Russian Machism

Russian Machism is a political/philosophical viewpoint which emerged in Imperial Russia in the beginning of the twentieth century before the Russian Revolution. They upheld the scientific and philosophical insights of Ernst Mach to be of great interest. Many of the Russian Machists were Marxists, and indeed viewed Machism as an essential ingredient of a materialist outlook on the world.

Confrontation with idealism

In 1902 Pavel Ivanovich Novgorodtsev edited the book Problems of Idealism (Problemy Idealizma) which included contributions from Sergei Bulgakov, Evgenii Nikolaevitch Troubetzkoy, Sergei Nikolaevich Trubetskoy, Peter Berngardovich Struve, Nikolai Berdyaev, Semyon Frank, Sergei Askol'dov, Kistyakovski, Alexander Sergeyevich Lappo-Danilevsky, Sergey Oldenburg, and Zhukovsky.[1] In proclaiming the advent of a new idealist movement he also derided positivism as being narrow and dogmatic.[2]

Confrontation with Lenin

The publication of Studies in the Philosophy of Marxism (Russian: Очерки по философии Марксизма) in 1908 marked a key moment in the emergence of this viewpoint. However whilst many of the proponents of Russian Machism saw it as adding important insights to what a materialist view of the world would look like, Vladimir Lenin was a consistent opponent.

Prominent Russian Machists

This list includes people who at one time or other have been described as Russian Machists:

See also


  1. Dahm, Helmut (2012). Vladimir Solovyev and Max Scheler: Attempt at a Comparative Interpretation: A Contribution to the History of Phenomenology. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9789401017480. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  2. Soboleva M.E. “Soboleva Critical positivism” versus “new idealism” in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century. Vestnik SPbSU. Philosophy and Conflict Studies, 2018, vol. 34, issue 1, pp. 46–56.
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