Пусть кто-то от Общей-Европы,
А я – от Всея Руси!
Нина Карташева, Порфира и Виссон
There may be some from a Common Europe,
But I am from All Rus!
Nina Kartasheva, the contemporary Russian poetess
Some speak of the contemporary crisis in Western countries as ‘the death of a culture’. It is worse than this; it is the suicide of a civilization. I have personally lived through the last 50 years in England and seen this tragedy with my own eyes and the eyes of my parents, grandparents and whole family, lived it and deeply felt it. My grandparents’ generation, born in Victorian times and dying between the 1960s and 1980s, was able to tell me of the first phase of the suicide in the First European and then World War; my parents’ generation, born just after that War and dying over the last 25 years, was able to tell me of the second phase of the suicide in the Second European and then World War. Both those wars were phases of the suicide, the killing not of a mere culture, but of the Christian roots of that culture, that is, of Western civilization.
However, the third and final phase of the suicide, which made it ‘successful’, has come in the last 50 years, without a World War, but with a spiritual war, resulting in the massive loss of Faith in the West since the 1960s. This began with the apostasy of Catholic and Protestant clergy, who publicly declared that they had lost their faith in the Holy Trinity, in the Divinity and Resurrection of Christ, in the Ever-Virgin, in the Saints and in the moral commandments of the Scriptures, which they saw as a mere literary work. And, worst of all, they justified this loss of Faith, replacing the Divine with the belief that fallen humanity should have the ‘sacred’ freedom to mutilate and destroy the image of God in itself and mutilate and destroy the world around it. Having destroyed the Fatherhood of God, they destroyed the Brotherhood of mankind. Having rejected Christian belief, which is at the root of Western civilization, they killed that civilization and so committed suicide.
What remains today of Western civilization is ‘sights’, monuments for tourists, museums, a ‘heritage industry’; what was vibrant and living has gone from this huge cemetery of Western civilization, which the curious flock to see from all over the world as a historical theme park. With the Christian faith that underpinned that civilization gone, the centre has gone and two tendencies have come to dominate Western countries in the last two generations. These are tasteless vulgarity and boorishness, with the suicidal obesity and mutilating tattoos that go with them, or else the love of money and mammonism, with the futile vanity and snobbish pride that go with them. These two tendencies can be seen everywhere in the Western world, from North America to Western Europe to Australia. Little wonder that a Christian world leader, perhaps the only one left, Vladimir Putin, has said that ‘the West has replaced God with Satan’.
Some point to contemporary Russia, the rejection of militant atheism there and the return to the Faith and ask: ‘Why could the same return to the Faith not happen in the West?’ It could not happen in the West, because in Russia there was vicious persecution of the Faith by an alien ideology, whereas in the West there has been no persecution, only voluntary self-liquidation by a home-grown ideology. An attempt to kill a civilization, as happened under the foreign ideology of militant atheism, imported from Switzerland (Lenin) and the USA (Trotsky) and financed from overseas, is not at all the same thing as a voluntary suicide. Suicide was sooner or later inevitable in the West, as the seeds of destruction were all along contained in the compromised Halfodoxy of the Catholic/Protestant mindset. This long ago began adapting and reducing the original Orthodoxy of the first Christianity to a mere humanistic ideology, centred first in Rome and then in a multitude of places all over the Western world.
As Orthodox in the West, it has always been our task to go in the opposite direction to the contemporary West and its chosen path of spiritual catastrophe. Instead of rejecting the roots of Western civilization in the original Christian Faith, preached and lived by the first martyrs and saints of the Western Lands in the first millennium, it has been our task to be radical, to call the West back to those roots. In other words, it has been our task to call for the restoration of Orthodoxy, the return in repentance to Orthodoxy, to the original Christian Faith at the roots of the West in the first millennium, which is identical in spirit to the Orthodoxy of Holy Rus. It has been our task to try and save what is valid in Western civilization, the precious fragments and vestiges which have survived in the remoter parts of the West and which relate to its Christian roots. This is a struggle against all the odds, a struggle for the Orthodox Faith against the prince of this world.
Unlike in the West, whenever there have been temptations to renounce the Faith in Russia, there have always come outsiders to call back to repentance. No matter whether it was the Tartars and the Teutonic Knights, the Poles and the Lithuanians, Napoleon and Hitler, or now the American elite and their European puppets in their futile attempt to take over the Ukraine. This latter attempt has only served to strengthen the peoples of Rus against the temptations of the corrupt, Western-sponsored oligarchs and the other contemporary Westernisers. The peoples of Rus have not lost the fear of God – unlike in the West, where they are even preparing to legalize incest, the marriage of father and daughter, mother and son, to die in self-inflicted deformity, sterility, dementia and euthanasia. In the West the old paganism has been reborn as the new paganism, as all the old demons come back from hell.
The difference between the peoples of Rus and the West is that no-one in Rus justifies atheist apostasy, whereas the West not only does justify it, but also aggressively tries to foist it onto the rest of the world, denying any other civilization the right to exist. We are reminded of the words of the philosopher: ‘He whom God wishes to destroy, He first makes mad’. Only this can explain the insanity and self-destruction of the contemporary Western world. As for us, we shall continue regardless, in faithfulness to the Church of All Rus and the commandments of the saints and martyrs new and old. It may be that the present Western apostasy, which is now proceeding at breakneck speed, can be halted for a time. But it may be that we shall come to be persecuted by the atheist Western authorities, which will first stop us from baptizing. Then the prophecy of St Seraphim of Vyritsa will come true and ships of people will sail to St Petersburg to be baptized. And then we shall either face martyrdom in the West or refuge in Russia. In any case we shall be ready, for we have no illusions.