This year marks the 20th anniversary since
Russia emerged from the ruins of the USSR. Peaceful rejection
of the previous totalitarian system represented a historical
achievement of global proportions. At the time society was
clearly ready for change and the construction of a new life
based on respect for the individual, democratic principles
and a free competitive economy. Today we understand that this
potential has not been realized. These dreams have not come
People take flight
The Russian political regime today, which emerged after
1991 and was formed over the past decade, has still not created
a modern state.
As a result, we are witnessing today an unremitting chasm
that is deepening and is being transformed into an insurmountable
rift between the authorities and the people, the state and
This is not a temporary credibility gap, but rather a systematic
problem. The high ratings of the country’s leader do not attest
to public support for the powers that be. The vast difference
in the public trust shown in these individuals and all other
state institutions attests to the ultimate instability and
fragility of the entire Russian state construct.
Over the past 100 years we have witnessed on two occasions
the unexpected rapid and utter collapse of the state on the
following basis: "there it was and all of a sudden it
This is not due to hunger, war or repression, but rather
a profound and insurmountable chasm between the authorities
and the people that had evolved by the time of the collapse.
A growing chasm is also visible today. Sociologists are looking
for signs of some form of "opposition", but are
missing the point entirely.
The Russian people are not opposing the state.
The current situation is far worse – they are taking flight.
The people do not trust the state, are not interested in
it, fear and do not expect anything good from the state and
believe it to be both a hindrance and a threat. The people
do not want to improve the state, as they have already been
given to understand that they have no influence on anything
and that as a rule they are irrelevant to the state.
The people are organizing their lives outside the
state. The people are taking flight, as they believe the state
to be alien, and naturally not to offer them any support.
At critical moments in the past (such as in 1917 and 1991)
this led to the state’s disappearance.
The increasing levels of alcoholism and drug addiction, departure
into virtual worlds and crime – these are also forms of flight
from a reality bereft of any opportunities. The rapid and
profound criminalization of the state is a direct result of
the chasm between the people and the authorities. In the opinion
of the Chairman of the Constitutional Court Valery Zorkin,
today these problems have attained such proportions that:
"Russia’s very survival over the next ten years is at
The belligerent immorality and all-encompassing lies taking
root in society, coupled with the return of gross official
propaganda, have led to the population’s spiritual fatigue,
political and social apathy, "brain drain" and desire
Polls of Russian youth show that 45% of the graduates of
higher educational institutions have not ruled out the option
of leaving the country, while 18-24% intend to emigrate. Up
to 30% of businessmen are ready to leave Russia. The mass
exodus of talented scientists to take up jobs abroad, including
countless young researchers, undermines the potential of Russia’s
science sector. The key motive for flight is not low incomes,
but rather the inability to live in a dignified manner. The
motive for 79% of potential emigrants is attributable to a
desire to live in an environment governed by the rule of law,
rights and freedoms, while 69% want to be able to avoid arbitrary
Such a frame of mind yet again accounts for a material proportion
of the collective consciousness and represents a clear manifestation
of the very same fatal chasm.
This is a reaction to the unjust shock reforms, the utter
contempt for the current and long-term interests of the people
and all their rights, coupled with the total theft of the
authorities that has been elevated into official policy and
brutal “law enforcement” anarchy and corporate raids.
This chasm cannot be liquidated in one go by
holding even comparatively honest elections or suddenly abolishing
censorship. This time has already been missed.
The public consciousness is split and spasmodic.
Elections can only help to resolve today’s problems
once the country has reached consensus on the underlying principles
and goals of the population. Then it will be necessary to
choose how best to realize these common objectives for the
people as a whole and decide who should be entrusted to undertake
If society is split, demoralized and humiliated, however,
even a comparatively honest election will not generate any
result. You can find countless examples.
In Russia the level of public debate has been deliberately
debased. Surrogate public and political programs broadcast
today on Russian TV channels are reminiscent of fights in
a communal kitchen, where the goal is to outshout your neighbor.
The crux of the issue is emasculated and is reduced to a confrontation
of state-approved diametrically opposing viewpoints. The Internet
offers an alternative on certain topics, but fail to offer
the depth and style that you would expect from a real "discussion".
Elections in such instances are transformed into a competition
between populists and loudmouths.
