Written by Vladimir Moss



The Clash of Civilizations

It is commonly thought that all the old civilizations are now under threat from a single new global civilization – the civilization of the West, the New World Order (NWO) – which is advancing through a process called globalization. Orthodox thinkers often identify this emerging global civilization with the kingdom of the Antichrist, and see America and Israel as the body and head respectively of this antichristian kingdom. The purpose of this article is to examine this thesis.

We read in Wikipedia: “The common theme [of the NWO] is that a powerful and secretive elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through a totalitarian world government, which would replace sovereign nation-states and put an end to international power struggles. Significant occurrences in politics and finance are speculated to be orchestrated by an extremely influential cabal operating through many front organizations. Numerous historical and current events are seen as steps in an on-going plot to achieve world domination through secret political gatherings and decision-making processes.”[1]

This is clear enough; and the question immediately arises: what are the main power structures embraced by the NWO? Almost all anti-globalists would agree on the following: the American government, the Jews, Freemasonry, the UN, NATO and a bunch of other secret or semi-secret globalist organizations like the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission. Most would add the European Union to this conspiracy since many European leaders are Freemasons, subscribe to the main tenets of the NWO ideology and are ahead even of the Americans in incarnating them (e.g. in the size of the state, in its intrusiveness, in mass pornography, in the promotion of homosexuality). However, some would hotly defend the Europeans, since they constitute a rival power structure to enemy number one, America, and have opposed America, at least partially, on several imperialist ventures, like the Second Iraq War. Again, some would add the Russian government, because they also have been drawn into many globalist projects and Putin was made a Freemason in Germany and Medvedev with a beaming smile signs arms control treaties with the great satan. On the other hand, many see the Russians as the great saviours of humanity from the NWO because Putin obviously hates the Americans, is bitterly opposed to NATO and continues to tweak NATO noses in places like Georgia, while forcing great NWO corporate behemoths like BP and Shell out of the country. So Russia, together with China and the Islamic world, are usually excluded from the definition of the NWO, in spite of their close economic ties with the West, and should more properly be called the Old World Order (OWO).

For most anti-globalists, therefore, the main danger is seen to reside in the West, while the Rest are ignored - and the real interests of Orthodoxy are misunderstood…

In his magisterial work, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order[2], Samuel P. Huntingdon showed that since the end of the Cold War the underlying structure of World Order has changed from being bipolar and ideological to being multipolar and civilizational. In his view, which he backs up with a very impressive array of data and argumentation, the ideological liberalism vs. communism struggle was a comparatively superficial “blip” in the tide of history. After all, both liberalism and communism are products of western civilization, and the Cold War can be seen as a civil war between two outcomes or stages of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment.[3] World politics has now reverted to the more traditional, long-term pattern of struggles between civilizational blocs based on profound differences in values and religion. Huntingdon identified the following main contemporary civilizations: Western, Orthodox (Russian), Islamic, Sinic (Chinese), Japanese, Buddhist, Hindu, Latin American and African. Of these the most powerful are the Western, Islamic and Sinic civilizations.

Huntingdon make an important distinction between two different things that are becoming global: modernization and westernization. Globalization in the sense of the modernization of the whole world is not evil in itself: it could even work to the furtherance of the good in certain circumstances. What is evil is westernization.

By globalization in the sense of westernization, therefore, we mean the process leading to a single world civilization and a single world government under the banner of democracy and federalism in politics, free trade (so-called) in economics, ecumenism in religion and human rights in morality. Defined in this way, there is no doubt about it: globalization is a great evil. It is easy to see that the world republic (or kingdom?) planned by the Rockefellers[4], the Masons and others would have no place in it for Orthodoxy except as a kind of cultural museum, and could very quickly turn the propaganda of freedom into the reality of a tyranny worse than any that has gone before it.

We have already seen such a transformation from democracy to potentially global totalitarianism in communist Russia and Nazi Germany in the first half of the twentieth century; and in the second half of the century the despotic power exerted by supra-national organizations such as the IMF, the World Bank, the United Nations, the European Union and the World Council of Churches is clearly mapping a more subtle path to the same goal…

Accepting Huntingdon’s thesis on the clash of civilizations in principle, and agreeing that the ultimate aim of the western globalists is evil, we may ask: to what extent are they succeeding in coming close to their goal? Or are they in fact being thwarted by the revival of older, clashing civilizations? And the surprising answer is: since the end of the Cold War, in spite of some tactical successes, the goal of the globalists appears to be receding rapidly away from them.

The world order during the Cold War was bipolar and ideological: with a few nonaligned exceptions, the whole world was ranged on the side either of Western democracy or of Soviet communism. With the triumph of the West in 1989-91 it was expected by some – notably by the political scientist Francis Fukuyama in his famous essay, “The End of History” – that western democracy as the new world order would now sweep all before it and create a world civilization and world government. But it didn’t happen… What happened instead was the rapid increase in power and influence of two rival centres of power that explicitly rejected western ideology and the West’s NWO: China and the Islamic world.

The turn of the millennium marked the high-water mark of globalization and the NWO. Thus “by 2000, 60 per cent of the world’s population lived in democracies, a far higher share than in 1974.”[5] In 2001, the European states even felt confident enough to declare at Laaken that “the only boundary that the European Union draws is defined by democracy and human rights”[6]. This is an extraordinary, unheard-of definition of territorial (or rather, extra-territorial) state boundaries that implies, or has been taken to imply, that the European Union is not so much a state or confederation of states as a quasi-religious global civilization that has the right to intervene anywhere in the world that democracy and human rights are under threat. It suggests that the universalist and expansionist nature of western civilization, in its present phase, is not only striving defensively to “make the world safe for democracy”, as President Woodrow Wilson put it in 1918, but is also trying offensively to make sure that nowhere on earth is safe from democracy. Thus in 2006 there were proposals to make NATO, the military arm of the NWO, global, not only in its scope, but also in its membership.[7] And in 2008 the proposal to extend NATO membership to the Ukraine and Georgia gave Russia the excuse it was looking for to invade the latter country…

But the NWO is declining rapidly… The decline of the West was first openly discussed by Oswald Spengler in 1918. Though disguised and to some extent reversed by the dominance of America from 1945 to 1991, it is now a fact that cannot be denied. The tired, aging and debt-ridden populations of North America and Europe still retain a lead over the rest of the world in military and economic terms. But the gap is narrowing very fast, especially in relation to China, but also in relation to Russia. Thus “NATO defence spending is falling fast, but Russia’s military budget rose by 26% this year [2013]”.[8]

As for “soft power”, the West’s lead here is also declining. “The ‘Washington consensus’ of democracy and free markets has given way to the Beijing consensus of authoritarian modernisation. America’s self-confidence has been battered first by George Bush’s clumsy war on terror, which gave democracy a bad name, then by the credit crunch, which did the same for Western finance, and finally by the dysfunctionality of Congress, which shut down the American government in 2013. China has become bolder about asserting its rights in Asia, while Barack Obama has seemed a defensive president, retreating from Iraq and Afghanistan, unwilling to guide the Arab awakening and keen to ‘outsource’ responsibility in other regions to local powers.”[9]

Meanwhile, the Western Europeans appear to be losing control over their increasingly large and restive immigrant Muslim populations. Nor is this just a question of terrorist attacks, but the much greater long-term threat of the conversion of large numbers, especially of young people, if not to Islam itself (although that, too, is happening), at any rate to an Islamic view of the decadent, capitalist West. The failure of Muslim immigrants to integrate into German society recently led the German Chancellor Angela Merkel to declare that the policy of multiculturalism had failed. And so frightened was Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury, by Islamism in Britain that he suggested the introduction of sharia law in parallel with British common law… The “enemy within” of communists and pro-Soviet intellectuals is being replaced by that of the Islamists and multiculturalists and their critique of the godless, decadent West.

The effect of the blowing-up of the World Trade Towers in New York on 9/11 was electrifying. On the one hand, it reinforced the trend to intervene pre-emptively in any region of the world where democracy was under threat – Bush’s scepticism about overseas interventions changed overnight into a “global war on Terror”. But on the other hand, those interventions became increasingly pyrrhic and counter-productive. Thus the Second Iraq war, while overthrowing a real tyrant, brought to the surface Sunni/Shiite divisions that the tyrant had suppressed. Again, the intervention in Libya to overthrow Gaddafi’s regime exposed divisions in NATO and does not appear to have united Libya itself. Again, while the “Arab Spring” appeared to promise a new wave of pro-western democratization, it also produced an Islamist president in Egypt, the biggest country in the Arab world, and instability in America’s monarchical allies in the Persian Gulf, while the governments of America’s main enemies in the region, Iran and Syria, remain in power in spite of the pressure of sanctions and war...

