Russian Statehood And Challenges Of Globalization


The article deals with the development of statehood in the context of globalization. Some argue that the main contradiction of the modern era is the conflict between globalization and the national-state form of organization of the world community. Acknowledging the crisis of the liberal model of civilization development, the authors oppose the “patterned uniformity” of tolerant liberal globalization leading to the erasure of national-cultural differences, the “diverse unity” of the international integration of peoples. The authors believe that the model of Russian statehood that has withstood the test of historical twists and turns can be a form of future world civilization. The article reveals basic principles of Russian statehood in their historical development and continuity. With the change of specific historical forms of manifestation, these principles remain essentially the same. These authors consider the imperial form of the Russian statehood, its autocratic character, the wide participation of the people in government, and the stable direct connection between the population and the Supreme power as the most important, which is the basis for the formation and functioning of civil society. In addition, the principles of social justice and the paternalistic nature of the Supreme Authority belong to the fundamentals of Russian statehood. Finally, the national education system and the popular character of armed forces have always guaranteed the stability of Russian statehood. All this ensures not only the uniqueness, but also the openness of the Russian civilization for all peoples who want to live in safe peace and harmony.

Keywords: GlobalisationintegrationRussian statehoodautocracyempire


In the second half of the 20th century the world has truly become united. Today no country can claim its rights for the autarky. The principles of the WTO and the interests of the MNC, which organize the production of aggregate social product in the world, are the basis of the world economy. In international political life, there is UN, there are global structures for global coordination, and there is a common information space - the Internet. In parallel with this, there are environmental problems; the threat of a food crisis, there is a shortage of fresh water, requiring coordinated action on a global scale. Finally, there is a psychological awareness of the need for the efforts of all humankind against the threat from space, international terrorism, etc.

In the context of these processes, the idea that solving p roblems is impossible without rising to a new level of international action, which is feasible only within a single project under the leadership of the sovereign power of the “world government”, is being actively introduced into the public consciousness! They want to convince us of the inevitability of globalization in its modern form . But globalization is not fatal. In the modern world, there are two main models of movement towards a single civilization. The real alternative to globalization is international integration . The difference is in the subjective goals of those who stand behind them.

Problem Statement

Globalization is called crypto power functioning in the form of closed clubs, implementing the unstructured management of the world processes and seeking to level the civilizational diversity of peoples, imposing a pattern of public morality and behavior based on liberal values. The principle of “unity in uniformity” is manifested in everyday life, fashion, education, behavioral standards, life guidelines, etc. The quintessence of it is tolerance.

 An alternative to globalization is integration, which in fact has no single subject. There is only the desire of the peoples and governments of many countries to defend national identity, their own principles of life organization, ethics and morality, ideas about the welfare of the people and democracy. World integration, in contrast to globalization, seeks to preserve the entire palette of positive development of nations for mutual enrichment and progress on the principle of “diverse unity”, which presupposes respect and development of the cultural and historical specifics of all participants in the integration process, based on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance.

So, the opposite of integration and globalization is that the first leads to the unity of world civilization through the development of diversity, the second - to monotony through primitivization and pattern. In any case, the world statehood will be the form of existence of world civilization.

The second important trend is the crisis of nation-states, which embraced, above all, the statehood of the Western type built on the liberal values ​​of a market economy, which resulted in obvious failure by the beginning of the 21th century.

At the intersection of these trends, the main contradiction of the era becomes very clear – and it is the contradiction between the process of globalization and the national-state form of organization of society.

The way out of this contradiction is seen in the potential of the Russian model of statehood . Being a special world, possessing all the properties of a cultural-historical type of civilization, geopolitical Russia may well become the core and the basis for the further progress of statehood in the new stage of development. Not a single national or even supranational model can fulfill this mission in the modern world. Russian civilization, possessing exceptional experience in building relations between secular and spiritual authorities, unique relations between the supreme power and the people, the experience of friendship and mutual assistance of different peoples, allows different cultural and historical systems to live in peace and harmony with each other. In addition, only she has experience of long-term development in the framework of a single state-legal model.

Research Questions

The subject of research is the historical model of the statehood that has developed over the course of a millennium in the vastness of geopolitical Russia, an analysis of its main features and principles that have passed the test of time and may become the basis for the development of integration in the global world.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to analyze the basic principles of Russian statehood in order to use it as a basis for the alternative development of the world civilization, other than the liberal model of globalism, through international integration and equitable cooperation of peoples.

