Roger W. Smith, Несколько Слов о Проф. П. А. Сорокине (A Few Words About Prof. P. A. Sorokin)

 

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Posted here (Word document above) is my article “A Few Words About Prof. P. A. Sorokin,” which I submitted to the Russian language journal (published in New York ) The New Review.

It was published in the current issue, in a Russian translation by the journal’s editor, Marina Adamovich.

The following are the details of the publication,. of both this article and correspondence between Sorokin and Tolstoy’s author Alexandra Tolstoy, which was also published with credit to me.

Роджер Смит

несколько слов о проф. П. А. Сорокине

перевод с английского — М. Адамович

Новый журнал

Но 308, Сентябрь 2022

стр. 189-191

 

Roger Smith, Neskol’ko Slov o Prof. P. A. Sorokin (A Few Words about Prof. P. A. Sorokin), translated from the English by Marina Adamovich, The New Review No. 308 (September 2022), pp. 189-191

 

Переписка Александры Толстой и Питирима Соркина

Публикация — Roger W. Smith

Новый журнал

Но 308, Сентябрь 2022

стр. 192-196

 

Perepiska Aleksandry Tolstoy i Pitirima Sorkina (Correspondence between Alexandra Tolstoy and Pitirim Sorkin), published by Roger W. Smith, The New Review No. 308 (September 2022), pp. 192-196

 

— Roger W. Smith

      September 2022

an early Sorokin publication

 

 

П.А. Сорокин САМОУБИЙСТВО, КАК ОБЩЕСТВЕННОЕ ЯВЛЕНИЕ, Рига 1913

P. A. Sorokin, Suicide as a Societal Problem. Riga 1913

 

posted by Roger W. Smith

      August 2022

that which war and revolution unleash (Sorokin, 1922)

 

И война, и революция представляют могучие факторы изменения поведения. Они «отвивают» от людей одни формы актов и «прививают» новые, переодевают человека в новый костюм поступков.

Являясь противоположностью мирной жизни, они прививают населению свойства и формы поведения, обратные первой… Мирная жизнь тормозит акты насилия, убийства, зверства, лжи, грабежа, обмана, подкупа и разрушения. Война и революция, напротив, требуют их, прививают эти рефлексы, благоприятствуют им всячески. Убийство, разрушение, обман, насилие, уничтожение врага они возводят в доблесть и заслугу: выполнителей их квалифицируют как великих воинов и бесстрашных революционеров, вместо наказания одаряют наградой, вместо порицания ‒ славой. Мирная жизнь развивает продуктивную работу, творчество, личное право и свободу; война и революция требуют беспрекословного повиновения («повинуйся, а не рассуждай», «подчиняйся революционной дисциплине»), душат личную инициативу, личную свободу («дисциплина», «диктатура», «военные суды», «революционные трибуналы»), прививают и приучают к чисто разрушительным актам, отрывают и отучают от мирного труда. Мирная жизнь внедряет в население переживания благожелательности, любви к людям, уважения к их жизни, правам, достоянию и свободе. Война и революция выращивают и культивируют вражду, злобу, ненависть, посягательство на жизнь, свободу и достояние других лиц. Мирная жизнь способствует свободе мысли. Война и революция тормозят ее. «Где борьбу решает насилие ‒ все равно: насилие ли пушек или грубое насилие нетерпимости, ‒ там победа мудрых, положительная селекция по силе мозга и самая работа мысли затрудняется и делается невозможной».

 

Both war and revolution are powerful factors in changes in behavior. They “unleash” from people actions in some form or other and “instill” new ones, dress a person in a new costume of deeds.

Manifesting themselves as the opposite of peaceful life, they instill in the population attributes and forms of behavior the opposite of the first … Peaceful life hinders acts of violence, murder, brutality, lies, robbery, deception, bribery and destruction. War and revolution, on the contrary, demand them, inculcate these reflexes, and favor them in every possible way. They elevate murder, destruction, deception, violence, and annihilation of the enemy to valor and merit: they qualify their implementers as great warriors and fearless revolutionaries, give rewards instead of punishment and glory instead of censure. Peaceful life fosters productive work, creativity, personal rights and freedom; war and revolution demand unquestioning obedience (“obey, not reason,” “obey revolutionary discipline”), stifle personal initiative and personal freedom (“discipline,” “dictatorship,” ”military courts,” “revolutionary tribunals”), inculcate and accustom to purely destructive acts, detach and wean from peaceful labor. Peaceful life instills in the population feelings of benevolence, love for people, respect for their lives, rights, property and freedom. War and revolution cultivate and nurture enmity, malice, hatred, encroachment on the life, freedom and property of others. Peaceful life promotes freedom of thought. War and revolution hinder it. “Where the struggle is resolved by violence ‒ it is all the same whether the violence of cannons or the brutal violence of intolerance ‒there the victory of intelligent, positive selection according to the power of the brain, and mental activity itself becomes difficult and impossible.”

