Be sure to read Part I first.
And so it went. Vladimir the Great would listen to his ambassadors who, upon their return from both Constantinople and the Roman West, described the ecclesial scene of the Church in both locations. And they returned enraptured, by the smells and bells of Byzantium.
These advisers reported that they could not tell if they were in Heaven or on Earth when they beheld the liturgical splendor of the Eastern Rite that they had beheld in Hagia Sophia. The Holy Wisdom of the East, displayed in the church built by the Latin-loving Emperor Justinian, (and later saved for a time by the Crusaders) had overpowered the senses of these Russian rubes. The Latin logic held no sway, as these envoys succumbed to their senses. Incense overruled common sense. And so, Vladimir the Great, accepting baptism for himself and his nation, married Anna, the sister of the Byzantine Emperor Basil II, and the fate of Russia was sealed until today. Russia would now have true claim to the throne of Byzantium. A claim even acknowledged by Rome. This would lead to the proclamation of the Monk Foma that Moscow was the Third Rome. Both Holy and Imperial. The third wound of Russia was delivered. The wound of spiritual deafness. She could not hear Peter. She could only hear the Emperor. Worse, this wounding was received with masochistic joy.
Russia had gone from being a hopeless kindergarten of warring local tribes who could find no common interest, to being an organized state under the domination of foreign Vikings. She then parlayed the gift of Christian confession that Queen Olga had bequeathed her into a national pride of imperial honor at the expense of Russia’s duty to her universal faith. A faith that was now subordinated to the Orthodox state. And now Olga’s son Vladimir, good as he was, had traded the state of grace for the state of marriage. Imperial marriage.
Now we need to jump forward to that next great ‘saint’ of Russia, Alexander Nevsky. St. Alexander, the friend of the Mongols. What am I saying here? Simply this: that once again, when the time of testing came again, the leader of Russia once again chose to ally himself with the East. The Pagan East. The price of this alliance would be the fourth wound of Russia.
It’s 1240 AD, and Nevsky is not only the ruler of Novgorod, the original seat of Rurikid rule, as well as Kiev, the seat of the Kievan Rus’. He is also the Grand Prince of Vladimir, the new seat of power in the Russian realm. N, K, V. Got it? Any clue where I’m going here? Let me help you. At that time, there was still a lot of intra-Slavic warfare going on, as the Rurikid dynasty continued to roll up the Eurasian real estate. Slavic tribes on the fringe of the Rus state were no match for the Varangian-led Rus. The Kingdom was growing, continuously. And now, the title of the King of the Rus’ includes not only the Principalities of Novgorod (N) and Kiev (K), it now includes the city of Vladimir (V).
Vladimir was the city founded by Vladimir Monomakh, (a true saint), the great grandson of Vladimir the Great. His mother was Anastasia of Byzantium, a relative of the Emperor Constantine IX Monomachos. Thus the name. And his city had become the new locus of power in the Rurikid realm by the time of Alexander Nevsky, the Grand Prince of Novgorod. So, for anyone to be the real ruler of the true and entire Rus’ state, one must be at the same time the Great Prince of both Novgorod and Kiev, but also the city of Vladimir as well. This is the pedigree that Alexander Nevsky held. How he held it is the point of this story.
Now everything was going well for the growing state of Rus’, in most ways, until the year 1240 AD. That was when the locust plague of the Golden Horde of Batu Khan, grandson of Genghis Kahn, descended upon it from the East. That was the year of decision for Alexander Nevsky and his Rus’ realm. What did this decision consist of? Here was the question, Komrade; shall I, Alexander Nevsky, ally myself with the (now Christian) Swedes and the Poles, against the Golden Horde? The price of this choice was fairly evident. Russia would have to join with the West against the East. Yet her Orthodox faith, warped by the Photian schism of Byzantine politics, would not allow her to make such a move. Why? Because she would have to admit that her Imperial pedigree had brought her no heavenly advantage. She would be reduced to begging aid from those damned Latins (of whatever latitude) in order to preserve her faith. A faith that she would have to admit would admit the Latins into the heavenly realm, as brothers in Christ. Brothers who would fight alongside of her in her time of troubles. This was something Nevsky could not bring himself to do.
Today, we read the history of Russia, written by Russians, wherein Nevsky is lauded for his willingness to strike the deal with Batu Khan and his Golden Horde in order to avoid any contact with the alien and apostate West. A deal that resulted in the subjugation of the Slavic Christian lands unto the pagan swarm of the mystic East. A deal that was lauded, until Dmitry Donskoy defeated the Mongols at the Battle of Kulikovo Field in 1340 AD, giving the Russian people a hope that they could once again be free in their faith. Free of the Easter shamans. But still enslaved to the Eastern way of Orthodoxy.
Once this (partial) freedom was won by Tsar Ivan III in 1480 AD, (and he had crushed the former rulers of Novgorod) we see that the current ‘histories’ of Russia now celebrate the Russian independence that Nevsky had so rashly traded away in 1240. Which means that Russia had needlessly suffered for 240 years under the Tartar yoke. Yet Nevsky is amongst the Orthodox sainted. Why? Because no cost is too great to escape the West! So the fourth wound was delivered, a wound that left her paralyzed in her Eastern Orthodox faith, as Russia continued her schizophrenic escape from the realism of the West. After all, wasn’t hesychasm the same as the shamanistic trances of the East?
