Spiritual Sources of the Russian Revolution
by His Eminence Metropolitan Mitrofan (Badanin) Translated from Russian by Archpriest Anatole (Lyovin)
Table of Contents
Who was it that got into power after all?
Generators of the spirits of riots
The lie concerning the bases of revolution
Once again about the Bolshevik mythology
The role of the Intelligentsia
Professional dislike of Russia
The Revolution of the XVIII century
The problem of moral barriers
Summoning of the demon
Revolutionaries and the Church
The restraining force
Return to the sources
Evil in this world
Tsar and the leaders of the revolution
Why the horrors of 1937?
In the spring of 2019, on a visit to St Petersburg, Russia, I was gifted His Eminence Metropolitan Mitrofan’s little book by a Russian lady doctor who very kindly came to our hotel to treat my wife’s and my influenza.1
Since both of my parents were refugees from Russia from where they fled in 1920 from the Bolsheviks who had defeated the White Army in that year, I thought I knew very much about the Russian revolution, its causes, both economical and spiritual. Therefore, I did not expect that Vladyka Mitrofan’s work would reveal to me something new, but it turned out that I was very much mistaken. Two things made me immediately think otherwise. One was that the author put much of the blame for the revolution and the defeat of the White Army squarely on the Russian liberal ‘inteligentsiia’ and even went so far as to blame the defeat of the White Army to the same elements of the Russian society. That was quite new to me, since both my father and my mother were closely tied to the White Army – my father joined White Army when he was barely 17 years old, and two of my mother’s brothers as well as her first husband served and fought as the officers of the White Army.
As I read Vladyka Mitrofan’s book I began to remember what my mother told me when I was still a child. She also put most of the blame on the liberal and ‘progressive’ ‘inteligentsiia’ whom she utterly despised, especially those who labeled themselves as ‘free thinkers.’ As for the defeat of the White Army, I remember that my father had mentioned to me several times that the primary and widely proclaimed goal of the White Army was to defeat the Bolsheviks and then establish a constitutional assembly that would first determine what type of government Russia would have, then write a constitution and carry out a free election.
He and probably many Russians thought that these goals were too nebulous. Can you imagine anyone going into battle and dying for a constitutional assembly which did not yet exist? This assembly was a non-entity that still had to be formed, and there was no guarantee that members of that assembly would agree on anything and do what was right for the country. However, it turns out that Vladyka Mitrofan seems to think that the leaders of the White Army could have simply stated that they were fighting to restore the monarchy. Here I disagree with him for the following reasons.
First, let us remember that Tsar Nicholas II abdicated not only in his name but also in the name of the Crown Prince Aleksei, who, besides being a minor at that time also suffered from hemophilia. The Tsar probably had expected another member of the imperial family to come forward and accept the heavy burden of ruling a very unruly empire in his place. But no one came forth, and, according to what I heard from my mother, a few members of the Romanov family even went so far as to wear red armbands to show just how enlightened and ‘progressive’ they are.
I have no doubt that the core of the White Army which consisted primarily of the officers of the Imperial Army and Navy would have preferred to fight for the restoration of the monarchy had they been given an opportunity to do so, but since the tsar had abdicated, and there was no Romanov who came forth and offered himself as a candidate for the throne, they simply had no choice.
One more reason: had the White Army declared that they were in favor of restoring the monarchy, the tsar’s family would have been murdered by the Bolsheviks right away. I think that this was a legitimate concern. Alas, it eventually did not prevent the Bolsheviks from murdering them all as the White Army neared the town where the former royal family was held as prisoners.
Finally, not all those who fought in the White Army were in favor of restoring the monarchy and would very likely not have joined the White Army if the latter proclaimed that restoration of monarchy was its goal. And the White Army needed all the allies it could get.
As I read the chapter on ‘Militant Atheism’ I unexpectedly learned the answer to one question that had always puzzled me. I always thought that an atheist is simply a person who for some reason doesn’t believe in the existence of God, pure and simple. What always puzzled me about it was why any such person found it necessary to persecute, torture, and even kill those who professed a belief in God. I understood why Hitler and his Nazis were against Christianity. To them Christianity was ‘too Jewish,’ and they tried to recreate some version of the ancient German paganism.
But, of course, all this could not quite explain why the Bolsheviks were so violently opposed to religion in general and Orthodox Christianity in particular.
It was a great surprise to me to learn that during the early years of Bolshevik rule statues of Judas Iscariot, his fist menacingly raised up to the sky, were erected in several Russian cities. So, a revelation. Bolsheviks were not true atheists who simply did not believe in the existence of God – they were rebels against Judeo Christian God and wanted to replace the traditional religion with something of their own. Instead of ‘love thy neighbor’ they promoted ‘report your neighbor to the Soviet secret police for his counterrevolutionary ideas and actions,’ and of course, ‘reap the rewards.’ After the death of Lenin they even had his body embalmed and placed in a mausoleum where ‘loyal Soviet citizens’ could venerate his ‘relics.’
And, of course, the works of Marx and Engels replaced the writings of the holy fathers as well as the Gospel itself.
It seems that when an individual person or an entire society ceases to believe in God, the resulting spiritual vacuum is immediately filled with a false religion inspired by satan and his minions. In the end, disbelief in God leads to a rebellion against God. One is reminded of Dostoyevsky’s “Brothers Karamazov” where Ivan Karamazov goes so far as to declare that even if God existed he would reject Him, because He allows innocent children to suffer.
You see, Ivan considered himself more compassionate than God Himself!
Whatever pseudo or false religion replaces disbelief in God, it is always violently opposed to Christianity and becomes its mortal enemy.
And this mortal enemy thinks nothing of killing not only clergymen but any Christian believer.
In 1937 Joseph Stalin all of a sudden initiated the extermination of all those whom he considered to be enemies of the Soviet government. Thus, on one day in 1937 more than 3000 people were ‘tried’ and shot, many of them priests and Orthodox Christian believers. Thousands and thousands more were executed and buried in mass graves as time progressed.
In his chapter, ‘Why the horrible 1937?’ Metropolitan Mitrofan explains why did all this happen all of a sudden The reason is very simple – just a few months before that there was a census of the population of the Soviet Union in which, at Stalin’s insistence there was a question about the religious beliefs of each citizen. It turned out, that in spite of almost twenty years of Soviet anti-religious propaganda, especially in all schools, a big majority of the census responders had the courage to state that they were believers! That was obviously bad news to Stalin, and he proceeded to weed out all the believers by simply killing them and not just waiting for the Soviet anti-religious propaganda to persuade the believers to recant.
To sum up, the reasons I chose to translate this book into English are manifold. First and foremost, I wanted to share with everyone those facts and views which were new to me in spite of my having parents both of whom were witnesses to what took place in Russia at the time of revolution. Second, although the current situation in the United States is very different from the situation in Russia just before the revolution, there are some common factors to both!
Primarily, it is in both countries that the prime movers of unrest are the so-called ‘liberal,’ ‘progressive’ intellectuals who are adamantly against the status quo and who are bent on undermining the traditional values as well as the role of churches and religion in general in the country because these oppose them.
As one commences to think on the theme of the spiritual component of the revolutionary idea, one inevitably encounters a whole series of serious difficulties.
First of all, seventy years of intense and single-minded work of the ideologues of the Soviet state did not fail to pass without leaving any results, and such an exciting veil of romanticism of the revolutionary movement continues to live subconsciously in all people who lived at that tie. For the majority of our nation’s people that era represents the best years of youth, full of strength, good health and optimistic plans for the future. And that is why nowadays any admission of the illusion of those aims and the deep depravity which lay hidden within the nature of the revolutionary idea is very difficult to accept and engenders in our people the feeling of resentment and deep disappointment. And one then feels in agreement with our poet Pushkin:
We cherish more the hosts of low-level truths
The illusion which exalts us …
Second, in studying this topic we touch upon a very dangerous, in the spiritual sense, region of the human nature, a territory of the global opposition of the powers of darkness and light. For every revolution is nothing but an exceedingly powerful breakthrough of the forces of darkness which allows takes place where God allows it to punish a given nation, people, or an individual, concrete person.
The forces of evil, fallen angels and demons who are usually constrained by God’s will, obtain freedom and realize their evil nature by becoming a punitive weapon, or as people say, ‘the scourge of God.’ The problem here is that there is no basis to claim that at the present time Russia and its much suffering people have been forgiven, and these ’demons of revolution’ are again firmly constrained. Judging from the sentiments of the general public, this is far from being true. Therefore, because of this, everyone who ventures into this sphere of knowledge and touches upon the theme of unmasking of these powers as well as discovery of the secret mechanisms of their destructive work, places himself in very big danger and risks experiencing their demonic revenge. In any case, he will inevitably experience opposition and come to feel a significant psychic burden.
Thirdly, this topic has not been researched very much; the secular scholars have never before studied how the spiritual forces of the Russian revolution arose. Moreover, any other spiritual problem cannot be professionally researched using the methods of worldly scholarship. That is quite understandable inasmuch as the analysis of such problems is the prerogative of the specialists who investigate specifically the spiritual aspects of such problems. In any case, it is a problem that has to be studied only by those who do not doubt the existence of the soul and the complex and intense spiritual life of man which stems from that belief.
Finally, the whole nature of the designated problem of analysis of the sources of the revolutionary movement can be reduced to a single, quite concise, statement; namely the following: the degree of ‘revolutionism’ present in a separate individual or in the entire nation is directly proportional to the degree of deviation from God. That degree of deviation may be very different and be far from being recognized as such, as for example, in the case of the Russian ‘inteligentsiia,’ or, on the contrary, it can also grow into conscious and publicly declared war against God, as it did in the case of the Bolsheviks and all the ‘fiery revolutionaries’ that resembled them. In any case, the mechanism of influence on the soul of this spiritual infection is the same and does not differ: the revolutionary spirit supplants and expels from the human heart the spirit of Christian faith, love and compassion. And even the most honest people who devote themselves to the idea of serving ‘the working people,’ who are ready to risk death fighting for the ideals of communism, unavoidably will have to accept into their hearts the spirit of hatred, become merciless, ready to shed blood, seek internal and external enemies, etc., etc. In general, they will have to eradicate in themselves all the traditional Christian values and become firm in their struggle against God.
Actually, having formulated the above assertion, all other discussions of the sources of Russian revolution can cease. However, to the extent that we would like to research the process itself of this disaster of the soul of the Russian people and expose the entire mendacious nature of the spirit of revolution, we shall continue our deliberations on the subject.
At the time of the beginning of the Russian revolution, practically all highest levels of the Russian society, but to the highest degree in Russian inteligentsiia, there formed vey manifestly a very deeply pernicious frame of mind, a kind of spiritual trauma which manifested itself in a maniacal urge towards accusation, towards destruction, towards overthrow in the name of some grand idea which none of them could fully and clearly formulate.
This spiritual languor which characterized our inteligentsiia as a whole and which brutally overcame it by 1917 was quite well characterized by the Russian writer M. E. Saltykov-Schedrin this way: ‘They felt they needed something, perhaps constitution, perhaps some sturgeon with horseradish.’2.
And so, in the end, it happened. There began a revolution.
And very soon one would remember the wise words of the Russian poet Aleksandr Pushkin: ‘God forbid us to see a Russian mutiny, senseless and merciless.’
Soon things became very sad, and there came about a certain type of sobriety which fact was very correctly noted by the famous Russian philosopher V.V. Rozanov in his article, ‘Inteligenciia and the revolution’: Having to full extent enjoyed the magnificent sight of revolution. Our inteligenciia was ready to put on their fur lined coats and return back to their cozy mansions, but their fur coats turned out to be stolen, and their mansions burned to the ground.’
At the end, all the creators of the Russian revolution, all those freedom loving, liberal, enlightened strata of society a hundred years ago, in the month of October, received a good kick in the pants from very different power, from intellectually low but very solidly cohesive organization of the Bolsheviks, which was not burdened by high ideals, morality and any moral scruples, but which was instead very tightly bound together by countless acts of terrorism …
Who was it that got into power after all?
All know the saying of Otto von Bismarck that ‘Revolutions are conceived by romanticists, are carried out by fanatics, and it is the riffraff who take the advantage of its fruits.’
But in the case of Russian revolution, in contrast to all the similar and countless disasters which took place in the history of the human race, including those which occurred in the present time, there was a very important, special element. The moment that the Russian revolution took place there came about a political organization which was actively supported by interested powers abroad, which was ‘armed’ by ‘scientifically based’ theory concerning the formation of a new society, plus a certain magically enticing idea of common happiness and a long-term plan for its realization.
Moreover, that organized society, the Bolsheviks, took over for itself to full extent the Christian dream for the Kingdom of Heaven, having, of course, replaced all attributes of the religious life of the people with a surrogate quasi-religion.3
In this rests the uniqueness of what happened in Russia and the reason for the relatively lengthy existence the artificial construct of the social system which was called the Soviet Union.4
Nevertheless, it is very important to describe who exactly were those people who were successful in taking over the government in October, 1917, and what was their spiritual state. Only from 1901 to 1911, according to the calculations of various historians, terrorists belonging to militant revolutionary organizations killed 17 thousand people.
