“The Message to My Friends.” Speculating about president's message

While the people of the former Soviet Union are trying to get to the point of the message from President Putin to the Federal Assembly, which was delivered on April 18, 2002, I recollected another message, namely Apostle Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews. So, President Putin was calling upon the deputies to “amend the laws,” and Apostle Paul was telling the Hebrews 2000 years ago: “For there is a disannulling of a foregoing commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness (for the law made nothing perfect) and a bringing in thereupon of a better hope, through which we draw nigh unto God.”

The practice of the two thousand years of the new era makes me believe Apostle Paul. Vladimir Putin's creation is not convincing. It is not convincing, because Putin is stressing the explicit inefficiency of the system of the power of law in Russia. The president is talking about “the imperfection of the law-making activity,” about the absence of progress in the field of the “administrative reform,” and other difficult ways for reforming the judicial system. Why did the president mention those things? Because the power in Russia today is divided into legislative, executive, and judicial. There is also another kind of power that “falsifies the people’s conscience" : the mass media, plus the power of money, which corrupts officials, as well as criminal power. Has it always been like that in Russia? No, it has not. Ten years ago and before that, the power in the state was also divided into three parts, but they were different: the military power, secular power, and spiritual power.

There is actually almost nothing left of the military power now. A military commissar is like a laughing stock for the youth; military officials are ridiculous, and they became objects for mockery and jokes. The spiritual power was buried under the debris of the military power of the State Committee for Emergency, which arranged the coup in the Soviet Union in 1991.

When orthodox tsars were reigning in Russia, the military power was predominant over the secular power: the leader of the retinue was the grand duke, and then there was the voevode (military chief). A metropolitan used to have the spiritual power, then there was a bishop, acting in coordination not with the civil, but with the supreme, military power. It always happened in history: if the spiritual power weakened, then the whole state became unstable.

President Putin’s message of April 18, 2002 starts with the following words: “Dear friends.” Therefore, it can be called as “The Message to My Friends.” Friends include a member of the Federation Council, Kerpelman (Jew) and Buratayeva (Kalmykia republic), Russian communist Zyuganov, and democrat of the Japanese ancestry Khakamada.

Orthodox people used to address to each other as “Sisters and Brethren.” A Tsar used to address to a military private as “Brother.” When this faith was turned to red (communism), everyone was addressing to each other as “Comrade.” Nowadays, brethren and comrades became “gentlemen,” but as we can see, the power is going down to “colleagues” and even “friends.” The present ideology is characterized in “the Message to My Friends” with the foreign word “tolerance,” the economic course – with classic “liberalism,” the home policy can be called “pluralism,” the foreign policy – “globalization,” and the military one – “pacifism.” However, the national issue is to match the notion of “friends,” as there can be no other foreign notion found to apply to the Russian reality. And this is good. I would like to remind you here that there is no line “Religion” in new Russian passports, as it used to be during the times of Russian tsars. There is no line “Nationality” there, as it used to be during the times of the Soviet power, but there is a blank line for the “Personal Code.” The national pride of a Russian citizen is cancelled in new Russian passport together with the celebration of orthodoxy.

It may seem a paradox, but it is chaos that is saving Russia ( which does not have the spiritual power) from the economic default. If democrats managed to suppress chaos with laws, then the song about joint multinational Russia would be over with (the same, as it happened with the people of former Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia). But chaos cannot last forever. There will appear some spiritual direction, and the society will make a step forward.

Russia is living in the black color of chaos, as the Chinese classic “Book of Changes” says. This is like a hint on the way to the proper knowledge of the perspective: which spiritual power will come to the people of Russia after white (orthodoxy), red (communism), and black. I think that green as the color of Trinity shows in a symbolic way that the spiritual power will arrive in the form as it used to be in before the church split of 1666.

The present split in the Russian Orthodox Church will probably be substituted with the combination of secularity and spirituality. The state will not have the firm economic base, until the people, who write their messages continue talking about “taking the niches on the world marker,” not about “conquering another peak.” A niche is a way to a deep pit, not to the shining peak.

Andrey Devyatov

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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