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Russian Capitalism and Orthodox Church

Russian Capitalism and Orthodox Church
Fedoseev Ilya 05.02.2007

Ministers with candles

Every person who in the slightest degree is interested in history of the postSoviet Russia for sure paid attention to such fact. As soon as contours of the new order are sufficiently designated themselves (it happened already in the end of 80th years of the last century), new - and also, actually, old - authority becomes actively interested in religion. At that not in religion in general (in brackets we shall notice that to metaphysical questions the governors of the USSR-Russia felt not more pulsion than their predecessors) but ancient Russian Orthodoxy, ROC. Even publication praising this church appeared, talks about revival of spirituality (by the way, reader, let me give you an advise: as soon as you hear the word “spirituality” – you should better squeeze your pocket), every possible type of goods poured into the church pocket: buildings, museum icons, every possible tax privileges, crowds of top-level officials rushed into churches inaptly but energetically blessing themselves…

Certainly, one shouldn’t be surprised that this passion appeared to be mutual and church hierarches began to praise highly new authority. ROC in its essence is so arranged that it is inclined to support any authority - from horde’s khans up to newrussian presidents. In fact any authority is from god – isn’t it, misters arche- and simply priests?

Another thing is strange (at least, at first sight). What did the church suddenly appear to be necessary to the authority for, to the authority which already openly took a way of capitalism? Humorists who noticed it in the beginning of the 90th exercised the wit in jokes that new governors, say, were very sinful and consequently aspired to pray for their sins. However, it seems that if there is a share of true in this joke, it is so small that it’s possible to neglect it.

Capitalism could be different

Actually, certainly, ROC is necessary to the authority only for one purpose: ideological registration and justification of capitalism. I understand that the previous phrase caused bewilderment in many readers: it is considered that it’s Protestantism that answers the spirit of capitalism in the greatest degree, while Orthodoxy is just antibourgeois. Nevertheless, there is no contradiction here, it is necessary only to understand.

As it is known, capitalism could be different - or, more precisely, the world capitalist system in different countries develops differently. A horse head, if you know, is also not alike a horse tail even if they belong to one and the same horse. Naturally enough that ideological (including religious) maintenance in different countries should be different.

If to argue abstractedly, the situation looks as follows. Having collided with defects of capitalism, a person appears before a choice of three variants: he can either reconcile or try to change the world or to try to change his position in the world. Abundantly clear that only the second way is really revolutionary and dangerous for a capitalist world order only, the others are quite comprehensible to it.

Widespread in the countries of the West the Protestant model of behaviour is focused on the third way. As soon as Protestantism cultivates individual success, the hired worker (or simply – a person in general belonging to public "bottoms") following its precepts is anxious, first of all, by the increase of material and a social status. And such person is not dangerous to capitalist system. Firstly, he follows a rule "everyone for himself" and consequently is lonely (and the single can be dangerous to a system only in the Hollywood action movie). Besides, absorbed by dreams of career, he busts ass - that is also is rather useful for capitalism and capitalists. At last, having succeeded, he completely tears connections with the former colleagues - they are not friends to him any longer but enemies, "mob" menacing to public and his personal well-being. Here it’s pertinently to recollect an old joke about a Jew being recently christened – going out from the church he scornfully says to his compatriot: “Get away, sheeny muzzle!”/

Protestantism doesn’t suit

However, as it is easy to guess, the Protestant ideology (I use here not a word "religion" but wider term for [urpose) can be effective only in "mother country" that is in countries of capitalist "centre". There always there is a surplus of resources sufficient for maintenance of mass "middle class". A person dreaming of success from "bottoms" sees that it’s quite real to get in numbers of "middle class" at due diligence and luck - and it becomes a target of his life (I hope everybody remembers what it means “great American dream”?) Genius principle «divideetimpera» works without a hitch.    

