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Politics and Society

The Political Mass: Metaphors and Metamorphoses

Skiperskikh Aleksandr Vladimirovich

ORCID: 0000-0001-8587-7415

Doctor of Politics

Professor, Department of Philosophy and Social Science, Bunin Yelets State University

399770, Russia, Lipetsk region, Yelets, Sverdlova str., 13, sq. 27

Other publications by this author










Abstract: This article attempts the author's deconstruction of the political mass on the example of modern Russia. The object of the study is the political mass acting as one political whole. The subject of the study is metaphors and metamorphoses of the political mass. The political mass is a whole composed of many small parts. This is a set of political actors represented by contradictory and balancing oppositions. The author examines in detail the complex structure of the mass, which leads to various definitions of the mass in political discourse. The author believes that despite the hidden subjective principle, the mass assumes its own subordination to an influential actor. The mass is often opposed to the power that controls and manages the mass. At the same time, political practice is full of situations when the excessive growth of the mass can make its behavior unpredictable and risky for the authorities. In this article, the author confirms this thesis by the example of various stories from Russian politics. The main conclusion in the framework of the conducted research may be a view of the political mass as a complex and structured entity. At first glance, the political mass, which looks amorphous and devoid of political will, needs pushes, efforts from outside and the will of its master, has a rather serious destructive potential. The mass does not always express the will of the authorities. Periodically, the growth of the subjectivity of the political mass should be noted, when it can directly participate in the decisive moments of history. During periods of revolution, there is every reason to celebrate it. The author believes that the political mass can directly participate in political construction and change the existing dispositions of political actors. The political mass can construct its own elite and legitimize it. The scientific novelty is the view of the political mass as a political actor, depending on the current political situation, choosing the optimal model of behavior, and taking the most functional form of its own positioning.


power, legitimation, nomenclature, Russia, Russian culture, political space, USSR, mass, revolution, metaphors

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

Introduction. Metaphors of the mass: historical conceptualization

In political discourse, the mass is given a not entirely respectable position. Plato assigned the masses the lowest rung in the social hierarchy. The majority are mainly landowners and artisans, who have copper and iron mixed into their blood, while the guards and wise rulers have silver and gold, respectively. At the same time, according to Plato, the possibilities of vertical social mobility among representatives of the lower social stratum are significantly hindered [14].

The mass is also denoted by derogatory definitions. In Roman political discourse, the masses are plebeians, plebs who do not have political rights in contrast to the more influential and noble patricians. Apparently, the needs of the plebs are quite predictable and base for a reason. The plebs want "bread and circuses", just like Plato, representatives of the lower stratum are also dependent on enrichment, before the temptation of which the guards and philosophers-rulers remain reasonable and cool-headed.

With reference to a major specialist in the Renaissance, L. Batkin, M. Hereshi notes that during this period ignorant people could be opposed to smart ones, because "the rabble, according to humanists, comprehends the truth in a popular, naively literal form, then it becomes accessible to them" [21, p. 10].

It is no coincidence that the societies of the Middle Ages could receive carnival descriptions. It was during the period of carnivals and holidays that life turned upside down, equalizing the subject and the object of power. "The atmosphere of freedom and fun takes life out of its usual rut," M. Bakhtin wrote [1, p. 485].

The life of the people flows between two poles abstinence and a holiday, acting as a battle of Maslenitsa and fasting, once depicted by P. Brueghel.

It is indicative of R. Budagov's remark that the first academic edition of the French dictionary uses the word "people" to designate the least worthy part of the country's population, but in the edition of 1798, following the events of the Great French Revolution, the word "people" is associated with obvious respectful connotations. At the same time, they talk about the "greatness" of the peoples and their "majesty" [2, p. 152].

The mass can be imbued with ideas that connect it to the political agenda. The period of Enlightenment in a sense opens up such an opportunity for her [19]. The people gradually began to understand that "they are sovereign, but they did not believe it yet" [21, p. 132].