During several months of 1905, beginning in the month of October, 3,611 government officials were either killed or wounded. Towards the end of 1907 that number almost increased to 4,500 persons. According to the official statistics of those years, during only 15 months (from the beginning of 1908 to the spring of 1909) there were 19,957 terroristic acts and armed robberies resulting in the death of 732 government officials and 3,051 private individuals, whereas 1,022 government officials and 2,829 private individuals were wounded.5
That is why, as much as this fact is very sad, we must honestly admit that it is no other than our so-called ‘fighters for the bright future’ who happen to be forefathers of terrorism as a phenomenon – it is no other country but Russia which nurtured this new and terrible reality in world’s history. Moreover, you and I who are alive today seem to be lost in a dream or trance and are unable to make ourselves evaluate finally and soberly this historical fact. It is as if we are unable to feel how dishonorable and immoral it is for us to send off our young people to Syria, to the Caucasus and other ‘hotspots’ and bid them to risk their lives in the struggle against terrorism while we so nonchalantly walk the streets which were named in honor of terrorists: Sophia Perovskaya, Kalyaeva, Vorovskoy, Samoylov, Bauman, Kotovskiy … But if it is fully OK to honor those who carried the idea of terror, then let us continue this tradition and name our streets in honor of the contemporary famous terrorists: Basaev, Hattab, Al-Baghdadi, or simply name a street as ‘Avenue of the Heroes of ISIS.’
And how can we miss the required main ‘Lenin prospect’ in each town? Yes, the chairman of the Russian Communist Party, Vladimir Lenin, did not
personally participate in the banditry of armed robberies ‘because of his weak health’, that duty was carried by such people as Stalin (nicknamed ‘Koba’), Frunze, Kamo and many other ‘warriors of the Party’ who by means of banditry and murder obtained money for the party’s treasury. Only during the month of October in 1906, the nation reported 362 cases of armed robberies by the Communist Party’s ‘warriors’, which the latter slyly called ‘expropriations.’ In these acts of outright banditry which the perpetrators called ‘expropriations,’ according to the Ministry of Finances of the Russian Empire, from the beginning of 1905 to the middle of 1906, more than one million rubles were stolen from banks and factory safes. One tsarist ruble at that time is now valued as being worth 1,300 of today’s rubles. It follows, then, that what was stolen would now be worth one billion, three hundred million rubles. And that was only for one year and a half!
Generators of the spirit of mutinous riots
‘There is none righteous, no, not one,
There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God,
They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one’
(Romans 3, 11-12)
Let us return to the question of spiritual sources of the disaster which so deeply struck Russia at the beginning of the XX century. The genuine spiritual progenitors and initiators of the revolutionary mutiny and creators of the events of February 1917 were the members of the Russian inteligenciia. We have already cited the article written by Vasilii V. Rozanov, ‘Inteligenciia and the revolution,’ but a very similar article was also written by the Russian poet Aleksandr A. Blok. According to Blok, all that transpired in Russia in 1917 began from the feeling of boredom, that is, from ‘oversatedness,’ or, as people say, ‘from too much fat.’
This very theme of overwhelming boredom is the predominant theme of Blok’s analytical articles written by him at the beginning of the XX century. ‘The boredom of our reality flows out as the red color. Days are steadily noisier because of all the shouting, and from the waving of red flags. In the night, the red color sings on dresses, on the cheeks, and on the lips of women for sale. The red color is a symbol of no good, perversion, symbol of the ripening of something troubling, unhealthy, of danger. The red color is a symptom of illness – of inflammation. Our society seems to become as if ‘inflamed’ from this boredom, and now the society is sick.’
We ought to remember, however, how inappropriate and unworthy was Blok’s striving to flatter the Bolshevik government:
Comrade, hold the rifle and do not fear!
Let us fire a bullet against Holy Russia here …
His poem entitled The Twelve – is a tragic landmark in his creativity; it is a sickly illusion and blindness: the revolutionary soldiers of Anti-Christ were confused by Blok with the Holy Apostles and the Second Coming of Christ:
Anger, sad anger
Boils in my chest …
Black anger, holy anger …
This tragic spiritual error deeply wounded the soul of the poet; it is actually this very error that led him to his grave. As the various witnesses remembered, 1n 1921, before his demise, ‘He kept on raving. He raved about the same thing over and over: “Have all the copies of ‘The Twelve’ been destroyed? Is there somewhere even one left? Liuba, search well, and burn, burn them all!” Liubov Dmitrievna, Blok’s wife, kept on repeating patiently that all the copies have been destroyed, and not even one remains. Blok would become calm for a little while, but then he would start getting worried and agitated.6 It took the poet four years to recognize the spiritual reality of the people who became the new rulers of our country.
But for many other thinking people of Russia this sobering took place already soon after the Bolshevik revolution in October 1917. There appeared the realization of the whole horror of what had occurred, followed later by deep remorse for what was done. There followed a crushing regret of that role which was played by educated, unquestionably authoritative people of Russia who were supposed to protect the precious treasures passed on to us by our forefathers instead of destroying it in order to humor their own egos. The remarkable poet, Maksimiliian Voloshin, already on November 23, 1917, after only a month had passed since the Bolshevik coup d’état, wrote an extremely powerful and prophetic poem with a frightening title, ‘Russia is finished.’
Russia is finished … at the end
We ruined her with our idle gossip,
with our idle talk,
We wastefully chatted, squandered her by drunkenness,
we spat at her
We polluted, we dirtied her up on
We sold her on the streets: who needs some land,
republics and freedoms, civil rights?
And our Fatherland our people themselves
dragged unto the garbage heap,
like some piece of trash.
Oh Lord, open up the floodgates and destroy,
Send fire on us, plagues, scourges,
Germans from the West, Mongols from the East.
Give us away into slavery once more and forever
In order that we may humbly and deeply expiate
The sin of Judas before the Dread Judgment!
It all turned out as this poem says: ‘Germans from the West’ and ‘Mongols from the East.’ We expiated Judas’ sin of betrayal as nobody in this world ever did. Twenty-eight million casualties during the four years of World War II. It is impossible to fully comprehend that number. ‘Death of a single person – that is a death, whereas death of the two million persons is only a statistic.’7 We feel that defensive reaction of the human psyche inasmuch as it is impossible to grasp with one’s heart the whole depth of such a tragedy and such excessive sorrow.
The lie concerning the bases of revolution
The meaning of ‘Juda’s sin’ which was committed against the country was by all means subsequently covered up by the Bolshevik ideologues. The search for the causes of the disaster which followed the revolution was shunted aside by them. The entire tragedy of the Russian revolution, that heaviest catastrophe, during the entire time of the Soviet Union’s existence the ideologues tried to explain as a natural consequence caused by terrible material conditions suffered by the people. All that time, like some sort of magic incantation, they repeated words about the economic insolvency of the country, its terrible backwardness, oppression, its bloody regime, and other deeply mendacious causes of the Russian tragedy which took place at the beginning of the XX century. That low down lie and the discreditation of the one-thousand-year history of Imperial Russa was necessary in order to hide the truth about the real motivations and true powers which accomplished the bloody military takeover in October 1917.
Imperial Russia was in fact a very prosperous nation in its prime. Of course, there is no need to idealize the situation since in this world an ideal perfection does not exist, but we can say, with complete confidence, that Russia at that time represented a nation with a miraculously high, unprecedented, development in all spheres of its life, and a steady, assured, increase in its standard of living. The increase of all indices of prosperity in terms of percentages was simply staggering and ‘off the charts.’
Life in our country was comfortable and quite normal. People felt quite confident and happy. And that is not an ideological cliché. Those are the actual words of my grandmothers, one of whom lived in Petrograd, the capital, and the other one who lived in a remote, patriarchal village in the Vologda region.
During the twenty years of Nicholas II’s rule the population of the country grew by 50 million people. There was internal harmony in the life of the people, one felt dependability and stability, all of which stimulated the further increase in all kinds of products and manufactures. This was felt in the cities as well as in villages. The nation occupied the fifth place in the world in the standard of living with a definite perspective of rising even higher in the near future. Today our living standard is somewhere between 60th and 90th in the world.
All early years of my life passed in my native St Petersburg (Leningrad). Not too long ago I finally got to my father’s native place: North Russian, remote patriarchal village in the Vologda province, not very far from Velikii Ustiug. My father used to tell me that until they were twelve years old, both boys and girls used to run around in long white shirts. Only later the boys were given pants and a kosovorotka, a Russian style shirt with a side neck fastening, and the girls were given a sarafan, a very long dress, Russian style. I still remember that, during the Soviet times I naturally thought that this was a sure indicator of poverty in prerevolutionary Russia. I had no idea whatsoever that this was simply on account of the fact that there, in a Russian village, there still lived old traditions of children’s upbringing which were directed towards the preservation of health and chastity of the nation. Merely in this minor episode of the prerevolutionary village life there lies whole depth of folk wisdom sanctified by centuries. The solution to a very difficult problem, how to preserve, as long as possible, purity and chastity in Russian children – how can one restrain or delay the appearance of ‘sexual activity,’ passions, and feelings of lust and lustful emotions. In contrast, I cannot talk about what is now happening in this sphere and how depraved educators now strive to promote ‘early sex education’ without getting sick …’
Thus, after that trip of mine I had nothing more to say about ‘hungry and pauperized’ Tsarist Russia. My father’s village is now, naturally, destroyed, and there are only a few old folks who are living out their life in its ramshackle peasant houses. But I also saw a bright white church – the stone six-cupola Vvedenskii cathedral in Baidanovo village. That grandiose edifice was built in 1889 by the inhabitants of nearest villages. In the clerical bulletins of this parish it is written: ‘financially supported by the peasants of the nearest villages.’ Many a city cathedral could easily envy this church’s high stone walls and its heavy bells. This church has two floors and six separate altars in separate alcoves, three on each floor. Whereas now, the entire Murmansk region cannot manage to find the means to build a cathedral for the city of Murmansk, whereas the bast-shoes wearing peasants of ‘poverty-stricken Russia’ were able to afford such a building.
But all that wealth, good life, stability, and steadfastness were undermined from within because the ruling strata of the society lost the solid base of faith, the spiritual core which for a thousand years was nurtured by the Orthodox Christian faith. That spiritual base was weakened and discredited on purpose.
Well, if so, the Law of God comes into force as well as the eternal Biblical truth which inexorably states: ‘Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.’ (Psalm 126.1)
Let us remember how great and beautiful Jerusalem was: ‘Teacher, see what manner of stones and buildings are here!’ Thus did one of our Lord’s disciples marvel and the beauty and grandeur of that city. But the all-knowing Lord knew that very soon ‘Judas’ sin of betrayal’ will befall the entire God chosen people and that soon God’s wrath will fall upon them: ‘And Jesus answered and said unto him: Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another, that shall not be thrown down.’ (Mark 13, 1,2) And the entire nation beloved by God from ancient times was deprived for two long millenia of its native land and was scattered all over the world. Only in 1948, by the decision of the United Nations, the state of Israel was recognized and returned to its historical territory. Thus, the Russian people did not suffer as much from its own ‘Judas’ Sin of betrayal.’
Once again about the Bolshevik mythology
Let us again turn our thoughts to the myth about the alleged weakness of Russia before the revolution. We still remember well what was happening in the Soviet Union during World War II, how difficult the situation was, destruction, dreadful hunger, dying off of the population (and here I am not even talking about the blockade of Leningrad). And yet, the Soviet government kept reporting about the unprecedented industrialization, rearmament and other great achievements. And yet, along with that, there was such utter exhaustion and nationwide grief!
Let us now compare that with the situation in Russia during the difficult years of World War I. At the beginning of the February Revolution in 1917, during the third year of the war, in Petrograd (St. Petersburg) there was a surfeit of foodstuffs, the one exception being a deficit of dark bread that lasted only a few days. As the result of the provocative rumors about the impending scarcity, there started to form long lines in bakeries, which eventually served as a stimulus for disturbances which began on February 23.
Professor G. M. Katkov, one of the most prominent scholars of the Russian diaspora who specialized in studying the February Revolution, claims with authority that there were sufficient foodstuffs in the city at that time. There was no basis for complaints about the lack of flour or bread. Inspite of that, during the first three days on which disturbances took place, the slogan “We want bread!” was written on the banners, and the crowd kept on chanting this slogan.
Soon the agents provocateurs began to add such slogans as “Down with the monarchy!”. According to the data cited by Prof. Katkov, “In February the supply of flour for bakeries was not even for one day lower than the level of average usage for 12 days.”8
For one day’s labor, a Moscow carpenter in 1913 received 1 ruble and 50 kopecks. For that amount he could choose to buy the following items at the 1913 prices:
|Top grade wheat flour – OR||10.3 kg|
|Wheat flour bread – OR||11 kg.|
|Veal, top grade OR||3 kg|
|Granulated sugar – OR||6 kg|
|Fresh bream (freshwater) OR||3 kg|
|Sunflower oil – OR||6.1 kg|
|Coal (from Donetsk)||72.9 kg|
A Soviet historian, Vitalii Ivanovich Startsev, claims in his work that the problems involving the lack of bread began on February 18 and ended on February 21.9 As for what the Russian people ate and how people survived during World War II in Russia, nobody needs any reminders.
The very fact of the three-day problems with the availability of dark bread (whole wheat or rye bread) convincingly indicate that any economic conditions leading to the revolution simply did not exist. Let me remind the reader that at that point the third year of an extremely difficult war was over. At that same time, by the winter of 1916 there began a real famine in Germany.
