The article reveals the political meaning of the "nostalgic consciousness" which prevails in Russia in the 21st century. Broad comparative material shows "crato"-centrism of Russian society and a particular type of legitimization of power (from transcendence). During different historical periods different phenomena served as this transcendence: external military force, "power from God", power of "objective historical laws", and power "from the world community". The author proves that the mythologized past becomes a source of legitimization when the former sources of legitimacy are compromised.
Key words: legitimacy, political transcendence, political center, presumption of guilt, status revolution, social nucleus, protective layer.