Friday, February 21, 2014

Alexander Chizhevsky: Physical Factors of the Historical Process

In 1922 Alexander Chizhevsky [Алекса́ндр Леони́дович Чиже́вский  - also Aleksandr Leonidovich Tchijevsky; February 7, 1897 – December 20, 1964], a young Belarusian scientist, unveiled to the world a preposterous theory: that all the great upheavals in the history of man, such as social unrest, war, and revolution, were caused by the activity of the sun. 

These extraordinary claims, contained in his first book, Physical Factors of the Historical Process, were greeted with near universal derision, and for a time the brooding, pallid twenty-five-year-old, a descendant of a court tenor and a member of heredity nobility who was already tainted by his aristocratic lineage in the eyes of his countrymen, became the laughingstock of the newly ensconced Bolshevik Party, which disparagingly nicknamed him “the Sun Worshipper.” 

Physical Factors of the Historical Process
After all, he was essentially suggesting that all the tumultuous events leading to Russia’s liberation from corrupt tsarist rule had nothing to do with ideology or the motivation of the country’s workers and everything to do with sunspots. As a consequence Chizhevsky fell out of favor for years among the scientific establishment, despite the patronage of the Nobel Prize winner, author, and political activist Maxim Gorky. Nevertheless Chizhevsky, a scientific da Vinci of sorts, stubbornly carried on with his research, attempting to make connections between biology, physics, geology, and space weather that remained invisible to most of his peers. He painstakingly examined records of all battles, upheavals, riots, revolutions, and wars, comparing them with sunspot activity for nearly two thousand years in seventy-one countries, including his own.

The theory checked out: more than three-quarters of all instances of human unrest, including the Russian Revolution of 1917, had occurred during a solar maximum, the period of the maximum number of sunspots in any solar cycle. The only area that remained questionable was the mechanism of this cosmic connection, but Chizhevsky had a theory: our dependence upon the cosmic pulse of the sun might be mediated by ions, or excess charge, in the air. See also HERE & HERE & HERE

Terrestrial Echo of Solar Storms [368 p. - in Russian]