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Mikhail Nikolayevich Muravyov

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M.N. Muravyov
M.N. Muravyov

Count Mikhail Nikolayevich Muravyov (Russian: Граф Михаи́л Никола́евич Муравьёв) (April 19 [O.S. April 7] 1845, Saint Petersburg – June 21 [O.S. June 8] 1900) was a Russian statesman who advocated transferring the attention of Russian foreign policy from Europe to the Far East. He is probably best remembered for having initiated the Hague Peace Conference.

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  • A. Fursov - introduction into Russian history Lecture 1, part 2 with english subtitles


We will study Russian history separately. We will use russian conceptual system, which follow from logic of russian history. For example, when I talk about Russian history I am trying do not use term "country". I use term "power", because for me "country" is same as "state" or rather "lo stato". Anybody knows who created term "lo stato"? This term we are using for western countries. - Machiavelli. - Yes, right, at the end of 15 century. We always will compare Russian history with Europe, China, India, muslim countries and analyse similarities and differences. Very important thing: we will study Russian history as part of broad history, part of Eurasian and world history, because Russia always was a part of some systems. Those systems deremined development of Rusina history. There are anonter thing, which we have to take into account, when we will analyse recent history. There is confrontation between Anglo-Saxons and Russia for the last 200 years: British empire, US and supranational structures. In 19 century it was a geopolitical war for recources. In 20 century, when USSR appeared, it was confrontation of two alternative world orders: capitalism and systematic anti-capitalism. Now we have situation of 19 century in geo-politics and geo-economics. Russia does not create alternative model of social development. Russia will never win, only draw is possible unless new social model will be created. New aspect appeared related to battle for Eurasia: threat of geo-climatic catastrophe. In the case of global catastrophe, northen Euroasia will be only one stable place provided with recources for 200-300 years. There is no coincidence that at the end of 2011 London School of Economics and Brookings Institute published closed research which was studied for several years. The name is "Project on Internal Displacement". This project study displacement of big amount of peoples in case of disaster. New dimension of battle for Eurasia appeared. When we start study some country, we should pay attention to it geographical features. Otherwise we can be easily cheated. For example, "perestroika" scum of 1985-91 was saying "we will have market, our products will be competitive and life will be good". Andrei Parshev in the book "Why Russia is not America" showed that any product produced in Russia will not be competitive in the world market, because they will be more expensive. What do you think, why? Because of transportation cost and cold weather. Let's see our specifics. European part of Russia does not have benefits of western europe. We does not have variety of surface shape and sinuous sea coast. Since end of 15 century Russia is largest country of Europe. Area of Europe is 11,6 millions km. Area of european part of Russia is 5,6 millions km. This imply some disadvantages. For example, in western europe 51% of territory placed less then in 250 km from sea. In Russia only 15% of territory placed less then in 250 km from sea. Gogol was writing: "Russia has places located so far, that you can ride a horse 3 years and will not reach those places" Eastern europe has places located in 1000 km from sea. The most remote point in western europe located in 600 km from sea. Russia has moderate climate, but have big difference between summer and winter temperatures, because of remoteness from the sea. Russian flat land divided in 4 climatic zones. Arctic zone, beyond the Polar circle. Northern (subarctic) zone (66,5° - 57° N) to the town Kostroma. Moderate zone (57° - 50°) to the line Kharkiv-Kamyshin. Southern (steppe) zone (50° - 44°). We don't have meridional oriented mountains, so altitude above sea level does not matter. Sea have very weak influence to our climate. Wind direction is very specific. Westerly winds prevail in north area of russian flat land. More cold easterly winds prevail in southern area of russian flat land. That means it's cold everywhere. Warm wind from the west can't make north warm. Cold wind from east refrigerate south. Westerly winds blow in summer, easterly winds blow in winter. Russian flat land has two types of soil. Border betwen two types is on the line Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Kaluga, Kiev, Lutsk. Northen soil has low biological productivity. Southern soil is normal. This two soil zones match with another two zones: forest and steppe. Forest had strong infuence to our history. Most of the population lived in the forest zone until end of 18 century. In europe, Sherwood Forest where Robin Hood was hiding, by the start of 13 century (25-30 years after Robin Hood) had only 600 trees. In England all forest was cut down by the middle of 13 century. England was buying wood from Norway. All europe lost forest quite fast. Germany and Czech had better situation, but Russia was beyond comparison. In 17 century Russia seemed to foreigner as big forest. I went to Seliger lake to give a lecture. In spite of roads and towns country looks like forest country. It the forest you can hide from steppe nomads. Steppe was the way to the sea, but steppe was dangerous. There were a lot of "waves" of steppe nomads which coexist with Proto-Slavs, Slavs and our ancestors. Anybody know