Ideology in the Main Law of Russia

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This article discusses the role of ideology behind the basic laws of Russia. The state ideology, or philosophy, determines the vectors of development of the legislative, executive, and judicial authorities, as well as the general direction of the society’s development. The imperatives of the Constitution are the attributes of its strategy, the tactics of which are provided by ideology as a system of personal views - a citizen of a particular country on his environment, on his place in it, on his attitude to it.

The purpose of the stated article is to investigate the evolution of ideology from idea to imperative, considering the place and role of ideology in the Constitution of the Russian Federation, revealing the relationship between ideology and the cultural code of Russia, as well as the adaptation of this relationship at the level of individual consciousness.

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Before raising the question of ideology and its purpose, we should focus on society, its attribution, and the modes of its manifestation.

Among the numerous definitions of society, the following concept dominates: “society is a historically formed combined life activities of people” and structurally organized in the format of a system of social coordinates of power and the horizontal line of communicative relations. It has its own history of formation and development, manifestation space, and implementation. The social unit or first brick of society is a family, and the active subject of the coexistence of people is a person.

Considering this view of society, we can conclude that society, unlike nature, is an artificial entity. It is exclusively connected with nature through mankind. This connecting link bears the stamp of tragedy, drama, or comedy, whose origins should be sought in the relationship of a person with the world, where he or she declares himself or herself in the hypostasis of an individual from a particular society.

Without manifesting absolute principles and claims to the ultimate truth, philosophical anthropology has raised questions about the meaning and essence of human existence by considering man as a creator and creation, thereby revealing the ontological foundations of freedom and the meaning of life [1].

History shows that man is a borderline being. It belongs simultaneously to the natural, spiritual, and social worlds, so a person can manifest himself or herself in different projections ranging from positive to negative because of eccentricity. If the genetic program of animal behavior is embedded in DNA molecules, then the main factor of the projective behavior of people is rational thinking as the unity of the first and second signaling systems. The evolution of these systems begins with reflection as the ability of interacting bodies to model counteraction to the force of action in a certain way, followed by the preservation or change in their structure or mode of behavior. Work and language complete the formation of the human brain, providing its limitless possibilities. With the help of the brain, individual consciousness, spiritual life, and meaningful attitude toward the world become possible. However, this possibility can become a reality only with the help of a sound educational system composed of a triad (upbringing, education, and training) and under the conditions of a dialog between an upbringer and the one being brought-up, an educator and a student, and a trainer and a trainee.

The conditions of a dialog are mainly provided by a society whose formation and development from a biological population is inherited by a social community of people in the format of a population or a nation. The first step in society formation is associated with the culture of myth. This culture has successfully adapted biological instinct to self-preservation. The basis of the worldview is a system of prohibitions. Having exhausted its potential, myth gives way to religion and philosophy. Religion has provided the spiritual bonds of society and enlightenment of the human soul, and philosophy has given the opportunity to search for answers to two questions that constantly bother mankind: What is the essence of the environment? What should be the measure of a man’s attitude to this environment even when a person is not alone in society? In addition to many people, a regulatory pyramid, regulations of public relations, and sanctions for their violations exist in the society. The experience of punishment-related fear is not only biologically instinctive but also mythological. Through self-consciousness, an individual, who is multidimensional and multifaceted, projects himself or herself into a problematic situation in each case. He or she then identifies himself or herself with persons who take his or her “measure” and fix their attitude to the actual problem in appropriate stereotypes and symbols by mainly adapting the ideology that helps design an intellectual construction of solving problematic situations on the basis of faith and hope to achieve a positive result. Subsequent events in the implementation of the adopted project demonstrate the possible transformation of this project into a fake project and prompt us to look for a replacement of the bankrupt myth. Therefore, myth is not only the cradle of humanity but also the eternal companion of man and the fundamental basis for his goal setting.

In an interrelationship, philosophy and religion, which are respectively the culture of knowledge and the culture of faith, provided the New European civilization based on three cornerstones: Christianity, the Athenian school of philosophy, and the Roman law. “Axial time” included the mechanisms of transformation of authority power into power authority [2]. Society acquires a functional coordinate system, where the vertical line of power through the institution of a state provides the horizontal line of communicative relations. At this stage, an ideal image of the desired reality based on the idea of faith, hope, and solidarity should be created.