But alas - surplus of resources exists far not everywhere. Here and there, on the contrary, they are lacking, otherwise there will be no surpluses. Russia refers to a number of such countries also. In such countries a certain analogue of western "middle class", certainly, is possible but it couldn’t become mass one. On the contrary, there is a huge precipice between rich and poor.

The cult of individual success here is doomed - as everyone understands that such success is impossible. You can bust ass – but you will fail to leave from your social level (there are of course exceptions, but they only proves a rule).

So, here it is necessary to follow the first way - to preach humility. Certainly, this way is less effective as to make a man to reconcile - means, as a matter of fact, to knock him down and it’s impossible to do it without resistance. But there is no other choice.

That is the target for ROC. Cultivation of slavish humility (before civil authorities, spiritual authorities, circumstances, destiny by the name of "god"), a life under the strict rules, perception of his own initial depravity - all these should force a man accept existing in the world and country social order ostensibly sanctioned from the heavens without complaint.

Ministry of spiritual affairs

Actually, the same was a role of ROC at an imperial mode - since the times of Peter I (and actually even earlier) it was a propaganda appendage of state machinery, a kind of "ministry of spiritual affairs" providing stability in the country. Certainly, then conditions were more favourable to it rather than now: the only type of mass-media - newspapers - was inaccessible to the peasants who made the majority of population of the country (it is necessary to consider an absence of education) and consequently church sermon produced great propaganda effect.

It’s hardly probable that now church hierarches dream of returning of those blessed times - they, being people fairly clever, perfectly understand that it is impossible. However, ROC still have considerable opportunities and the main thing is – there is solvent demand from the state.

Hardly I shall peddle old stuff, if I shall tell, that from the point of view of a modern Russian mode the ideal inhabitant of the country is - a person not only deprived of civil rights but even not suspecting that he can have any social and all the more so – political rights. The church is actively engaged in the formation of such a person – in his essence a slave in whose list of virtues the first place is occupied by humility.  

The arsenal of methods worked out for long centuries renders it huge assistance. To take only the huge list of deeds which the church considers to be "sinful" or "non-edifying". Estimation is simple: the more interdictions, the more often a person breaks them (it’s impossible to fit life into narrow frameworks of church rules). The more often a person breaks rules – the guiltier he feels ("sinner"). And the guiltier a person feels - the easier he is to be operated. By the way, this problem is really eased by the idea of “original sin” (from my point of view genius propaganda invention). It looks as you are already a sinner though you made no sin. So, go than to pray for your sole – don’t forget to make donation to the church.  

Putin is also from god

Concentration on a theme of “salvation” deserves special attention. The comic text in which various religious and philosophical doctrines answer a question "Why do the programs glitch?" is widely spread in the internet. The orthodox variant of the answer says: "It’s necessary to care not about that the program worked but what with come of it after de-installation". One can’t say anything more precise. To care of beyond the grave destiny of the soul in an ideal means - cloister, keep a fast, pray, as to a wordly vanity - forget. In translation – don’t interfere while serious people eat.

Well and a wreath of all - idea of a divine origin of the authority (any authority). There is no place for Catholics with their "divine right of kings"! Any authority we have – is from the god. Including, by the way, Soviet authority – bend your memory, your holiness and your lordship. That means, everyone, opposing authorities, revolts also against the god, dooming his soul on destruction. As soon as, according to Boris Kagarlitsky's expression, "it is impossible to change system without changing authority", ROC is vigilantly on guard of the current mode. With golden rood atilt.

Стало быть, всякий, выступающий против власти, тем самым бунтует и против бога, обрекая свою душу на гибель. Поскольку же, по выражению Бориса Кагарлицкого, «невозможно сменить систему, не меняя власти», РПЦ бдительно стоит на страже существующего режима. С позолоченным крестом наперевес.

That is why to oppose capitalism (we shall specify: capitalism existing in today's Russia) and Orthodoxy is - inexcusable nonsense. These are two sides of one phenomenon, impossible without each other.

They should be together sent to a dump of history. There is no other way out.
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