Q: What is the Russian Orthodox view of patriotism?
A: As President Putin has put it: ‘For Russians […] patriotic sentiment, the sense of national belonging that is now, to their sorrow, being eroded in certain European countries, is very important’. In today’s Europe, the attention of those who seek to preserve their national identity, those who are patriots and nationalists in the best sense of the word, is fixed on Moscow. Conversely, those who yell the loudest about a ‘Russian threat’ and ‘European unity in the face of Russian aggression’ are precisely those who want to destroy European faces and borders and reviving identities, like that of Catalonia, as they are oriented towards the EU headquarters in Brussels and the White House.
Russia is the Motherland of patriotism in Europe and in defiance of the artificial denationalisation imposed by Western-imposed Soviet Communism, it is returning to the old mission of keeping the flame of national identity in Europe alight, preserving it as a Europe of homelands and not a public thoroughfare. Although the State-run media like the BBC try to slander all moderate patriots as ‘Neo-Nazis’ and ‘the far right’, in reality there are very few ‘Neo-Nazis’ and ordinary people, both on the normal right and the normal left, are patriots. 52% of British people voted for Brexit, surely even more would vote for Brexit today, given Juncker’s recent speech on the abolition of Europe (‘Eurofederalism’) in Brussels.
Q: Why is the West so aggressive?
A: The West is far more aggressive than many people even realize. Its wars of aggression are always camouflaged by code-names. For example, the multinational Western invasions and Western wars of aggression against Russia are variously known as ‘The Teutonic Crusades’, ‘The Napoleonic Campaign’, ‘The Crimean War’, ‘World War One’, ‘World War Two’ etc. In the same way, today the USA has a ‘Department of Defense’, and yet no-one has ever tried to invade the USA and that Department is notorious for its Offense.
Britain’s ‘Ministry of Defence’ has similarly always spent its time invading and bombing countries far away, all in the name of ‘national security’. Apparently Britain has invaded some 150 foreign countries in its history! This British Establishment aggressiveness goes back to its founders, in their so-called ‘Battle of Hastings’, which did not take place in Hastings and should actually be called ‘The Norman Invasion and Occupation’ or ‘The Defeat and Rape of England’.
The roots of this Westernwide aggression go back even further than 1066, to the anti-Christian Charlemagne, who revived the dead pagan Roman Empire – the model for all aggressive, asset-stripping and war-based systems – under the code-name of a ‘classical revival’. He told his people that they were superior to Christians (‘Greeks’) and also to anyone else, because the Holy Spirit came from their leader, the Pope of Rome, whom Charlemagne had made infallible with his filioque ideology. Later this mythical superiority was spread downwards to anyone who agreed with the Western Establishment and anyone who was ‘Western’ was thus considered superior. ‘Black, brown, red and yellow peoples’ were inferior and therefore could be enslaved and massacred by ‘White’ Western people. Here is the fruit of the filioque, from the Crusades to Iraq.
Yet another example: On 25 September the BBC programme ‘Beyond Belief’ (Radio 4, 4.30), the programme I spoke on twice after the Pussy Riot blasphemy, the subject was ‘The Persecution of Atheism in Russia’! I could hardly believe what the BBC has come to. It really is Beyond Belief! Not content with supporting the US installation of lesbian politicians and Zionist atheists as leaders in Eastern Europe, from Serbia to the Baltics and the Ukraine, the BBC are now directly plugging Western atheism in Russia, where a few decades ago Western Marxist atheists martyred 600 bishops and 120,000 clergy, under the pretext of ‘freedom of speech’.
Q: What worries you most about the situation of the contemporary Russian Orthodox Church? Ecumenism?
A: Definitely not ecumenism. That is a bedtime fairy-tale for old people. It was abandoned as a failure long ago. No, it is something else. Let us try and understand the context in which we live.
We live in the fourth century. We in the Russian Church have come out of persecution and are being recognized, moving forward into the rest of the fourth century. (Unlike the West, where the heterodox have been in the fourth century and are now heading backwards towards the third century and persecution by various atheist emperors). What was the problem in the fourth century? There were no outward enemies, but there were inward enemies, all those who swam with the tide, the ‘fairweather Christians’ who joined the Church for their careers, for worldly advantage. Martyrdom is largely over for us: the ‘easy way’ to salvation has gone: all we had to do was to be killed. For a believing Orthodox that is not a problem. This is why in the fourth century, there was a huge growth in monasticism. Opportunities for martyrdom were mainly over, but the faithful still needed the real thing.
