Russia again faces the question of a thousand years ago.
Looking ahead, it is necessary to say that this article is not about the past, as it may seem at first, but about the very present, which is simply impossible to understand, without understanding how the situation has historically developed and why we have exactly what what have come now. And also, according to the well-known principle of the development of history “in a spiral,” one can make a fairly realistic forecast of development in the near future from the events of the past, and even try to avoid the mistakes made by our predecessors. It is for this purpose that the whole historical excursion is given below, although in an extremely, it seems to me, primitive and shortened version.
Recently Russia, and probably the entire Orthodox world in general, solemnly celebrated the 1030th anniversary of the baptism of Rus. It is clear that with a glance to a thousand years ago of the event itself, various disputes arise both on a specific date and in the course of the process itself - this is absolutely not surprising. By the nature of my main interests, I deal mainly with the history of the Second World War, and each time, delving into any topic in detail, I never cease to be amazed at how little and often our understanding of the events that took place just over half a century ago is a lot of original documents, photo and film materials, and even living witnesses, so what can we say about a period of a thousand years or more ... But despite the existing and periodically voiced disagreements in dates and readings, the very fact of this event does not raise doubts , just as there is no doubt that the significance of the baptism of Rus for the entire subsequent history of Russia and other Orthodox peoples, in the words of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, "is hard to overestimate." That is, by and large, the main thing is that Christianity and Orthodoxy in the Russian lands were still accepted, this does not cause any doubts, and if plus or minus a day, a year, or even a couple of decades, then within the past thousand-year period this, with my personal point of view, it no longer plays a special role, the only question is to establish a specific date when this event is to be celebrated, that's all ...
But even if we follow the officially accepted date of the holiday, then on July 28, 988, in fact, it was not Russia that was baptized, as such, or even the Kiev Principality of Prince Vladimir Svyatoslavich, but only the prince himself. Further, the process of transition of peoples then populating eastern Europe from paganism to Christianity was quite long, painful and far from always voluntary. But the main thing to understand is what actually Christianity in general was then and Orthodox Christianity in particular for Europe, Kievan Rus and the peoples surrounding it. It’s hard enough to say now what it was for people in those distant times from their own point of view, but if we use the concepts of our time, then this is nothing more than ideology. And then it was this ideology that became the basis, the basic idea, on the foundation of which it became possible to unite the disparate pagan tribes of the then Eastern Slavs.
The excesses and the opposition of “Christianization” that has taken place can most likely be attributed to the general reluctance of people to radically change something in their lives than to the conscious rejection of the postulates of Christianity in favor of paganism. Also, not least, ministers of worship, who were and have been among the pagans - shamans and the like, probably also played a role in the confrontation, but the representatives of the Christian church, apparently, possessed at that time the best persuasive abilities and, if I may say so , a database of arguments. But about these people and their followers separately and a little further ... There is a rather interesting legend about how and why the Kiev prince Vladimir, nicknamed Krasno Solnyshko, chose Christianity and his Orthodox branch for himself and his people, but let them see yourself, who are interested in the details. Although it seems that it was the Orthodox direction of the then main European religion that attracted the attention of the Eastern Slavs and the "village" is really the best, so now Orthodoxy, which came to Russia from Byzantium almost a thousand years ago, is associated with the whole world precisely with Russia and its surrounding countries, most of which Recently they were still part of the USSR, and not with the place of its actual appearance.
It was hard to argue with the proposed values of the Christ commandments, and to this day hardly anyone can seriously deny their universality and correctness. And apparently that's why these values have taken root and for centuries have become an unshakable foundation for behavior and morality, for determining what is good and what is evil, what is good, what is bad. Naturally, no one says that everything and always in their life since that time was unconditionally guided by Christian principles, but the assessment of actions performed by people took place on their basis. Moreover, again, approximately the same rules and postulates are sometimes only in a slightly different interpretation or presentation, but are repeated in all major world religions, which only emphasizes and proves their inviolability and universality. Also, with the advent of a new ideology, it appeared, again expressed in modern language, new professional carriers - ministers of the church. And if faith can be called a general belief of a person in the existence of a certain higher power, about the concepts of good and evil, or about the inevitability of punishment for a perfect evil, for example, then religion (in this case Christianity) is nothing more than an accessible form of presenting this information, and the church, in turn, is a certain organization that is engaged, so to speak, in conveying the principles of its religion to the general public. Moreover, the latter is already being created and managed entirely by people, with all the ensuing consequences.