In today’s Russia there are no premises for a fully-fledged
discussion on the basis of party programs. Today only the
sparring of specific persona - the bearers of world views
of differing orientation, depth and quality - is permitted,
including nationalism, the "enlightened conservatism"
of the nomenclature [ruling political establishment], the
national Bolshevik ideology, Stalinism, which is openly advocated
by the leadership of the Russian Communist Party, and Bolshevik-style
radical pseudo liberalism.
This chaos in the public consciousness was reflected in and
encouraged by the decisions adopted by the ruling authorities
on state symbols – the two-headed sovereign eagle with crowns,
the Stalinist hymn combining both old and new words and the
"quasi-democratic" merchant flag – the tricolor.
Whoever adopted these decisions probably thinks that this
set of symbols will unite everyone or at the very least provide
something for everyone: for the sovereign imperialist, communist
and democratic should find something to their taste. However,
the state and national identity and national consciousness
cannot be reduced to a puzzle that can be mechanically put
In a country lacking any sense of identity and that suffers
from a fragmented and splintered consciousness, nothing can
be done – neither modernization, nor innovation, nor anything
else that is useful.
We can only expect total and utter collapse when
the loyal people are perverted by the elite.
Lies as the foundation of the state
The main political problem of our country does not relate
to the level and quality of democracy or the protection of
the freedoms and rights of the people, as is widely thought,
but rather to the rampant and absolute lies at the foundation
of the state and state policy.
This is not attributable simply to the personal qualities
of the heads of state – Yeltsin, Putin or Medvedev: the Russian
state has been built on lies ever since the Bolshevik October
Revolution in 1917. Lies became an essential component of
the state system, which has been illegitimate now for more
than ninety-three years and has to conceal this fact in every
Lies represent an organic component of today’s eclectic state
system that is keen to maintain historical ties both with
the Soviet regime, an autocracy that is a relic of the past
and the modern world. This can only be attempted by clinging
to incessant and all-encompassing lies.
The underlying cause of this problem is a catastrophe at
a national level and not of geopolitical proportions.
Almost one hundred years – the lives of several generations
– have passed in our country on the basis of a complete separation
from right and law and the erasure of national identity.
This is due to the fact that today’s political system in
Russia historically dates back to the tragic events in 1917-1920
– the coup d’etat, the seizure of power by a group of criminal
elements and a bloody civil war. For it is the actual refusal
to recognize this fact and the attempt to build an allegedly
post-Soviet Russia based on a sense of succession and absorption
of the life of the previous 75 years that renders impossible
any movement forward in principle and predetermines the degradation
of the public consciousness. This is a dead end. The only
way out is to provide the minimum required legitimacy for
the state and the authorities, which was broken almost a century
ago, and restore on this basis the logic of the country’s
Neither Leninism, Stalinist national Bolshevism or formal
democracy became sufficiently serious "building blocks",
so that the pseudo state could renounce its true foundation
- lies and terror - or at the very least to try and not instill
fear in its citizens, but instead to secure support in other
ways than coercion.
The country has ended up in a vicious circle: in
failing to renounce the lies, it is impossible to conduct
any effective forms, while the renunciation of the lies would
threaten the system as a whole.
If this objective is not resolved and the country attempts
to survive on the basis of absolute historical lies, Russia
will never be able to create either a modern operable state
or an effective competitive economy. One objective needs to
be resolved – the restoration of the legitimacy of the authorities
that was broken almost a century ago, and the logic of the
country’s historical development.
Constituent Assembly as an unused window
Autocratic legitimacy, based on the ideas of the divine origins
of the Tsar’s reign and the unconditional obedience of his
subjects, ran out of steam at the start of the 20th century.
This did not signify the automatic end to the monarchy: instead
the idea of constitutional limits matured and became the natural
result of the development of society, the public and individual
consciousness, which became particularly active in Russia
in the 19th century and at the start of the 20th century after
the Great Reforms of the 1860s.
The moral pressure of the political elite and the growing
discontent of the people resulted in the abdication of Nicholas
The question of "what next" did not arise after
the abdication. Virtually everyone realized that this would
lead to the Constituent Assembly, which would draft and adopt
a Constitution. The Constituent Assembly was expected to legitimize
a democratic form of rule. The elections to the Constituent
Assembly were universal, direct and equal, offering equal
voting rights to women and demonstrated a new political direction.
