Ph.D. Vladimir A. Litvinenko
Interview for the project
Fascism-XXI at your door
September 19, 2012.
Video part 1
Recently, there was a lot of controversy over the film "The Soviet Story"3. First, it has been shown in the West and now is being actively translated into Russian.
A lot of books, articles and monographs were published on this subject. However, the public is not aware of all issues that should be discussed in connection with the release of this film and I would like to pay some attention to these issues.
If we talk about the general characteristic of the film, which is presented as scientific and documentary, then the conclusion is simple: neither scientific nor documentary part is there at all. It is a run of the mill item of propaganda in the best traditions of Dr. Joseph Goebbels. However, we have to give credit to the Nazis, they worked smarter and more subtle.
Something is wrong with their Western followers today, they are losing their grip.
But all the flaws, obvious falsifications and manipulations are more or less analyzed. And I would like to focus your attention on the less obvious issues.
Well, for example...
A spectre is haunting Europe and the world - the spectre of a new, previously unknown global Fascism. What are the root causes and preconditions for the resurgence of Fascism/Nazism in Europe and the West in general?
Video part 2
This is quite an interesting question: preconditions and the root causes for the resurgence of Nazism.
Well, first of all, fascism is not reborn, because it did not go away. It didn’t disappear: in 1945 the Third Reich was defeated as a de jure embodiment of Nazi ideology. German Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS were defeated as a military component of Nazi ideology. But the ideology itself has not disappeared.
The idea of fascism continued to live and develop, as it was not something exclusively German. Germany just actively championed these ideas. The idea, underlying the ideology, was born much earlier than the term "fascism". This is the case when ideology is born before the term that names it.
Fascism has come to us from Italy, but this concept did not have the actual fascist meaning as we understand it nowadays. In Italian «fascismo» just means "a union." Not a party but a union of parties came to power in 1922. So that’s where the term «fascismo» comes from.
Another thing is that the Italian version of fascism in its cannibalistic nature didn’t differ much from Hitler’s version. But it is not a model, which we are discussing today. Fascism was publicly accused of atrocities, but the atrocities are a part of European culture as such. For a very long time mass executions were the main entertainment of the urban population, and this culture was brought to perfection.
This has never happened in Russia. There were mass executions, of course, but it was a sad necessity, which was not often resorted to. Meanwhile we are accused of the opposite: Ivan the Terrible is considered to be a bloody cannibal - he executed as much as three and a half thousand people, many say even more. But he was far behind the British queen4, who ruled at the same time with him, she decapitated and hung ninety thousands of nobility only!
The fact is that the Nazi ideology was born in the beginning of XIXth century in France8, the first Nazi organizations were founded in the early XXth century in England9, and then the idea was suitably modified and rooted in the consciousness of the German people. Germans apprehended it. They had to get up from their knees, they were humiliated by the Treaty of Versailles, they were willing to cling to any ideology that allowed them to do so.
We can analyze many causes of that, but now it is not the question. The main issue is that the Nazi ideology did not disappear.
If you look closely at the course of the Nuremberg trials and the following series of proceedings - well, in particular, for example, consider the twelve "Nuremberg Trials"10, which were held in the American zone of occupation: the Allies agreed that each of the victorious countries had the right to conduct the trials against war criminals in their occupation zone, in addition to the main one.
There were twelve (12) such trials in the American zone of occupation. If we analyze each of these proceedings, a general trend reveals itself very clearly:
1) The elimination of the most notorious members of the regime, whose crimes were impossible to hide, was carried out instead of actual condemnation of crimes against humanity.
2) The elimination of subordinate figures who knew too much.
3) Removal from under the blow of the true elite of the Third Reich with the subsequent incorporation into the Western elite.
As an example, one can cite the verdict on "The United States of America vs. Ernst von Weizsäcker11." This hearing was held from January 15th 1947 to April 11th 1949. It was a legal action against higher functionaries and leaders of various ministries and agencies of Nazi Germany. Twenty one (21) defendants were held on this case.
So, let me cite. Weizsäcker, Ernst von, Secretary of State at the Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt), Head of the Political Department of the Foreign Office, German Ambassador to the Holy See, Brigadeführer SS. 5 years’ imprisonment, released on parole.
Shteengracht von Moyland, Gustav Adolf, Secretary of State of foreign-policy at the Foreign Office, Head of the Protocol Department of the Foreign Office, a member of the personal staff and chief aide of Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs von Ribbentrop as Envoy 1st class. Prison term - 5 years, released on parole.
Keppler, Wilhelm Karl, Secretary of State at Large at the Foreign Office, entrepreneur, board member of various companies, the Commissioner of Economic Policy of the Nazi Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP)) since 1932, Reich Commissioner for Economic Affairs (Kommissar für Wirtschaftsfragen) of Hitler since July 1933. Göring's12 personal secretary and also the head of the planning department of the management of the Four -Year Plan13, SS-Obergruppenführer. 10 years’ imprisonment, later reduced to a prison term of 5 years and 9 months, released on February 1st 1951.
And so forth with everyone else. It would be too long to read out the whole list, but no one of them has the rank below SS-Gruppenführer14 - that is SS-major general (here - the mistake of the expert: Gruppenführer - one of the highest SS and SA ranks, since 1933, equivalent to the Lieutenant-General; Brigadeführer - special rank of senior SS and SA officials, which is equivalent to the rank of Waffen-SS major general. - ed. note), which is a considerable rank, and it was not awarded for nothing. Second, despite the impressive prison terms - some of them were sentenced to 20 years - none of them actually spent more than a year in prison.
The question arises: why was the elite of the Third Reich incorporated into the European institutions, including the completely legal ones, even though not always openly advertising their own activities? After all, the elite, any elite, is a bearer of the cultural core of the project, which it was carrying out into practice. Saying the "elite", I do not mean the top leaders of the Third Reich - they were the subordinates. They came to power, because they were allowed to. Who permitted that? The above-mentioned elite allowed it.
