THEURGIC AND PROMETHEAN ASPECTS OF ALEXANDER CHAYANOV’S THE JOURNEY OF MY BROTHER ALEXEI TO THE LAND OF PEASANT UTOPIA

Natalia Mikhalenko

Abstract


A utopian novel by the famous economist Aleksander Chayanov, The Journey of My Brother Alexei to the Land of Peasant Utopia is based on the theurgic and humanistic ideas of the early 20th century. Eugenics is put to widespread use in the peasant utopia, including artificial selection and the so-called “therapy of failed lives”, and the state “prevents any waste of talent”. The Gospel parable of the talents receives a hyperbolic interpretation: to achieve full development of a person’s talents and abilities, the person is deprived of free will. The symbol of the Tower of Babel, introduced into the text by references to pictures similar to those of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, shows the inherent danger of the humanistic theories proclaiming the equality of man to a deity.

Keywords


Chayanov, parable, utopia, theurgy, humanism

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.13165/SMS-17-9-2-07

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236