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Re: [xmca] FW: soviet propaganda (Stalin's bestseller featured)

Yes, as Anton says, a remarkable work of historical fiction, in which it is patiently explained how a party entirely composed of single-minded double agents, Jews and Nazis could have led the Russian Revolution. I trust I don't spoil too much reading pleasure in saying that the answer lies entirely in the enigmatically missing name of the author.
As a fantasy, I think it is a kind of prequel to Merleau-Ponty's abominable book "Humanism and Terrorism". On the face of it, M-P has written a book length pamphlet arguing that the Moscow trials were fully justified because Russia defeated Hitler. Humanism, it appears, is merely a form of science fiction. Not only does it substitute visionary foresight for astonishment, it transforms astonishment into a crime punishable by death. (It does not occur to M-P that the supposed "foresight" of the super-visionaries is really reducible to extending capital punishment to all forms of incredulity).
I think this book (along with the philistine and even uncouth works that M-P wrote endorsing Freud's general approach to artworks) shows and reinforces some of Andy's warnings about the incompatibility of phenomenology with CHAT: 
A propos, I could use a bit of help. This is a passage from Chapter Three of the manuscript formerly known as "The History of the Development of the Higher Psychological Functions". Vygotsky is arguing against a purely phenomenological interpretation of "choice reaction" experiments designed to study how a subject discriminates between different responses to a particular stimulus. Vygotsky points out that because the traditional way of looking at this reaction is phenomenological in two senses, both noxious. 
First of all, it is descriptive and does not aspire to explanation: it deals with psychological phenomena as Descartes did and does not try to explain how they are made by men the way that Vico did. So for example the relationship between a person, that person's response, and a stimulus simply becomes a relationship between two objects in which a human forms another link in the chain. 
Secondly, though, the psychological side of the exercise of choice is accessed through introspection, as in phenomenology. The problem is that when the subjects reflect on the experiments, there is absolutely no sense in which they feel they have exercised any choice at all; they simply did what they were told. 
This is, Vygotsky argues, because they have already completely internalized the instructions, and we can recover the sense of choice, not only in the introspection but even in the observable behavior, by merely slowing down and impeding the reaction and by including the instructions and above all the "trial experiments" in the data.
At least I THINK that's what it means. Here is the passage I'm having trouble with:
Нас интересует, таким образом, момент возникновения, установления, замыкания реакции и динамическое развертывание всего процесса ее развития. Нам нужно посмотреть сложную реакцию. Для этого мы должны в эксперименте превратить автоматическую форму реакции в живой процесс, снова обратить вещь в движение, из которого она возникла. Если этим определить с формальной стороны задачу, которая стоит перед нами, то со стороны содержания нашего исследования возникает вопрос: уже прежние исследования, как мы говорили выше,
 проделали критическую разрушительную работу над старым учением о психической реакции выбора. Они показали, что в реакции выбора не может быть речи о выборе, что в основе такого представления о сложной реакции лежит чисто интеллектуалистическое представление, которое психологическую связь и отношение между процессами заменяет логическими отношениями между элементами внешнего условия задачи. Вместе с тем эта логическая формула сложной реакции дополнялась анализом переживаний, наблюдаемых испытуемым в процессе
 реакции. Логическое отношение вещей эти исследователи пытались заменить феноменологическими отношениями переживаний. Однако один вопрос они поставили со всей ясностью: в реакции выбора, утверждали они, мы производим самые различные операции, но не выбираем. Спрашивается, что же в действительности происходит в реакции выбора? Если мы возьмем даже самое лучшее изображение переживаний испытуемого, как их в систематической форме дает Ах или Титченер, мы увидим, что они не выходят за пределы чистого описания, что они не в
 состоянии объяснить нам с каузально-динамической стороны реакции выбора. Мы могли бы, следовательно, сформулировать основной вопрос, стоящий перед нами, в следующем виде: какова реальная каузально-динамическая природа сложной реакции? 

Now, the part I can't understand is this:
Спрашивается, что же в действительности происходит в реакции выбора? 

Is Vygotsky asking: "What really happens when somebody really chooses?" Or is he asking "What really happens in the course of these experiments?" It looks like the latter--but Vygotsky has already said that no choice is going on here! So perhaps it is the former?
David Kellogg
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

--- On Tue, 6/5/12, Anton Yasnitsky <the_yasya@yahoo.com> wrote:

From: Anton Yasnitsky <the_yasya@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [xmca] FW: soviet propeganda (Stalin's bestseller featured)
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
Date: Tuesday, June 5, 2012, 7:32 AM

The reference to Stalin's classic "Kratkii kurs istorii VKP(b)" (1938) -- http://leninist.biz/en/1939/HCPSU364/index.html - is particularly sweet and touching. 
The book is published on this web-site anonymously (i.e. no authorship of the text is indicated), so 
here is the author's name if anybody enjoys the reading and decides to further quote this truly immortal bestseller.



From: Peter Smagorinsky <smago@uga.edu>
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu> 
Sent: Tuesday, June 5, 2012 8:41:35 AM
Subject: [xmca] FW: soviet propeganda

Haydi sent me these resources that might be of interest to those who are trying to understand Soviet history. p

From: Haydi Zulfei [mailto:haydizulfei@rocketmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 05, 2012 8:21 AM
To: Peter Smagorinsky
Subject: soviet propeganda


History of the USSR in three parts: PART I:<http://leninist.biz/en/1981/1HU376/index.html>

History of the USSR in three parts: PART II:<http://leninist.biz/en/1981/2HU326/index.html>

History of the USSR in three parts: PART III:<http://leninist.biz/en/1982/3HU357/index.html>

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