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PHILOSOPHICAL
LITERARY
JOURNAL
ISSN 0869-5377
Author: Khestanov Rouslan

Khestanov Rouslan

Professor, Deputy Head, School of Cultural Studies, Faculty of Humanities, National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE). Address: 21/4 Staraya Basmannaya str., 105066 Moscow, Russia. E-mail: khestanov@gmail.com.

Publications

The Cybernetics Movement From the Perspective of the Analog/Digital Distinction / Logos. 2020. № 3 (136). P. 77-98
annotation:  The heterogeneity of the cybernetics movement, its blurred boundaries, its deep penetration into the scientific, cultural, political and religious institutions of different national communities — all these provide an opening for broadly different approaches to describing the cybernetics movement. Cybernetics was equally attractive to irreconcilable opponents — atheists and clerics, scientists and mystics, Communists and Liberals, cultural figures and counterculture activists. Any study, social or intellectual, of such heterogeneous movements requires simplification of that complexity. The main goal of the article is to find a basic unity that runs through the cultural, social, doctrinal, and institutional diversity of the cybernetics movement. The unifying feature had to meet three requirements: first, the starting point of the analysis should be the original problem that cybernetics addresses throughout its history to date; second, this problem must have a certain degree of universality, that is, its significance must be more than theoretical or applied so that it somehow resonates with philosophy, psychology, and with cultural, political or ideological forms of thought; third, the problem must be relevant in the context of current polemics.
The distinction between analog and digital proved to be a convenient conceptual tool for drawing a sharp outline around cybernetics. The article does not attempt to provide a coherent treatment of its history but instead consists of several fragmentary ideas that are relevant to the history of cybernetics. It is also an experiment to show the potential of that approach. The main thesis presented is that an understanding of the history of the cybernetics movement can be systematic and productive when based on the analysis of the key cybernetic distinction between analog and digital. This approach reveals important shared problematics and genetic kinship in seemingly incompatible doctrines that make use of cybernetics (Wiener, Shannon) and poststructuralism (Foucault, Derrida, Lacan, Deleuze).

Keywords:  cybernetic movement; analog; digital; information; symbolic; poststructuralism; culture; science.
Corruption and Revolution as Structural Foundations for the Fiction of State Interest (raison d’État) / Logos. 2017. № 7 (0). P. 73-90
annotation:  The main thesis of the article is that revolution and corruption are structurally and genetically related to the process of state building (étatisation). Basing itself on Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu’s ideas on the state, the article demonstrates that revolution and anti-corruption agitation are derived from a “normative pressure,” resulting from the generalization of the fiction of raison d’État. In the conclusion of the article this thesis is considered in the context of recent protest movements in the US and Russia which impose a demand on the “new norm.” The fact that the normative initiative shifted from from the governments to protest movements suggests that current models of political representation are undergoing a deep crisis.
Keywords:  state; corruption; revolution; raison d’État; coup d’État; protest movements; order; fiction
Hip-Hop: Youth Counter-Revolution Culture / Logos. 2016. № 4 (113). P. 7-26
annotation:  This article focuses on hip-hop as a movement of popular culture. The article has two main aims. First, observation and discourse analysis, which will identify the principal tropes and commonalities through which researchers and critics of popular culture construct the unity of their analytical narration and subjects of research. It is argued that the achieved discursive unity (the unity of concepts, subjects or themes) does not allow researchers to capture hip-hop as movement in popular culture in all its diversity and heterogeneity. It is argued that academic researchers and critics of hip-hop culture are trapped in representations of the fundamental differences between “mainstream” and “underground.” The article shows that research on this topic is dominated by a kind of narrative scenario shaped in the post-war decades that depicts subculture as growing into a cultural movement with potential for progressive liberation. The second task of the article is pragmatic: to show why hip-hop is interesting in the current political circumstances. This questioning allows the author to formulate the following theses: 1) the eclecticism of values and style in mainstream and underground music renders the difference between them irrelevant; 2) the culture of hip-hop, with its aura of the local or the regional, is one of the manifestations of the antimodernization momentum; 3) the masculinity of hip-hop, its racial identity pathos and romanticizing gangsterism are manifestations of young peoples’ conservative reaction to rapid transformations of their social milieu; 4) the protest culture of hip-hop differs radically from youth protests against capitalism and bureaucracy of the 1960–1970s, with its pathos of gender and race equality, preaching of love and non-violence.
Keywords:  hip-hop; underground; mainstream; youth; protest
Corruption and Revolution as a Structural Basis of a fiction of Raison d’État/ Logos. 2012. № 2 (86). P. 46-64
annotation:  The main thesis of the article is that revolution and corruption are structurally and genetically related to the process of state building (étatisation). Basing itself on Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu’s ideas on the state, the article demonstrates that revolution and anti-corruption agitation are derived from a «normative pressure», resulting from the generalization of the fiction of raison d’État. In the conclusion of the article this thesis is considered in the context of recent protest movements in the US and Russia which impose a demand on the «new norm». The fact that the normative initiative walked away from the governments to protest movements suggests that current models of political representation are undergoing a deep crises.
Keywords:  state, corruption, revolution, raison d’État, coup d’État, protest movements, order, fiction

Khestanov Rouslan

Professor, Deputy Head, School of Cultural Studies, Faculty of Humanities, National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE). Address: 21/4 Staraya Basmannaya str., 105066 Moscow, Russia. E-mail: khestanov@gmail.com.