The conceptual system in which we think, according to American metaphor theorists D. Lakoff and M. Johnson, "is fundamentally metaphorical in nature" [22. p. 8].

In Russian culture, the masses are more often conceptualized in a dismissive way. Often, the masses are compared to "cattle", "cattle", "sheep", "herd". Animal associations are not accidental, as they show the dependence of the mass on the subordinating principle, on a strong and rigid hand guiding them. The ruling hand also collects tribute from the masses for management procedures. In the "Explanatory Dictionary of the living Great Russian language" by V. Dahl, the people are "the rabble, the common people, the lower taxable estates" [5, p. 451].

At the same time, the mass excludes following the reasonable opinion of someone from its broad strata. Probably, this is exactly what M. Prishvin meant when he said that an individual has a danger of dissolving into the mass, becoming subordinate to it. He called such a threat "otatarivanie" [15].

Literary metaphors perfectly describe the mass in Russian culture, demonstrating its detachment. "The company was extremely diverse and distinguished not only by its diversity, but also by its ugliness. Some entered as they were on the street, in coats and fur coats," - this is how Parfen Rogozhin describes the company in F. Dostoevsky's "Idiot" [6, p. 101]. The mass of "Tashkent people" are carriers of a certain lifestyle, culture, which "looks out from under the most skilful make-up" [16, p. 104].

The criticism of the masses of the people at some point in time fades during the Soviet period, because the connotations of the people begin to be ennobled at the expense of their great historical mission. The mass is even glorified in Soviet culture, embodied in various forms of art: from sculpture to cinema.

The unanimity of the masses does not go away during the period of democratization after the collapse of the USSR. This is felt at a time when it is necessary to make a personal decision against the background of the growing number of political institutions and the emergence of political competition.

In the democratic period, it became clear that people are ready to vote for a bottle of vodka, for a grocery set, for a certain amount of money. Voting is always rational in one way or another. But did the Russians, who for the most part voted for the LDPR party list in the elections to the First State Duma in 1993, act rationally? Every time such practices turn the masses away from the losing opposition, which decided honestly and because of its small opportunities to play with the state according to the rules of the state itself. The people are denied the ability to act collectively and obey some noble idea. From here, in Russia, new metaphors of the mass are being produced. In particular, that the people are "one hundred and fortyeight million people united at best by a single passport" [10, p. 10].

At the time of the intensification of the protest movement in Russia in the early 2010s, it turned out that the masses were also not ready for serious changes. A protective agenda turns out to be more preferable. The mass freezes in its determination to distance itself from change. In addition to the army and security forces protecting the state, armies of state employees and "office plankton" are on its side.

Metamorphoses of mass

The conceptual exercises we have undertaken above show how mass can act as a carrier of numerous properties. The abilities of the masses are capitalized by the authorities in different ways. However, in certain periods of history, the masses turn against the government. Warmed up by some popular idea, if you follow E. Canetti, the mass can easily turn into a persecuting mass, and then the authorities themselves may not be happy. The mass welcomes the executions of monarchs, easily becoming a participant in the political spectacle. The hooting crowd is eager for a bloody massacre, although it would have been difficult to imagine some time ago. The mass is easily transformed. The "red" mass changes to "white". And vice versa. As soon as the city turns "red", the crowd filling the streets immediately changes dramatically," writes I. Bunin in "Cursed Days" [3, p. 65]. The fear of the persecuting masses forces rulers and guilty politicians to leave their countries. Until now, some politicians have been living in exile, probably waiting for the moment when political regimes in their states will change to more loyal ones.

The large size of the mass, which consists of individual figr elements, can have amazing aesthetics and entertainment. It was precisely this property of the masses that could be used by totalitarian regimes, which periodically gave society a holiday. We see something similar in the moments of the parades of physical education students in the USSR, when individuals suddenly unexpectedly close with each other in bizarre sports pyramids. The same experiments with human physicality can be seen in Germany in the 1930s. The leaders have a tendency to construct masses, to sculpt them. The mass can be transformed into ornaments. Their "bearers are ordinary human figures," as noted by the German cultural theorist Z. Krakauer. [9, p. 42].