what was the first wave of steppe nomads with which Proto-Slavs fight? - Xiongnu. - No. What was ethnic origin of Conan the Barbarian? - Cimmerian. - Yes. Who came after Cimmerians? Scythians. Who was after Scythians? - Xiongnu. - No. - Sarmatians. - Yes, right. Who was after Sarmatians? Goths and Huns. Who else? Eurasian Avars. Then it is very simple. Remember Ruslan and Ludmila. From whom Ruslan came back, when his wounds were healed? Who is attaking Kiev? Ruslan was helping to protect Kiev. - Pechenegs. - Yes, right. Khazars, Pechenegs, Cumans(Polovtsians), then Mongols. So factor of steppe nomads always existed. Rivers are very important thing. There are a lot of big rivers, most of them flow to the south. The biggest difference between russian and western rivers: russian rivers are more snow-fed, then rain fed rivers. Therefore rivers are overflow in spring. Big rivers Volga, Dnepr, Western Dvina originate from Valdai Hills. Valdai Hills are central watershed of russian flat land. Europe does not have such complicated river system. Most of the rivers flow to the south, but many rivers flow to the north. You are portaging boat 10 km and you are going to the north. Such river network allow to travel everywhere as opposed to Europe. Look at the Rhine river, it's straight. Usually russian rivers have small fall of water surface. Small fall of water surface means the slow current in the river, which means that rivers have a lot of big curves. European rivers are very straight, russian river are making zigzag. Now, lets talk about temperature. One of my working places is INION Institute, it was built as copy of Norwegian Academy of Science. Peoples who built thought that Norway is colder than in Russia and building will stand. This building last for 30 years and start crumbling unlike in Norway. What was mistake? Where average temperature is higer? - We have higher temperature drop. Ok, where average temperature is higer, in Finland or in Russia? Who remember detective story of Agatha Christie? Murder in yew alley. Where yew trees grow in Russia? In the Caucasus. England is much more further north than Caucasus. How yew trees can grow in England? - Gulf Stream. - Yes, right. Average temperature in Russia is -5,5°. Average temperature in Finland is +1,5°. About Finland we are under the impression of Winter War and terribly cold winter of 1939-40. But terribly cold winter was in Smolensk area as well. Lets compare. Average temperature in Moscow is +3,8°, in St. Petersburg +4,3°. Average temperature in Vancouver (Canada) is +9,8°, in Montreal +6,7°. Peoples are talking that Canada has same weather conditions as Russia. That is lie. In Canada in the latitude of Moscow villages has names: Uranium City, Port Radium (?). This is camps, peoples are not living permanently in the latitude of Moscow. Latitude of New York match with which city in Russia? - Krasnodar. There are term "effective area". This term created by french geographer and anarchist Elisee Reclus, friend of Kropotkin. Effective area is territory located not higher then 2000 m from sea level and average annual temperature is not lower then -2°. Russia takes the fifth place in the world by effective area. Russia is biggest country, effective area takes only 5 place in the world. 55% of Russia's territory is permafrost. 19% of territory is reindeer pasture. Only 13% of territory can be used for farming. Actually Russia is country of reindeer breeders. 19% for deers, 13% for agriculture. It is no accident that Russia calls as area of risk farming. Anybody knows how peoples in old times call "productivity"? - Sam. - Yes, right. Anybody knows what was productivity(sam) value in central Russia? Sam 3-4. Sam 3 is lowest possible value for farming. Sam 3 means: I put one seed and get 3 seeds. From those 3 seeds I must save one for next summer, one for food and last one is surplus. Farming is useless with sam 2. Sam 3-4 means survival. So russian farmer is man who survive. When he finish survival, he have to go hunting, create something to sale in town, do fishing. So farming was enough for subsist. It is no coincidence when in 1890's industry destroyed farming, hunting and fishing were not enough and european part of Russia start starving (1892-93). Peoples say that our country is so rich. Yes it has a lot of different thing. But only 13% of territory can be used for agriculture, productivity is low. What do you think what was productivity value in England in 16-17 centures? Sam 6. When productivity reaches sam 6 level, You do not need so many peoples to produce food and peoples are moving to towns. Town development depend on productivity. There was historian Milov who wrote book "Russian Plowman and Special Aspects of Russian Historical Process". He showes that russian agricultural aggregate social product is small, in comparison with Europe. China with 2 harvests per year is beyond comparison. We have small aggregate social product. This means that top people can't take too much from population. In terms of Marxism top people can take surplus product and can't take necessary product. This situation existed until 18 century, until russian elite met the needs of a russian society. After Peter the First reforms Russian nobility (elite) wanted to live like in Europe. In order to have european way of life top people had to take more product from population. During the Catherine rule exploitation extent of peasants increased by 3 times. Farming have low productivity. So, when top peoples started to have european lifestyle, they had to take part of necessary product. Westernization meant hard life for common peoples. That was cause of low productivity. It is no accident that one of the main function of russian central authorities was supervision of elite. There was ranged system. Central authorities watched