling in the cultural realm during the reign of Alexander II." Moreover, it was this censoring of Chernyshevsky and his imprisonment that drove him to write his novel.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: DOI inactive as of December 2022 (link)
  87. ^ "Nihilism". The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (3rd ed.). 1970–1979. Retrieved September 23, 2020 – via TheFreeDictionary.com. Reactionary publicistic writers seized upon the term during a lull in the revolutionary situation and used it as a derisive epithet. As such, it was extensively employed in publicistic articles, official government documents, and antinihilistic novels, notably A. F. Pisemskii's Troubled Seas, N. S. Leskov's Nowhere to Go, and V. P. Kliushnikov's The Mirage
  88. ^ Scanlan, James P. (1999). "The Case against Rational Egoism in Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground". Journal of the History of Ideas. University of Pennsylvania Press. 60 (3): 549–567. doi:10.2307/3654018. JSTOR 3654018.
  89. ^ Scanlan, James P. (1999). "The Case against Rational Egoism in Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground". Journal of the History of Ideas. University of Pennsylvania Press. 60 (3): 553–554. doi:10.2307/3654018. JSTOR 3654018. These virtuous fictional creations were not the genuine, flesh-and-blood egoists whose growing presence in Russia Dostoevsky feared. Yet the doctrine these pseudo-egoists advanced–Rational Egoism–was a genuine danger, because by glorifying the self it could turn the minds of impressionable young people away from sound values and push them in the direction of a true, immoral, destructive egoism.
  90. ^ Korotov, Iu. N. (1970–1979). "Chernyshevskii, Nikolai Gavrilovich". The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (3rd ed.). Retrieved September 17, 2020 – via TheFreeDictionary.com. While in the Peter and Paul Fortress, Chernyshevskii also wrote the novella Alfer'ev (1863), Tales Within a Tale (1863–64), and Brief Stories (1864). ... Chernyshevskii in 1864 was found guilty, through false testimony and provocation, of "taking steps to overthrow the existing system of government." He was sentenced to seven years' penal servitude and lifetime residence in Siberia. After the ceremony of "civil execution" in Mytninskaia Square on May 19, 1864, Chernyshevskii was sent to the Nerchinsk hard labor camps (Kadaia mine; transferred to the Aleksandrovskii plant in 1866). In 1871, having completed his term of hard labor, he was sent to jail in Viliuisk.
  91. ^ Fokkema, Douwe (2011). "Chernyshevsky's What Is to Be Done? and Dostoevsky's Dystopian Foresight". Perfect Worlds: Utopian Fiction in China and the West. Amsterdam University Press. pp. 211–232. ISBN 9789089643506. JSTOR j.ctt46mwnv.13. In the meantime he had grown into a martyr of the radical movement, and this undoubtedly enhanced the popularity of his novel.
  92. ^ Yaroslasky, Emelian (1922). History of Anarchism in Russia. Lawrence and Wishart. It is worth while comparing this behavior with that of another Russian revolutionary, N. G. Chernyshevsky. For twenty years he was confined in a fortress and put to penal servitude in Siberia, but he did not sink so low as to plead for pardon from his mortal enemy, the tsar, although his position was much worse than that of Bakunin, and although he had no rich an prominent relatives to intercede for him as was the case with Bakunin.
  93. ^
  94. ^ "Zemlya i Volya". Encyclopædia Britannica. first Russian political party to openly advocate a policy of revolution; it had been preceded only by conspiratorial groups. Founded in 1876
  95. ^
    • Gaido, Daniel; Alessio, Constanza Bosch (2015). "Vera Zasulich's Critique of Neo-Populism". Historical Materialism. 23 (4): 93–125. doi:10.1163/1569206X-12341441. Chernyshevsky's legacy was continued and developed by a variety of individuals and organisations, including the first 'Land and Freedom' (Zemlya i Volya) secret society (1861–4).
    • Levin, Shneer Mendelevich (1970–1979). "Земля и воля". The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (3rd ed.). Retrieved September 4, 2020 – via TheFreeDictionary.com.
    • "Chronology". The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (3rd ed.). 1970–1979. Retrieved September 4, 2020 – via TheFreeDictionary.com.
  96. ^ a b c Levin, Shneer Mendelevich (1970–1979). "Земля и воля". The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (3rd ed.). Retrieved September 4, 2020 – via TheFreeDictionary.com.
