Original article here: http://www.orthodoxchristianbooks.com/articles/833/-left,-right-orthodox-christianity/
“In a US newspaper article last week,” writes Janet Daley, “an apologist for the new metropolitan consensus described the acceptable world view as ‘internationalist, secular, cosmopolitan, multicultural liberalism’. This seems to make it explicitly opposed to national pride, religious faith, cultural identity, communal cohesion and any form of social conservatism.” This is a fair summary of the difference between Left and Right in contemporary political debate. It is very different, however, from how “Left” and “Right” would have been defined in the 1930s, when “Left” meant Communism and “Right” meant Fascism, while the majority found themselves somewhere a vaguely liberal centre. The question is: to what extent are these labels at all relevant or accurate now, and where, if anywhere, should Orthodox Christians place themselves on the political spectrum?
It is commonly thought that religion and politics are different spheres which should mix as little as possible. This is true in a general sense insofar as religion is concerned with the heavenly and eternal, and politics – with the earthly and temporal. Moreover, Christians in ancient times were not encouraged to engage in politics (clergy are expressly forbidden to do so, while politics was considered the business only of kings and their counsellors), but simply to obey the God-established authorities (Romans 13.1-6). They were to give to Caesar what was Caesar’s in the sense of taxes and military service. And they were to pray “for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” (II Timothy 2.2).
However, this order of piety presupposed a certain order in politics – that is, a basically monarchical structure of government which did indeed guarantee “a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence”, in which the authorities were “for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good” (I Peter 2.14). What if that political order were overturned and anarchists, heretics or persecutors of the good came to power? Was this the time to enter politics?
No: the Church allows the direct interference in politics by Christians only in exceptional circumstances and in very limited ways. One of these is when God – not the people, it should be noted – brings a Christian or a sympathizer with the Christians to power, as when St. Constantine was raised to power in 312, or the Emperor Jovian in 363. Another is when God raises prophets or God-bearing elders to remonstrate with the authorities, as when St. Athanasius the Great took hold of the horse of St. Constantine when he was siding with Arius, or when St. Isaac of the Dalmatus monastery gave a solemn warning to the Arian Emperor Valentinian.
As centuries passed, and traditional, Christian and monarchical modes of thought weakened, a new situation arose. The critical turning-point was the French revolution. This introduced the strictly heretical idea that legitimate political power comes, not from God, but from the people, with the consequence that the people have the right to overthrow authorities and impose their own.
It was at this point that the Left/Right contrast originated (it is said, from where people sat in the French Constituent Assembly). The Left were those who wished to push forward the egalitarian ideas of the revolution, extending and deepening its social, political and religious aspects, while the Right tried to check and, if possible, reverse these changes. Throughout the nineteenth century, and until the First World War, Left and Right slugged it out, with political power remaining mainly in the hands of the Right but with the Left having made significant inroads into the generally accepted beliefs of the majority and even of many of the rulers. The triumph of the Russian revolution under Lenin and Stalin, and its defeat of the Right under Mussolini and Hitler in the Second World War, strengthened the Left throughout the world. However, the United States benefited even more from the war than the Soviet Union; and, though a revolutionary, “leftist” state since its foundation in 1776, it now undertook a kind of centrist counter-revolution to defend the world against the worst excesses of the Left in the form of the communist regimes of Eastern Europe and the Far East.
The American victory in the Cold War in 1991 appeared to seal the “centrist” triumph, making the world safe for democracy, human rights and the free market against the extremes of the Communism, on the one hand, and Fascism, on the other. However, the twenty-five years or so that have elapsed since 1991 have seen great, unexpected and highly confusing changes. On the one hand, countries that formerly were identified with the extreme Left, such as Russia, appear to have moved sharply to the Right – both the Fascist Right of the inter-war years and (much more speciously) “the Orthodox Christian Right” of the pre-1917 era. On the other hand, other countries that equally opposed both the extreme Left and the extreme Right, such as the United States, have bifurcated into new forms of extremism which we continue, misleadingly, to call “Left” and “Right” but which in fact bear little resemblance to what those terms would have meant in the nineteenth century.