In times of peace we face not outward enemies, but inward enemies, as we in the Church Outside Russia, know only too well. We in our part of the Russian Church did not face martyrdom, what we have faced for nearly 100 years is inward enemies. We faced multiple schisms, by modernists (in the Paris Jurisdiction and in the USA), then by old calendarists (in the USA, France, South America and Great Britain), we faced racism and nationalism (the policy of excluding certain people from the Church because they had ‘the wrong blood’), we faced careerism, false brethren and slanders, backed by certain bishops. This type of persecution is insidious and calls on us to be confessors and not martyrs. That is much more subtle.
We have a great example in St John of Shanghai, who was put on trial in a secular court by so-called ‘ROCOR’ bishops, clergy and people. Shame on them! But who came out of this affair a saint? It is the insignificant and derided little man on the court bench who prayed: the others are, at best, forgotten. Something similar happened to Fr Seraphim (Rose), who faced persecution from inside. Our greatest enemies have always come from inside the Church. Our enemies confess not the Orthodox Faith, they confess ‘religion’, the outward ritualistic system of phariseeism, spiritual dryness and literalism, together with a systemic personality cult and academicism, sometimes homosexual, all of which persecute, mock and despise any authentic, living spiritual experience.
The souls of these go dry at Pentecost, they feel nothing, not the rushing wind of the Holy Spirit, not new green life, but they rattle off the prayers to the Holy Spirit without feeling, looking at their watches. These people have no Love, no Theology, no Knowledge of the Living God (St Alban), no compassion, all they have is their ill psychology, which they use for self-justification and persecution of the righteous.
Today we can see such tendencies inside Russia (and among some of its representatives outside Russia). Careerism, the interest in ‘awards’, rationalism, knowledge only of the outward, Spirit-free academicism, the rush for ‘degrees’, the salt that has lost its savour. It does not matter whether the tendency is new calendarist and modernist or old calendarist and traditionalist, it is the same anti-spiritual tendency.
Q: Was the Russian emigration a good thing?
A: Its causes were of course bad and émigrés suffered. But the spiritual life of the emigration itself was very mixed, both pure and impure. In the 1930s St John of Shanghai reckoned that only 10% of the emigration was Churchly. This corresponds to my own experience. Many Russians were ‘White’ only inasmuch as they were greedy for money and property and had no time, either for the Faith or for the Tsar, whom so many of them had actively betrayed. Many were racist and nationalistic, opposed to multinational Rus, so denying the words and commandments of the apostles to go out into all the world and teach and baptise ‘all men’.
There are still parts of the Russian emigration which have not returned to the Russian Church and, incredibly, are still on the Catholic calendar, which was introduced by the masonic Anglicans into Constantinople for a fee of £100,000 in the early 1920s. Still no repentance for such unspeakable spiritual decadence! In years to come we shall be amazed that any of this was possible, let alone justified by ‘theologians’, ‘the great and good!’
And yet the emigration also produced saints. As ever, I will say to you: Follow the Saints! Yes, the rest existed and exists. Ignore them, let the spiritually dead bury the spiritually dead. There can be no nostalgia for them. Follow the Chains of Love and you will set your soul free. The Russian emigration was caused by evil, but God’s Providence can always make good from evil.
Q: Is it true that ROCOR has never had a scandal?
A: I do not know who told you such a fairy tale. Sadly, very sadly, just think about the Antony Grabbe scandal in Jerusalem, about the consecration of Valentin of Suzdal (I remember how Archbishop Antony of Geneva prayed for a snowstorm so that his plane could not take off and he would not have to take part in his consecration under obedience), about Grabbe’s bishop-father who ended up in a right-wing sect outside the Church and banned anyone from attending his funeral, about the defrocked….
Q: What would you like to see the Orthodox Church do as a whole?
A: Publish statistics and facts! For example, I reckon that there are about 800 Orthodox bishops, 80,000 priests and 217 million Orthodox. However, these are merely informed guesstimates and I do not know the truth. I have no idea how many deacons, monks and nuns there are in the Church and in each Local Church. I would be very grateful to see some central statistical Orthodox authority issuing such information. (If any readers can correct my estimates, please will they contact me).
Q: In the light of what happened in Crete in 2016, what should be done about the state of the Orthodox episcopate, where there are so many who are clearly unprincipled?
