I. Community as God
II. Communality and Individualism
III. Greece or Hellas?
IV. He Mission of Christianity
V. From the Community Against Individualism to the Community Against the Community
VI. Who is Right: the Orthodox God or the Catholic God?
VII. Cosmos or Earth, Matter or Life?
VIII. The Genesis of Orthodoxy
IX. The Genesis of Catholicism
X. The History of Russia in the Context of the Evolution of the National Spirit and Orthodoxy
XI. Russia in the Early Twenty-First Century
XII. Russia in the Twenty-First Century (2030-2100)
Russia took Christianity from the Greeks at the start of the “long Greek summer” during the “medium winter of a long Russian summer.” At that time the world was seeing the “long Latin and Moslem winter” so the Russians naturally adopted Christianity, and specifically the Byzantine form. But Russia did not choose the time very well, since at that time the national spirit had already begun to deteriorate. Perhaps for this reason during the early centuries Christianity was more of an external trapping in Russia than an internal law. In such an eclectic pagan-Christian state Russia was open to the Mongol invasion.
At that time, Orthodoxy was not capable of teaching Russia organic Eastern Orthodox values of autocracy (during the twelfth century Russia had practically fallen into several separate princedoms), nor the idea of collegiality or Christian mysticism. What was the essence of the Russian Spirit at that time?
At the foundations of the Russian Spirit during the seventh through thirteenth centuries lay the values of the familial community, the deified natural setting of the great Russian steppe represented by pagan gods, and the value of the military hierarchy perceived as a state idea. Christianity, accepted at the “wrong time,” dealt a blow to the harmonic pagan culture (many different “obeahs of Perun,” or curses of the Slavic god of thunder, arose), and in place of the healthy forest, plains and agricultural foundations of existence a dreary urban churchy-monk’s cell type of culture loomed. The Old Church Slavonic of the Russian Bible bears the imprint of a certain amount of violence against the nature of the great language (to this day, incidentally). Medieval Russians remained lively and straightforward, but the Church culture was the first form of assault on their Spirit. The untimely and rapid Christianization of medieval Russia acted to insult the old gods and ravish the language, but did assist the seeds of Russian autocracy and new Russian values in taking root.
In the eleventh and twelfth centuries some particularly stark contradictions arose between the authorities and the people (the rulers were Christian and considered themselves to be autocrats, while the people were still basically pagan and believed in a natural and free order of things), between the city and the country (the ruler in the city, the people in the country).
Incidentally, Christianity did manage to graft itself to the living Russian tree, albeit with some difficulty, since the rising complexity of state, social and economic life led to the natural demise of the values of deified nature and the simple familial community. The former faded into the ranks of dependent values since the task of conquering nature had been solved both for the people and for the individual, and men were no longer as afraid of the beasts and the wilds of nature that they would make these central elements in their lives (basic values are also central existential problems), and continued to deify them out of habit. The latter, i.e. the familial community, was increasingly deified and no longer regulated the behavior of city-dwellers and only partially regulated that of the country folk.
Thus Christianity, which had penetrated Russia not through quiet preaching and example as in Western Europe during the period of the Dark Ages (which covered five centuries), but in a revolutionary way, imposed by the princes in power, over the course of just two centuries. However, the result was a kind of crooked tree. Christianity in Russia was a far cry from the harmony of the Byzantine religion and the immanence of the Latin form. Most likely it was for this reason that autocracy had not taken hold of Russia by the Mongol invasion, despite the enormous efforts expended by the high princes. Most likely autocracy was rejected by the national culture as a source and cause of violence.
Thus Russia could be taken over by the Mongols after having been weakened by internecine struggles, fragmented and entering a “long winter.” The total defeat can be chalked up not only to bitter military defeat and ruin, but primarily to the fact that Russia lacked the strength to restore herself, but at the same time, she could not assimilate the conquerors. Everything was against medieval Russia, except one factor: the Mongols were not strong enough, nor were they numerous enough to assimilate the Russians. As a result, a unique situation was created on the wide expanses of the Russian steppes. This situation resembled somewhat that of ancient Sparta, which supported a caste of masters and a caste of slaves, where the masters yearly declared war against the slaves and considered it valorous to kill (their own!) slaves. The same thing happened here: an entire people was enslaved, and from time to time, in addition to having to pay a regular tribute, was subjected to periodic incursions whose goals was to “invoke convulsions” (Dostoevsky’s expression).
At that time the Church had somehow managed to adapt itself to the conquerors and prayed to God to preserve the great khans in good health. The Russian princes bowed down to the Horde. The princes considered it an honor to participate in the khans’ forays against each other, and often led the marauding and decimation of the Russian land themselves.
But at the end of the fourteenth and during the early fifteenth century the “long winter” came to an end, and out of this “winter” Russia emerged not only with changed borders, but also with a new national Spirit, now already truly Orthodox and Christian. The basic values of the new national Spirit were inherited not only from the first centuries of forcibly dictated Orthodoxy, but also from the recent centuries of total violence against the land. As a value, autocracy now became a paradoxical alloy of harmonic Byzantine autocracy and the practice of Mongol foreign rule. The savagery and a kind of sophisticated brutality of Russian rule, which took over especially during periods of pitched battle for an “idea” would remain in Russian and world history as one of the darkest and most memorable features. Here is one example of this monstrous brutality of Russian autocracy at its zenith. As the historian Nikolai Ivanovich Kostomarov (1817-1885) wrote:
Novgorod and Pskov were terrified. At that time, a certain tramp from the Volyn Region who had been punished for some crime in Novgorod, decided to avenge himself on the people of Novgorod and impress Prince Ivan. He fabricated a letter from Archbishop Pimen and many of the Novgorodians to Zygmunt Augustus, hid the letter behind an icon of the Mother of God in the Cathedral of St. Sophia and himself fled to Moscow, where he reported to the sovereign that the archbishop along with many religious and lay people were preparing to take the side of the Lithuanian prince. The Tsar lent an eager ear to this denunciation and immediately sent men to Novgorod to uncover the letters in question. They were found. The prodigiously wild imagination of Ivan and his love of evil blinded him to the possibility that the tramp could be wrong.