The church has its own hierarchy, education system, incomes and the system of their distribution, as well as material property in a variety of forms, that is, in this way this institution inevitably conducts both financial and commercial activities, although this seems to be going on somewhat at first glance. a cut with his original and main message ... But the ministers of the cult are also people and they need to eat and drink something, live somewhere, dress something, religious objects, that is, churches, they need to build, heat, paint and etc., etc., in short, as it is ... Based on its position as the bearer of the basic ideology, in Russia, as in many other countries of that time, the church for a long period, in fact for centuries, in reality was also an influential subject and participant political activities of the state, and high church functionaries thus possessed very significant powers of power and influence.
The well-known slogan of Russian soldiers “For Faith, Tsar and Fatherland” (as an option also “For God, Tsar and Fatherland) appeared, of course, although much later than the baptism of Russia, a couple of centuries later, but it seems to me that it best personified It is actually the main direction and main meaning of Russian ideology, and the existence of the state of Russia until 1917. Moreover, it is interesting that in the multinational and multiconfessional Russian Empire, this slogan was essentially suitable for all citizens, since it included common concepts for everyone, no specific religion was mentioned, and faith and god were universal concepts. I will not analyze in detail when, how and why, this topic, I think, is already well-known and the views of various people on it are quite different, but, be that as it may, it was from October 1917 (November in a new style) in our ideology has changed again. “Faith, Tsar and Fatherland” was replaced, this time not from the south, but from the west, by a new, communist thought - Marxism, which proclaimed for new life values mainly “universal equality” in the rights and distribution of material wealth, which then the already strongly stratified capitalist society was impressed by the broad enough masses of the population, primarily industrialized states. On this basis, and precisely in these states, in fact, the communist ideology appeared and was built, and also planned its development. By 1917, in its places of origin, the Marxist idea had never been applied in practice in the sense of forming state systems, it existed only in theory, but it was decided to put on the first experiment in Russia. I hope that such a comparison is not a big sin, but as once Christianity and Marxism came to Russia in a somewhat specific “Russified” reading, later called “Leninism” or “Marxism-Leninism”.
Although it should be noted that, from the original canons of Karl Marx, “Leninism” was, to put it mildly, much more different than Orthodox Christianity from other western branches of the same religion. In my personal opinion, in “Leninism” only the conceptual basis remained, the so-called “class theory”, almost everything else was misinterpreted and in practice accomplished almost exactly the opposite ... And again, not all agreed on the new ideology . Some, that is, almost the majority of the country's population, had to be taught to new postulates and values by force. The ministers of the church naturally also belonged to the active opponents of the new ideological regime, and not only Christian, since religion suddenly ceased to be one of the most important links in the existence of the state system and power, and thereby the church remained virtually without influence and income, to which over centuries of existence I managed to get used to it a lot. In order not to be angry, it is necessary to note that the church itself, or rather its specific employees, who, as mentioned above, are also people, with their weaknesses, had a hand in the process of the collapse of the existing ideology of “Faith, Tsar and Fatherland” and strengths.
It’s not a secret for anyone that ministers everywhere and at all times lived pretty well overall, some even very well not even at the highest level, with all this their work was clearly “not dusty” in all respects, according to at least compared to the vast majority of their parishioners. The image of a priest in Russian fairy tales and traditions, according to a seemingly strange combination of circumstances, is extremely rarely uniquely positive. Those who, in accordance with the existing ideology, were “God's anointed ones,” that is, the tsar, the royal family and the ruling elites, were also far from always a worthy example of behavior and an example to follow from their subjects. By the end of the XNUMXth and beginning of the XNUMXth centuries, the level of knowledge and education of the population had already reached the point where some fairly primitive religious dogmas were called into question if not by all, then at least by more advanced sections of society, which, in turn, shared their thoughts on this occasion and with the rest. To assert that something is as it is, simply because it is so pleasing to God, the further it became more difficult, while the church did not have more reasonable and plausible arguments, which would be understood by the masses as well.
All these trends did not apply exclusively to the state of the Russian and Orthodox churches. I can’t presume to speak, for example, about Islam or Buddhism of that time, but such a destruction of the established Christian system of values most definitely occurred in almost the whole of Europe and in territories under direct European influence (colonies, etc.). Moreover, the developed capitalist countries, by which time had already switched over to a democratic system of government, such as France or Great Britain, for example, had lost this very ideological channel even earlier and even faster, since apart from making money and increasing the size of property and capital, some other lofty goals were already in fact were absent. European elites had nothing to offer the masses as an ideology and thus a reasonable justification for their own existence and position as these same elites. Religion, the church and “anointed by God” monarchist dynasties rapidly lost their positions, capital came to their place in power.