Whether the liberal elite will be able to solve the ideological challenge posed by the Islamic Revolution seems unlikely – liberalism is powerless in the face of real religious zeal, whether true or false. At the time of writing a reaction to the Islamic threat appears to be developing in Europe, not from the liberals, but from grass-roots anti-liberal forces, as is witnessed by the rapid rise of anti-immigrant parties such as UKIP in Britain. So the near civil war that we see between Islamists and secularists in Egypt in the midst of an officially Muslim culture may be reflected in similar civil war conditions in several countries of the officially secularist West. Western leaders, while offering no solutions to the largely justified Muslim condemnation of western decadence and its devastating effects on family life and social solidarity, have tried to excuse the worst aspects of Islam. They have tried to argue, for example, that the “real” Islam is peaceful, and that it is only contemporary Islamic “fundamentalists” who commit terrorist acts. However, a reading of the Koran and of early Islamic history proves the opposite. Moreover, as Huntingdon has demonstrated, most inter-civilizational conflicts in the contemporary world involve Islamists on one side.

Of course, some Islamic societies in history have been largely peaceful. But this is only so long as, and to the extent that, Islamic faith in those societies has been weak. Whenever we see an increase in religious zeal in Islamic societies, we also see an increase in aggression and violence…

Similarly, while western civilization has known its peaceful periods, this has been very far from the rule. Since its birth in the eleventh century as a schismatic deviation from Orthodox civilization, it has been consistently aggressive and expansionist. Only twelve years after the schism, in 1066, the Pope blessed an invasion of Orthodox England that resulted in the first genocide in European history, the slaughter of an estimated 20% of the English population and the destruction of English Orthodox civilization. This was followed by the Crusades against Orthodox and Muslim societies in the East and Russian Orthodox society in the North. Nor did the Reformation and the Enlightenment essentially change matters. From about the fourteenth century to the early twentieth century wars between states in Central and Western Europe were going on almost continuously. Some of them were very large, such as the Thirty Years War in Germany, which killed one-third of the population, and the Napoleonic Wars, not to speak of the terrible slaughter of the World Wars.

Meanwhile, westerners were causing death on a large scale in their overseas colonial dominions. Among the most serious death-tolls were those of the Indians of North America at the hands of the White Americans, and the Mayans and Incas of Central and South America at the hands of the Spaniards. Several western nations had a hand in the slave trade from Africa to America. In Africa itself, the Congolese suffered horrific genocide at the hands of the Belgians, and the Hereros of South-West Africa at the hands of the Germans. Later slaughters in Africa included the Ethiopians at the hands of the Italians, the Mau-Mau of Kenya at the hands of the British and the Algerians at the hands of the French. Of course, the British had the largest empire, and if specific genocides at their hands are not known, very harmful exploitation that may have had a similar long-term effect did take place, as in the neglect of the Irish famine, or in the destruction of the native Indian textile industry, or in the imposition of the opium trade on China at the Treaty of Nanking in 1842. “The White Man’s Burden” was to bring western civilization to the rest of the world. But the reality was that the non-European civilizations were sacrificed on the altar of European profit, which required that these civilizations open themselves to “Free Trade” as if it were the supreme Christian value. As the British consul in Canton blasphemously put it: “Jesus Christ is Free Trade, and Free Trade is Jesus Christ”…

But of course much has changed since the nineteenth century… Now, belief both in Free Trade and in Jesus Christ have declined dramatically, and the West has to take account of altogether more powerful rivals - Russia, China and the Islamic world. If this very formidable alliance of European, Middle Eastern and Far Eastern powers against the West were not enough to put a damper on any dreams of global domination that the Americans might have, they must be deeply worried by the divisions in their own ranks. America’s two main allies in the Far East, South Korea and Japan, are quarrelling with each other and with Washington[10]. Her main ally in the Middle East, Israel, is seen as a liability more than an asset by sixteen intelligence agencies.[11] And her other main ally in the region, Turkey, is moving slowly but surely in an Islamist direction as Prime Minister Erdogan talks less about Europe and more about the Middle East and the Turkic-speaking countries of Asia.[12] In South America, Venezuela under Chavez has followed Cuba in defying the Monroe doctrine. And “old Europe”, upset by the revelations of Edward Snowden on Wikileaks, and dependent on Russia for energy, has gone back to its old Cold War pastime of flirting with Moscow and Beijing. As for “new Europe”, the former communist states of Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic States, they are furious with Obama’s surrender to Putin on the stationing of missiles in Poland and Czechoslovakia. And Ukraine recently abandoned its preliminary bid to have a trade agreement with the European Union under pressure from Moscow…

Moreover, democracy is suffering setbacks in its own homelands, especially the “democratic deficit” in the European Union with its unaccountable Commission, weak parliament and indifferent national populations. Thus in March, 2012 the economic crisis led European politicians to sign a “European Fiscal Compact” (or “Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union”) that threatened the submergence of what remained of national sovereignty into a truly totalitarian state.[13] The trend worldwide is towards State capitalism; and democracy – or “demonocracy”, as it is known in Russia – is rapidly losing its lustre and status as a criterion of legitimacy.

So although a resurgence of the West cannot be ruled out (Chinese and Islamic civilizations have also undergone periods of decline and recovery), it looks increasingly unlikely that it can survive the next global financial crisis, let alone a war with China. Moreover, when the fall comes it is likely to be rapid.[14] Japanese philosopher Takeshi Umehara might well be right when he says: “The total failure of Marxism… and the dramatic break-up of the Soviet Union are only the precursors to the collapse of Western liberalism, the main current of modernity. Far from being the alternative to Marxism and the reigning ideology at the end of history, liberalism will be the next domino to fall…”[15]


Chinese Civilization

From a worldly, secular point of view, by far the most likely civilization to take over the role of global hegemon is China… China acquired both cultural and political unity at about the same time as Rome – in the late third century BC. Just as the Rome’s final conquest of Carthage in 202 BC finally established her as the dominant power in the Western Mediterranean, which dominance was extended to the East by the battle of Actium in 31 BC, so the victory of the Ch’in over their last enemy in 221 BC established that there would be only one Chinese State on the North China plain, while the early Han dynasty had extended this rule over almost the whole of modern China by its fall in 9 BC.

Each universal empire proclaimed its exclusion of the northern barbarians who did not share in their civilization by building a wall – Hadrian’s wall in the Roman West, and the far longer (1400-mile) and more massive Great Wall of China. But there the similarities end. Let us begin with the walls. Hadrian’s wall was built by Roman professional soldiers, at no significant cost in lives. But the Great Wall of China, according to legend, cost a million lives. And this was only one of the empire’s vast public works, such as the system of canals linking the Yangtse River with the Yellow River to the north and Hangchow to the south. J.M. Roberts writes: “Millions of labourers were employed on this and on other great irrigation schemes. Such works are comparable in scale with the Pyramids and surpass the great cathedrals of medieval Europe. They imposed equally heavy social costs, too, and there were revolts against conscription for building and guard duties.”[16]

Thus China was essentially the same kind of despotism as the pagan empires of Egypt and Babylon, whereas Rome, the ancestor of western civilization, evolved a unique state system composed of republican, aristocratic and despotic elements. This meant that the characteristic, and vitally important combination of freedom and discipline that characterised Roman statehood was lacking in China. Moreover, the conflation of religion and the state that we see in the Egyptian and Babylonian systems of king-worship was still more clearly evident in China.

Already in the Shang dynasty the king, according to Jacques Gernet, was both “head of the armies and chief priest”.[17] Igor Shafarevich writes that the kings even in this very early period ruled in a despotic, quasi-socialist manner: they called their subjects “cattle”, their graves were surrounded by thousands of corpses of those killed to accompany them into the next life, agriculture was controlled by the king’s bureaucrats, even the time of marriages was determined by the State.[18]

These despotic tendencies came to their peak in the reign of the first Ch’in emperor, Shihuang. Guisso and Pagani write: “Although Shihuang had only eleven more years to live after [uniting the Warring States and] founding his dynasty, under his rule a total transformation of the land we now call China took place. He created new administrative units for the capital city of Xianyang and the rest of the country, he abolished the feudal system of landholding and removed the aristocratic warlords. Weights, measures and currencies were standardized throughout the land, and even such details as the width of chariot axles were regulated to help prevent ruts in the thousands of miles of new roads that were being constructed. The various and confusing local scripts were eliminated and one standardized script used throughout the land where a uniform and enormously detailed code of law was imposed everywhere.

“Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of labourers and convicts were conscripted into Shihuang’s great building projects – the canals and irrigation works plus the hundreds of palaces and pavilions for the nobles whom he had moved away from their own conquered territories in order to weaken their power. His most magnificent works, those which would make his name immortal, were also being carried out during this period of enormous change – the Great Wall, his fabled palace at Afang and his enormous tomb where his childless concubines were buried with him.

“And in the year 213 BC an event took place which would make the First Emperor infamous to all succeeding generations – the burning of the country’s books followed by the deaths of 460 scholars of the period whom he buried alive.”[19]

In many ways, Shihuang represents the archetypal despot: his rise to power as a warrior, his drive for uniformity, his cruelty, megalomania and paranoia, his building projects, his militarisation of society, his mass displacement of vast numbers of people, his distrust of thinkers and book-learning, his fear of death and search for immortality. It is not, therefore, surprising that the modern despot Mao Tse-tung – who, like Shihuang, seized control over the whole of China from a power-base in the north-west - should have looked to him as a role model.

“In 1958 at a meeting of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao remarked that Qin Shihuang was a ruler who advocated the extermination of those who ‘used the past to criticize the present.’ Mao went on to say, ‘What does he amount to anyway? He buried only 460 scholars, while we have buried 46,000 counter revolutionary scholars alive.’”[20] Again, “Mao praised Lord Shang, a brutal minister in the ancient Qing dynasty, describing both the wisdom and necessity of Lord Shang’s decrees. These included enslaving the lazy, linking households into networks of mutual surveillance and responsibility, and punishing those who failed to report crimes by slicing them in two at the waist”.[21]

The vast structure of Chinese despotism rested upon a complex of ritual rules and hierarchies of family cults whose summit and linchpin was the emperor. It is the emperor, writes Gernet, who, by creating titles and ranks based on merits and demerits, “’secretes’ the order which ensures the regular functioning of society as a whole. Since he does this, he does not intervene in quarrels; he contents himself with installing a mechanism which avoids them because it is based on the universal consensus… being completely impartial, he is the source and guarantor of universal order…”[22]

“No private undertaking nor any aspect of public life could escape official regulation. In the first place there was a whole series of state monopolies… This welfare state superintended, to the minutest detail, every step its subjects took from the cradle to the grave…”[23]

However, the most extraordinary thing about the First Emperor was not the vastness of his despotism, but its permanence. After all, in spite of changes of dynasty, Chinese despotism lasted for another 2100 years and more! Such extraordinary longevity requires an explanation…

The first reason lies in the fact that China, unlike Rome, was geographically isolated and so had few rivals. With the exception of the Mongols, no other nation attempted to conquer it, whereas Rome had to contend with Carthaginians, Parthians, Picts, Irish, Franks, Vandals, Huns, Goths, Alans, Bulgars, Pechenegs, Russians, Khazars, Arabs, Turks and Jews, not to mention internal revolts by disaffected generals. Moreover, the Chinese managed to swallow up the barbarians that invaded her, making them into another form of Chinese, whereas the Romans were too few numerically to do that.

“The huge prestige and attraction,” writes Dominic Lieven, “not only of Chinese high culture but also of China’s technology, for instance its agricultural techniques, were a great source of both pride and power for the Chinese and their empire. Conquered peoples often assimilated willingly over time, bowing to the superiority of their rulers’ civilization. Much the same was true of Roman rule in Western Europe,”[24] especially through the religion that they adopted in their maturity – Christianity. And yet no Germanic tribal ruler, however great his admiration for Roman civilization, would have done the equivalent of what one Tatar ruler did – impose Chinese customs and dress on his people by decree.[25]

However, this seeming strength of Chinese civilization contained within itself one of its major weaknesses – racial pride. The Romans were able to see the superiority of the Greek civilization which they absorbed, and to learn from it. An especially important innovation made by the Romans was the concept of universal citizenship, regardless of race or religion.

This was introduced in 212 for all free subjects of the empire, which meant that these subjects could both identify with the empire as their own country and rise to the highest positions within it. Already in the first century we hear St. Paul, a member of a savagely treated subject nation, nevertheless saying without shame or sense of contradiction: “Civis romanus sum”, “I am a Roman citizen”. And already from the beginning of the second century, we find non-Roman emperors of Rome; they came from as far afield as Spain and Arabia, Dacia and Africa. For, as Rutilius Namatianus said of Rome: “You have made out of diverse races one patria”.

The Chinese, on the other hand, were so convinced of their infinite superiority over all non-Chinese that, as Dominic Lieven writes, “from the Han era until today few Chinese have ever doubted the absolute superiority of their culture to all others in the region. One contemporary expert on China’s minority peoples speaks of ‘an innate, almost visceral Han sense of superiority.’”[26] This conception was reinforced by the attitude of other eastern peoples to them, so that when the first western embassies came to them in the nineteenth century they thought that they must be bringing tribute, and could not understand the westerners’ refusal to kow-tow to them. That arrogance cost them dear, and led to the final collapse of the Chinese empire in 1911 and its surrender to communism in 1949.

But the most important element determining the fate of any empire is its religion. The Romans’ adoption of Christianity under St. Constantine probably extended the life of their empire for another eleven hundred years, giving it discipline and stability but at the same time the freedom to think and strive beyond the earthly homeland to the Heavenly Kingdom. The Chinese adoption of Confucianism, on the other hand, while introducing discipline and order - Confucius’ definition of good government was: “May the prince be a prince, the subject a subject, the father a father, the son a son”[27] – suppressed the striving for higher things.[28]

As Roberts writes: “Over a social ocean in which families were the fish that mattered presided one Leviathan, the state. To it and to the family the Confucians looked for authority; those institutions were unchallenged by others, for in China there were no entities such as Church or communes which confused questions of right and government so fruitfully in Europe”.[29] This is not to say that Confucianism never countenanced any rebellion against the state. But rebellion was rationalised in terms of a new “mandate from heaven” in such a way as to preserve the foundations of society intact. “For Confucian principles taught that, although rebellion was wrong if a true king reigned, a government which provoked rebellion and could not control it ought to be replaced for it was ipso facto illegitimate.”[30]

Thus Hegel’s later idea of the State as "the divine idea on earth" was in essence a reformulation of the Confucian Chinese conception of the State as the reflection of the impersonal heavenly order which rules the world and man. For, as N.N. Alexeyev writes, "for Confucius, as for Hegel, the State is 'the highest form of objective morality', than which there is nothing higher".[31] This may partially explain why the Chinese accepted communism, with its Hegelian philosophical roots, so quickly…

Now for about 150 years, from the Treaty of Nanking in 1842 to Tiananmen Square in 1992, it looked as if western civilization in one or another of its forms might overcome the older Chinese civilization. First came the Taiping rebellion led by a man claiming to be the younger brother of Jesus Christ, which caused between 20 and 40 million deaths and ended with the fall of the Taiping capital of Nanking in 1864. Then came the long period of western capitalist dominance, beginning with the sack of Peking by an Anglo-French force in 1860 and punctuated by failed rebellions such as that of the Boxers in 1900 and the intervention of other civilizations such as that of the Japanese in the 1930s. Finally, from 1949 China adopted another variant of western civilization, communism, which seemed on the verge of falling to the worldwide wave of democratization that began in 1989.

But the Chinese communist leaders, unlike their colleagues in Russia, held their nerve and held on to power. However, the result was not a return to old-style Marxist communism, nor liberalization in any but the economic sphere. Rather, China seems to be returning in essence to the old empire-civilization, the Confucian Middle Kingdom, an intensely nationalist civilization that extends its power over neighbouring lands not so much by war as by sheer demographic and economic dominance.

Thus the Far Eastern province of Russia is already overrun by Chinese, while Chinese entrepreneurs are outshining their Russian colleagues in other parts of Siberia. In almost every other economy in the Far East, with the exception of South Korea and Japan, a small Chinese elite seems to hold the economic cards. Chinese investment in Africa is already huge. As for the West, large chunks of western industry, commerce and real estate are being taken over by the Chinese, and European governments go cap in hand to the Chinese asking for loans and investment.

This increasing influence of China abroad sometimes causes resentment among the indigenous population (for example, in Indonesia). But the Chinese overseas have always stressed their dutiful obedience to their adopted countries. The Chinese are extending their influence by “soft” rather than “hard” power – for the time being, at any rate…

“China’s soft power,” predicts Jonathan Friedland, “will make itself felt in every aspect of Western lives [in 2014]. Business may slow during late January, thanks to the Chinese new year. The seasonal habit of hanging lanterns from the trees may cross the Pacific, the way Hallowe’en masks travelled back to Europe across the Atlantic. The Olympic games and football World Cup will have to adjust their timetables to accommodate the world’s largest television audience.