In December 1569 Ivan Vasilievich went campaigning to the north. He was accompanied by his oprichniki and many boyars’ sons. He set out as if to war. It was a strange and extravagant war against centuries past, and a brutal revenge exacted from the living on behalf of their forebears. Not only Novgorod and Pskov, but even Tver was doomed to be punished for the time when the princes of Tver had fought against Ivan’s Moscow forebears. The town of Klin, which once belonged to Tver, was to be the first to suffer the Tsar’s wrath. At the Tsar’s command, the oprichniki descended on the town, beating and killing anyone in their path. The frightened citizens, who were indeed innocent of any wrongdoing, and not understanding the cause of this terror, ran for cover. Then the Tsar himself entered Tver. On the way his men robbed and killed anyone who crossed their path. Having reached the gates of Tver, the Tsar ordered that the city be surrounded on all sides by his warriors and installed himself in a nearby monastery. Maliuta Skuratov was dispatched by the Tsar to the Otrok Monastery, to [Metropolitan] Filipp and personally strangled him, telling the monks that Filipp had suffocated on charcoal smoke. The monks buried him behind the altar.
Ivan lay in wait outside Tver for five days. First they robbed all the holy men, starting with the bishop. The simple folk thought things would end at that, but two days later the Tsar ordered his oprichniki to attack the town. The men went from house to house, smashing household items, destroying gates, doors and breaking windows, gathering household stores and merchants’ wares, including wax, linen, leather, etc. They gathered these goods into heaps and burned them, afterward retiring to their positions. The townspeople again began to think that this would be the end, that with their wealth depleted, they would at least be left their lives. But then the oprichniki returned, striking down any and all, men, women, babes… some were burned, others were torn apart with huge pincers, and the bodies of the dead were dragged and thrown into the Volga River. Ivan himself gathered all the imprisoned Polovtsy and Germans, as well as those who were kept in private homes. These men were taken to the banks of the Volga and with the Tsar presiding were quartered and thrown, piece by piece, under the ice. The Tsar left Tver for Torzhok, where the same methods were used as at Tver. Ivan’s journal contained records that 1490 Orthodox Christians had been killed there. But in Torzhok Ivan very nearly escaped danger. There the German and Tatar prisoners were kept in towers. Ivan first went to the Germans, ordered that they be killed before his very eyes and calmly delighted in their pains. But when he went to the Tatars, the clever prisoners ambushed Maliuta, wounding him gravely, then killed two men. One Tatar tried to attack Ivan, but he was stopped. All the Tatars were murdered.
Ivan proceeded from Torzhok to Vyshniy Volochek, Valdai and Yazhelbitsy. Along the way, the oprichniki strayed from the main road, marauded in the nearby villages, killed people and depleted their wealth.
On January 6, on a Friday, in the evening, the sovereign arrived at the Gorodische with the rest of his troops and around 1500 streltsy from Moscow. On the next day he ordered all the monks and abbots standing mock trial beaten to death with sticks, and that their bodies be sent for burial in their own monasteries. On January 8, a Sunday, the Tsar made it known that he would arrive at the Cathedral of St. Sophia by Morning Prayer. According to an old tradition, Archbishop Pimen went out with all the people of the cathedral bearing crosses and icons to stand on the Volkhov Bridge at the Chapel of the Miraculous Cross to meet the sovereign. The Tsar was accompanied by his son Ivan, refused to kiss the cross held by the archbishop and said “You, perfidious man, bear in your hands not a life-giving cross, but a weapon: you and your evil abettors residing in this town wish to wound our Tsar’s heart with this weapon; you desire to hand the seat of our Tsar’s land, Novgorod the Great, to a foreign ruler, to the Polish King Zygmunt Augustus. From this day forward you shall be known not as the pastor and co-pontiff of St. Sophia, but you shall be called wolf, predator, blighter and traitor to our Tsar’s crown and worthy of the pike!” Then, without approaching the cross, the Tsar ordered the archbishop to conduct the Morning Prayer.
Ivan sat through the Morning Prayer with all of his men, then went from the church to the misericord. There a meal had been prepared for the high guest. As soon as Ivan had sat down to table and tasted of the victuals, he suddenly cried out. This was a sign that he had announced earlier to his men. Archbishop Pimen was seized, and the oprichniki went to robbing his treasury. Ivan’s steward, Saltykov, along with the Tsar’s confessor, Evstafy, and some of the Tsar’s boyars occupied the vestry of the Cathedral of St. Sophia, and from there they went from monastery to church gathering church monies and wares for the Tsar. The Tsar himself set out for the Gorodische.
Then Ivan ordered all the Novgorodians who had been under guard since before his arrival brought to the Gorodische. These were ruling boyars, Novgorod boyars’ sons, elected town officials and administrators and the highest of merchants. Their wives and children were brought with them. Having gathered this crowd before him, Ivan ordered his own young boyars to undress the victims and subject them to “inscrutable” (as one contemporary remarked) torture, and also to set them on fire using some kind of mixture of his own invention and which he referred to as “podzhar” (“a kind of flaming wisdom”). Then he ordered that the tortured and singed victims be tied to sleds and dragged at high speed to Novgorod across the frozen ground, and that they be thrown into the Volkhov from the bridge. Their wives and children were brought along behind them. The women had their hands and legs tied behind their backs, their infants were tied to their mothers’ bodies and they were thus thrown into the Volkhov. The Tsar’s servants navigated the river below and struck with pikes and axes those who rose to the surface. “The Tsar’s indomitable rage continued for five weeks,” said one witness. When the Tsar finally became tired of this entertainment on the banks of the Volkhov, he began to visit nearby monasteries and ordered all the hay in the stacks and in the grain houses burned, all the horses, cows and other beasts slaughtered. According to legend, when the Tsar reached the Monastery of St. Anthony he sat for the Morning Prayer, then entered the misericord and ordered all signs of life erased from the monastery. Having dispensed of the monks, Ivan set out on a stroll through the lay community of Novgorod, ordering merchants’ goods destroyed, shops depleted, yards and dwellings destroyed, windows broken, doors smashed and household stores and all the wealth of the inhabitants confiscated. At the same time, the Tsar’s men traveled in groups around the outskirts of Novgorod, through the towns and villages and boyar’s estates to destroy homes, rob them of their stores, slaughter animals and fowl. Finally, on February 13, on a Monday, during the second week after Lent, the Tsar gathered the remaining Novgorodians who had survived this foray. They expected the worst, but the Tsar instead took them in with a merciful gaze and said softly “Citizens of Novgorod the Great, pray to our merciful, generous and loving God for our pious Tsardom, for our children and for our Christ-loving army, so that the Lord may bless us with victory and that we may overcome all visible and invisible enemies! God has judged my and your traitor, the Archbishop Pimen, with his evil counselors and confederates. It is they, the traitors, who shall bear responsibility for all this bloodshed. And you should not mourn this. Live in this town and be grateful. I leave you Prince Pronsky as my viceroy.” Ivan sent Pimen in chains to Moscow. Foreign accounts state that Ivan subjected the archbishop to abasement, mounted him on a white mare and ordered that he be led through the city streets, surrounded by minstrels playing their instruments. “You should be leading dancing bears, and not ruling the church,” Ivan told him. Poor Pimen was exiled to Venev and lived there in constant fear of death.