elite, to prevent excessive exploitation of population. They did not do it because they loved common peoples. They did it because excessive exploitation of population could destroy whole system. I want to tell you another thing. There was such phrase in USSR textbooks: Feudalism in Russia did not develop, it was widening. But same thing was written about capitalism. Let's imagine some territory. Feudalism is widening, spreading on the surface. Then capitalism is spreading on the surface. It does not develop. What does it mean? What does it mean, when some social system is spreading on the surface and not developing? I will not discuss about feudalism, actually it never existed in Russia. What is such society where feudalism is widening, capitalism is widening? In fact communism also was widening. Imagine bread. You are slicing like this and spread bread with butter. Then you decide to slice in such way and spread bread with same peace of butter. Will you taste butter? - No. That shows that conceptions of feudalism and capitalism does not explain russuan reality. In Russia we had something else and we will determine this "something else". Another important thing. How to explain.. When you are watching splendid french movie "The Three Musketeers" (LES TROIS MOUSQUETAIRES) of 1959, or any french or british movie about Anglo-French life, you are believe to such movies. Because you see Castles, plenty of material substance. When we are making movies about western life, we are making a mistakes related to things. That connected with such thing. Plenty of material substance is typical of West. They even have villages made from stone. Tikhomirov, russian revolutionary, noted one thing about France: "Open space at the foot of mountain Saleve came into our's view." "It was a border between Framce and Switzerland." "I was amazed by this huge amount of work." "Every part of the field was fenced off by very thick and high wall." "Flanks of hills had terraces. And all country was divided in tiny plots of land, which were fenced off by stone walls." "I could not understand such mistery." "Eventually I understood that this is property, capital, billions and billions. The whole work of generation is nothing in comparison with this." So what Tikhomirov says? There are materialized labour (stone) and live labor (houses). Europe has a lot of materialized labour. Continue reading Tikhomirov notes: "What is materialized labour in Russia?" "Wilderness, peace and quiet, there are nothing. Nobody lives in the house of grandfather, because house was burned 2-3 times in the time of grandfather." "What remain from grandfather? - Clothes? -No. Cow? -No." "But here (France) the past is enveloping whole human. Everywhere something from the past and inherited." "This suggests an idea: which revolution can crush this past ingrown in everything," in which (the past) everyone lives as mollusks in coral reef." Very important thing. Europe has limited space. In Europe feudalism was formed in such way: feudal lord was taking land away from farmers and was saying to them "I will protect you". Because there was a little of land. In Russia antagonistic relationships between dukes and communities have never been about land. Because there were plenty of land. If you want to take away my land, I will move to the east and will have happy live there, and you will lose manpower. So in here we have different relationships. Proportion of materialized labour to live labor was different. Tikhomirov's words about revolution are important: "which revolution can crush this past ingrown in everything". What is capital? Capital is materialized labour, compressed time, compressed property. Time, property, law - categories of same level (similar). In Russia peoples don't pay no attention to time and property. Space and power are important for us. Moreover, not everyone understand what is private property. About 15 years ago I was explaing to our very good economist that bureaucracy was not owner in USSR. He answer: I was a bureaucrat in USSR, I has a right to dispose of all property and I was free to do as I wish. I was explaining to him: right to dispose of property does not mean to own this property. As Karl Marx said, "property is not theft, this is legal relations". Was recorded that you own property? He answer: why do I need records, I could dispose of everything. That is specific approach to property which was not private property. When revolution in Germany fail in 1923, Bukharin was mocking at german labourers saing: "german labourers run away from bullet in such way to do not damage lawn (grass)". Because grass is labour, property which you have to take care. Ernest Hemingway was a journalist in 1923 in Germany. When revolution was suppressed, some workmans lock themself up in the mines from authorities. Ernest Hemingway went to them to obtain interview. Hemingway asked them: why you do not threaten authorities to explode mines, if they will not comply with your demands? German workmans did not understand him. How we can destroy mine? Mine is the result of work, it's property. How it is possible to explode result of work, property? This attitude to property related to this plenty of material substance. This is principle difference between Russia and western Europe. That does not mean smb worse or better, this is just different systems, different proportion of materialized labour to live labor. In Russia live labor always was more important. We did not have castles, because did not have stone. There were other factors wich made our historical way different from Western Europe way. I have a question to you. What do you think, why heroes of Western European epos and folklore are dukes, knights? For example Knights of the Round Table, King Arthur. But in russian heroic epic folklore, main characters are