THE REBIRTH AND DEATH OF THE SOVIET UNION

Written by Vladimir Moss

THE REBIRTH AND DEATH OF COMMUNISM

 

     “For 70 years,” writes the Russian priest Daniel Sisoev, “the servants of Satan took hold of Russia and destroyed millions of Christians in her. But the most terrible thing is that the disease of communism is indestructible until the Second Coming of Christ. After all, the root of this evil likes in satanic envy.”[1]

 

     True Orthodox Christians are still, twenty years after the fall of the Berlin wall, suffering from persecution at the hands of Putin’s regime, so they can sympathize with these words. The seizure of fourteen of ROAC’s churches in Suzdal is a clear proof that communism is alive and well in Russia. Moreover, there are many other signs: the increased power of the KGB-FSB, which now controls 40% of government positions, the return of Soviet symbols such as the red flag and the melody of the Soviet national anthem, the openly pro-Soviet and pro-Stalinist sentiments of Prime Minister Putin, the continuing power and influence of the Sovietized Moscow Patriarchate, the continued nostalgia for the great years of the evil empire in the minds of many, the suppression of dissent, the gradual re-nationalization of the economy, the vast increase of corruption and injustice of all kinds.

 

     Nevertheless, the closest historical parallels for contemporary Russia are not with Stalin’s Soviet Union, but with Hitler’s Germany. Just as Hitler came to power on the back of a deep resentment in the German people against the Versailles treaty and its defeat in the First World War, so Putin has played on the Soviet Russian people’s deep resentment at its defeat in the Cold War and its hatred of the victor in that war, America. This resentment and desire for revenge is clearly closely related to the “satanic envy” that Sisoev sees as the root of communism. Thus contemporary Russia, like Nazi Germany, longs to return to her former great-power status, she is rearming as feverishly as did Germany in the 1930s, and like Nazi Germany sees her chief enemies in the Anglo-Saxons and the Jews. Putin’s support of Eurasianism, a nationalist Russian ideology originally thought up by the Bolsheviks in the 1920s as a “reserve” ideology to Bolshevism itself, is like a Slavic version of Hitler’s Aryan racism and fascism. And the modern Russian festival of the Day of National Unity (November 4), which was designed to take the place of the communist November festivities, has now been turned into a triumph of radical nationalism.[2]

 

     But if contemporary Russia recalls Nazi Germany rather more than the Soviet Union, there are other modern states that successfully continue the Soviet traditions. The most obvious of these is China. Many have been deceived by China’s very rapid and impressive modernization and economic expansion into thinking that this is no longer really a communist state. This is a mistake: the Chinese government’s grip on its subjects is still very powerful. Chinese concentration camps are still full of dissidents; religious believers who criticize the government are persecuted; and control of the media, including the internet, is strong. China has diverged from the Soviet model only in allowing a large measure of state-sponsored capitalism to reinvigorate its economy. That economic policy, - whose corner-stone is trade on a very large scale with America, so large that the symbiotic relationship thus created has been called “Chimerica” by the historian Niall Ferguson[3], - means that China is now less economically self-sufficient than she would like to be, or as the Soviet communist ideal of autarchy would demand. Moreover, the Chinese economy must expand rapidly every year in order to satisfy its burgeoning and increasingly restless population and keep its vast unemployment problem under control. And China’s increasingly desperate search for sources of oil looks increasingly likely to bring it into conflict with its neighbours at some time in the future. Nevertheless, these stresses do not constitute an immediate threat to the regime itself, but rather give it excuses to increase its despotic control and increase the number and quality of its armed forces…

 

     A third candidate for the title of “the Soviet Union reborn” is the United States. Now the processes of increasing state power and totalitarian control that we see around the world can undoubtedly be seen developing in full swing in the United States. What makes these processes particularly threatening in America in the eyes of many is the American leadership in science and technology and the fact that America is now far more powerful than any other country in the military sphere. Nevertheless, the fact remains that America is still one of the freest countries in the world, which is demonstrated by the fact that many of the fiercest and most vociferous critics of America are Americans themselves. If all the evil forces of modern secularism and totalitarianism are present in America, the movements against these forces, - such as those against Darwinism, abortion, ecumenism, globalization and the UN – are also to be found there, and usually in stronger, better-financed and better-organized forms than elsewhere. This paradox is largely owing to the continuingly high levels of religiosity in America - far higher, according to the polls, than in Europe or Russia. Of course, this religiosity is mainly Protestant fundamentalist and evangelical, which is not to the taste of True Orthodox Christians. And some of the more sinister aspects of this religiosity, such as its fanatical support for Israel and Jewry, raise the spectre in Orthodox minds of American power enthroning the Antichrist himself. However, the personal opinion of the present writer is that it is more likely that the United States, undermined by its ever-increasing debt, will collapse into lawless anarchy before its final transformation into the Antichrist. This would be in accord with the prophecy of Elder Aristocles of Moscow in 1911: “America will feed the world, but will finally collapse”.

