Considerations on the Russian Soul

Considerations on the Russian Soul

In the context of the book Revolution and Counter-Revolution, we can ask: If there had been a counter-revolutionary tsar, what would his policies have been?

First of all, he obviously would have converted to the Catholic Faith and had it established throughout Russia.

Then, from the temporal perspective, he should have found some shrewd Church theologians of high intellectual caliber. He would then invite them to study and resolve a fundamental point: What constitutes the true Russian soul?

I speak of the Russian soul before the reign of Peter the Great, which ended the Russian Middle Ages. Much of the true Russian soul continued to live even after Peter the Great, like a mighty underground river, because Russia was not Peter.

Peter introduced a new civilization that floated on the true Russian soul a bit like cream on milk. Thus these scholars would seek to identify this authentic soul and all its variations up to the present day.

With this characterization in place, he could then develop a refutation of the action of the Revolution, as it was introduced in Russia with the influence of Western culture.

Thirdly, this analysis would contrast the Western and Russian cultures. There is no reason to Westernize Russia.

Starting from these assumptions, the tsar could launch a crusade to restore the authentic Russian soul, stating vigorously: This is Russia! Such a tsar would have saved the Empire.

Unfortunately, exactly the opposite happened. The Russian nobility assumed the liberal, secular and modern spirit from Europe, while a liberal and Masonic intelligentsia arose. Both infected Russia with the cancer of modernity. A true Russian should have risen up in favor of traditional Russia to fight these influences, trying to restore it before it was wiped out.

The real Russian soul was found more in the people than in the elites. It was present in the court ceremonial but not in the men of the court.

Peter the Great represents a mixture of leaders: a bit like Louis XIV, a bit like Napoleon and a bit like the Lenin of the new Russia. Therefore, the Masonic praise for him is unsurprising.

In this True Russia, would Moscow be for the East what Paris is for the West? Obviously yes, but with one more element: Moscow has a religious and metaphysical side lacking in Paris, at least in post-medieval Paris. Because I think modern Paris is the exact opposite of medieval Paris.

(Excerpts from an informal conversation by Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, probably in the mid-seventies, without review by the author)