In a fairly developed capitalist system and class-stratified society, communist and similar new ideological trends offered people something that had lost their ideology and values in return, and often even contrary to religion. The movements called "leftists" advocated universal equality, internationalism, the "rightists" relied mainly on the national identity of people and were aimed at the ascension of the rights of some peoples over the rest, but both of them promised their followers a fairer world order than those who something in the whole world, someone at least one specific state. And for the elites, the main problem of this was that almost all new ideologies denied the just-formed system in which these oldest elites and newly formed big capital were already beginning to merge closely in the field of power sharing. If you are guided by the terminology of Marxism, then in Europe a "revolutionary situation" really brewing. By the beginning of the twentieth century, people on the Old Continent had lost their ideology, the established system of values based on this ideology was also rapidly losing itself, and this really threatened with a social explosion. The ruling elites could not indicate to the masses a new direction of development, a new course, they did not offer new values to replace the gradually lost Christian ones, and this threatened the masses to get out of the control of these same elites.
The paradox is that the whole situation was resolved by the unexpected coming of the Communists to power in Russia. It was Ulyanov-Lenin with his comrades who, having seized power in our country, gave the West a saving new ideology in their hands, which allowed them to keep both Western elites and capital - anti-communism became this ideology. The fact is that after the seizure of power in October 1917 by the Bolshevik Communists, Russia began such that in a more or less prosperous Europe then it was just enough to point the finger to the east and ask “Do you want the same?” Nobody obviously wanted the same thing - terror, civil war, the complete collapse of social and economic systems, absolute chaos in the territory of a huge empire disintegrating into parts and the subsequent bloody "dictatorship of the proletariat", all this was a fairly effective negative example. So effective that anti-communism as the main ideology actually worked in the West right up until the collapse of the Soviet Union. Moreover, the anti-communist ideological base turned out to be so successful and universal that it was brought under a wide variety of state systems and ideological models - from Italian fascism and German Nazism of the thirties and forties to the most liberal-democratic and socially oriented state systems that existed, for example, in Scandinavian mid-eighties.
But only in our country during the Soviet era, apparently, very few, if any, people really understood that the West really had no ideology of their own, and all the pseudo-ideological models that existed there were based mainly on the principle of denying our ideology. Those who, in the second half of the eighties, started the so-called “perestroika”, “democratization” in the Soviet Union and started the course towards “rapprochement with the West” obviously did not understand this, clearly believing that there exists a more successful model of existence . And this, as it turned out, was a mistake, the consequences of which have been dished for almost 30 years. But I already ran a few steps ahead.
After the end of the Civil War, industrialization began in the most newly-formed USSR, but the regime didn’t get any softer, perhaps even the other way around. Nevertheless, the ideology was, and was successful. Belief in God was replaced by faith in a brighter future, the tsar was first communist party, and then directly and personally by its general secretary, the Fatherland remained. That's all. Then the war broke out, and the whole people rallied around their leadership, mainly defending the Fatherland, of course, and at the same time, naturally, the ruling Communist Party, and its bright future promised by it, which someone from outside apparently came to try to take away. Everyone knows how the war ended - our ideology won, although in the West no one had originally expected this. Next, we rebuilt the country and again built our bright future, that is, the same ideology has existed quite successfully on this foundation for some time ... until the newly formed communist power elites in peace and quiet began to attack the very same rake, which ultimately killed the king, and destroyed the clergy at the very beginning of the twentieth century. History develops in a spiral. And as people once did not believe in fat, lazy, sleek, drunk and adulterous priests, on Sundays showing the morality of their flock in the churches, so already in the seventies and eighties of the last century in the Soviet Union people ceased to believe in the communist leaders, in squares and party meetings proclaiming the denial of "Western material values" and faith in the bright future of world communism, and in real life these same values are actively appropriated and enjoyed by them. And the higher leaders in the communist hierarchy also became far from the people and inaccessible to them, as once the king and his close associates.