Research Methods

The main research methods are historical-genetic, which allows finding the historical basis of specific aspects of Russian statehood. Also, comparative method, which allows to see the possibility of applying the principles of the Russian statehood, which was originally formed as a state-legal form of being of the Russian people to other nations and peoples inhabiting our country, as well as those living outside its borders. There is also a method of system analysis, which allows seeing the model of Russian statehood as a self-sufficient sustainable system. Finally, the integral method of research was the principle of historicism, well known in science.


Russian statehood is conservative . This is due to three main factors: 1. The historical continuity of Kievan Rus, then Muscovy, then the Russian Empire, then the Soviet Union. 2. The idea of "the world Orthodox power." 3. Paternalism, conciliarism and the “symphony of authorities” in its practical embodiment in history. These factors, to one degree or another, were pointed out and researched by Russian thinkers of the 19-20th centuries such as Speranskij (2002) Tihomirov (2006) and Solonevich (2005).

The most important feature of the Russian statehood is its autocratic character. Autocracy differs from other forms of monarchical government in two main ways: 1) by the presence of a "symphony of power", 2) an extremely broad social basis embodied in the Russian people.

In the system of Russian autocracy, both the Supreme and the “governing” power have their uniqueness. It lies in the specific "Soviet" organization of state institutions, which is a characteristic not only of the soviet period, but also of the early historical stages of the Russian state. The soviet is present in the system of Russian statehood in two forms: 1) advice — a meeting, a discussion, a collective rational-logical choice of the right decision; 2) advice - an opinion based on an intuitive understanding of rightness as justice. The rightness of such an opinion in Russia has always been determined by “peace” (community) and “land” (people).

Of course, in the nearest retrospective, it may seem that the Soviets of the USSR era are just a decoration designed to hide the real power of the partycracy. But in the history of the Russian statehood, one can clearly see that the “soviet” accompanied it throughout more than a thousand years of development: from princely meals with the senior druzhina (military squad) and veche (town’s meetings) in the Kiev period, the Zemsky Sobor of Ivan IV, to the modern Public Chamber and the Popular Front.

It is in the “Soviet” form of state decision-making that the most important feature of genuine democracy as the people’s power is its direct effect. In Moscovy the forms of direct democracy in the system of state administration reached their highest peak in the zemsky and gubnoy institutions created by the reforms of Ivan the Terrible. There, the Tsarist Decrees, as a rule, did not contradict the opinion of the “land”. It should be noted that the zemsky and gubnoy huts and the respected elders who headed them were not local governments in the modern sense, but performed the most important state functions on the local level.

Finally, autocracy implies the obligatory use of all three principles of power organization: monarchical, aristocratic and democratic. Tihomirov (2006) believed that the definition of “aristocracy” was the privilege of the Autocrat in the formation of a governing system divided along functional lines, and “democracy” should operate in local and corporate affairs, based on election.

In order to effectively use the historical experience and potential of Russian statehood, it is necessary to have clear ideas about the principles of its organization, which can be accepted by all nations without damage to their national identity (Budcyn, 2012). In this context, we’ll consider only some of them.

Russian autocratic statehood is imperial. Empire serves as the form and meaning of its existence and development. In fact, the Russian Empire was formed in the chronological interval from Ivan the Great to Ivan the Terrible, when the main imperial signs became more apparent. They were the multinational and multi-confessional population structure, the unified management system (internal stability system), the unified army (external security system), the unified state language (the language of international communication), the common economic space (survival space), and the official ideology. The Moscow Tsar, or, as it was called at that time in the West, the Emperor, became the protector and patron of all the peoples who inhabited the empire. Under Peter I rule, statehood acquired the appropriate external form. In 1721, the Russian Empire, which existed until the 1917, was officially proclaimed. In fact, Russia continued to develop in the form of the so-called “Red Empire” for most of the 20th century.

Unlike other empires, the Russian Empire was a form of reconciliation of the peoples living in it. Different religions, nations, cultures, traditions coexisted there. The Orthodoxy played the most important role in it. It did not repel nor destroy “ideological” opponents, but had lived with them in peace and friendship for the past 1030 years. Having settled under the roof of the Russian Empire, all peoples and denominations imbued with its spirit, which is based on the state-forming core - the Russian people.