At one time, Plato’s philosophical legacy formed the basis for constructing a worthy response to the historical challenge. It provided a solution to the problems of Hellenism as a society in transition to a different civilization. This legacy comprised 35 works of the dialogic genre from “The Apology of Socrates” to “The State” and “Laws.” Through the fate of Socrates, Plato predicted that the society of antiquity could perish. With the inevitability of a catastrophe, Plato opposed the vile reality of myth, utopia, and rationalized dream and contrasted the power of dubious authority with the authority of power in a state format. Plato’s model of authority was complemented by the ideal image of a human citizen. In building his concept, Plato avoided the decaying society of antiquity. His criticism ruled out an apology and was constructive. The natural way to preserve his integrity was to influence Plato into diverting to rationalized mythology.

The idea of a perfect world transcends the boundaries of sensory perception, so its cognition is exclusively prerogative of the soul. Therefore, the highest duty for a person is to take care of his or her soul. To do this, one should focus on life, exclusively on wisdom (worldly reasonableness), goodness, beauty, and truth, linking words and deeds. An individual is obliged to “keep it from unreasonable desires and prevent it from encountering undesirable factors that hinder its improvement” [3, p. 337] because his or her soul is initially unreasonable and unbridled. Focusing on philosophy, a person becomes “good in both private and public affairs” [3, p. 364].

Appealing to the idea of the absolute as a kind of horizon line forced Plato to constantly improve the idea in the following dialogs: “Thaetetus,” “Parmenides,” “Sophist,” “Politician,” “Timaeus,” “Critias,” “Laws,” consequently freeing the wise word logos from fantasy. In these dialogs, myth takes on the image of rationalized creativity with the hope for the unity of words and deeds. Using metaphors, Plato fixed the existence of the world with logos and explained the essence of being in the world. The Platonic myth is more than a figment of the imagination. It is a philosophical faith expression that focuses on the search for truth. His metaphysics a priori admits a special reality of the first cause, which can be accessible only at the mental comprehension level, excluding the fact of sensory perception. Before intelligibility, the idea appears in its original form, but it is never seen or accepted by a layman, who is mired in the prose of everyday life, destroying the body and corroding the soul. The introduction of an individual to the idea of the desired world is an opportunity only for the comprehending and understanding mind of an exalted soul. This conclusion drew the attention of Aristotle, Plato’s disciple. In his treatise “About the Soul,” he carried out a classification, highlighting “the vegetative, sensual, and rational soul” [4].

The idea of the desired reality of being in the world is the condition of being all other ideas because it is absolute and not conditioned by anything. If this idea is accepted, then a stable vector of searching for a special part at the junction of the general population and the individual can be found. If this idea is ignored, then an individual likely remains within the boundaries of the sensory world, filled with Bacon’s “ghosts of the genus, cave, square, and theater” and be content with one’s own or someone else’s opinion about the shadows and images of the sensory level of mastering the world in the form of subjective representation.

The importance of the Platonic concept was shared by A. Schopenhauer, an ardent opponent of objective idealism. He believed that Plato’s legacy is a true school of thought, a stimulus for the development of the mind.

The current European civilization, including Russia, also found itself in a state of transition society and the antiquity of the distant past. The value orientations of industrial civilization were no longer applicable, and the orientations of post-industrial civilization have not been developed yet. The population does not live under these conditions, but it survives under the sign of tomorrow’s uncertainty, focusing exclusively on the principle of “here and only now” [5, 6].

The search for the idea of a common cause is being updated again. It can declare itself as the core ideology that can provide a humanistic, righteous, and human worldview of Russian citizens and act as a factor (force) for the transformation of the population into the nation as a single community of people focusing on the well-being of Russian citizens and ensuring the security of their homeland.

The sociopolitical category “people” becomes a reality only in two cases. If external escalation likely occurs, then all citizens, including poor and rich people, children and adults, and healthy and sick individuals, find themselves in the same situation. However, as soon as the danger of external violence disappears, a single community of people is transformed into a population that can be classified according to gender, age, ethnic and religious affiliations, and personal and common interests.