Any abrupt deviation from this path appeared improbable at
This represented an opportunity to achieve peaceful political
transformation: an opportunity to avert civil war; an opportunity
to resolve the key issues facing Russia at the time – issues
about land, nationality, war and peace - through democratic
mechanisms in a legal environment: an opportunity to legitimize
adopted decisions. This represented a real opportunity.
Over 44 million people, who had to survive in far from simple
conditions, participated in the elections, thereby demonstrating
to themselves and the whole world the legitimacy of changes
in the state structure and the significance of the Constituent
Assembly for Russia.
Even the Bolsheviks carried out the coup d’etat under the
slogan of protecting the Constituent Assembly. The Council
of People’s Commissars, established by a decree dated 26 October
1917 was called the “provisional working and peasant government",
which had assumed power "prior to the holding of the
Constituent Assembly". A decree on land started with
the statement that the land issue "can only be fully
resolved by the nationwide Constituent Assembly".
At the elections to the Constituent Assembly held in November
1917, 410 out 721 mandates were own by the Socialist Revolutionaries
and 175 by the Bolsheviks. The Constitutional Democrats received
29 seats and the Mensheviks 16.
After losing the elections, on 6 January 1998 the Bolsheviks
dissolved the Constituent Assembly.
In dissolving the Constituent Assembly, the Bolsheviks overthrew
the legitimate authorities and drove the country on the way
to civil war. As the power of the Bolsheviks had no legitimate
basis, they could not dispense with terror or lies from the
very outset. De facto the red terror started immediately after
the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks.
The Bolsheviks won the civil war, firstly as they did not
have any moral constraints and elevated terror and brutality
into a principle. Secondly (and this is important from the
perspective of legitimacy), after the dissolution of the Constituent
Assembly their power was attributable to the political expression
of support for the idea of socializing the land and transferring
it to the peasantry, an idea that had garnered widespread
support. However, the violent collectivization of the 1930s,
accompanied by the destruction of the peasantry as the bearer
of a consciousness that was anathema to the Bolsheviks, to
all intents and purposes wiped out all the hopes of a social
group that constituted the majority of the country’s population.
Lies and terror became the underlying elements
of the state.
The country existed on these grounds until the very end of
the 1980s. The democratic minority elected in 1989 in the
first elections since the years of the Soviet era in an election
(albeit of restricted scope), was more perceptible and authoritative
than the "aggressively-obedient majority" not only
because it was represented by outstanding individuals – such
as A.D. Sakharov – but also because these very deputies, elected
contrary to the will of the authorities, were perceived as
the truly legitimate representatives of the people. However,
this legitimacy was based on negation: a democrat was first
and foremost "not a communist" (not in the sense
of the existence of the party ticket, but in terms of the
individual’s attitude to the party and situation in the country).
You can fight against the authorities and for power on this
basis, but you can’t build a new state on negation.
In the 1990s the problem of the positive democratic legitimacy
of the authorities was similarly not resolved.
An attempt to reform the Soviet system through amendments
to make the nominal Constitution of the RSFSR operational
(although it had never been used), and combine the system
of Soviets with the principle of power sharing, culminated
in the events of September-October 1993.
The Constitution in 1993 was compiled as a nine-day wonder
and was not discussed by society. Furthermore to date the
actual organization of the referendum on its approval and
calculation of votes raises extremely serious questions over
the document’s adoption.
The legitimacy of the political system in the 1990s was also
undermined by these circumstances and by the fact that democracy
remained an imitation at odds with the anti-democratic oligarchic
element at the center of power. A new lie was added to the
old lie – the myth on the inevitability of the nature of the
reforms; that Yeltsin and Gaidar had saved the country in
1992 from starvation.
Even in the most "liberal" years the members of
the Tsar’s family have still not been recognized as victims
of political repressions, while the Voikovskaya metro station,
named in the honor of the individual who participated in the
cold-blooded murder of the Tsar’s family, including a twelve-year
boy and four girls, has similarly not changed its name, while
many archive materials remain closed, “KGB Day” is celebrated,
and so on. These are not simply words and calendar dates,
but rather a whole chain of associations, logical connections
and a standard mindset, which shackle the modern system to
its Soviet predecessor. As a result even this lifestyle has
been reinforced, where lies and doublethink remain core elements
of the system. The system’s policies have nurtured and consolidated
the supremacy of cynical “political expedience”, corruption,
manageable elections and media wars.