Russian autocratic statehood, in contrast to the western, has a private law nature. Even Kiev Metropolitan Hilarion in his “Word on Law and Grace” said that Knyaz’ Vladimir was already an autocratic ruler, “This glorious ... our Knyaz’ Vladimir ... became an autocrat of his land, having subdued the district peoples, alone with the world, and the unconquered with the sword" (Ilarion, 2001, p. 29). In the 16th century. Ivan the Terrible, in correspondence with Andrei Kurbsky, directly defended the autocratic nature of his reign, different from the Western one, “So after all, their kings do not own their kingdoms, and they rule as their subjects tell them. While the Russian autocrats themselves, not their boyars and nobles, own their state!” (Ivan IV Groznyj, 2009, p. 211). Both the Rurikovich and the Romanovs always looked at the Moscow kingdom as their allodial patrimony, and at the service people as state employees, who for their work received the right of hereditary or life-long rent of land. Starting with Ivan III, through the oprichnina of Ivan IV, the process of transforming the patrimonial landed aristocracy — the boyars — into one of the categories of service people began. During the Time of Troubles, the dynasty of Rurikovich was ended, but the boyars could not establish their rule. Alexei Mikhailovich in the Council Code of 1649 permited free exchange of noble estates for partmonies and vice versa. And Peter I, by the Decree “On United Heritage”, liquidated the legal difference between the two categories of landowners, leaving only the term in use and the status of “nobleman”. According to the “Table of Ranks” in 1722, all the nobles were obliged to serve the sovereign for life.

In turn, the power in Russia is a duty to society (the world) and each of its members (subjects). The responsibility of the supreme power for the fate of the Fatherland is rooted in the idea of “autocracy”. It is well represented in the specifically Russian concept of power as a “heavy burden” entrusted to the sacred figure of the Autocrat by God. It seems to us that this idea in modern conditions is one of the most relevant.

An important principle of Russian statehood relevant today is the state self-government of the people, which is directly related to the need to form a civil society, not only in Russia, but in most modern states, including countries with so-called developed democracy.

The current constitution of Russia excludes local self-government from the system of government bodies (the Constitution, Art. 12), while traditionally it was an integral part of it. From Kievan Rus, people were involved in the solution of the most important state affairs through veche meetings and “Verv” (“peace”) - the peasant community. In the era of Ivan the Terrible, the state status of local self-government was officially secured by the gubnoy and zemsky reforms. The most important state functions of the police and the court were in charge of elected elders. This is directly indicated, for example, by the Belozerskaya Gubnaia Gramota (1539), the Medynskii Gubnoi Mandate (1555) (Russian legislation, 1985). Moreover, as the First Pskov Chronicle of 1541 mentions, this practice was widespread. Such state functions as the layout and collection of taxes were removed from the jurisdiction of the governor and the governors and transferred to the laboratories and Zemsky Institutions (Russian legislation, 1985).

The peasant "world" received the right of practical solutions to questions of everyday life, including the search for fugitives and the disposal of escheat assets. Along with that, the institute of “jurors” (“favorite heads”), elected by the entire population, was introduced. Without their participation, proceedings could not be carried out. Asserting personally the lists of state “officials” elected locally, the king not only strengthened their authority, but also established a direct connection and mutual trust with the people.

An important channel of this communication was a petition (chelobitnaia). With their help, the Supreme Authority could increase the internal stability of the state system. The institute of petition, established under Ivan IV, drawn up as a petition order, put into practice the concept of statehood as a form of self-organization of society. The communities of one county, by several persons selected for this purpose, submitted most of the petitions. Permanent elected officials joined the “favorite” petitioners - elders, ones under command of sotnya and village policemen (Veselovskij, 1977). Thus, with the help of the people, the activities of the “bureaucracy” were monitored, which emphasized the justice of the Supreme Power in the eyes of the society. Taking into account the activities of the gubnoy and zemssky institutions, the system made it possible to effectively deal with the corruption of the time (“promises” and “bribery”). Unfortunately, starting from Peter I to Nicholas II, the Supreme Power relinquishes these institutions. However, as the Russian saying goes, “a holy place is never empty,” and it is occupied by a politico-bureaucratic “mediastinum between the Tsar and the People” (Solonevich, 2005).

