Russia’s Neo-Byzantinism, by Laurent Guyénot

Here’s a crazy idea. Maybe before the U.S. gets fully involved in war with Russia, we should learn a little bit about Russian history and culture. It couldn’t hurt. From Laurent Guyénot at unz.com:

There is something irresistibly attractive in Russia’s defense of traditional and religious values (what might be called Russian neo-conservatism if that label had not been usurped by American Jewish warmongers). But where does it really come from? We tend to assume that it is a reaction to Western post-modern decadence. But there is more depth to it.

What is Russia? How does Russia define herself, and how does she conceive of her relationship to Europe? Specifically, from what tradition do Russia’s current ruling elites draw their vision of Russian civilization? I wanted to learn about the Russian thinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that the Russians themselves have rediscovered since the fall of Communism, and who are said to have a strong influence on Vladimir Putin and his entourage. Here is what I found.

Let’s start, quite logically, with three authors whose books were offered by Vladimir Putin to governors and members of his United Russia party for the New Year 2014 (see here and here):

  • Vladimir Solovyov’s The Justification of the Good
  • Nikolai Berdyaev ‘s The Philosophy of Inequality
  • Ivan Ilyin’s Our Tasks

All three authors are deeply religious and patriotic, and as such committed to Russian Orthodoxy. All three are passionate about Russia, and hold her as “an original and independent civilization,” in the terms used by Vladimir Putin in his October 27, 2022 speech at the Valdai Forum.

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