The name Zaira Rodríguez Ugidos is barely known outside the Latin American and Spanish-speaking world. And yet she was a charismatic Marxist thinker at a time when philosophy in general, and Marxist philosophy in particular, rarely included a woman. International Friends of Ilyenkov co-organiser Corinna Lotz interviewed Cuban philosopher Rogney Piedra Arencibia about his discovery of this outstanding woman thinker, who died tragically young at 44 in 1985.
Her focus on dialectical logic was inspired by the work of Evald Ilyenkov, who was still alive when she studied in Moscow during the late 1960s.
I first met Sergei Nikolaivich Mareev, who
has died at the age of 78, on a trip to Moscow in
the aftermath of Yeltsin’s dissolution of the Soviet Union
in December 1991. It was the period of
“shock therapy” during which Russia’s
GDP fell by 50%. The economy was in chaos and people’s lives were being turned
upside down. Demonstrators were being killed by the paramilitary riot police
OMON outside the state television centre at Ostankino.
Encyclopedia of Russian Philosophy, 3rd edition, General editor M. A.
Mir Philosophii, 2020.
Published with the kind permission of Andrey D. Maidansky
Translated by Alla Potapova
MAREEV Sergey Nicolaevich (2 May 1941 – 12 September 2019, Moscow) was a philosopher, a doctor of philosophy and a university professor. He was the pupil and associate of Ilyenkov, a specialist in the field of dialectical logic and a historian of Soviet philosophy.
Philosophical Thought in Russia in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century edited by Vladislav Lektorsky and Marina Bykova is a ground-breaking book combining recent Russian archival research with inspiring contributions from key thinkers from around the world. Lektorsky and Bykova’s volume has a Tolstoyan breadth of action. This, together with Dostoevskian reflection, makes the volume an epic and absorbing account of philosophy in the Soviet era and beyond.
How a philosopher considered the most significant theorist of the Soviet era came to influence Nordic, British, American and German thinkers, as well as revolutionary activists, is revealed in Finding Evald Ilyenkov.
Ilyenkov and his co-thinkers were driven by a desire to rescue Marxism from the dead hand of Stalinist orthodoxy. As cultural theorist and philosopher Vadim Mezhuev remarked, paradoxically, “it was harder to be a Marxist in the Soviet Union than in any other country”.
The 2016 referendum vote to leave the European Union sent shockwaves around the UK and beyond. Over 17.4 million people voted to Leave. Despite warnings from all the major political parties, voters narrowly rejected the proposal to remain in the EU.
Understanding what lay behind the result leads to a dialectical analysis of the contradictions within the vote, the process which led up to the referendum and the current political impasse at Westminster. Evald Ilyenkov’s concept of the Ideal – which concretely in this case is about the state and democracy – provides us with a tool to explain these contradictions.