 

     A fourth candidate for the role of Soviet Union reborn is the European Union. Last week Pravda carried the headline: “Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the EU is now a reincarnation of the Soviet Union”. Highly ironical - and not far from the truth. The headline was referring to the fact that the Lisbon Treaty has now passed into law in every member-state of the European Union. That treaty destroys the last vestiges of real national sovereignty in the whole of the European space west of Belorussia and south of the Ukraine, leaving as the only sovereign powers in that space the European Union itself, Serbia and Albania…

 

     On December 1 the Lisbon Treaty will come into force, giving the EU, as Christopher Booker writes, “the supreme government it has wanted for so long – unelected, unaccountable and, as even its own polls show, less popular with those it rules over than ever before. But what do the politicians care? They have the power, and we now have a government we can never dismiss…”[4]The government of the EU is not only undemocratic: it is totalitarian in the sense that it tries to exert control over every aspect of its citizens’ lives, not excluding religion. And if large-scale persecution of Christians has not yet begun, this is probably only because there are hardly any real Christians left in Europe outside Greece. (The Greeks themselves can be trusted to persecute their own religious dissenters, such as the monks of Esphigmenou.) After all, even the Soviet Union weakened its persecution of Christians towards the end of its existence, when the only real Christians were a very small minority that had been driven into the catacombs…

 

     The EU is far more socialist than the United States, and far more intrusive into the private lives of its citizens. Thus the United Kingdom, the most eurosceptic state in the Union, has more surveillance cameras per head of population than any country in the world. Again, continental Europeans, especially the French, have tended to portray their State as far more cultured and civilized than the United States. And yet pornography, homosexuality and various forms of vice are more widespread in Europe and encounter far less opposition from either the State or the people. Again, Europe lauds itself on practising “soft power” as opposed to the crude militarism of the United States. In practice, this means that the Europeans (with the partial exception of the British) want the United States to pay for the Europeans’ defence while they themselves send only token forces to take part in NATO operations. In any case, the continued military weakness of the Europeans means that they will remain dependent on American arms for some time to come. It is this military weakness which disqualifies the EU from being a new Soviet Union - yet. But in every other way, it is just as threatening as the other totalitarian powers. Moreover, weak or not, it is the EU that is expanding its territory (by means of “soft power”) and approaching the borders of Russia…

 

     So we return to Russia, the neo-communist and increasingly fascist State on which both the fears and the hopes of True Orthodox Christians rest. Our fears, because True Orthodoxy is persecuted in Russia, and the carefully cultivated image of an Orthodox “symphonic” partnership between Church and State is a sham – but a sham that has the power to deceive and seduce many Orthodox both within and beyond Russia’s frontiers. And our hopes, because both the prophecies of the saints and an analysis of the Orthodox world today make clear that a real revival of True Orthodoxy powerful enough to lead to a real Triumph of Orthodoxy could only begin in Russia. So while Orthodox Christians must long for the triumph of Russia on the world scene in the long term, in the short term they can only hope for the removal of the present regime, as the essential condition for the revival of True Orthodoxy and a True Orthodox Tsardom.

 

     What, then, are the prospects for the death of this reborn Soviet Union?

 

     Several Orthodox saints – St. John of Kronstadt, Elder Aristocles of Moscow and Elder Theodosius of Minvody - prophesied that the final fall of Bolshevik Russia would come through China. Thus Elder Aristocles prophesied that Russia and China would destroy each other in a great world war, after which Russia would be freed and would send missionaries to convert the peoples to Orthodoxy throughout the world. There is a certain Divine justice in the idea that Bolshevism should be destroyed by its own greatest and most fearful offspring, Chinese communism. Of course, at the present time Russia and China are great friends. The two powers rail together against American power (Russia rather more loudly than China), while China flatters Russia that she is still a great power on a par with the other great powers, turns a blind eye to her heavy-handed approach to combating stability in Chechnya, and enters into meaningless security pacts with her. The reward of her flattery is that she receives valuable military hardware and software from Russia, together with Siberian oil at ridiculously discounted prices.[5]Meanwhile, large numbers of Chinese are crossing the border into Siberia, buying land and setting up businesses.

 

     Russia appears to have neither the will nor the capacity to stop this peaceful invasion through her back door. Putin even handed over a small chunk of Siberia to China on January 1 last year. Foolishly, the Russians seem to believe in the good intentions of the Chinese, as if good communists would never fall out with each other. Recent history (e.g. the incident on the Ussuri river in 1969), together with a study of the Chinese mentality, should have taught them otherwise. They should have realized that what the Chinese want from the Russians is not their kisses but their oil, and that if that supply should ever dry up they will discard the Russians like a used lemon.

 

     In this connection the recent very bad economic figures of Gazprom are highly significant. If the flow of Siberian oil begins to dry up because of under-investment in new fields, or technical breakdowns in the old ones, there will be many nervous and angry customers in both East and West. China may then be tempted to supplement its “soft power” approach with some “hard power” – and the West will be unlikely to intervene, at any rate immediately…

 

     Of course, all this is speculation – and highly simplified speculation at that. We have not even touched on the influence that that other totalitarian force, Islam, is likely to play in the coming years. But the prophecies of the saints are not speculation, and they foresee the overthrow of the present neo-Bolshevik, neo-fascist regime of Putin at the hands of the Chinese. So Soviet totalitarianism still lives, but it will not live for long. “He who takes up the sword,” as the Lord said, “shall perish by the sword…” (Matthew 26.52).

 

Vladimir Moss.

October 28 / November 10, 2009.

 

 



[1]“Aktivist ‘missionerskogo’ dvizhenia RPTs MP o. Daniil Sisoev sovetuiet pravoslavnym ne druzhit’ s kommunistami i vkushat’ s nimi pischi”, November 9, 2009, www.portal-cred.ru/site/print?act=news&id=74151(in Russian).

[3] Ferguson, The Ascent of Money, New York: The Penguin Press, 2008.

[4] Booker, “The End of the Great Deception”, The Sunday Telegraph (London), November 8, 2009.

[5] “The $20-a-barrel price borders on the shocking” (Stephen Kotkin, “The Unbalanced Triangle”, Foreign Affairs, September-October, 2009, p. 133).

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