The more time passes, the more relevant the problem of the
absolute inconsistencies and eclectic nature of statements
by the new Russian authorities on the underlying historical
legacy for their rule. The state, which made a total mess
of economic reforms and is responsible for the abrupt fall
in the living standards of the absolute majority of the population,
started to consciously play the "autocratic" card
of the national consciousness, combining in some bizarre manner
Tsarist imperialist elements with Soviet imperialist traits.
It is no accident that the imperial two-headed eagle with
crowns was approved as the coat of arms of the new Russian
republic. It conveyed the message that the Russia of the end
of the 20th century - start of the 21st century was the successor
of the ideal-mythical "Russia that we have lost",
that Russia was the only autocracy to have the left the political
scene; it imparted the image of Russia as a "candy sweet"
second-rate icon of the past.
This ideal did not take root. However, it blazed the trail
for another Soviet utopian ideal. The imperial eagle ultimately
"attached" itself to the stodgy Soviet hymn, which
dovetails nicely with this eagle – in virtually the same way
as Putin’s oligarchic system dovetails with Yeltsin’s version.
In addition, in the 1990s the issue of the regime’s legitimacy
that remains unresolved was weighed down by utterly punitive
reforms, the extensive voucher privatization swindle conducted
by the state, which engulfed the country’s entire population,
and the illegitimacy of large private property, dished out
on the basis of corruption schemes through so-called "loans-for-shares
The time for a free mass media has still not come into being,
as the powers that be emerging from the ruins of the Soviet
system cannot exist without lies.
Today it is clear that the new political order based
on the 1993 constitution and emerging on the basis of the
reforms in the 1990s has become over the past ten years a
method for consolidating the power of a Soviet-style political
establishment in the new economic environment, including certain
provincial and homegrown elements such as a "capitalist
Juche " or the "democracy of a flourishing discipline".
As in the past this order is based on lies, terror and corruption
that have only increased with the passage of time, as none
of the terms for establishing a modern state have been implemented:
- a legitimate private property institution, relying on grassroots
ownership, has still not been created;
- citizens are not equal before the law;
- instead of courts and arbitration courts, we have an imitation
that acts as a screen for the supremacy of the “right of the
- power is not a public function, but rather an instrument
of individual and group enrichment.
In essence, instead of a state today we have
been presented with the empty shell of a system capable only
of imitating state activities.
The objectives of ensuring the safety of citizens, the defense
capability of the country, the unity of a multinational state
covering a vast territory and social and economic development
cannot be resolved in principle in this environment. The main
problem is that a cohesive and viable Russian society cannot
evolve, function and develop in the existing environment.
I believe that the situation unfolding by spring
2011 has started to pose a threat to Russia’s very existence.
The authorities are losing the remnants of even formal democratic
legitimacy, by systematically falsifying the elections. People
don’t vote for United Russia because they support them: simply
the people are indifferent and understand that this is how
things are. Turnout is falling. The role of the Constitution
is being systematically debased by gross encroachments of
the text, such as the abolition of direct gubernatorial elections
or the extension of the terms of the President and parliament.
New attempts to replace the vacuum with messianic sovereign
imperial ideas even in a modernized form (Moscow’s aspirations
to become a global financial center) have demonstrated their
futility. This should come as no surprise. Lies and the propagation
of such lies still constitute the underlying core of the system.
Political thinking has frozen at the levels demonstrated at
the start of the last century. There is no unambiguous condemnation
of state terror, while attempts are constantly being made
to find some justification for such actions in the spirit
of "Realpolitik". The limitations of Soviet foreign
political thinking complicate the development of such breakthrough
projects as the Russian-European anti-ballistic missile defense
system. The majority of the "elite", when discussing
this topic, do not think about the future, but rather about
The underlying cause for developments that have placed the
country on the brink of national disaster can be reduced to
the nature and specifics of the Russian political system.
It is based on the bureaucratic nomenclature, which fills
in for the political and business elite that has concentrated
power and property in one and the same hands, inclined as
they are to perform only one function in power - conservation.