One can cite a mass of documents, everything is published, and everything is in the print, so it makes no sense to spend the extra time on this. Why the West needed to preserve the cultural core of the Nazi project - or is it idle fiction? Alas, no. And the release of the film («The Soviet Story» - ed. note) clearly indicates that this is not a fiction. This is a glaring confirmation, in my opinion we do not need anything else. Though, we have enough of other manifestations such as the marches of veterans of the Waffen-SS, the perpetuation of the memory of SS officers in Ukraine, the Baltic States. There is more evidence - the destruction of monuments to Soviet soldiers, monuments, allegedly representing the "dark past", the occupation, and so on.
Why such a shameless propaganda is being spread? On the one hand, we have glorification of Nazism; on the other hand, destruction of monuments and memories of the Red Army. Because the Red Army was the only power that could actually fight fascism. And the communist ideology with all its shortcomings, which undoubtedly existed, was the only power that could actually fight the Nazi ideology. Whatever is said today in the West, but in fact it took Hitler exactly 44 days to conquer the whole of Western Europe.
Thus, first of all, no surprise that the elite of the Third Reich got incorporated into the Western elite. If we recall the plans of Himmler for the postwar Europe and these documents are also published in the press and widely discussed and then look at what the European Union represents today, we will be surprised how much they are alike.
Second, the Holy Scripture says: "Wherefore by their deeds ye shall know them"- the Gospel according to St. Matthew (more precisely: "... Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them..." - the Gospel according to St. Matthew 7:20 - ed. note)15. And, judging by the deeds: Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya and Syria today, we are facing Nazism. Same methods: absolutely nominal casus belli16 and a massive attack using any weapons.
Third, the struggle against communism is a struggle against the only power, as I have said before, that could really fight the Nazi ideology. They feared the Russian communism, they could negotiate with European communism – and, indeed, came to an agreement in 1941! It’s enough to see footage chronicles, compare occupied city anywhere in the occupation zone in the Soviet Union and occupied city anywhere in the occupation zone in Western Europe.
The exhibition was forbidden within one day and it happened in a democratic country! Because it clearly showed how France was at war with the Nazis. Not at all! There was a reason why De Gaulle forbade to discuss the issue of collaboration and to praise the French Resistance in every possible way. Because the first one was in plenty, and the second one was almost nonexistent.
Video part 3
But we should not forget that the major part of French population easily got along with the Nazi regime and there was SS division Charlemagne19, and namely these SS soldiers were the last defenders of the Reich Chancellery.
Therefore, it is Russian communism that is terrifying: it doesn’t negotiate with Nazism, this is why the war that went on in the East was a war of total destruction, and we remember this. Therefore even the concept of Russia may not exist if fascism is being reborn – there may not be a force which will stand in its way. This is a reason why all events occur in today’s world, including the creation of this film.
The second question I want to discuss is the question of authorities.
The question of authorities in general. What factors keep the legitimacy of the authorities in the West? Is it possible that the image of Russia is being deliberately distorted – for many reasons including to support the legitimacy of the authorities? Is it not for the upholding of this legitimacy of the authorities that an image of an enemy is needed, which is made out of communism, out of Russia, out of Russians? Under the guise of so-called truth seeking, we have fraud, manipulations and falsifications. Is this the normal way of doing things in today’s Western democracies? Is it right to fight for “truth” in such a way, and do we need to resist this? Who benefits from this kind of behavior being normalized in politics and in mass media?
Video part 4
But if we’re talking about legitimacy, let’s go back in history a little, to the etymology of the term which we are discussing. So, the word comes from the Latin “legitimus” meaning “in accordance with law, lawful, valid”. The scientific term was first introduced by Max Weber, who highlighted three types of legitimacy. I cite:
“To begin with, in principle there are three inner justifications, hence basic legitimations of domination.
First, the authority of the "eternal yesterday", i.e. of the mores sanctified through the unimaginably ancient recognition and habitual orientation to conform. This is "traditional" domination exercised by the patriarch and the patrimonial prince of yore.
There is the authority of the extraordinary and personal gift of grace (charisma), the absolutely personal devotion and personal confidence in revelation, heroism, or other qualities of individual leadership. This is "charismatic" domination, as exercised by the prophet or - in the field of politics - by the elected war lord, the plebiscitarian ruler, the great demagogue, or the political party leader.
Finally, there is domination by virtue of "legality", by virtue of the belief in the validity of legal statute and functional "competence" based on rationally created rules. In this case, obedience is expected in discharging statutory obligations. this is domination as exercised by the modern "servant of the state" and by all those bearers of power who in this respect resemble him. “21
In other words, Max Weber highlights monarchy, dictatorship and democracy. Of course Max Weber gives preference to the latter, and this is understandable.
But let’s leave theory and try to understand the approximate essence of what is happening. First, by giving his preference to the democratic form of legitimacy, Max Weber does not deny the legitimacy of monarchy or dictatorship. Who says today that dictatorial regimes are not legitimate? Why are they not legitimate? Because “civilized humanity” decided they are not? Who gave the right to “civilized humanity” to make such decisions? At one time, Adolf Hitler considered illegitimate the regimes of any countries which displeased him. Comparing the principles and norms of today’s Western domination with those of Nazi Germany is completely justified in my opinion – as I’ve said before: “Wherefore by their deeds ye shall know them”.
But let’s try to move away from scientific definitions and see the essence of the problem. What is legitimacy? This is a matter of consensus between various social groups, united by the term “the people”. Consensus about what? About the observance of certain procedures. I.e. one must comply with the procedures. For example, the twelve “Nuremberg Trails” which were conducted by the Americans in their zone of occupation were such procedures. The sentences were unimportant – everyone was released anyway. But the procedures, using the vocabulary of the Marshall Plan the so-called “positive re-moralization”, had to be followed.