 

— от Питирима Сорокина, Современное состояние России (Прага, 1922 г.), перевод Натальи С. Сергиевой и Роджера В. Смита (перевод в процессе)

from Pitirim Sorokin, Sovremennoye Sostoyaniye Rossii (The Present State of Russia, Prague, 1922), translated by Natalia S. Sergieva and Roger W. Smith (translation in progress)

 

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There is a timeless quality to much of Sorokin’s writings. The title of Yuri Doykov’s biography, Питирим Сорокин: Человек вне сезона (Pitirim Sorokin: A Timeless Man), is very apt. Consider the current invasion of Ukraine.

 

— posted by Roger W. Smith

     August 2022

‘West going to dogs,’ Say Sorokin, Wellock; ‘Not So,’ Rebuts Aiken

 

‘West going to dogs.’ says Sorokin (not so, rebuts Aiken) – Harvard Crimson 12-4-1946

Posted here (downloadable Word document above):

‘West going to dogs,’ Say Sorokin, Wellock; ‘Not So,’ Rebuts Aiken

The Harvard Crimson

December 4, 1946

A personal note: I took a course with Professor Aiken: “Nature and Value,” Humanities 12b, at Brandeis University. My father, Alan W. Smith, took Sorokin’s two semester course, Social Relations 1a and 1b, at Harvard College.

 

— posted by Roger W. Smith

     July 2022

“The 50 years since The Crisis of Our Age have only reinforced the accuracy of his analysis.” (Harold O. J. Brown on Sorokin)

 

Harold O. J. Brown, ‘Regression and Renewal’ – Chronicles, January 1992

 

Posted here (downloadable Word document above):

Harold O. J. Brown

“Regression and Renewal”

Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture

January 1, 1992

Harold O. J. Brown (1933-2007) was a professor of theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He graduated from Harvard College in 1953 and earned two degrees from Harvard Divinity School and a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

 

— posted by Roger W. Smith

     July 2022

 

The Crisis of Our Age, paperback edition

 

 

 

Myra Page on Sorokin

 

‘In a Generous Spirit’ (Myra Page; excerpts)

 

Posted here (PDF above) are excerpts from In a Generous Spirit: A First-Person Biography of Myra Page, by Christina Looper Baker (University of Illinois Press, 1996)

Myra Page studied under Sorokin at the University of Minnesota.

 

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adapted from Wikipedia:

Myra Page was the pen name of Dorothy Markey (born Dorothy Page Gary, 1897–1993), an American communist writer, journalist, union activist, and teacher.

Page was born in Newport News, Virginia. She received a bachelor’s degree in English and history from Westhampton College (now the University of Richmond). She taught school in Richmond and then began graduate studies at Columbia University. She studied anthropology under Franz Boas, Melvin Herskovitz, and Franklin Giddings. She also took a class under John Dewey at Columbia’s Teacher’s College and attended courses given by theologians Harry Emerson Fosdick and Henry F. Ward at Union Theological Seminary. In 1920, she obtained a masters with a thesis that analyzed the effect of New York newspaper coverage on the Spanish–American War.

While a graduate student, she became active in the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), which at that time championed reform in race relations. Influenced by Social Gospel, she “developed an antiracist consciousness and chafed against the restrictions imposed upon her as a southern white woman.” Upon completing her master’s degree in 1920, Page became a YWCA “industrial secretary” at a silk factory in Norfolk, Virginia and organized education for women workers.

Giddings had introduced Page to the Rand School of Social Science, where she had met Anna Louise Strong, Mary Heaton Vorse, and Scott Nearing. In 1921, she returned to New York from Norfolk and studied further under Nearing at the Rand School; at that time, she first read The Communist Manifesto.