“The classiest hotels will have signs in English and Mandarin, welcoming the new rich. Western politicians will all but beg for Chinese investment. And American Lord Granthams, eminent men without money, will marry Chinese Coras, women without lineage but with plenty of spare cash.

“American and European elites will pride themselves on knowing the names of the rising stars of Chinese politics, the way they used to know the early field for Iowa and New Hampshire. They will follow China for the same reason Willie Sutton said he robbed banks: ‘Because that’s where the money is’.”[32]

And if this seems very superficial and short-term, we must remember that fashions in important ideas, too, tend to follow the money. Societies that are perceived to be powerful and successful in material terms are usually imitated in more profound matters. So the growth in Chinese soft power, backed up as it is by increasing hard power, will most likely continue to erode the prestige of western democracy and humanrightism throughout the world. The greater emphasis of the Chinese on the collective as opposed to the individual appeals to many who see the absurdities of the selfish, individualistic western obsession with human rights. And if Chinese civilization seems at first too China-centred to have a truly universal appeal, we could have said that with even greater conviction of western civilization in the nineteenth century with its barely-concealed racism. There is no reason at all – apart, as we shall see, from the prophecies of the Holy Scriptures – why China should not succeed the West as the world’s next global civilization…

In view of the exponential growth of its economy, it is sometimes thought that China is a truly modern state in the making and must eventually become a member of the New World Order (NWO), if it is not one already. But only a fantasist could think that the Jews and Masons control China as they control the West! Moreover, it must not be forgotten that, while modernizing its economy, China has not modernized its political system apart from jettisoning Marxism; it is still despotic and therefore part of the Old World Order (OWO), that Old World Order of anti-christian despotism that extends as far back as the pre-Christian despotisms of Egypt, Babylon and Ancient China.

Nor has this changed under China’s new leader, Xi Jinping (even if his wife is a pop star). As Jonathan Fenby writes, “there is no doubting his complete attachment to the party state he heads. This year [2013] has seen a toughening of the clampdown on dissent and an insistence by Mr. Xi on the need for absolute loyalty to the regime. He has resurrected Maoist ideology on party power. Western ideas of plurality and democracy have no place in his people’s republic…”[33]

China’s main weaknesses are the instability and corruption inevitably created by rapid economic growth and the monopoly power of the party over that growth. Thus “the show trial of Mr. Xi’s erstwhile rival, Bo Xilai, opened many Chinese eyes to the opulence of the country’s princelings. Americans may moan about money politics, but the wealth of the richest 50 members of Congress if $1.6 billion, compared with $95 billion for the richest 50 members of China’s People’s Congress. More such revelations will surely come.”[34] Riots and strikes are common in China today – contrary to the common opinion, there is a tradition of protest in Chinese history.

However, unlike the Soviet Union under Gorbachev, glasnost’ has been decoupled from perestroika in China. The authorities retain a formidable power over the people, and China remains one of the few major countries that has made determined efforts to control even the internet. As long as most people get richer, and China’s perceived status in the world continues to rise, it is unlikely that the government will be overthrown from within.

Another weakness of China is her aging population, which was caused by the communist government’s one-child policy. Xi Jinping has just announced the abandonment of that policy, but that still leaves the disastrous legacy of that policy: a vast excess of males over females. Now masculine energy that cannot be directed towards employment or the building of families can easily be redirected towards another traditional occupation of young males – war. This brings us to the question of China’s “hard” power, her military, into which very large resources have been poured of late. How is China likely to use her enormous military power, second only to that of the United States?

In the Book of Revelation the army of “the kings of the East” is said to number 200 million (9.12-19, 16.12), and marches to the River Euphrates. By “coincidence”, the Chinese military is reported to be able to put 200 million men into the field… [35] Their heading for the River Euphrates, the heart of the Islamic world, points to a phenomenon that is already clearly evident: the aggiornamento of China and Islam, especially Pakistan and Iran, which, though not a natural partnership since they constitute different civilizations, nevertheless makes sense as an alliance against American hegemony.

Such an alliance can also count on two other resources that could bring America to her knees even without a shot being fired: Arabic oil and Chinese purchases of American bonds. And although America’s “fracking” revolution has lessened her dependence on Arabic oil, and the symbiosis between the Chinese and American economies – Niall Ferguson has called it “Chimerica”[36] - means that the Chinese would suffer almost as much as the Americans if they sold American bonds, the fact remains that western civilization is uniquely vulnerable to these two threats.

A third threat related to the first two is that oil and gas will begin to be paid for in euros or some other currency rather than the dollar – which might well bring down the dollar. Iran, with the support of Russia and China, has suggested creating a petroeuro market. It has been suggested that this threat, rather than that of the building of a nuclear bomb, is the real reason why America has been trying to bring about regime change in Iran and in its close ally, Syria…[37]

In spite of the fact that China combines the cruelty and atheism of communism with the luxuriousness and immorality of capitalism[38], it is treated with great respect by most anti-globalists. They trust her because she is clearly ruled neither by the Americans nor by the Jews and so cannot be part of the NWO – although she is in some ways (for example, in information control) the most advanced and sophisticated country in the world. And although all political and economic analysts predict that China will overtake America as the world’s most powerful nation in the near future, the anti-globalists either ignore this prospect or contemplate it with equanimity…


The Islamic Civilization

If the main difference between the western and Chinese civilizations is that China places the rights of the collective over the rights of the individual, thereby giving the state a despotic power and discouraging freedom of thought, the main difference between the Islamic civilization and the other two is that it places religion above the state, and religious law above state law.

In his fine work, The West and the Rest: Globalization and the Terrorist Threat[39], the philosopher Roger Scruton has probed the difference between western and Islamic civilization in an illuminating way. The core religion of the West, Christianity, grew up in the context of the Roman empire, and from the beginning gave the state a certain autonomy in its own sphere. The Christian was obliged to obey the state in all its laws which did not directly contradict the commandment of God: “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s”. Although his ultimate loyalty was to God, the Christian was also a citizen of the state, and owed it loyalty. The Christians did not rebel against the State, but gradually worked on its crude mores until it became Christian itself. Then Church and State worked in harmony with each other in a “symphony of powers”.

The Church was universal, and had members in many different countries. The State, on the other hand, was territorial, being based on the feeling of a common destiny of all or most of the people on that territory, reinforced by commonalities of language, culture and religion. This dual loyalty – albeit with the prior and absolute loyalty belonging to God alone - was at the basis of Christian civilization.

Islam, however, did not encourage the growth of stable territorial nation-states or empires. There were tribes, and there was the universal, global religion, and very little in between. There was shariah, the law of Allah, but very little in the way of state law, and certainly nothing comparable to the legal structurescreated by Constantine or Justinian. The Muslims considered “the People of the Book”, the Jews and Christians, to be higher than pagans and therefore entitled to some rights. But there was no such thing as equality under the law for all citizens, regardless of their faith, a typically Roman conception.

Although Mohammed conquered the Middle East by fire and sword, he did not proclaim himself a king, still less a Persian-style “king of kings”. He was, in his own estimation and that of his followers, a prophet, the messenger of one of the Arabian pagan deities, the moon-god Allah, whom he proclaimed to be the one true God and whose symbol, the moon-crescent, he took as the symbol of his new religion. In spite of these clearly pagan origins of his faith, Mohammed claimed to abhor every kind of man-worship and idolatry – that is, the old-style politics of the Middle East – in favour of a new, God-centred politics.

And indeed, as Bernard Lewis points out, “the power wielded by the early caliphs [the successors of Mohammed] was very far from the despotism of their predecessors and successors. It was limited by the political ethics of Islam and by the anti-authoritarian habits and traditions of ancient Arabia. A verse attributed to the pre-Islamic Arabic poet ‘Abid ibn al-Abras speaks of his tribe as ‘laqah’, a word which, according to the ancient commentators and lexicographers, denotes a tribe that has never submitted to a king. ‘Abid’s proud description of his people makes his meaning clear:

They refused to be servants of kings, and were never ruled by any.

But when they were called on for help in war, they responded gladly.

“The ancient Arabs, like the ancient Israelites depicted in the books of Judges and Samuel, mistrusted kings and the institution of kingship. They were, indeed, familiar with the institution of monarchy in the surrounding countries, and some were even led to adopt it. There were kings in the states of southern Arabia; there were kings in the border principalities of the north; but all these were in different degrees marginal to Arabia. The sedentary kingdoms of the south used a different language, and were part of a different culture. The border principalities of the north, though authentically Arab, were deeply influenced by Persian and Byzantine imperial practice, and represent a somewhat alien element in the Arab world…

“The early Muslims were well aware of the nature of imperial monarchy as practised in their own day in Byzantium and in Persia, and believed that the state founded by the Prophet and governed after him by his successors the caliphs represented something new and different…”[40]

In what way was it different? According to Miloslavskaya and Miloslavsky, the difference consisted in the idea that society must be ruled by the commands of Allah, and not by the laws of men, and that the caliphate's secular and spiritual powers (the sultanate and the imamate) are indivisible.[41] However, this indivisibility of powers resulted in a gradual undermining of the quasi-democratic ideal of early Islam by the reality of the caliphs’ almost unlimited power.