The Growth of the Economy During the Reign of Tsar Nicholas II
|Volume of bank deposits in millions of rubles||1895||350||1915||4,300||1,228%|
|Volume of machinery production in millions of rubles||1894||1,500||1916||6,000||433%|
|Avg. harvest from 2.7 acres in ‘puds’ (= 36 lbs.)||1901||33||1913||58||175%|
|Number of heads of cattle in the millions:||1895||1914|
|Qnty. coal in millions of ‘puds’ (1 ‘pud’= 36 lbs.)||1895||466||1914||1983||426%|
|Qnty. of petroleum in million ‘puds’||1894||338||1914||560||165%|
|Sugar production in millions of ‘puds’||1894||30||1914||104.5||348%|
|Harvest of cotton in millions of ‘puds’||1894||3.2||1914||15.6||488%|
|Production of cast iron in millions of ‘puds’||1895||73||1914||254||342%|
|Production of steel in millions of ‘puds’||1895||70||1914||229||320%|
|Gold reserves in thousands of ‘puds’||1894||648||1914||1,604||248%|
|Merchant fleet in thousands of tons||1894||492||1914||778||158%|
According to Winston Churchill, “The Russian ship of state survived the storm of the first months of the war. Retreats have ceased; the lack of sufficient artillery shells has been overcome; the armament production flowed in large quantities; the more powerful, the more numerically superior and much better equipped army was able to hold an enormous frontline; the rear assembly points were full of people. In other words, it was necessary only to hold out and continue; that was all that stood between Russia and her full victory. No other country suffered such a cruel fate as Russia did. Its ship of state sank just as the safe haven became visible.”
At the end of the war Russia should have acquired East Prussia, the territory of today’s Slovakia and Eastern Galicia. In addition, the Kingdom of Poland (as a part of the Russian Empire) would have acquired part of Eastern Germany. In March of 1915, London sent an official note to Russia in which Britain guaranteed that after the war Russia would be given Constantinople along with the adjacent territories on the western side of the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmora, the Galipoli peninsula, Southern Thrace, and besides that, the eastern coast of the Bosphorus and the Sea of Marmora with all of its islands.
The German general Erich Lüdendorf who, in fact, directed all the operations of the German army, assessed the situation as follows: “Russia has been able to form very powerful new armed units. That means that in 1917, the third year of the war, Russia has at its disposal a significantly larger and better equipped army than the army with which she entered the war.”
We should recall that at that very time the foundation of the new seaport “Romanov-on-the-Murman” was built, and that for its construction a railway line was also built. On January 1915, emperor Nicholas II approved the plan to build a railway line from Petrozavodsk to the seacoast of Murmansk at state’s expense, and by November 3, 1916, already 1,000 km of this line was completed. One can only imagine what this railway building would have turned into if it were being built under the Bolshevik rule – what grief and suffering of all those repressed and forcibly moved workers, how many thousands of prisoners would have met their end on this long rail line which passed through marshes and whose adjacent lands lacked adequate roads.
Thus, the potential of the country was inexhaustible, just as inexhaustible as its economical and material-technical resources. However, alas, the chief factor that sealed the fate of this nation was none of these factors. The chief factor, as always in the history of any country, turned out to be what was going on in the spiritual sphere, that is, what was going on in the souls of Russian citizens. The abandonment of the faith which had been passed on from the ancestors, purging from one’s soul of Christian values such as kindness, love, and compassion – all of these losses were replaced by a very different spirit of mutiny, dissatisfaction, search for scapegoats, and in the final stage by a thirst for destruction, revolutionary fervor, and lack of any moral restraints.
The role of the Intelligentsia
When we talk about the special role which the intelligentsia played in the fate of Russia at the beginning of the XX century, one comes to think that it would be very important to define precisely what intelligentsia is as a phenomenon within specifically Russian society, inasmuch as in the ‘European’ meaning of the word ‘intelligent’ (‘Intellectual’) this term is most often used as a synonym referring to a person who performs some intellectual function professionally.
At the same time, especially in Russia, this term acquired a special socio-philosophical meaning, according to which, only those who may be classified as belonging to the intelligentsia are those people who can be considered to be the bearers of the moral standards of the society.
This word entered the Russian usage at the beginning of the XX century and at first served only as one of the synonyms of the word ‘nobility.’ Unfortunately, the spiritual heritage of ‘the revolution of Peter I’ (we shall say more about it below), which led to the formation of an active, pro-Western leadership stratum within the Russian state, later became transformed into the direction that was even more lamentable. More and more often the term ‘intelligent’ came to refer not to someone who was simply an educated person, but only to the person who demonstrated a hostile attitude toward the ‘unwashed Russia’, toward ‘an antiquated form of government,’ or criticized the ‘backward’ tsarist government. This tendency, in the final run, completely predisposed the sympathies of the Russian intelligentsia towards the liberal, socialist, and revolutionary ideas.
There is no need to remind anybody about the final and natural fate of the Russian intelligentsia during the Bolshevik period. All those who were not ‘lucky enough’ to be counted in 1922-1923 as ‘counterrevolutionary intelligentsia’ and find themselves on the so-called ‘philosophical ships,’ very soon found themselves in labor camps.10 That was quite a natural outcome. In the beginning the Bolshevik attitude towards the Russian intelligentsia was clearly, though ‘not printably,’ formulated by the ‘great leader of the world proletariat.’ We shall not repeat here this very famous phrase.11 And one can occasionally even understand ‘the leader’ who placed his stake on the proletariat: ‘Intellectual powers of the workers and peasants grow and strengthen in the struggle … To the intellectual powers which desire to bring science to the people we pay a higher than average salary. That is a fact. We nurture them.’12
Quite naturally, beginning with the 1920’ies, the composition of this ‘stratum of society’ changed very radically. Very soon the core of the new social group was made up of young workers and peasants who received access to education, and the traditional specifics of this group of Russian society were practically lost. Thus, those very ethical elements contained in the meaning of the term ‘intelligentsia’ – were shunted far away, and this term started to mean ‘all the workers who ‘did mental labor’ – social ‘stratum’ of the new society – ‘Soviet people.’
Professional dislike of Russia
Of course, it would be wrong to place sweeping blame on the entire Russian intelligentsia as worshipping the West and being disrespectful of Russian uniqueness. To the extent that in the XIX century in the spiritual mood of the ruling circles and society in general the wounds of ‘Petrine revolution’ were healing, there emerged two clear views concerning the future historical path13 that Russia should take – the so-called ‘Westernizers’ and ‘Slavophiles.’ That is, besides the example of the social structure of the countries of Western Europe that should be imitated as an ideal, in the conscience of the society there formed an alternative model which offered to the Russian empire a chance to realize its own distinctive and unique historical path. It is important to note that at that time the religious component, the ideals of Christian morality and ethics, were still strong enough, and therefore both contentious sides categorically rejected the spirit of mutinous destruction and revolutionary ideas, but what is even more important, both sides loved Russia and wished for their country to flourish in many ways.
However, very soon, as Russia distanced itself from the ideals of Orthodox Christianity, through erosion of the Russian brains and hearts by the spirit of nihilism, spiritual cynicism, and undisguised godlessness, there appeared a completely different category of citizens. There appeared people who professionally hated Russia. This was a new and unprecedented phenomenon which in reality was a spiritual and ethical deformity and degeneracy.14 About this phenomenon, F. I. Tiutchev, the great Russian poet and diplomat, wrote the following words with astonishment and even disgust: ‘This phenomenon which is acquiring an increasingly pathological character –is Russophobia of some Russian people … In the past they told us, and they really felt that way, that they detest the absence of civil rights and free press, etc., etc., in Russia, and that because of the undisputed presence of these things in Europe they love Europe … But now what do we observe? As Russia increasingly achieves changes, more freedom, and strengthens itself, the hatred of Russia felt by these gentlemen is only increasing. They never despised the previous establishment as much as they now detest the contemporary changes and current trends in the social thinking in Russia. And as far as Europe is concerned, we now observe that breaches in justice, morality or even civilization have in no way diminished their favorable disposition towards Europe… In one word, concerning this phenomenon about which we are talking, it is impossible to talk about principles as such; what is active here are merely some kind of instincts.’15
I remember how at that time I could not fully explain to myself why did Lenin call L.N. Tolstoy ‘a mirror of the Russian revolution.’16 But when I happened to read the following lines written by Tolstoy, everything fell into place, and I understood everything: ‘Patriotism in our time is a very unnatural feeling; it is unreasonable, harmful and something that causes a big part of those calamities from which humankind suffers, and therefore, that feeling must not be nurtured as it is done today – no, on the contrary, it should be suppressed and destroyed by all means available by reasonable people.[^17’]
Reading these ‘pearls of wisdom’ one can’t help wondering, how did such a deformity acquire such a force in our society. And how applicable is still all that we have said above to our present ‘creative’ intelligentsia, or, as it is presently called, ‘liberal public.’
Concerning the same trouble, the genuine Russian intellectual Anton P. Chekhov wrote some thirty years later, that it is the very same ‘brotherhood’ that is going to bring to life those powers that are going to destroy them: ‘I do not believe in our intelligentsia because it is hypocritical, false, hysterical, without manners, and lazy; I do not believe in it even when it suffers and complains, for its oppressors come from its own bosom.’17
Finally, it is necessary to give some thought about the sources, and soberly analyze from where did this scorn of the Russian spirit, our Russian traditions, the tearing away from and even mockery of everything originally Russian enter into the minds of the Russian ruling class. Where did that shameless and fawning worship of everything Western, the open ‘aping’ and obtuse mimicry of everything absolutely alien to us, to alien principles, points of view, manners, belonging to other, in reality very petty and not so great nations and peoples of Europe, come to us?
Why is it hard to understand that through the so-called ‘window’ which we opened to Europe with such high hopes, we are constantly shown indecent gestures, and that it is through that very ‘window’ that we have had our fill of all sorts of spiritual surrogates and falsehoods. From this very source there came into Russia widespread enthusiasm for nihilism, ‘enlightened’ materialism, liberalism, and finally, for atheism, which was elevated by the Soviet government to the rank of state ideology in the XX century. As a result, our vast country, a powerful nation, for the first time in its history openly stepped on the path of war with God, and, we can say, senselessly and insolently directed Russian people to carry out a war against God, to fight against its Heavenly Father.
The Revolution of the XVIII century
We are now able to state with confidence what was the starting point of this destructive process. All these troubles began at a concrete point in our nation’s history: it all began during the rule of Peter I.
Not only a historian, but any Russian patriot will justly point out that Peter I accomplished a grandiose breakthrough in the modernization of Russia, and in the advancement of the Russian interests on the Baltic. He established a wonderful northern capital, firmly established the fundamentals of the army and navy and organized both army and navy in accordance with what was practiced in other armed forces of Europe. Toward the end of Peter’s rule there already existed 233 factories, including more than 90 heavy industries and shipyards. His inexhaustible energy which was directed toward decisive results in the task of transforming Russia into a nation at the European level of development arouses respect and even grudging admiration for the unprecedented scale of his plans.
However, one nevertheless cannot fail to see all the hard consequences of such a radical destruction especially of the revolutionary methods that were used by Peter I in his merciless reshaping of all the aspects of the country’s life. It is not secret that after his death he left Russia in a state of utter exhaustion from this limitless straining of his powers, and not only in terms of heavy material exhaustion but in terms of even greater moral degradation. It was Peter himself who engendered and strengthened by his monarchical authority the lack of respect for the original Russian spirit. In fact, he was the one who blessed the purposeful mockery of the strict moral principles that had been formed in the various social institutions of the nation and which had been reliable mortar that bound together of the most important traditions of Russian life.
Let us remember his cherished creation and beloved entertainment – “All-joking, All-drunken, and Madcap Council” – which cynically and openly engaged in mockery of everything that the Russian society valued and respected in ancient daily life or its moral and religious foundations.
Fascinated by the moral freedom of the European Renaissance, with its free thinking and manner of behavior, Peter mercilessly began to uproot the deepest foundations of the Russian native culture and Russian daily life. As Karamzin [early Russian historian] puts it: “This passionate monarch who possessed a very vivid imagination, having seen Europe, developed a desire to transform Russia into Holland.” However, after all, Russia did not become Europe. Russia remained Russia but with a crippled upper social class which was alienated from the spirit of the Russian nation.
The Russian historian B.E. Bashilov writes: “After Peter’s death there came the ugliest period of in the history of the Russian people. Those who were supposed to direct its fate trampled on its religion, showed contempt for its customs, and in every way mocked its national dignity.”18
It is therefore not surprising that after Peter there followed a stagnant and mediocre historical period marked by numerous palace conspiracies, lacking all moral restraints, and with the complete hegemony of foreigners. But it was especially during Peter’s reign that the first “intellectuals” were formed, that insignificant stratum of educated, pro-European, people in whom from birth there was utter scorn for everything Russian, and enthusiastic and unconditional worship of everything foreign, everything European.
What took place is a tragic tectonic breakup in the state system of the nation – – a division between the former Russia “of the people” and the new, absolutely alien aristocracy which held the power in the government of the state. The Russian social activist, Lev Tikhomirov, in his famous study “Monarchical Statehood” commented on this very neatly: “During Peter’s reign monarchy survived only thanks to the people who continued to consider as law, not what Peter ordered, but what continued to exist in the minds and consciences of the monarchic consciousness of the people.”19
Concerning this phenomenon of “parallel worlds” during that specific “Petrovian” period one may also find evidence in the life our Kola peninsula region. Thus, in 1726, in order to carry out the imperial edict, Varnava, the ruling bishop of the Arkhangelsk region sent around his diocese the imperial “ukaz” [edict] “about the destruction of all seafaring fishing boats20 of old models and the construction of only “galeots’ and “katiflents” [probably Western European models of fishing boats].” It goes without saying that this edict was not obeyed by anyone living on the northern seacoast of Russia. It is terrible to say so, but six or seven years after the death of Peter I, even his famous fleet ceased to exist because it fell into decline and simply rotted away, and nobody built a new one.