This situation can also develop if Russian citizens appreciate and accept the idea of a common cause, specifically on the well-being of their homeland and its security. In this case, an association of free people is formed, pursuing their own interests and realizing that their private life occurs in the middle of public life. The implementation of their personal interests somehow depends on the implementation of the interests of the whole society. As a single social community of people, only the nation can provide optimal conditions for human life at individual and society levels.

The idea of a common cause can become legitimate only when it becomes the core of the national ideology, which becomes essential for the constitution or the basic law of a country and fulfills its purpose, forming a humanistic worldview of Russian citizens.

In the Constitution of the Russian Federation, which was adopted in December 1993, the ideology of the builder of mythical communism was excluded from the basic law of the country. The country was freed from the ideals of the past, but a reasonable measure was simultaneously violated. As a result, the privatization of public properties escalated into “robbery”. A class of oligarchs existed, and poor people did not become rich. Guided by the adopted constitution, the entire system of social coordinates, including the vertical line of power and the horizontal line of communications, has followed the path of society capitalization. Under these conditions, socio-forming factors, such as educational and health care systems, cultural objects, and mass media, have acquired the status of market services. With the attempts to improve the demographic situation through “maternity capital,” a certain category of citizens considered a child as a commodity. Family degradation has questioned the status of the family as a social unit of society as the starting point of education. A child who did not go to school, did not absorb the cultural code of Russia, and did not adopt the categories of good, evil, beautiful, and ugly could disappear into a crowd, where the dominating principle was “like the others.” Consequently, personal liability was excluded, and actions were determined on the basis of the reference point “everything here and just now.” A full-fledged childhood is a shadow of adult life, its eternal companion; an inner voice, an opponent.

With these stories, the quality of people’s life is questionable, consequently becoming a population, not the people. The negative side of these trends was also highlighted by the “C-virus.” Extraordinary efforts should be devoted to restoring at least partially real medical care instead of a market service on the march in a manual control mode. As for the educational system, it continues to fade, preserving the orientation of being a market service and not a factor of the decent reproduction of the generations’ continuity. This phenomenon is evidenced by testing the format of digitalization in the educational process and its implementation at a distance, but it practically negates the dialog between a teacher and a pupil or an educator and a student. Education in the format of a market service displaces upbringing from the educational process instead of reanimating it.

In a transitioning society, cultural objects and mass media remain problematic. As noted socio-determining factors, they bear the stamp of a scheme: “goods, money, and capital.” In the context of nostalgia for lost value orientations, the capitalization of society turns into the uncertainty of tomorrow, a feverish search for the redistribution of the world. It aggravates the processes of the personification of social relations and the depersonalization of an individual in the system of these relations. The total alienation of an individual from everything, from everyone, and even from oneself also exists. He or she can include a mechanism of socialization and a means of projection, identification, and symbolization to find close people and a sense of solidarity, if not justice, to survive in any social environment even if it provides comfort instead of discomfort. As a result, negative feelings, namely, envy, jealousy, and criticism in the absence of self-criticism, are aroused.

On July 1, 2020, the all-Russian vote on the Constitution of the Russian Federation was held. Since then, the country and the world have changed. With the reference points of the 1993 model, one could be lost, especially in the road of faith, hope for prosperity, well-being, and security. As such, the traditions, sovereignty, and unity of the system of social coordinates that demonstrate the relationship between the vertical line of power and the horizontal line of communication are questioned.

The draft amendments in the following format were approved: family values, protection of human labor, social guarantees, medical care, not a market service, a bet on patriotism, protection of sovereignty and territorial integrity, a focus on stability and development, conservation of nature, responsible attitude to life, support for volunteers, preservation of the Russian cultural code, and support for Russian science. The majority of people voted for them.

Unfortunately, among these amendments, no amendment has defined the status of the educational system, which includes education, upbringing, and training and excludes education in the format of a market service.

Ideology is not defined as the fundamental basis for forming the Russian people’s worldview.

Everything that has a beginning has an end. The state of society in the transition period from an industrial civilization to a different type will end. Thus, returning to the Russian Constitution is needed, and this constitution should be introduced into the vital article “Ideology of the Common Cause of the Russian people.” For these reasons, we should think about the type of the necessary ideology.

