Abstract:The historical debate between Slavophiles and Westernizers in the mid 19 th century has caused profound influence to the national identity of Russia. Every time when Russia was during the great social transformation, the debate between Slavophiles and Westernizers would become prominent, and the country would face the choices between the “west” and the “east”. After the October Revolution, Bolshevik established Soviet Union, the new political and cultural community, with bran new concept, making the traditional east and west debate calm down. However, in terms of the thinking venation, Bolshevik can be said as the Westernizers under the new historical conditions, and the national identity constructed by it has been separated from the traditional culture basis. The debate between the east and west was not been interrupted by suppression during the Soviet Union period, it rose again in the reform period of Gorbachev and was continuously extended to today. The debate between the east and west was the discourse structure formed under the empire context. As the historical heritage of Russia’s construction
of national identity, it was also the heavy mental load. To walk out of the debate between the east and west, Russia must walk out of the empire first.
Keywords: Russia; national identity; debate between the east and west; Slavophiles; Westernizers; cultural identity