Sorokin and Kondratieff

 

L to R; Nikolai Kondratieff and wife, Elena Sorokin, Pitirim Sorokin; Minnesota, 1927

Of … memorable reunions in Minneapolis, that with my closest old friend, Professor N. Kondratieff, must be mentioned. As a foremost agricultural economist and expert on business cycles, he was permitted by the Soviet Government to visit American universities and research institutions in his field. This task brought him to the University of Minnesota where he stayed with us for several days. It was a real joy for us to see him alive and well and to talk with him about our Russian friends, the economic and political conditions in Russia, and the basic problems of the world at large. Unfortunately this reunion was our last meeting. A few years after his return to Russia, he was accused by Stalin in 1931 of being the leading ideologist and planner of an anti-Communist reconstruction of Russian agriculture. As such, he was “purged,” and disappeared. We heard rumors that he had been banished and had perished somewhere in Turkestan or Mongolia. But exactly how and where he perished we have never learned up to the present time. Requiem eternam et lux perpetua to you, our dearest friend!

A Long Journey: The Autobiography of Pitirim A. Sorokin, pg. 233

 

*****************************************************

As the semester [at the University of Minnesota] got under way, they learned that their old friend Nikolai Kondratieff would be visiting in early November. Kondratieff was widely known in Russia as a theorist of economic cycles, a statistician, and an agricultural economist. Pitirim had not seen Kondratieff since staying with him in Moscow after being released by the Chekha. They had first met as boys at the Khrenovo Teachers’ Seminary when Pitirim was fourteen and Nikolai almost eleven. Kondratieff, like Sorokin, was expelled for revolutionary activities. When he learned that Pitirim was in night school at the Tscherniayevskye Kursy, he went to St. Petersburg, where the two were roommates for several years. They completed night school together and went on to the University of St. Petersburg. Nikolai had met Elena shortly after she became acquainted with Pitirim, and all had endured the trials of the revolution. Kondratieff had also served in the Kerensky government as the deputy minister for food.

Kondratieff’s visit lasted for nearly a month, and the Sorokins delighted in showing him the Twin Cities. Pitirim also introduced Nikolai to some of his colleagues in the department and to others in agricultural economics. As Kondratieff’s work had not yet been translated into English, American scholars were largely unaware of his ideas, although some knew of him as a Soviet economic planner and farm expert. Sorokin kept Kondratieff’s visit quiet because he feared that their association might create problems when his friend returned to Russia. Pitirim’s concern actually foreshadowed his friend’s ultimate fate. Five years later, Kondratieff’s economic ideas brought him into conflict with Soviet policies. He was jailed in 1930 and appeared in the mock trials of 1931-32 in which Stalin purged so-called enemies of the state. However, Pitirim did not sense that when Nikolai left for Washington in early December 1924 it would be the last time he would see his boyhood friend. Kondratieff..

Barry V. Johnston, Pitirim A. Sorokin: An Intellectual Biography, pp. 29-30

 

*****************************************************

Kondratiev was removed from the directorship of the Institute of Conjuncture in 1928 and arrested in July 1930, accused of being a member of a “Peasants Labour Party” (a non-existent party invented by the NKVD). Convicted as a “kulak-professor” and sentenced to 8 years in prison, Kondratiev served his sentence, from February 1932 onwards, at Suzdal, near Moscow. Although his health deteriorated under poor conditions, Kondratiev continued his research and decided to prepare five new books, as he mentioned in a letter to his wife. Some of these texts were indeed completed and were published.

His last letter was sent to his daughter, Elena Kondratieva, on 31 August 1938. In September 1938 during Stalin’s Great Purge, he was subjected to a second trial, condemned to ten years without the right to correspond with the outside world. However, Kondratiev was executed at the Kommunarka shooting ground by firing squad on the same day the sentence was issued. Kondratiev was 46 at the time of his execution.

Wikipedia

 

— posted by Roger W.  Smith

     December 2022

Sorokin, “Illusions and Self-Deceptions of Modern Man”

 

Sorokin, ‘Illusions and Self-Deceptions of Modern Man’

 

Posted here is the following:

Pitirim A . Sorokin

“Illusions and Self-Deceptions of Modern Man”

IN

Sociology of Knowledge, edited by : Kewal Motwani (Bombay: Somaiya Publications, 1976)

 

— Roger W. Smith

     November 2022

Maquet, “ Sorokin’s Sociology of Knowledge”

 

Maquet, ‘Sorokin’s Sociology of Knowledge’

 

Posted here are excerpts from Jacques J. Maquet, The Sociology of Knowledge: Its Structure and Its Relation to the Philosophy of Knowledge: A Critical Analysis of the Systems of Karl Mannheim and Pitirim A. Sorokin; translated by John F. Locke (Boston: The Beacon Press, 1951)

 

— Roger W. Smith

     November 2022

Наука и жизнь

 

Наука и жизнь (Science and Life). a Russian émigré magazine, was published in New York from March 1923 to July 1924.

I have copied all the issues from a microfilm at the New York Public Library. See PDF attached here.

An article by Sorokin appeared in the December 1923 issue (see attached).

 

— posted by Roger W. Smith

     November 1923

 

Nauka i Zhizn

Sorokin, December 1923

 

a review of “Hunger as a Factor”

 

C. Peter Timmer review of Hunger as a Factor – American J of Sociology

 

Posted here (PDF above):

review of Pitirim A Sorokin, Hunger as a Factor in Human Affairs; translated by Elena P. Sorokin

reviewed by C. Peter Timmer

American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 82, No. 4 (January 1977), pp. 912-914

I disagree with the conclusions drawn by Timmer at the end of the review with respect to Sorokin’s conclusions (reached by Sorokin in the book’s concluding pages) about the relationship between hunger and statism.

 

posted by Roger W. Smith

     October 2022

dedication page, The Reconstruction of Humanity

 

Pitirim A. Sorokin

The Reconstruction of Humanity

The Beacon Press, 1948

 

dedication, The Reconstruction of Humannty

 

posted by Roger W. Smith

October 2022

a meeting in Winchester

 

Walicki Zniewolony umysł po latach PL-ENG

 

Posted here (Word document above) are the original Polish and an English translation by Angelina Weimann of an except from the following book:

Andrzej Walicki

Zniewolony umysł po latach

Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Czytelnik. 1993

Rozdział: „Rosja” (fragment)

 

Andrzej Walicki
Captive Mind After Years
Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Czytelnik
Chapter: “Russia” (excerpt)

 

Andrzej Walicki (1930 2020) was a Polish historian and a professor at the University of Notre Dame. He specialized in philosophy of sociopolitics, history of Polish and Russian philosophy, Marxism, and liberal thought. He was one of the scholars who formed the “Warsaw school of the history of ideas.”

Angelina Weimann: “Walicki  made a detailed study of Russian philosophy. It was not always well received because Poland, due to historical facts (the Russian partitions, Stalin’s regime, the USSR), is not an ideal place for the study of great Russians. However, thanks to Russia, many Polish scholars, including Sorokin’s teacher, Leon Petrażycki, received an excellent education and would become international scholars.”

See Andrzej Walicki, The Slavophile Controversy : History of a Conservative Utopia in Nineteenth-Century Russian Thought (Notre Dame Press, 1989)

 

— posted by Roger W. Smith

      October 2022

 

Acknowledgment: I wish to thank Angelina Weimann for sharing this excerpt in the original with me; and for offering to do an English translation.

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

 

final

 

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)

 

*****************************************************

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