Totalitarian regimes experiment with various architectural forms that meet the needs of a large mass, taking into account its needs and physical properties. It is the architecture that speaks most eloquently about the dominant type of political regime. We will see something similar in Stalinist constructivism, A. Speer's huge, gigantic projects in Germany in the 1930s. It is no coincidence that A. Hitler was at one time greatly impressed by the Egyptian pyramids, which personified inviolability and durability. It is the pyramids, "structures made of stones, brought and built by the labor of countless people, that are symbols of a mass that will no longer disintegrate" [9, p. 69].

It is no coincidence that all huge construction projects are associated with the direct participation of a large mass in them. It cannot be said that the masses participated in the construction by force. In a sense, it was also a sincere desire, an ideological decision. The adoption of such a decision was also facilitated by culture, which significantly poetized folk construction sites. Let us recall how V. Mayakovsky praised the construction of a garden city in the Soviet Kuznetsk (Novokuznetsk). The achievements of the early stage of the construction of BAM can be seen in A. Tvardovsky's poem "Beyond the Far Distance". The tendency of the mass to metamorphosis is confirmed by its participation in Soviet construction projects both at the call of the party and at personal desire.

But the mass is constructed not only as a mass marked by labor at the will of the authorities, as a result of the received political task. The masses are imprisoned in camps, the masses are deported and develop new lands, where they begin a new life. The ability of the masses to transform, to change their condition, is entirely dictated by the authorities. The mass can move and freeze, it can move in the opposite direction. The mass can rush between the leaders at critical moments of history, instantly turn in faith and sympathy to political forces opposing each other.

The revolutionary mass

The enormous potential of the mobilized mass lies in its ability to act as a key actor of change. There is no way to ignore the huge mass. Its size is not determined; the mass tends to grow indefinitely, to an incredible size, as E. Canetti noted [7]. Large masses who have entered the arena of world or national history are always noticeable in their political work, even if the results of this work are hardly assessed as positive. Polish political scientist M. Karwat has already spoken about the subjectivity of large social groups [8].

The ability of the mass to act as a subject of change is associated with the growing popularity of Marxist teaching. It is where the mass is concentrated that it makes sense to raise it to fight against the oppressors. Revolutionaries from G. Babeuf to I. Stalin could not help but feel this. In Russia. Many points of mass accumulation were engulfed by revolutionary energy. As a rule, these were enterprises, factories, railway workshops, and crafts. The researchers note that "in 1908, there were about 47,000 oil workers in Baku who needed to be set on fire for a revolutionary protest" [23, p. 93]. Lifting a large amount of mass, as a rule, gives its results due to its impressive physical properties. The force of mass pressure increases as the mass realizes the importance of its own political activity.

The revolutionary mass, charged with hatred and the need to resist the existing system, is also carnival in nature. The mass is driven by the desire for resentment taking out on the oppressors of anger that has been accumulating for a long time. Moreover, as already noted, the venting of anger is demonstrative. "Sailors powder their necks, wear diamond pendants on their bare chests," is exactly how I. Bunin portrays the revolutionary creativity of the masses in the "Cursed Days" already mentioned by us [3]. "He who was nothing will become everything," a line from E. Pothier's International perfectly characterizes an inverted world where the rebellious mass is given a decisive role. It is the masses who begin to try on the clothes of their oppressors. The carnivality of the situation is also present at the moment when faror dishes are used for defecation, and from A. Modigliani's drawings, presented by A. Akhmatova, revolutionary sailors turn cigars.

In response to the reproachful views, the mass seems to speak in the words of G. Babeuf, expressed in one of the letters: "punishments of all kinds, quartering, torture, wheeling, sticks, rods, executioners, who have multiplied everywhere - how all this has spoiled our morals!" [18].

