Editorial

Scepsis's goal - as the title suggests - consists in counterbalancing all sorts of dogmas pervading the society (see our manifesto).

It is both fashionable and profitable nowadays to link up the idea of enlightment with imposing one's outlook, with hardcore soviet marxism and even to go as far as associating it with totalitarian ideals. Criticizing rational thinking is concidered mainstream now. It is good enough for those inventing "myths for the poor" (e.g. the ancient trinity familiar to the Russians, namely "Christianity, Autocracy and National Character") and for those sticking to more "sophisticated" postmodern variations of rationality. It is only a trained sceptical mind, accustomed to thinking critically, that can oppose them.

Therefore you will find both authentic theoretical articles and acute publicistic texts in the "Scepsis" quarterly.

The main topics of the first issue are as follows:

  • the crisis of humanitarian knowledge and possible ways of solving the problem
  • atheist view on religious propaganda and the support it finds with the government
  • ways of diagnosing 'mental decay' in Russian education and some methods of curing it
  • globalization and the problems it engenders in Russia

"Scepsis" takes pains to translate the works by famous foreign authors, which the Russian reader has not had the opportunity to get acquainted with so far and which are unlikely to be published in translation at the moment. Thus, the published issues already on sale contain articles by the brilliant philosopher Bertrand Russell and the prominent Darwinist Richard Dawkins. Now we are planning to publish Immanuel Wallerstein's analytical accounts of the war in Iraq and "antiglobalistic" articles by Noam Chomsky and Slavoj Zizek.

Among our authors you will find world-famous researchers and famous journalists, but first and foremost young scholars, aspiring authors and even students. Therefore it is first above all the youth, unwilling to plunge into apathy and indifference, that we expect to become our principal audience.

The quarterly is published by a group of young scholars, who do not find themselves under the auspice of any political parties, or any local or foreign trusts, and who therefore are independent in their scientific research and the expression of their opinion.




News

"Dont Step on that Rake Again": the appeal of the Editorial Board of "Sepsis" to the Russian people to not to be fooled into thinking their problems can be solved by elections. The article is dedicated to December Duma (parliament) elections in Russia and to those who harbored an illusion of "honest (re-)elections" after.

"Letting off steam and venting your frustrations at protests will not change your situation one bit. The bureaucrats and capitalists couldn't give a damn about your angry shouts on the street. They will not lower the exorbitant utility fees, they will not increase the paltry salaries and pensions, they will not resolve the housing problem, they will not reinstate free universal health care. We need to engage in concrete battles for very concrete things. The choice is this: class struggle or replacing one set of parasites with another. No other choice is available. The process whereby one realizes his or her interests and fights for them is not an instantaneous one. It is not just attending one or several protests. In our country the people have for too long stopped thinking and acting in line with their own interests. But this here is the only chance to actually change things for real. Do not let yourself step on the rake again!" [Read]
December 2011

Alexander Tarasov argues what the future world revolution could be: "World Revolution 2: the Return to a Global Revolutionary Strategy Based on the Experience of the 20th Century".

"A socialist revolution, which can only be worldwide and which will not run in the same pattern common for the bourgeois and superetatist revolutions, is a matter of the distant future. However, our contemporaries will witness, and may join, antibourgeois revolutions. And, lastly, one should keep in mind that the future is open, and if this strategy is not implemented for any reason by the left, some other adversary of the First World can realize it, for example, Islamist radicals can, who today act as a force regionally resisting the Western imperialism but who, if the left continue to be passive, may become a global force". [Read]
December 2011

Alexander Tarasov talks nineties in Russia, blaming the triumph of mediocrity and mass culture, the tyranny of the media, and the intellectuals' betrayal.

The classical signs of degradation and decline deprive the intelligentsia of the 1990s of all prospects. Future historians will approach the 1990s as they did the 1890s in Russia or the 1780s in France: as "the putrefaction of a sated, parasitical society", the fin de siecle, "the growth of mysticism and immorality", "narcoticization", "heightened interest in and esthetization of illness and death", "decadence", "retreat into a world of illusion", and so on. The development of culture will, as it always has, proceed from sources beyond the mainstream of parasitical society that is, from sources alien (or at least opposed) to the Western liberal postmodernist "culture". The "intelligentsia" of the 1990s has condemned itself to a future of oblivion and ridicule. And this serves it right. [Read]
December 2011

Open letter to the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir V. Putin from the Members of the Russian Academy of Sciences

This translated piece opens a series on the current events in Russian society, politics and culture. In June 2007, ten scientists, all members of the Russian Academy of Sciences, including Nobel Prize winners Zhores Alferov and Vitaly Ginzburg addressed the Russian President Vladimir Putin in an open letter demanding an end to the ever-increasing clericalization of Russian society, education and science. [Read]
February 2008

The Manifesto of the Journal Scepsis

Our modern society is shot through with myths from ancient ideologies. Thus critique of rationalism is considered to be good form. This is done both by those who try to impose the myths for the poor (e.g., ancient trinity of Orthodoxy Absolutism National ethos) and those who adhere to more enlightened post-modernist versions of irrationalism, according to which anything goes. Only trained critical thinking, i.e. sceptical thinking, can hinder confusion and chaos and then only to a limited extent. [Read]
July 2007