  97. ^ Vilenskaia, E. S. (1970–1979). "Ishutin Circle". The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (3rd ed.). Retrieved September 4, 2020 – via TheFreeDictionary.com. a secret revolutionary organization founded in Moscow by N. A. Ishutin ... The Ishutin Circle emerged in September 1863, as a group aligned with the first Land and Liberty group.
  98. ^ Vilenskaia, E. S. (1970–1979). "Ishutin Circle". The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (3rd ed.). Retrieved September 9, 2020 – via TheFreeDictionary.com. After the self-liquidation of the latter, the circle, having developed an independent existence, to some extent brought together the uncoordinated groups of the Moscow underground.
  99. ^ Vilenskaia, E. S. (1970–1979). "Ishutin Circle". The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (3rd ed.). Retrieved September 9, 2020 – via TheFreeDictionary.com.
  100. ^ Vilenskaia, E. S. (1970–1979). "Karakozov, Dmitrii Vladimirovich". The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (3rd ed.). Retrieved September 9, 2020 – via TheFreeDictionary.com.
  101. ^ Vilenskaia, E. S. (1970–1979). "Ishutin, Nikolai". The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (3rd ed.). Retrieved September 9, 2020 – via TheFreeDictionary.com.
  102. ^ Vilenskaia, E. S. (1970–1979). "Ishutin Circle". The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (3rd ed.). Retrieved September 9, 2020 – via TheFreeDictionary.com. The Supreme Criminal Court gave out various sentences to 32 members
  103. ^ Edie, James M.; Scanlan, James; Zeldin, Mary-Barbara (1994). Russian Philosophy Volume II: the Nihilists, The Populists, Critics of Religion and Culture. University of Tennessee Press. p. 3. And it was a "Nihilist student," Dmitry Karakosov, whose attempt on the Tsar's life in 1866 completed the return of Russian society to the dark repression of the era of Nicholas I.
  104. ^ Frank, Joseph (1995). Dostoevsky: The Miraculous Years, 1865–1871. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-01587-2.
  105. ^ Edie, James M.; Scanlan, James; Zeldin, Mary-Barbara (1994). Russian Philosophy Volume II: the Nihilists, The Populists, Critics of Religion and Culture. University of Tennessee Press. p. 116. the re-establishment of the underground Land and Liberty (Zemlya i volya) organization in 1876
  106. ^ Pipes, Richard (1964). "Narodnichestvo: A Semantic Inquiry". Slavic Review. 23 (3): 441–458. doi:10.2307/2492683. JSTOR 2492683. S2CID 147530830. Mark Natanson and Alexander Mikhailov, who in 1876 organized the Severnaia revoliutsionno-narodnicheskaia gruppa (Northern Revolutionary-Populist Group), an organization which two years later came to be known as Zemlia i volia.
  107. ^ "Zemlya i Volya". Encyclopædia Britannica. Zemlya i Volya, English Land and Freedom, first Russian political party to openly advocate a policy of revolution; it had been preceded only by conspiratorial groups.
  108. ^ Edie, James M.; Scanlan, James; Zeldin, Mary-Barbara (1994). Russian Philosophy Volume II: the Nihilists, The Populists, Critics of Religion and Culture. University of Tennessee Press. p. 116. Bakuninists predominated in the re-establishment of the underground Land and Liberty (Zemlya i volya) organization
  109. ^ "Narodnik". Encyclopædia Britannica. The first truly Narodnik organization to emerge from this situation was the revolutionary group Zemlya i Volya.
  110. ^ a b Hingley, Ronald (1969). Nihilists; Russian radicals and revolutionaries in the reign of Alexander II, 1855-81. New York, NY: Delacorte Press. pp. 56-59.
  111. ^ "Sergey Gennadiyevich Nechayev". Encyclopaedia Britannica.
  112. ^ Sijak, Ana (2009). Angel of Vengeance: The Girl Who Shot the Governor of St. Petersburg and Sparked the Age of Assassination. United Kingdom: St. Martin's Press. pp. 21–38. ASIN B005E8AJVI.
  113. ^ Venturi, Franco (1972). Il populismo russo; Volume II: Dalla liberazione dei servi al nihilismo (in Italian) (2nd ed.). Turin: Einaudi. pp. 305–306.
  114. ^ Bakunin, Mikhail (1870). Bakunin on Violence: Letter to S. Nechayev. New York, NY: New York: Anarchist Papers. pp. 2–25.
  115. ^ Venturi, Franco (1972). Il populismo russo; Volume II: Dalla liberazione dei servi al nihilismo (in Italian) (2nd ed.). Turin: Einaudi. p. 318.

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