By means of some inhuman energy, what Peter I was undertaking was in essence a great revolution in the spiritual sphere of Russian life. He abolished the Patriarchate and proclaimed himself to be the head of the Russian Orthodox Church which he directed through the secular office of “the ober prokuror” and a special office. The role of the autocratic ‘tsar batiushka’ [tsar father of the nation], that distinctly Russian form of Russian monarchical power, he replaced by European absolutism which was more pleasing to him. The difference between these two involves the matter of principle.
In the Russian understanding of monarchy the people are given to a tsar by God in order that the monarch should take care of the welfare of his people, and the tsar was under obligation to God to be answerable to God as to how he managed this duty. “It is imperative for the Tsar to protect the peasants even more than the landowners (landed gentry) for the landowners rule the peasants only temporarily whereas the Tsar’s obligation to them is a long-term one; and the wealth of the peasantry is Tsar’s wealth, whereas the poverty of the peasantry is at the same time impoverishment of the Tsar.”21 Russian autocracy must benefit the people and the glory of God, and moreover it is subject to God’s judgment. On the other hand, the royal absolutism of Europe doesn’t recognize any responsibility to anyone. The entire essence of the European monarchy is contained in the French language formula “car tel est notre bon plaisir” (“for such is our good pleasure”).
Peter I in a revolutionary way encroached into the very essence of the Russian monarchical idea. His acceptance of the title of ‘emperor’ was on the one hand intended to reflect the increase the power status of Russia and Russia’s influence in European affairs, but, on the other hand, it also witnessed the devaluation of the spiritual concept of the Emperor as a ‘restrainer’ in the state of the ‘Third Rome’ (i.e. Moscow) and in the whole world – for Peter ‘Great Russia’ fully overshadowed ‘Holy Russia’.
Therefore, the connection between the revolution carried out by Peter and the tragedy of the Bolshevik revolution which took place 300 years later is so obvious and is recognized not only by Russian scholars but also by foreign scholars and thinkers like A. Toynbee, V. Schubart et al. As N.A. Berdiaiev wrote, as a result, within the Russian spiritual sphere, “by the XIX century there came into being a unique Russian spiritual type principally quite different from the spiritual type of Medieval and Moscovite Russia, and it is necessary to draw conclusions from this type in order to trace the sources and understand the nature of the militant atheism of the Russian Revolution.”22
The concept of ‘militant atheism’, militant godlessness, and struggle against God – is in after all the crux of the spiritual world view (Weltanschaung) of every Russian (and not only Russian) revolutionary. Revolutionary ferment in one’s soul is possible only if faith (in God) has been lost. This is sometimes the result of an unconscious choice of a path which leads away from God and to union with other powers. And let us not be deluded – this is a very strict law for “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.” (Matthew 6, 24).
When a person happens to distance himself from the light this will inevitable lead him into the regions of darkness inasmuch as a compromise in that sphere is excluded, for: “What accord has Christ with Belial? … And what agreement has the temple of God with pagan idols?” (2 Corinth. 6, 15, 16).
Any revolution is not only an uprising against the order established by God but is actually a rebellion against God. It is opposition to that higher power of goodness, justice and love that irritates and hinders the revolutionary and counters his movement down the path of utter embitterment and satanic pride. This rebellion is a mindless attempt to silence that wonderful ‘tuning fork’ which is an essential part of each person from his creation – that innate moral law which lives in him – in other words, his conscience. Let us remember the famous words of Emmanuel Kant, a man of very conventional faith, but someone who was impelled to name with wonder and reverence the two things that unceasingly awed him: “the starry skies above me and the moral law inside of me.”23
And what was the apex of the revolutionary spirit, that is to say, the highest sacred goal of that struggle, of that painful agony of these unhappy revolutionaries? Well, the highest point of that revolutionary struggle, that rebellion against God which marks the end of every era of human history itself, is what the Revelation describes as the beginning of the rule of the Antichrist. It is that frightful moment when there appears on Earth an unprecedented leader, a spiritual and political leader of all nations and peoples, that moment when mankind will encounter “the man of sin … the son of perdition …” (2 Thessalonians 2,3). That man will obtain unprecedented power – the power and reign of Satan will enter into him. The apostle St. John the Theologian writes: And the dragon gave him his power, his throne, and his great authority… Also given to him was the mouth that spoke haughtily and blasphemously.” (Revelation 13, 2). “And the whole world bowed down to the beast, saying: who is like this beast? And who can do battle against him?” (Revelation 13, 3,4).
This fundamental idea and its spirit must unavoidably manifest itself and unavoidably does manifest itself in the form of thoughts and actions of its bearers – the professional revolutionaries. This was always so. The idea and presentiment of the coming of the Antichrist, the yearning for him and summoning of him have always latently existed inside any revolutionary movement. The inclination to oppose God along with the subsequent outright rebellion against God formed the substance of the internal life of each revolutionary in Russia.
In 1869, for the first time openly and without masking its real face, the revolutionary God rejectors revealed the frightening nature of the association established by them. “The Catechism of a Revolutionary” which was written by the nihilist and professional terrorist Sergei Nechaev excused any evil deed or crime if it was committed for the success of the revolution. For the first time, using plain language, the abolition of human moral laws and morality in general was plainly and clearly announced by the revolutionaries. And, precisely in the same program document there was for the first time in the history of Russia the revelation of the idea of mass terror with huge numbers of human victims “for the sake of the future of the entire humankind.”24
The well-established mythological mantra of “the bright future” kept reappearing without fail ever since the French Revolution in the XVIII century then during the subsequent analogical phenomena and was always touted as being an unprecedented task in its greatness, a task that inevitably harbors within itself the famous principle of Machiavelli – “the goal justifies the means.”25 What inevitably followed was the formulation of the new view of the preceding history. A new meaning for human life which consisted of the necessity “to sacrifice one’s life for the sake of the happiness of the working people” was also formulated in order that “special historical mission” be attained and no matter what cost. In “The Catechism of a Revolutionary” it was prescribed that real revolution will be considered as such only if “it eradicates the entire political system and exterminates all the traditions of the state.”26 Fifty years later, in October 1917, the faithful followers of the terrorist Nechaev, Lenin’s Bolsheviks, would decisively begin to realize these dreadful plans.
The problem of moral restraints
Without a doubt, in order to achieve inhuman goals like the ones we spoke of above it was necessary to eliminate first of all the moral barriers, barriers of human conscience, those eternal basic values which were proclaimed to the world by Christ the Savior. For this purpose, the immorality of life governing principles was without any hesitation elevated as the norm. Thus, “the great leader of the revolution,” V. Lenin, in his concrete life directive work “Tasks for the youth organizations” gives this concrete directive to “the builders of communism”: “That which is beneficial to the proletariat is moral.”
[Translator’s note: the word ‘proletariat’ may be unfamiliar to those who have never lived in a communist country. It refers to the lowest class of industrial wage earners who possess neither capital nor means of production and must earn a living from their labor power. According to communist dogma, it is the proletariat that must rise up and establish the dictatorship of the proletariat.] These words of his are tantamount to a summons to put an end to the history of the human race for acceptance of such an anti-Christian postulate simply renders the existence of this world totally meaningless.
There is nothing surprising that any God rejecting society eventually comes to similar conclusions. Thus, also, when German fascism came to power it decisively broke off from the Christian norms of life, for just as the Gospel witnesses, “what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion does light have with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6, 14) In Martin Bormann’s memorandum which he sent to all the gauleiters in the East [‘district leaders’ in the German occupied territories] in December 1941, he talks about this quite clearly: “Remember, National-Socialist (Nazi) ideas and Christian ideas are incompatible.” And that means, “we must be honest, decent and loyal only in our dealings with our own race and no other.” (H. Himmler in 1940) On the basis of such postulates, Hitler, while instructing the soldiers of the Wehrmacht before a decisive battle on the Eastern front is quite frank about this: “I liberate you from the fanciful nonsense which is called conscience.”
F. M. Dostoyevsky in his famous novel “Demons” very ingeniously described the internal mechanism of these God defying processes and the hidden movements of the darkest and lowest aspects of the struggling human soul. It was not very hard for him to do so. He himself came from this circle of people, people with spiritual flaws, and whose souls bore serious wounds – that is, from the ranks of the professional revolutionaries.
The psychological make-up of the chief hero of Dostoyevsky’s “Demons”, Peter Verkhovensky, consisted of deprecation of everything and everyone for the sake of self-justification and overemphasizing his own petty and flawed “ego”. But what was the goal of his life? He himself admits that the idea of the revolution is merely the means and that what really matters is power. Verkhovensky craves power over people in order to be the master of their minds and souls. He considers himself to be a petty Antichrist, just as, by the way, all subsequent representatives of this galaxy of world wreckers, people engendered by the powers of darkness who were so aptly named “demons” by Dostoyevsky. The absolute majority of them are grey mediocrities who did not make it in this life, who didn’t achieve anything, who were not recognized as being anything special by anyone and were therefore embittered as well as at the same time almost pathologically self-absorbed and narcistic.
But at this stage of the game these “minor demons” need help from bright personalities and Russian intelligentsia. All of them, just as Verkhovensky, admit that without Stavrogin, that “demonically handsome man”, they are nothing. Nobody would listen to them – what is needed here is an authority figure, a charismatic personality, and the charm of a powerful intellect. Also needed are pedigree and blue blood. So, it turns out that for the destruction of the foundations of a society one needs intelligentsia. For it is especially the intelligencia that summons from the deepest darkness those evil powers, these “Verkhovenskys” and “Sharikovs” who later on will get rid of their parents and teachers. And still later they, too, will be crushed by their horrible offspring inasmuch as even more horrendous power will arise which will announce to the world a new dictum: “all is moral which is profitable for us.”
Thus, the law of any revolution will be inexorably fulfilled, and the revolution, like every power of darkness will destroy all things and all people around itself. It will always be “Saturn who devours his own children.” But first of all, it will destroy its parents, all those who spawned it – “the liberal society.”
Summoning of the demon
“Death entered the world through the envy of the devil.” - (Wisdom of Solomon 2,24)
In order to carry out a revolution, it is absolutely necessary to release the proverbial “genie from the bottle”, release the elemental powers of evil which are bound by the laws of morality, conventional laws, and conscience. And as things progress, a revolutionary who thought that he has something under control will soon realize that what controls all is actually another power which he cannot control – an elemental force of destruction, demons of the revolution. “Those fools who are fulfilling the duties as revolutionaries themselves have no idea whose bidding they are carrying out by shouting aloud in the streets their misleading slogans and whose evil tasks they are carrying out, thereby destroying so brazenly and improvidently the goals incompatible with the goals of the teachings which they supposedly preach.”27
But, alas, history teaches no one. Present day spiritually illiterate and irresponsible liberals who loudly shout and lead into the city streets our naïve young people under the empty slogans about ‘fairness in elections’ are incapable of understanding what terrible powers they are trying to summon from the dark depths. Just like little moths which innocently flutter about the reflection of a fire they inevitably get nearer and nearer to their demise from the real demons of the revolution who are ready to awaken and spring forth from the fires of hell.
All of this we have seen before. Her we shall cite only one example – Lev Davidovich Trotsky (real surname Bernstein) who was, in fact, indisputably the leader and the guiding force of the Russian revolution with all its bloody reality. It was precisely he who most clearly embodied the essence of the revolutionary ideal. Without any hesitation, or embarrassment, he used to call himself ‘the demon of the revolution’.
In Trotsky’s works which were published after his expulsion from the USSR in 1929 we can find his very frank confession and expressions about his own and very characteristic understanding of the sources and motivating forces of the Russian revolution.28 He describes his arguments with Plekhanov and other Marxists living abroad who constantly proved that Russia was not ready for revolution. According to the classical Marxist theory, it is necessary first to have a fully developed maturity and formation of the classes of bourgeoisie and the proletariat in a country as absolute condition for the formation of a revolutionary situation and achievement of the so-called ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’. [Tr. note: It was never explained how any dictatorship can coexist with democracy.] Trotsky replies to his critics without referring to any theory and emphasizes that “You simply do not know the Russian people. Without any kind of mature classes and situations the Russian people will believe fiery words about justice and brotherhood, about the necessity to punish the predatory robbers of the working people, to destroy the bloodsucking exploiter with the calloused hand of the working man, and to build a new world for everyone’s happiness and good.” This crafty ‘demon’ felt very clearly how to seduce the masses of the people, how to touch the hidden strings of the soul of the Russian people.
However, his slogans, by the way, as the appeals of all other leaders of the Russian revolution touched the basest motivations of the people. According to the publications of the founders of Marxism, the Communist idea, as we pointed out above, assumed the presence of highly developed and productive powers, maturing social relations, etc., in order that in the future it would be possible to realize the basic principle of Communism – “from each according to his abilities to each according to his needs”. In the case of Russia, the Bolsheviks, as we have seen, set up very different goals, appealing to the base feeling of envy and inflaming that feeling in the people.
It is interesting to note that Karl Marx himself foresaw a similar course of events and very sharply criticized all attempts to build such “a course of rough hewn and ill-conceived Communism”29 which, according to him, merely leads to “universal envy in the world”.
It is especially this ‘envy’ raised to the rank of a virtue that motivated the Russian revolutionary masses. Envy of the wealth of others, of others’ standing in society, of the success and talents of others, etc. In the mutinous consciousness of the masses, this depraved, base feeling soon became formulated as the following slogan: ‘Steal what had been stolen.’ In addition, in the next regular stage in the development of the ‘revolutionary idea’ there came the desire to destroy the very object of envy in order that it may cease to irritate the enviers. This is, in essence, the classic struggle, the ‘unseen struggle’ that the humanity is waging from the very beginning of its history. “Why did Cain kill Abel?” – asks a line in a well-known movie,30 – knowing full well the answer – from envy.