Truly, as Yeats said just after the First World War, “the centre cannot hold”… Indeed, it appears to have disappeared forever in America today, and is becoming ever more timid and beleaguered in many other parts of the world. The only solution is to find, not a weak compromise somewhere in the middle between Left and Right, but the true moral high ground of an Orthodox Christian position in the midst of the contemporary confusion.
But first let us remind ourselves of the main characteristics of the Left and the Right in their “classical” forms, beginning with the Left:
- Anti-monarchism and anti-theism: the elimination of the concept of the State as a family under a father-king and a Father-God. The Soviet Union was the first officially atheist and anti-theist state in history, and killed more Orthodox Christians than any other.
- Totalitarianism: the massive expansion of the state in order to control all aspects of life (even when it is supposed to be “withering away”).
- Egalitarianism: the destruction of all forms of hierarchy in the name of equality. This includes the hierarchy of the family itself: the woman is equal to the man and does not need to obey him, while the children can also rebel against their father and denounce him to the state.
- Theft and banditry: the appropriation of most property by the state and its redistribution in accordance with the needs of the elite (hence the saying: “all men are equal, but some are more equal than others”).
- Expansionism and militarism: the undermining of all rightist or centrist states and their take-over by “the real Left”. By 1949 Communism had taken control of one-quarter of the globe (Revelation 6.8), and by the late 1970s, as it took over large parts of Africa and Asia, it looked as if it might conquer the whole world.
- Murder and artificial famine: the systematic elimination of dissidents. The greatest slaughters in history in absolute terms have been carried out by Leftist governments.
- Internationalism: the rejection or downgrading of national sovereignty in favour of an “Internationale” of some undefined sort; the exaltation of international laws and norms above national laws and norms; the tendency towards global government (the United Nations or some secret Masonic-type group behind it).
Now, when put as starkly as this, it is obvious that no Orthodox Christian can have any truck with the Left; to do so would be to deny the faith. However, Orthodox leftists console themselves with the following excuses:
- No State carries out the Left’s programme in its entirety. Orthodox Christianity is tolerated in most leftist governments in the post-1991 era. Therefore one can accommodate oneself to at any rate the more liberal elements of the state, hoping that it will reform itself in time. However, no convincing example of such a reformation can be adduced. Leftist states have always collapsed under the burden of their own contradictions (Venezuela is the latest example), but never through the conversion of the regime itself to Orthodox Christianity. Putin’s Russia is no exception – although it would require another large article to demonstrate that.
- Some degree of conformity with Leftism is permissible in order to save oneself, one’s family and the Church. This excuse is called “Sergianism” after its most famous exponent, “Patriarch” Sergius of Moscow, and was refuted by the Lord Jesus Christ, Who said: “He who seeks to save his life will lost it.” And again: “He who does not confess Me before me, him will I not confess before My Father in heaven”.
- The alternative – the Rightist state – is worse. However, it is highly debatable whether Stalin’s Russia was a lesser evil than Hitler’s Germany. As regards the consequences for Orthodox Christianity, it certainly was not, since Stalin and Mao established anti-theism from Berlin to Vladivostok, engulfing all the Orthodox states except Greece (which, however, is now Marxist).
Turning now to the definition of Rightism, it is necessary first of all to emphasize that the Right as embodied in, say, Hitler’s Germany, clearly rejected only two of the Left’s six characteristic features: numbers 3 and 7 in the list above – egalitarianism and internationalism. For it was, of course, both hierarchical and nationalist. Nor was it explicitly anti-monarchist and anti-theist (point 1). Nevertheless, it shackled all traditional faiths to the worship of the totalitarian state (point 2), just as in the contemporary Soviet Union; and Hitler, like Stalin, never showed an inclination to replace his absolute dictatorship with anything like a traditional monarchy.
