Voices from Russia

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin Articulated His Thoughts on the Radical Changes Presaged by the Present Situation in Russia


We need to transition from stability into a realm of conscience and freedom…

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of the MP Department for Church and Society, believes that the political situation in Russia can’t return to the position that it was in before, so, we need a dialogue between the state and society in order to save the country. Fr Vsevolod wrote on Thursday, “This 10-day ‘party’ can create the powerful impression for some people that everything’s back to business as usual, to the political calm of the past decade. No, it won’t return… it’ll never come back”. Fr Vsevolod’s convinced that we can’t restrain the will of the people or its political activity at the local, regional, or national level. On the contrary, their resolve shall carry on, he said, adding, “The leaders of Russian organisations were ashamed to have to stand on the same platform with Boris Nemtsov, Garry Kasparov, and Ksenia Sobchak”.

Fr Vsevolod thought that we should start a “serious national dialogue about the basic political and economic structure of the country, including the role and status of the Russian people”. On his part, he offered a number of specific measures for a radical change in the social and political situation in Russia. In particular, he wrote, “If the government doesn’t want a slow degeneration, and if the people don’t want to pay for an occupying army and enrich foreign business, you need to move from ‘stability’ to the realm of conscience and freedom. Freedom… both political and moral”. Much of what’s happening in Russia, in his view, “is profoundly abnormal and isn’t responsive to the will of the people, it’s a legacy of the ‘90s of the last century, and we must decisively reject it”.

Fr Vsevolod also suggested approaches to solving such problems as corruption and illegal immigration. In his view, migrants must register at least once every three days at their legal place of work. He said, “Those who fail to do so should fall under the criminal law”. He went on to say that “high-profile investigations of government thievery” and corruption should lead to the dismissal of “all those in the chain of command, starting at the regional level”.

Fr Vsevolod paid particular attention to reforms in the army. In his opinion, “Soldiers in Russia shouldn’t be below ‘mere merchants’ (ниже торговцев) in social status. Every officer of the armed forces and law enforcement agencies should have a house, even in the Moscow region. However, we need to tie this housing with their posting or [as a reward for] a decent retirement. This is the best remedy against corruption. Let 2012 be a year of a resolute and moral Russia. Let us be a country with a strong sense of the meaning of life… both today and in the future”.

5 December 2011



Editor’s Note:

I read some writings about Russian events by ignorant American media gasbags (in particular, Katrina vanden Heuvel and Georgie Ann Geyer) recently… the obtuseness just jumped off the page and hit one in the face. Well, they’re answered in spades by Vsevolod Anatolyevich… he blows them away without breaking a sweat. That’s because the American commentators on the Russian scene are getting their information at second-hand from self-important blozos such as Lyonyo Kishkovsky, Serge Schmemann, Sophia Kishkovsky, and Anya Schmemann (note well how these creeps take care of their offspring… they stuck in their thumb and pulled out a plum… need I say more?). I’m getting it from directly from the writings of movers and shakers (Vsevolod Anatolyevich is KMG’s “Prime Minister”… and don’t you ever forget it). Whom do you think may be closer to the truth? Langley-paid flacks who didn’t tell you the full truth about the demonstrations, or, would it be someone who seeks out the best RUSSIAN sources on the situation?

I don’t need to belabour the point. Most American commentators miss the point because they try to superimpose the rules of Selfish American Individualism on Russian Orthodox Collectivism. Note well that Fr Vsevolod believes that army officers are higher in class standing than greedy self-serving crudzos like salesmen, stockbrokers, lawyers, real estate developers, and “biznessmen” (which is VERY pejorative in Russian). In fact, it’s clear that he rejects the American shtick about the “Free Market” and “Rugged Individualism”. Trust me… he’s not alone. That’s why America’s efforts to export its evil “Greed is Good” credo to Russia will fail… and it’s why you can’t trust Western commentators on the Russian scene.

Russia and the West are different “worlds”… and there’ll be no peace until the West sees that (and that the African, Muslim, East Asian, and Latin American “worlds” are distinct as well). Shall they, though?