On the one hand, the caliphs wanted to create an order in which, “as ideally conceived, there were to be no priests, no church, no kings and no nobles, no privileged orders or castes or estates of any kind, save only for the self-evident superiority of those who accept the true faith to those who wilfully reject it – and of course such obvious natural and social realities as the superiority of man to woman and of master to slave.”[42] But on the other hand, they were military leaders, and success in war, especially against peoples trained in obedience to autocratic or despotic leaders, required that they should be able to command no less obedience.

In 747, Abu Muslim, a manumitted Persian slave, raised the standard of revolt, defeated the Umayyad caliph and created the Abbasid dynasty. A few years later, Al-Mansur (754-775) moved the capital of the empire to Baghdad, where it came under the influence of Persia with its strong despotic tradition. And so Muslim “democratism” soon passed into a despotism no less fierce than the monarchies that Islam had destroyed. The caliphs of the ninth century, particularly Mamun (813-833), believed their authority to be unlimited. And at the beginning of the eleventh century, the Fatimid ruler Al-Hakim even believed he was god.

“The increasingly authoritarian character of government”, writes Lewis, “and the disappointment of successful revolutionaries is vividly expressed in a passage quoted by several classical authors. A certain Sudayf, a supporter of the Abbasids, is cited as complaining of the changes resulting from the fall of the Umayyads and the accession of the Abbasids to the caliphate: ‘By God, our booty, which was shared, has become a perquisite of the rich. Our leadership, which was consultative, has become arbitrary. Our succession, which was by the choice of the community, is now by inheritance.”[43]

The question whether the caliphate should be elective or hereditary was one of the questions dividing the Sunni from the Shiite Muslims. “The Shia maintained that the caliphate should be hereditary in the line of the Prophet, and therefore that all the caliphs, except only for the brief rule of Ali and of his son Hasan, were usurpers. The more generally accepted view of the Sunni Muslims was that the caliphate was elective, and any member of the Prophet’s tribe, Quraysh, was eligible”.[44] Al-Mansur in Spain made the caliphate there hereditary, but thirty years after his death the people abolished it altogether.

That Muslim statehood should become despotic was a natural consequence of the lack of a separation of Church and State, which gave an absolute, unchecked power to the Caliphs, embodying as they did both religious and political authority. Another of the differences between the Sunnis and the Shiites was that the latter believed in a certain separation between the Church (the imamate) and the State. Thus Karen Armstrong writes: “The doctrine of the imamate demonstrated the extreme difficulty of incarnating a divine imperative in the tragic conditions of ordinary political life. Shiites held that every single one of the imams had been murdered by the caliph of his day.” In 934 it was believed that the last of the imams had been miraculously concealed by God. “The myth of the Hidden Imam… symbolized the impossibility of implementing a truly religious policy in this world, since the caliphs had destroyed Ali’s line and driven the ilm [the knowledge of what is right] from the earth. Henceforth the Shii ulama [learned men, guardians of the legal and religious traditions of Islam] became the representatives of the Hidden Imam, and used their own mystical and rational insights to apprehend his will. Twelver Shiis (who believe in the twelve imams) would take not further part in political life, since in the absence of the Hidden Imam, the true leader of the ummah [the Muslim community], no government could be legitimate.”[45]

Another reason for the despotism inherent in Islam is the belief that all people are bound to obey Allah, and that those who do not obey – with the partial exceptions of the Jews and Christians - have no right either to life or freedom or property. This, combined with their further beliefs in fatalism and in the automatic entrance of all Muslims that die in the struggle with the unbelievers into the joys of Paradise, made the Muslim armies of the early Arab caliphate, as of the later Turkish sultanate, a formidable expansionary force in world politics.

Thus the Koran says: “O believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Let them find firmness in you” (Sura: 9; Ayat: 123). “Fight those who believe not… even if they be People of the Book [Jews and Christians] until they willingly agree to pay the tribute in recognition of their submissive state” (Sura: 9; Ayat: 29). “You will be called to fight a mighty nation; fight them until they embrace Islam” (Sura: 48; Ayat: 16).

As L.A. Tikhomirov wrote: “In submitting without question to God, the Muslim becomes a spreader of the power of God on earth. Everyone is obliged to submit to Allah, whether they want to or not. If they do not submit, then they have no right to live. Therefore the pagans are subject either to conversion to Islam, or to extermination. Violent conversion to Islam, is nothing prejudicial, from the Muslim point of view, for people are obliged to obey God without question, not because they desire it, but because Allah demands this of them.”[46]

Again, as Kenneth Craig writes, holy war, or jihad, “was believed to be the recovery by Islam of what by right belonged to it as the true and final religion but which had been alienated from it by the unbelief or perversity embodied in the minorities whose survival – but no more – it allowed....”[47]

Having this essentially negative attitude to politics, we can see why the Muslims have had such difficulty in establishing stable, loyal attitudes to political authorities, whether Islamic or western. Since the fall of the Ottoman empire in 1918, no political regime, whether nationalist or secularist (Baathist or Kemalist), has arisen in the Middle East that commands the loyalty of all the Islamic peoples. And yet there is no doubt that the Muslims long for a Caliph that will unite them and crush the infidel…

The Islamic religious resurgence can be said to have started with the overthrow of the Shah of Iran in 1979. But in accordance with its religious nature, the revolution in Iran did not remain like Stalin’s “socialism in one country”, with its cruel, but cool-headed political calculation. It was much closer to Trotsky’s wildly fanatical concept of world revolution.

Thus in December, 1984 Ayatollah Khomeini said in a speech: “If one allows the infidels to continue playing their role of corrupters on Earth, their eventual moral punishment will be all the stronger. Thus, if we kill the infidels in order to put a stop to their [corrupting] activities, we have indeed done them a service. For their eventual punishment will be less. To allow the infidels to stay alive means to let them do more corrupting. [To kill them] is a surgical operation commanded by Allah the Creator… Those who follow the rules of the Koran are aware that we have to apply the laws of qissas [retribution] and that we have to kill… War is a blessing for the world and for every nation. It is Allah himself who commands men to wage war and kill.”

After citing these words, Scruton writes: “The element of insanity in these words should not blind us to the fact that they adequately convey a mood, a legacy, and a goal that inspire young people all over the Islamic world. Moreover,… there is no doubt that Khomeini’s interpretation of the Prophet’s message is capable of textual support, and that it reflects the very confiscation of the political that has been the principal feature of Islamic revolutions in the modern world…

“… Even while enjoying the peace, prosperity, and freedom that issue from a secular rule of law, a person who regards the shari’a as the unique path to salvation may see these things only as the signs of a spiritual emptiness or corruption. For someone like Khomeini, human rights and secular governments display the decadence of Western civilization, which has failed to arm itself against those who intend to destroy it and hopes to appease them instead. The message is that there can be no compromise, and systems that make compromise and conciliation into their ruling principles are merely aspects of the Devil’s work.

“Khomeini is a figure of great historic importance for three reasons. First, he showed that Islamic government is a viable option in the modern world, so destroying the belief that Westernization and secularization are inevitable. Second, through the activities of the Hizbullah (Party of Allah) in Lebanon, he made the exportation of the Islamic Revolution the cornerstone of his foreign policy. Third, he endowed the Islamic revival with a Shi’ite physiognomy, so making martyrdom a central part of its strategy.”[48]

The Islamic Revolution gathered strength during the successful war to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan in 1979-89. Many of the Mujaheddin who fought against the Russians in Afghanistan then went on to fight the Croats and the Serbs in Bosnia in the early 1990s. And then NATO in Afghanistan…

The Revolution suffered an apparent setback in the First Iraq War of 1990. However, the result of that war in military terms proved to be less important than its effect in galvanizing Muslim opinion throughout the world against the western “crusaders”, who had once again intervened on sacred Muslim soil for purely selfish reasons (oil).