In the Soviet period, the tradition resumed in the form of direct appeal of citizens to the party organs, personifying the Supreme power. In modern Russia, it has found its embodiment in the figure of the President. Not being a part of any of the elected by the people branches of power, and being the guarantor of the Constitution, the President acquires the aura of the Supreme power in the eyes of the population. Annual dialogues with the people, cases of direct solutions to specific problems, the establishment of the President’s website, the activities of the Popular Front, etc., can be considered as a mechanism that allows any citizen appeal to the bearer of this halo of power in search of justice.

Russian statehood is based on social justice. Excess product - the basis of social wealth - is insignificant in Russian conditions. This implies the necessity of 1) strict control of the Consumption of the upper crust by the Autocrat; 2) personal modesty of the Supreme Power itself.

The implementation of all principles manifests the paternalistic origin of autocracy, which is an integrating element in the system of Russian statehood. The state is a family where everyone is loved not for their actions, but simply because they exist, and each has its own place in the common cause. In addition, in family matters everyone has the right to vote. Thus, the "power of opinion" is formed, inherent in the "world". At the same time, the head of the “family” has the last word, which for all its members acquires the power and strength of the law.

The tasks of the head of the family – the Autocrat – is to ensure the internal stability and continuity of traditional values, as well as the external security of the Empire. The first is achieved through the national education system, which is one of the most important ways to preserve statehood. In Russian education, two principles have always been combined: training and upbringing. All teachers (from Ushinsky to Makarenko) and politicians (from Peter I to Stalin), who understood the importance of public education, spoke about this. Speranskij (2002) put "education" as a factor that ensures the strength of the state, in third place, after the "laws" and "image of government" (pp. 31-33), but before the "army" and "finances". “It’s not enough,” he wrote, “for the government to have good performers in any given era; it is necessary that it should assure itself that they will continue forever. This cannot be achieved otherwise, as by means of a social education”.

The army provides external security and protection. In Russia, there was no mass mercenary army. Starting from the old Russian “thousands”, the Strelets army and the recruit system to universal military service, the Russian army was always connected with the people. Its power lies in its national character. People perceive any armed invasion as an encroachment on their lives; therefore, resistance acquires the character of a Patriotic War and manifests itself in the form of militias and partisan movements. The supreme power not only supported these manifestations of popular patriotism, but often organized and directed them.

The paternalistic principle cements the foundations of the Russian autocratic statehood, giving it the meaning and character of a unique civilization , which is the form of existence of the multinational Russian people, based on the principles of friendship, mutual assistance and fraternal unity of all peoples which compose it. This traditional basis of Russian statehood fundamentally contradicts with the idea of tolerance adopted in the modern Western state-legal consciousness. The state becomes a tool for the formation of the cultural and civilizational space, under the influence of which the very forms of state organization are transformed, acquiring the features and essence of the highest manifestation of statehood – the empire .


So: 1) the movement towards a unified world community is an objective process predetermined by teleology, sociology, economics and ecology of the world development; 2) globalization, imposed on humanity by world crypto power, leads to the extinction of a living civilizational principle of human history; 3) the actual formation of a universal civilization is possible only through the development of integration processes that preserve the cultural and national characters of various peoples; 4) The paternalistic model of the Russian imperial statehood that has proved its worth can become a form of existence and development of world civilization.

Paternalism, penetrating the basic principles of the Russian autocratic statehood, manifests itself in them psychologically in faith in the “Tsar-father”. The supreme power has in the national consciousness a halo of kindness and mercy . Socially, paternalism is shown in the principle of social justice ; ideologically - in the sacralization of autocratic power; politically - in the participation of the people in government management ; organizationally - in the direct connection with the Supreme Power with the people; legally - in the private law nature of statehood.


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28 December 2019

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Aleksandrova, I., & Budtsyn*, I. (2019). Russian Statehood And Challenges Of Globalization. In D. Karim-Sultanovich Bataev, S. Aidievich Gapurov, A. Dogievich Osmaev, V. Khumaidovich Akaev, L. Musaevna Idigova, M. Rukmanovich Ovhadov, A. Ruslanovich Salgiriev, & M. Muslamovna Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 76. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 495-501). Future Academy.