The Harvard historian Niall Ferguson asks: “Were not Stalin and his German counterpart in reality just two grim faces of totalitarianism? Was there any real difference between Stalin’s ‘socialism in one country’ and Hitler’s National Socialism, except that one was put into practice a few years before the other? We can now see just how many of the things that were done in German concentration camps during the Second World War were anticipated in the Gulag: the transportation in cattle trucks, the selection into different categories of prisoner, the shaving of heads, the dehumanizing living conditions, the humiliating clothing, the interminable roll-calling, the brutal and arbitrary punishments, the differentiation between the determined and the doomed. Yes, the regimes were very far from identical… But it is at least suggestive that when the teenage zek Yuri Chirkov arrived at Solovetsky, the slogan that greeted him was ‘Through Labour – Freedom!’ – a lie identical to the wrought-iron legend Arbeit Macht Frei that would later welcome prisoners to Auschwitz…”
There were indeed many close similarities between Nazism and Socialism. One was their common hatred of the capitalist system and liberal individualism in general. Thus Courtney Kirchoff points out that under Hitler, “health care was socialized, free for everyone. Doctors were salaried by the government…. Our tax rates went up to 80% of our income… We had big programs for families. All day care and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food, clothing, and housing…”
Now many on both the Left and the Right would see the above account as thoroughly misleading because the majority of both Leftists and Rightists would reject both Stalin and Hitler and adopt far more “moderate” views. This is true; and yet if we are to understand the essence of any movement in the history of ideas, we will find it both in its root and in its final flowering. “By their fruits ye shall know them” is a perfectly general criterion.
So let us look at the root of the Left/Right phenomenon, as we see it in the French Revolution and the German War of Liberation. All the characteristics of the Russian revolution are to be found in the French revolution, albeit on a smaller scale. Indeed, Lenin and his fellow revolutionaries quite consciously saw themselves as following their French predecessors. It is therefore illogical for “moderate” Leftists, such as the present-day French government, to laud the French revolution and turn away from its logical and historical fruit in the Russian revolution. “In my beginning is my end”.
Particularly important was the figure of Napoleon, the man who spread the ideals of the French revolution throughout Europe. David Bell argues that many of the elements of “total war” – conscription, total disregard for the rules of combat, guerilla warfare, the perverse idea of war for the sake of peace – were first practised, not in the First World War, as often thought, but by Napoleon. And just as many of the leading Fascists of the twentieth century – Mussolini, for example – were originally Socialists and admirers of Lenin, so many leaders of the German counter-revolution – Hegel, for example – were originally admirers of the French revolution and Napoleon.
It was Napoleon’s crushing victory over the Prussians in 1806 that both aroused the admiration for Napoleon in the Germany intellectuals, and started the reaction… Against the French insistence that they were “the great nation”, the universal nation of universal human rights, and therefore were allowed to impose themselves on all others, the Germans defended the uniqueness and holiness of their own nation. Their reaction was born of wounded pride, victimhood, a “form of collective humiliation”, in Sir Isaiah Berlin’s words. Adam Zamoyski agrees: “The humiliation of seeing the prestigious army created by the great Frederick trounced by the French led to painful self-appraisal and underlined the need for regeneration. But it also stung German pride and dispelled the last shreds of sympathy for France – and, with them, the universalist dreams of the previous decade.”
Using the Prophet Ezekiel’s vision of the dry bones (ch. 37), Johann Gottlieb Fichte described the future regeneration of Germany thus:“Although the bones of our national unity… may have bleached and dried in the storms and rains and burning suns of several centuries, yet the reanimating breath of the spirit world has not ceased to inspire. It will yet raise the dead bones of our national body and join them bone to bone so that they shall stand forth grandly with a new life… No man, no god, nothing in the realm of possibility can help us, but we alone must help ourselves, as long as we deserve it…”
“Fichte,” writes Paul Johnson, “was much impressed by Niccolò Machiavelli and saw life as a continuing struggle for supremacy among the nations. The nation-state most likely to survive and profit from this struggle was the one which extended its influence over the lives of its people most widely. And such a nation-state – Germany was the obvious example – would naturally be expansive. ‘Every nation wants to disseminate as widely as possible the good points which are peculiar to it. And, in so far as it can, it wants to assimilate the entire human race to itself in accordance with an urge planted in men by God, an urge on which the community of nations, the friction between them, and their development towards perfection rest.’