Initially the procedure is supposed to express a certain meaning: for example, the procedure of the choosing of king by a local council, followed by his anointment. Or the expression of the people’s will during elections to various state agencies. Regardless of the relations between various social groups, procedure is always followed. This is what any principle of legitimacy is based on. Even a dictatorship doesn’t exist if there is no procedure, it would not be even a dictatorship, but something different.
The meaning of any social revolution or government coup lies in a change or substantial correction of the procedure of power acquisition. I.e. if a new procedure is not created by the revolution, it is not really a revolution.
Today one can criticize the Bolsheviks as much as possible, and accuse them of the worst sins. But can we accuse them of not establishing a procedure which turned out to be acceptable to the majority of the Russian population? - No, they did it. This is an unquestionable fact! Yes, the procedure was far from being a democratic one. Yes, this was not liked by those who brought down the Russian Empire – in any case, this wasn’t the Bolsheviks, they didn’t have the power for this. So what? The former had time to establish their own procedure, but they didn't do it.
Whose fault is it that the Provisional Government did not use the time allowed by the history for the creation of a new procedure? Nobody! Were they hindered? Of course. Political struggle was relentless. But they had disproportionally more power than the Bolsheviks. The Soviets came under Bolshevik control, if I remember correctly, only towards the end of 1918. In 1917 the Bolsheviks were in the minority. Who was to prevent the Provisional Government from creating an adequate procedure? Nobody. But they couldn’t do it. And as they couldn’t, there is nothing more to discuss.
Yes, it is true, the procedure established by the Bolsheviks was not only far from being democratic, it was also quite cruel. The fact was strongly disliked by the West and by home-grown liberals but this is what revolution is about. The question is not if the Bolsheviks did good or bad? The question is rather whether what they did was right or wrong? The Emperor did good, but wrong. And there is nothing to talk about – there is no more Emperor, neither Russian Empire.
The Provisional Government also acted wrong. As a result, it ceased to exist. But the Bolsheviks acted right – as a result the Soviet state emerged. And even General Anton Denikin22 had to admit that the Bolsheviks succeeded in doing what the White armies could not: they restored the Russian Empire in its historical borders. This is the best proof of their rightness.
Later, this newly-restored Russian Empire, created on different political, ideological and economic foundations, not only became a real competitor to the West, but also was capable of stopping one of the most terrible invasions that have ever imperiled not only our country, but the entire world.
So, the point of any revolution is the establishment of new rules which are more or less acceptable to the majority of the country’s population. But having established the new rules, the dominant social group – in this case let’s say the Bolsheviks – is forced to negotiate with other social groups about the details of such rules, and in future is doomed to follow these standing rules.
So the dominant social group takes certain obligations upon itself and failure to fulfill them inevitably leads to the replacement of the group by one means or another. In this case I do not mean pre-election pledges – namely these can easily be left unfulfilled, which always happens, using various excuses. This is something much more serious.
By leading the country the Provisional Government took upon itself the obligation of saving the country. This is an obligation taken on by default. But the government failed to do this. The Bolsheviks took upon themselves to restore the nation – and they restored it. Of course one can ask – at what cost? I answer – at any cost. Because the destruction of a nation entails costs far greater than those that exist under even the bloodiest national dictatorship.
This does not mean I justify the bloody means used by one or another dictatorial regime. But they are in any case better than the destruction of a nation. Today can we not see blood being spilt in Libya? There is blood being spilt and it will carry on for a long time yet, because the nation does not exist. And the dictatorship which replaced Gaddafi’s regime is much bloodier than the previous one.
Video part 5
So what obligations do we mean? We are talking about unconditional things which, quite possibly, are not publicized. These are territorial unity, national security, the sovereignty of the nation, the preservation of culture, traditions, customs, the preservation of the people as a bearer of a certain idea – not an ideology, an idea. If this idea ceases to function, if it disappears, the binding holding the people together is lost – and the nation ceases to exist.
The ruling elite, the dominant social group takes upon itself the obligation of keeping this binding, keeping the cultural core like the apple of their eye – the Bolsheviks did this. Yes, I state again, it is possible to accuse them of all the worst sins, and these accusations may have some grounds, but they fulfilled their main obligations.
So, if we study the revolution from the legitimacy point of view, then we see that this is also a procedure – the procedure of changing the elite, changing of the ruling class. Obviously the procedure in question was legitimized by the great French Revolution, carried out under the slogan “Liberty. Equality. Fraternity.” It is also obvious that having come to power the bourgeoisie established rules which did not include the case of elite change. Naturally, any attempt to change these rules would be considered illegitimate, just like the force or forces that make this attempt.
The only way of achieving this result is to make the procedure meaningless, and the West has managed to do this completely. In Western-type societies, procedure eventually attains a self-sustaining character and begins to prevail over the meaning.
If we ignore the various obvious components of what took place at Bolotnaya square23 and on Sakharov prospect24 (in the end of 2011 and first half of 2012 – editor’s note) one can make a very simple conclusion: this was an attempt to deprive the Russian electoral procedure of any meaning it still had. As a result, we have the ‘Arab Spring’ i.e. the rise to power of the most radical Islamic forces in a completely legitimate way.
Let me remind you that Adolf Hitler also came to power in a completely legitimate way – well, mostly legitimate. In any case, the majority of the German people accepted him, and the people followed him – this cannot be denied by anyone: just look at historical footage. It is possible to forge and rig many things, bearing in mind the level of modern digital technology, but the way German troops were greeted in the German-speaking territories of Poland cannot be forged. People covered the tanks in flowers, they kissed the Wehrmacht and SS soldiers, welcoming them as their liberators. One can see the historical footage of the entrance of Wehrmacht troops into Austria – you can see nationwide jubilation. Therefore the idea of legitimacy with its meaning taken away can lead to these kinds of results.