A political course driven by conservation is not
a path to stability, but instead sows the seeds of stagnation
or destabilization. Its fundamental weakness relates
to the lack of a distinct state concept, understanding of
the country’s development prospects, and consequently the
ability to offer society a modernization program that is worthy
of trust and interest.
Politically it is irrelevant who will be selected and drafted
as President: - Putin, Medvedev or someone else. The key issue
is that the system will remain unchanged – illegitimate, politically
and economically ineffective, derogatory and powerless for
the citizens. The Russian political system is an imitation
of modern statehood, a "Potemkin village", consisting
of pseudo-institutions, constantly and grossly falsified procedures.
There is no authenticity in public life, as it has been replaced
by endless "simulacra". Instead of any diversity
of opinions and style – a tandem, instead of modernization
– Skolkovo, games and championships: instead of a multi-party
scene – utterly boring Kremlin projects and a protest “street”
vote, blatantly devoid of fresh ideas, which replaces the
dialog of the authorities with citizens on the most burning
issues of civil freedoms, the judicial anarchy of the paltry
administrative and police battles, with professional protesters
and protest "heroes". As a result larceny and the
divide between the monetary and power nomenclature and the
defenseless public at large are the only authentic and real
things left. In your opinion, who would like this state of
The triumph of simulacra merely serves to add to the validity
of the question about the country’s future. The imbalance
in politics, law and the social status of citizens, industry
and infrastructure may soon lead to consequences that will
significantly exceed the convulsions of 1991. We need a principled
and qualitative change to this system.
Historically attempts to realize the concept of “raw materials
power” or “sovereign democracy”, relying on the wealth of
a country’s subsoil resources and global demand for resources,
have proved futile. The one-sided, primarily raw material-based
development of the economy, the refusal to recognize the inviolability
of private property, the state tax racket, and the insolubility
of the problem of creating state-of-the-art production facilities
are not only holding back Russia’s economic progress, but
are also undermining the country’s long-term prospects. While
retaining these long-standing vices, as well as new ones acquired
over the past 20 years, Russia is becoming economically vulnerable,
and in terms of the legal capacity and effectiveness of the
state authority – an impotent country.
It is quite possible to propose a professional program for
economic reforms aimed at establishing in Russia a state-of-the-art
diversified and innovation-based competitive market economy,
which would make it possible to elevate Russia within a limited
time frame to the rank of economically developed countries
globally, decisively raise the quality and level of living
standards in the country and overcome negative demographic
However, the events of the past fifteen years have provided
compelling evidence that modernization is impossible in principle,
when set against the backdrop of today’s Russian political
regime, by virtue of its illegal and uncontrollable nature,
just as the creation of a competitive market economy is impossible.
The current system cannot be reformed. Numerous programs
to improve the system, in particular the Russia 2010 Strategy
and the Strategy 2012 prepared by the Institute of Contemporary
Development and some other programs, contain tactically important
considerations. Strategically, however, they merely recall
efforts to improve the economic mechanism in the Soviet Union
in the 1960s-1980s. It is important to understand first and
foremost that piecemeal decisions will not function properly
and will only compromise themselves, and secondly that it
is impossible, if we are to survive into the second decade
of the 21st century, to revert to the start of the 1990s,
in order to take a “second attempt” at a development that
didn’t happen back then.
In the current power system to all intents and purposes the
leaders are not legitimate, as they do not have the backing
of either the Law or the Constitution.
The legitimacy of the authorities should be guaranteed by
due process, historical popular recognition and real achievements.
The legitimacy of the Russian monarchy was related to a belief
in the procedure for appointing the Tsars.
The Soviet authorities, which were from the outset absolutely
illegitimate, were partially accepted by the people now and
then, as they were associated with numerous feats and the
attainments of Soviet citizens, which had been performed primarily
in spite of the unlawful system and not because of it, and
which prevented this system from disintegrating any sooner.
The current system is not backed by any real legal procedures
and has little in the way of constructing its own historical
asset that could provide it with reliable historical and popular
recognition. One can only credit the system for one thing:
even though they had an opportunity to set in motion the most
powerful destructive and repressive impulses, its leaders
did not leverage this option. However, this is insufficient
as a historical justification for the system. This system
has in the many years of its existence failed to offer any
grounds for its legal and historical legitimization and now
needs a radical overhaul.