Publications

The Cybernetics Movement From the Perspective of the Analog/Digital Distinction / Logos. 2020. № 3 (136). P. 77-98
annotation:  The heterogeneity of the cybernetics movement, its blurred boundaries, its deep penetration into the scientific, cultural, political and religious institutions of different national communities — all these provide an opening for broadly different approaches to describing the cybernetics movement. Cybernetics was equally attractive to irreconcilable opponents — atheists and clerics, scientists and mystics, Communists and Liberals, cultural figures and counterculture activists. Any study, social or intellectual, of such heterogeneous movements requires simplification of that complexity. The main goal of the article is to find a basic unity that runs through the cultural, social, doctrinal, and institutional diversity of the cybernetics movement. The unifying feature had to meet three requirements: first, the starting point of the analysis should be the original problem that cybernetics addresses throughout its history to date; second, this problem must have a certain degree of universality, that is, its significance must be more than theoretical or applied so that it somehow resonates with philosophy, psychology, and with cultural, political or ideological forms of thought; third, the problem must be relevant in the context of current polemics.
The distinction between analog and digital proved to be a convenient conceptual tool for drawing a sharp outline around cybernetics. The article does not attempt to provide a coherent treatment of its history but instead consists of several fragmentary ideas that are relevant to the history of cybernetics. It is also an experiment to show the potential of that approach. The main thesis presented is that an understanding of the history of the cybernetics movement can be systematic and productive when based on the analysis of the key cybernetic distinction between analog and digital. This approach reveals important shared problematics and genetic kinship in seemingly incompatible doctrines that make use of cybernetics (Wiener, Shannon) and poststructuralism (Foucault, Derrida, Lacan, Deleuze).

Keywords:  cybernetic movement; analog; digital; information; symbolic; poststructuralism; culture; science.
Corruption and Revolution as Structural Foundations for the Fiction of State Interest (raison d’État) / Logos. 2017. № 7 (0). P. 73-90
annotation:  The main thesis of the article is that revolution and corruption are structurally and genetically related to the process of state building (étatisation). Basing itself on Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu’s ideas on the state, the article demonstrates that revolution and anti-corruption agitation are derived from a “normative pressure,” resulting from the generalization of the fiction of raison d’État. In the conclusion of the article this thesis is considered in the context of recent protest movements in the US and Russia which impose a demand on the “new norm.” The fact that the normative initiative shifted from from the governments to protest movements suggests that current models of political representation are undergoing a deep crisis.
Keywords:  state; corruption; revolution; raison d’État; coup d’État; protest movements; order; fiction
Hip-Hop: Youth Counter-Revolution Culture / Logos. 2016. № 4 (113). P. 7-26
annotation:  This article focuses on hip-hop as a movement of popular culture. The article has two main aims. First, observation and discourse analysis, which will identify the principal tropes and commonalities through which researchers and critics of popular culture construct the unity of their analytical narration and subjects of research. It is argued that the achieved discursive unity (the unity of concepts, subjects or themes) does not allow researchers to capture hip-hop as movement in popular culture in all its diversity and heterogeneity. It is argued that academic researchers and critics of hip-hop culture are trapped in representations of the fundamental differences between “mainstream” and “underground.” The article shows that research on this topic is dominated by a kind of narrative scenario shaped in the post-war decades that depicts subculture as growing into a cultural movement with potential for progressive liberation. The second task of the article is pragmatic: to show why hip-hop is interesting in the current political circumstances. This questioning allows the author to formulate the following theses: 1) the eclecticism of values and style in mainstream and underground music renders the difference between them irrelevant; 2) the culture of hip-hop, with its aura of the local or the regional, is one of the manifestations of the antimodernization momentum; 3) the masculinity of hip-hop, its racial identity pathos and romanticizing gangsterism are manifestations of young peoples’ conservative reaction to rapid transformations of their social milieu; 4) the protest culture of hip-hop differs radically from youth protests against capitalism and bureaucracy of the 1960–1970s, with its pathos of gender and race equality, preaching of love and non-violence.
Keywords:  hip-hop; underground; mainstream; youth; protest
Corruption and Revolution as a Structural Basis of a fiction of Raison d’État/ Logos. 2012. № 2 (86). P. 46-64
annotation:  The main thesis of the article is that revolution and corruption are structurally and genetically related to the process of state building (étatisation). Basing itself on Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu’s ideas on the state, the article demonstrates that revolution and anti-corruption agitation are derived from a «normative pressure», resulting from the generalization of the fiction of raison d’État. In the conclusion of the article this thesis is considered in the context of recent protest movements in the US and Russia which impose a demand on the «new norm». The fact that the normative initiative walked away from the governments to protest movements suggests that current models of political representation are undergoing a deep crises.
Keywords:  state, corruption, revolution, raison d’État, coup d’État, protest movements, order, fiction
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