A: That is of course a question for the episcopate, not for me. However, my suggestion would be something like deposing all bishops who do not confess that:
1. The Orthodox Church alone is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.
2. The application of the canons which state that if they have been appointed by secular authorities (e. g. the State Department in Washington), they must be deposed.
3. The application of the canons which state that if they practise simony, they must be deposed.
4. The application of the canons which state that if they practise homosexuality, they must be deposed.
5. That if they are freemasons, they must be deposed.
Q: You are educated, how can you believe in heaven and hell?
A: We know from the unique revelation of the New Testament that God is Love. Therefore, it is clear that heaven is the presence of Love and hell is the absence of Love. It is very simple. It is even clear from this that heaven and hell, although in undeveloped forms, already exist on earth. People create their own heaven and hell. Please forget the primitive notions of atheists about heaven and hell that you seem to have. It reminds me of the incredibly primitive peasant Khrushchev who said that Gargarin had proved that God did not exist because he had been in space and had not seen Him! The only thing that this proved was Khrushchev’s own primitive ignorance and spiritual blindness.
Q: Why does the Church have rituals? Surely they are unnecessary?
A: The angels do not have rituals. So why do we? Obviously, because we are not angels, that is, we have bodies, a material nature. All people have rituals. Protestants have rituals (sit down, stand up, prayer, hymn, guilt-making sermon, collection of money to pay for the guilt, which is merely a copy of Catholic indulgences), secularists have rituals, parades, processions, the opening of Parliament, both military and civilian etc. Let us therefore make sure that our Church rituals are beautiful and meaningful.
People will always make rituals to worship something higher and greater than themselves, whether the True God or an invented one – drink, football, the sun on the beach, a human ideology…As we know that we are inferior and need to worship something, so let us worship the True God and not such false gods.
A: What is the situation in the Ukraine now?
A: I have not been there for a year now, but with the persecution of most of the people (‘ethnic minorities, of whom over 50% are Russian’), the continuing civil war, the fleeing of millions abroad (especially to Poland and Russia) and the fact that the government is propped up only by US money and money from US organizations like the IMF, I think the future is grim. It seems probable to me that in a few years from now, the country, which is an artificial conglomerate founded by Lenin and Stalin, will split between Russia, Poland, Hungary and Romania, leaving a possible Little Russian rump around Kiev.
Q: What are we to make of the recent hurricanes in the Caribbean and the earthquakes in Mexico?
A: There have always been such events. When you hear ‘the most powerful hurricane for 100 years’, it means that there have already been others at least as powerful in recorded history. None of this is the first time, it is just that the media are here to report these events. But the Caribbean and Florida are well known as places of crime, gambling, prostitution, drug-dealing and money-laundering. It is clear that only Faith can avert such catastrophes, not vice. Nearly 70 years ago on Tubabao St John of Shanghai protected that island from a typhoon through his prayers, going around the island with the cross and praying. This is what needs to be done here. But is anyone doing this?
In the USA some fear a great eruption in Yellowstone that could almost wipe out life in North America, or an earthquake in San Francisco. But what do people do in these places? Do they pray, do they repent? Some of course yes, but it seems that most just have more and more hubris. Just like Pompeii of old. Just like the Tower of Siloam. Little wonder that people speak of ‘Eurosodom and Gomorrhica’.
Q: Whose side are you on in the Brexit conflict between the Chancellor Philip Hammond and the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson?
A: That is a political question. All I can say is that I support neither of them. The Anglo-Turkish Old Etonian Boris Johnson is, despite his Russian Christian name, a fanatical Russophobe who supports a new Cold War. As regards the multi-millionaire Philip Hammond, I knew him personally, as he was in the same year in the same college in Oxford and also born in Essex (though at the wrong end). Even then, as a teenager, he was quite a ruthless careerist. True, he has done very well for himself in this respect, but has not yet got the top job, which is what he wants. However, regardless of that, both of these politicians are pro-British, i.e., anti-English, which is because they are pro-UK Establishment. The last pro-English politician I can think of is the long ago-retired Sir Richard Body. I am not sure that there is a single pro-English politician left in Parliament today.
Q: Should we be worried about the conflict between the USA and North Korea?