“This was a momentous statement because it gave the authority of Germany’s leading academic philosopher to the proposition that the power impulse of the state was both natural and healthy, and it placed the impulse in the context of a moral world view. Fichte’s state was totalitarian and expansive, but it was not revolutionary. Its ‘prince’ ruled by hereditary divine right. But ‘the prince belongs to his nation just as wholly and completely as it belongs to him. Its destiny under divine providence is laid in his hands, and he is responsible for it.’ So the prince’s public acts must be moral, in accordance with law and justice, and his private life must be above reproach. In relations between states, however, ‘there is neither law nor justice, only the law of strength. This relationship places the divine, sovereign fights of fate and of world rule in the prince’s hands, and it raises him above the commandments of personal morals and into a higher moral order whose essence is contained in the words, Salus et decus populi suprema lex esto.’ This was an extreme and menacing statement that justified any degree of ruthlessness by the new, developing nation-state in its pursuit of self-determination and self-preservation. The notion of a ‘higher moral order’, to be determined by the state’s convenience, was to find expression, in the 20th century, in what Lenin called ‘the Revolutionary Conscience’ and Hitler ‘the Higher Law of the Party’. Moreover, there was no doubt what kind of state Fichte had in mind. It was not only totalitarian but German. In his Addresses to the German Nation (1807), he laid down as axiomatic that the state of the future can only be the national state, in particular the German national state, the German Reich.”
There is an interesting link between Fichte’s egoistic metaphysics and his nationalism. As Bertrand Russell writes, Fichte was an idealist philosopher, who “carried subjectivism to a point which seems almost to involve a kind of insanity. He holds that the Ego is the only reality, and that it exists because it posits itself; the non-Ego, which has a subordinate reality, also exists only because the Ego posits it… The Ego as a metaphysical concept easily became confused with the empirical Fichte; since the Ego was German, it followed that the Germans were superior to all other nations. ‘To have character and to be a German,’ says Fichte, ‘undoubtedly mean the same thing’. On this basis he worked out a whole philosophy of nationalistic totalitarianism, which had great influence in Germany”.
So we see that Communism and Fascism have common roots in the great conflict between the French revolution and the German counter-revolution of the early nineteenth century. Neither worshipped God in any traditional sense. Both worshipped the state, the big State, and the right of the state to pursue its aims through violence – the revolution in order to wipe out kings and bishops and aristocrats of all stripes, and the counter-revolution in order to wipe out the revolutionaries and later all nationalities that threatened the German nation (Jews, Slavs, etc.). Both practiced a particularly ruthless form of revolutionary morality that did not allow pity or humanity, let alone Christian love, to interfere with the pursuit of their aims. Their common characteristic was therefore hatred, hatred for “the enemies of the people” – i.e. Fascists and counter-revolutionaries if you were a revolutionary, or cosmopolitans and globalists and people of the wrong colour and genes if you were a counter-revolutionary. Both were militarist and expansionist; the logical conclusion of their inhabiting the same planet was constant and total war, war if necessary to the destruction of the whole world.
The disillusioned communist Vasily Grossman, in a novel entitled Life and Fate, emphasized the similarities between Soviet Communism and German Nazism. In one revealing scene an SS officer is talking to his prisoner, an old Bolshevik. “When we look at one another in the face, we’re neither of us just looking at a face we hate – no, we are gazing into a mirror. That’s the tragedy of our age. Do you really not recognise yourself in us; yourselves and the strength of your will?… You may think you hate us, but what you really hate is yourselves in us… Our victory will be your victory… And if you should conquer, then we shall perish only to live in your victory.”
So not only in their roots, but also in their fruits, Left and Right have shown very similar tendencies and teachings; to that extent they are twin offshoots of the one antichristian revolution.