Let us now remember how well our Russian writer and poet Pushkin describes in his ‘Minor Tragedies’ the really heavy spiritual torments of the covetous composer A. Salieri, which, as the final result, transformed this famous composer into a villainous murderer. The feeling of envy, once it gains a hold on a human being, is capable of destroying his soul, push him to commit a crime and turn him ‘into a contemptible envier, into a viper which is trampled upon while still alive, while it helplessly gnaws at sand and dust.’
But Pushkin’s genius goes even further by revealing the ultimate goal of this process which lead to enslavement of a man by the sin of envy. Salieri envies Mozart ‘painfully and deeply’, and since he detests his fellow musician with his whole being, he finally comes to the idea of murder and the regular God defying conclusion:
‘Everyone says that there is no justice in this world, but justice is also lacking from above. For me this is so clear as a simple musical scale.’
That is, for Salieri who has experienced a bout of satanic envy, and, as a result, came to the conclusion that this world is unfair, the next step becomes inevitable. He blames God for his failures in this world, rebels against Him, and becomes an enemy of God. By killing Mozart, he ‘rectifies God’s injustice’, and thereby restores ‘justice’. It is exactly this way that everyone who at the beginning of the XX century gave in to the cunning words of the leaders of the revolution about ‘fairness and justice’ and using the motto ‘steal what has been stolen’ stepped onto the path of indulging his base passions. The ultimate result of this is inevitable – war against God, defiance against God and the perishing of human souls.
Let us go back to Trotsky. It is no secret that this ‘leader’ was a virtuoso of the spoken word, who knew how to captivate, charm, and win over his audience. However, all those words of his were merely demonic flattery and deliberate deception. To Trotsky and other similar people, ‘people’ represented nothing more than ’masses of the people’ which must be ruled authoritatively in the interest of those absurd and sometimes even insane concepts that matured in the minds of these latter day ‘leaders’.
In addition, their internal nature, their very being, was clearly incapable of containing the old moral principles and morals in general. The motivations which moved the leaders of the revolution, perhaps, not even fully recognized by them, turned out to be misanthropy and the desire to destroy people, but which, without fail, were couched in attractively packaged and enticing slogans.
However, the Gospel teaches us very clearly: ‘You will recognize them by their fruits,’ (Matthew 7. 20) Thus, in 1920 Lenin signed a decree which allowed abortion in medical facilities in accordance to social evidence as well as in accordance of the pregnant woman’s demand. At that time in no other country in the world no one could even think of such a thing. To be fair, we must mention that abortions were forbidden by Stalin in 1936 and were allowed again in 1955 under the initiative of Nikita Khrushchev.
We should also say that this policy of Stalin’s which was intended to strengthen the institution of the family in the USSR was actively opposed by Trotsky and other ‘fiery Marxists’ who called it ‘counterrevolutionary’: the Revolution made a heroic effort to destroy the so-called ‘family hearth’ – that archaic, moldy and stagnant establishment31 …
Of course, one may accuse us of prejudice concerning the ontological hatred of mankind as a whole by the bearers of the revolutionary idea, but the ultimate results of their horrible work speak for themselves. On the eve of the revolutionary events which inaugurated the long-lasting Bolshevik experiment, the great Russian scientist D.I. Mendeleev published a work entitled “Towards understanding Russia.” In that study he listed his scientifically based predictions concerning the demographic situation in Russia, which were based on the then current trends and the results of the population censuses. According to his calculations, at the beginning the 2000’s the Russian Empire should have had around 600 million inhabitants.32 Alas, however, Dimitrii Ivanovich Mendeleev could not have even imagined what kind of powers would get involved in the process of destruction of people on the territory of the Russian Empire. In reality, the summary population figure for all the countries which had been part of the Russian Empire, at the beginning of the 2000’s was only about 300 million people. As far as the present-day Russian state is concerned, after all the experiments that have taken place in our country, the population figure is merely 148 million.
Revolutionaries and the Church
Let us now turn to the concrete personages the bearers of the revolutionary idea. Let us openly state that it was especially in L.D. Trotsky that the internal core of a revolutionary leader manifested itself most clearly. He was truly the real moving force behind the revolutionary events of that day. It was his unbridled energy that created Cheka (the precursor of KGB), labor armies, and it was he who formulated the bases of the ‘Red terror’. Finally, it was truly he who created the Red Army. Moreover, of course, it was Trotsky to whom Lenin assigned the task of initiating a direct assault on the Church on the state level. For Lenin himself this fight with ‘bozhen’ka’ (a diminutive form of the Russian word for God which Lenin used mockingly) as he liked to call it, represented the crux of his motivations, inasmuch as for him the Christian religion was “one of the most vile things which exist in this world”.33
In order to discredit the Russian Orthodox Church the Bolshevik agents provocateurs organized an operation which involved the confiscation of the Church’s valuables under the pretext that this was needed to save the starving.34 The most cynical aspect of this story was that from the very beginning of this confiscation operation what was confiscated from the Church was absolutely not intended for the relief of the starving. It was merely a mean political and ideological diversion which had been planned by the Bolshevik higher ups in order to provoke riots and thereby provide an excuse for carrying out the ‘Red Terror’ against the Church.
The following instruction of Lenin, ‘the leader of the world proletariat’, made before the beginning of that campaign bears witness of his satanic hatred of Orthodox Christianity: “With most frenzied and implacable energy, merciless energy, and without hesitating to put down any resistance you should attack decisively and mercilessly the ‘black hundreds’ clergy and crush its resistance with such brutality that it won’t be able to forget it for decades … The more representatives of the reactionary bourgeoisie and reactionary clergy we can execute by a firing squad in this connection, the better.”35
The struggles against God were very much counting on the resistance against the confiscation of church valuables by the believers, which would provide an excuse to juxtapose the clergy and the people, and thus justify the terrorizing the Church. In the Bolshevik newspapers of that time there were already written and ready articles in which the Patriarch of Moscow was referred to as no other than ‘cannibal Tikhon’. However, they encountered something that confused them: The Church, under the leadership of Patriarch Tikhon did not refuse to help the starving and agreed to turn in the precious stones and costly metals as well as icon decorations. This unexpected turn of events greatly angered the Bolshevik authorities, and they tried, using all the means under their disposal, to carry out ‘forcible confiscation with all the mockery and provocations.’
As the result of this campaign, in 1922 alone the Bolsheviks plundered the churches of Russia to the tune of four million of golden rubles.36 But actually, out of this sum only about a million rubles were spent for the purchase of the foodstuffs to feed the hungry. All of the rest of the money was spent for other purposes, primarily for the ‘fanning of the flames of world revolution’.37 An overwhelming majority of all the valuable metals confiscated from the Church in 1922 was melted down, whereas the moneys received from the sale were ‘mostly spent on the campaign against the Church: anti Church propaganda, technical maintenance, extra budget allocations38, etc.’ A part of gold and other valuables were stolen away, which was witnessed by many trials against the officials of Gokhran (State Treasury)39
The next deed of Trotsky’s was the carrying out of the Bolshevik plan of ‘monumental propaganda’. For that, they needed an icon that embodied the very essence of the Bolshevik revolution. Lucifer was considered as someone who did not fully fit the ideas of Communism; Cain was considered to be a personality who was too distant and legendary. So, they ended up by choosing Judas Iscariot as the fully historical figure. Monuments to him were made which consisted of a full-sized standing figure of Judas with his fist raised up against the sky.
Under the personal initiative of Trotsky, these monuments were created in several places: on August 11,1918, in the town of Sviiazhevsk, and later in the same autumn in the town of Kozlov. A similar creation was erected in spring of 1919 in the town of Tambov. At its dedication, Trotsky said the following words: ‘Judas was the first person on this earth who understood the harmful nature of Christianity. Judas is the first true prophet of the Bolshevik revolution, and we, Bolsheviks, must erect such monuments to the first prophet of the Bolshevik revolution in all the cities of Russia. The next city, in which out of respect to Mikhail Frunze, a monument to the prophet of the Bolshevik revolution, Judas, will be erected in the city of Ivanovo-Voznesensk.”
The most striking of these ‘festivities’ took place in Omsk in May of 1919. According to the evidence from the Bolshevik newspapers, a monument to Judas Iscariot was erected in the town of Tambov in accordance of the resolution of the executive committee of the Tambov Soviet. All local newspapers that were published on May 5 carried a very noteworthy and fiery speech of the leader of the revolutionary movement of Russia. Today those newspapers are inaccessible. Even if they still exist, they may be found only in some closed archives. However, the outline of this speech by Trotsky was later published abroad by the émigré press by one of the witnesses of this event: “I bring to you a message,” he said and placed his hand on his chest. “I carry within me the sin of all times. Truth is within me. Don’t you recognize me? I am the Savior of our time. I am he.” He said all this pointing with his hand at the hideous monument. Without a doubt, that is what he really thought and truly believed. That man appeared insane at that moment. He really thought that he was Judas or Antichrist.
There have been raised objections concerning the above information—today it is too unbelievable to imagine such acts. Some people are guessing that this whole story is simply anti-Bolshevik propaganda that originated from the White anti-Bolshevik movement and later from anti-Bolshevik émigrés. Of course, we cannot completely exclude the possibility that these explanations may be true since at that time everything was thoroughly imbued with lies. Nevertheless, we must admit that all what was said above is fully compatible with the revolutionary spiritual attitude of Trotsky as well of those people who resembled him.
One may also argue that Trotsky’s persona should be considered to be something of an exception, especially in the extent of his manifested spiritual extremism and the peculiar character of God rejector when taken as a single example. Therefore, let us make a comparison with another example – Nikolay Ivanovich Bukharin.
This leading participant of revolutionary events always positioned himself as an even tempered and even very liberal man. He did not have a penchant for shocking the society with his behavior and for extremism in general and was one of the most erudite and educated members of the Bolshevik party after it came into power. But his personal struggle against God began when he was eleven years old. He dreamed of being the Antichrist in order that, after destroying God’s Church he would make all the peoples of this world worship him. For this he asked for help from the prince of darkness, satan. His efforts in this regard consisted of mockery of what was sacred in Christianity. I really do not want to remember all the vile things he committed but let us mention only one method of mockery that he invented: He would pretend to go to the Holy Confession and would pretend to genuinely repent his sins; then, he would receive the Holy Communion but would not swallow it. After he exited the church he would use the Holy Communion in further acts of mockery. Nikolai Ivanovich thoroughly studied the famous work of Vladimir Soloviov [famous Russian philosopher], “Lecture on the Antichrist,” which moved him so deeply that he began to use it as an instruction book on how to become an Antichrist.
Therefore, that anti-Christian spiritual malady lived to some extent in all those people who found themselves in a state of rebelliousness, thirst for destruction of all and everything that did not fit in with their revolutionary point of view.
The restraining force
On the basis of all that has been said above, all the subsequent interminable bloody crimes committed by the Bolsheviks, including the brutal murder of the royal family which stained the hands of the Bolshevik higher ups with the blood of innocent women and children, does not strike one as being strange and unpredictable.
That crime is merely the regular result of the God-denying revolutionary idea, which was always, like the sharp edge of a sword, directed against the Tsar, against monarchy, against that great and mystical service of restraining ‘the progress of the destroyer’. [What is referred to here is the person of the Antichrist.] Therefore, for these enemies of God it was an absolutely inevitable act, even if they didn’t fully understand whose will they were executing in that terrible moment.
In this connection we shall again emphasize: the Russian monarch was the classical example of the embodiment of that evangelical concept of ‘the restraining one’ which always exists in this world, and by opposing forces of darkness, hinders the coming of the Antichrist, the establishment of his rule on this earth and the beginning of ‘the mystery of lawlessness.’ Already St Paul wrote about the existence of such great and fearsome service in this world: ‘For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains it will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of his coming. (2 Thessalonians, 2, 7, 8.)
It was exactly for this reason that the Russian ruling elite, corrupted by the demon of the revolution, was so unyielding in its disastrous headlong dash and fanatical conviction that it was necessary to remove Nicholas II from ruling the country. Calling on the Tsar to abdicate, the elements of the opposition asserted as one man that the abdication was the only step which would grant the Russian society the long-awaited peace. And one must admit that they were completely sincere in their blind and fatal conviction concerning the necessity of such a step. As is well known, Tsar Nicholas, making this decision under great pressure, was motivated to do so by this thought alone: ‘There is no sacrifice which I wouldn’t make for the sake of real welfare and the salvation of dear Mother Russia. For the sake of peace and salvation of my dearly beloved Russia I am ready to abdicate my throne.’40
Alas, the result was entirely different: right after the publication of the manifesto, instead of peace there took place something entirely different – the entire Russian social order collapsed. Nobody was left to ‘restrain’ anything. There began a general degradation of the people and unprecedented awakening in them of the basest passions. With uncontrollable speed Russia began its descent into perdition. It turned out that it was no other person, but the Tsar, who was that mystical restraining principle which restrained the powers of evil; now nothing stood in the way of these powers to take over the country.
I can bear witness of how people really felt about the tsarist period, especially those people who could still remember the life in prerevolutionary Russia, by citing a little example. My grandmother, Maria Stepanovna, used to bake the most delicious pirozhki. Well, to eat her pirogi and other baked goods, many of her friends would come to visit and to smell the savory aromas which wafted over from her kitchen. At such times one could hear their saying: ‘Oh, that smell! That smell! It is just as in the “damned tsarist times!” Although I was too young to comprehend the irony of these words, I still nevertheless remembered them.
Thus, one of the tasks that the God-fighting party had to accomplish during the extensive terror and subsequent repressions was the physical extermination of those who could still remember how it was to live in Russia during the tsarist regime.