As the mass grows, its importance in the political process inevitably increases. Despite the fact that the masses do not always have access to direct political control, nevertheless, the government begins to reckon with its aesthetic claims, in its taste. The masses dictate their lifestyle, silently plant it in new spaces for themselves, displacing the cultural forms that once dominated it. The Spanish political philosopher X spoke quite convincingly about the cultural pressure of the masses at the time. Ortega y Gasset [13, p. 93]. In particular, after the revolution, communal life spread rapidly in the USSR, despising all property and reacting pejoratively to any individualistic deviations in the communal space.

It is no coincidence that the definition of mass culture appears in the sociological tradition, which is opposed to elite culture. Popular culture underlies such cultural forms as pop and kitsch. Popular culture assumes that its products will be understood by the vast majority of the audience. This majority, as a rule, is always enough for politicians who control the masses.

The bureaucratic mass

Mass does not always seem to be a formless given. The mass is not only the people, the broad strata, but also those people who ensure the adoption and implementation of political decisions. The masses are also those who practice violence, collectively constituting the repressive apparatus of the state. Of course, the chaotic nature of the organization of the power mass in public administration is impossible.

The mass can have its own structure and organizational discipline. The mass grows up and down, right and left. The upper hand in the political space is traditionally assigned to the government, and, therefore, does not have a high bandwidth. The fate of being at the top of a social organization does not await everyone. Others will be content with being located in less significant positions the mass thickens and expands as it moves down. Moving down means losing resources and powers, therefore, in the political organization of power one can see serious competition, sometimes disguised as impartial and outwardly friendly relations. It is no coincidence that the corridors of power are compared to a jar filled with spiders. Over time, the spiders begin to eat each other.

The mass becomes hierarchical and begins to be represented as a ladder of ranks and ranks. A colossal human resource begins to organize and discipline itself as it possesses a particular position in relation to power. Each position means a certain level of access to material culture, a certain set of rules and norms, and the limits of what is allowed. In our opinion, such a hierarchy of ranks in relation to imperial Russia is perfectly interpreted by Yu. Lotman [11]. Starting from the bottom, and as he moves up the 14-digit ladder of ranks, the applicant enters the circle of increasingly chosen ones. Accordingly, this staircase thickens at the bottom, accumulating a huge mass of bureaucratic "plankton" at its base.

The bureaucratic mass is cemented by the fear of the subordinate in front of the boss. The lower layers of the bureaucratic hierarchy are in the most vulnerable state because they also project popular discontent on themselves. At the same time, every official embedded in the vertical of power has an inexorable desire to command. Such is the hero of Chekhov's short story "Unter Prishibeev", who is annoyed by any ability of the masses to organize without the sanction of the authorities. Being retired, the non-commissioned officer still tries to restore order without having the proper authority to do so, and eventually finds himself punished by the judicial machine of the empire for arbitrariness.

After the revolution of 1917, the bureaucratic mass of the Russian Empire was cleansed in a certain way, settled down, and positioned itself in a new capacity. The demand for bureaucratic skills has also become relevant for the young Soviet state. The biographies of many people in the USSR grew out of the imperial service this concerned military and civilian ranks. Thus, the government demonstrated its enduring essence, namely the inability to do without the masses serving it. At the same time, the maintenance of the new regime required a certain disguise the bureaucratic mass always seems to be fairly impartial politically. It is no coincidence that when some serious changes occur, it is the bureaucratic mass that does not seem to lose anything - it is always difficult for the new government to find an adequate administrative and bureaucratic staff in terms of quantity and quality.

