July 24, 2014

Book Review: The Second Russian Revolution (1987-1991)

roads-to-temple-cover

Belows is the review I wrote of Leon Aron's new book Roads to the Temple: Truth, Memory, Ideas, and Ideals in the Making of the Russian Revolution, 1987-1991. It is a great read and I recommend it highly. It chronicles Glasnost, the period of awakening in Russia from around 1987-1991 that, Aron argues, was a moral awakening, indeed a repentance, of the first order that enabled the Russians to throw of the spiritual shackles of Communism. Nothing is more powerful than a word spoken in truth, wrote Alexander Solzhenitsyn, arguably one of the most influential moralists of the last century. Glasnost was the period where speaking the truths that got you killed just a year or two earlier resounded ever more loudly in the public square. Lest we complacent Westerners take this development for granted, let's remember that we have largely left off believing that truth even has an objective character. We are very close to the (philosophical) materialist assumptions that justified such great … [Read more...]

Russia Profile Weekly Experts Panel: Another Attempt to Get Russia Into NATO?

RussiaProfile.org

For those of you interested in this type of thing, the Russia Profile site has a symposium that examines Russian's relationship with NATO. Most of you will remember that NATO was used to declare war on Serbia (the first time America went to war with an ally; the first time American troops were placed under foreign command) under the Clinton administration. Carl F. Henry, the late Evangelical theologian and a good thinker, remarked at the time (this was the period where discussions on how Clinton's White House infidelities would affect his "legacy") that Clinton's legacy might well turn out to be establishing a Muslim state in the heart of Europe. The author of the piece below is Srdja Trifkovic, an incisive writer who understands and can can explain the relationships and inter-dependencies between culture and politics. He's worth reading. Source: Russia Profile Dr. Srdja Trifkovic, former Foreign Affairs Editor of Chronicles Magazine, former Director, Rockford Institute … [Read more...]

Russia helps Kosovo Orthodox Church

General view of the Orthodox Monastery in Gracanica, Kosovo, 08 April 2010. The Gracanica monastery has been placed on UNESCO's World Heritage List under the name of Medieval Monuments in Kosovo, on 13 July 2006. Photo: EPA

HT: Orthodox News | Source: The Voice of Russia Under a document signed by Vladimir Putin, Russia will allocate 2 million dollars to reconstruct Orthodox monuments in Kosovo. The Prime Minister ordered to finance this work as a voluntary fee for the UNESCO for 2010 and 2011 allocated from the federal budget. Here are more details from Grigory Ordzhonikidze, the secretary-general of National Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO. … [Read more...]

Lithuania defies EU to promote family values

Lithuanian Parliament

Some European nations are resisting the secularist and statist over-reaching of the EU bureaucracy. The article mentions the Russian Orthodox Church's criticisms of EU cultural aggression and its overtures to the Roman Catholic Church in resisting it. Article from Mecator.net. ++++++++++++++++++++++ Sidestepping critics, Baltic nation strengthens family-friendly law on public information. Lithuania lawmakers ended their year by amending a law on the protection of minors that had been condemned as “homophobic” by the European Parliament and other international bodies. But they did so in a way that strengthens and clarifies legal restrictions on public information which is out of synch with human dignity and family values. The small Baltic nation thus once again stands out for boldness among European states, such as Ireland and Italy, which are resisting the imposition of secularist policies by European Union bodies. The new legislation, adopted by the … [Read more...]

Archbishop Hilarion responds to U.S. State Dept. report on religious freedom

In late October, the State Department released the 2009 Report on International Religious Freedom, a study annually submitted to Congress. Remarks on the study by Michael H. Posner, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, are available here. (The country report for Turkey is available here.) The Russian foreign ministry said, on publication of the report, that it was compelled "to reiterate our previous repeated assessments of the U.S. State Department report as a politically engaged, garbled document which intentionally distorts the real situation of religious freedom in Russia and keeps silent about positive developments in this field." Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk issued his own response to the State Department study (full text at the bottom of this post) which amounts to a summary of the Moscow Patriarchate's position on religious freedom in Russia. While much more temperate than the Russian government's response, the archbishop's letter did, … [Read more...]

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MM2qq5J5A1s[/youtube] Twenty years ago today. The following is from "The Origin of Russian Communism" by Nicholas Berdyaev (published by Geoffrey Bles, 1937): Marxism is not only a doctrine of historical and economic materialism, concerned with the complete dependence of man on economics, it is also a doctrine of deliverance, of the messianic vocation of the proletariat, of the future perfect society in which man will not be dependent on economics, of the power and victory of man over the irrational forces of nature and society. There is the soul of Marxism, not in its economic determinism. In a capitalist society man is completely determined, and that refers to the past. The complete dependence of man upon economics can be explained as a sin of the past. But the future is otherwise; man can be freed from slavery. And the active agent which frees humanity from slavery and establishes the best life, is the proletariat. To it are … [Read more...]

Patriarch Bartholomew: Turkish Government Wants to Wipe Us Out

Asia News reports that the Turkish Foreign Ministry has issued a new report "which denigrates the 'minority' presence of the Greek Orthodox community in Turkey, and refuses to recognize the 'ecumenical' character of the ancient patriarchate." It seems that the Turkish foreign ministry is trying to make the patriarchate "disappear," continuing to call Bartholomew I "the patriarch of Fanar [editor's note: the neighborhood where the patriarch resides]," refusing to use the title "ecumenical" and acknowledging only that he has spiritual responsibility for the domestic Greek minority, and not for the Orthodox communities connected to Constantinople. It also seems almost a concession from above to accept that Bartholomew I uses the title "ecumenical" abroad. Said the Patriarch: "We are not finished, or hopeless." The news service also cited a source who said that Turkey "was highly disturbed by the emphasis that the Russian media gave to the presence of ecumenical patriarch … [Read more...]

Kosovo prelude to Georgia?

In yesterday's Washington Times, James George Jatras looks at the unintended irony in Washington's opposition to the expected Russian recognition of an independent Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the wake of the Bush Administration's support for an independent Kosovo. Jatras, an advisor to AOI, asks: If Moscow stepped over the line in its crushing military response to Mr. Saakashvili's offensive, what do we call 78 straight days of NATO's bombing throughout Serbia, destroying most of that country's civilian infrastructure? If Russia is to be faulted for imperfect implementation of the Sarkozy agreement, what can be said about Washington's violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1244, which ended the 1999 Kosovo war and reaffirms Serbian sovereignty in the province? The standard reasons cited for making Serbia an exception to the rule we demand in Georgia is that NATO intervened to stop genocide of Kosovo's Albanians and that they will never again accept being part of … [Read more...]