Bjørn Ditlef Nistad
Om Bjørn Ditlef Nistad(f. 1964), ph.d., er førstelektor i russisk kulturkunnskap ved Universitetet i Oslo. Han har blant annet publisert «Forræder eller patriot? General Vlasov og Den russiske frigjøringsbevegelse» (Nordisk Østforum 3/1999), Russisk idéhistorie fra opplysningstiden til idag (2004) og Petr TkaŠčev og V. I. Lenin – to representanter for en russisk «jakobinsk»-«blanquistisk» politisk tradisjon? (2008).
Abstract: To solve the Russian riddle. Nikolai Berdyaev as a Publicist during the First World WarThis article presents the thoughts on Russia, Russian culture, nationalism and imperialism that were formulated in the polemical works written by the Russian philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev during the First World War. In these works, Berdyaev claims that Russian culture is characterized by certain tensions, i.e. the tension between anarchism and state authoritarianism, and between anti-nationalistic humanism and crude nationalism. To explain these tensions, Berdyaev points to what he considers to be the dominance of «female» primordial forces and the lack of a «male» sense of personal responsibility in Russian culture. Berdyaev also contends that all great peoples are messianic, i.e. they have a mission to fulfil; and he emphasizes that it is time for Russia to «say its word» to the world. The article further discusses how Berdyaevs polemical works from this period have been evaluated by scholars who have studied the life and thoughts of Berdyaev and traces how ideas that were formulated in Berdyaevs war-time works re-appear in his later writings. Finally, it contains a criticism of Berdyaevs concepts and way of thinking.
Keywords: Nikolai Berdyaev, imperialism, messianism, nationalism, Russia