It is obvious that in the early period of the development of the Soviet state, people who sometimes had no education came to the bureaucracy (especially locally). In turn, this affected the quality of management. In Soviet discourse, the word "bureaucracy" degenerated into a pejorative, insulting definition in contrast to the fairly clear and functional concept of M. Weber. The personnel set of bureaucratic positions and ranks in the USSR became known as the nomenclature "a list of senior positions, the replacement of which is not performed by the head of this department, but by a higher authority" [4, p. 83]. It was impossible to get a high position outside the party membership, so the CPSU involved a large number of managers and specialists in its wide ranks. The nomenclature ladder was directly linked to the leadership role of the CPSU.

The struggle for power on the highest floors of power was noted even after the death of V. Lenin and continued almost until the collapse of the USSR. The "spiders in the jar" continued to go over each other's heads, competing for certain positions.

As G. Lubbe notes, "the growth of well-being is directly related to the amount of bureaucracy necessary to ensure it" [12, p. 154]. In turn, it is professional legitimation that emphasizes the importance of a potential applicant in the system of bureaucratic hierarchy, his personal portrait and portfolio of achievements [17]. The Soviet period gave rise to a huge mass of officials and employees who occupied various institutions. Just as after the 1917 revolution, after the collapse of the USSR, the personnel vacuum was instantly filled by the former Soviet bureaucracy. There were "red" governors and "red" directors. Even today, despite the more than 30-year period of independent Russia's existence, the mass of power turns out to be more than significant and does not decrease, in proportion to historical and political development.

The dynamics of the number of employees of state and municipal authorities in Russia since the presidency of Vladimir Putin is presented below.

The number of employees of government agencies and

local government bodies

In state bodies, local self-government bodies and election commissions of municipalities of the Russian Federation

1) total (thousand people)













1) The data are given without the SVR of Russia, the FSB of Russia, the FSO of Russia, the GUSP. The results include: the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation (at the federal level), the offices of plenipotentiary representatives of the President of the Russian Federation in federal districts (at the regional level).

Source: Rosstat chisl_vetv.xls (live.com )

As we can see, the number of mass employees of state and municipal services in the Russian Federation has steadily grown, and slowed down somewhere at the level of 2022. The increase in the number of officials is associated with the growing role of the state machine and the decline in the independence of the private sector, which is becoming increasingly difficult to compete with major economic players and the state itself. It affects the growth of the number of officials and the reduction of political diversity the state and municipal service becomes the safest mask. It is the safest place to work in the public sector today.

We can see something similar in European practice, where the independence of an individual is shaped by "diverse types of public services" [12, p. 155]. However, the difference with the Russian case may be fundamental, because the bulk of the work is outsourced to the private sector.


Thus, the political mass is an integral element of the political whole. In various historical periods, the political mass has played the role that it has been able to fulfill. At the moment when she suddenly realized her political subjectivity, she could be a key political actor, changing the state order, the form of power and fundamentally altering the political landscape. And vice versa. At some points, the masses realized their political impotence and became led by more influential and authoritative actors. Such a "bifurcation" of the mass served to spread numerous metaphors associated with it. If the result of the mass was positive transformations and the mass was assigned a really significant role in history, then the political mass was conceptualized with positive metaphors. As well as vice versa. If the mass was guided by the opportunistic aspirations of the leaders of the crowd, being possessed of an ogram potential for actualizing its own subjectivity, the conceptualization of the mass could be reduced to pejorative and disparaging definitions. In many ways, the issue of conceptualization is also determined by subjective experience. The observer's position is of great importance.

Bearing in mind the ability of the mass to experience instant metamorphosis, the tendency to periodically change its own state, along with tastes and political preferences, makes it a rather dangerous potential actor. Power can dominate the masses only situationally. Numerous examples from foreign and Russian history rightly point to this.