A different basic value, that of freedom, justified and limited such autocracy. The historical manifestations of freedom (or volition) can be found in the Russian rebellions and in the Russian Revolution of the twentieth century. The great Russian historian Sergei Solovev will help us to understand the essence of Russian freedom.
Having paid close attention to this long and monotonous song of the Russian people, which opens with Kiev and Tsar-Gorod and traces through Volyn, Galich, Chernigov, Novgorod, Moscow and Kazan, Astrakhan and Siberia, we can see quite clearly that this is a people that has lived for eight centuries under identical historical conditions. The favorite image of the singers’ fantasy is that of the Cossack bogatyr, and these two words are practically synonymous. Both in the tenth century and in the seventeenth century the Russian world was centered around the Ukraine. Both in the tenth and in the seventeenth century the average man, who found it close in his father’s house and in whose veins “strength flowed like life, who was weighed down by this strength, as if by a heavy burden,” would set out for the open steppes where he could easily find someone to vent his youthful strength on. Much changed in the Russian political system between the tenth and seventeenth centuries, from the time of the mild-mannered Kiev Prince Vladimir to the time of the great Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, ruler of Great, Little and White Russia, but daredevils continued to head out for the steppes to polyakovat’ (from the word pole, meaning field), and a large military fraternity of polenitsy (again from the world pole) arose on the banks of the Don River , where any bogatyr could gather a band of men and venture out to seek great deeds. Thus, over the course of centuries the people were able to sing the same tune because the contents were still living history. To this day the Cossacks have not forgotten their bogatyr past and in the form in which they have come down to us, our ancient songs of the bogatyrs are essentially Cossack songs about Cossacks. Anyone familiar with these songs knows that the most famous of bogatyrs was Ilya of Murom. He is usually referred to as an old Cossack, and often as a Don Cossack, even the ataman (or hetman) of Don Cossacks. For example, “The quiet Don has clouded over, the Cossacks are in mourning. Their ataman has passed away, that old Cossack Ilya of Murom.” Robbers and highwaymen daunted by his strength would ask the leader to take them in and to accept them as Don Cossacks.
A young man senses the great burden of his strength, longs for the steppe and says to his mother: “Oh, my dear mother and mistress! Give me your blessing in parting, for I shall go far, far away to the open fields, to fight the horrid monster, to try out my bogatyr arms, to test my youthful strength. How long can I live in this stupid little boyhood? How long can I roam the wide streets and play with the boys?” Until the young man can break loose for the wide-open fields, he will live in “stupid little boyhood.” Note that in these songs there is no transitional period of education between boyhood and maturity! Any strong man who had broken away from “stupid boyhood” right into complete freedom, to the empty fields, who undertook to test his bogatyr strength was a terrifying sight. The songs quite clearly express this burgeoning strength that cannot be restrained. These poetic images can certainly explain more than one phenomenon not only of medieval, but also of our modern history, that was incapable of breaking immediately from the old conditions. Ilya of Murom, once having become enraged that he had not been invited to a feast, began to shoot at the churches, took aim at the miracle-working crosses, seized golden cupolas and gave them to the town drunkards to buy drink. He even wanted to slay Prince Vladimir and the Princess. When Vasily Buslaev was engaged in battle with the Novgorodians, he didn’t even spare his own godfather. His mother, in order to tame the bogatyr who had gotten out of control, crept up to him from behind and jumped on his broad shoulders. At that point the bogatyr said to her: “You wisened, clever old lady! You managed to rein in my great strength and guessed to jump on me from behind. But if you had approached me from the front, I would not have spared you and would have cut you down as a Novgorod man.”
The Cossack bogatyr was in contrast to the sedentary farmer who plied a peaceful trade. The Cossack bogatyr who was cursed by his strength as by a heavy burden could not reconcile himself to a peaceful existence. He had to be constantly on the move, seeking great deeds and roaming from land to land. The Cossack bogatyr could only live in the wide-open fields, and never in a town. “The mighty bogatyrs set out for the field, the field of Kulikovo. After all, they could not live in Kiev. They would seek merriment and entertainment, and woe be to him who crossed their path. The people could not withstand such bogatyr entertainment, for it often ended in death.” The Cossack bogatyr couldn’t be a town leader either. “Lord, never make a servant of a master, a nobleman of a servant, an executioner of a priest, or a voedvoda of a bogatyr.”
Farmers worked while Cossack bogatyrs roamed the wide-open fields. But the concept of young wine was inextricably linked with the concept of “roaming,” in addition to the idea of the Tsar’s tavern, and the Cossack bogatyr was well known to the average medieval Russian as a professional carouser and connoisseur of “green” wine. Ilya of Murom, the most respected of all the bogatyrs, would drink in the taverns along with the down-and-out town drunks.
Finally, the strength stops flowing in he bogatyr’s veins, and he is no longer burdened by it as by a great weight. The Cossack bogatyr is showing signs of age. Death is near, and with it judgement. The time will come to pay for all that has been killed and pillaged in youth. Now it’s time to save the soul, and the local monastery is the best means of doing this. Young men laugh at the aging Cossack bogatyr, saying “It’s time for you to get to the monastery, old man!” And woe be to the old Cossack who misses his chance to retire and encounters a monster in the wide-open field, a monster he is powerless against. This monster is death in masquerade. The bogatyr strikes out with his sharp saber, but his arm is frozen at the shoulder, it cannot bend, and the saber falls from his grip. It is no use for the bogatyr to pray now that death give him respite, at least for three years, if only for three hours, to disperse his riches among the churches, and to dispense his gold to the beggars. Death answers him with these words: “I will not give you respite. Your property is ill-begotten, your gold has not been earned, and there is no succor for your soul.” The bogatyr wavers and falls from his good steed, falls down to the moist earth.
In Russian culture, freedom (volition) occupied the place of Byzantine collegiality, which remained an aborted undertaking of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and an unrealized dream of the Russian thinkers of later centuries.
