terça-feira, 17 de outubro de 2017

Russian Conservative Forum: Russia´s messianic tradition and conservative estrategy

          The picture above is the logo of the International Russian Conservative Forum, an event that brought together European political leaders in Russia in 2014 and 2015. At the center Our Lady carries Baby Jesus in her arms over the Bizantine symbol of the two-headed eagle. The eagle was adopted by the Grand Duke of Moscovy, Ivan III, and represents the union between spiritual and temporal power of Russia. The kingdom, which would become the Russian Empire during the reign of Ivan IV, the Terrible, atributted to itself the Bizantine Empire´s legacy. The Bizantines developed the harmony concept, the perfect marriage between Church and State, represented by the eagle´s two head united to the same body. At the proclamation and coronation of Ivan IV as czar in 1547, the rite openly declared that Russia was the "Third Rome", transforming the doctrine which circulated among Slavic kingdoms at least a century before as an element of the State power. And it was necessary that a "God-elected autocrat" to firmly govern his kingdom to fulfill it´s eschatological role. Russia was destined by God to protect and guide Christendom, which would have been betrayed by Rome´s heresy with the 1054 schism and defeated at Constantinople by the Muslims in 1453. God was source of his legitimicy, which would be susteined until the Revolution of 1917.

          To the feet of the two-headed eagle there are on one side the scepter, symbol of authority, and on the other the globe. The allusion in clear: Russia has the divine role not only to guide Christendom, but the whole world, the whole creation. Hence the figure of the sun background, the light, God, source of all things and under which all things submit. The sun holds and bless whole creation, having Russia the authority over the world as protector and guide of the Christendom. Lastly, Our lady, who is the main intercessor to God in Christianity and for whom the Russian Orhodox Christianity has particular and deep devotion, presents herself as the link between Russia represented by the eagle behind her and God who is in her arms in the Person of Jesus          

          The sinthesys of the picture is the world leadership by Russia, political and espiritual authority of the world, guided by God through the hands of Our Lady. 

          The International Russian Conservative Forum already has in his name it´s claim: to be Russian and international at the same time, highlighting the Russia´s role in leading a new world order built over the debris of the current order. When hosting an event of this, the country is assuming this role, following the example of the statement on the Forum´s mission:

"We see how many Euro-Atlantic countries really took the way of rejecting theirs roots, including Christian values which form the basis of Western civilization. Moral principles against any tradition identity - national, cultural, religious or even sexual. There is a policy that places a family and a homosexual union on the same level, [as if] faith in God or faith in Satan [were equivalent]. The excesses of the politically correct go so far that they are seriously discussing the creation of events aimed in propagating pedophilia. In many European countries people are ashamed or afraid to talk about their religious affiliation. The holidays can be cancelled or are presented as something embarrasing, hiding the essence of these holidays, their moral basis. And this model is trying to impose itself aggressively to everyone, the whole world. We are convinced that this is a straight path to degradation and primitivization, a deep demographic and moral crisis. What else can be evidence of a moral crisis if not the loss [of the population´s] capacity for self-reproduction [?]. An today almost all depeloped countries cannot grow even with the help of migration. Without the values established in Christianity and other world religions, without the moral norms that have been formed through thousands of years, people will inevitably lose human dingity. And we consider natural and correct to protect these values."* 

          Following this statement, the Forum´s website continues with a Vladimir Putin´s speech to the participants of the Valdai Club, in September 2013, where the President defends traditional values, says the State could be a partner in this defense and alerts to the threat of the loss of Western countries´ sovergnity. The Valdai Club is a think-thank linked to the Kremlin and turned to Russia´s foreign policy research, and every year it receives Putin´s participation.

(A meeting of the Forum in Saint Petersburg, Russia, March 21-22, 2015. This was the most publicized Forum´s photo by Western media.)

          The Forum´s mission is to create a new concept of human development in response to Western liberalism, integrate conservative political organizations and to strenghten comercial, cultural and spiritual ties historically established between Russia and Europe. Taken as a scientific congress, it´s target audience are Russian and foreign public, political and patriotic organizations, representatives of regional, national governents and universities, Russian scientists, experts in History, Sociology, Demography, Law, Economics, Finances and members of industry. The intention is to influence political and social organizations in Russia and abroad, as well as public figures from the areas mentioned above, writers and public personalities.