bogatyrs (warrier, strongman, epical hero). Bogatyrs were commoners, they represented free nature of russian nation. Who in russian heroic epic folklore is representative of elite? No, no, only from epic tales. Vladimir the Red Sun. He is positive character? No, he is bad. There are another bad prince in epic tale about Stavr Godinovich, and heroic epic about Volga and Mikula. "Volga" is prince Oleg, Mikula is commoner. Mikula overthrow, defeat prince Oleg. From the famous "The Three Bogatyrs": Ilya Muromets, Dobrynya Nikitich, Alyosha Popovich only one is very slightly, invisibly related to elite: Dobrynya Nikitich. People changed him to Nikitich, in fact he is Niskinich. Niskiniches was the ruling house of Drevlyans. Those Drevlyans who allegedly were burned by Olga of Kiev using pigeons. Of course this is myth. So, russian heroes are representatives of common people, heroes of Western epic are dukes, counts, knights. Why? Russian were so democratic? What is the reason of such difference? Later, we will see consequences in 19 century. Pushkin wrote: british redneck respects his lord, but russian redneck does not. In 19 century another thing from 18 century was added to disrespect. Nevertheless this disrespect comes from the early Middle Ages. Why heroes are so different? Why so class approach in heroization of characters? Class approach in the West and democratic approach in Russia. Why? - Made to order. Any epics and stories are made on order. - Europe has good government, Russia has bad one. - Heroes of Western epic have everything. Heroes of russian epic have nothing, except high spirits. - Only peoples, who have capital have power. - Capital in middle ages? No. - More suggestions. Try to think practically. Try to use lateral thinking. Who knows what is Lateral thinking? Who read about it? The term was coined by Edward de Bono. ...speaks about translation this term to russian... Nobody knows? Lateral thinking is thinking out of the ordinary. In soviet times was a splendid magazin "rationalizer and inventor". 70% of content I could not understand, but 30% was about thinking improvement, different puzzles in the style of Martin Gardner and so on. ..start speaking about some book.. There are two merchants of ancient or medieval Iran, one is rich, another is poor. Poor one owes money to rich one and can't repay a debt. Rich merchant proposes a solution to poor one: You have young daughter, she will marry me and I will forgive a debt. I understand I am old, she does not want to marry me, but we will leave results with Allah. I will hold two stones, white and black. Your daughter will choose one of my hands before 2 witnesses. If she choose white stone, I will not marry her and forgive a debt. If she choose black stone, I will marry her and forgive a debt. Poor merchant agree to play this game. Girl notices that rich merchant picked up two black stones. What we can do in such situation? Girl chooses hand and dropes stone "by accident" and says: let's see what is in other hand, so we will understand which stone I choosed. Rich merchant have two options: admit that she choosed white stone or confess to violation the Allah law. This is Lateral thinking. So when I ask you questions, use Lateral thinking and always ask question "who is to profit from it?" and wich social conditions made russian epics to have democratic approach and western epic to have class approach. What Western European did not need and what russian princes needed? When peoples say about mystifying russian soul, I remember my friend Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Zinovyev. He did not like such things, he spoke: "what is mystery of russian soul?", "russian soul is russian mess put in certain head". How many knights had counts or dukes in Western Europe in 8-9 century? I don't ask about barons, because they had very small amount of knight. Counts or dukes had 15-20 knights. Knight is like tank. For example Battle of Bannockburn(?) (start of 14 century) between Scotland and England. 9 Knights of the Temple (Templars) put to flight almost 800 Englishmans. Because knight in full armour can easily disperse 50-60 peasants. Notice that Western Europe peasants were disarmed by 8 century. That is very important. Western Europe by 8-9 century had division of military and peaceful functions (job). So, some peoples have sword, some had nothing, at the best they can take a bow and depart for Sherwood Forest to Robin Hood. The only threat for count, duke or baron was another count, duke or baron. If Vikings come, you can hide out in the castle. Who was a main threat of russian princes in 9-10 century? Steppe nomads. Khazars, Pechenegs, Cumans(Polovtsians). Kiev prince had the biggest fighting squad - 800 peoples. 20 knights are nothing to 800 warriors, but 800 warriors are nothing to 12000 Pechenegs. To fight with 12000 Pechenegs you need all community, all population of town. So all peoples have to be armed. By Kiev legislation of 12 century right to bear arms had even sun of free man and slave women. Suns of free man and slave women carried swords. Peoples armed with swords are bad exploitation objects. Princes did not oppress commons. For example, when prince fight and sack neighbouring princedom or successful raid on Byzantine Empire, part of booty he give to community. So princes always need support of community. So, permanent threat from the steppe caused provide greater democracy of russian society. Everyone have to be armed. Thats why we had Veche (popular assembly). Very interesting that term Veche dissapears during rule of Golden Horde, when princes could call for Golden Horde warriors to suppress own population. Thus, this is first difference between Western Europe and Russia in 9 century. There are another difference. Anybody know what was the main source of wealth for russian princes until middle of 11 century? Farming or something else? - Furs. What they did with furs? - Sell abroad. -Yes. Sources of wealth were furs, slaves, horses, jewerly. So, movable property only. The main source of wealth for feudalism is farming. Western Europe had feudalism in full swing by the middle of 11 century. The main source of wealth for russian princes was trading. By the middle of 11 century began to decay by two reasons. 