1. Bakhtin, M. (1975). Questions of literature and aesthetics. Moscow: Fiction.
2. Budagov, R.A. (2002). The development of French political terminology in the XVIII century. Moscow: Dobrosvet-2000.
3. Bunin, I. (1991). Cursed days. Moscow: Molodaya gvardiya.
4. Voslensky, M. Nomenclature. Moscow: Zakharov.
5. Dal, V. (2002). Explanatory dictionary of the living Great Russian language: in 4 tt. Volume 2. St. Petersburg: Diamant.
6. Dostoevsky, F.M. (1984). Idiot. Izhevsk: Udmurtia.
7. Canetti, E. (1997). Mass and power. Moscow: Ad Marginem.
8. Karvat, M. (1991). Political subjectivity of large social groups, political organizations and individuals. Explanation model. Elements of the theory of politics (pp. 72-94). Rostov-on-Don: Rostov University Press.
9. Krakauer, Z. (2019). Ornament of the mass. Moscow: Ad Marginem Press.
10Liberals about the people. (2006). Collection. Moscow: Europe.
11. Lotman, Yu. (2017). Conversations about Russian culture. The life and traditions of the Russian nobility (XVIII – early XIX century). St. Petersburg: Azbuka.
12. Lubbe, G. (2016). Keeping up with the times. Moscow: Publishing House of the Higher School of Economics.
13. Ortega y Gasset, H. (2008). The uprising of the masses. Dehumanization of art. Spineless Spain. Moscow: AST.
14Plato. Essays: in 3 vols. 3. Part 2. (1972). Moscow: Thought.
15. Prishvin, M.M. (2007). Early diary. 1905-1913. St. Petersburg: LLC "Rostock Publishing House".
16. Saltykov-Shchedrin, M.E. (1988). Collected works in 10 volumes. Volume 3. Moscow: Pravda.
17. Skiperskikh, A. (2005). Personalized legitimacy. Free thought (pp. 191-204).
18. Articles. Journalism. Reviews. The Babeuf case. An essay from the history of France. Retrieved from I. Articles. Journalism. Reviews [1981 - From the literary heritage of Academician E.V. Tarle] (historic.ru )
19. Todorov, Ts. (2010). The Spirit of Enlightenment. Trans. from French. Moscow: Moscow School of Political Studies.
20. Tocqueville, A. (2008). The Old order and the revolution. Trans. from fr. St. Petersburg: Aleteya.
21. Kheveshi, M.A. (2001). Crowd, masses, politics. Historical and philosophical essay. Moscow: Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
22. Lakoff, D., & Johnsen, M. (2003). Metaphors we live by. London: The university of Chicago press.
23. Montgomery, H. (1971). Stalin: the history of a dictator. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

First Peer Review

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The list of publisher reviewers can be found here.

