Research article
Issue: № 1 (1), 2015


The article deals with axiological aspects of ideologeme “order” in the political discourse of Russia and the USA. It is also supplied with some results of comparative research of ideologeme “order” in Russian and American political discourse.

A new scientific approach in cultural linguistics – axiological linguistics – appeared as a result of increased linguists’ interest to the study of values (Ye.V. Babaeva, V.I. Karasik, N.A. Krasavsky, G.G. Sluschkin and others). One of the key problems of axiological linguistics is the problem of expressing values and disvalues in the language. Different means of evaluation in the language which appeared to be the main means of reflecting the system of values in semantics are of special interest (Yu. D. Apresyan, N.D. Arutyunova, Ye.V.Babayeva, Ye.M. Volf, V.D. Devkin, Yu. Dolnik, G.N. Sklyarevskaya, V.N. Teliya). M.N. Epstein considers a way of expressing evaluation in the language to be one of those linguistic problems which have to be taken into great consideration while analyzing ideological texts [Epstein 1991: 19]. At the lexical level one has to define such means as pragmems, mythologemes, ideologemes, culturems (lingvoculturems).

In modern political linguistics in the process of cognitive approach “an ideologeme is thought out as a phenomenon forming conceptual schemes and categories, specifying the processes of perception, adaptation and evaluation of the information given about this or that ideologically important object. Semantic and emotional content of ideologemes can be differently understood by addresses as ideologemes represent a specific point of view on the corresponding reality” [Nahimova 2011: 194]. In this article an ideologeme is defined as a special cognitive unit which gives a specified ideological meaning and emotional content to a fact or an action and has an increased axiological degree, the characteristics of which depend on ideological positions, regulations and party instructions.  

The research of the ideologeme “order” as a value was carried out on the basis of modern Russian and American mass media. 820 (455 Russian and 365 American) examples enable you to make some important for this comparative analysis conclusions. Primarily, all the examples were classified according to the sphere of usage. There happened to be the examples referring to the subspheres of domestic and foreign policy. Their comparative analysis highlighted certain hierarchy of values.  As for the subsphere of domestic policy the ideologeme “order” as the value and attribute of government and its power takes the leading position. Such an ideologeme was established in 70 Russian and 30 American examples. “Order is a system of state management developed under V. Putin which is called by some politicians “a sovereign democracy”. Our people stand up for order with all their might. The term “order” is best of all characterized by well-known Stolupin’s words about revolutionists: “They need great turmoil but we need great Russia!” Our people and our party need such an order”. [The slogans of the party of social justice / Rossiyskaya Gazeta, 20.11.2007]. “Conservatives accept that government exists as a necessary evil, to prevent anarchy, establish order and maximize but not absolutize freedom”. [David Limbaugh. – Access mode:]. The results of this research in the subsphere of foreign policy are also of great interest. It should be noted that the ideologeme “order” in the context of the new world order takes the central position both in the political discourse of Russia and the USA. The value of the new world order as a polycentric order, as an interaction of different states, as the means of world globalization appears to be quite obvious. There are 42 and 29 Russian and American examples correspondingly. “The problem what the new world order should be is being discussed a lot nowadays. The present-day world order is far from an ideal one. The content and the parameters of the new world order are very difficult to be defined. One can suppose that the new world order will be gradually formed and won’t come over all the states of all local civilizations and continents at once”. [Yu.Ya. Kirshin, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 10.04.2009]. «Obama promises the world a renewed America. With a steel never so pronounced in his campaign, he challenged America’s adversaries – and, recently, some of its oldest friends – who have spied an America diminished by economic distress and war, and heralded a new world order in which America would give up much of its power». [The New York Times, 20.01. 2009].