1. Seljuk Turks appeared in Byzantine Empire. 2. Trade route from the Varangians to the Greeks began to decay. So princes start to suppress local population. Result was: town uprisings (rebellions) in the middle of 11 century and mass migration to Volga-Oka interfluve (Moscow area). Second factor wich determined different historical development is trade factor. Western European feudals did not have much goods for selling and there was no one to trade with. Feudals had rich harvest, russians had poor harvest, but they could trade. Another factor: plenty of free land. On the one hand top peoples do not need to seizure of lands, on the other hand you can go 200 km away and prince will never see you again. As in movie "Bumbarash": "I will put tobacco in your shitty document and smoke it". So this factors (plenty of land, trading, steppe nomads) were making our historical development very different from West until Golden Horde came. There was another difference wich was influincing our historical way from the beginning. For example there are count and duke in Milan. They have a conflict. Who will determine a dispute? Senior feudal, king or archbishop. On the basis of what he will solve the dispute? On the basis of law. Rurik dynasty governed Novgorod-Kievan Rus as family, clan. Western European feudals governed individually. The throne passed not linearly from father to son, but laterally from brother to brother (to the most senior in the family). For example Kievan Grand Prince dies, then next most senior prince from Smolensk moves to Kiev and prince from Chernigov moves to Smolensk and so on. This is Rota system of succession. Of course this system was being disrupted from time to time. Sometimes another prince could come to govern or son could seize power. But they all were one family, clan. Do we need law to solve disputes if we are all relatives? Of course no, because we are relatives. This is good or bad? -Bad. - Yes, right. Because law does not develop. There was interesting thing: princes of Kievan-Novgorod Rus broke an oath about 10 times per life. But oathbreakers were forgiven, because they were relatives. We are one family, we do not need legislation. We don not need to ask archbishop or smb else to solve dispute by law. Genealogical vassalage prevail over political and legal vassalage. So, historical development of Russia start from 9-10 centures differed from Western European develompent. So in 9-10 centures Russia was already dissimilar to Western Europe. We did not have stone, had plenty of land, armed population. Also some foreighers call absence of distance as russian rudeness. There are american journalist Hedrick Smith, he is author of term "New Russians". It's a very rare case when Western man, american, lived for a short while in Russia and unsderstood essence of our country very well. His best book is The Power Game about american politic system. It is a pity that this book have not translated to russian. This book has 800 pages. This is journalistic research, very easy to read. He could get degree of doctor our university of US and Canada. The book is analysis of 4 american administrations. His last book is "Who Stole the American Dream?". He has a very good english for journalist. I recommend to read. He worked a lot in Russia. He wrote two books: "The Russians" and "The New Russians". He didnot stick labels on anybody. He describes some occurrence which amazed him. He was going by train from St. Peterburg to Moscow at the end of 60's. Admiral went out to platform. He sprang from the train without hat. There was a beastly cold and admiral just sliped on coat. There were two big, this size, cleaning women on the platform. They yelled to him: "Are you crazy? Where do you go? Now then, go and wear hat immediately! You'll catch cold!". Admiral went back to the train and wore hat. Hedrick writes: that is impossible in US, becase this is violation of privacy. How's that? This is privacy! Anybody watched movie "Deja Vu"? - Yes. - Do you remember, one Pole arrive to Moscow, he has to kill some mafioso. He is getting in some situations...somebody wear his dressing gown.. He is saying: this is privacy! Somebody answer: chill out, relax. Here we have same thing, Hedrick Smith amazed how two unknown cleaning women can say to admiral "Are you crazy? Now then, go and wear hat immediately! You'll catch cold!", and admiral go and wear his hat. So this is normal relationships between russian, but impossible in Anglo-Saxon world. But there are also gradations. Herzen in his book "My Past and Thoughts" writes about difference between english and french policemans. If two Frenchmans start to fight, french policeman will interfere immediatelly. British policeman will wait for a call from one of them. Because figting is privacy. But if they start kill each other, this is not good. So when smb can be rude to you in the public transport, this comes from 10 century. We donot have big difference between upper and lower classes. In US I lived in the area without poor peoples. US has very strong social segregation in the space. This is still impossible in our country. Because this is our 1000 years old historical code. By the way, peoples who were doing Perestroika (1985-91) knew it. Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev said in interview in half of year before his death: "By doing Perestroika we were not breaking USSR, we were breaking a thousand-year-old model of Russia's development." This peoples knew what they were doing. They wanted to make USSR model more Western. But it turned out how it happened. Liberal-democratic party represented by Zhirinovsky. <he is fool> We have weird capitalism and many other things. We have it in our own way. Because we have different system which was formed 1000 years ago. Evolution of big complex system is irreversible. India will collapse if you annul a caste system now. Thats is why India still have caste system. Moreover, India is only one formally democratic country in asia, because all dirty work doing caste system. Democratic institutions did not take on in the eastern countries without caste system. Because nothing do durty work for democratic institutions. At the beginning....I don't assert that our history starts from 9-10 century. I think our history is older because of archaeological excavations in Arkaim and in the North. We don't have time to study this part of history. Many things still remain from this historical period, for example word "kramola". Anybody knows what is old meaning of this word? - Prayer to the god Ra. - Yes, right. But Christian priests made bad meaning of "kramola", because prayer to god Ra it is prohibited. We will study history from 9-10 century. By this time evolution of Rus had it own way. Afterward we had Golden Horde, then experiment of Peter the Great, then anti-capitalist experiment. So our history development differs from Western development. Imagine you have to explain to alien, american, somebody... What is constant of russian history? Constant of Indian history is caste, constant of Arab tribes is tribe. Arab tribes continued to this day. For example tribe of murdered Muammar Gaddafi is Qadhadhfa. M. Gaddafi is man with tribal consciousness. Constant of Roman Empire and Ancient Greece history is Polis. Do we have something constant in our history? Something what never changes or changes in accordance with Rule of Lampedusa. Rule of Lampedusa in French: "...somethimg in French..." "The more it changes, the more it is remaining old self." What do we have constant in our history? - Secret subconscious closeness? I understand your trend of thought, that's right. This is informal relations, friendship. Interesting that it was supposed that we will recover along time after financial default of 1998. But we recovered quite fast. Sociologists says that reason is that in Russia informal relations are more important then formal. Existence of informal relations reaffirm that psychoanalysis will never take on in our country, it will be fraud for the most part. Also psychoanalysis will not take on in Japan and muslim countries. In US I lived small university town with population 30000. This town had 200 psychoanalysts. What do you think which function perform psychoanalyst? Why peoples need them? - To hear out. - There is nobody to hear out? You can only go to stranger and bend his ear? Russia have few serious psychoanalysts. One of them explained to me that if he work at full scale, after 3 sessions he have to go to psychoanalyst too. Because this is hard work. Why japanese psychoanalysts say that japanese society does not need psychoanalysis? Instead of high suicide rate. By the way, in Europe psychoanalysis comes from which Christian tradition, from Catholicism or something else? First of all with Protestantism. Although psychoanalysis appeared in Vienna, it spread to Protestantism. What is the reason for that? Why Catholics does not need psychoanalysis? Psychoanalysis becames fashion later. - Confession. - Confession as well. The point is that Catholics have community and Protestants are very atomistic. In US peoples go to psychoanalyst, in Russia peoples go with friends to sauna and then drink beer. That solves all problems. You do not need talk to psychoanalyst, you can tell everything to your friend. That's also different forms of sociality. To return to the question, this is not main constant in history. Does Russia have something similar to caste, clan, tribe or capital in the West? Power. Power is what russians understand well. Power is not government. Of course power should have some attributes. Peoples undertand intuitively that Gorbachev (the head of USSR) is not power, but crazy Yeltsin (first russian president) is power. Russian power is very specific. Western theories cannot explain properly russian autocracy and soviet power. For example. Some peoples says that autocracy is despotism, like eastern. Another peoples says that autocracy is absolutism like France had in 17 century. Such terms are not correct. But let's pretend that they are. The model of eastern despotism is China. Life of chinese emperor was so overregulatet, there was even limited time which emperor could spend with concubine: 45 min. After 45 min eunuch take away concubine. So traditions were higher than chinese emperor. Traditions defined chinese power. Let's take a look at french absolutism. In fact Louis XIV of France never told "I am the State!". Even he never told this, except him the was parlament. Here is a typical episode. Last two years of life he was in tears over Duke of Orleans. Louis knew that after his death Duke of Orleans will become regent. Louis hated him. Can you imaging crying russian tsar(king)? In Russia everything possible would be unscrewed (removed) from the body of regent. Will be no regent at all. Problem would be solved. So law was higher than Louis XIV of France. There was nothing higher than russuan autocracy. Russuan autocracy was limited by two things, then it broke down. Fist limitation appeared in 1 April 1797 when Paul I passed the law about succession to the throne: the eldest son will succeed to the title. The rule of succession can not exist by the russuan autocracy