Finally, it was tolerance that became the third basic value; the ability to adapt to any social and political institutions and to any neighbor. This value is practically the opposite of Western patience since that quality is aimed at transforming the world according to the Catholic doctrine, by finding a kind of balance, an equal and elemental force acting in society, in other words an active kind of patience that is creative and directed inward. Tolerance is passive, its goal is self-adaptation to outside conditions, adaptation of the behavior of man and the community to foreign state forms and social systems, to the foreign environment. Perhaps adaptation is not the right word, but retreat. As during the time of the Mongol yoke, when the Mongols approached, the Russians would run to the forests, and during the time of the autocracy they would also "run” leaving foreigners in power: Greeks, Germans, French… And they did this not out of cowardice or lack of understanding, but as an expression of their deep-seated suspicion of rank and money. The reverse of this hatred was envy. Even today the key goal of the “new Russians” is to spend their money as quickly and as “effectively” as possible, throwing it to the four winds. And it isn’t a matter of not having any control, but rather in the unconscious contempt for wealth that is the expression of God’s punishment for their ancestors during the time of the Mongol yoke. As soon as a Russian became moderately wealthy, a Tatar would be coming around to collect tribute. The first tsars continued this tradition by offering no guarantees for private property. Ivan the Terrible even temporarily abdicated and set up a puppet tsar in his place, a subordinate from Kazan, and used this puppet tsar to strip the Church of its riches and then returned to the throne, but never reinstated the Church’s possessions. This was all part of his plan to confiscate the Church’s wealth. This is a great example of Byzantine treachery and Mongol low conduct all in one person! And the worst part is not Ivan’s behavior, but the fact that Russian society went along with it and even admired him for his exploits.
Russian tolerance lies in flight, in retreat. This includes forced migration of the people to new pursuits, and not only the refuge of the Old Believers in the forests, the fact that serfs went off to join the Cossacks, or joining the expedition to conquer Siberia. It also includes seeking asylum with God, going over to the Devil, or finding refuge in one’s own songs or criminal ballads. The Russian Spirit has learned to escape the almighty state and to find its freedom. But when the state lost its aggressiveness, the Russian people took over the territories they had conquered, but not for creative work, rather laying them to destruction. Why? The entire system of Russian existence following the Mongol yoke was too unbalanced, so there are only two stable conditions possible here, either extreme despotism or anarchy. When it hangs in between, the Russian system cannot find balance.
The idea of “retreat” as a Russian super-value is similar to Byzantine mysticism, especially since the path to finding God was the Russians’ main road of retreat. So this value can be called the value of Holy Russia. The essence of Russian Orthodoxy as it developed after the fourteenth century was to reconcile the human spirit with itself and with the world, to encourage quiet and non-public service to God and to the people of Reverend St. Sergius of Radonezh. The Russian Soul lives in unity with God in the Church and in prayer. More or less universally in the fifteenth through eighteenth centuries the strict demands of Lent were observed, honest charity and sacrifices were widespread. The ideal of Holy Russia contains the source of Russian tolerance and the main address to which people sought refuge (the other being complete freedom).
In autocracy Russia found a form of existence on the great plains, which were always a crossroads for great migrations. It was this machine that was capable of preserving the unity of the state and the independence of the people, but hung like a heavy weight around her neck. Russian individualism found itself in freedom, as in the saying “have fun while you have the strength, then pray for remission of sins.”
In Holy Russia the Russians found a communal ideal, a source of love and an energy resource. The most terrifying crime of Peter I was his decree forcing the priests to report on the members of their congregation from whom they received confession. This was like a kind of poison for Holy Russia that destroyed her during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. For this reason during the twentieth century Orthodoxy was no more, leaving just a dead Church mechanism incapable of resisting the desecration of the Optyna church by Smaragdov or the desecration of the autocracy by Rasputin, then the Bolshevik experiment which ended with the “ungodly five-year plan” (after that came the war, which to a certain extent healed Russian society, then Bolshevism began to wane). The Russians were left with only freedom and autocracy, which gave birth to a monstrous regime of self-destruction in the name of world revolution. The result was predetermined: collapse.
What next? Will Russia gain the Orthodox ideal of organic autocracy and collegiality and will she revive the ideal of the true Holy Russia? To what extent will this ideal correspond to the distribution of forces at the end of the twenty-second century? What storms will pass over the Russian land in the twenty-first and twenty-second centuries?
Let’s look back at the Latin ideal. It includes the corporate body, collegiality (which still remains in question) and tolerance. Professional corporations will become increasingly powerful around the world. If this is so, then Russia will also not be left behind and will adopt this view of the state. If collegiality is accepted as a value by Western Christianity as well, then God will certainly be behind the Eastern church, which has always preserved this value. Finally, what will the third basic Russian value be? Freedom? Holy Russia? Tolerance?
The corporate idea will supplant autocracy. Collegiality will successfully replace the value of “Holy Russia,” perhaps even becoming the idea of Holy Russia, but not a passive and mollifying one, not healing and compensating, but active and politically decisive, uniting the corporate state not through terror and total control from above, but through a kind of “harmonic totalitarianism” with active communality and religious democracy. But the fate of “freedom” has not yet been determined. What could replace it? Will the value of economic freedom or the value of political freedom be replaced respectively by the ideal of the “economic” or “political” person? But the corporate idea already contains the idea of economic individualism, and political individualism will be pushed out by the idea of collegiality. In other words, individualism is already represented in this formula. What is lacking? Can society limit itself to the pair of collegiality and the corporativism? Or do these ideals already contain the third ideal, although that may not be immediately apparent? And what will become of freedom, the freedom of volition? It couldn’t just disappear?
In order to find an answer, we need to analyze this phenomenon in detail. We’re talking about freedom as the opposite of complete state enslavement but, on the other hand, the very “freedom” of the people has led to cruel political reaction. Freedom (volition) is the relativity of any moral restrictions against the individual. It includes the distressed reaction of the slave who has cast off his chains and finds himself at a lost before his sudden freedom. It is also the victory of dark, animal elements in the soul. But these are just part of the story. Freedom (volition) is not just freedom, but also power. As the song by Lydia Ruslanova goes, “I will sink to the lowest sea, I will rise to the clouds,” i.e. we have here a revolt of the internal element. This is probably the essence of what we’re talking about. In contrast to freedom, which is more rational and spiritual, often disciplinedly cold, but often beautiful and fresh like Nike of Samothrace, freedom (volition) represents the raging elements, but not a fresh breeze; it is an ocean of passions, and not the calm river flow of reason. The Russians know how to live with their “freedom.” Who else experiences this phenomenon? I’m not sure. But it’s certainly not rational to swim in a stormy sea. And if the ocean calms, does the soul also come to rest? After all, the opposite of freedom (volition) is slavery, and its result is often destructive.