          The 2015 event took place on March 21-22th at Holiday Inn Hotel, in Saint Petersburg, and was organized by the Russian National Cultural Center - People´s House, organization dedicated in promoting Russian culture. The initiative came from Rodina party, of Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. According to an official statement from the British government, members of right and far-right from Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Spain, Greece, Italy, United Kingdom and Sweden has attended the meeting. There wasn´t, however, participation of politicians of the Russian government. Participants were mainly political parties and military and political leaders who align themselves with the Forum´s proposal, such as Ataka from Bulgaria, Golden Dawn from Greece, Fuerza Nuova from Italy and the European political organization Alliance for Peace and Freedom. (Freedom Party from Austria, which had signed a cooperation agreement with Putin´s United Russia and had confirmed it´s presence at the Forum decided at last minute not to go.) These parties have simpathy for Russia and the Kremlin´s leadership. Among the Forum´s participants there was also people of neo-Nazi and antissemitic profile.

          In the end of the meeting was published the Participant´s Resolution, that begins with the declaration of regret to the destruction of "tradition European values". The text presents seven points defended by the members: 1) the creation of a "free, multipolar, progressive world order" (main Forum´s objective), the defense of the countries´ sovereignty and conservatism as the best form of existing social activity; 2) promoting, through the parties and the European Parliament, Christian values and propagate them to the masses, improving relations with the West and the end of the "Cold War" promoted against Russia; 3) the creation of a collective security system in Europe outside NATO, which became a tool of a dictadorship, departure of US troops from the continent and rejection of interventions by Western forces in other countries; 4) Russia is the legitimate successor of the Soviet Union and Russian Empire and now it´s integral part of the European traditions and it´s extended family; 5) Europe and Russia have their own path and must be freed from the US power. The main example of this is the conflict in Ukraine, that Forum sees as an internal problem, but considers that part of it´s territory was artificially separeted from Russia, is inhabited by Russians and asks the West to stop supporting Kiev gonverment; 6) the condenation of the sanctions against Russia and that also undermines Europe, and the desire to estimulate trade between the two regions to turn them back again into the center of humanity´s progress; 7) finally, the most important task is to estimulate the population growth by returning population to traditional values, and also intervene more rapidly to improve people´s urban life and health. The Resolution ends by asking participant organizations to act in a coordinated way to achieve these goals.

          The document sometimes repetes that the Forum´s members are "conservatives" and in the objectives it´s clear the references to the Russia´s special role in the world (the Russia-Europe duality repeatedly mentionated reinforce this idea).

          The fact that the Forum use a logo of strong religious load doesn´t necessarely means the divinization of the event or it´s messianic pretension (the same could be said, for example, about the flag of my country, Brazil, whose Positivist motto "Ordem e Progresso" - Order and Progress - inscribed in it doens´t makes this country and active agent in promoting Positivist philosophy through world, which promisses a new age of peace and progress for mankind). However, it´s symbology and performance is inserted into Russia´s messianic tradition. As I´ve commented in other post in this blog, today´s Russia continues to reproduce this tradition aiming to create a new world order over the rubble of the actual one. Whether under tzars´ divine authority, under the divinization of the Party and Communist triunphalism or under eschatology of the present Eurasian Movement, Russian messianism remains alive in planetary political projects focused in the formation of a new humanity, a new world created in the image and likeness of it´s social planners

          The International Russian Conservative Forum is only one of the Kremlin´s various investiments to achive this goal. It´s strategy is revealed in the conservative and nationalist narrative where elements of revolutionary tradition (anti-conservative, therefore) are mixed up, such as fascists, neo-Nazis and right-wing extremist, whose common point isn´t exaclty in values, but pro-Russia and anti-US feeling. The ignorance of this event´s mission by the great majority of people shows that this isn´t a plan with peoples´ consent, muche less of divine one.

* Translated from Russian to Portuguese with Google Tradutor with adpatations by the author, and to English by the author.

** Published in Portuguese on October 13th, 2017.

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