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2015 | 2 | 72-93

Article title

On urgency of the concept of “backward nation”


Title variants

Про актуальність концепту «запізнілої нації»

Languages of publication



The idea of “backward nation” was introduced by H. Plessner and represented in the title of his well known book. It was use for characteristic of pathology of political process, inherent in pre-war Germany in difference to its neighbors. A characteristic feature of “the history of German spirit” was the absence of the steady tradition of national statehood on the basis of political humanism, which is inherent in the legal principles of the institutional life of the society. Simultaneously, the stable orientation the national-state organization of the social life had been formed in the West-European countries in the 16–17th centuries, small German principalities dreamt of uniting into the renewed variant of the Holy Empire of the German nation. The illusions which concerned uniting the ideas of empire and national state continued existing in Germany of the time of Bismarck and were strengthened after the defeat in the World War I, when the accent was made on the national empire, its great-power attempt. Mystification of greatness of the nation, its language, rites and culture is inscribed in such orientation. The tragic consequences of realization of such orientation are generally known. Russia, its social consciousness, in its own way, also suffers from the longing for being simultaneously the national state and empire. The disposition towards the great-statehood, inherited from Mongols, dominates in Russian mentality. The absence of traditions of institutional self-organization of the society on the legal principles determines the anti-western frame of mind, then hampers the potentialities of political modernization of society, makes it one more variant of the backward nation.




Document Type

Publication order reference


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