Searching for an Ethical Basis of Political Economy: Bulgakov and Tugan-Baranovsky
The subject matter and method of political economy, and the issue of its interrelation with ethics, attracted the attention of many economists in Russia and the West at the turn of the twentieth century. Each national intellectual tradition as a whole, as well as the individual economist's world-view, had an important impact on the treatment of the problem that was attempted. This chapter investigates the approach to this concern through the views and convictions of few outstanding representatives of Russian economic thought, who worked at a time known in Russian history as the Silver Age. As with many other Russian intellectuals, Mikhail Ivanovich Tugan-Baranovsky and Sergei Nikolaevich Bulgakov regarded the 1905 Revolution as a crucial event. It made them finally divorce themselves from Marxism, and shift from materialism to idealism, which found reflection in their ideas on the fundamentals of political economy. The practical political aspect of Bulgakov's doctrine can be described as Christian socialism.