Now to the question about communism: does the West only stand against this ideology, or is the real target Russia, regardless of the political system or ideology?
Video part 6
Let’s take a look at history. After the Napoleonic wars, in which Russia had played a key role, so-called Vienna system of international relations25 was established in Europe. Possessing the largest territory and the most powerful land army, Russia was the only superpower in the continent under this system.
Of course our partners did not like it. This was by no means satisfactory. Thus, immediately after the end of the Napoleonic wars, the West persistently began to push Russia out of European space, at the same time actively suppressing any Russian claim to the role of a defender of Christian values and a supporter of balanced international relations.
The quintessence of these efforts was the Crimean War of 1853-54. That war marked the complete scrapping of the Vienna system and the establishment of the so-called "armed neutrality" system. Definitions of the superpower status based on the land army and the area become insufficient. The West begins to make its own terms, new rules of the game, new legitimacy that allows one to enter the club of the great powers. That's when the term “Great Power” first appears. And those rules are such that for some reasons, both objective and subjective, Russia can never join the club of the Great Powers by definition.
More and more the status depends on conditions of culture and economy, education of the populace, its self-discipline, effective and rational organization of governance, food situation, the existence of well-developed medical and sanitary control, transport infrastructure, and finally, a certain level of political freethinking. Quite liberal criteria based on Protestant ethics. But Russia is not a Protestant country. Russia is an Orthodox country.
One can object: we have a secular country. Yes, we do have a secular form of Government. But our culture is Orthodox, you cannot escape it. It is not what form of government you have, religious or a monarchy… Culture is based on religious preferences. Take two atheists, two Ph.Ds. in physico-mathematical sciences: but, if one was born in Moscow and the other one, say, in Baghdad, in the same situation they will behave differently. One would behave as an Orthodox, the other as a Muslim. No matter what their personal relationships with religion are, everything will be determined by the layer of culture on which the personality is built upon, including collective personality, meaning the nation.
Naturally, liberal criteria cannot be fully applied in Orthodox ethics. Many parameters are unacceptable. One should only study Max Weber's The Protestant Ethics and the Spirit of Capitalism. He makes interesting conclusions from the views of Benjamin Franklin: "… where, for instance, the appearance of honesty serves the same purpose, that would suffice, and an unnecessary surplus of this virtue would evidently appear to Franklin’s eyes as unproductive waste.".26
In Orthodox ethics this is not acceptable. Honesty either exists, or it does not. There is no talk of “appearance of honesty”.
If a simple officer could demand satisfaction from the heir to the throne, just because he considered that the heir committed an immoral act… If we look at the history of the Romanov Dynasty, we'll see that every Grand Duke had fought in at least five duels before ascending to the throne… Would that be possible somewhere in Western Europe? I’d like to see a nobleman daring to challenge a Duke of Anjou27, or Alençon28, or a Prince of Wales to a duel.
If with the cultural and economic potential, at least from our point of view, everything was fine, the situation with political freethinking in autocratic Russia was, let’s say, somewhat different. From our point of view, everything was fine: no free thought and that was normal. From a Western point of view it was unacceptable.
Therefore, from the point of view of the West and pro-Western part of the Russian intellectuals, Russia had to modernize in order to fit into the Pan-European context. That is to say, to get rid of impediments to development. Western press called the Russian Orthodox Church one of the main impediments to that development. It is enough to take a look at some article headlines starting from, let’s say, 1912 onwards. For some reason it was 1912 that an extreme propaganda against the Russian Orthodox Church began in the United States and was picked up by all of the Western press.
And now if we look at Western and our own liberal media and check what they write about the Orthodox Church, we notice that the situation has not changed. Thus, it doesn't matter – Russian Empire, communist Soviet Union, or quite liberal-democratic Russia – it does not matter. As long as Russia exists on the map, we shall have the same enemies that we always had for millennium. And basically, this is natural.
Our state was around for a thousand years, and from that thousand we have not fought a war for only hundred forty-five years, and not even consecutive. Everything else is the history of our wars. From Kievan Rus up to 1991 we had enemies, and after 1991 they have suddenly disappeared?! Do such things happen? Of course not! And the release of this film, I emphasize once again, is glaring evidence that they are still around.
So, the debates between Westernizers29 and the Slavophiles30 become very heated. Moreover, the West is beginning to actively sponsor national movements of the minorities on the outskirts of the Russian Empire, supporting their separatism. This mostly concerned the Kingdom of Poland, the Grand Duchy of Finland, and the Caucasus. We can clearly see in our recent history what was happening in these lands.
According to the West, Russia possessed indecently large territory that it could not use effectively. West believed that it could use them much more effectively. And, according to the same Protestant ethics, if you think you can do it, you simply have to do it. Therefore, Russia had to lose its territories.
Naturally, in these circumstances, Russia's desire to expand its influence in Persia or China was beyond common sense for the Western political thinkers, and not only the political ones. The West was bothered the most by our closedness. It could not access our internal markets, and it could not take control of our financial system. One of the founders of the House of Rothschild, once said: Give me control of nation's money supply and I care not who makes its laws31. And it's true. West couldn't gain control over our financial system, or over our markets. They were tightly closed.
So, debates between Westernizers and Slavophiles were very heated. According to Leontiev32, it was the time to choose between entering the European Community, participation in the “European concert” through territorial concessions and cultural assimilation, and promotion of our own particular political and geographical space, historically formed economic entity – this is verbatim.