Thursday, 8 December 2011

8 December 2011. Georgie Ann Geyer Issues Ignorant Rant on Russia… Berdyaev Was NOT a “Russian Orthodox Analyst” (sic)

Note well that Ms Geyer only spoke about a few thousand unrepresentative pro-Western “demonstrators” in Moscow (carried live on Western media networks), not the MILLIONS of Orthodox Christians who went on otpust to venerate the Belt of the Most Holy Mother of God (carried live on Russian media networks). As per usual, this Western commentator gets it all WRONG, yet again (it’s not personal, all the Western media’s guilty of this)… but she has the god-damned gall to lecture us about our own intellectual milieu. Crow Supreme, any one? 


Read this. This is an utter crock o’ shit from stem to stern… but look at what she calls the heretic Nikolai Berdyaev… a “Russian Orthodox analyst”. Only a fatuous jackass with no knowledge of Russia, its religious and intellectual tradition, and of its people and culture would make such a vacuous statement. Berdyaev was at odds with the Church… he held the erroneous idea of Universal Reconciliation; he was a believer in the heresy of Apokatastasis. He’s outside the mainstream of both Russian religious and intellectual development. However, as a Radical Individualist, he’s to the liking of many Westerners, as he’s one of the few Russian figures to fit their preconceived notions and fancies (Tolstoy’s another). I’d recommend to Ms Geyer that she read Solzhenitsyn, Dostoyevsky, and Fr Mikhail Pomozansky, three very Russian Orthodox figures, and compare them to Berdyaev. She’d find a WORLD of difference. I’d go so far as to say that one has to understand the weltanshauung of these three figures in order to have a good handle on the intellectual tradition of Russian Orthodoxy (I don’t mean “doctrine” or “spirituality”… I mean its intellectual milieu).

There’s another point here for Orthodox Christians. Berdyaev lived in Clamart… guess who served as a curate (in its Anglican sense) in Clamart? You guessed it… Aleksandr Dmitrievich Schmemann. You can see where some of ADS’ loopiness came from. My view is that ADS was one of the most “complex” figures in diaspora Russian Orthodoxy. He was a genius… he was an enthusiast… he was a “rainmaker”… he was an unrealistic dreamer… all at once and all jumbled up. For certain, he wasn’t as focused and “professorial” as Ivan Feofilovich was… I submit that Meyendorff was the “brains” of the “Schmemanndorff” duopoly, just as ADS was its “soul”. ADS was a “darfstellar”… a “one-off”… a prodigy, if you will. ADS met Berdyaev when he was young and impressionable. The imprint’s obvious to all of us who know how to look for the signs. Note well that Ms Geyer said nothing about the Losskys (père et fils), Georgi Florovsky, or Justin Popović. Therefore, her characterisation of Berdyaev as a “Russian Orthodox analyst” is ignorant, wrong-headed, and founded in pure fancy.

Ms Geyer’s entire thesis is crank and crack-brained. I’ll tell you what showed us more about the “Russian soul” than the antics of a few mere demonstrators. THREE MILLION Russians venerated the Belt of the Most Holy Mother of God. THREE MILLION. Stick THAT in your hillbilly moron crackpipe and smoke it, Ms Geyer. If you’re going to opine on Russia, Russian Orthodoxy, and the Russian people, you’d best KNOW what you’re talking about… and don’t bleat if more knowledgeable people beat up your ideas in the agora. You shouldn’t say such asinine things such as “Now, for the first time, 20 years late for some, individualisation and freedom may really be coming for Russia. That’s not bad for a week’s work”. That’s fatuous, air-headed, and utterly WRONG… and I’m NOT afraid to say so.