logic. Autocrat made all decisions. Peter the Great and Ivan the Terrible undersood this well. Ivan the Terrible did not kill his son, that's lie. Ivan the Terrible sometimes told to his son: I want to invite prince of Denmark as successor of russian throne. The son of Ivan the Terrible could not say anything because he understood that autocracy power is higher that law and religion. Second limitation of autocracy power was The October Manifesto of Nicholas II and autocracy was over. Let's analyze soviet power. We are doing this to undestand what we will study. Lenin writes in 1918: party dictatorship is dictatorship which can not be limited by any law and based on violence. Some peoples can say: this is 1918 - civil war. Lets take a look on 1961: Rokotov–Faibishenko case. There were three kings of moscow black market. They were hucksters. They were buying currency from foreigners, then reselled it. They calculated that they have time to earn 1 million before police catch them. By the soviet law they could be imprisoned for 3 years maximum. They thought they will spend 3 years in prison, then divide 1 million by 3 parts and will live. It turned out as they planned. They earn 1 million and were arrested. But they were very unlucky. Khrushchev (head of USSR) at this time was in West Berlin. He did not read morning newspaper yet, so he did not know about this story. Western journalist asked him: do you have millionaire? Khrushchev: "are you crazy?". Then journalists showed him soviet newspaper with arrested millionaire. Khrushchev was a common man and he droped his jaw from such amount of money. He came back to USSR and asked Prosecutor General: "what is this?". Prosecutor General said that we can imprison them only for 3 years. Khrushchev: "sentence them to death". Prosecutor General: "we do not have such law". Several peoples heard how Khrushchev said: "What does it mean? We, communist party, higher than law or we are under law?" So communist party is higher than law. This is 1960's. Let's analyse 1990, end of USSR. Secret note #17503 from assistant of Gorbachev to Gorbachev. Almost literally quote: Dear Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, experience of Eastern European communist party shows that property of party does not protected by law. That means that party property is not private property, so we have to create hidden party economic network etc. So, party is above law. Russian autocracy or communist party were higher than law as opposed to law at the East and West. Very interesting that even peoples who fight against Russian autocracy, duplicated same model in their plans. For example: Pavel Pestel (Russian revolutionary and ideologue of the Decembrists). Program of Pestel (republic) contrasted to Muravyov program (constitutional monarchy). But Pestel on certain conditions could accept constitutional monarchy and Muravyov could accept republic. The main difference was that Pestel found a concept for russian power. Who is executive power in our country? Prime Minister. We have legislative power, judicial power. If Prime Minister is executive power, what kind of power is President? What kind of authority is President? - Supreme authority. - What does it mean? In Yeltsin's time president was Protector of the Constitution. This is funny phrase. President guarantee constitution, not constitution guarantee president. Pestel created genius for russian power, better than supreme authority. Pestel's plan after winning revolution: By the way he was going to massacre part of northern elite. Pestel was from the South. Also he had project of deportation Jews to Central Asia. Pestel was interesting guy. Pestel's plan: separation of powers as in USA. Judicial power, executive power and legislative power. But there will be power above all those authorities. The highest power will be composed of 120 boyar appointed for life from southern society. This authority will be named Keeper Power. Keeper Power will watch all 3 branches of authorities. So our president is keeper power. This is implementation of old principles of russian history. Our power is above law and religion. I will never forget how Yeltsin (first russian president) sent birthday greetings to Patriarch Alexy II (head of Russian Orthodox Church). Yeltsin hadn't the wit to not show his telephone call on TV. Yeltsin said: "I congratulate you as Commander in Chief of all religious forces of country." Not ortodox forces, because he is head of Orthodox Church. Orthodoxy is main religion in Russia, so he was Commander in Chief of all religious forces: buddhists, judaists, muslims. My colleague was a witness of another funny story in Kremlin. Yeltsin had hangover. He was coming with Patriarch Alexy II. There were priest standing in sport military There were priests standing in sport-military style. Not Patriarch, Yeltsin said: "Christ is risen!". Priests: "He is risen indeed!". Sounds like military "Serve Soviet Union!". So Church also serve country, Church is a part of government. The dream of Church is to be independent. That why they so easy gave up Nicholas II (last Emperor of Russia). So russian power function in this way: there are only one power without others power subjects. Russian power can show in different ways. In 1999 Yeltsin heavy looks over table and says: "You are all sit wrong." Silence... peoples stand up and sit in right order. This is demonstration of russian power. You have to know your place in the space. Space control is very important. For example. In soviet times there was a sports weekly "Football hockey". To buy this weekly you have to wake up 1 hour before newsstand opens. But you can buy it at hotel "National". I was studying close to this hotel. You could go to hotel and buy. But you had to pass doorman. Doorman could let you go in or could deny entrance, because