Following the 1917 Western-organised coup d’etat, before which the Russian Empire had stood on the brink of victory in the Great War and of freeing Constantinople, and after the imperial martyrdoms of 1918 and the lost Civil War, by 1920 it seemed to many White Russians that all was over. The old Russia appeared to be finished, as the new Soviet Russia set out on the path of the atheist materialist ideology which had been imported into it by ‘sealed’ train. The ideals of Holy Rus, preserved in their integrity in the Church Outside Russia, seemed to have no future in the Russian Lands themselves. And so began many a lonely decade of exile, bitter repentance and isolation in the Church Outside Russia, while we hoped and prayed that the Church Inside Russia might not only survive persecution and captivity but also revive, and then we could join together with it.
True, from 1941 there began something of a revival, though it was beneath yet another colossal and tragic onslaught from the hordes of Western Europe. But by 1945 it could be seen that though in many respects the worst was over, there was still far to go. The next two generations were to be years of frustrating stagnation. Then in 1991 there came another tragedy. Through the utter incompetence of the last atheist leaders what remained of the Russian Empire (most of it) was divided. Under the new Communist/Capitalist opportunists, it appeared that the Russian Lands were to face the final phase of Westernisation, wholly losing their identity under the tide of American consumerism. It seemed as though this might be the end even for the remaining Orthodox cultural values, a heritage which had ironically been preserved by the cultural emptiness of Communism.
Thus, the West could impose the ‘restructuring’ (‘perestroika’) in Russia that it wanted. This would involve the destruction of the Russian Orthodox Church, which geopoliticians like Brzezhinski knew is the source of resistance to the West, of the ideal of Sovereign Holy Rus. The end, it appeared, was near. Then, in August 2000, with the Jubilee Council of the once captive Church and the canonisation of the Imperial Martyrs, the New Martyrs and New Confessors, there came hope. Just as Orthodox Russia had defeated Napoleon and Hitler, so it could defeat apostasy again. Outside Russia the processes of apostasy in the USA and its Western European colonial satellites (NATO), set on the New World Order which destroys national, family and personal identity, go forward. And although Russia since 2000 has not yet reversed those processes of apostasy, it has stopped them.
The fifth column of the anti-Russian oligarch-thieves, most of them not Russian and living abroad, who stole the people’s assets through ‘privatisation’, criminals protected by the West with its myth of democracy ( = aggressively atheist, elected dictatorship), has been defeated inside Russia. Inspiration came from the spiritual treasury of both parts of the Russian Church, from figures like the ever-memorable Archbishops Seraphim (Sobolev) and Averky of Jordanville and Metropolitan John (Snychev). They all knew that Russian Orthodox Civilisation is founded on the ideal of the Church of All Rus, on Holy Rus, the spiritual foundation for the rebirth of the Orthodox Empire. This is the only remaining bulwark of the unadulterated Christian Faith anywhere, which alone can fight against the evil of apostasy that now walks abroad. Such figures explained that Holy Rus is:
Spiritual integrity – the uncompromised Orthodox Faith lived out in daily life; the primacy of the spiritual and therefore of the moral over the material; the incarnation of this Faith in State life, that is, in social, political and economic life; the Sovereign, Imperial ideal of the people’s monarchy; the kingdom of heaven incarnate on earth in a multinational and multilingual Orthodox Empire. Here, as all the authentic representatives of Holy Rus have explained, we are not talking of Russian nationalism, but of the united patriotism of the many different peoples of Holy Rus. All who identify themselves as Russian Orthodox, regardless of nationality, belong to this world, the Orthosphere, and to the uncompromised service of the spirit and aims of the Church. The rebirth of Holy Rus as a Spiritual Empire is our ideal, the ideal of all Russian Orthodox Civilisation.
In this we are quite different from Western civilisation. Its ideal is progress, defined as material development based on science and technology. Its purpose is to increase human physical comfort and material wealth. On the other hand, Russian Orthodox Civilisation has as its ideal the transfiguration of the human will and soul and mind, which is only possible through spiritual and moral progress. Material progress denotes only that the human-being becomes a thing, part of matter, part of the material and biological world. Hence Darwinism, in which man is promoted as an animal, a mere biological and physiological entity, without an immortal soul, and whose only aim is the acquisition of things, or consumerism, as it is now called. This is the opposite of the spiritual and moral values of the New Testament and therefore of Russian Orthodox Civilisation.
It is thus clear that progress, in the Western material sense, is a movement to apostasy, to the end of the world, to the Last Judgement. This is the opposite of the spiritual and so moral transfiguration of humanity, which is the ideal of the Gospel and of Holy Rus. In the words of the great ecclesiologist and New Hieromartyr St Hilarion (Troitsky): ‘The ideal of Orthodoxy is not progress, but transfiguration…The New Testament does not know of progress in the European sense of this word, in the sense of moving forwards in the same dimension. The New Testament speaks of the transfiguration of nature and consequently moving not forwards, but upwards, heavenwards, Godwards’. This must also be the ideal of the Orthodox State, which is to restrain evil and apostasy by taking on the values of the Church. This is the alternative to the way of the world proposed by globalised capitalism.
The aim of Orthodox Christian economic life consists not of making a profit, as in crude monetarism, but of better ordering our spiritual and so moral life. Instead of Western economics, based on the race for profit through stripping finite natural resources and egoistic consumerism, Russian Orthodox Civilisation proposes sufficiency, but no more, for all. Economic development is to be regulated not by money-lending banksters and speculators on stock exchanges, but by the Lord’s Anointed. Private enterprise is not for individual profit, but for public well-being. Instead of futile and parasitic consumerism, based on the exhaustion of natural resources and the sullying of God’s Creation, we would then have a just distribution of natural wealth and social contentment. For this to happen, we need a State founded on the values of Orthodox Civilisation.