I’m afraid that freedom (volition) will also be responsible for a lot in the twenty-first century and this will be the final chord in the cycle of modern Russian history that is now coming to a close.
What will replace it? Something Chinese? But what? The Tao? Confucius? Perhaps the groups of Chinese and Indian migrants will become a special problem for Russia and she will find a way to assimilate them with the help of the third idea?
Is the errant authority of Christ a feature of Orthodox culture as a whole or just of Russian Orthodoxy? What does the term “errant Christ” mean? Why is he “errant”? Why is Christ more constant in the Catholic Church?
In the Catholic Church Christ really does sit at the right hand of the Lord, and he commands the Holy Spirit just as the Father does. There is little room at the top, certainly not enough to roam.
In Orthodoxy Christ is only nominally placed at the top, and since he really doesn’t reside there, he can be in different places and, since he bears an individual element, and the individual element is belittled in cultures of the Father, Christ also is somehow discounted, but this means not only belittling, but also his dependence on the position of the subject itself. In such a culture the place of Christ is not established by society, and each person places him where he thinks fit. Since the main role of Christ is that of the savior, of an intercessor before God, and a defender from the Devil, then Christ is by definition closer to humans, i.e. lower, and also fulfills an intermediary role both in heaven and in hell (something like a diplomat at large). In the apostolic symbol of faith Christ descended into hell after his death. The “wandering” of Christ reflects the insufficient fixedness of his authority in the social consciousness, and also his role as man’s agent in the heavenly spheres and in hell. Consequently, Christ’s “wandering” or errantness are a characteristic trait of Orthodoxy as such, and not just of Russian Orthodoxy.
But in Russian culture the range of his roaming is the greatest. It really does include the entire stretch from God the Father to the Devil, between the “depths of the sea and the clouds.” But what is Christ like when he is with the Devil? This is Christ as he attempts to justify the evil deeds of Ivan the Terrible as those of God Himself (the destruction of Novgorod as compared to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah). And not only in the eyes of Ivan the Terrible (every society has its madmen), but in the eyes of a majority of society, after all many Russians at that time perceived the Tsar’s anger as the wrath of God and considered it just. This is like the episode in the tale of the Cossack who almost killed his own mother, and didn’t only because she crept up on him from behind. This is also the diabolical curse of Patriarch Pimen of the devout Tsar Alexei and his line for having defended his imperial dignity from the patriarch’s challenge. It is also the anger of the Black Hundred who saw the coming of the Antichrist in any phenomenon unfamiliar to them, when actually they only see their own reflection in their Christ.
The Russian non-standard Christ (the lack of his authority), as opposed to the standard Christ of the Catholic Church and the super-standard Christ of the Protestant faiths, gives birth to this very freedom (volition) and, if Orthodoxy remains the religion of the Russians in the new historical cycle, then freedom (volition) must remain one of the main values. Perhaps Orthodoxy will undergo a reformation like the Great Reformation that swept Catholicism? Perhaps, but this reformation would be not an individualistic reformation, but a communal reformation. The church language will become the normal living Russian language, the ritual will be simplified, but the symbol of faith will remain as before. Russia will be rid of the old curse of Perun, of the putrid intonations of the current Orthodoxy by making it joyful and harmonious. Russia will also finally overcome the consequences of the Mongol yoke by banishing the idea of her merciless khanate autocracy. Russia will apparently create a synthesis of values of Holy Russia and fairytale freedom (volition) and turn this synthesis to God.
But it is still difficult to formulate a sufficiently founded and clear proposal for the formula of the Russian national Spirit in the third millennium. Let’s start not with the Latin formula for the Spirit and not with the Trinity, but from the projected course of Russian history in the twenty-first and twenty-second centuries.
When establishing the Latin formula, I asserted that the main historical event of the latter half of the twenty-first century would be the loss of the space factor in the migration of large groups of people. Public high-speed and highly reliable means of transportation will be created (such as magnetic “railways” contained in tunnels that will make it possible to accelerate to tremendous speeds exceeding the speed of sound several times over). In contrast to aviation, this form of transportation will not depend on the weather, stations will resemble metro stations but will be underground and directly in the cities. For this reason in terms of convenience they will resemble more bus stops. This form of transportation will be convenient and safe, not only thanks to the contactless means of motion in magnetic fields, but also thanks to a complex safety system, including defense from terrorist acts. The corporation of Big Tube workers (that’s the name we’ll give to this type of transportation) will become the most powerful professional corporation in the world in the early twenty-first century, something like Gazprom in contemporary Russia, and will be one of just a few transnational corporations “uniting” the world in the early twenty-second century.
This technical revolution will result, as I have suggested, not only in the detachment of separate groups of people, but of society from territories, and the rapid blurring of states. Imagine these possibilities: a man, but not just a man, rather his whole family and not just the family, but an entire collective of people (a team, a large group of fans, even a crowd rallying around a single idea) gets into this train in the morning and in an hour or two reaches any point in the world, and can live this way all the time (the transportation will be very inexpensive). A person could live in the town of Uralsk (Kazakhstan), work in Moscow or Istanbul, hang out in the evening in Rome or Shanghai, and on the weekends go to his country house somewhere in California or Australia. Fiction? Yes, but it is scientific. The Internet was also once considered science fiction, but today it is reality.
There will be another major global event, even two. The cost of energy will go down dramatically during the first half of the twenty-first century, in part thanks to the creation of thermo-nuclear power (another super-corporation of the twenty-second century) and the total computerization and automation of the economy which, having practically liquidated all need for workers in many branches and spheres of the economy, will make productive and organizational labor not a general necessity, but rather the field of the elect: entrepreneurs, talented engineers, economists, managers and, in general, of creative and active people. No more than 10% of the adult population will be engaged here. Another 10% will serve this first group, working as secretaries, security guards, gophers, etc. Another part of the active population (the middle class) will work in the areas of servicing all kinds of personal needs, for example in areas where computers cannot provide complete services, most likely in those spheres where personality and warmth are required rather than accurate and inexpensive fulfillment of certain tasks. This will be, for example, the hotel and restaurant business, although even the profession of women’s hairdresser will “die out” since a robot will be able to cut hair better and more quickly. People will also still be involved in areas where creative self-expression is a must, for example in music, painting, and organizing large celebrations which will become one of the most profitable and largest industries since for many people life will come to resemble one never-ending carnival. Another 30% of the working-age population will be employed in these areas. Another 20% will work in the more archaic industries of less-developed countries like India. Yet another 5% will become professional politicians, holy men, monks, pastors and congregation elders. The remaining 25% will be do-nothings, vagrants, lumpen proletariat, eternal students and professional criminals seeking to steal the earnings of the employed members of humanity.