We were not going to give in, or to assimilate. Therefore we are the enemy. Because the very fact of our existence is a threat to the well-being of the West. Let me emphasize, it does not matter what kind of political system we have, what our ideological aspirations are, it does not matter at all that we are not going to attack anybody, absolutely does not matter how we are going to build our relations with other countries. The very fact that the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union or the Russian Federation had remained almost unchanged infuriates the West.
Well, to demonstrate this thought most clearly, let me give a simple example: does anyone think that the Americans, the French, the British and those of their ilk would have dared to do what they did in Libya if the Soviet Union was around? It would not even have been necessary to mobilize the armed forces. A single warship would have been enough to calm everything down instantly.
Video part 7
But let’s get back to history – what conclusion can be drawn from the above? The entire Western policy inevitably takes on an anti-Russian character since the beginning of the dismantling of the “Vienna system”.
Thus, any state that attempts to join the Great Powers club or seeks support of one of the Great Powers, is doomed to follow anti-Russian policies.
And conversely, if the state wants to have friendly relations with Russia, it is doomed to share together with Russia all the displeasure of the West. Prime example would be Serbia – both in the times of the Russian Empire and today. Another good example would be Bulgaria. It did not want to share the burden with Russia. As a result in the two world wars Bulgaria participated in the camp of our adversaries. And today there is discussion about dismantling the monument to Soviet soldiers Alyosha33, because it gets in somebody’s way. Bulgarians forgot how much they owed to Russian soldiers, and not only during the Second World War. And short historical memory can lead to very sad consequences.
Thus begins a spiritual consolidation of the West against Russia, literally a spiritual consolidation because really, there were no geopolitical or even economic reasons.
We did not participate much in the European economy, although of course we took some part: every other egg sold in the world up to 1913 was Russian, as well as every other kilogram of honey, and much more.
Of course such spiritual consolidation inevitably had an impact on the internal policy of the Russian Empire. It was most clearly expressed under Alexander III.
I believe his statement “Russia has only two allies – its army and its fleet” to be the reflection of these internal and external policies.
However the clearest expression of Russian internal policies directed against the West revealed itself under Nikolai II. Very quickly, anti-westernism itself takes shape of a struggle against liberalism. One of the most prominent members of the late Slavophiles, Leontiev, pronounced liberalism the common and deadliest enemy that can bring upon people greater devastation than socialism, with its elements of discipline and organization. And he turned out to be right! And that despite the fact that liberalism was very fashionable with the ruling class.
Video part 8
So, liberalism was very popular - everyone was a liberal. However, as we’ve mentioned before, liberalism is based on the ethic of Protestantism, whereas in Russia the Orthodox Christianity serves as a foundation of the culture.
The relationship of the West with Orthodox Christianity was complicated - always openly hostile, but still rather complicated. Why was it so complicated? This is just an orthodox wing of Christianity, but Western people see it as a roadblock to the positive changes in Russia and to the promotion of their interests. For the Vatican, which had no statehood at the time, but was still very influential, it was a deadly enemy.
Here we have the basis of spiritual consolidation – it is a life-and-death struggle with the deadly enemy. For Russians the Orthodox Christianity is not just a religion, not just a foundation of the culture - it is a cornerstone of the statehood, it may not be destroyed.
Therefore, Russian society would never welcome attacks on the Orthodox Church and neither would the ruling elite, not even west oriented elite. That’s why the Provisional Government34 was a complete failure.
The wholehearted desire to follow the West contradicted the internal, perhaps, subconscious resistance against the destruction of the foundations of one's own culture.
Someone might ask: “What about Bolsheviks? They have destroyed Orthodox Christianity!” I have to object to that. Bolsheviks did not touch Orthodox ideology; they made it a part of communist ideology. Few people care to think, that the slogan “He who does not work neither shall he eat” was not voiced by Lenin or Trotsky, or even by Karl Marx, but Saint Paul35. The same exact slogan we have in the beginning of “Moral Code of the Builder of Communism.”36
Video part 9
The criticism of Orthodoxy becomes particularly strong in USA in the middle of XIXth century. The position of ruling elite supported by public opinion in USA and Europe was to treat Russian Orthodox Church as an obstacle for the American-style political and economic innovations in Russian Empire, innovations that in USA were considered ideal.
During that time in USA there was mass religious enthusiasm, some researchers called it “religious revivalism”37.
So, the spirit of Protestantism revives in America. By then that spirit weakened in Europe, but America was different – new lands, Wild West – there was a need for some sort of legitimacy or blessing for the elimination of Native Americans, this was the price paid for the New World. Now people tend to forget it.
At the end of XIXth – beginning of XXth century it [revivalism] helped the advocates of Americanism to focus on global tasks rather than local ones, in other words, the political, economic and cultural expansion of USA started to acquire a spiritual component.
Naturally, any expansion needs the spiritual component; otherwise it turns into vulgar aggression.
However, if we take the case of Russian Orthodox Church, which was among the first to come under fire of criticism in the process of such expansion, the criticism was not limited to the cooperation with state.
Yes, the Church was blamed for the cooperation with state. But, why shouldn’t it cooperate with state if it is a cornerstone of the statehood?
If it so happened in Russia that the type of statehood we know today began its formation around Orthodox Christianity?
Since the beginning of times Rus’38 had the principle of symphony i.e. the unity of secular and spiritual power. This was a foundation of Russian culture.
Formally this principle was broken during the reign of Peter the Great when Russian Empire was founded. But it was only formally, in reality the principle of symphony was still there.
The Church remained a foundation of the culture. The culture did not disappear because the institution of patriarchate39 was abolished.
Yes, it evolved, it was modernized, but it did not disappear. Moreover, the culture is the binding historically proven to keep the Russian society together, keep it from falling apart. In the West such bindings are the Law and the Right, but in Russia the concept of “the Right” was not developed, neither was the concept of “freedom”. We’ve never had slavery, that’s why the concept of “freedom” never emerged. We had a concept called “volia”40 – this is very different! Many in the West have no clue what this is about. But “freedom” and “volia” are not the synonyms. Naturally, our legal system has developed somewhat differently.