However, this conclusion needs to be qualified in three important ways. First, even if Left and Right are twins, it was the Left that left the mother’s womb first (in 1789 as opposed to 1807), and the Right has been trying ever since to catch it by the ankle and draw it back. (Sometimes it even tries to anticipate the Left, as when the Rightist Bismarck introduced the welfare state into Germany in order to cut the ground from under the Left’s feet.) Secondly, the Left has always set the agenda, as it were; while the Right has always ended by accepting most of the Left’s agenda. Thus by the 1930s the Right no less than the Left used the language of democracy; everything was done in the name of their common god, “The People”. And thirdly, they are not identical twins but represent and cater to different needs or passions of human nature – the innovative and the conservative – both of which have to be accommodated if the (by definition innovative) revolution is to go forward.
The relatively conservative nature of Rightism represents a temptation for Orthodox Christians. For they are naturally opposed to many of the things that the Right is opposed to, especially the destruction of religion and the family, but then can easily become associated with anti-Orthodox elements of traditional Rightism, such as anti-Semitism. For example, in the inter-war years the Romanian Church and State, rightly frightened by the terrible persecution taking place in its neighbour, the Soviet Union, and influenced by Rightist organizations such as the Iron Guard under Codreanu, became allies of Nazi Germany. It was one thing to prefer Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union as being less of a direct threat to Orthodox Christianity – a choice that many other Orthodox Christians in Central and Eastern Europe also made. It was quite another to adopt its murderous attitude to the Jews – a temptation that neighbouring Bulgaria, caught in a similar dilemma, managed to avoid.
On the other hand, since the fall of Communism, when explicitly anti-theist regimes seem to be rare and far away (North Korea is perhaps the last “pure” example), many Orthodox Christians appear to have returned to the Left as if it were now respectable. But is it really safe to be Leftist now?
Let us see… After quoting from John Lennon’s song:
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too,
Fr. Michael Shanbour writes: “John Lennon’s lyrics strike a chord in us. We all remember a time when we yearned for a unity with others where the slightest separation is melted away in the face of pure love and abiding peace. Indeed the longing for true communion is the fundamental God-implanted hunger in every human soul.
“However over the centuries many have misused or misapplied this natural yearning for communion by artificially discounting the true borders of personhood. Examples include political ideologies such as Communism and like-minded social experiments such as hippie commune-ism…
“All of these have one thing in common – they seek to create a perceived communion by breaking down extant distinctions and definitions. As the former Beatle seems to advocate, division and disunity are actually caused by boundaries and beliefs. Yet a ‘communion’ without borders is short-lived and futile because it is not consonant with reality itself. For instance, a country is not threatened by the existence of its borders; its borders are what make possible a real identity and a unifying culture. Imagine a country without borders and I will show you an imaginary country.”
Can we characterize Leftist ideologies as attempts to create communion by breaking down barriers, borders and inequalities of all kinds? If we are looking at the world through rose-tinted spectacles, then there is much to be said for this perspective. Thus nineteenth-century Leftism can be seen as destroying the barriers between kings and subjects, bishops and laymen, rich and poor, while twentieth and twenty-first Leftism takes things further, destroying the barriers between classes, nations, religions and even genders…
As an example of Leftist ideology which is now the law throughout Western Europe and Greece, let us consider Article 21, entitled “Non-Discrimination”, of the “Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union” (February, 2012): “Any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation shall be prohibited.”
“Any discrimination based on any ground”: the breath-taking universality of this command tells us two things: first, that it cannot be fulfilled since it goes against nature, and secondly, that it must not be fulfilled since it goes against God. Neutrality is impossible in this situation: like Mrs. Thatcher in relation to the European super-state which issued this command to its citizens, we must say: “No, no, no!” Only we must reject it on the grounds, not of Rightism, whether moderate (conservative) or extreme (Fascist), for reasons indicated above, but on grounds of Orthodox Christianity alone.
Again, more recently, Ms. Alison Saunders, head of Britain’s Crime Prosecution Service, has defined “hate crime” as “any criminal offence… perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by hostility or prejudice, based on a person’s disability or perceived disability; race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; or sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation or a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender”.