There will be a very strong conservative reaction to the destructive freedom of movement at the end of the twenty-first and during the first half of the twenty-second century. I’ve already written about the ascendancy of soft forms of totalitarianism, which will “punish” people not physically, but by banishing them from the corporation. The conservative reaction will manifest itself not only in cruel and universal corporativism that will dangerously divide peoples, and not only in the victory of collegiality based on an unprecedented rise in the authority and influence of religious communities, especially among the less prosperous and non-corporate parts of society, but also in the growth of the meaning of territories that were formally known as national territories. In various countries large organizations and political movements will arise that will wage an uncompromising war against the pilgrims, to the point of hunting them. Some places will even resort to establishing entry quotas.
So national territories that will be quickly blurred in the second half of the twenty-first century, will during the twenty-second century regain their sovereignty.
“Winter” Russia will wind up in that group of countries that will suffer the most greatly in the twenty-second century from the freedom of movement revolution. The social structure here will be very rigid and unharmonic. A small and prosperous corporate elite will live in guarded and isolated “imperial villages” and will almost completely refuse to fraternize with the local population. Their work will be carried out in these “imperial villages” and at guarded sites, and life will pass in Europe, America, Japan and China. Our own “middle class” will not be large or strong since it will be dominated by Chinese and Indians who live in their own countries and work for weeks or months at a time in Russia. But during the first half of the twenty-second century many Chinese and Indian migrants will settle in Russia.
The largest class will be that of the lumpen proletariat (disfranchised individuals) and the vagrants. According to the laws of variety in society, it will be very strong and large, but in particular the class of migratory and settled monks will be much larger and have more weight behind it than in the West, and during the latter half of the twenty-second century this class will be the center of a burgeoning spiritual revival in Russia. At this time Russia will begin to improve her collegial political system and will force the corporation to open up for Russian society and, like a vacuum, will suck in Chinese and Indian spiritual values.
The third Russian value will remain freedom, otherwise the Russian soul would not be able to accommodate all those spiritual riches that will come to the land along with the migration of Eastern peoples, otherwise it will not be able to preserve the balance between the various cultures settling in the Russian land, otherwise it will drown in this sea of people. If the Russians accept the value of mystical Christianity, of the dreamy Holy Russia, then they will unavoidably go into internal emigration since their churches and icons, their St. Sophia Cathedral hovering in the clouds will all be foreign to the sonorous soul of the Moslem and the familial-country soul of the Chinese. All of this is distant Byzantinism. But the soul of the Cossack is the soul of the wide-open field and the quietly flowing Don, the soul of Russian nature that no matter what must be honored by those who voluntarily migrate to Russia. It is the soul of a man open to any surprise, to both good and bad surprises, since neither the field not the river will defend him, nor will they be defended from him. At one time the Cossack was a combination of the Mongol and the Russian, as in the twenty-second century a new synthesis of the Russian and the Chinese will come about, but this will take place on Russian soil and thus on a Russian basis. The Chinese will give the Russians their comfortable Chinese pagoda that will take the place of the great Cathedral of St. Sophia in their hearts and limit the extreme manifestations of Russian freedom (volition) with the caring surroundings of the family community.
How will the twenty-first century start in Russia and how will it end?
We already talked about how early in the century a rigidly state-oriented capitalism considering itself a predatory kind of double-headed eagle would set itself up in Russia. On the one hand, this would be a reaction of the Russian state organism to the economic liberalization of the 1990s and to the threat of losing the country’s territorial integrity, but on the other hand, it will be a more appropriate embodiment of the yet living (but weakened in an “earthly” way) formula for the national Spirit in which autocratic absolutism will occupy a special second place after popular freedom.
In any event, and independent of the balance of power, the Russian state will “regain its own,” by limiting political and economic freedoms.
But state capitalism, while truly bringing an elementary kind of order, will not create an effective or stable social mechanism. With a “soft” kind of state orientation the independence and motivation of medium and small private business will be preserved, but big business will be fully integrated with the state system. The politics of this business will be determined by the politics of the all-powerful presidential entourage or by the president himself, the “tsar.” The highest circles of business, like the politicians, will be infected by corruption that will grow with each year.
Only gradually, in the 2020s, will Russian neo-liberalism partially take over the positions it won in the 1990s, and these positions will be based not on a small group of intellectuals or relate to yet living recollections of the totalitarian past, but will hinge on broad-based social and economic circles, relating now to a new negative experience of life in the state-oriented corrupt economy. But liberalism, having become a serious force and leading to the democratization of society, will not be able to provide a new stimulus for development.
All of this will come true only under the condition that Russian society does not get involved in another long and involved war in the Caucasus or in some other region. The war will mix up all the cards and will lead to crueler and more lengthy (stable) kinds of authoritarianism.
But the “rigid” type may begin to come true in the next two or three years. It will be caused by a big internal war, a strong public disaffection with the liberals and liberalism of any kind, and basically a rejection of the “Yeltsin past,” of the partially decayed political and economic regime. The “rigid” type will limit the economic freedom of medium business and may even attempt to curtail the freedom of small business, bogging it down with licenses, tariffs and all kinds of burdens.
The “short summer” of state capitalism that will take place between 2005 and 2017 will fade into the “short autumn” of 2017-2029. During the “short winter” liberalism will again have a shot at power. But will it take advantage of this chance? The situation in the world will have changed dramatically. China will become very powerful, Europe will get stuck in the problems of its own unification, and the United States will undergo a very painful economic crisis and get drawn into the unexpected rebellion of Latin America and the South Americans, including those in the United States. We also can’t dismiss the internal antagonism felt by most Russians for liberal principles based on free individualism.
It is possible that precisely at this time idea of corporate socialism-fascism will take root (not to be confused with Nazism), or other similar ideas based on anti-liberalism and on recognizing the need for social regulation of labor, markets and private property.
