“Bide Time and Maneuver”: a Conservative Style of Cybernetic Governmentality

  • Igor Kobylin
Keywords: Governmentality; conservatism; liberalism; Soviet philosophy; cybernetics


This article is dedicated to a single aspect of the history of Soviet governmentality. According to Foucault, socialism did not develop an administerial rationality of its own
and was hence forced to connect up to the already available forms of this rationality. Late Soviet history is in many ways determined by the confrontation betwen two such сonnections–one to the administrative/police form and the other to the liberal form. The first connection is well-known, while the other is only now being studied in earnest. Using the cyber-administerial project of Nikita Moiseyev, the author of this article demonstrates how the elements of liberal governmentality, already marked by a “conservative style” (Mannheim), transform after being transplanted onto Soviet soil. Partial decentralization and market mechanisms become elemnts of a cybernetic mega-machine, where the perpetually developing forces of production are a labile functional part of the system, while relations of production are a conservative “architectural organization scheme”, responsible for self-preservation and stability. The conservative “architecture” of the system should be set up in such a way that prevents progressing development from calling into question the existence of an infinitely self-tuning socialist “autopilot”.

Author Biography

Igor Kobylin

Associate Professor, Senior Research Fellow
Privolzhsk Medical Research University, Research Laboratory of Historical and Cultural Studies at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration,
Minin and Pozharsky square, 10/1, 6030005 Privolzhsk
E-mail: kigor55@mail.ru


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How to Cite
Kobylin, I. (2021). “Bide Time and Maneuver”: a Conservative Style of Cybernetic Governmentality. Stasis, 10(2). https://doi.org/10.33280/2310-3817-21-10-2-77-101