These feelings were greatly exacerbated by the Second Iraq War, and by the NATO intervention in Afghanistan. It was not that most Muslims could not see the evil of Saddam Hussein or the Taliban. But as we have seen, such notions as political freedom and human rights mean little to the Muslim mind. Much more important to them is the principle that the followers of the true faith should be able to sort out their problems by themselves without the help of the corrupt infidels. True, in the Kosovan war of 1998-99 the West overcame its internal differences and hesitations to intervene decisively on the side of the Albanian Muslims against the Serbs. But this also annoyed the Muslims, who would have preferred that Muslim interests should have been defended by Muslims...


The Orthodox Civilization

Russia stands equidistant from the Western civilization to the west, the Chinese civilization to the east and the Islamic civilization to the south, but represents the most powerful member of a quite distinct civilization, that of Orthodox Christian Romanity. Russia inherited her Orthodoxy and Romanity from Byzantium in the tenth century after St. Vladimir quite consciously rejected the western, Jewish and Islamic religions. In spite of two hundred years under the Mongol yoke (the same Mongols who conquered China), Russia remained relatively uncontaminated by foreign civilizational influences until towards the end of the seventeenth century. In this period she retained the classically Byzantine “symphony of powers” between Church and State that distinguished her both from the engulfment of religion by politics that was common in the West and China, and from the engulfment of politics by religion that was common in the Islamic world.

But then Peter the Great adopted western-style absolutism, opened “a window to the West”, and a century later the governing elite was only superficially Orthodox… At the same time the first peaceful contacts were being made with the Chinese empire, and the first warlike encounters with the Ottoman empire, as the Russians strove to liberate their fellow-Orthodox in the Balkans and the Middle East from the Muslim yoke and replace the crescent with the Cross on Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.

This noble aim came very close to being achieved in 1916 as Russian armies defeated the Ottomans in the east and the Austrians in the south. But then came the revolution, and Russia fell under a yoke that was western in its ideological inspiration but thoroughly Asiatic in its despotic cruelty. Hardly less cruel, however, was the disappointment felt by all True Orthodox after the fall of communism in 1991, when True Orthodoxy was not restored to Russia. Instead, we witnessed a decade of anarchical democratism in the 1990s under Yeltsin, and then, from January 1, 2000, the “sovereign democracy” of Putin.

What does Putin mean by “sovereign democracy”? As always with this consummate politician, the propaganda meaning and the real meaning are quite different. For propaganda purposes, it means that while Russia is a democratic nation, and therefore sits at the same table as the other G-8 nations, she is completely independent of the West in everything that matters. In particular, it means that Russia will not be pushed around by America or NATO – hatred of America is perhaps Putin’s deepest motive (after the acquisition of vast wealth). Here the decisive factor appears to be the still-unexorcised demons of the Cold War, and the burning desire of the loser (Putin calls the fall of the USSR a “geopolitical tragedy”) to take revenge on the victor, like the seventh head of the beast who is defeated and wounded but miraculously recovers (Revelation 13.3). Perhaps nostalgia for the Chinese-Russian alliance in communist times also plays a part - in the mind of Putin, if not in that of the completely unsentimental leadership of the Middle Kingdom.

The real meaning of “sovereign democracy”, however, is that authoritarianism is back - sovereignty in Russia belongs now, not to the people, but to one man. Yegor Kholmogorov claims that Putin has a “mandate from heaven” in the image of the Chinese emperors. And he does indeed resemble a Chinese emperor more than a democratic politician, not only in his despotic political style, but also in his fabulous personal wealth… [49] Putin pretends to be all things to all men: a democrat with the democrats, a Stalinist with the Stalinists, a nationalist with the nationalists, and an Orthodox with the Orthodox. But the truth is (as most Russians are coming to agree – his popularity has dropped sharply of late) that he is loyal only to himself and his fellow bandits, who have amassed extraordinary fortunes through repression, corruption and simple theft.

In accordance with his anti-Americanism, and his fondness for the Eurasian ideology, Putin is seeking an alliance with China and selected Muslim countries in order to counter America’s hegemony. But this alliance is even more unnatural than one with the West, for Russia’s traditional enemies have included invaders from across the Eurasian steppe no less than the Central European plain. Moreover, Russia has major problems with its large and growing Muslim minorities, which have already led to wars in Chechnya and Tadjikstan and may cause further conflicts if, for example, the Tatars seek independence. Again, Russia could easily get involved in war with Islamic countries just beyond her boundaries, particularly the traditional enemy of Turkey, with which she came into conflict over Armenia in 1992-93 and again just recently over Syria. As for China, we have seen that whatever pious words of friendship the two former communist allies may mouth, the Chinese already have vast demographic and commercial power in Siberia, over parts of which they have territorial claims, and which they must see as a critical part of their worldwide drive for reliable energy supplies. In view of this, Russia’s cheap sale of military technology and energy to the Chinese[50] must be regarded as very short-sighted, ignoring as it does the fact that, as we have seen, China’s very rapid military build-up is directed as much against Russia as against anyone else...

From an Orthodox point of view, the spiritual and physical health of Russia is a matter of the most vital concern. The Balkan countries are too wrapped up in their nationalist egoisms to take up the banner of Universal Orthodoxy, and are in any case too weak to have a wide influence. Only Russia, with her relatively recent imperial past and her hundreds of thousands of martyrs under the Soviet yoke, has the potential to unite the Orthodox and revive the Orthodox faith worldwide.

However, under Putin Russia has retreated further from True Orthodoxy. His coming to power in fact represented the return to power of the KGB/FSB in Russia. As Martin Sixsmith writes, “in December 1999,… Vladimir Putin went to celebrate his election victory with his old comrades at the FSB. When the toasts came round and Putin proposed they should drink ‘To Comrade Stalin’ there was a shocked silence followed by a loud cheer. Putin opened his celebratory speech by jokingly telling his former colleagues: ‘The agent group charged with taking the government under control has completed the first stage of its assignment.’…”[51]

He moved on extraordinarily quickly to the next stage: the re-establishment of the former USSR’s obsession with military power. Thus, as Masha Gessen writes, only his second decree “established a new Russian military doctrine, abandoning the old no-first-strike policy regarding nuclear weapons and emphasizing a right to use them against aggressors ‘if other means of conflict resolution have been exhausted or deemed ineffective’. Soon another decree re-established mandatory training exercises for reservists (all Russian able-bodied men were considered reservists) – something that had been abolished, to the relief of Russian wives and mothers, after the country withdrew from Afghanistan. Two of the decree’s six paragraphs were classified as secret, suggesting they might shed light on whether reservists should expect to be sent to Chechnya. A few days later, Putin issued an order granting forty government ministers and other officials to classify information as secret, in direct violation of the constitution. He also re-established mandatory military training in secondary schools, both public and private; this subject, which for boys involved taking apart, cleaning, and putting back together a Kalashnikov, had been abolished during perestroika. In all, six of the eleven decrees Putin issued in his first two months as acting president concerning the military. On January 27 [Prime Minister] Kasyanov announced that defense spending would be increased by 50 percent – this in a country that was still failing to meet its international debt obligations and was seeing most of its population sink further and further into poverty…”[52]

With Putin the Russian revolution has entered what may be its last phase before its final destruction. His regime claims to be the successor both of the RSFSR and the USSR and even of the pre-revolutionary Russian State. It may be described as neo-Soviet without Marxism but with “Orthodoxy” – and all under the control of the KGB/FSB. It draws support from a heady mixture of conflicting constituencies: nationalists and democrats and monarchists, conservative Orthodox and pagan mystics and atheists, westerners and capitalists and Slavophiles. Putin aims to find a place for all the Russias of the last century. Only one condition is attached: that Putin’s regime is accepted as the lawful successor of all previous Russian regimes. But this is a condition that no truly Orthodox Christian can accept…

“For those who claim,” writes Professor Olga Ackerly, “that the ‘CIS is different from the USSR’ and Putin is a ‘practising Orthodox Christian’, here are some sobering facts. The first days and months Putin’s presidency were highlighted by the reestablishment of a memorial plaque on Kutuzovsky Prospect where Andropov used to live. The plaque was a symbol of communist despotism missing since the 1991 putsch, bearing Andropov’s name – a former head of the KGB, especially known for his viciousness in the use of force and psychiatric clinics for dissidents. On May 9, 2000, Putin proposed a toast to the ‘genius commander’ Iosif Stalin and promoted many former KGB officers to the highest state positions…

“Important to note is that the Eurasian movement, with ties to occultism, ecumenism, etc. was recently revived by Putin, and a Congress entitled ‘The All-Russian Political Social Movement’, held in Moscow in April of 2001, was ‘created on the basis of the Eurasist ideology and inter-confessional [sic!] harmony in support of the reforms of President Vladimir Putin.’ The movement is led by Alexander Dugin, a sexual mystic, National Bolshevik Party member, son of a Cheka cadre, personally familiar with the so-called ‘Black International’, advisor to the State Duma, and participant in Putin’s ‘Unity’ movement.”[53]