In the 21st century, humanity has achieved not only scientific breakthroughs but also a long list of unresolved social problems. Only those powers that can successfully solve these unresolved problems will have a historical perspective. Russia may be among the countries that will succeed.

With the collapse of the USSR in the 1990s, the Soviet ideology, the prospect of universal social equality, and the triumph of the Soviet people as a single people’s community were questioned. This situation is simplified by the current unspoken but implied ideology. Energy resources are insufficient for everyone; as such, society is divided into the rich and the rest. This phenomenon is how consumption ideology develops. Aided by the conditions of transitional society with the uncertainty of tomorrow, burdened by the inclusion in the global processes of modernity, a policy search of a New world order, desire of the superpowers to see Russia only as a supplier of cheap labor, energy, raw materials, and market selling the products of its own overproduction.

The political arena of Russia is quite diverse and composed of different parties, movements, and associations. As a rule, they pursue their group interests but pass off these interests as national ones by using the compliant mass media for this purpose and pedaling the philistine subjectivism of a distance no farther than their own nose. This phenomenon is not a reason to consider them as the social basis of the fifth column [7]. Instead, it is a confirmation that the social reality of Russia is represented by its population, not by people, to whom the vertical line of power and its opponents appeal. One must call a spade a spade by considering a sound system of indicators that provide the sociological monitoring of quantitative and qualitative indicators as a point of reference of social changes. The system has a coordinate axis, so any phenomenon declares its progressiveness or reactivity at the time of making a specific decision and in the process of its implementation, which allows us to adequately diagnose problematic situations and identify its true causes. The declared system is only a means or a tool for the idea of a common cause.

This approach to consider the stated problem involves an appeal to its ontological foundations, and their attributes are motion, space, and time, as well as the modes of their concrete manifestation in the plots of modern reality.

Russians have always been concerned with questions: Why do society and power exist? Why does a person live? What should a person do in this world? Is the meaning of life genuine or far fetched? People want to know in what direction the society is going, what it will be like tomorrow, and what awaits them. All these questions can be answered only by the ideology that can ensure the formation of a humanistic worldview of people as subjects of increased social activities. Without ideology, the society is like a ship without a compass or a person without the ability to stop, look back, and change the ways and means of their life.

The ideology of the common cause should consider the physical and spiritual state of a person, as well as his or her material well-being, the state of his or her individuality, the ability to show not only the will to power over circumstances but also the will to power over oneself. In this case, ideology becomes a social indicator of the processes of the modern world. Therefore, ideology should be social and historically determined and consequently scientific. Ideology acquires the ability to form a national goal and determine the real possibilities and necessary means of its implementation. Russia's capabilities demonstrate its self-sufficiency. The cultural code serves as a guarantor of the means of implementing the national goal. However, the use of opportunities and the demand for funds demonstrate the problematic nature of the economy, health care, and education. Therefore, the priority strategic programs are as follows:

  • new paradigm of the educational system
  • new quality of healthcare
  • new technologies, materials, and types of energy
  • new roads and transport systems
  • digitalization of the economy and accounting
  • solving the demographic problem
  • environmental monitoring
  • maintenance of the military-industrial complex, taking into account the need for
  • preservation of traditions and historical memory

The content of the mentioned projects is constantly adjusted, adapting to internal circumstances and external situations. This ability fundamentally distinguishes the ideology of the common cause from formal declaration. As a result, the ideology becomes instrumental. This ideology is the only one that can be included in the Constitution of the Russian Federation and fulfill its purpose. Thus, the construction of a genuine legal state and a real civil society is ensured with guidelines for preparing for the future and for solving social problems of the current moment.


1 This is the final article of the scientific project “Civil society: origins and present” which encompass 12 (!) multi-authored monographs under the general supervision of Prof. I. Kal’noy, Saint Petersburg — 2000–2006; Simferopol — 2010–2020


About the authors

Igor I. Kalnoy

V.I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University

Author for correspondence.

Doctor of Philosophy, Professor

295007, Republic of Crimea, Simferopol, Academician Vernadsky Avenue, 4


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Copyright (c) 2020 Kalnoy I.I.

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