The ideologeme “order” takes some special place in the American political discourse. At the beginning of the 1990-s the USA claimed to be a global leader. After Saddam Husayn’s regime fell there was a lot of talk everywhere in the world about the USA absolute domination by virtue of which this country took the liberty to intervene into affairs of other states. “The burden of a lawmaker, a judge, a sheriff who leads, moves up underperformers, punishes troublemakers lies heavy on America”. [Bazhanov 2009:18]. According to the research results the ideologeme “order” meaning “keeping law and order in different countries of the world” in the hierarchy of values in the American political discourse is represented a lot (about 50 examples). «But few expect the Somali force can establish order». [Salad Duhul, The Washington Post, 15.01.200]. But in the Russian political discourse you can hardly find any single example with such a meaning. It’s important to lay stress on the fact that in the American political discourse there are a great many examples criticizing a war in Iraq and American government measures there.  «There is no strong plan for turning Iraq over to Iraqi people and we’re quickly losing even the ability to maintain order». [Robert C. Byrd, The Washington Post, 15.01.2009].

The ideologeme “order” as the value of the present-day world order is also registered both in the Russian political discourse and in the American one (33 and 34 examples correspondingly). “The world order created after 1945 which was able to avoid conflicts and to declare states’ sovereignty over their territories and UN mandate necessity on any intervention in case of any international conflict was destroyed”. [Alexander Sharavin, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 20.03.2009]. «The iron law of the post-cold war global order is in order to be influential or powerful, a nation must be prosperous, its economy must take part in the international system». [Michael Hirsh, The Newsweek, 13. 04.2009]. 

So, this research proved the idea that order is not referred to the list of fundamental American values. In the XXI century according to the results of numerous research of American and Russian scientists a complex system called “fundamental American values” includes private property, equality (first of all, equal opportunity), freedom, individualism, ambition for “personal success”. This system can also be added by such important for Americans principles as a free enterprise, money, wealth, competition, an account on personal energy, a high standard of life, a family, democracy, and religion. On the contrary, widespread usage of the ideologeme “order” in the Russian political discourse specifies that in the Russian political thinking order is sure to be a basic value. The ideologeme “order” takes an important place in the Russian national worldview and its axiological peculiarities can be explained not only by traditional political culture but by national mentality as well. Following Anna Vezhbitskaya’s logic about “order’s” national cultural scenarios with different axiological peculiarities, Russian “order’s” cultural scenario is closely connected with the value of vertical power structure supporting and promoting national interests. Some researchers point at specific Soviet overtones: “Order” is a very important value for Soviet and post-soviet thinking which meant, first and foremost, order as part of a state, a steady system of power having great authority and in the least was interpreted as an order in the deeds either of a person or a small group of people”. [Pantin, Lapkin 1999: 147]. In any society there are rules or social restrictions but only in a sociocentrist society these rules and restrictions are total and universal. In the Russian society these rules and restrictions have also some political context: any method of living must be permitted by instructions, laws, and regulations “from the top-down”. The more regulations you have, the more spheres of life they cover – the more order you have in a society. That’s the reason why in the Russian mentality a social order is associated with a state, the role of which for the majority consists in rulemaking and orderization to all the social relations.

 Order seems to be the more fundamental and reliable one the more there are laws and orders in the state, determining in detail all the sides of life either of a society or an individual. This means that a Russian has a “passion for order” and willingness to support state power in “keeping order”. The Russian linguistic world-image includes order “from above” when somebody from the top of power pyramid knows what kind of order should be, hence a Russian has a great hope in “the kind lord", “Father the Tsar”, “the wise ruler”, “the President who will get everything under control” and disbelief in the fact that anything depends on “the man of the street”. As Ye.Bazhanov states, in Russia there is traditional worship of the sole ruler of all Russia who is strict to his people and severe to his enemies. “All distinguished political characters of the past were precisely of this kind – Ivan the Terrible, Peter the First, Nickolay the First. Reformers, humanists are out of favour, neither Alexander the Second and Nikita Khrushchev nor Michail Gorbachev. Totalitarian sentiments are whipped up by the discontent of the present-day life. People are sure if there were Stalin, he would impose order and restore social justice”. [Bazhanov 2010:21]. It should be noted that the results of numerous sociologic research, all-Russian large-scale representative polls of “The Public Opinion” Fund and “Levada-center” surveys in particular, the aim of which was identifying the dynamics of political and other values of the Russians during the time of new political and economic institutions development, determine remarkable ideological connotation of such value as order. Boris Dubin, a “Levada-center” sociologist justifies the idea by saying the following: “The Russians haven’t got used to the opportunity of individual freedom yet. We live in the country where about 80% of the adult population admits they don’t rule over their own lives. More than 60% has no ideas about their nearest future. In Russia this type of person – without any initiative, more inclined to escape from reality than to establish any kind of relations with it – was brought up for many years. Sure, there are others but unfortunately they are only exceptions. Their number in 1990-s – at the beginning of 2000-s was practically unchangeable –7–8 %. The majority doesn’t consider themselves the architects of their own lives. We haven’t worked out positive values and ideals yet” [Dubin 2007:108].