To ignite and preserve the spark of faith in millions of other people can only be one who sincerely believes himself. Crowds of people do not follow preachers who themselves do not believe their sermons. For example, the phenomenon of Adolf Hitler was that he really absolutely believed in his own ideas, and therefore managed to lead one of the most capable and educated peoples of Europe. But when he realized that his idea was already dead, he himself chose death. Lenin and his associates also initially believed in what they were doing, so the masses followed them. And the Christian preachers in Russia a thousand years ago were probably deeply religious, therefore, often at the cost of their own lives, they conveyed their faith to people ... The Soviet Communists of the eighties, overwhelmingly, ceased to believe in their own ideology and used it only for a career growth and wealth, so the system soon collapsed. Everyone turned to the west for salvation, but there, as it turned out, there was no ideology of its own, just as it is not now. She just kept on us all this time. When we all were told in the USSR that the West is rotting, apparently the speakers themselves did not suspect to what extent this was true. All the original Christian values in the "enlightened west" are almost lost or have long gone through complete degradation, and we ourselves have taken away anti-communism from them ... And now? ... What next? ... Where should we go and where take an ideology if, where we expected to find it, it was simply emptiness and rot covered with beautiful color pictures, lies and hypocritical slogans about freedom, democracy and human rights?
The West, having lost anti-communism and the main scarecrow for its peoples in the person of the USSR, is now hastily by inertia and with varying success trying to replace it with Russophobia and the threat from there, but with a different name. That is, again, there is nothing new, just an attempt to easily redecorate a very old object - maybe it will still serve ... While it seems to be going on somehow, but it resembles the situation with communist ideas in the Soviet Union of the eighties, and even this is all very rude hastily and with white threads. In some places on the expanses of the former Union this still “rolls”, but initially it doesn’t suit us ... if only because in Russia Russophobia cannot be an ideology by definition. And judging by the success and degree of professionalism of modern Western leaders and ideologists themselves, such a direction will not last long there. This is now something of a type, as they say, of treating a cancerous tumor with an iodine mesh. We don’t draw on the way of life and building a society in the oriental style, as in China or Singapore, based on national character and habits. Some are trying to build a new ideological line on the basis of the victory and exploits of our people during the Great Patriotic War - as a historical example to follow in a particular case, this is good, perhaps it is also suitable for educating young people in the right patriotic spirit, but the ideology of an entire state based on it’s impossible to build a past war, albeit with honor, won.
There is another extremely interesting, from my point of view, point - in the West nobody forbade religion and did not oppress religion all the time, on the contrary, Western states even subsidized and supported the church in every way, but at the same time all Christian postulates essentially degraded, the church lost authority, believing people the further the less. This is counted as Christians in the most varied versions of this religion, although their place in Europe, for example, is recently arrived and rapidly multiplying Muslim immigrants, so the number of active mosques in the Old World will probably soon exceed the number of Christian cathedrals, churches, churches, etc. On the other hand, over the years of the existence of the USSR, again, paradoxically and in contrast to this very West, with an actual seventy-year ban on religious activity at the state level, our people have quite the original Christian and generally human values were somehow preserved. Things like the concept of a traditional family, a sense of truth and justice, as well as Orthodox traditions proper, exist in Russia literally on a subconscious level. Can one again try to build an ideology on this? Probably possible. The only question again is the human factor - who will be its carrier? The church again? And where in this case is the guarantee that we will not return to the results of a hundred years ago? Previously, there were field priests in the Russian tsarist army, they remained almost everywhere in the other armies, and they were replaced in the Soviet armed forces by political officers — the communist commissars.
After the collapse of the USSR, they were apparently abolished as if they were no longer needed. Now in our army they are going to reintroduce the post of political worker, but the question is - what kind of ideology will it be for the soldiers? How to explain to a young man what is generally in our country for the social system and what kind of state system? It seems to be capitalism, but in this case there is somehow too much social orientation and obviously not profitable state programs. We left the communist idea, but socialism with such a concentration of capital in the hands of a limited circle of oligarchy and such a wild difference in incomes of different segments of the population somehow does not seem to be, and this situation, as it seems, will not change in any foreseeable future.
Recently, we often see how the whole world economic system is literally shaking because of seemingly local crises in individual places, and this, in turn, often affects the political situation. And it happens and vice versa. And this is all because the world economy has become too intertwined - globalized. But globalism itself is by no means an ideology, but simply a way of financially enriching an extremely narrow group of individuals, a kind of macro-capitalist international. So maybe in order to protect yourself and your country, you just need to introduce the ideology of "anti-globalism"? Moreover, this does not mean any kind of voluntary self-isolation, on the contrary, it is quite reasonable to interact with all countries on a bilateral and mutually beneficial basis, simply without creating and not participating in supranational financial institutions, and not focusing on certain rules established by them.