From 2003 Putin moved to reverse the main gains of the liberal 1990s – religious freedom, and a more open and honest attitude to the Soviet past. Churches were seized from True Orthodox Christians and their websites hacked; elections were rigged, independent journalists were killed, and independent businessmen imprisoned on trumped-up charges; and new history books justifying Stalinism were introduced into the classrooms. The red flag and hammer and sickle were restored to the armed services, as well as the melody (if not the words) of the Soviet national anthem. Youth organizations similar to the Hitler Youth were created.[54] And in general Putin’s Russia began to resemble Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

Banking on the high price of Russian oil, Putin began to rebuild Russia’s economic and military might – but the corruption and imbalances within the Russian economy have hindered the diversification of the economy that he needs. State- and privately-organized crime has flourished under his patronage; he is now the “godfather” of a criminal state run by and for a criminal gang. However, in spite of the high price of oil, growth has slowed and the export of capital has accelerated…

According to a 2005 survey, 42% of the Russian people, and 60% of those over sixty, wanted the return of “a leader like Stalin.”[55] Their wish had been granted… Thus in July, 2006, the Duma, supported by Putin, passed two laws allowing the secret services to eliminate “extremists” in Russia and on foreign territory, and defining “extremism” to include anyone “libellously critical of the Russian authorities”. Soon after that, Litvinenko was killed with a fatal dose of polonium in London… It certainly looks as if carte blanche has now been given to the KGB to kill anyone it deems a threat to the state.…

The root cause of the failure of Orthodox civilization to revive since 1991 has been the failure to repent of the sins of the Soviet period. In Russia there has been no desovietization process, no trials of communist leaders, and no true repentance in any but a few individuals. Moreover, the organ that might have been expected to lead the process of national repentance, the official church of the Moscow Patriarchate, has been adept only at justifying the crimes of the past.[56]

As a direct result, on almost every index of social health, from the level of material inequality (higher in Russia than in any other nation) to child mortality, drug abuse, organized crime and corruption, Russia figures among the most wretched countries in the world. The lack of repentance has led to a deeply depressing picture of moral and social degradation. And the picture is not dissimilar in the other “Orthodox”, formerly communist countries of Eastern Europe.

Worst of all, the Moscow Patriarchate has shown complete loyalty to Putinism. Its leading hierarchs are KGB agents who take an enthusiastic part in the criminal economy. Thus Patriarch Cyril (Gundiaev) imports tobacco and alcohol duty-free and is now one of the richest men in Russia.[57] In 2007, Putin brokered a union between the majority of the Russian Church Abroad and the Moscow Patriarchate, which owed more than a little to the resurgent influence of the KGB/FSB.[58] This is the most serious blow to the True Church and Holy Russia since the official Church under Metropolitan Sergius submitted to Stalin in 1927-28. Even in the darkest days of Stalinism the voice of the Russian Church Abroad told the truth about Russia. But now that voice is much weaker, surviving only in the Russian True Orthodox Church under Archbishop Tikhon of Omsk and Siberia…



Military experts, they say, are too often obsessed with reliving the battles of the last great war, as a result of which they fail to predict the new strategies and new technologies that will be decisive in the future great war. Thus in the 1930s some were still thinking about cavalry attacks and trenches, when they should have been thinking about blitzkrieg tank offensives and carpet bombing… The opposite is the case in the spiritual war that is being waged today: we Orthodox are obsessed with fighting what we think is the war of the future without having drawn the lessons of the past. Worse than that: we have not even finished fighting the last war, but live under the wholly mistaken illusion that we were then the victors, when in fact the old enemy is alive and well and laughing at us for our naivety! Thus on innumerable forums and websites we talk a great deal and with great fervour about the New World Order, the evil of America and the Jews, globalization, 666, etc., while the Old World Order is preparing to deliver us a final, knock-out blow!

So what are the unfinished old wars? First of all, the war against Soviet communism. The old foe has changed his appearance and strategy so successfully that many Orthodox now think of Putin as a new St. Constantine or St. George come to deliver Orthodox civilization from the American dragon! Greek politicians, in particular, appear to have taken Putin with his cold, chekist smile to their hearts.[59]

Putinist propaganda appears to have penetrated even into the most traditionalist corners of Mount Athos. An example is the DVD distributed by Esphigmenou monastery’s journal, Boanerges, but made by the Moscow Patriarchate and presented by Fr. Tikhon Shevkunov, Putin’s reputed spiritual father. The subject is an analysis of the Fall of Constantinople in which much emphasis is laid on the roles of evil aristocrats within and western barbarism without. However, the real purpose of the DVD is not historical analysis, but contemporary political allegory: for “the Fall of Constantinople, the Second Rome”, read “the possible Fall of Moscow, the Third Rome”; for evil Greek aristocrats then, read evil Jewish oligarchs now; for western barbarism then, read NATO expansion now; for the absolute need for a powerful and independent autocrat then, read the same need in Russia now…

The grim fact that almost the whole of the Orthodox world appears to ignore is that Soviet communism was not destroyed in 1991: it suffered a defeat which allowed it to reculer pour mieux sauter – that is, change form in order to deceive its adversaries and successfully re-establish its grip over the heartland of Orthodoxy. The final defeat of communism is still in the future. According to the prophecies of the Russian elders, this will take place, not through some kind of peaceful evolution, but in war, and the final knock-out blow will be administered by – China…

Secondly, there is the war against Islam. Many hundreds of years, and many millions of martyrs later, some Orthodox appear ready to forgive or at least condone the sins of the Islamic world simply because it opposes Israel, America and the West! As if the martyrs of Islam hate the Christianity of the East any less than that of the West! But Islam is still a formidable enemy, and its final defeat is also still in the future. Again, this will take place in war, a “general [world] war”, according to St. Cosmas of Aitolia, after which “the Hagarenes [Muslims] will learn the mysteries [of the faith] three times faster than the Christians”.

Thirdly, there is the war against paganism. Paganism was the earliest enemy of the Church, and the Chinese empire represents the latest and by far the most powerful representative of pagan culture to survive in the modern world, even if western technology and to some extent western ideology have disguised its pagan essence. Again, some Orthodox appear prepared to respect China if only for its opposition to America. But the Chinese, too, will be finally defeated in war. They will be destroyed, according to the elders, during the same war in which the Chinese conquer Siberia and destroy the old power structures in Russia…

All this is not to say, of course, that the New World Order, Western civilization headed by America, is not an evil, soul-destroying reality that must be combatted. At the same time this evil must be combatted intelligently. Which means, first of all, that we must not attempt to combat the evil of the NWO by supporting the no less evil evil of the OWO – evil is not overcome by evil, but by good. Neither Putin nor Xi Jinping nor any sheikh or ayatollah is going to save Orthodoxy. Nor, unfortunately, will loyalty to any of the leader-hierarchs and patriarchs of World Orthodoxy; for they are as much in thrall to the NWO or OWO as any politician.

We should follow the path of the early Christians, who, while living under a corrupt and anti-Christian despotism, engaged in no political activism or agitation of any sort (apart from occasional calls on the emperors to be merciful to the Christians), but obeyed the authorities to the limit that their conscience allowed them, sincerely praying for all their enemies. The reward of their patience and love was the final overthrow of the pagan Roman system and its replacement by Christian Romanity under St. Constantine. If we imitate their patience and believe in the Holy Scriptures, then we shall witness, first, the division of the whore of Babylon, western civilization, “into three parts” (Revelation 16.19) (America, Europe and Japan?), then her destruction by a coalition of ten states headed by the beast (Russia? China?) who “will burn her with fire… in one day” (Revelation 17.17, 18.8). But that will not be the end; for then the beast will be destroyed by the Word of God Himself (Revelation 19.20-21), making possible the resurrection of Orthodoxy (Revelation 20). For as the Lord Himself declared in a prophecy that, as St. John Maximovich said, has not yet been fulfilled: “This Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come…” (Matthew 24.14).


November 16/29, 2013; revised November 29 / December 13, 2013.


[2] London: Touchstone Books, 1996.

[3] They both offer a utopian vision for mankind based on rationalism, science and education, in which religious belief has no place. Liberalism is relatively more individualistic than Communism, gives more place to individual initiative in economic and social life, and is more tolerant of individual differences and idiosyncracies, such as religion. But the similarities between them are more striking than their differences. And from the point of view of traditional Christianity, the main difference is that while the one destroys faith slowly, the other does it relatively quickly. Thus Stuart Reed writes: “In the Cold War, an unworkable revolutionary creed, communism, yielded to a workable revolutionary creed, liberal capitalism. Now liberal capitalism has replaced communism as the chief threat to the customs, traditions and decencies of Christendom…” (“Confessions of a Fellow-Traveller”, The Spectator, 23 September, 2000, p. 45).