These ideas cannot but be perceived by the Russians under conditions of complete lack of satisfaction with their own state, with Russian private capital, the Russian market and Russia’s place on the economic and political maps of Eurasia. Russia will become “infected” with one of the new ideologies promising to create a rigid system regulating social relations in addition (and along with) insufficiently legitimate (from the Russians’ point of view) market and capitalist relations.
So the realization of the new “fascist” turn in Russian society will be more likely than the new and “real” liberalization. Instead of placing their hopes on the regulation of economic relations using exclusively or almost exclusively market methods, instead of hoping for the refinement and polishing of legal procedures, in place of support of the growth of court authority and the development of competition and the politics of demonopolization, in Russia the authorities and parties (not only those in ruling positions) will expend their efforts in the opposite direction by creating political, administrative and social mechanisms of centralized control over major property.
“Winter” is dangerous because the ruling socio-political, social and economic ideas are false. They do not save, but rather assist in destroying the societal organism. But, in contrast to the very dangerous “medium winter of a long autumn” when false ideas really do capture the minds of the masses and rumble across the land like a destructive hurricane, the “big winter” does not create mass fanaticism. “Long-winter” false ideas do not mobilize, but rather disorient people, communities, communalities and societies and thus undermine the active forces of the nation and its ability to engage in a consistent battle and positive creative work.
Before attempting to peer into the future of Russia after 2030, let’s look at what happened in Byzantium during the “winter” of 1330-1520. Why Byzantium? Because, first of all, this culture is close to Russian culture. They are united by Orthodoxy. Also because it was an empire, a great empire that dominated Western Asia and Eastern Europe for hundreds of years, like Russia. In 1330 Byzantium was no longer a great empire and was “contained” in the territory of the metropolis, in Greece. Is the same thing currently happening to Russia, after the fall of the socialist commonwealth and the USSR?
In 1204 the crusaders invaded and brought Constantinople to ruin. As a result, the Byzantine empire fell into seven independent states, four of them Latin and three Greek. By 1261 the place was the site of constant warring, as a result of which the Francs and the Latins were expelled and the Byzantine empire was recreated, but in much narrower borders than those that had existed before.
At that time, the Greeks were caught up by the idea of reviving antiquity, and using an as yet unprecedented force. The reason for this peaked interest (as compared to previous centuries) in antiquity at this time could be summed up in the desire of the Greeks to spiritually combat their Latin conquerors. The reaction against the Latin conquest led to the Byzantines beginning to feel themselves true Greeks, and they no longer called themselves "Romans” but “Hellenes.”
Let us recall that this was the time of a “medium winter of a long autumn” when false ideas prevail. The Hellinization of Byzantium turned out to be just such an intrinsically false yet strong idea. This idea turned out to be strong enough to compile a smaller empire later. It led to the rise of multi-faceted cultural figures, people with encyclopedic knowledge who became the teachers of the Italian and Western European (but not the Greek) Renaissance, to the weakening of Church authority in society, but this weakening was not constructive as in the West, but destructive and led to the rise of cynicism and ambivalence in society.
Many schools of grammar, rhetoric and philosophy arose in the Byzantine empire. These were elementary, middle and higher schools, and not only religious schools, but also lay institutions or mixed forms. Contemporaries referred to Nicaea, the former capital of the independent empire, as the “ancient Athens.” Interest in antiquity was cultivated in school-aged children. Aristotle and Plato gained authority among educated people, and this authority was comparable to that of Christ.
After the unification of the country in 1259-1261, the era of the Paleologue dynasty began. The attraction to Hellenism changed in nature. If previously this interest was provoked by the desire to counter the Western conquerors, by the end of the thirteenth century, and even more so during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the attraction to Hellenism lost its vital importance and became a bookish preoccupation and even facilitated the retreat (again the retreat!) from the day-to-day needs of the era.
So it is no coincidence that literary Hellenism gave a positive and palpable result only in the area of translations from Greek to Latin, and from Latin to Greek, as well as in the field of philology. The other spheres of culture of highly-educated society even suffered from the attempts to fit them into worn-out molds of millennia past.
Basically there was no revival of antiquity and Hellenism in the new Byzantium although, it would seem, there was enough time since the new empire exited for two hundred years (a long historical period). In light of our theory there could have been no renaissance because in 1330 came a “long winter” and the spirit of the nation went into hibernation. There was no renaissance in the Byzantine empire based on Hellenism (primarily on the Athenian spirit) also because the Greeks only formally inherited the Hellenic spirit (from the Achaeans?), and their real ancestor was the Macedonian (Aryan?) spirit that had gone through two reincarnations during the last decades before the new era and during the first decades of the eighth century.
The “restored” building of antiquity and Orthodox Christianity could not create even a politico-social synthesis during this period. Antiquity led to a slight growth in lay learnedness, to the development of the sciences, expansion of the geography of travel and international contacts between educated people. Orthodoxy during this period (in 1333) gave birth to the movement of the Isychasts (the silentiaries) who were founded by the monks of Mount Athos. These monks taught that by means of special prayers (isychias) in the refuge of many years of a hermit’s life spent in silence, practioners could see a divine light similar to the lights of the mountain (during the transfiguration of Christ). This was the definitive form of mystical Christianity that during the period became “consolatory,” compensatory and also facilitated retreat, but now not of the educated lay elite, but the monastic and religious elite. By the way, the Russian Old Believer tradition of the seventeenth century inherited the spirit of the isychasts.
Neither of these elite groups had much to do with each other, nor could they work together in social and state affairs. It was no accident that in the fourteenth and especially in the fifteenth centuries many leading Byzantine cultural figures preferred to work in Italy and in other countries of Western Europe rather than in Greece. It is no coincidence that during this period an enormous amount of books and ancient manuscripts were taken from Byzantium to the West. The country seemed to be preparing to die and distributing its wealth. Russia didn’t get much of the inheritance. This was, after all, the time of the Mongol yoke.
In 1422 the Turks besieged Constantinople, this time unsuccessfully, but they did invade the capital of Peloponnesia, Mistra (in southern Greece). The “medium winter of a long winter” began with the capture of Saluni, in 1444 the Turks devastated an allied army of Byzantines and Western states, in 1453 Constantinople had fallen, in 1458 Athens was conquered, and in 1461 the remains of the old Byzantine empire were destroyed, i.e. the Trapesund Empire and the despotic state of Epiria. That was it. The history of a thousand-year empire had ended. And along with it ended the more than two-thousand-year (or even three?) history of the great small Greek-Hellenic people.