The idea evolved, the concept of «norm» became more modern, it adopted the standards of Empire, but the culture remained the same. The principles of state regulation were exercised within a framework of culture, not within a framework of law, like in the West.
When the Empress Catherine the Great was criticized for autocracy and lack of law regulations in the country, she argued that the law regulations existed and, besides that, sometimes the justice should be done «by grace».
So, among other things, the West was very concerned about slow pace of its cultural expansion in Russia.
The thing is that cultural expansion is not possible without technological expansion but the latter had very serious problems, the West was not eager to share the technologies.
When acquiring new technologies, you inevitably absorb a part of the culture where such technologies were created. Peter the Great sought to plant the seeds of western mentality in Russia not because he loved the West that much.
First of all he needed modern industry and modern army formed on the Western model and therefore capable of confronting the West. This could not be accomplished without adoption of some elements of western mindset.
This is why he had to impose by force some western standards of dress, appearance, etiquette and common manners.
No doubt, numerous mistakes were made during the time of Peter the Great, but the result is here. Peter the Great was first who successfully implemented the modernization of Russia, the second one was Stalin.
We have no other examples of successful modernization. You may accuse them of any deadly sins as long as you like, but the result is the result. If you have serious enemies, they will be most infuriated by your greatest accomplishments.
If we take a close look at the heated historical debates today, we can see that Peter the Great has just slightly less sins attributed to him than Stalin.
So, what the West really had to do to promote its interests in Russia? The only solution seemed to be a complete destruction of the state apparatus, in other words, the revolution should have happened in Russia.
Woodrow Wilson41, when he was a president, I believe in 1915, stated that America applauded to the efforts of Russians on the fronts of World War; however the final victory of Russian Empire was highly undesirable.
Lloyd George42 once he found out about abdication43 of Russian Emperor said: «Thank, God! One goal of the war is achieved! » Some sources cite this statement as «one of the major goals of the war», but this cannot be verified. The main source was the archive of daughter of British ambassador in Russia; it does not have a word «major», but this is still quite remarkable statement.
Gradual conviction that Russia has no religious freedom and the pressure must be put on it to break «ossified» system of Russian Orthodox Church.
And so on and so forth … The list of such examples could be endless. We could cite the headlines of American newspapers starting from 1912 until now; they did not change much over time.
Ideological weapons can be as much destructive as real ones, even the nuclear. The enemy used this weapon against us.
This is the war, the real one - «à la guerre comme à la guerre»44. We are armed with the Truth and the Truth is that we should not get into pointless ideological debates, it makes no sense.
You cannot convince the believer that God does not exist; neither can you prove God's existence to the atheist. This is ideological issue.
We have to impose the scientific discourse45 on our opponents. If they claim to be scientific, let them prove every statement in their film (the expert refers to film «The Soviet Story»). They cannot prove. Is there a forgery? - Oh, this is not a serious talk. If they want a serious talk, they'll get it. We are ready.
Video part 10
We have to discuss one more question. Is there explanation why the revival of fascism has to begin with humiliation of the USSR?
I think, we have already addressed this issue indirectly, but we still should clarify some things.
Of course, our enemies are not satisfied with the destruction of Soviet Union. In addition, they need to humiliate it; they repeat the attempts to humiliate USSR with maniacal persistence worthy of a better cause. This behavior even inspires some optimism. If the destruction of USSR is irreversible process, as dear liberals insist, then what is the point to attack something that will never reappear?
This does not make sense, but if the attacks continue, then the process is not really so irreversible.
The attempts do not stop; moreover they clearly tend to escalate.
Why do they need to humiliate the Soviet Union? Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were positioned, so to speak, on the opposite pans of historical scales. If you need to lift up Nazism, you have to lower down USSR.
We were the natural antagonists of Nazism. No matter what people might say about Red Project, it was the aspiration, the striving for the better future, whereas the Nazi Project was a descent into Hell, into the abyss. It was exactly The Soviet Soldier who literally blocked the path to the Hell and exterminated the beast.
There is a lot of talk today about the great contribution of Allied nations to the defeat of Nazi Germany. Yes, they’ve contributed; we are not going to argue with that. However, the fascism was destroyed not on the fields of Western Europe; it existed very comfortably over there. And the Western Europe was not suffering under occupation. At least in Belgium and Denmark the democratic parliaments were functioning, the national army and police were not disarmed — very cute occupation indeed!
Today the western historians still do not understand why the SS burned down French village Oradour-sur-Glane46. It was a horrible tragedy, the war was about to end, but all of a sudden they grab 600 people, lock them in a barn and burn them alive. Yes, indeed, it was a horrible tragedy, but in Belorussia, they burned down every 4th village, and nobody asks: “Why?” as if everything was normal. Is this the way it supposed to be?!
I do not mean in any way to contrapose the atrocities in Belorussia to the ones in Oradour-sur-Glane. Every single life taken that way is sacred. But, nevertheless, the fact remains: we lost 27 million including civilians killed by famine and bombing, to forget about it is a sin. Every life sacrificed in our country was brought to the altar of Victory.
As for the troops of the West — the British and the Americans — they had plenty of opportunities to open the second front and alleviate our situation. But they actually opened it when it was, strictly speaking, no longer needed.
But, this is not the main issue. The image of the Soviet Union didn't disappear. This image is remembered, it causes nostalgia, for some it is only a fashion, the others start to see not just attractive features, but some fundamentals that ought to exist in the being of nation, but lacking in today's life.
So, the Soviet Union remains the real political and ideological force, which has to be accounted for. Otherwise, I do not understand the reason of all that fuss.