We are at the time of her fifth and final wound. The wound that would seal her fate at the hands of the Autocrats, the Anarchists, the Communists, the Social Revolutionaries, and all their kind to follow. And this fifth wound was delivered by her own hand again, as she sought once more to escape from the embrace of her fellow Slavs from the West. The Poles. Those damned Poles. And their damned Latin faith.
We are at the Time of Troubles: 1598 AD. The time when the Rurikid dynasty had appeared to have ended, with the death of Feodor, the last son of Ivan IV. Ivan Grozny. Ivan the Terrible. That’s what Grozny means, you know. Fierce. Ask the Chechens, they know about this. But was Feodor really the last of Rurik’s line? What about Dmitry, Feodor’s older brother? The brother who was supposedly murdered a dozen years or so earlier by Boris Godunov, Ivan’s brother-in-law? Boris, the supposed Mongol? Did the child Dmitry really die? Or had he escaped, in the arms of his keepers? Had he been kept safe all these years? Was it possible?
After all the turmoil at the death of Feodor, as the royal line was supposedly extinguished, and Godunov grabbed the wheel of the ship of state, and famine gripped the land, the question arose in Orthodox Russia: was all this the punishment of God being visited upon the land? The punishment for having somehow abandoned their faith? For having shrunk from the task of saving the world, in the name of the Russian people and land? When the word was whispered abroad, that Dmitry was still alive, and that the people of Russia still had a choice, what was their reaction? What would they do?
They would rebel. Rebel against Godunov, the Usurper of the Orthodox faith and the God-anointed house of Rurik. Never mind that the House of Rurik was pagan from it’s very beginnings. Never mind that this supposedly real Dmitry was supposedly being kept safe from King Herod (Godunov) in Egypt (Poland). Never mind that Dmitry, the resurrected Christ-like Rurik, was friendly with the apostate Latins of the West. And that he had supposedly confessed his allegiance to Peter in Rome. Never mind all of that. All that mattered was that if all this was true, that if the True Dmitry was alive, then the line of Rurik was unbroken. The line was renewed. And God would reward all those who would reject the Mongol Usurper, the murderer Godunov. The same Mongols that Alexander Nevsky had embraced.
So they did. The Russian people resisted to the point of open rebellion. Thus began the First Russian Civil War. The war to restore the throne to the Rurikid dynasty. The war that represented the fifth wound of Russia. Like the others, the heart of it was the Orthodox rejection of the West. Now if you bother to read Russia’s First Civil War, your head will spin with all the False Dmitry’s, and the False Feodors, and False Everyone’s. This madness of accepting anyone who comes in the name of Rurik and his pagan lineage would extend for another hundred years and more, where even a False Peter III would be able to rally the people against the cruelty of their new Romanov rulers.
Here’s the bottom line. The Poles had come to liberate Moscow and Russia from their fratricidal frenzy. No, they weren’t wonderful fellows by any means. But they were Slavs. And they were Christians. And the Russians had offered the throne to King Sigismund III of Poland several times, or even his son. But when it came time to fish or cut bait, the Russians rose up, as one man, to drive them out of Moscow, and to give the throne to anyone who was not a Pole. Or Lithuanian. Or, in other words, not a Latin Christian. The Russians decided to sell themselves into slavery once again, by accepting the Romanov’s as their rulers, in place of the line of Rurik.
Now, never-mind the inherent contradictions that I have just described that occurred between the death of Feodor, the last of the Rurikids, and the coming of Mikhail I, (and his father, Patriarch Filaret) the first Romanovs. Never-mind the schizophrenic mentality that could accept all of these internal contradictions. They simply didn’t matter. Not to the Russians of that day.
Here is another silly fact. By this time, the Tsars of Russia, since Ivan IV, had been known as the rulers of All the Russias. That meant Great Russia (Novgorod and Vladimir), Little Russia (Kiev) and White (Byelo) Russia. And the head of it by this time was of course, the Grand Duke of Moscow. The Duchy of Moscow. Novgorod (N), Kiev (K), Vladimir (V), and finally, the Duchy (D). And that is my little mnemonic device for understanding who actually rules Russia at any given time. Is it becoming clearer? N, K, V, D? Or, as their victims said it, phonetically, En Kay Vay Day. Can you say Felix Dzerzhinsky, the first head of the NKVD? You know, the successor to the Okhrana, the Tsarist secret police? The successors to the Cheka, Lenin’s own version of the same? And the forerunner of the KGB? That’s right. The womb that brought forth Vladimir Putin.