It was Christianity that began the struggle against unjust discrimination on the grounds of nationality, social status or gender: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3.28; cf. Colossians 3.11). That is, as St. Maximus the Confessor defines it: “Men, women and children, profoundly divided as to race, nation, language, manner of life, work, knowledge, honour, fortune… are all recreated by the Church in the Spirit. To all equally she communicates a divine aspect. All receive from her a unique nature which cannot be broken asunder, a nature which no longer permits one henceforth to take into consideration the many and profound differences which are their lot. In that way all are raised up and united in a truly catholic manner.”
However, while these distinctions are of secondary importance in the sense that they are irrelevant to church membership, this by no means implies that they are unimportant or should be ignored in the practice of the Christian life. On the contrary: the distinction between male and female, for example, is a permanent and inescapable fact which must be taken account of in that large and important sphere of Christian morality which is sexual morality. However, here Orthodoxy comes into clear and inescapable contradiction with a major plank of the most recent phase of the Leftist revolution.
Seen as a defence against the excesses of the Left, Rightism is a justified attempt to preserve distinctions that are natural and therefore cannot be destroyed; for the attempt to destroy them can only lead to disaster as nature – or rather, the Creator of nature – takes its revenge. For Rightism in its less extreme forms is essentially conservatism, the attempt to conserve the values of the past, and prevent the removal of the landmarks that our ancestors placed (Proverbs 22.28; Hosea 5.10). What could be more Orthodox than that?
The problem is: in order to defend one outpost of traditional values, conservatives tend to surrender another “in exchange”, so that they are like an army in perpetual retreat. It began in the nineteenth century with monarchism. In order to defend at least the appearance of monarchism and the possibility of constitutional monarchy, they gave up the Christian teaching that power comes from God, not the people, and accepted the principle of democracy, the sovereignty of the people…
Since the late twentieth century, the issues have more often related to gender and reproduction. Thus while rejecting homosexuality, the conservatives usually give up on fornication, saying that it’s permissible “as long as they love each other”. Again, in order to reject same-sex marriage, they give up on homosexuality, saying that they are “not homophobic” and “have nothing against gays”. Again, in order to limit the numbers of children aborted, they give up on the basic principle that abortion is murder, only insisting (until outvoted) on a time-limit…
Seeing that the Leftists will not be persuaded by sweet reason, some conservatives adopt the tactics of their adversaries: violence and intimidation. So they threaten to kill gays, or destroy abortion clinics. This is fatal: from then on, whatever excuses they may give that they are averting something worse, they will not be listened to; for now, having become truly like the Left in their violence and hatred, they are “Fascists” and “Hitlerites” in the language of the media (most of which are in the hands of the Left)… The paradox is that some of the favourite causes of the Left, such as euthanasia and eugenics, are in origin truly Fascist. But by this time it hardly matters who started it and what labels we attach: Right and Left have become mirrors of each other; both sides are ruled by Hate and both are destined for hell…
We see this clearly in the present confrontation between Left and Right in the United States. Were the Rightist White supremacists right in protesting the tearing down of the statue of General Lee, one of the most honourable leaders of the Confederate South, who, unlike some of his northern counterparts, did not own slaves? Yes indeed… But having draped themselves in the banners of anti-Semitism and neo-Nazism, the protestors were simply asking for trouble – and got it. They gave their Leftist opponents, Antifa, a golden opportunity to score a huge propaganda victory with relish.
At the same time, they lost the opportunity to point out the crass hypocrisy of the Leftists. For, as Fr. George Rutler writes: “There have been no protests about a statue of Lenin on La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles, or one on Norfolk Street in Seattle, or one on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, notwithstanding the more than 60 million humans whose deaths he engineered, and the pall of misery with which he blanketed much of the world. As for race, there are untouched statues of Margaret Sanger whose eugenic symbiosis with the National Socialists set in motion the annihilation of millions of African-American babies.” EvenLiberal Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz has urged his fellow liberals to condemn their more radical elements, such as Antifa, and not to consider them heroes for their crusade against statues, because they are “radical” and “anti-American” and are really “trying to tear down America.” He went on to compare the campaign to rewrite American history with the methods of Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union.
