08/20/2022, 09.52
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Russia's battle against neoliberal totalitarianism

by Stefano Caprio

In two recent speeches President Putin and Moscow Patriarch Kirill speak again of the war not just against Ukraine but the entire West, with its model of society that places "absolute value on individual choice." A political, moral and spiritual challenge.

This week Russian President Putin and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow once again declaimed the ideological principles that have dictated the "necessity" of military action in Ukraine to stem the Western invasion that in their view intends to impose a model of society and coexistence that is totally unacceptable on Russians, and disastrous for the entire world community that Russia intends to defend.

Kirill spoke in the Great Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, where an evening was being held in memory of the martyred Metropolitan of Petrograd Venjamin (Kazansky), whose 100th anniversary marks the execution by the Bolsheviks, one of the first and greatest witnesses to the faith at the beginning of the persecutions against the Church, along with other martyred bishops and priests. The orchestra performed the oratorio of the "Passion on Golgotha," in their honour. The patriarch took the opportunity to warn about the need to resist the new persecution, that of the "popularization of sin" imposed by the secularized and consumerist ideology of the West.

Kirill cited as an example the "passion for beautiful clothes, which makes people lose their minds," which is proposed "with hammering insistence through cinema and literature." When one gives in to such propaganda "everything is shattered in people's lives, family life, morality, man himself becomes weak and subservient to external forces." This is to be blamed on "contemporary liberalism, which places an absolute value on individual choice, and a huge amount of people in the world live by this criterion, especially in Western countries, thinking they are living in prosperity." Instead, one must live "thinking about the most important things, observing divine laws and professing one's faith at all levels, in politics, economics and science," the patriarch concluded.

The persecutions of a century ago, of which Venjamin was a victim, were triggered by the Soviet imposition of the confiscation of church property in 1921-22, after the end of the civil war between Whites and Reds, which had thrown Russia into a very serious crisis and caused a general famine. The Church was accused of opposing the confiscation and concealing assets, resulting in the arrest and death sentence of many members of the Orthodox clergy, and even some Catholic priests and bishops. In all, the Orthodox Church today counts 1,700 "new martyrs" from Soviet times, and the Catholic Church has also proclaimed some. The parallel proposed by Kirill is particularly expressive of Russia's "salvific" interpretation of martyrdom: stripping itself of "superfluous goods" is precisely the effect that the war in Ukraine is causing, due to Western sanctions.

Vladimir Putin also condemned the imposition of "neoliberal totalitarianism" through "the hegemony of the West," against which Russia has decided to react. He did so in his speech at the 10th Moscow Security Conference, deserted precisely by representatives of "unfriendly" countries, before a gathering limited to Russians and a few allies. In his view, "Western elites are trying in every way to preserve this hegemony that is slipping out of their hands" in the new phase of the world order ushered in by the Ukrainian war.

This hegemony for the head of the Kremlin means "stagnation, obscurantism, erasure of culture," a dictatorship far worse than the Soviet one, expressing himself in tune with Patriarch Kirill. We are thus in the second phase of the war, in which the military operation was a necessary "defensive" premise, while the Russian leadership intends to launch the most massive and decisive attack, an ideological one, knowing that it has far more allies in this area than the battlefield of soldiers and bombs. The aim is to free ourselves from the oppression of the "neocolonialism of the collective West," marked by the search for new military allies, which instead of ensuring greater security in Europe and the world "produces the exact opposite effect." This is why Russia's proposed measures for mutual security were ignored last December, leading it to make the decision of the "special military operation," conducted, according to Putin, "in full compliance with the statute of the United Nations."

Putin maintains that sanctions are punitive only for those who issued them "illegally," leading the European Union to more than 0 billion in losses due to "feverish sanctions hysteria, completely out of touch with reality and against all common sense." Instead, today we can finally begin to "draw the contours of a multipolar world order, and more and more countries are choosing a free and sovereign model of development based on their own identity, values and traditions."

He is also attentive to the processes and changes taking place in the politics of so many Western countries, where the "globalist elites causing chaos" are increasingly being challenged by "sovereignist alternatives." The U.S. and "its vassals" seek to meddle in the internal affairs of sovereign states, "organizing provocations, coups and civil wars," and for this "it is necessary to resist even with the use of force."

NATO seeks to expand to the East, increasing the power of its military infrastructure, and that is why it poses the real threat to world security, preparing in the past few years the people of Ukraine "for the fate of cannon fodder, implementing the anti-Russia project and turning a blind eye to the spread of neo-Nazi ideology." The "Anglosaksy" want to extend this conflict to the whole world, and from Eastern Europe they will move on to Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Putin spoke explicitly about U.S. maneuvers in the Pacific region and their "adventurism" in relations with Taiwan as in Nancy Pelosi's visit, in this case implicitly invoking Beijing's big brother protection. Returning, however, to the audience he holds most dear, that of the electorates of Western countries, he accused the perfidious globalists of "trying to distract the attention of their citizens from the very serious social and economic problems by casting the blame on Russia and China: the collapse of living standards, unemployment, poverty, de-industrialization and so many other areas of crisis."

It is not only Ukraine that is the target of the Putin war, but the entire West, a geopolitical reality from which Russia has no intention of separating itself from, but one it intends to dominate politically, morally and spiritually rather than militarily.

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