But in December 2011 some significant changes took place in Russian political life. Great social transformation started:  at first protests after the State Duma elections, then meetings in Bolotnaya square and “Marches of the Millions” – all this developed into active protest opposition movement with its own leaders and ideologists. It goes without saying that opposition in our country is nothing else but reaction to some social problems, weak participation of people in political life, obstacles put by authorities in the way to free and just elections. In network-media, in social networks, in blogosphere and at different forums there was a lot of discussion about reasons and perspectives of protest opposition movement. A new term -“a generation protest”- appeared. Kseniya Sobchak was the first to use it. Moreover the idea of “a generation protest” is being developed to a great extent by the president of the Institute of modern Russia Pavel Khodorkovsky. “Precisely when Vladimir Putin became the President of Russia – during the first 12 years of the XXI century – in Russia fundamentally new generation was formed. It has nothing to do with age. This generation was able – maybe for the first time in all Russian history – thanks to freedom of information (this concept is wider and deeper than “freedom of speech”, especially at a new level of telecommunications development) to get out of total state control mentally and creatively. This generation was able to find out what Europe is, European values are, European order, which we learnt to respect, is. This order is built on the idea that a citizen accepts laws and rules – both written and unwritten ones – on his own free will. What’s more he does so not because he’s afraid of punishment but because of inner conviction. Our generation approach is simple and clear. It means we do understand that not a person is for a state but a state is for a person; that democracy has lots of drawbacks but there isn’t any better socio-political system; that state management doesn’t need any men of extraordinary genius and giants with sacral knowledge and skills which are out of ordinary people’s depth but state institutes which can work steady – despite the fact who exactly at the head of the country is. It means the freely elected parliament, the court which is always under the law, the municipal authorities which are really independent from state authorities’ bodies and the like” [Khodorkovsky. – Access mode: 2012]. Nazir Yevloev, a blogger, doesn’t agree with him: “I think we as a Euroasian civilization must create the world order which is alternative to the western, American and whatever one. We must have a multipolar world which will consist of some main poles not spreading any influence on each other” [Yevloyev. – Access mode: 2012].

Among opposition parties there are still a lot of arguments about the order in our country. The party “Apple” leader Gregory Yavlinsky while discussing the situation in the country when nationalists and communists instead of giving people freedom, justice and respect will again establish some kind of their “order” claims: “If power collapse happens to be at the time when there is no politically responsible democratic alternative then the ashes and fragments of power will fall into the hands of the most irresponsible forces as it used to happen before. If it really happens communists are likely to show their true colours and nationalist trend will take the most dangerous, violent and destructive forms for our country.  It is a must to create an alternative – some kind of moral political force” [Yavlinsky.  – Access mode: 2012].

Therefore one can make a conclusion that in the political life context of modern Russia, to be more exact while trying to explain main reasons of mass protests which began in Russia on December, 10 2011 and to forecast probable protest opposition movement perspectives transformation of the ideologeme “order” axiological aspect appears to be. Moreover representatives of different political parties and movements have some equalization of the ideologeme “order” semantic variation. Nowadays for the majority of them order is justice, the lack of lie, the law equal for all citizens of the country, independent court, inviolability of property, kindness, honesty and decency. 


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