However, do note the arrogance of the Westerners (and their zapadnik allies in the Church). We should give such trashy and rubbishy statements no quarter when they come from outsiders, and we should take all “insiders” who echo them to the woodshed (at least). Russia’s what it is… and, thank God, it’s NEVER going to conform to Ms Geyer’s fevered maundering. Georgie Ann Geyer gets an “F” for this production… and we should say so, loudly. “Individualism”… that’s as lunatic as “giving your heart to Jayzuss” and trusting “the invisible hand of the market”… God DO save us from such…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Thursday 8 December 2011

Albany NY

Thursday, 11 August 2011

11 August 2011. “I’m Worried for My Country”… What More is There to Say?

THIS is what Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Bachmann, John Boehner, Sarah Palin, “Citizens United”, S&P, Fox News, the Fed, and Chilly Hilly Clinton advocate… it’s “for our own good”… workers were too greedy, dontcha know!


Editor’s Foreword:

Mostly, I’m going to give you excerpts from some things that made me think over the past few days. I’m not going to say much at the end… I‘ll confide that hitting people over the head overly much has the opposite effect of what one intends… so, read it, heed it, and make up your own mind. Somehow, I think that we’ll all come to a reasonable consensus in the end, after all.



No matter where you look, fewer people are doing the work because fewer are out there buying, ordering, and building. More people are spending their days worrying… not about who’ll get the blame or who’ll win election, but how they’re going to make ends meet. Do they get this in Washington? Do they feel our pain? I know they all claim they do. However, that’s certainly not how it seems. It doesn’t feel like they’re asking us to pull together; if feels like they’re tearing us apart. It doesn’t feel like the various “leaders” are working together, but like they’re scoring points at one another’s expense. …

However, the whole idea of government is that there are some things individuals can’t do, some things we can only do together, some problems that are too big to solve one grain of sand at a time. We’re decent people, but we can’t do it alone. I‘m worried for my country.



Economic fears are weighing heavily on Americans, with a large majority saying the United States is on the wrong track and nearly half believing the worst is yet to come, a Reuters/Ipsos poll said Wednesday. …

The Reuters/Ipsos poll found 73 percent of Americans believe the United States is “off on the wrong track”, and just one in five, 21 percent, think the country is headed in the right direction. The survey found that 47 percent believe “the worst is yet to come” in the US economy, an increase of 13 percentage points from a year ago when this question was last raised. This is the highest measure since March 2009, when concern peaked at 57 percent, at the height of the recession. Ipsos pollster Julia Clark said the wrong-track measure reflects widespread unhappiness with the economy and frustration at both political parties, but “you can’t say it’s a predictor of how Obama will fare” in 2012. The level of discontent was 10 points higher than a July survey and is the highest in an Ipsos poll since it reached 73 percent in October 2008, at the height of the financial crisis. The polling organisation found 77 percent felt the country was on the wrong track in July 2008, during Bush’s final year in office. Gallup found even higher levels of dissatisfaction at various points over the past 30 years, but it’s rare.



Obama’s failure to challenge the idiocy demanded by S&P, along with the Republicans… that government spending be dramatically cut in the face of an economic crisis… cast his remarks as terminally tepid. How dare a credit rating agency that got it so wrong, one that we should investigate for malfeasance in the creation of the banking meltdown, dictate public policy? For S&P to insist on massive government cuts that would only increase joblessness is like a burglar shifting blame for his crimes to the poor quality of locks. This from a credit rating agency that, as NYT columnist Joe Nocera pointed out, “has consistently fallen short”. S&P judged Enron to be an exemplary company until shortly before the corporation imploded, and it gave its triple-A seal of approval to the toxic securitised mortgage debt that caused the great recession. There are serious problems with the US economy, but they aren’t the ones that Standard & Poor’s outlined when it sent the stock market into a tizzy. We don’t need draconian cuts in government spending at a time when the economy remains mired in deep unemployment, when state and municipal governments are shedding jobs, and when the housing market is on life support. If some Americans thought that we did, so they voted to put irresponsible Republicans in charge of the House of Representatives, isn’t it the duty of the president and his fellow Democrats in control of the Senate to fight back? That’s called democracy, and we need more of it, not the false unity for which Obama settled.

