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This paper continues the discussion started with the review by a group of colleagues from the Southern Federal University [Volchik, Lyubsky, Makarenko, Petrov, 2019] of Leonid B. Alaev’s monograph “Issues of the History of the Orient” [Alaev, 2019] and presents author’s commentary to the review of said book by another group of teachers from the same University [Drach, Kirillov, 2020]. G. V. Drach and A. A. Kirillov doubt many author’s statements, and first of all, the critical estimation of the contemporary condition of theoretical approaches to the study of history, particularly - the degree of obsoleteness of Marxian methodology. The authors of the review do not take into consideration the fact, that recent research undermine the so- called formation theory, and propose nothing in its stead. Attempts to use other approaches (for instance, civilizational) to the World history, have produced no significant results. Meanwhile, the search for a “golden key”, for a factor capable to explain everything, proceeds. In Russian situation such a “golden key” is most often seen in an economic factor and belittling the importance of spirituality, the status of morality and formation of personality. There are no doubts, that economic relations play great role in social life, that economic indexes are very important in studying any society, but one should admit that the economic situation does not determine everything, for instance, cultural conditions, political structure and so on. The degree of hostility towards ‘bourgeois’ scholars, as compared to the Soviet times, decreased significantly, but did not vanish completely, being transmuted from ideological into geopolitical opposition. It is an obstacle on the way to candid discussion. It is necessary to separate problems, which can be discussed on the basis of common principles of strive for truth, from the views, determined by political and ideological positions of scholars, which are not disputable because the same terms and events are understood differently.
About authors
Leonid Alaev
Senior Research Fellow of the Department of Oriental History of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences
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