A: For the moment there is no conflict, just mutual insults. What worries me is that both leaders have terrible inferiority complexes that produce paranoia. One wants to be taken seriously as a President, instead of as a horse-trading businessman of limited intelligence, the other is a shy man who is trying to live up to his father and grandfather in cruelty, bluster and everything else. And his country is surrounded by aggressive US ships and planes (the USA is not surrounded by North Korean ships and planes), which only deepens national paranoia.
They both remind me of Kaiser Wilhelm who also had a terrible inferiority complex, caused by his deformed arm and his profound jealousy of Great Britain, and so started the Great War, with all its appalling consequences. ‘Inferiority complexes’ (= the sins of jealousy, vanity, selfishness and pride) cause many problems in world history. They are dangerous. As for these leaders, you should give children toys to play with, not guns, missiles and nuclear bombs. That is worrying.
(Slightly edited with permission from a US reader’s blog).
The loudest Liberal Globalist haters of Russia are also haters of America under President Trump, a post-Brexit Britain and Europeans. These people hate Russia because under Putin they are thwarted from having complete domination of Eurasia over which they seek to impose the European Union (EU) and NATO, which they view as “stepping stones” to total global control. Putin stands in their way of this, and an independent Britain does the same, and any other “-exits.”
Trump has pledged to put American interests first, over those of these “Liberal” Globalists who seek the submergence of every European country and America with unending Third World and, especially in the case of the former, Muslim, immigration. Their hatred of Trump for seeking a thawing of relations with Putin makes sense in that both men are enemies to their dreams of their Global Empire, and these Globalists, through their ownership and control of the large corporate (i.e. “mainstream”) news media, are able to unendingly demonize both Putin and Trump. I believe that they will go, and indeed are going, so far as to promote civil wars in America and Europe and even world war with Russia. They are not thinking rationally or humanely, or prudently, in order to further their goals.
The fact that there are Conservatives who act as their objective allies under the guise of being “Never Trump” and Neo-Conservative is worse, for these people know better about the Globalists, yet, for their variously ideological reasons, personal embitterment, and perhaps, self-righteousness, are willing to surrender their country to Globalists in order to seek confrontation with Russia abroad and bring down a President whom they irrationally hate. Past, and present, American interference in the relations of other countries’ elections is never talked about, including that of Ukraine, whose pro-Russian, democratically elected government the Obama administration helped overthrow, right on Russia’s border, containing sizeable numbers of pro-Moscow Russians in eastern territories, and pro-Western Ukrainians in its far western territories (formerly Poland), has been the largest and most dangerous “bone of contention” between Western-based Globalists and Russia. Whatever one thinks about Ukraine’s proper borders, their borders are irrelevant to the question of America’s and the West’s survival. To put them, now especially, at the very apex of American and European interests is, in a sense, to adopt Ukrainian nationalism as one’s chief loyalty, or at least as being more useful to advancing Globalist objectives of expansion, while rejecting American or British or German nationalism as a retardant on Globalist objectives.
The EU, NATO, and Globalists and Republican NeoCons like Graham and McCain have SEMANTICALLY substituted obedience to their plans for Global control as being “loyalty to America and the West.” American patriots should recognize that the Globalists have made the hatred of Russia under Putin MORE important than actually having pro-American foreign AND domestic policies, and in fact their other policies, i.e. like immigration, actually harm Americans; they have made this rash foreign policy of confrontation with a country that does not threaten us their test of loyalty and treason, while actually sacrificing, willingly and in a calculated manner, the very defense and survival of America and the nations of Europe, while demonizing those seeking “detente,” or better, peaceful relations with Russia, whose public philosophy in morals is far closer than those of “our” godless, Globalist Establishments in the West.
The Globalists, it cannot be overstressed, hate Christianity and White people, what the historic West was, and both of which they seek to destroy, and in so doing really are the epitome of treason, but, through their control of the media, they have reapplied the names of “treason” and “traitor” to patriots like Trump and his supporters, who have the pragmatic desire for a more multipolar world, one that also will keep the Globalists from achieving their goals of world domination and keeping us out of needless wars. It is the Globalists and their Vichy Conservative allies who are the traitors, the former by principle and the latter by their spite, are cooperating with them. To the extent that American and European patriots are “pro-Russian,” it is because they see Russia as a bulwark, as allies, against the Western-based, but thoroughly anti-Western in substance, Globalists.