There is a point in this. Yes, and with US President Donald Trump we will then be clearly on the way - he also wants to get away from globalism, which the USA itself once generated, back to a prosperous model of the national economy. But here we will surely stumble upon the confrontation of our own power elites - the oligarchy, whose capital for the most part is earned and stored abroad, often just in these very supranational funds. This oil, gas, timber, metals and other things are mined and produced here, and the money paid for them is mainly foreign. In addition, modern global capitalism is not industrial, it is financial - most of all money is made by money, not industry, as it was at the time the ideas of Marxism were born. And this is the main trouble: money from the means of intermediary assistance in economic activity - commodity circulation, has become both a goal and, at the same time, an instrument of multiplying ourselves. Having unfastened at that time in the early eighties the only truly international currency - the dollar - from the gold equivalent, the United States laid a time bomb under the entire world economy.
This was done for the sake of the opportunity in fact to increase their own solvency simply by using the printing press for dollars. Then such a move seemed to some to be a genius idea, literally magic and the key to unlimited prosperity. But in the end, the dollar itself depreciated, making its value virtual, based only on exchange speculation, and in turn, the monetary units of other states exchanged for American currency actually depreciated. On these puffy dollars and on this virtual wealth, a whole group of individuals and legal entities arose that took possession of the quite tangible world wealth, property and, accordingly, power. This is what is now called the world government, in fact the capitalist international, most of which and the main governing bodies of which are now physically actually located in the United States. But he is only there, with the state system of America it has neither official nor legislative anything to do, except that it can strongly influence and influence its decisions, as well as the policy of governments in general of most countries on planet Earth, unfortunately, our not excluding. As a matter of fact, it has been a surprise to everyone recently and the war has been launched by none other than the new president of the United States. It’s really hard for an outsider to understand what really drives them. I think one can exclude a personal selfish interest in a person like Donald Trump.
Quite possibly, it is simply a belief in the idea of pure and “honest” industrial capitalism in which it grew up. Maybe he really endlessly believes in the truth of his own idea, like Hitler, Lenin or the preachers of Christianity a thousand years ago (I apologize in advance for such a comparison). In any case, today he is the one who is going to once again destroy neither more nor less, but a whole certain world system. Personally, I think he simply understands that if this system is not broken now, then sooner or later it will collapse itself, and this will be a much bigger disaster. Moreover, the main blow of this tragedy in this case will be taken by his country - the USA. And he just wants to avoid this. At the same time, the puffed-up world financial octopus doesn’t care whether the United States exists or not as it is now, also this “shadow government” absolutely does not care about Russia and the Russians, China and the Chinese, or Botswana, for example, with its population equally. For their virtual money, they have already acquired quite material wealth in the form of property around the world - this wealth, unlike paper money, stocks, futures, debt and the devil knows what else from the same series, is already real, it is really tangible and it’s not going anywhere, and it is precisely on this that their calculation of survival in the inevitably approaching world financial apocalypse is apparently based.
But returning to the original question - what should we do with all this? ... Where to go? Today we again have Vladimir at the head of a partially disintegrated state, and again the question arises of the choice of ideology. Yes, so that, if possible, and all the nations around us to unite again. There are three options: first, you can revive existing Christian principles and build a new society on them; secondly, you can try to create something of your own and radically new; thirdly, you can take and accept something reasonable and suitable for us, from the fact that someone has already come up with somewhere.
If we consider option No. 1 and take exclusively Orthodox values as the basis of our development, then the question immediately arises: “who should bear this burden of maintaining ideology?” For once already failed all this church? With all its problems and contradictions that have not disappeared anywhere? Option No. 2 presupposes the existence of some serious own idea from which one can build the ideology of an entire state and even prove its attractiveness for neighbors, but over the past almost three decades, nothing of the kind has been found on Russian open spaces, and in the foreseeable future, as it seems to me, there will not be. The wise Russian prince chose the third option a thousand years ago. It was somewhat adjusted, so to speak, to local conditions, and was successfully used for the next almost thousand years. And the fact that someone else's idea is okay. Why reinvent the wheel again if, in the presence of all the starting materials, it is simply possible to produce it for yourself and on your territory? In this case, I consider the idea No. 3 to be anti-globalism, an ideology already proposed for use by Donald Trump in his native United States. Moreover, it’s not at all a fact that something will come out of it with him there, like Marx’s in Western Europe. And here, again on historical parallels, it may well turn out. True, not everyone will like it at first ... but nothing ... Prince Vladimir also had to fight with some for his faith, and to take away earthly goods from someone ...
But in the end it was worth it - Russia has become huge, powerful and united. Maybe it will happen again exactly in a thousand years from here? ... As a matter of faith, in this case we can leave the bright future that is already familiar to everyone, instead of tsar and the Communist Party to honor the primordial universal human values, they are also Christian values, and the Fatherland - it has not disappeared, it is one for all and for all. Why is this ideology so bad?