But this is a view of only one side; the other side of the picture, the paradox of Russian reality, was that it was exactly this level of society, these representatives of intellectual and ‘enlightened’ Russia, those who lived very well in their own country, were the chief bearers of the revolutionary ferment, the age long intelligentsia malcontents, those with inborn dissatisfaction about the status quo, and who desired to worsen the situation over and over again. But now that the Bolshevik government no longer needed their ‘favors’, all those ‘tribunes’ and ‘stormy petrels of the revolution’ they began to bother the new government. And if some of them were not arrested and executed by a firing squad, they were driven into such a state of deep terror which did not allow them even to remember that other life and even less to allow them to make any comparisons.
In order to understand objectively all that occurred in our country one must firmly establish the very basic cause behind the commencement of the horrors of the civil war. The deathly war of opposition between the ‘Whites’ and the ‘Reds’ was merely a struggle for the return of the fruits of the February ‘Bourgeois Revolution’ which had been so impudently appropriated by the Bolsheviks in October 1917. The ‘White’ movement was in reality the consequence of the ‘just indignation’ of that very same intelligentsia, the ruling elite, the higher levels and wealthy strata of the Russian society who after so much great effort and long labor on the overthrow of monarchy were indignant that the results of all their efforts were so brazenly stolen from them by the brazen boors, the Bolsheviks. As for the efforts of the Bolshevik ideologues to represent their revolutionary colleagues as counterrevolutionaries and reactionaries who wanted to restore the ‘hateful monarchy’, they were very clumsy and thoroughly false.
And the well-known revolutionary song of those years was merely Bolshevik propaganda against their revolutionary rivals:
The White Army and the Black Baron [General Peter Baron von Wrangel, leader of the White Army.]
Are again readying for us the tsar’s throne,
But from the taiga to the British seas
The Red Army is the strongest, you see!
Nobody was really thinking of reestablishing the monarchy and rescuing the persecuted emperor and his family. Those who were truly loyal to the tsar were very few in number, and such people were the first ones to be identified as such and destroyed. The White movement was for this very reason eventually utterly crushed – because it did not raise the flag of monarchy and its members did not realize that they were undergoing God’s punishment for ‘Judas’ sin’, for betraying the oath of 161341 and the betrayal of God’s anointed one. And that is why their ‘righteous indignation’ directed against those terrible powers of evil which broke lose in October 1917, and their justified struggle against the God-deniers, were not accepted by the Lord.
Lacking the penitent frame of mind and being unable to shed the cunning revolutionary slogans of the past years, the leaders of the White movement fairly often employed the same methods of scare tactics and terror, which deprived their movement of moral superiority, the required moral example and the loftiness of the proposed goals.
The monarchial idea
Finally, let us try to sober up a little and without any biases give some thought to what the monarchial idea really represents. Maybe, after all, our great grandparents were not dumber than ourselves and possessed great political wisdom while preserving for centuries this form of government which reflects the principles of divine heavenly order.
Monarchy is not only a form of rule – it is also an aggregate of the most important ideas of spiritual, national, and social order. Monarchy, especially Russian monarchy, is characterized by its emphasis and primacy of moral principles. The Orthodox thought always considered monarchy to be a personal service of the monarch to God, as well as service to the people under his rule who were entrusted to him by God. Monarchical rule is not a career, not the pinnacle of power, not gratification of personal ambitions and one’s ego. This service is actually a Christian heroic act (podvig), being the ‘chosen one’, being called from above to divine duty, and not through some cunning political election. It is a continuous guardianship and historical responsibility.
The Russian Emperor stands higher over nations, classes, tribes and political parties. He is the supreme arbitrator, the natural Head of state, whom not even death does not free from his duty, for his heritage remains in his family, in his dynasty. The waves of human egoism do not reach him, neither do envy or anger, for he needs not desire anything for himself personally or curry favor from anyone. His regime is not supported by some clever pre-election political schemes, nor on the luck of obtaining the majority of the votes, nor a powerful police apparatus, but on moral law as the principle which governs tsar’s rule.
The most talented president depends directly on the majority of the voters who elected him, which is free to send him back to the position he had occupied before. In the monarchical system, and in that system alone, the principle of the absence of personal interest and independence of the ruler are preserved in the purest form.
The monarchy does not define or interfere with the relations among various estates and social classes within the state: the hackneyed Bolshevik myth of monarchy as the rule of ‘priests, capitalists and landowners’ was calculated to appeal to the total ignorance of the mob. Almost everywhere and almost always monarchs sought the support from the poorest levels of population by defending them from the oppression by the wealthy. That is exactly whence stems the genuine love of the people and unlimited loyalty to the monarch, and the people’s attitude to the monarch as their ‘tsar, the dear father’.42
Among the Russian people this need for a loving father of the people, a person who bore personal responsibility to God and the people for everything that took place in the nation, a person who embodied the unity of the people, who shared through his heart their misfortunes and joys – this need cannot be eradicated. It is a part of our genetic makeup, and no false ‘democratic ideals’ can eclipse it. This is the secret behind the pernicious phenomenon of the people’s kindly feelings towards Stalin. That is also the secret of the persistent love on the part of the people for the current leader of the nation. That is why recently one of our priests put it quite to the point: “Why do we need presidential elections? We love him as it is anyway.”
Speaking about the monarchy we should emphasize that ‘the persistent tendency to limit and even liquidate the monarchy was usually exhibited especially by the higher classes which sought to expand their privileges at the expense of the crown and the people. It was especially in these higher strata that the idea of serving the state was eclipsed by class egoism and various revolutions were organized: in England by the baronets, in France by the bourgeoisie, and in Russia by the so-called Decembrists who were all aristocrats at the beginning of the XIX century, and later, after 100 years, in the XX century by the intelligentsia which was alienated from the people, and which villainously betrayed the throne.43
Return to the sources
One must say that the idea of the genuine Russian monarchy was able experience rebirth only in the second half of the XIX century. Through difficult trials, heavy sins and repentance Russian rulers gradually healed after being traumatized by the acts of Peter I, when the image of tsar-father and God’s anointed one was replaced by the cold spirit of European absolutism, when the wealth of Orthodox spirituality was annihilated in favor the Lutheran spiritual primitivism.
The process of recovery began to manifest itself from the beginning of the XIX century and is clearly visible in Alexander I’s attitude of repentance, which is supported by the famous legend about the Siberian elder Feodor Kuzmich. [Tr. note: this is a reference to a legend that tsar Alexander I did not die when he supposedly died but became a wandering ascetic Feodor Kuzmich.] The fruits of that beneficial process are best demonstrated by the internal setup of the life of the royal personages, beginning with Emperor Alexander II. Of course, we should first mention the phenomenon of the surprisingly deep and humble faith of his wife, Empress Maria Alexandrovna, who brought up her children and grandchildren in this faith, which in turn gave to our country a whole crowd of royal martyrs and passion bearers.
The real essence of the meaning of life of these people, called to the great and difficult monarchical service, is revealed by the principles on the basis of which their upbringing was founded, in the manner of their daily lives, in their diaries and letters. It is especially at the moment of the end of history of this great world monarchy that we can observe a genuine surge of the spiritual side of monarchic service, in the members of the last Romanovs there were manifested in full measure those remarkable potentials which formed the core of the Russian monarchical idea which presupposed the possibility of concentrating, in one person chosen by God, all the best what the Russian people and its long history could offer.44
This is such a rare situation, when from very early childhood itself a person is brought up and educated by the best people of Russia in the spirit of complete loyalty to the Native Land and grow up with the constant inner readiness to undertake for himself the inconceivable responsibility before God and the people for the subsequent fate of the nation. ‘Our family considered the idea of service as the tsar to be a sacred duty from which nothing, except death, could free them.’
And we see the phenomenon of special God’s providence concerning our nation, the importance of that last service as tsar, which for many ended in the martyric and humble climb unto the Ural Golgotha. In the same way we recognize as a fully natural phenomenon the fact that following the royal martyrs on their way to the Golgotha of the XX century, the Russian people, too, went to the same Golgotha.
The heights of this Christian service, its apogee and the climb to Calvary all occurred during the reign of the passion-bearer emperor Tsar Nicholas II. His striving not to allow fratricidal wars to take place and opposition to the imminent bloody events permeated his whole political agenda. Thus, it was under his initiative that there occurred a hitherto unprecedented event in the Hague – the first world conference on disarmament.
Nicholas II’s struggles and opposition to the oncoming catastrophe of the XX century was something new or unusual in Russian politics. The premonition of the rising power of darkness, the rise to power of anti-Christian forces and the progress of ‘the spirit of destruction’ fully worried even the preceding Russian monarchs. Thus, already at the beginning of the XIX century emperor Alexander I very keenly perceived the secret mechanisms behind the formation of the world politics: ‘We are preoccupied by a most important care, a problem which also happens to be the most difficult to solve. What it involves is seeking the means to fight against the rule of evil which is spreading very rapidly with the help of all the hidden forces which are ruled by satanic spirit.’ While he was talking about this, Alexander I understood in full measure the limits of human potential and continuing with his thoughts he came to fully Christian conclusion about human history: ‘The remedy which we seek is found, alas, outside of the sphere of our weak human powers. Only our Savior can provide the remedy by His divine Word. Let us therefore call on Him out of the fullness, out of the deepest recesses of our hearts, that He would send His Holy Spirit upon us and lead us on the path which alone can bring us to salvation.’
A hundred years later the martyred Tsar Nicholas II will again utter the following words of true faith which will be noted down by the Grand Duchess Olga: ‘My father asked me to let everyone know, to all those who remain loyal to him and to all those who can still be influenced by him that they should not carry out any revenge for him for he has forgiven everyone and prays for everyone, and not to exact revenge for themselves either; they should remember that the evil which is now in the world will grow even stronger, but that evil cannot defeat evil, but only love …’45
Evil in the world
Today it is quite evident how this foresight of the Russian monarchs concerning the growing forces of evil in the world inexorably manifested itself in the history of the XX century. The rule of the prince of darkness continues to grow. The current mixture of lies and truth in the minds of the statesmen of the Western countries and the acceptance of the principle which equates deceit with honesty in the world’s informational milieu has already become the usual background of our lives. On occasion, completely disheartening, shameless lies on the state level, complete abolition of the concept of honor in politics, non-fulfillment of promises or going back on the given word, are all viewed as a norm and everyday occurrence.
When one reads the historical documents of the not so recent past and is confronted by the evidence of the primacy of Christian principles in state politics of the past centuries, it seems hard to believe that something like that actually existed. Today, for example, one considers as something quite strange to see evidence that ‘kissing the cross’ when the peace treaty was signed guaranteed that peace would not be broken before the expiration of the treaty.
In modern politics introduction of such criteria is thought of as being absurd. Appealing to such categories in our times would be evaluated, at best, as being utter naiveté. We remember inspired speeches of our president (Putin) delivered at the highest social platforms, calling to a return to Christian values in international relations and about the fundamental need in introducing to the world as a priority political morality and responsibility. At that time, our Western ‘partners’ stared blankly at the Russian leader, as if, it seems, they were struggling hard to remember what the words ‘fairness,’ ‘honesty,’ and ‘loyalty’ mean.
As we discuss these lamentable changes, we should not forget that it was especially the catastrophe which happened in our country, that exerted enormous influence on the entire world. Also, for the present-day spiritual state of the ‘post-Christian’ Europe, our country too has responsibility.46
Again we shall emphasize that the entire tragic history of the preceding XX century, its great upheavals and catastrophes, those ‘unseen changes’ and ‘unheard of disturbances’, which affected every family and person who shared the fate of his country – all of these have one and single cause. This cause is our abandonment of our original spiritual structure, abandonment of the faith of our ancestors, forgetting our basic commandments of love and compassion. Everyone who ignores God’s help and protection will inevitably fall into the power of the triumphant powers of darkness and will experience the overwhelming power of evil. Such is the universal law of God, and very laughable are the attempts of modern man to stand against it placing all hope only in his own strength. It just won’t suffice to be ‘simply a good person’, as well brought up people and well-educated people like to say who are inclined towards atheism. Alas, they cannot succeed. They just do not have enough strength to do so.
In the mystical sphere we observe the fulfillment of those great and terrible divine warnings that were revealed already two thousand years ago to St John the Theologian in his Revelation on the island of Patmos. One cannot avoid remembering the seven seals that the Divine Lamb is supposed to remove before the terrible events at the end of human history can take place. One may think that the terrible events of the XX century, with their millions of victims, can serve as a clear witness to the taking off of the fifth seal: ‘When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, oh Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?” Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to each of them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.’ (Rev. 6, 9-11)
These mystical words about ‘a little while longer’ were again confirmed in 1908 during the vision seen by St John of Kronstadt: ‘And I saw a mass of people with joyful faces, with crosses in their hands, church banners and candles, and in the midst stood a high throne, floating in the air, with a golden royal crown on which was written in golden letters, “for a little while longer”. One may think that this ‘little time’ refers to the present period of spiritual flowering which the new martyrs and confessors of the Russian Church redeemed from the Lord by their blood.
But it I already impossible to stop the end of Earthly history, and, although it is not given to us to know about ‘the times and dates’, the time of the ‘great sorrow’ is inexorably drawing near when ‘their servants and brethren who were killed, as they are, will ‘complete their number’ in order that all Christians of the last times washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’ (Rev. 7,14)
Tsar and the leaders of the revolution
As is well known, the extraordinary investigation commission of the Provisional government was after all unable to come up with evidence that either the tsar, or tsarina, or the cabinet ministers of the tsarist government were guilty of any offence. In the summer of 1917 A.F. Kerensky was forced to admit that in the actions ‘of Nicholas II and his spouse no criminal element could be found.’47
More than that, the later sincere personal repentance of A.F. Kerensky after he personally met directly with Nicholas II, is recorded in the memoirs of the wife of the last minister of justice of the Russian Empire, O.D. Dobrovol’skaia: ‘What a tragedy! What have we done?!