[4] In November, 2008 in Washington, and again in April, 2009 at the G-20 meeting in London, it was agreed to pursue four principles in the resolution of the economic crisis: 1) the need for intensive co‐ordinationand collaboration, 2) the rejection of measures of protectionism,3) the reinforcement of systems of regulation in the economic markets, and 4) a new world government” (Eleutherotypia, April 2, 2009). See also N. Rockefeller’s speech in 1962:

[5] Brendan Simms, Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy, London: Allen Lane, 2013, p. 505.

[6] Simms, op. cit., p. 512.

[7] Ivo Daalder and James Goldgeier, “Global Nato”, Foreign Affairs, October, 2006, p. 106.

[8] Drawsko Pomorksie, “Back to Basics”, The Economist, November 16-22, 2013, p. 65.

[9] “Your chance, Mr. Obama”, The Economist, October 30, 2013, p. 19.

[10] “Spokes and hubbub”, The Economist, November 9, 2013, p. 73.


[12] This new course has been called by the Greeks “neo-Osmanism”, a title that implies that Turkey might again occupy the leadership role in the Islamic world which it vacated after its defeat in World War One. (Vladislav Vdovin, “Vrag Respubliki”, Mir i Politika, August, 2013, p. 64).

[13] See

[14] Niall Ferguson, “Complexity and Collapse”, Foreign Affairs, March/April, 2010, pp. 18-32.

[15] Ushemara, in Huntingdon, op. cit. p. 306.

[16] Roberts, History of the World, Oxford: Helicon Publishing, 1992, p. 359.

[17] Gernet, A History of Chinese Civilization, Cambridge University Press, 1996, p. 22.

[18] Shafarevich, Sotsializm kak yavlenie mirovoj istorii (Socialism as a phenomenon of world history), Paris: YMCA Press, 1977, pp. 223-228.

[19] R.W.L. Guisso, C. Pagani, The First Emperor of China, London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1989, pp. 14, 16.

[20] Guisso and Pagani, op. cit., p. 14.

[21] The Economist Review, March 18, 2000, p. 4.

[22] Gernet, op. cit., p. 97.

[23] Etienne Balazs, La bureaucratie céleste: Recherches sur l’économie et la société de la Chine traditionelle (The Heavenly Bureucracy: Research into the Economy and Society of Traditional China), Paris: Gallimard, 1968, pp. 22-23.

[24] Lieven, Empire, London: John Murray, 2000, p. 28.

[25] Roberts, op. cit., p. 354.

[26] Lieven, op. cit., p. 28.

[27] Fernand Braudel, A History of Civilizations, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1995, p. 178.

[28] It might have been different if the other Chinese religion, Taoism, with its remarkable foreshadowings of Christianity, had triumphed. See Hieromonk Damascene (Christensen), Christ the Eternal Tao, Platina, Ca.: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 1999.

[29] Roberts, op. cit., p. 355.

[30] Roberts, op. cit., p. 360.

[31] Alexeyev, "Khristianstvo i Idea Monarkhii" (“Christianity and the Idea of the Monarchy), Put' (The Way), № 6, January, 1927, p. 660.

[32] Friedland, “The China Question”, The Economist, October 30, 2013, p. 58.

[33] Fenby, “Princeling tightens his hold over China”, Sunday Telegraph, November 17, 2013, p. 40.

[34] “Your chance, Mr. Obama”, The Economist, October 30, 2013, pp. 19-20.

[35] “Ekspert: veroiatnost’ aggressii Kitaia protiv Rossii 95%” (Expert: probability of aggression of China against Russia is 95%),, October 3, 2013; “China’s Military Rise”, The Economist, April 7-April 13, 2012, pp. 25-30.

[36] Ferguson, The Ascent of Money, London: Penguin Press, 2008, chapter 6.

[38] For a grotesque yet eloquent photographic symbol of the demonic evil of Chinese communism, see

[39] London: Continuum, 2002.

[40] Bernard Lewis, The Middle East, London: Phoenix, 1995, pp. 140-141.

[41] T. P. Miloslavskaia, G.V. Miloslavsky, “Kontseptsia Islamskogo Edinstvai Integratsionnie Protsessy vMusulmanskom Mire’” (“The Conception of ‘Islamic Unity’ and Integrational Processes in ‘the Muslim World’), in Islam i Problemy Natsionalizma (Islam and the Problems of Nationalism), Мoscow: Nauka, 1986, p. 12.

The indivisibility of the caliph’s secular and spiritual powers is emphasised by several other writers. Thus Colin McEvedy writes that “the successors of Mohammed, the Caliphs, combined, as he had, the powers of Emperor and Pope” (The Penguin Atlas of Medieval History, London: Penguin, 1961, p. 36). Again, Ninian Smart writes that Islam “demands institutions which cover the whole life of the community. There is nothing in Islam… corresponding to the Church. There is no place for a special institution within society devoted to the ends of the faith. For it is the whole of society which is devoted to the ends of the faith” (The Religious Experience of Mankind, London: Fontana, 1971, p. 538). Again, Bernard Lewis writes: It is sometimes said that the caliph was head of State and Church, pope and emperor in one. This description in Western and Christian terms is misleading. Certainly there was no distinction between imperium and sacerdotium, as in the Christian empire, and no separate ecclesiastical institution, no Church, with its own head and hierarchy. The caliphate was always defined as a religious office, and the caliph’s supreme purpose was to safeguard the heritage of the Prophet and to enforce the Holy Law. But the caliph had no pontifical or even priestly function… His task was neither to expound nor to interpret the faith, but to uphold and protect it – to create conditions in which his subjects could follow the good Muslim life in this world and prepare themselves for the world to come. And to do this, he had to maintain the God-given Holy Law within the frontiers of the Islamic state, and to defend and, where possible, extend those frontiers, until in the fullness of time the whole world was opened to the light of Islam…” (op. cit., pp. 138-139).

[42] Lewis, op. cit., p. 72.

[43] Lewis, op. cit., pp. 143-144.

[44] Lewis, op. cit., p. 139.

[45] Armstrong, Islam, New York: Modern Library, 2002, pp. 67, 68-69.

[46] Tikhomirov, Religiozno-Filosofskie Osnovy Istorii (The Religious-Philosophical Foundations of History), Moscow, 1997, p. 296.

[47] Craig, The Arab Christian, London: Mowbrays, 1992, pp. 57-58.

[48] Scruton, op. cit., pp. 118-120.

[49] Putin’s wealth was estimated in 2007 at about $40 billion. See Luke Harding, “Putin, the Kremlin power struggle and the $40bn fortune”, The Guardian, December 21, 2007, pp. 1-2. But in 2013 the Sunday Times estimated it at $130 billion, twice that of Bill Gates (

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

[51] Sixsmith, The Litvinenko File, London: Macmillan, 2007, p. 302.

[52] Gessen, The Man without a Face. The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, London: Granta, 2013, pp. 153-154.

[53] Ackerly, “High Treason in ROCOR: The Rapprochement with Moscow”, pp. 21, 25.

[54] Edward Lucas, The New Cold War, London: Bloomsbury, 2008, p. 102.

[55] Orlando Figes, “Vlad the Great”, New Statesman, 3 December, 2007, p. 34.

[56] See V. Moss, “1945 and the Moscow Patriarchate’s ‘Theology of Victory’”,

[57] “After the fall of the Soviet Union, the church received official privileges including the right to import duty-free alcohol and tobacco. In 1995, the Nikolo-Ugreshky Monastery, which is directly subordinated to the patriarchate, earned $350 million from the sale of alcohol. The patriarchate’s department of foreign church relations, which Kirill ran, earned $75 million from the sale of tobacco. But the patriarchate reported an annual budget in 1995-1996 of only $2 million. Kirill’s personal wealth was estimated in Moscow News in 2006 to be $4 billion.” (, February, 2009).

[58] Konstantin Preobrazhensky, KGB/FSB’s New Trojan Horse: Americans of Russian Descent, North Billerica, MA: Gerard Group Publishing, 2008.

[59] Thus “Panos Kammenos, a former ND deputy who opposes austerity and admires Mr. Putin, says Greece should turn to Russia if, as expected, it needs yet another bail-out. (Russia has already lent Cyprus €2.5 billion, or $3.3 billion, to avert the island’s default.) Mr. Kammenos’s new party, Independent Greeks, is predicted to sweep into parliament with around 10% of the vote…” (“An Orthodox Friendship”, The Economist, April 7-13, 2012, p. 38)

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