Understanding the Archetype of Russia

Russia is in the middle of a transition moving towards economic growth, which requires a new generation of people. Military occupation was a legit way of growing until the XIX Century. This installed colonialism worldwide.

In the meantime, after WWII, the end of colonialism began, and was replaced by the era of growth through economic development. “Military officers were “replaced” by businessmen/women and the Ministries of War were replaced by Ministries of Defense” (metaphor).

This required a higher level of individual freedom in the economic field and a judiciary system to avoid entropy. China, Japan, and South Korea are examples of this new stage. Russia is developing its own model based on its archetype.

The Functionalist Approach to Cultures

The functionalist approach to social evolution allows explaining the functionality of social behavior without value judgements of what is right or wrong. The functionalist approach explains causes and their consequences to make things happen.  

An archetype establishes the structural basic attitudes that define the unconscious collective intelligence of a culture. It establishes the gravitational force that drives the behavior of its members.

The fundamentals of archetypes define the basic values of a culture and establish the purposes of its lifestyles. The functionality of the archetype defines the potential energy of a culture, which establishes its influential power.

Understanding the culture of Russia implies accepting its intrinsic characteristics. The expansive power of Russia lies in its national pride, its intellectual force, and its functional hierarchic behavior. Until the end of the cold war Russia also represented “the” alternative lifestyle, which made it a world leader.

The end of the cold war diminished the influential power or Russia, which could not be accepted by its society, affected by the loss of its expansive role. The archetype of Russia has a totally different structure compared with the archetypes of the USA or China. It drives diverse ways of dealing with life. It is not better nor worse, just different, like any other archetype. People should accept and not judge the values of other cultures unless they are affected by them.

A Synthesis of the Russian Archetype

Since its origin, Russia has been an influential society that sought the wellbeing of its members using the solutions that were functional to each stage. Studying the history of Russia provides the necessary information to understand it.

In Russia, there coexist different operational archetypes that adopt multiple shapes according to the dominant “technologies” of the segments that drive their ideologies. But these differentiated archetypes cannot contradict the functional archetype of the culture.

An example of contradiction were some “States” of the Soviet Union that could never become integrated in the basic archetype of Russia, and remained different. When this is the case, a secession risk begins to exist.

The expansive archetype of Russia includes:

  1. The national pride, which is the driver of all the functional actions of the culture.
  2. The intellectual force, which drives all the cultural, sportive, and scientific activities.
  3. The functional hierarchy, which is a characteristic of Russian consensus building.

The survival archetype of Russia includes:

  1. The exertion of power to ensure survival.
  2. The influential force to make the power work to achieve goals.
  3. The formal hierarchy that protects leaders against dysfunctional participation.

The archetype of a culture defines the values that underlie the social, economic, and political scenarios. The values of the archetype adopt different shapes depending on the circumstances. They define the possible social evolution, the possible economic models, and the natural shape of political power.

  1. To understand the democracy in Russia you have to accept that the Russian culture has a strong influence of hierarchic rules.
  2. To understand the economy, you need to accept that Russia was never truly in the world of consumerism (which is the driver of the economy of most leading cultures).
  3. To understand scientific and technological development you need to learn that Russia fosters intellectual force in its society.
  4. To understand personal freedom, you need to understand the limits established by hierarchical behavior.

The archetype of Russia defines its essential functionality and establishes the possibilities for dealing with their people by respecting their nature. It has to be considered that there are compatibilities and incompatibilities between the values of cultures.

You can see the incompatibilities in the clash of cultures that exists worldwide. The knowledge of the archetypes of countries and cultures makes possible the building of bridges where they are needed.

To understand a culture, it is a question of having the necessary power to avoid needing to impose one’s rules, the empathy to understand others from their point of view, and the interest to find a common ground.

Peter Belohlavek
The Unicist Research Institute

NOTE: The Unicist Research Institute has been, since 1976, the world-leading research organization that introduced the functionalist approach to science to manage the functionality of the real world. www.unicist.org