The Big Question of who and what is a traitor today revolves around the question of who is the biggest threat to the actual West: The Globalists inside the West whose goal is the destruction of the West and its peoples, and their lapdog “Conservative” allies whom the Globalists will reward with the sinecures of a castrated, “loyal opposition,” free to expound academic doctrines of purity in political economy in unread “position papers”, academic articles, and political “platforms” that double as tissue paper, or the national patriots who seek to end the Globalists’ domination and get out from under their wars of empire, and who see Putin as an ally in their patriotic struggle?
For American and European patriots to see support in Russia is not unlike the rebellious Protestant American colonists who sought an alliance with Catholic, Monarchical France in their struggle to break away from the British Empire in 1776. I can imagine that they were accused of being “pro French” and “pro Catholic” by some of their Loyalist neighbors, or at least “anti-British” in seeking this alliance, but their motives were to make American independent of Britain, not making America dependent on or even resembling France in religion and government. In a hierarchy of values, loyalty to nation and culture is the far truer test of who is a patriot and who is a traitor than seeking peaceful relations with foreign states which do not threaten us. The Globalists’ efforts to invert this priority, in order to subvert what is primary, is both cynical and dangerous, and if they persist in it, may do irreparable harm to America, the West, and indeed, the whole world.
In recent days anti-democratic EU bureaucrats and others in Brussels and Berlin have declared war on the UK, even interfering in the UK elections. They are angered by the UK people’s choice to leave their customs and political union. In their crass words, they have declared that Brexit UK owes it 100 billion euros. In the UK, many consider that the EU owes it 400 billion euros, the sum overpaid to the EU during the years when UK governments treacherously signed away our sovereignty to the EU for its mess of pottage without popular support. They arrogantly refused to consult the people – until Cameron, who at last allowed a referendum, but only because he was so blinded by arrogance and out of contact that he thought he could easily win it.
Now the EU is openly and treasonously trying to destroy the UK by prising away Northern Ireland and Scotland. In the UK there are those who consider that it is time for Ireland to be reunited and for Scotland and Wales to receive independence, but that the four countries should then immediately form a Confederation outside the EU, perhaps with a new Parliament building on the Isle of Man, from where all four countries of the Isles are visible. The old Victorian Parliament buildings in London, now falling down, could then become tourist sights. In an electronic age there is no need for a multinational Parliament to be in the English commercial capital of London.
The EU itself is bitterly divided and in chaos. The euro has been a disaster. Many of its countries, like Austria, the Baltics, Poland, the Czech Lands, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary, are disobeying Brussels as regards immigration controls. Greece is bankrupt. Cyprus is almost. Catalonia wants its independence by a clear majority. Hungary rejects EU meddling. Eastern Europe has in general been ravaged by German economic imperialism, its factories closed and its young people forced to emigrate to Western Europe. Many in France want to leave the EU. As Marine Le Pen correctly said last week, the next President of France will be a woman: either herself, or else Mrs Merkel. It will certainly be no-one else in this Fourth Reich world.
The EU has declared war. It is thus achieving the opposite of what it wants, as it is uniting the British people and ensuring a landslide victory in the UK elections for the Conservative Party. This is now seen as the only Patriotic Party and the only Party with a strong leader, now fortified by the return of UKIP voters, most of whom had left the Conservative Party disillusioned with its takeover by modernists. People always unite around a strong leader in times of war, even though they would otherwise never vote Conservative. The Opposition to the Conservatives is laughable, but also treasonous.
Thus, on the western and eastern edges of the EU are two countries which should be uniting in this time of war against the EU: the UK and the Russian Federation. An unlikely couple: after all such New Cold War NATO British warmongers as Johnson and Fallon are sending British troops and arms to Estonia, controlled by its US puppet regime, in order to threaten Russia. These clowns are even overflying Russian territory in the Baltics, giving war equipment to the EU-sponsored and CIA-run anti-Ukrainian junta in Kiev, sending a British destroyer to patrol off the Russian coast in the Black Sea.
Not natural allies? True. And yet despite this and the imperialist British invasion of Russia in 1854-56, 210 years ago, 100 years ago and 75 years ago Great Britain and Russia fought together side by side against Continental Western European tyrants, Napoleon, the Kaiser and Hitler, the forerunners of today’s EU leaders. Today, again, there is a common enemy. Not to unite today and not to give up ridiculous, Russophobic Cold War rhetoric, would be a missed opportunity for the UK. Perhaps Non-EU Norway and Iceland would join us? And the rest of Scandinavia too? All could sign a friendship pact of mutual non-aggression and thus, we would form a geographical, political and economic bloc towering over the isolated and divided EU.
