Legal nihilism. Search for the grounds in national history

Ольга Кузьмівна Бурова


The article is devoted to the clarification of the sources of legal nihilism in the national history, which were related to the peculiarities of the historical past (first third of the twentieth century). They changed the social status of a person and his/her attitude to law. It is proved that the basis of modern social status of a person and his/her attitude to law is Stalinism. It passed as a regime, but it is quite reigning in mental habits, economic behavior, attitude toward leadership, to itself, to citizenship, responsibility, people, honest work, law, personality, etc. Such forms of consciousness being have been established which with an incredible ardour repel all rational-critical evidence – a kind of “mascult” in this area. The formation of negative attitude to law was connected, firstly, with the fact that in the mass consciousness of 20–30 years of the XX century law was considered as being borrowed from the former exploiting social systems; and secondly, the humanistic meaning of the legal norm was totally denied; thirdly, social and political paternalism became widespread. The belief in inability of a person to live according to his/her own, self-ruled norms, indisputable “proposals”, backed by a whip and a honey-cake, humiliate human dignity.

Total terrorization, real camp slavery, procedurally unlawful activity of judicial and forensic organs, mass fabrication of imaginary crimes, that is the characteristic of the phase of “criminal statehood” (K. Yaspers) in Russia in the 30’s of the XX century, could not but touched all layers of the society and had a destructive effect on social life. Human quality inexorably decreases.

The article shows that today’s state of the society, with all the radical changes in the economic and political spheres, carries in itself a lot of rudiments from not so much distant past. The move to the rule of law is long and complicated. However, human efforts, connected with the critical understanding of the dialectical process of conscious and existential foundations, which need to be changed in the direction of perfection, is the basis for the struggle with legal nihilism and the improvement of the social quality of a person.


law; legal nihilism; social quality of a person; industrial recruit; legal thinking; legal impunity; legal consciousness; law-governed state


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Burova, O.K. (2014). Pravo ta estetyka. Dosvid teoretychnoho zblyzhennia. Pravo ta innovatsii, 1–2 (5–6) [in Ukrainian].

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ISSN 2224-9281