Essence of Time (Russian: Суть времени) is a Russian Nationalist movement, founded and led by political scientist, philosopher and theater director Sergei Kurginyan, a colleague and ally of Russian Fascist Alexander Dugin.
The movement's ideology is a mixture of Russian patriotic ideas with communism elements, giving Russia a messianist role in the global scale. Its principles are explained in The manifesto of the movement "Essence of Time".
The manifesto declares that the Dissolution of the Soviet Union was a great tragedy. The objective of the movement is to restitute the USSR in a better and more capable form. The ascertainment of what responsible for the USSR's fall is considered a key step in this process.
According to Kurginyan, capitalism is inherently incompatible with Russian historical and cultural heritage. Since the fall of the USSR in 1991 "the capitalism in Russia has not built anything, and destroyed everything", but, fortunately, after 20 years, Russia is slowly starting to "wake up". The Fall of the USSR was just a part of a game, played by the postmodern entities against "the history and humanity". Kurginyan considers his manifesto to be a new Communist manifesto, analysis of new bourgeoisie, whose nature has evolved since Marx's time.
The movement is grounded in modern philosophy and incorporates the ideas of Karl Marx, Max Weber, Erich Fromm, Antonio Gramsci, Alexander Bogdanov, Viktor Frankl, and others. One of the main principles of the movement's ideology is the ascription of great importance to the human spirit as a philosophical category, which is considered to be linked directly to the question of the ascent of humanity. The project subscribes to conception of uber-modernity (in Russian сверхмодерн, tr. sverkhmodern), not to be confused with post-modernity, and on this principle hopes to build a new historical project for Russia. The project conceives of a great historical role for Russia in moving the world out of the global crisis of capitalism, based on the country's experience of alternatives to capitalist modernity and so-called post-modernity).
The movement seeks to unite people with socialist and communist political views as well as those with patriotic views and Orthodox Christian values, hoping on this basis to create a spiritual synthesis.
One of the main aims of the movement is a revival of the Soviet Union on new principles, taking into account the mistakes of the past (the project is thus dubbed USSR 2.0). EoT envisions a new red union state - a union of equal nations where the Russian nation plays the role of the state's core.
The ultimate goal of the movement is the bringing to life the best of communism's ideas -namely a state of being in society which provides for the awakening and development of the higher creative abilities of every human being.
On July 19, 2010, the show "Court of Time" began broadcasting nationally on Russian television's Fifth Channel. The subject of the show was a serious discussion of historical events and personalities in the form of the hearing. The main participants were Leonid Mlechin and Sergei Kurginyan. The show gained certain measure of public acclaim, in part because of the subject matter, but also because the studio audience and internet and telephone voters were asked to vote whose side they agreed with. Interestingly, while the small studio audience was often won over by Mlechin, who adheres to liberal political and economic values, online and telephone voters always decisively sided with Sergei Kurginyan (ranging from a minimum of 72% to 97%), who consistently defended the pro-Soviet stance. The last broadcast of this show was held on December 30, 2010.
After the conclusion of "Court of Time" Sergei Kurginyan began his own web show entitled "Essence of Time", which, in lecture format, outlined his views on the causes of the Soviet Union's collapse, the prospects for the political, socioeconomic and cultural development of Russia, and the political situation in the world and its relation to the previous two questions. Kurginyan noted that he conceived of the program as an opportunity to continue the discussion, started in the program "Court of Time", but now among a circle of friends. On the basis of this web show the virtual club "Essence of Time" was soon created, quickly gathering enthusiasts and building local sections of the club.
Together with supporters of the current government "Essence of Time" became one of the main organizers of the anti-Orange revolutionary meeting on Poklonnaya Hill on February 4, 2012. On the eve of the meeting activists with flags and symbology of the movement participated in pickets near Moscow subway stations, handing out leaflets, talking about the movement's activities and calling on citizens to take part in the meeting. According to the MOI Moscow the meeting was attended by about 140 thousand people. The penalty for exceeding the number of participants in the meeting was paid for by Vladimir Putin.
In May 2012, Kurginyan published the book "Essence of Time: Philosophical justification of messianic claims of Russia in the 21st century". Consisting of 4 volumes, the book consists of the texts of the online web show "Essence of Time" and the explanatory diagrams that go along with them.Sergei Kurginyan (2012). Essence of Time: Philosophical justification of Russia's Messianic Claims in the 21st century. МОФ ЭТЦ. ISBN 978-5-7018-0523-9.