The UK and Russia are both pro-European countries and want to free the oppressed peoples of Europe from the EU monster. In this centenary year of the British-orchestrated elitist conspiracy that overthrew the greatest European leader of all, Tsar Nicholas II, founder of the Hague International Court of Justice, speaker of five European languages and builder of 18 Russian churches in Western Europe, it would be an act of repentance on the part of Britain to proclaim a new alliance with the Russian Federation.
An Anglo-Russian alliance? Most probably not, but a friend in need is a friend indeed…
With the US elite and the elites of its vassal states (‘the G7’), representing a mere 10% of the world, unable to agree on further war crimes against Syria and attacks on Russia (though every day for the last week the roads in the East of England have been full of military traffic and the skies full of military planes, all heading for the Russian border in Estonia), the world breathes a little easier. As for the warmongering British Foreign Secretary, he has not yet understood that Britain has not been a Great Power for 100 years, but is merely the poodle of Washington. That self-evident truth is clearly not taught at Eton. The temporary victory of the Trotskyite neocons in Washington may however be shortlived:
Where is the Declaration of War from Congress? This is a blatantly unconstitutional act by the President, whom I voted for. Not to mention where is the proof that the poison gas attack was not a false flag attack to trigger U.S. intervention? And since when is dying by poison gas worse than getting napalmed or firebombed to death? Where is the President’s campaign rhetoric about “America First” and staying out of foreign wars? Syria is NOT a vital interest of the United States. Period. This reeks of Israeli, NeoCon, and Military-Industrial Complex subversion of this Presidency.
From an American Correspondent
Sadly, the probable provocation of chemical weapons (‘Made in Turkey’ according to various sources) in Syria has further ruined US relations with the rest of the world. The affair reeks of the infamous, fabricated American War against Spain in 1898 or the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964, which both gave the US military industrial complex the excuse to start Wars which led to invasions, occupations and the slaughter of over 2 million innocent people. (However and whyever would the Syrian government (‘regime’ in propgandaspeak) launch a chemical weapons attack, when it has no chemical weapons? Meanwhile the same complex slaughters hundreds of women, children and ‘beautiful babies’ in Mosul, while maiming and killing British bombs take Yemen back to the Stone Age. Such is the abhorrent hypocrisy of the Western Powers.
The question now is what is the future of the bitterly divided USA? The unprovoked US attack on a sovereign country many thousands of miles away, without any mandate whatsoever, merely reinforces the trigger-happy, cowboy image of the US around the world. The USA is more and more seen as a terrorist state, with its propaganda inventions of ‘weapons of mass destruction’ and foundation by the CIA in the 1980s of Al-Qaeda. It was after all the US neocons who created Islamic Sate through their maniacal invasion of Iraq in 2003. Carried out largely for domestic reasons in order to reassert a tottering presidency, this attack could have consequences that could be very serious internationally. Syria, quite literally, borders on Armageddon. Is that really what the American people want?
As the Western world kills thousands in the Yemen (10,000 in the last year beneath a rain of British bombs), in the Ukraine (10,000 Ukrainian citizens in the last two years), in Syria (by ‘moderate’ terrorists with Western arms) in Mosul (over 300 civilians murdered and many more maimed in March alone by US warplanes), and aggressively builds up its forces in Estonia to threaten Russia, the silence of the United Nations in New York astounds. Here are the views of an American Republican, Pat Buchanan:
Thursday – March 30, 2017 at 8:35 pm
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By Patrick J. Buchanan
“If we were to use traditional measures for understanding leaders, which involve the defense of borders and national flourishing, Putin would count as the preeminent statesman of our time.
“On the world stage, who could vie with him?”
So asks Chris Caldwell of the Weekly Standard in a remarkable essay in Hillsdale College’s March issue of its magazine, Imprimis.
What elevates Putin above all other 21st-century leaders?
“When Putin took power in the winter of 1999-2000, his country was defenseless. It was bankrupt. It was being carved up by its new kleptocratic elites, in collusion with its old imperial rivals, the Americans. Putin changed that.
“In the first decade of this century, he did what Kemal Ataturk had done in Turkey in the 1920s. Out of a crumbling empire, he resurrected a national-state, and gave it coherence and purpose. He disciplined his country’s plutocrats. He restored its military strength. And he refused, with ever blunter rhetoric, to accept for Russia a subservient role in an American-run world system drawn up by foreign politicians and business leaders. His voters credit him with having saved his country.”