What conclusions can we make? How can we possibly characterize this period?
The “winter” in the first half was a time of division, disintegration of the components of the social organism, a time of schism into several major blocks that interacted very tenuously. In Byzantium we see a Hellenistic lay elite and an isychastic Church elite. The people were far from both groups and generally ambivalent toward religion, the authorities and even to their motherland. Inside the country even the activity of the best people was fruitless. The best people left the country, taking with them their knowledge and spiritual values. The elite seemed ready to resign themselves to defeat, and did not have the strength to even hate the aggressive barbarians. Many Orthodox believers even voluntarily converted to Islam.
Now let’s get back to Russia 2030-2100.
Russia will lag economically behind Europe and North America even more noticeably during this period. Now even South America will overtake Russia in terms of economic development, and China will come close.
The state idea will again be discredited, and the neo-liberals will harp on this point. But the ideas of liberal capitalism will not become popular, in part because of the general crisis of liberal economics of the 2020s.
The ideas of the corporation and of syndicalism consisting in the idea that all the main participants in production, including the capitalists, managers, engineers and technicians, workers and other staff will make up a unified association of producers joined into a hierarchy in which each group and each individual occupies his own place, and the entire hierarchy of a concrete company (joint stock company) is ruled not by the shareholders, but by a board of directors including two representatives of the owners, representatives from the industry, bank representatives and labor representatives will come about. There will also be a supervisory body consisting of two representatives of the state. In general, the system will be quite complex (almost like in ancient Sparta, if you recall), and we don’t need to understand the structure (which, of course, could be different, this is just one possibility), and the results of its functioning.
The result of the work of this corporate system will be the transformation of major industry (and not only industry) into a unified system in which private and private-state corporations will be included in the industry hierarchy to be controlled by councils consisting of bankers, state and industry bureaucrats, and big owners or their representatives.
The degree of interference of industry councils in the affairs of the companies may be considerable although, as a rule, with a normal progress of affairs the leading positions at companies will be concentrated in the hands of the director, especially if this director is also the main owner. But if the company’s affairs are not going very well, or the director for some reason enters into conflict with the board of directors and with the industry council, then he will hardly keep the power in its own hands, even if the company is his property (we’re talking about major companies).
This doctrine is close to the fascist form of the corporate idea, but fascist corporativism was included in the hierarchy of national goals and trapped in the end in the party and the party leader, and for this reason was aggressively militaristic or militaristic and defensive.
The new corporate idea is not preoccupied with political power, and the concept of industry is blurred and does not come from above, but is limited by laws, including anti-monopoly laws. So in various branches of the economy there will be different corporations. In some these will resemble conglomerates that will absorb companies with varying profiles, and others will resemble concerns with a truly narrow industry concentration, and in yet others the corporation will produce 100% of the goods in the industry branch, and in others restricted by anti-monopoly legislation, only 30% will be produced.
Who and in the name of what will this mosaic be created and changed? Of course, the working force is primarily competition, but competition not just of economic forces represented by free capital, but oligopolistic competition of these corporations themselves, that will have engaged engineers, managers, capitalists and functionaries of the industry machine.
In 2030 this new system will only begin to take hold in Europe, but it will be rejected in the United States. In Russia it will find the most impassioned supporters since the state oriented Russian capitalism bursting at the seams will need a fresh and modern idea, an idea that will allow its bureaucrats to stay in power but also to solve the main problems or at least point out a way of solving them.
For corporate capitalism of the 2020s and 2030s, as well as for its older counterpart of the twentieth century, the division of capital into good and bad will continue. Good capital is production capital, and bad capital is gained from speculation. The fall of the stock markets and great financial pyramids of “global capitalism” will make the corporate idea quite popular.
So during the 30s-50s Russia will set out on the path of the corporate idea, but with her own national specifics. She will create not an industry or competition-based corporate system, but a state corporate system, something like the Italian fascist system. But the Russian state will not become an aggressive and totalitarian state, the Russian national idea will not call the Russians to defend themselves from external threat. So the state idea will not be able to mobilize the economic system in the name of certain overall goals and in the name of cleaning up corruption and laziness. The result will be the decline of this idea as well, and its transformation into the old “smarter” oligarchic capitalism at the end of the 2040s.
At the same time, China will witness the super-effective realization of the corporate idea uniting Chinese capital and Chinese labor under national expansionist slogans. The corporate system will also take root in Europe, but in the industry form described above, in essence being a development of the German model of the social market economy.
Starting with the 2030s there will be yet another “shift of layers” or an unprecedented growth of the influence of small and medium (small-medium) business and the share of the gross national product produced by small companies on an individual and family basis. The small and small-medium entrepreneurs will bring the US economy out of a decade of stagnation after the painful crisis of the 2020s. But in the United States these companies will continue to compete fiercely and struggle for very narrow markets, and in Europe they will start to merge into specific corporations of owners and workers, something like the medieval guilds of craftsmen.
“Winter” Russia will make a fatal mistake here too. Getting “carried away” with reforming the management of major enterprises, she will create exclusive conditions that will not be beneficial to small business, which will be forced to forge ahead despite the inadequate efforts of the state like a blade of grass sprouts through the pavement.
During the 2060s the period of the pseudo-corporate system in Russia will end, but it will be replaced not with a “small cycle” of modern corporativism or some other adequate socio-economic idea. By that time Russia will simply lose her economic independence, having clearly broken down into spheres of European and Chinese influence. The state will not have enough strength for self-reform and will practically divorce itself from any kind of influence on the economy and on social policies, leaving itself mostly military and police functions.
Starting with the 2060s and to the end of the century, the economy will come under the influence of various foreign concerns, including transnational corporations of the “fascist” and capitalist forms that will have a summarily positive economic influence although it will be contradictory, and purely in their numbers and ability to compete (primarily amongst each other). At that time economic growth in Russia will be no lower than in neighboring China and higher than in Europe. New technologies will develop quickly in the country and the great technological revolution of movement will come to Russia on time.
But during these decades the country will resemble a boat left to drift by a tired sailor. The current becomes stronger and the sound of a waterfall can be heard ahead, but the rower continues to do nothing. What comes next, a miracle or death? What can we do if the boat is moving faster and faster? Can we just hope that the rower will regain his strength and bring the boat safely to shore?