The subject of the reviewed research is the phenomenon of the mass in politics: its main properties, functions, as well as the conceptual reflection of this phenomenon in scientific and journalistic literature. Considering the quite obvious fact of the rejuvenation of modern societies, which was diagnosed back in X.Ortega y Gasset and analyzed in detail by E. Canetti, the relevance of the topic chosen by the author for the study can hardly be overestimated. However, the general style that the author chose for the presentation of his work overly artistic, at least philosophical, but insufficiently scientific reduces the scientific value of the results obtained. Beautiful and sonorous names can in no way compensate for the lack of theoretical and methodological reflection - a clear description of the scientific problem, the goals and objectives of the study, as well as the methodological tools by which these tasks were solved. From the context, it can be assumed that the theory of conceptual metaphor and/or conceptology was used as a theoretical basis (this is indicated, for example, by the author's expression "conceptual exercises we have undertaken"), however, the absence in the list of literature of relevant references to the works of J. Lakoff, M. Johnson, E. McCormack and other specialists in this field forces the reviewer may doubt the assumption made. In this regard, the author needs to finalize the article, carefully reflecting on the theoretical and methodological basis of his own research and properly declaring it in the introductory part of the article. The lack of theoretical and methodological reflection results in the problematic nature of scientific novelty in the reviewed work. Some of the results obtained by the author are either empty (for example, the statement "the political mass is an integral element of the political whole" is empty due to its extreme abstraction), or banal (for example, the trivial statement of the author "in various historical periods, the political mass played the role that it managed to fulfill" does not need proof at all). At the same time, the really interesting results remained behind the scenes: the analysis of conceptual metaphors, in which the phenomenon of mass was reflected, may well claim some scientific novelty. But the author neglected his duty to summarize the results of the study in a clear and unambiguous form, choosing the literary "instead of the conclusion". It follows from this that the structure of the work also needs to be more carefully reflected, better linking the structural elements together: at the moment, the logic of the sequence of sections is not entirely obvious. In addition, it is necessary to write not "instead of a conclusion", as is done in fiction and philosophical literature, but a "conclusion", where the results obtained are clearly summarized with an emphasis on their scientific novelty. But the weakest point of the reviewed work is its style. The text contains an unacceptably large number of stylistic (for example, the colloquial "in contrast"; or the colloquialism "office plankton"; or the stylistically unsuccessful sentence "The unanimity of the masses does not go anywhere during the period of democratization after the collapse of the USSR"; etc.) and grammatical (for example, the lack of comma separation of the introductory word "apparently" in the sentence "Apparently, for a reason, the needs of the plebs are quite predictable and lowly"; or writing with a lowercase letter of the proper name in the sentence "... Just like Plato, representatives of the lowest beginnings ..."; in the same sentence we see extra commas and here is a typo in the word "strata"; no commas are required in the sentence "In Russian culture, the masses are conceptualized rather disparagingly," because in this case the word "rather" has the meaning of comparison; the name of the historical period is incorrectly written in the sentence "... Societies of the Middle Ages could receive ..." (the second word should not be capitalized, only the first); the preposition "in" is omitted the sentence "... R. Budagov's remark that the first academic edition of the dictionary ..."; the derivative union "also" is incorrectly written in the sentence "... It turned out that the mass is also not ready for serious changes..."; there are also uncoordinated sentences, for example, "The bureaucratic mass is held together by the fear of a subordinate before the boss"; and etc.) errors. Therefore, the text cannot be published in this form. The use of terms with some exceptions (for example, the expression "the mass absorbs derogatory definitions" clearly does not correspond to the generally accepted meanings of the verb "absorb" and is used by the author rather for a red word) is quite correct. Some conceptual strains can be found in the work. For example, the author explains the presence of such a quality among the masses as "unanimity" (which itself needs clarification) by the tendency of the layman to exchange his political vote for material values ("for a bottle of vodka, for a grocery set, for a certain amount of money"), which, in his opinion, "turns the mass away from the losing opposition, who decided to play with the state according to the rules of the state itself." And from all this it is concluded that ... there is no beginning in Russia that unites the population into the people, for example, national identity. Of course, none of the professional political scientists will agree with the logical connection developed by the author. At least because in the given example we are talking about phenomena that are not just different, but generally difficult to compare. Thus, the exchange of votes for material values is quite rational, since, as shown in political science, the most rational behavior of a voter in the absence of material incentives will be ... evasion from participating in elections (E. Downs). So from the point of view of the layman, the deal "a vote in exchange for a bottle of vodka" will be very rational, and speaks not about the belonging of this layman to the masses, but about the very institution of elections. The phenomena of the "losing opposition" and the man in the street exchanging his vote are not connected in any way. And even more so, the absence of political subjectivity among the Russian population does not follow from these phenomena in any way. Referring to the mass of the "army of state employees and office plankton" is not only erroneous, but also insulting. The bibliography includes 22 titles and sufficiently represents the state of research on the subject of the article. Although it contains a number of errors in the design of the bibliographic list: in some cases a dash is used (for example: Bakhtin M. Questions of literature and aesthetics. M.: Fiction, 1975. 504 p.), in other cases a hyphen (for example: Plato. Essays: in 3 vols. 3. Part 2.-M.: Thought, 1972), and even without a space, in the third cases there is neither a dash nor a hyphen (for example: Lubbe G. Keeping up with the times. M.: Publishing House of the Higher School of Economics, 2016. 456 p.) There is an error in the design of the Internet address of an electronic document (Articles. Journalism. Reviews. The Babeuf case. An essay from the history of France...). There are also questions about the contents of the bibliographic list. For example, it is unclear why cite the collection of works by E. Canetti, which published only excerpts from the work "Mass and Power", if in 1997 the publishing house "Ad Marginem" published an excellent complete translation of this classic work of the Austrian-British social thinker. Thus, the bibliographic list also needs to be improved. There is no appeal to opponents due to the elaboration of the theoretical and methodological basis of the study. GENERAL CONCLUSION: the article proposed for review at this stage of its preparation can be qualified as a scientific work that only partially meets the requirements for works of this kind. In general, the presented material corresponds to the topic of the journal "Politics and Society" and will arouse the interest of political scientists, political sociologists, political philosophers and students of the listed specialties. However, the work needs to eliminate a number of disadvantages: - in the introduction it is necessary to describe the scientific problem, the purpose and objectives of the study, to argue the theoretical and methodological choice; - in conclusion, clearly formulate the results obtained with an emphasis on their scientific novelty; - carefully proofread the entire text, eliminating stylistic and grammatical errors; - eliminate errors in the design of the bibliographic list.
After eliminating the comments made, the article can be recommended for publication.

