The chimera of ideology in the twentieth century

Natalia G. Baranetz
Ulyanovsk State Uni­ver­si­ty
Andrey B. Verevkin
Ulyanovsk State Uni­ver­si­ty

The chimera of ide­ol­o­gy in the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry

Abstract. The polit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy of sci­ence is just begin­ning to form its sub­ject field, which already encom­pass­es the study of the inter­ac­tion between pow­er and knowl­edge, as well as the com­pre­hen­sion of the place of sci­ence in the polit­i­cal sys­tem. A pos­si­ble direc­tion of expand­ing the per­spec­tives of the polit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy of sci­ence involves stud­ies on the man­i­fes­ta­tions of ide­ol­o­gy in sci­ence. The arti­cle describes the forms of the fusion of polit­i­cal ide­ol­o­gy and sci­ence in the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry. It is not­ed that a con­sis­tent state sci­en­tif­ic pol­i­cy in Europe began to take shape no ear­li­er than in the 1930s. At the same time, an increase in state fund­ing for sci­ence was accom­pa­nied by the polit­i­cal elite’s increas­ing con­trol of the sci­en­tists’ mind­set and their sci­en­tif­ic activ­i­ties. From the begin­ning of its exis­tence, the Sovi­et state solved the prob­lem of a con­sis­tent and sys­tem­at­ic devel­op­ment of sci­ence. The ide­ol­o­giza­tion of sci­en­tif­ic life in the USSR in the 1930–40s was man­i­fest­ed in an intense pres­sure of polit­i­cal ide­ol­o­gy on some dis­ci­pli­nary com­mu­ni­ties (his­to­ri­ans, biol­o­gists, physi­cists). The author­i­ties chose the direc­tive method of ide­o­log­i­cal coer­cion of sci­en­tists, and it result­ed in an exter­nal dialec­ti­cal-mate­ri­al­is­tic una­nim­i­ty hav­ing a super­fi­cial char­ac­ter. A dif­fer­ent strat­e­gy of ide­o­log­i­cal con­trol through eco­nom­ic and leg­isla­tive tools was devel­oped in the Unit­ed States. Among the fac­tors ide­ol­o­giz­ing sci­en­tif­ic research there is reli­gious fun­da­men­tal­ism. Ide­o­log­i­cal­ly cor­rect research is encour­aged through pub­lic and pri­vate foun­da­tions. The ideas and sci­en­tif­ic the­o­ries con­demned by the rul­ing elite are dis­crim­i­nat­ed leg­isla­tive­ly and finan­cial­ly. The effect of such a method of ide­ol­o­giza­tion proves to be more last­ing and pro­found than from an explic­it bureau­crat­ic influ­ence. The arti­cle con­cludes that in the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry the ide­ol­o­giza­tion of sci­en­tif­ic life became a real­i­ty in all coun­tries with devel­oped sci­en­tif­ic insti­tu­tions. State pol­i­cy requires sci­en­tists to demon­strate loy­al­ty to polit­i­cal elites.

Key­words: ide­ol­o­gy, ide­ol­o­giza­tion of sci­ence, sci­en­tif­ic com­mu­ni­ty, state sci­en­tif­ic pol­i­cy, polit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy of sci­ence.



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