To all intents and purposes, the illegitimacy of the current
Russian state and its authoritative political system imitating
democracy implies that it can be perceived not as the mouthpiece
of the people’s interests and its representatives, but rather
as a system that ensures the material and political interests
of a small group close to the authorities.
However, as a principled opponent to all forms of
violence, I believe that dialog should be conducted with this
power, for example, in the form of a round table, in other
words that we should seek compromise and interim decisions.
At the same time, however, the main goal should be a radical
change in the political system, resulting in the establishment
of a law-abiding state in Russia based on international standards
for individual rights and freedoms, the ability to remove
the authorities through free and fair elections, the independence
of jurisprudence and unswerving observance of private property
The challenge is to attain all these goals peacefully and
constructively, without disparaging the human dignity of a
Everything should be done to extricate the country from the
current situation peacefully in an evolutionary manner.
The round table strategy and tactics, the composition of
its participants and countless other related matters should
be considered during a separate debate.
However, one of the key goals of this dialog is to adopt
a decision at the level of the state on restoring Russian
statehood that was destroyed by the coup d’etat in 1917 and
the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly on 6 January 1918
as the kick-off point from a legal perspective. It is necessary
to continue and complete the political transformation embarked
upon in spring 1917 and interrupted by the anti-state coup
The Constituent Assembly may become the fundamental
event in the construction of the modern Russian state.
For the Constituent Assembly (in particular in the form of
the Constituent Assembly as stipulated in the existing Constitution)
is capable of restoring Russian statehood. The challenge is
to ensure that each citizen (with the exception of total outcasts)
should feel part and parcel of this work either directly or
through his or her representatives and not the trumped up
people who now sit in the State Duma and Public Chamber, but
the real and legitimate representatives of the people.
Naturally I am talking here about the need for democratic
It goes without saying that the Constituent Assembly of 1917
would have resolved this challenge. These considerations on
the Constituent Assembly are not the first public statement
on this topic. However, we need to take this step now - aimed
at directly offering society an opportunity for an open and
extensive discussion on such issues.
I would also like to stress that the following should also
be understood – the trivialization of the idea of a Russian
Constituent Assembly of the 21st century would represent the
final loss of an opportunity to develop and would instead
lead directly to a continuation of the existing stagnation
and decay and in the end, to some or other form of disintegration.
It goes without saying that the preparation of the Constituent
Assembly will be an extremely complicated and protracted process.
We need a far-reaching process for re-evaluating the position
of Russia that has evolved to date, its geopolitical place
in the world, and consequently an extensive discussion of
the problems of statehood and the specifics of the Russian
economic system. It is impossible to repeat the mechanical
experience of 1917-1918 and any attempt to perform such analogies
would appear inappropriate. However, it is unlikely that we
will manage to achieve this goal without serious institutional
Peaceful progress towards the Constituent Assembly
should represent such a political process, which would de
facto partially legitimize the Russian authorities, while
operating within the framework of the existing constitutional
In theory this is possible. However, radical democratic provisions
should be adopted for this purpose on the basis of the existing
Constitution, aimed at ensuring the equality of everybody
before the law, the independence of the judicial system, establishing
restrictions on the executive authorities, providing for a
decisive division of business and power, arranging for the
liquidation of the irresponsible bureaucratic systems of sham
“stability”, corruption and passivity, the political superstructures
of the existing rulers, ensuring the development of parliamentary
and civil control, termination of the current practice of
shaping policy and the legal system based on "understandings",
the formation of an articulate geopolitical course and the
complete renunciation of the policy of self-isolation and
state survival through a combination of backwardness and military
resources. In other words, the Russian authorities should
acquire a qualitatively different reputation and create the
requisite premises for their legitimacy at a reputational
Hardly anyone believes that this could happen in the foreseeable
future. However, any renunciation of this process would result
in even more radical changes in future, which would in all
likelihood be even more destructive. This is the reason why
we must actively work to implement a non-violent and constructive
variant despite all the obstacles that may arise.
P. S. The author of the article would like to
thank A. Zubov, M. Krasnov, A. Kelin, T. Bobrinsky, T. Chernikova,
V. Ukolova, V. Kogan-Yasny, S. Mitrokhin, A. Kosmynin, V.
Shvydko, S. Ivanenko, S. Kovalev and many others who contributed
to the discussion and generation of the ideas that have been
reflected in this article.
Translated by Basil Ballhatchet.