Therefore, in the spiritual sense, the Soviet Union still exists, just like the Third Reich does.
The fact that the state painted in a certain color disappeared from the political world map does not necessarily mean a spiritual annihilation, especially if it was supported by powerful ideological substance and project. In this respect neither the Soviet Union, nor the Third Reich disappeared, the decisive battle is still ahead, and the democratic West openly takes the side of the Third Reich.
It may sound overly dramatic, but the future of humankind is at stake in this battle.
The results of recent Olympics are a vivid proof that Soviet Union still exists and still keeps on winning. Who won the most Olympic medals? Sure, officially it was United States, but from another point of view we could see it was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics!
The aggregate number of medals of former Soviet republics exceeded all expectations. The Soviet Union is gone for more than 20 years, but it still wins, no wonder our western partners are furious about it.
Should they ever want to revive the Nazi project, appropriately adjust and modernize it, then they would desperately need to do something about the image of USSR. The production of such films (the expert refers to film «The Soviet Story») serves that purpose.
1 In Russia and ex-Soviet Union countries kandidat minimum refers to the necessary coursework required for the post-graduate research degree kandidat nauk (comparable to Western PhD). Kandidat minimum includes work in the area of specialization, foreign languages and the philosophy of science. According to "Guidelines for the recognition of Russian qualifications in the other countries" in countries with a two-tier system of doctoral degrees, the degree of Candidate of Sciences should be considered for recognition at the level of the first doctoral degree. In countries with only one doctoral degree, the degree of Candidate of Sciences should be considered for recognition as equivalent to this degree.
4 Elizabeth I (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603) was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called "The Virgin Queen", "Gloriana" or "Good Queen Bess", Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty.
5 The St. Bartholomew's Day massacre (Massacre de la Saint-Barthélemy) in 1572 was a targeted group of assassinations, followed by a wave of Roman Catholic mob violence, both directed against the Huguenots (French Calvinist Protestants), during the French Wars of Religion.
8 The traditional conservative-nationalist reaction (Edouard Drumont, Maurice Barres, Charles Maurras) played important role in French fascism genesis. It was also affected by the traditions of Bonapartism and Boulangisme, reactionary trends, characterized by the art of mobilizing the masses.
Bonapartism is a term used originally to refer to the military dictatorship established in France in 1799 after the French Revolution, Napoleon Bonaparte (Napoleon I), and the dictatorship of Louis Bonaparte (Napoleon III), which took power in 1851 after the defeat of the Revolution of 1848. Later the term was extended to any counter-revolutionary dictatorship of the upper bourgeoisie, based on militarism and reactionary-minded strata of retrograde peasantry that maneuvers between struggling classes in conditions of fragile balance of class powers. Lenin wrote: "Bonapartism is a form of government which grows out of the counter-revolutionary nature of the bourgeoisie, in the conditions of democratic changes and a democratic revolution." B. combines social demagogy with active chauvinistic propaganda and aggression, policy of stifling of democratic freedoms and the revolutionary movement through extensive use of the police and the bureaucracy, and the church.
Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (20 April 1808 – 9 January 1873) was the first President of the French Republic and, as Napoleon III, the ruler of the Second French Empire.
Action Française (French Action - L'Action francaise) - influential right-wing anti-republican group in France during the first 40 years of the 20th century. The Action Française movement originated at the close of the 19th century to champion the anti-parliamentarian, anti-Semitic, and strongly nationalist views inspired by the controversy over the Dreyfus Affair.
9 The British Brothers' League was a British anti-immigration group that attempted to organize along paramilitary lines. The group was formed in 1902 in east London as a response to waves of immigration from Eastern Europe that had begun in 1880 and had seen an influx of eastern Europeans into the area. As a result Captain William Stanley Shaw formed the BBL to campaign for restricted immigration with the slogan 'England for the English' and soon formed a close alliance with local Conservative MP Major Evans-Gordon. Initially the League was not anti-Semitic and was more interested in keeping out the poorest immigrants regardless of background, although eventually the Jews became the main focus.
In March 1914 the Ulster Volunteers rose against Irish policy of the British government. The Volunteers were called the right-wing revolutionists. In the future, the British fascist ideologists believed the Ulster Volunteers to be their predecessors. This, in their opinion, was the first fascist movement in Europe. In 1915, "British Empire League" was formed which had active contacts with the American "Ku Klux Klan".
10 The Subsequent Nuremberg Trials formally the Trials of War Criminals before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals were a series of twelve U.S. military tribunals for war crimes against surviving members of the leadership of Nazi Germany, held in the Palace of Justice, Nuremberg, after World War II from 1946 to 1949 following the Trial of the Major War Criminals before the International Military Tribunal.
11 The Ministries Trial (or, officially, The United States of America vs. Ernst von Weizsäcker, et al.) was the eleventh of the twelve trials for war crimes the U.S. authorities held in their occupation zone in Germany in Nuremberg after the end of World War II. These twelve trials were all held before U.S. military courts, not before the International Military Tribunal, but took place in the same rooms at the Palace of Justice.
13 The Four Year Plan was a series of economic reforms created by the Nazi Party. The main aim of the Four Year Plan was to prepare Germany for self-sufficiency in four years (1936-1940). The Four Year Plan sought to reduce unemployment; increase synthetic fiber production; undertake public works projects under the direction of Fritz Todt; increased automobile production; initiate numerous building and architectural projects; and further develop the Autobahn system. The plan also emphasized building up the nation's military defenses, disregarding the restrictions imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles after the German defeat in World War I. Hermann Göring was put in charge of the Four Year Plan on October 18, 1936 and given extraordinary powers. In short, Göring had complete control over the economy including the private sector, especially after the Minister of Economy, Hjalmar Schacht, began to lose favour with Hitler because of his opposition to growing military expenditures.
