- The Tsar smoked.
This is a common modern objection. Yes, of course, Tsar Nicholas II was a heavy smoker, probably about forty a day. Some today are scandalized by this, forgetting that at that time virtually all men smoked and it was considered unhealthy not to smoke. Indeed, the more you smoked the better. In the early part of the century women also smoked, but in private. After the evening meal, well-off men would retire to a purpose-made ‘smoking room’ in order to smoke – this was normal, the way of life of the time. And some well-known clergy, including bishops, smoked in that period.
Later film stars and politicians (Churchill’s cigars) all smoked. Soldiers in both World Wars were issued with a generous daily ration of cigarettes – they were expected to smoke. Those who did not smoke were considered to be abnormal. I can remember the old generations of clergy (both those born before 1917 and those born in the emigration in the 20s and 30s) smoking quite openly. We have to consider the fashions of the time. No-one then knew about the links between smoking and cancer and heart disease; indeed right up until the 1950s Western doctors were still advertising smoking as ‘good for you’. As they say, hindsight is a wonderful thing.
- Through weakness of character and indecisiveness Tsar Nicholas II did not take tough enough measures to prevent the 1917 Revolution and so he failed to protect his own family from death.
This is a common accusation, both from the past and from the present, but without foundation.
Anyone who has read the history of the 1905 troubles (Tsar Nicholas never called them a Revolution) and how he suppressed the terrorism of that time through military means and field courts that issued the death sentence within 48 hours will know that he could be very tough. He had to be – in order to protect his more than one hundred and fifty million subjects from a few thousand ruthless foreign-financed terrorists and amoral anarchists. Soviet historians called the Tsar cruel and bloodthirsty for so doing: now we have the opposite extreme of criticism – he is said to have been not harsh enough! But why did he not do the same in 1917 as he did in 1905?
In fact, he did try to do in 1917 as in 1905, but this time the military elite refused to obey him, committing treason. It was the betrayal of the generals which meant that Tsar Nicholas’ orders to put down terrorism in Saint Petersburg were not obeyed, so guaranteeing the success of the bloodthirsty terrorists. Without the loyalty of the generals Tsar Nicholas was lost. This explains why a relatively small revolt led by a few thousand activists in the capital lost the whole Empire. It also explains why Tsar Nicholas’ family was murdered with him – none of them ever thought that the elite would show such ‘treason, cowardice and deceit’. It was all unforeseen.
Here again, hindsight tells us that Tsar Nicholas underestimated the scale of the treason of the elite, above all, of virtually the whole elite of his beloved Army. Here we should remember that hardly anybody, including the Kerenskyites and the Bolsheviks, thought that a Revolution would be successful in 1917, let alone that the Empire would collapse into chaos so swiftly. Here too is another reproach that the worldly-minded make: Tsar Nicholas should have known and forestalled the Revolution, arresting all the traitors. This reproach is on the same level as those who blasphemously say that Christ should have known that the pharisees would arrest Him and crucify Him, that He should have called on the legions of angels – therefore Christ Himself was to blame for His own crucifixion.
The Kerenskyites, well-off professors, lawyers, pseudo-intellectuals, aristocrats, bourgeois Duma politicians, freemasons and generals, who all betrayed the Tsar, soon discovered after their Revolution that if they had escaped death from the Reds, they were to find themselves in unexpected and melancholy exile and often great poverty. This exile was their self-inflicted punishment, though, tragically, only a few of them showed repentance for it. Instead, they blamed the innocent Tsar for their misfortune by claiming, for example, that through weakness of character and indecisiveness he had not been tough enough on the revolutionaries (i.e themselves!). This was all hypocritical self-justification for their own betrayal.
The punishment for this betrayal was shared by the Great Powers of Europe. The mystical history of Europe shows us that the betrayal of the Tsar in 1917 led to the collapse of the seven Western Empires, first the German and the Austro-Hungarian, and then a catastrophic Second War which led to the collapse of Mussolini’s fantasies and Hitler’s racist Reich, and then that of the British, French, Dutch, Belgian and Portuguese colonial Empires. All were punished by history. After 1917 there followed in Western Europe a century of Americanization and vassalization, as seen by the entry of US forces into Europe in 1917 and their occupation of Europe since 1942-1945. This contributed to the 1914 suicide of European culture and the degeneration of Europe into its state of loss of spiritual and moral being, the loss of national identity and culture, futile decadence and powerlessness, the EU.