he control this space. I am citizen of USSR, I can go everywhere. But on my way is a man, who control this space. There was so huge difference in function with Western doorman. France, 1994. I live in Paris and write a book, it was precomputer time. Typewriter breaks. I go to my colleague and tell him: I need new typewriter. He said: go there and exchange old one to new one. I ask him: how I can go out of university building with typewriter? My colleague: what is problem? Me: there is Negro at the entrance, he will ask me where do I go with typewriter. My colleague: He is to answer your questions, not to ask you questions. I passed Negro one time, then came back and passed him demonstratively with typewriter second time. Negro did not ask anything! French doorman does not control space. His function is to answer questions. Soviet doorman could let you enter or could ask "Why do you enter this building? I will call police." This is principle of russian power. Tsar (king) control all territory. Doorman control small territory, he is small power. This is another feature of russian power. Power is not divided to qualitative parts (parts with different function). Power just split up into little bits and every bit has whole strength of power. When I was child, I lived in small town. We had house manager, but he was named as commandant. Commandant put up orders (notes), but most of the peoples did not care. Notes had header: order of commandant of town. This details shows principle difference of our society. If american saleswoman smiles to you, that does not mean she is kind to you. System smiles to you. If russian saleswoman answer to you sourly, that does not mean she hate you. She just have family problems.. System did not suppress her as opposed to very hard Western system. Western system suppress so much that you have to go to psychoanalyst, because you should smile and show how good is your life. We will start study history from Novgorod-Kiev Rus. This is history of system which fundamentally differ from West and East. We have to interpret our sustem from point of view of our reality. I read in the "The Economist" magazine article of some british which says: "When Egypt will have democratic elections, Egypt will get democracy". Democratic elections in Egypt can win Islamites only, which immediately take off head from democracy. But democracy is holy ideal: "Should be democracy". But because of democracy Islamites are coming to power and start removing democracy. This society has blinkers on. I think this old society has will to death. I do not have proof, but I go to the West and see that society is coming to sociocultural death.

Life and career

Mikhail Muravyov was the son of General Count Nicholas Muravyov (governor of Grodno), and grandson of Count Mikhail Nikolayevich Muravyov-Vilensky, who became notorious for his drastic measures in stamping out the Polish insurrection of 1863 in the Lithuanian provinces. He was educated at a secondary school at Poltava, and was for a short time at Heidelberg University.

In 1864, he entered the chancellery of the minister of foreign affairs at St.Petersburg, and was soon afterwards attached to the Russian legation at Stuttgart, where he attracted the notice of Queen Olga of Württemberg. He was transferred to Berlin, then to Stockholm, and back again to Berlin. In 1877, he was second secretary at The Hague. During the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78, he was a delegate of the Red Cross Society in charge of an ambulance train provided by Queen Olga of Württemberg.

After the war, he was successively first secretary in Paris, chancellor of the embassy in Berlin, and then minister in Copenhagen. In Denmark, he was brought much into contact with the imperial family, and, on the death of Prince Lobanov-Rostovsky in 1896, he was appointed by Tsar Nicholas II to be his minister of foreign affairs.

The next three and a half years were a critical time for European diplomacy. The revolt of Crete against Ottoman rule and events leading to the Boxer Rebellion in China were disturbing factors. Count Muravyov's policy regarding Crete was vacillating; in China, his hands were forced by Germany's action at Kiaochow. He misled Britain concerning the Russian leases of Port Arthur and Talienwan from China; he told the British ambassador that these would be open ports, and afterwards significantly modified this pledge.

When Tsar Nicholas II inaugurated the Peace Conference at The Hague in 1899, Count Muravyov extricated his country from a situation of some embarrassment in China; but when, subsequently, Russian agents in Manchuria and Peking connived at the agitation which culminated in the Boxer Rebellion of 1900, relations between Muravyov and the tsar became strained. Muravyov died suddenly on June 21, 1900, after a stormy interview with Sergei Witte and Aleksey Kuropatkin in which Witte laid considerable blame on Muravyov for the crisis in China (Muravyov had insisted on taking Port Arthur against Witte's advice); because there was a wound on his left temple when he died, there was a rumor that he had committed suicide, but "the official government announcement asserted that, after rising late, he had merely slipped in his study and grazed his temple on the sharp side of a bureau."[1]

He was awarded Order of the White Eagle and a number of other decorations.[2]


  1. ^ Ian Nish, The Origins of the Russo-Japanese War (Longman, 1985; ISBN 0582491142), p. 73.
  2. ^ Acović, Dragomir (2012). Slava i čast: Odlikovanja među Srbima, Srbi među odlikovanjima. Belgrade: Službeni Glasnik. p. 631.


Political offices
Preceded by
Aleksey Lobanov-Rostovsky
Foreign Minister of Russia
Succeeded by
Vladimir Lamsdorf
This page was last edited on 12 May 2021, at 09:55
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