She then took a factory job in Philadelphia and became a union organizer for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union (ACW). She worked at several jobs including pants seamstress and secretary. . In the spring of 1924, she returned to the New York area, became a teacher of American History in Teaneck, New Jersey, joined the American Federation of Teachers, and became one of its leaders.

In fall 1924, she got a teaching fellowship in the History Department of the University of Minnesota, chaired by F. Stuart Chapin. Pitirim Sorokin was a professor there. She married fellow teacher and fellow John Markey.

In June 1928, Page earned her Ph.D. in Sociology with double minor in Economics and Psychology from the University of Minnesota. In the fall of 1928, she accepted a teaching position at Wheaton College.

At the end of the 1929–1930 academic year, Page and her husband left Wheaton College. Page became a political journalist and writer and wrote for Communist publications such as the Daily Worker.

Page spent two years in Moscow, whence she wrote for American socialist journals as well as the Soviet communist publication Moscow News. She also wrote a novel Moscow Yankee (1935) there.

Upon their return to the States in 1933, Page and her husband lived in Brooklyn, New York. Page joined the editorial board of Soviet Russia Today, a Soviet-backed magazine, and the League of American Writers. In March 1937, she interviewed Andre Malraux for his views on the Spanish Civil War.

Page eventually left the Communist Party: “I left the Party in 1953, having lost faith that it could do the job it was supposed to do. My disillusionment was gradual… Gradually, we just plain lost confidence in the party.”

 

— posted by Roger W.  Smith

     July 2022

 

photo of Moscow Rizhsky railway station (now the Riga railway station)

 

 

From which Sorokin and his wife left for Riga, Latvia; Prague; and overseas:

On a gray afternoon September 23 1922 the first group of exiles gathered at the Moscow railway station. I carried our two valises into the Lettish diplomatic car. “Omnia mea mecum porto” I could say of myself. In a pair of shoes sent me by a Czech scientist a suit donated by the American Relief Administration and with fifty rubles in my pocket I left my native land. All my companions were in a similar plight but none of us worried very much. In spite of prohibitions of the authorities many friends and acquaintances came to see us off with gifts of flowers handclasps and tears. We all devoured with our eyes their faces the disappearing streets of Moscow the last glimpse of the fatherland.

Next day we reached Sebage the boundary line of Russia. Half an hour later we passed a Red flag-and Soviet Russia was behind us. That night after five years we lay down to sleep without asking ourselves the question ‘Will they come tonight or not?”

A Long Journey: The Autobiography of Pitirim A. Sorokin, pg. 196

— posted by Roger W. Smith

July 2022

Photo courtesy my good friend and fellow scholar Yuri Doykov

“Sorokin Stages Final Lecture Today: Famed Sociologist To Tell Of ‘Hopes For The Future’ ”

 

‘Sorokin Stages Final Lecture Today’ – Valley State Sundial 3-17-1960 pg 1 (2)

 

Posted here:

“Sorokin Stages Final Lecture Today: Famed Sociologist To Tell Of ‘Hopes For The Future’ ”

Valley State Sundial

March 17, 1960

The Valley State Sundial was the student newspaper of San Fernando Valley State College. The college adopted its s current name of California State University, Northridge in 1972.

Sorokin made a lecture tour in California in 1962. See his autobiography, A Long Journey, pg. 314.

 

— posted by Roger W. Smith

      July 2022

“Was Marx Wrong?” (a review of Sorokin’s Social Mobility”)

 

Starr, ‘Was Marx Wrong’ (review of Social Mobility) – The Communist 7-1-1927

 

Posted here (PDF above)

“Was Marx Wrong?”

By Burn Starr

The Communist

July 1, 1927

pp. 323-326

a highly critical review of Sorokin’s Social Mobility.

 

— posted by Roger W. Smith

      July 2022

review, The Sociology of Revolution (North American Review)

 

Clarence H. Gaines review of The Sociology of Revolution & other works – North American Review (2)

posted here (PDF file above):

Clarence H. Gaines, review of Sorokin’s The Sociology of Revolution and other works

The North American Review

June 1, 1925

 

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Editorial comment:  This review, in my opinion, does an excellent job of delineating why Sorokin’s study is so original and fresh, even today. And valuable.

 

posted by Roger W. Smith

     July 2022