Izvestiya of Saratov University.

Philosophy. Psychology. Pedagogy

ISSN 1819-7671 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1948 (Online)

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E. V. Ilyenkov and the struggle for genuine Marxism: Philosophical freethinking in the later USSR

Mikhel Dmitry V., Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation

Introduction. The article deals with the life and philosophical work of the Soviet Marxist philosopher E.V. Ilyenkov. It emphasizes the importance of a thoughtful return to his philosophical ideas. Theoretical analysis. Based on selected texts by Ilyenkov and with reference to contemporary studies of his work, three subjects are examined: the philosopher’s struggle to preserve Marx’s ideas within Soviet philosophy, his ideas about the fate of socialism in the USSR, and his attitude toward the West and the infl uence of Western philosophical ideas on Soviet society. Ilyenkov is shown as a bearer of a different type of thinking, which is a challenge for contemporary philosophical culture. He associated his struggle for Marxism with the need to reform the party-ideological system through the return to authentic ideas of Marx and Lenin. He saw the future of socialism in the USSR in the transition from “rough communism” to a state of complete liberation of a man from the power of private property. He perceived the West as the soulless power of private property, and modern trends of Western thought as forms of its apology. Conclusions. It is concluded that Ilyenkov’s philosophical freethinking remained Marxist quixotry within the framework of Soviet reality.

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