Tuesday 2 June 2015

Reader's Question: What do you think about Russia?

Reader's Question: What is your opinion of present day Russia and do you think Vladimir Putin is a sincere Christian?

My Answer: Perhaps these need to be considered in reverse order?

Yes, I think Putin is a sincere Christian - therefore, I believe that he and others are trying, long-term, to restore Holy Russia (i.e. the Byzantine model of a society ruled as a unity by an anointed Christian monarch).

In this I wish Russia well - I think it is that nation's divine destiny to do this - however, that destiny must be chosen, and could (easily) be rejected or corrupted.

Given the assumption that Putin is a sincere Christian who genuinely wants to restore the Orthodox Church to a central place in Russia; I don't think it ought to be regarded as difficult to justify my attitude, if you ask 'compared with what?'

Russia has a stark choice - Western New Left, politically-correct Progressivism (and joining us in self-hating willed-suicide), or else a restored Byzantium.

It's a no-brainer, as far as I am concerned.



Leo said...

Charles Williams would definitely approve.

David said...

It's hard to know what to believe really about this kind of thing from a layman's point of view. Certainly most/all information I have about Putin comes from the media (which is as you argue fundamentally an untrustworthy source of information) so what are the primary trustworthy sources of information to critically analyse this question? The most recent documentary I saw about Putin clearly pigeon-holed him as a Sociopathic, tyranical ex-KGB agent whom is as dirty as they come with an under-handed role of framing the Chechnyan conflicts as terrorist attacks actually engineered by Putin and his cronies! (This was a mainstream bbc or similar program and not a conspiracy theory underground documentary). The leader in this program seems v different to the character sketch above. More fundamentally, how can I believe anything I see on the TV or read in a journalistic editorial?! How can I possibly know who Putin is without just accepting a lot of claims at face value? For all I really know the whole political drama could be a stage populated by actors and con men in cahoots that just portray themselves to be something they want to seem like (or something other oppositional interest groups want them to seem like) and the truth of the matter is always obscure to us all as 'media peasants'. We know this is essentially what British politicians do professionally i.e. lie and tell people what they want them to think about themselves personally and the rest of the political landscape. So as a westerner, submerged in western media propaganda, what can I possibly know for certain about Russia or its leaders?! Except by visiting to collect first hand data. David Cameron and Putin could be billionaire gangster best buddies who laugh about the fictionalised media stories over a couple of vodkas behind the cameras for all I know?! I thoroughly doubt this of course but my point is how can you claim authentic knowledge of who Putin is, his actual Character, etc. I presume you are a better analyst of vast amounts of potentially bogus information than I am or have primary sources of information outside of the usual corrupted media channels? Inferential tools that can evade being duped by the bewildering obstacle course separating us from unequivocal truth? I can sympathise with conspiracy theorists. Take President Obama autobiography for example. Is it all real? Is it real at all? Certainly if I were a ghost writer wanting to design a fictional account to give the electorate what they most wanted to hear at that time in history I might write something like that?! I suspect Putin will have one too?

Tucker said...

My Answer: Perhaps these need to be considered in reverse order?

I agree completely; in fact I would have said this same thing. At the current moment, Russia is proof that leadership, responsibility and vision are what's needed.

I think the whole question of Russia is a fantastic one, intriguing many of us who have been harbouring some sort of hope there. I may fairly be accused of wearing rose-coloured glasses, but here is how I see it:

I do believe Putin is a sincere Christian. With maturity, I have come to realize that "sincere Christians" are capable of many wrongs. I recently re-read The Last Battle, and was struck by the scene near the end where Aslan "saves" one of the dwarfs who was involved in shooting the Talking Horses. It's an error of the young and/or immature to argue that "because so-and-so did X, he's not a 'real Christian'".

I believe Putin has a properly-ordered sense of the world - that is, he understands the importance of true leadership, proper metaphysics, and avoiding "rule by committee". On occasion I have been reading the English version of Pravda and it's quite astounding how they use language and assumptions that *we* here would use on blogs like this, but that mainstream Western culture no longer uses. I can only think that, as a probable state organ, this language reflects the actual thinking of the Russian leadership.

Bruce Charlton said...

I was asked the question - I gave my view!

My sources include Seraphim Rose (on prophecies of Russia's future), an English Orthodox priest who had been to Russia, another English Orthodox priest who writes a blog, and the writings of Mark Hackard http://souloftheeast.org/author/markhackard.

There seems no doubt that there has been a massive resurgence of the Orthodox Church in Russia since 1989, especially among the ruling elites - whether the official Russian State Church corresponds to Christianity is somewhat debatable (especially given the apparent failure to repent the Communist/ Sergian years) - but I think the two cannot be fully dissociated; and in the post Communist Russian context, a strong Church almost-inevitably means a revived 'real Christianity' of significant proportions.

There have been many recent and new saints and martyrs, which is usually a sign of the real thing.

In the end I return to the choice: secular Western modernity, or working towards a restoration of the Tsar. I don't think there are any other viable possibilities.