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Web Letters | The Nation

The Rebirth of Russian Civil Society

Reversing moral decay

“Nobody trusts anyone except their closest family and friends, and particularly not representative institutions like government, courts, police and political parties,” we read in Vadim Nikitin’s article. This is a carry-over, as we know, from Stalinism and can be traced further to the age of the czars, particularly after Peter the Great. It will take a long time for Russia to reach the required level of prosperity, perhaps generations for the kind of popular participation the democratic movement is striving for. Only then will representative political parties (these things are relative, of course) emerge and oligarchic parties derived from the old Soviet ruling mafia-clique fade away nto deserved oblivion.

That being said, no amount of activism on the part of Mr. Alexey Navalny will be really effective in and of itself. In concert with this heartening phenomenon, Russia must continue to rediscover its ethical and moral roots with the assistance of its national Orthodox church, whose chief icons in our days was the Nobel Prize–winner Alexander Solzhenitsyn and, most importantly, the martyred priest Alexander Mien.

One cannot build a morally healthy and responsible civic movement without a corresponding national ethos based on eternal principles. It cannot be done in Russia and, as America has yet to learn, it can’t be done here. That is why America is in meltdown mode.

Not totally unrelated, have a look at my novel.

Dr. Michael Zurowski

Montreal, Quebec

Jul 19 2011 - 11:35am

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