Second Peer Review

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In the peerreviewed article "The Political mass: metaphors and metamorphoses", the subject of research is the mass as an element of the social structure and a participant in social relations. The purpose of the study is not explicitly indicated. The research methodology is based on a retrospective analysis of the understanding of the mass, which allows us to consider these phenomena taking into account changes in time, starting from the ancient period to the current moment in time. The source base for the analysis was left by scientific, journalistic and artistic works. To concretize the concept of "mass", a comparative analysis was applied, which made it possible to correlate numerous ideas about the essence of mass and identify universal and contextual aspects in them. Understanding "mass characterization" as one of the most important characteristics of modern society, as well as clarifying the ambiguous role that the mass plays in social dynamics, makes the chosen issue important and relevant. In practical terms, an analysis of the specifics of the mass and its role in the structure of society is necessary to assess the changes occurring in various spheres of public life. The increased interest in the study of the masses is also determined by the fact that the discourse about the role of the mass is becoming more and more distinct in the modern world. The scientific novelty of the publication is related to the classification of the masses, during which the revolutionary and bureaucratic masses were singled out. The study showed that the mass is an integral element of the political whole, which played various roles in one or another historical period (from a key political actor who changed the state order, the form of power to the silent mass, which is imprisoned in camps, deported for the development of new lands). At the same time, such a "bifurcation" of the roles of the mass serves to spread numerous metaphors associated with it. The paper shows that if the result of the mass was positive transformations and the mass was assigned a really significant role in history, then the political mass was conceptualized with positive metaphors. Otherwise, if the mass was guided by the opportunistic aspirations of the leaders of the crowd, the conceptualization of the mass could be reduced to derogatory and disparaging definitions. This study is characterized by a general sequence of presentation. The content meets the requirements of the scientific text. Although it is noteworthy that in some cases other people's thoughts are incorrectly presented, since the author puts his thoughts into the mouths of other authors (for example, "Plato assigned the lowest step in the social hierarchy to the masses," although Plato did not write about the masses, but only about farmers and artisans). The article has a good level of scientific conceptualization. However, it should be noted a large number of various descriptions and typos in the text (for example, "principally", "detachment", "steps", etc.), incorrect punctuation marks (for example, "And vice versa. At some point ..."). The bibliography of the work includes a total of 23 publications and includes editions in both Russian and foreign languages. Thus, the appeal to the main opponents from the area under consideration is fully present. Thus, the article "The Political Mass: metaphors and metamorphoses" has scientific and theoretical significance. The work can be published after proofreading for descriptions and typos in the text, incorrect punctuation marks. It will be of interest to specialists in the field of political science, sociology of politics and social philosophy.