Putin’s approval rating (at 85%), after 17 years in power, exceeds that of any rival Western leader. But while his impressive strides toward making Russia great again explain why he is revered at home and in the Russian diaspora, what explains Putin’s appeal in the West, despite a press that is every bit as savage as President Trump’s?
Answer: Putin stands against the Western progressive vision of what mankind’s future ought to be. Years ago, he aligned himself with traditionalists, nationalists and populists of the West, and against what they had come to despise in their own decadent civilization.
What they abhorred, Putin abhorred. He is a God-and-country Russian patriot. He rejects the New World Order established at the Cold War’s end by the United States. Putin puts Russia first.
And in defying the Americans he speaks for those millions of Europeans who wish to restore their national identities and recapture their lost sovereignty from the supranational European Union. Putin also stands against the progressive moral relativism of a Western elite that has cut its Christian roots to embrace secularism and hedonism.
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The U.S. establishment loathes Putin because, they say, he is an aggressor, a tyrant, a “killer.” …Yet…what has Putin done to his domestic enemies to rival what our Arab ally Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has done to the Muslim Brotherhood he overthrew in a military coup in Egypt?
What has Putin done to rival what our NATO ally President Erdogan has done in Turkey, jailing 40,000 people since last July’s coup — or our Philippine ally Rodrigo Duterte, who has presided over the extrajudicial killing of thousands of drug dealers?
Does anyone think President Xi Jinping would have handled mass demonstrations against his regime in Tiananmen Square more gingerly than did President Putin this last week in Moscow?
Much of the hostility toward Putin stems from the fact that he not only defies the West, when standing up for Russia’s interests, he often succeeds in his defiance and goes unpunished and unrepentant.
He not only remains popular in his own country, but has admirers in nations whose political establishments are implacably hostile to him.
In December, one poll found 37 percent of all Republicans had a favorable view of the Russian leader, but only 17 percent were positive on President Barack Obama.
There is another reason Putin is viewed favorably. Millions of ethnonationalists who wish to see their nations secede from the EU see him as an ally. While Putin has openly welcomed many of these movements, America’s elite do not take even a neutral stance.
Putin has read the new century better than his rivals. While the 20th century saw the world divided between a Communist East and a free and democratic West, new and different struggles define the 21st.
The new dividing lines are between social conservatism and self-indulgent secularism, between tribalism and transnationalism, between the nation-state and the New World Order.
On the new dividing lines, Putin is on the side of the insurgents. Those who envision de Gaulle’s Europe of Nations replacing the vision of One Europe, toward which the EU is heading, see Putin as an ally.
So the old question arises: Who owns the future?
In the new struggles of the new century, it is not impossible that Russia — as was America in the Cold War — may be on the winning side. Secessionist parties across Europe already look to Moscow rather than across the Atlantic.
“Putin has become a symbol of national sovereignty in its battle with globalism,” writes Caldwell. “That turns out to be the big battle of our times. As our last election shows, that’s true even here.”
The division in the USA continues. On the one hand, there are the old neocons, who represent the Western military-industrial complex with its latest massacres of yet more thousands of civilians in Mosul and the Yemen and need to slander Russia as a’threat’ to justify their huge war budgets. The CIA hackers always accuse others of hacking. On the other hand, there is President Trump, no saint, but certainly a pragmatist, who wants and desperately needs to make deals with the real world, outside the ethnocentric fantasies of the neocons, for whom always ‘West is Best: Divest the Rest’.
This division is reflected in Russia. Here the Western neocon elite and its media lackeys sponsor the corrupt oligarchs and their leader Prime Minister Medvedev, opposed by President Putin, who enjoys 85% of popularity among the public. Medvedev represents the unprincipled Euro-Atlanticist cosmopolitan elite with its money, money, money ideology. But the President represents the multinational peoples that make up the Russian Federation. Medvedev is, essentially, a neocon, whereas the President represents the people. It is no coincidence that just as Medvedev’s police were arresting anti-corruption demonstrators, President Putin, in effect the leader of the Russian National Party, was meeting Marine Le Pen, the leader of the French National Party and the leading candidate in the French Presidential race. Europeans together against the Western neocon elite.
Nobody knows the future, but we pray that the lesser evil will win the day.