14 Gruppenführer (literally “group leader”) was an early paramilitary rank of the Nazi Party, first created in 1925 as a senior rank of the SA. In 1930, Gruppenführer became an SS rank and was originally bestowed upon those officers who commanded SS-Gruppen and also upon senior officers of the SS command staff. In 1932, the SS was reorganized and the SS-Gruppen were reformed into SS-Abschnitte. A Gruppenführer commanded an SS-Abschnitt while a new rank, that of Obergruppenführer, oversaw the SS-Oberabschnitte which were the largest SS units in Germany.
16 Casus belli is a Latin expression meaning the justification for acts of war.
19 The 33. Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS "Charlemagne" (französische Nr. 1) and "Charlemagne" Regiment are collective names used for units of French volunteers in the Wehrmacht and later Waffen-SS during World War II.
20 The State Duma (Russian: Госуда́рственная ду́ма (Gosudarstvennaya Duma), in the Russian Federation is the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia (legislature), the upper house being the Federation Council of Russia.
Max Weber 1947 The Theory of Social and Economic Organization. III. THE TYPES OF AUTHORITY AND IMPERATIVE CO-ORDINATION, I. The Basis of Legitimacy, 2. The Three Pure Types of Legitimate Authority, p. 328
23 Bolotnaya Square is a square in the center of Moscow, the location of anti-Putin protest on December 10th 2011.
24 Academician Sakharov Prospect is a street in the center of Moscow. The location of anti-Putin protest on December 24, 2011.
25 The Concert of Europe (also Vienna system of international relations), also known as the Congress System after the Congress of Vienna, was the balance of power that existed in Europe from the end of the Napoleonic Wars (1815) to the outbreak of World War I (1914), albeit with major alterations after the revolutions of 1848.
“Now, all Franklin’s moral attitudes are colored with utilitarianism. Honesty is useful, because it assures credit; so are punctuality, industry, frugality, and that is the reason they are virtues. A logical deduction from this would be that where, for instance, the appearance of honesty serves the same purpose, that would suffice, and an unnecessary surplus of this virtue would evidently appear to Franklin’s eyes unproductive waste. And as a matter of fact, the story in his autobiography of his conversion to those virtues, or the discussion of the value of a strict maintenance of the appearance of modesty, the assiduous belittlement of one’s own deserts in order to gain general recognition later, confirms this impression.”
27 The House of Anjou, usually referred to simply as the Angevins, was a noble family of Frankish origin that emerged as the rulers of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Kingdom of England in the 12th century. The title Count of Anjou was first granted by Charles the Bald in the 9th century to Robert the Strong. Ingelger and his son were viscounts of Angers until Ingelger's son Fulk the Red assumed the title of Count of Anjou. The Robertians and their Capetian successors were distracted by wars with the Vikings and other concerns, and were unable to recover the county until the reign of Philip II Augustus more than 270 years later.
28 Several counts and then royal dukes of Alençon have figured in French history. The title has been awarded to a younger brother of the French sovereign. Two lines of Counts of Alençon became extinct before the title of Alençon was attached to the House of Valois that ruled France.
29 Westernizers were a group of 19th century (especially in the 1840s and ’50s) intellectuals who emphasized Russia’s common historic destiny with the West, as opposed to Slavophiles, who believed Russia’s traditions and destiny to be unique. In Russian the term was known as Zapadnichestvo (зáпадничество) which can be translated as "Westernism", and its adherents were known as the Zapadniks, westernists in English. In modern usage, especially in the developing world, the term can refer to supporters of Western-style economic development.
30 Slavophilia was an intellectual movement originating from 19th century that wanted the Russian Empire to be developed upon values and institutions derived from its early history. Slavophiles were especially opposed to the influences of Western Europe in Russia. There were also similar movements in Poland, Hungary and Greece.
31 Mayer Amschel Rothschild "Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes the laws."
32 Konstantin Nikolayevich Leontyev (1831 – 1891) was a conservative, monarchist Russian philosopher who advocated closer cultural ties between Russia and the East in order to oppose the catastrophic egalitarian, utilitarian and revolutionary influences from the West. He advocated Russia's cultural and territorial expansion eastward to India, Tibet, and China.
33 "Alyosha" - a monument to the Soviet soldier-liberator in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv on the Bunardzhik hill (Hill of the Liberators). Alexei Ivanovich Skurlatov (born March 30? 1922 Nalobiha village, Kosikhinsky district, Altai province) - a soldier of the Red Army, intelligence officer and signalman, holder of two Orders of the Red Star, and many other awards, served as the prototype for the famous "Alyosha" monument to the Soviet soldiers.
Resource in Russian: http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Алёша_(памятник,_Пловдив)
34 Russian Provisional Government formed March 1917 following the abdication of Emperor Nicolas II. Ceased to exist October 1917 following October Revolution.
36 “Moral Code of the Builder of Communism” – a set of principles of communist morality that have been summarized in the Programme of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and adopted by the 22nd Congress of CPSU (1961).
38 Originally, the name Rus’ referred to the people, the region, and the medieval states (9th to 12th centuries) of the Rus' Khaganate and Kievan Rus' polities. The territories of the latter are today distributed among Belarus, Ukraine, and a part of the European section of Russia.
40 Volia (rus. “Воля”). 1) Power, ability to rule at one's own discretion. 2) Absence of boundaries for actions. 3) Condition with no physical restrictions, not in prison, not locked up.
Unfortunately, no English translation can 100% accurately reflect the concept of “volia”. Western concept of “freedom” is based on the Law, whereas Russian idea of “volia” has spiritual roots. “Volia” can be understood as immanent quality of human to act freely but in chime with his conscience. The closest English translations for “volia” would be following: free reign, latitude, own accord, free will.