How could we, not knowing him, do what we did? Do you understand that I expected to see a totally different person, instead of the one I actually met? I had been for a long time prepared how I would begin my conversation with the Tsar. I was ready to address him in the beginning as “Nikolay Romanov”. But when I saw him, he looked at me with his wonderful eyes, and I … stood at attention and addressed him as “Your Imperial Highness” … After that he spoke to me and spoke a lot. What a conversation that was! At the same time he exhibited both regal simplicity and regal majesty! And how wisely and movingly he spoke. And what humility, what kindness, what love and compassion for the people! Do you understand? That is truly and ideal ruler of the people! And what did we do? We overthrew him and bound him with our conspiracy. It turns out that we were the worst criminals.’48
The same thing Kerensky confirmed to the British ambassador Buchanan. In addition, neither could the Provisional Government’s Investigative Committee find it possible to indict the former tsarist ministers, directors and other persons who held high posts in the civil administration as well as army and navy administration.49 But all of that had no meaning: the dirty work had been done and deed accomplished. And what kind of work was done was very subtly perceived by the tragic poet of the Revolution V.V. Mayakovsky:
‘Comrade Lenin, I report to you
Not as my work service, but from the bottom of my soul.
Comrade Lenin, the hellish work
Will be performed
And is being done already.’
Hundred years have passed since this tragedy in the life of our nation occurred and the ancient monarchic dynasty was forced to cease its rule. Why is it then that even until the present day many Russians very clearly keep their feeling of nostalgia for those times, nostalgia for that spirituality, for that image of Imperial Russia, for those notions of honor and duty, and for its army and navy that were the best in Europe?
This inexplainable yearning remains in spite of the fact that the entire ideological work during the past decades on the part of godless authorities was directed, and even more, was concentrated on all sorts of discreditation of prerevolutionary Russia, on openly cynical and mocking defamation of everything that was in any way connected with the House of Romanov and its form of rule. The Bolshevik government, on the spiritual level, was always afraid of anything connected with the memory of the Romanovs. So much so, that it tried to flee from it truly ‘as devil flees from the smell of incense’.
When people proposed to Stalin in 1927 to issue a collection of essays concerning the execution of the Tsar, Iosif Vissarionovich (Stalin) sharply snapped: ‘From now on, not even one word about the Romanovs.’ The only such book, published in 1926, was forbidden, confiscated, and put away in special closed archives. That ‘taboo’ was kept strictly in force all until 1974 when the government allowed the publication of ‘ideologically fully vetted’ opus of journalist Mark Kasvinov entitled, ‘Twenty three steps down.’ (We should point out that the author died suddenly right after the publication of this book.)
That ontological fear of the Bolsheviks is the outcome of persistent feeling of spiritual defeat and the necessity to find some kind of justification for the crime which they had committed. The open Satanism and the mockery of Christian holy things which took place in the first days of the revolution as well as undisguised rebellion against God during the Lenin-Trotsky rule later on began to be clothed in pseudoscientific form of Marxism-Leninism and dialectical materialism. At the same time, the true scientific study of history was forbidden. History of the time before 1917 ceased to exist. Later the study of history was in a way restored, but only within the narrow framework of the ‘Short course on the history of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks)’ which was personally written by Stalin in 1938. A chapter of that textbook, ‘Concerning dialectical and historical materialism,’ was declared to be ‘an encyclopedia of philosophical knowledge in the realm of Marxism-Leninism,’ in which is given material ‘officially examined by the Central Committee of the Communist Party with Party’s interpretation of the basic issues in the history of Marxism-Leninism which does not permit any other arbitrary interpretations.’50
The concept of the historical development of Russia which was presented in the ‘Short Course’ had a deep influence on historical studies which formed in the USSR in XX century, and, of course, gave birth to a never before seen phenomenon – historical propaganda. The concept of history as was created under Stalin’s leadership spread far beyond the framework of the Party which the title of this textbook proclaimed as the main topic and became the standard basis for throwing light not only on the history of Russia but the history of the world as a whole.
People of more advanced age may still remember the comic refrain of the Soviet statistics: ‘In comparison with the year 1913 …’ Almost as long as the beginning of Perestroika the Soviet government continued to compete with Imperial Russia at the beginning of the XX century, trying to prove that the catastrophe created by them was, after all, not so terrible and that ‘life has become better; life has become happier!’51
Thinking of the period when Stalin ruled our country, one must admit that the logic behind the behavior of the leader is fully predictable, although it didn’t always follow in the steps of his teachers and comrades-in-arms. Nevertheless, knowing full well the moral structure of his ‘party comrades,’ Stalin had no illusions about the motivating factors in these people, for who, just as Lenin had pointed out, ‘whatever is advantageous to us, that is moral.’ Stalin understood what such people are worth and what one could expect from them. That is why, according to the rules of the criminal world, he freed himself from all other authorities in order to achieve what is most important –- his own unrestricted power.
One must note that towards the end of his rule Stalin experienced an inclination towards the imperial organization of the country, to the status of a great power, and very openly kept distancing himself from the extremism of the Bolshevik revolution and frantic voluntarism of its leaders. Nevertheless, the inner spiritual state of the ‘leader of all peoples’ remained the same and fully corresponded in its chief aspects to that of each revolutionary. That was theomachy – fighting against God. God always irritates him, bothers him, and drives him to open hatred of any saintly manifestation. Why so? Because God interferes in any attempt by man to deify himself.
Why the horrors of 1937?
Many historians have puzzled over the question why was it that in 1937 in particular there began a horrible period of repression whose goal, in reality was the destruction of Christianity, the Church, and in general, all those who continued the Russian traditional ways and were people who held the Orthodox Christian point of view. It would seem that the horrible and cruelest executions, tortures, and mockeries through which the Russian Church suffered during the first years of the revolution, were left behind in the past. The Church had been plundered, lost all rights and protection, and did not claim to have any kind of influential role in the country.
And then, all of a sudden, there came 1937. Again, horribly and implacably Stalin raised the goal of the total destruction of the Church and those people who still maintained the Christian spirit.
What happened was that these most widespread and cruel repressions were preceded by a nationwide population census which had been carried out in the USSR at the beginning of 1937. Stalin personally included in the census questionnaire the question concerning religion, which every citizen of the USSR had to answer. The “militant atheists” could not wait to evaluate their real achievements in the struggle against Russian Christianity during the twenty preceding years. However, the results of this census greatly disappointed and angered “the creators of the new world”. Out of 98.4 million people who were obligated to answer the question about religion, 55.3 million of respondents found the courage to declare honestly their convictions in spite of the threat of repressions. As a result, the census, without any basis for such action, was declared to be ‘defective’ and was declared to be invalid.52 Those who were in charge of the census were executed by a firing squad after being accused of being ‘saboteurs’.53 As a result, until the middle 1950’s absolutely nobody knew how many people lived in the USSR.
Thus it became obvious to Stalin that “all efforts undertaken from 1918 to 1937 to combat the Church and the people did not bring the desired results, and based on the data from this census one could conclude that all these efforts turned out to be an utter failure.”54 The powers that be realized that the Orthodox Christianity had to be destroyed physically, and therefore the question was raised about the continued existence of the Russian Orthodox Church as a nationwide organization. Every believer was actually considered by the godless Soviet government to be “an alien social element”.
Thus, under the circumstances mentioned above there came the fall of 1937. At that time136,000 Orthodox priests were arrested and 85,300 of them were executed by a firing squad. The next year, 1938, 28,300 were arrested and 21,500 of them were executed; in 1939, 1,500 were arrested and 900 executed; in 1940, 5,100 were arrested and 1,100 executed; in 1941, 4,000 were arrested and 1,900 shot.
Towards the end of 1938 the Soviet government practically completed the execution of its diabolical plan. The result of the 20 years of repression was that the process of the destruction of the Church got to the point where it could no longer be reversed. Even if it were possible to restore the ruined and defiled church buildings, the physical annihilation of the higher clergy such as bishops and higher (more than 200 of them!), and tens of thousands of other clergymen as well as of hundreds of thousands of Orthodox believers all turned out to be an irreparable loss for the Russian Orthodox Church. The results of this mass annihilation are still apparent today. The mass annihilation of the saints, enlightened and zealous bishops and archbishops, as well as that of priests, and large numbers of pious believers significantly lowered the level of morality of the society as a whole since “the salt of the earth” was taken away from the people (Matthew 5,13), which brought the people dangerously close to spiritual degradation.
One must also point out that even the start of the World War II with its unprecedented sufferings and tribulations did not make the God deniers see reason. The government archives attest to the fact that arrests of the clergy did not cease during the entire war. In 1943 more than one thousand Orthodox priests were arrested and more than 500 of them were executed by a firing squad. And all of this took place during the years of the so-called “Stalin’s reconciliation” with the Church and when the persecutions supposedly ceased. During the years 1944-1946 the total number of executions exceeded 100 each year.
There can be no illusions about the supposedly “changed” Stalin who suddenly remembered his four years of study in the Tbilisi Seminary. The minions of the prince of darkness are so imbued with the powers of evil that it is extremely difficult and practically impossible for them to free themselves from these powers of evil. In such cases, what is needed is the help from the Church and such deep and tearful repentance together with a decisive internal spiritual change of which such people are hardly capable.
Thus, “during the entire postwar period the arrest of Orthodox priests continued.55 According to the summary account of the GULAG administration, on October 1, 1949, the total number of priests in all the camps was 3,523. All these camps were hard labor camps.”56
We shall not evaluate here the role of other leaders who continued the task of Lenin and Stalin in the war with the Church, with Christian morals and morality in general that was declared in Russia at the beginning of the XX century. For us, living at present in a new nation where one may again freely confess one’s religion, preserve the ancient Russian traditions and love our great history, it is important to draw some conclusions about the catastrophe which befell us.
At one time in the past, His Holiness Patriarch Kyrill gave a speech which caused quite a stir and response. The topic of his talk was our attitude concerning the collapse and breakup of the Soviet Union. “All of us remember the collapse of the Soviet Union twenty years ago. However, I personally prefer to talk about the collapse of the historical Russia.”
That is indeed true. All of us saw in the 1990’ies the logical outcome of those processes that came into being in 1917. During the first years of Bolshevism with its pathological hatred for Imperial Russia, disastrous yearning for the disintegration of the country, and defeat in the war, there began the process of the loss of the historical territories of the country. Thus, Poland was lost with the latter taking over Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia. Also lost were Finland, Estland (present day Estonia), Courland (Latvia), and Lifliandia (Lithuania), as well as provinces adjacent to Vistula river. The region of the Armenian city of Kars was given to Turkey. All over Russia there began centrifugal processes and struggles for sovereignty.
When the powers that be in 1920’ies finally realized that the “world revolution” is indefinitely delayed and that soon there will be no one left with whom one could create “the bright future”, there followed very tough measures. Having soaked the country in blood, having paralyzed everyone with the fear of terror, and by the all-powerful power structures and repressions, the Bolsheviks succeeded to stop any further disintegration of the territories which had been part of the Russian Empire. Ever since J.V. Stalin became the dictator of the Soviet Union (1929), the question of the preservation of the unity of the peoples that comprised the Soviet Union was considered by the government to be of primary importance and was strictly controlled by it. As is well known, Stalin had insisted that the status of the individual Soviet republics should not be higher than autonomy, but at that time the point of view held by Lenin, the “Kremlin dreamer”, which went as far as to give the republics “the right of a nation to self-determination” prevailed. In 1991 when the Soviet Union disintegrated, everyone could not help but remember Stalin who considered the “question of nationhood” in the constitution to be a delayed action bomb.
However, in 1922, when the new nation –-the USSR—came into being, this “right of nationhood” was solidly restrained by the government’s ideological monopoly, by the strictly vertical party and state apparatus, the total control of social life, and by the all-powerful organs of repression.57
Seventy years passed, and as soon as the government’s grip on power weakened in the 90’ies of the XX century, as the threat of repression and mass terror were forgotten and the ideological dictates waned, the USSR just fell apart. Every citizen and patriot must consider what has happened to be a catastrophe. However, I again repeat, what happened was only the final stage of that catastrophe that occurred in 1917. The causes of what happened both at the beginning of the XX century just as those at the end of that century were identical: the government lost the spiritual base on which the nation’s unity was founded. In the case of the USSR what was lost was that illusory spiritual foundation of the communist ideology. All other indicators of economics and life that existed in Tsarist Russia and in the USSR were satisfactory. But everything fell apart like a house of cards.
Again, let us remember the words of His Holiness: “May God grant that our people will be forever protected from such temptations and trials through which all of us passed as we lost the historical Russia. I would like to hope that all our memories concerning the events of our recent past, in the form including works art, will in the first place promote reconciliation, and not serve as the sources of new schisms and civil conflicts or serve as the basis for “insulting” anyone’s feelings and values. All of us – believers and atheists, artists and non-artists, conservatives and liberals – are called upon to be living in one country and to care about our country’s unity. During each liturgy we pray for unity (Church unity). In the same way we are called upon to pray also for civic unity, for the cohesion of the people as we remember the terrible trials and tribulations, about schisms and confrontations, which befell Russia in the XX century.58
There is no doubt whatsoever that the Church will fulfill its duty as an institution that prays for and defends our much suffering native land and its great people. But there remains a very important question: on the basis of which moral values, traditions, and life goals will we be able to achieve the civic unity and the unity of our people, which is so necessary and which is so much hoped for.