We are back at the beginning. Who is Vladimir Putin? The new False Dmitry I, set to restore the Rurikid regime of Viking vengeance? Or the new Tsar Mikhail, the Romanov forefather of the Tsarist regime of Autocratic authority? Or the new Lenin, from the House of Marx? Well, what the Hell’s the difference? Either way, Russia has sold her soul, again. For a mess of pottage. They would support any Autocrat, and the slavery he would subject them to, in order to avoid kneeling in the West, in any fashion. Civil or ecclesial, nothing Western could be countenanced.
What’s all this mean? Simple, Komrade. You are not recognized as the true Ruler of All the Russias until you rule all four houses of the Rurikid Dynasty. Novgorod. Kiev. Vladimir. And the Duchy of Moscow. NKVD. Now guess which one Vladimir Putin does not yet rule? Now do you understand his fixation with Little Russia, Ukraine? And how his KGB pedigree is simply a recapitulation of the recitation of the NKVD I described above? Except for the K, of course. But he’s working on that, be assured. And once he has acquired that final property on the Monopoly Board of Eurasia, the people of Russia will willingly follow him, even into the jaws of the abyss.
Let us ask the most important question of all. What is the true difference between the House of Rurik, the House of Romanov, the House of Bolshevik and the House of Putin? If they are all opposed to the rationality of the West, can there actually be a difference? Have any of them, individually or collectively, acted any differently than the other? Other than the name they have each given to their secret police, is there really a scintilla of difference between them?
Has each been totally determined to impose their will upon their captive peoples? Has each been implacably opposed to the both the Thomistic as well as the Enlightened rationality of the West? Has each been totally determined to impose their autocratic will upon all the peoples that border upon their Empire? Have any of them been willing to set a limit to the boundaries of their empire? Have any of them renounced the Orthodox idea that salvation comes from the Russians, and not the Jews? Well, have they? Do you understand what all of this means?
We come back to my thesis—no, not that the Russian Revolution (whether in February or November) was the big event of 1917. The big ones will come next. For now, you must understand that the Russian ‘Revolution’ of 1917, was simply a costume change. A transition from Act II to Act III in the longest running drama unfolding in the human lifespan. An act foretold by Golytsyn. And the Monk Foma. And by Gogol. And Chaadayev. And Pushkin. And Fyodorov. And Solovyev. And Solzhenitsyn.
Why do you not yet understand this, Komrade? Why do you not yet understand that Russia is the terminus of the human experiment? Why do you not yet see that the Russian people are willing to experience any amount of suffering and deprivation in order to prove their superiority amongst all men? To prove that they are both Imperial Rome and Holy Rome? It’s simple, my friend. It’s because you don’t think like a detective. And as any good detective will tell you, if you want to catch the criminal, you must think like a criminal.
Next up: 1917.
I actually read this one;
This is a matter of national sovereignty. ‘simples’!
Some are envious and or threatened by the notion of Russia’s pride.
You don’t need to wade into fever swamps, to cherry pick in support of religious theory from ancient ecclesiastical, gem encrusted squabbles to justify why Russia has eyes on Ukraine.
In the case of Britain it is a nation which stood alone in the war with all other nations including Russia, as enemy. I thank God that the US Navy in particular, not forgetting other forces more recently, are our friends and that the backbiting is impotent. Dr strange love would be proud though,
Russia has a need to Ukraine, which Germany and certainly America have not, except in preventing them from having it. Which is not noble. Such christianity, humanity.
I’ll tell you why poke, because goodness and mercy isn’t following you all the days of your life.
It is none of America’s business. Nor any other nation, including Britain but particularly Germany, aka, the EUtopia, to who your thesis appeals the most. The commercial US’s business partner.
The same who pretend to the fashionable, but not new hindsight wisdom of the plain, non state intervention, are the very ones who poke the Russian bear. Why? To keep those who do the real fighting and mopping up, busy. Some even keep themselves busy.
Peter Hitchens, son of an ex submariner, commander, reformed leftist, lived in Moscow, had full diplomatic privilege as a correspondent, a cold warier, experienced first hand the KGB’s hi jinx; even he is for leaving Russia alone. He is a Christian and makes a reasoned lucid case.
Watt’s argument just draws Christians into the firing line in a machiavellian, typically latino fashion.
Hot heads. Yosemite Sam.
Psalm 23, KJV or niv, which is prettier.
Growing up in a WASPY part of Montreal which has a large Jewish population I heard endless diatribes against the Jews. At heart none of it made much sense. In fact 3 Jewish girlfriends later I can say with some experience that most people could learn a helluva lot from their families. I could not help but wonder if they were so adamant about the, so called, advantages why they kept moaning about it and didn’t convert. Mr Watt goes on( and on,and on,and on ) about the Eastern Church. Be honest Mr Watt you want to be Orthodox. So what’s stopping you. Get on with it and stop whining.
Put down that Umberto Eco.
Step away from the Anatoli Golitsin.
Become familiar with Occam.
You are descending into profoundly confused, confusing, useless and tired pseudo-philosophical meanderings.
Human psychology, human needs, and national identity and pride are sufficient categories to consider if you want to understand Russian actions.
Cabala, numerology, and arcane arts (NKVD is an acronym for the true rulers of Russia? Huh?) simply confuse the issue.