[ by Charles Cameron — the US as seen through Russian eyes! ]
Under the headline I’ve made the title of this post, John Schindler, ex-NSA Kremlin-watcher gives us something invaluable — the US as viewed through Russian eyes.
Imagine that! The Russians don’t see us through Western eyes, the way we see ourselves! No, they see us through nationalistic political and religiously Orthodox eyes, yup, religiously Orthodox eyes.
The yawning gap between Russian and Western values can be partly explained by the fact that Communism shielded the former from the West’s vast cultural shifts since the 1960s. Living under the Old Left provided protection against the New Left. As a result, Russians are living in our past and find current Western ways incomprehensible and even contemptible.
Imagine the moon disk as a halo over Russia, do we see, do we understand things differently? KGB Putin the Orthodox believer?
Religion! Oh, noe! The Kremlin takes religious passion seriously: it’s got not just an ideology but a theology.
Schindler makes this clear — we need for this insight to jump from his page, not merely to be read but to be absorbed, to suffuse our thinkimg. But there’s more.
A religious Kremlin?
This means Orthodox theology deeply entangled with Russian political analysis — as explained by Putin‘s pal, the Patriarch Kirill:
Simply put, Kirill explained, America today is doing to itself what the Bolsheviks did to Russia: forcing a godless, secular ideology onto society. “Christian values are being destroyed… The West is abandoning God, but Russia is not abandoning God, like the majority of people in the world. That means the distance between our values is increasing,” he stated bluntly. Kirill’s insistence that America and the West are the outliers here, with Russia and most of the world on the side of traditional religion and values, is an important point that merits pondering.
The traditionalist nature of Putinism, always present, has grown more intense in recent years as the Kremlin has sought to enshrine an official ideology as confrontation with the West has grown. Whatever Vladimir Putin may actually believe, he has played the public role of an Orthodox believer quite effectively. He has cultivated senior ROC clerics, who provide regime-endorsing soundbites as needed, and the church gives Putin legitimacy in the eyes of average Russians, who aren’t especially religious in terms of church-going, yet they see an Orthodox identity as reassuring and plausible in Communism’s wake.
And Orthodox apocalyptic?
Every time I think end times thinking must have had its day, up it pops again.
Even the Mueller inquiry runs up against it – Gulen, the reclusive cleric Turkey wants to snatch from his Poconos compound, is believed by many of his followers to be the God-given, rightly guided Mahdi, Islam’s end timess Savior figure, roughly. That’s something Rachel Maddow should take note of.
Here we go again:
The notorious gadfly Aleksandr Dugin goes further: “Simply said, the Antichrist will not come before there will not be anymore supporters [of Orthodoxy]… What is the coming of Antichrist? It is secularism. It is modernization. Westernization. Materialism. Scientific development. The concept of progress.” He added that Putin is “exactly” the figure who is resisting the Antichrist on earth.
Dugin, it should be noted, isn’t some random flake or religious nut, he’s a Big Idea thinker who’s taken somewhat seriously in the Kremlin, although his real role seems to be Moscow’s ambassador-at-large to the Western far-right. He is close to the Russian security services and he runs a website that pushes his hardline Orthodox nationalist message in several languages, including English. Its name comes from the Greek word for “he who resists the Antichrist.”
Okay, that’s only Aleksandr Dugin — but then again, it’s Aleksandr Dugin. Watch out, this stuff is contagious!
Whoo-eee! Two new significant end times entries in one week. And nukes.