Sure, it would’ve been much better if a phoney populist movement (the Tea Party), financed by fat cats out to preserve their unseemly tax breaks, hadn’t gained control of the House. That undermined what S&P termed “the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions that have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges…” However, as S&P acknowledged with its downgrade after the congressional vote on the debt ceiling, the fact that the president caved was of no help. The result is that Obama agreed to effectively remove the elected federal government from the battle to restore economic health; instead, he left us to the tender mercies of the banker-dominated Federal Reserve, which, like the folks at S&P, condoned the reckless Wall Street policies that got us into this mess. At a time when we need a full-throated defence of the role of government in protecting the interests of a majority of Americans, suddenly made deeply vulnerable by the chicanery of the financial oligarchy, we’re denied even the logical clarity of a former community organiser who once promised hope.



Fareed Zakaria, the brilliant CNN/Time foreign policy analyst, really hit the unthinkable head-on. It didn’t make him popular or liked. In short, Zakaria dared to ask whether we should not cut our mammoth military budgets. “It’d be a much-needed adjustment to an out-of-control military-industrial complex. … The Pentagon’s budget has risen for 13 years, which is unprecedented. Between 2001 and 2009, overall spending on defence rose from 412 billion USD (12.178 trillion Roubles. 290 billion Euros. 254 billion  UK Pounds) to 699 billion USD (20.66 trillion Roubles. 491 billion Euros. 431 billion UK Pounds), a 70 percent increase, which is larger than in any comparable period since the Korean War. Including the supplementary spending on Iraq and Afghanistan, we spent 250 billion USD (7.39 trillion Roubles. 176 billion Euros. 154 billion UK Pounds) more than average US defence expenditures during the Cold War… a time when the Soviet, Chinese, and Eastern European militaries were arrayed against the United States and its allies. “Over the past decade, when we had no serious national adversaries, US defence spending has gone from about a third of total worldwide defence spending to 50 percent. In other words, we spend more on defence than the planet’s remaining countries put together”.

This enormous spending on defence… and the phoniness with which we embrace virtually anything military, in which we now go out looking for wars, like Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia… has led to a tragic imbalance between the military and diplomacy. Robert Gates liked to point out that there are more members of military marching bands than men and women in the entire Foreign Service. Therefore, yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to start thinking things through. It’s not just a matter of forming “supreme” councils to tell us what to do… we already know what to do. We need to cut back on all levels, particularly, in military spending. We need to raise revenues from the Americans who are making fortunes off of this country. We need to bring home the earnings of companies such as General Electric, who live off the American body but invest overseas. The question is whether our complaisant young president can do this, for it demands making, well, demands. Nevertheless, if he can’t do it, then, we must.



Finally, a descent into the Jabberwockian world of the rightwing:

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who plans to announce whether she will run for president sometime next month, said Monday night that she predicted the credit rating downgrade long ago.


In a pig’s arse… there’s nothing else to say of such arrant rubbish… if anything deserves the description of “bollocks on stilts”, this does. It does illustrate the mindset of the ‘baggers… reality need not apply.


Editor’s Afterword:

Let’s say that I want you to think on all of that above. If we were to cut the defence budget by 50 percent, it would still be one-third of total world spending on war material and war. S&P thought Enron was a good deal… why should we trust their “credit rating?” It does stink of a partisan coshing of a political opponent, doesn’t it? Only government can do MANY things… a society of over 300 million individuals can’t have a “minimal” government… if it did, anarchy would result, and only the ruthless and evil would prosper. That’s why a “Reuters/Ipsos poll found 73 percent of Americans believe the United States is ‘off on the wrong track’, and just one in five, 21 percent, think the country is headed in the right direction. The survey found that 47 percent believe ‘the worst is yet to come’ in the US economy”. Sobering stuff, eh? Note the Palin idiocy… however, there ARE ignoranuses who eat that up… don’t turn your back on them. They’re ignorant… they’re fanatics… and they have leaders who know what they want… and what they want is a theocracy where all non-Born Againers would suck hind tit (if they’d allow us to live at all). It’s up to us to fight them and kill their Satanic movement. It’s our God-given duty…


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