Saturday, July 21, 2018

Putin Regime Opposes and Violates All Seven Basic Principles of Western Civilization, Illarionov Says


Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 21 – Western civilization rests on what Andrey Illarionov calls “the magnificent seven” principles that its peoples have struggled for and institutionalized in modern times. Unfortunately, the Russian economist points out, the Putin regime not only stands in opposition to these principles but violates each and every one of them.

            He describes this unfortunate situation in present-day Russia in the following way (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5B522BD58CEA9):
·         “Instead of the defense of human life, respect for human dignity and defense of individual freedoms,” the Putin regime is characterized by “harsh force, unceasing wars, selective murders of political opponents, and the mass murder of innocent civilians by the tens if not the hundreds of thousands both on the territory of Russia and beyond its borders.”

·         “Instead of legal equality,” the Putin regime has “created and strengthened hierarchical structures with a new nobility that aspires to be inherited along with the total irresponsibility of the bureaucratic powers that be before the citizens.”

·         “Instead of the supremacy of law,” the Putin regime has institutionalized “the supremacy of a government organized mafia.”

·         “Instead of a free democratic republic,” it is “a semi-totalitarian and repressive regime.”

·         “Instead of limited and divided state power,” the Putin system is based on “the concentration and monopolization of this in one set of hands, the KSSS (the Corporation of Employees of the Special Services).”

·         “Instead of joining a military-political union of free states or even cooperating with them,” the Putin system stands in “harsh opposition” to such an organization and seeks to organize other countries sharing its view to oppose those based on Western values.

·         And “instead of the defense of human rights,” the Putin system is characterized by “their mass violation in the form of harsh persecution of organizations and individuals who defends human rights in Russia and abroad.”

Persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses Reflects, Reinforces Links Between Russian State and Russian Orthodox Church, Chivchalov Says


Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 21 – Few developments in recent years have highlighted the unfortunate and increasing fusion of state and religious functions than the cooperation of Russian officials and the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate in persecuting the Jehovah’s Witnesses, according to Anton Chivchalov.

            The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ activist, who has been forced to flee from Russia to Belarus where the persecution of his denomination is much more infrequent says that “again and again the Russian state helps one elect religious organization deal with another by offering the first its police forces” (portal-credo.ru/site/?act=comment&id=2225).

            This represents “a complete restoration of the medieval system in which the Orthodox Church had state functions and could persecute any it found unsuitable,” Chivchalov says. “Today, the close cooperation of siloviki with ‘Orthodox activists’ in the struggle against law-abiding citizens of the country who believe otherwise is something only the blind do not see.”

            The Jehovah’s Witness activist says that he would very much like to ask “sincere honest Orthodox believers: how do you react to the fac that your mother-church understands the Gospel teaching about love to those close to one and even to enemies? Are you prepared to close your eyes to this? And if you are, then what else are you prepared to close them for?”

            Chivchalov says he is often asked what the Jehovah’s Witnesses are persecuted in Russia. “In response,” he says, he “usually enumerates a number of readily accessible facts:

“Patriarch Kirill even before being elected patriarch actively fought with the Witnesses in Kaliningrad and Smolensk and their literature was first held to be ‘extremist’ seven months after his enthronement;

“Procurator Yury Chaika has a church order for ‘work for the good of the Church” and has promised to ‘actively cooperate with the Russian Orthodox Church;

“Justice Minister Aleksandr Konovalov graduated from the St. Tikhon Orthodox Humanities University;

“Aleksandr Dvorkin, the main ‘sect fighter’ of the country, a professor of the same university and the possessor of four church awards, works in the justice ministry and the State Duma;

“In Voronezh, prohibited literature from the Orthodox ‘anti-sect’ center was planted on the Jehovah’s Witnesses;

“In Arkhangelsk, Governor Igor Orlov said in an interview to the official site of the local bishopric of the ROC MP about his intention to ‘de-legalize’ the Jehovah’s Witnesses in cooperation with the ROC MP; and

“Metropolitan Ilarion called the new persecutions of the Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘a positive step.’”

            This list could be expanded “much further,” Chivchalov says; indeed, the government and the church are adding new things to the list, including the involvement of nominally independent Orthodox activists in joint work with the Russian police forces to repress the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
           

‘Migrants will Save Russia as Long as They Aren’t Chinese,’ Belanovsky Says


Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 21 – “In order to survive,” Sergey Belanovsky of the Russian Academy of Economics and State Service says, Russia “must become a melting pot” that will absorb immigrants into itself on the basis of a matrix of Russian culture, something that will be possible as long as the influx is not dominated by Chinese.

            In a Facebook post that has been republished by Novyye izvestiya, the sociologist says that he is not terribly interested in when Vladimir Putin will leave office or who will follow him but instead has been focused on two more critical questions: will Russia fall apart as Yugoslavia did and will its rulers be able to maintain power without a massive shedding of blood? (newizv.ru/comment/sergey-belanovskiy/20-07-2018/rossiyu-spasut-migranty-no-tochno-ne-kitayskie).

            “I don’t know how realistic it is but I want that Russia remain a whole county,” Belanovsky says. And that leads to the question: “What must be done so that this outcome won’t be hopeless?” First of all, Russians must focus on their demographic situation, one that is anything but encouraging.

            By mid-century there will remain only about 130 million Russian citizens, “of whom the ethnic Russians will be still fewer. But the end of the century, if the number remains at the current level, half of them will consist of migrants or their children.” That means that there won’t be enough Russians to master the territory they now claim.

            What kind of a Russia do we want, Belanovsky says Russians must ask themselves. If they want it to have something like its current borders, this means they must promote the Russian language but transform the state to hand over more power to the municipalities and to allow for the planned arrival and integration of migrants.

            In short, he says, “RUSSIA MUST BECOME A MELTING POT DOMINATED BY RUSSIAN CULTURE – or it won’t exist at all.”

            What will it mean if Russia ceases to exist? “Some consider that nothing terrible will. The war in the Balkans was horrific, but now peace rules there, and Montenegro has become one of the favorite resorts for Russians.” That could happen in a post-Russia future too, but Belanovsky says he prefers a future with a Russia in it.

            And in saying that, he ever ore often recalls the words of the Marquis de Custine that in Russia if not immediately will eventually be a revolution more horrible than was the French one.” Can that be avoided? “I don’t know, but one must try” if one wants Russia to survive, the sociologist says.
            And that means that Russia must become a melting pot that makes those who arrive into its own rather than remaining “a collection of ALIENS.”  The time for doing this was in fact yesterday, but it must be done now – and this requires forgetting about all the plans of Kudrin, Titov and Putin.”

            Russia stands before a choice: to be a melting pot or to become “a universal flood.” Which one do Russians want?  If it rejects the melting pot, then it will see the lands beyond the Urals gradually absorbed by China as Chinese labor moves in. And then it will have only one possible option, something that may not work.
 
            That would be an international consortium involving all the countries of the Pacific Rim, including the United States, which would manage the Chinese entry into this region but keep it within Russian borders. Whether that is possible, Belanovsky says, is far from clear.