In conclusion, the duty of all of us is to determine on what spiritual foundation we shall again build up our great nation, the Russian State.
This book by Bishop Mitrofan, the ruling hierarch of the Severomorsk diocese in Northern European Russia, which includes the city of Murmansk, is based on his lecture given in Severomorsk in the fall of 1917 on the 100th anniversary of the Russian revolution. Since then, he has been promoted to the rank of metropolitan. ↩︎
Saltykov-Shchedrin, M. E., Kniga o prazdnoshataiushchikhsia IN: Sobranie sochinenii v 20 t., T 12. Moskva 1971, p. 580 ↩︎
It is no secret that the ‘Moral codex of a builder of Communism’ which was compiled in 1961 by orders of Nikita Khrushchev was worked out by the specialists of the Central Committee of the Communist Party on the basis of the Ten Commandments of Moses and the Sermon on the Mount by Jesus Christ. Burlatskii, F.M., ‘Sud’ba dala mne shans: Beseda glavnogo redaktora zhurnala “Rossiiskii advokat” [Fate gave me a chance: A talk of the chief editor of the magazine Russian Lawyer], R.A. Zviagel’skogo, IN: Obshchestvenno-pravovoi zhurnal “Rossiiskii advokat” Moskva 2007, No. 5. ↩︎
Thus, for example, we see the absolute emptiness of the so-called ‘Maidan revolution’ in the Ukraine, since there was no full organization behind it and no fully developed scientific theory (even an illusory one) behind it. To the same extent is also true of all the so-called ‘flowery’ revolutions. What there was, instead, – only chaos which had been completely financed by outside interests, stupefied people, and a powerless state. ↩︎
Geifman, A., Revoliutsionnyi terror v Rossii 1894-1917 [Revoluionary terror in Russia 1894-1917.] Moskva: Kron-Press, 1997, p. 18. ↩︎
Ivanov, Georgii, Peterburgskie zimy. Moskva: Kniga, 1989. ↩︎
Remarque, Erich Maria, Black obelisk. Köln: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 1956 ↩︎
Katkov, G.M., Fevral’skaia revolutsiia [The February Revolution.] Moskva: “TSentropoligraf”, 2006, p. 273-275. ↩︎
Startsev, V.I.,”Revoliutsionnyi 1917-i” [ The 1917 – Year of the Revolution] IN IAkovlev, A.I., Drama rossiiskoi istorii: bol’sheviki i revoliutsiia [The drama of Russian history: Bolsheviks and the Revolution]. Moskva: “Novyi khronograf”, 2002, p. 174 ↩︎
Transl. note: In other words, those members of the intelligentsia were allowed to leave the USSR and go into exile, and those who did not get the opportunity to leave at that time eventually ended up in labor camps. ↩︎
Transl. Note: The ‘unprintable word’ that Lenin used to characterize Russian intelligentsiia at that time was ‘sh_t.’ ↩︎
Lenin, V. I., ‘Pis’mo Gor’komu A.M. ot 15 sentiabria 1919 g.” [Letter to Maxim Gorky dated September15, 1919] IN: Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, 5e izd., Moskva 1967-1981, vol. 51, p. 48. ↩︎
It should be noted that after the Bolsheviks came to power and eventually abandoned the idea of the utopian ‘world revolution,’ they decisively abandoned ‘Westernism’ also by proclaiming their own, special path for New Russia. In essence, the entire history of the USSR became the realization of this special path but reinterpreted in the light of Communist ideology. ↩︎
A clear example of this, although a very sad one, happens to be the well-known Russian writer I.S. Turgenev: ‘You should know that I have decided to make my permanent abode here in Europe, that I consider myself to be a German, not Russian, and that I am proud of that! Here we have civilization, whereas in Russia we have barbarism. Moreover, here there are no nationalities; as I was riding in a train yesterday I could not distinguish a Frenchman from an Englishman or German … Civilization should level all differences, and we shall be happy only then when we forget that we are Russians!’ (From the report of F.M. Dostoievsky to A.N. Maikov about his conversation with Turgenev. Letter dated August 16, 1867.) ↩︎
From a letter to his daughter Anna Fёdorovna Tiutcheva (Aksakova) dated October 26, 1867. ↩︎
Lenin, V.I., “Lev Tolstoi kak zerkalo russkoi revoliutsii” IN: Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, Moskva-Leningrad, 1074-1976, T 15, p 179. ↩︎
Chekhov, A.P., Pis’mo N.I. Orlovu ot 22 fevralia 1899 g.” [Letter to N.I. Orlov, dated February 22, 1899]. A copy of this letter may be found in Chekhov’s Sobranie sochinenii: Pis’ma, p 272-273. Moskva 1960-1964. T 12. ↩︎
Bashilov, B.E. Russkaia Evropiia. Rossiia pri pervykh preemnikakh Petra I. [Russian ‘Europia’: Russia during the first successors of Peter I]. Buenos Aires 1951. ↩︎
Solonevich, I.L. Narodnaia monarkhiia [People’s monarchy]. Otv. Red. O. Platonov, Moskva: Institut russkoi tsivilizatsii, 210, p. 112. ↩︎
Arkhiv SPBII RAN [Archive of the St Petersburg Institute of History, Russian Academy of Sciences], fond 247. Petropavlovskaia tserkov’ v Ponoe, No.30. ↩︎
Tarasov, I. Lektsii po administrativnomu pravu [Lectures on administrative law]. Moskva: 1908. T. I, p. 68 ↩︎
Berdiaev, N.A. Russkaia religioznaia psikhologia i kommunisticheskii ateizm [Russian religious psychology and communist atheism]. Paris: YMCA-Press, 1931. ↩︎
Kant, I. Sobranie sochinenii na nemetskom i russkom iaz. [Collected works in German and Russian languages]. Moskva: 1997, T. 3, p 11. ↩︎
Nechaev, S.G. “Katekhizis revoliutsionera” [Catechism of a Revolutionary] p. 244-248 IN: Revoliutsionnyi radikalizm v Rossii: vek deviatnadtsatyi: dokumental’naia publikatsiia [Revolutionary radicalism in Russia: the 19th century: a documentary publication] ed. Pod red. E. L. Rudnitskoi. Moskva: Arkheograficheskii tsentr, 1997. ↩︎
Serov,V. (avtor-sostavitel’), Entsiklopedicheskii slovar’ krylatykh slov i vyrazhenii [Encyclopedic dictionary of famous aphorisms and expressions]. Moskva: Lokid-Press, 2003. ↩︎
“Nechaev, Sergei Gennadievich,” IN: Bol’shaia sovetskaia entsiklopediia. 3-e izd., T. 7, p. 552. Moskva: Sovetskaia entsiklopediia, 1969. ↩︎
Katkov, M.N., p 112 IN: Skal’kovskii, K.A., Mnenia o samikh sebe: malen’kaia khrestomatiia dlia vzroslykh [What Russians think about themselves: Small chrestomathy for adults], St Petersburg, 1905. ↩︎
Trotskii, L.D., Istoriia russkoi revolucii. [A history of the Russian revolution], Tom 1: Fevral’skaia revoluciia. [The February revolution], Prinkipo [Turkey], 1930. ↩︎
Besides this, Marxism very clearly defines the priorities in the struggle: ‘Bourgeoisie and government are much more afraid of the legal actions of the workers’ party than its illegal actions, and its successes in elections rather than in uprisings.’ (From: F. Engels’ introduction to the revised edition of Karl Marx’s work, Klassovaia bor’ba vo Frantsii s 1848 po 1850 [Class struggle in France from 1848 to 1850]. ↩︎
Tr. note: The words of Father Anatolii are from the film ‘Ostrov’ [‘The Island] directed by Pavel Lungin, 2006. ↩︎
Trotskii, L.D. Predannaia revolutsiya: chto takoe SSSR I kuda on idet? [Betrayed Revolution: What is USSR, and where is it going?] Spanish edition, “La revolucion traicionada”, 1937 and later editions. ↩︎
Cf. Mendeleev, D.I. K poznaniiu Rossii [Knowing Russia]. St Petersburg, Izdanie M.S. Suvorina 1906. ↩︎
Lenin, V.I., Lev Tolstoi kak zerkalo russkoj revoliucii [Leo Tolstoy as a mirror of the Russian revolution], p. 180 IN: Polnoe sobranie sochinenii. Moscow-Leningrad., 1974-1976., T 15. ↩︎
Latyshev, A.G., Rassekrechennyi Lenin [The declassified Lenin]. 1-e izd., Moskva: 1996, p 155. ↩︎
From a secret letter written by Lenin to the members of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks), dated March 19, 1922. ↩︎
Krivova, N.A., “Vlast’ i TSerkov’ v 1922-1925 gg” [The authorities and the Church 1922-192 IN: zhurnal Makhaon, No. 1, ianvar’-fevral’ 1999. ↩︎
Latyshev, A.G., Rassekrechennyi Lenin. [The declassified Lenin]. 1-e izd., Moskva: 1996. p 155. ↩︎
Pokrovskii, N.N., “Politbiuro i TSerkov’, 1922-1923. Tri arkhivnykh dela.” [The Politburo and the Church], Novyi Mir, Moskva, 1994, No. 8, p 199. ↩︎
Krivova, N.A., Vlast’ i TSerkov’ v 1922-1925 gg [The authorities and the Church 1922-1925//zhurnal Makhaon, No. 1, ianvar’-fevral’ 1999. ↩︎
Telegram of Emperor Nicholas II to the chairman of the State Duma, M.V. Rodzianko, dated March 2, 1917. ↩︎
[Tr. note: This is a reference to the year when Mikhail Romanov was elected by the Zemsky Council to be the first tsar of the Romanov dynasty.] ↩︎
From an article of a Russian émigré Leonid Severskii, “Monarkhicheskaia ideia segodnia i zavtra” The essence of the monarchial idea today and tomorrow.” DiPi 1948. Tr.note: the original had a somewhat different reference here. Apparently, on the Internet one can find several different references to this article. ↩︎
Vorres, Ian, Posledniaia Velikaia Kniaginia: istoricheskaia proza ili oliteraturennye memuary. Per. s angl. V. V. Kuznetsova. [The last Great Duchess: historical prose or personified memoirs. Transl. from English by V. V. Kuznetsov.] [Tr. note: this book was also published in English (New York 1965).] ↩︎
From a letter which was addressed to an unknown person, written in Tobol’sk during imprisonment in 1918. ↩︎
By Lenin’s decree, Soviet Russia became one of the first nations in the world which abolished the criminal prosecution of homosexual acts. In comparison, in Great Britain criminal prosecution of homosexuality was abolished only in 1967, and in West Germany, in1969. ↩︎
Mel’gunov, S.P. Sud’ba Imperatora Nikolaia II posle otrecheniia: Istoriko-kriticheskie ocherki. [The fate of Nicholas II after the abdication: historical-critical essays]. Moskva: Veche, 2005, p. 160. ↩︎
Vinberg, F.V., Krestnyi put’. [Way of the Cross] Miunchen: Tip. R. Ol’denburga,1921. It is true, however, that later Kerensky begged Ol’ga Dimitrievna not to tell anyone about this conversation. ↩︎
The exception being General V.A. Sukhomlinov who was accused of failing to make the army ready for war. ↩︎
Ogurtsov, A.P. Podavlenie filosofii [The suppression of philosophy] IN: Senokosov, IU. P., Surovaia drama naroda: Uchenye i publitsisty o prirode stalinizma. Moskva: Politizdat, 1980. ↩︎
This was the phrase uttered by the Secretary General of the Central Committee of the All-Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks), Joseph Stalin, on November 17, 1935 during his speech at the First All-Union Conference of Workers.’ ↩︎
Zhiromskaia, V.B., “Religioznost’ naroda v 1937 godu. (Po materialam Vsesoiuznoi perepisi naseleniia [Religiosity of people in 1937 (Based on the materials from the All-Union Census of the Population)] IN: Istoricheskii vestnik, No. 5 , Voronezh, 2000. ↩︎
Volkov, A. G., Perepis’ naseleniia 1937 goda: vymysly i pravda. [Census of the population of 1937: the myths and the truth]. [Tr. note: the author published a book with this title in Moscow 1990.] ↩︎
APRF (Arkhiv Prezidenta RF [Archive of the President of the Russian Federation]). F. 3, op. 56, ed. khr. 17. l. 211-214. ↩︎
[Transl. note: Most of the priests who had been in the areas under German occupation were ‘repressed’ (a euphemism for ‘imprisoned’, ‘persecuted’, etc.) and even executed as ‘collaborators’.] ↩︎
Damaskin (Orlovskii), igumen [Abbot]. Goneniia na Russkuiu Pravoslavnuiu TSerkov’ v sovetskii period [Persecutions of the Russian Orthodox Church during the Soviet period.] Moskva: TSNTS, “Pravoslavnaia Entsiklopediia” [“Orthodox Encyclopedia”] 2007. ↩︎
Besides the right of self-determination, there is also the right of the working classes to strengthen their rule, and this latter right overrides the right of self-determination” FROM: Stalin, Joseph, “O natsional’nykh momentakh v partiinom i gosudarstvennom stroitel’stve,” XII s”ezd RKP (b) 25 aprelia 1923 goda. [On the aspects of nationality in the party and state development], 12th Congress of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) 25 April, 1923.] ↩︎
From the speech given by His Holiness Kyrill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, at the opening of the conference of the Highest Church Council in the Church of Christ the Savior (Moscow, October 12, 2017.) ↩︎