James S. Robbins was surely right when he commented on this situation: “Neo-Nazis and the KKK are the mirror image of the anarchist and Communist left. All are a threat to our way of life…”
So what are we to do? Shout “a pox on both your houses” and withdraw completely from the battle? This might be a possibility for Amish brethren, hill-billies or Orthodox hermits: it is impossible for those with children in the world, who have to protect them from their teachers and peers that indoctrinate them with the literally soul-destroying doctrines of the Left. The fact is: we no longer live in a world in which we can simply ignore politics and live a completely depoliticized life. For since the French revolution politics has invaded the religious sphere, and now there is nowhere to hide from the invasion. We have to stand up and fight the Leftist revolution.
But, as we have seen, joining the Right is no solution. For the Right compromises itself by its violent methods that mirror those of the Left, by its frequent adherence to anti-Orthodox beliefs, such as anti-Semitism, which no Orthodox Christian can be associated with, and, most basically, by its manifest failure to stop or even slow down the Left over a period of more than two hundred years. Indeed, it could be argued that some Rightist movements have actually helped the Left in the long run by giving them a propaganda weapon that they can employ to trounce their opponents, however unjustly and unscrupulously this weapon is used.
The only alternative is the confession of the Orthodox Faith. Like the early Christians, who did not practice politics, we must not join parties or movements or demonstrations, which will only compromise our Orthodoxy and in any case hold no prospect of success. This is not to say that there is no hope: while there is life there is hope, and the early Christians certainly never lost hope – a hope that was justified when St. Constantine overthrew the tyrants and founded Christian Rome. But we must be clear that the revolution that began in 1789, acquired a new injection of satanic energy in 1917, and is now, in 2017, preparing to assault the very foundations of society and even change human nature itself, will not be stopped by feeble human resources, but only by God. However, we can play a positive role in bringing God’s intervention closer; we can stand where we are, not conceding in inch, stand in the fear of God, and in the firm hope of deliverance. For “you will be hated by all men for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10.22).
August 16/29, 2017.
 Daley, “Worms begin to turn on an arrogant elite caste that abhors their existence”, Sunday Telegraph, August 27, 2107, p. 18.
 Ferguson, The War of the World, London: Penguin, 2007, pp. 219-220.
 Kirchoff, “Myth Busted: Actually, Yes, Hitler Was a Socialist Liberal”, January 28, 2016.
 Bell, The First Total War, London: Bloomsbury, 2007.
 Berlin, “The Bent Twig: On the Rise of Nationalism”, The Crooked Timber of Humanity. London: John Murry, p. 245.
Zamoyski, Holy Madness: Romantics, Patriots and Revolutionaries, 1776-1871, London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1999, p. 166.
 Fichte, Addresses to the German Nation (1807).
 Johnson, The Birth of the Modern, World Society 1815-1830, London: Phoenix, 1992, pp. 810-811.
Russell, A History of Western Philosophy, London: Allen & Unwin, 1946, pp. 744-745.
 Grossmann, in Arkady Ostrovsky, “Flirting with Stalin”, Prospect, September, 2008, p. 33.
Shanbour, “Monogamous Communion”: A Defense of “Closed” Communion,http://catalogueofstelisabethconvent.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/monogamous-communion-defense-of-closed.html
 Daily Mail, August 22, 2017, p. 15.
 Rutler, “The Mindless Iconoclasm of Our Age”, Crisis Magazine, August 23, 2017, http://www.crisismagazine.com/2017/mindless-iconoclasm-age?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CrisisMagazine+%28Crisis+Magazine%29.
 “Harvard Professor Dershowitz Compares Antifa to Stalin, says they are ‘Trying to Tear Down America’”, Orthodox Christianity, August 23, 2017. http://orthochristian.com/105935.html
 James S. Robbins, “Trump is right — violent extremists on both sides are a threat”, USA Today, August 17, 2017.