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Three Churches’ Summit
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As the Russian Easter approaches – it will symbolically coincide this year with May Day – it is the right time to speak of a very important recent spiritual event that received too little publicity in the West, but it kept Russia all agog. This was not an Oscar nomination, after all. Two old men, heads of two great churches had met on the territory of the third church. These were Kyril and Francis, the bishops of Moscow and Rome on the last vestige of the communist territory, in Cuba. They represented two ancient and venerable churches: the Roman Catholic and the Russian Orthodox, separated by a millennium-old schism, and as the ghost, the Communist church was present at this summit.

They published their Havana Declaration, a powerful document, affirming their common ground, acknowledging their long separation, avoiding theological debates, hoping for more rapprochement, burying some old (and not too old) hatchets. This is a great step forward; for many years, this meeting could not take place. Russian state leaders have met with the Pope: Vladimir Putin did a few times, so did Gorbachev, but the heads of the Russian Church never agreed to the meeting. The Russians wanted the Catholics to stop proselytising on Russia’s canonical territory and to reign in the Ukrainian Uniates. Pope Francis is the first bishop of Rome who agreed with these demands.

In their declaration, they agreed that “their mission entails mutual respect for members of the Christian communities and excludes any form of proselytism.

We are not competitors but brothers. We urge Catholics and Orthodox in all countries to learn to live together in peace and love, and to be “in harmony with one another”.

This is good. In my eyes, Catholic Church is the Church of the West, while the Orthodox Church is the Church of the East. Each church has its own garden to tend, its own traditions and ways. The East likes its priests bearded, the West prefers them shaved. The East likes them married, the West likes them married to the church. The East has no single head and spiritual leader: every national church is equal to its sister-church. The West has the Pope. The East takes for Eucharist its leavened bread mixed with wine, the West prefers unleavened bread for all, with wine for the clergy only. Such differences are normal and do not prevent the churches’ rapprochement.

Pope Francis agreed that the creation of Uniate churches (i.e. Orthodox by their liturgy but Catholic in every other way) has been a mistake, but those created – in the Ukraine and the Middle East – let them be. This agreement pleased Moscow and angered Kiev and Lvov. Ukrainians spoke darkly of “treason”, while the violently anti-Russian (and anti-Vatican, and anti-God) magazine The Economist saw “the pope kissing Putin’s ring” (sic!). This is really a historical step, putting an end to the Western attempts to colonise the East, the attempts that began with the Crusades and led to many wars. Now the two great churches can work together, as equals.

The Orthodox have much to learn from the Catholics. Vatican has its institutes of archaeology, of Biblical studies, it publishes newspapers and books, it has a program of catechisation for the youth, it participates in public discussions. The voice of the Pope has been heard on so many important topics; prominent politicians turn to the Church for advice.

Just last week, Bernie Sanders praised the Roman Catholic church for its position, saying: “There are few places in modern thought that rival the depth and insight of the church’s moral teachings on the market economy.” One Hundred years ago, the Church spoke against “enormous wealth of a few as opposed to the poverty of the many”, but now, Sanders continued, “the situation is worse today. Rather than an economy aimed at the common good, we have been left with an economy operated for the top 1 per cent, who get richer and richer as the working class, the young and the poor fall further and further behind.” He praised the Pope and the Church for understanding and proposing to deal with it.

Catholics also have much to learn from their Orthodox brethren. The Orthodox are strong in their faith, devoted in their prayers, loyal to their church. The Orthodox service is much longer, the Lent more strict, there is bigger Sunday attendance. The Orthodox meet the Jewish challenge better: they baptise Jews, while the Catholics practically gave up their mission to Jews.

For the Catholics, rapprochement with the Orthodox may stop the advance of the liberal reformers who are likely to destroy the church. For the Orthodox, friendship with the Catholics may stop the advance of the ultra-conservative forces. In friendship and brotherly love, the Churches may recover their lost balance.

The Catholics and the Orthodox are united in our faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and in our veneration of the Most Holy Mother of God, the Holy Virgin, in the Apostolic tradition, in the teachings of Fathers of the Church, in our rejection of sins.

The two churches condemn the same sins and thoughts. We hear too frequently of same-sex “marriages”, which is a monstrous idea previously unheard of among Christians and heathen alike. The Orthodox Church will be of help to the Catholics, as the church of Rome is under pressure from the state and from the indoctrinated part of society and media. The Russians have an advantage: their society and their state, personified in President Putin, are strictly for the family, for a natural family of father, mother and children. They even have a law against spreading gender-confusing propaganda among minors.

ORDER IT NOW

In the Havana Declaration, the Pope and the Patriarch stated: “The family is the natural centre of human life and society. We are concerned about the crisis in the family in many countries. Orthodox and Catholics share the same conception of the family, and are called to witness that it is a path of holiness, testifying to the faithfulness of the spouses in their mutual interaction, to their openness to the procreation and rearing of their children, to solidarity between the generations and to respect for the weakest.

The family is based on marriage, an act of freely given and faithful love between a man and a woman. It is love that seals their union and teaches them to accept one another as a gift. Marriage is a school of love and faithfulness. We regret that other forms of cohabitation have been placed on the same level as this union, while the concept, consecrated in the biblical tradition, of paternity and maternity as the distinct vocation of man and woman in marriage is being banished from the public conscience.”

How far will the churches be able to move towards each other? Even before Havana, the Orthodox worshippers could share communion in a Catholic church – from the Catholic point of view. The Russians, however, will not give communion to a Catholic and will not accept the Catholic communion. This would be good to change, to allow members of these two sister churches to give and receive communion.

It would be good to rearrange the calendar. The Orthodox Christians of Greece switched to the Western calendar, so could the Russians, for one reason at least. If they were to celebrate Christmas with the Europeans on December 25th, they would have no problem with celebrating the New Year on January 1st . Now they celebrate Christmas on January 7th, a week after the New Year, and this makes a mess of their observance of the Nativity Fast (the Winter Lent).

We have an example of the Holy Land, where the Catholics and the Orthodox celebrate the feasts together: Christmas like the West, Easter like the East.

As for the rest, the churches can keep their differences. The biggest theological difference is filioque, which is so obscure that few worshippers understand or care.

If the Pope has been attacked by professional Russia-haters, the Patriarch has been severely attacked by fundamentalists and ultra-conservatives who hated the very fact of Kyril’s meeting with the Pope of Rome. For them, the Orthodox Church is the only true church, while the Catholic church is a heretic one. Russian conspiracy-theorists nurtured dreadful pictures of Vatican run by freemasons, homosexuals and what not. However, the plight of the Middle East Christians speeded the Patriarch up. I hope he will survive the attacks, for Kyril is a great and under-appreciated spiritual figure in his homeland.

2

I spoke of three churches. What could there be in common between the Christian churches and the godless Red Church, you’ll ask. The common ground is their definition of vice and virtue, the most important thing for any church. In a radio talk in February 1937, T.S. Eliot said: “Perhaps the dominant vice of our time, from the point of view of the Church, will be proved to be Avarice”. He repeated the words of St Paul who said “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil”.

The Communists had many faults, but they were the most persistent warriors against Avarice. The Soviet Union had no millionaires, and a person who would try to become one would be sent to a provincial factory as a roughneck for re-education. Bankers received the same salary as qualified factory workers, sometimes less.

If there is an important redeeming feature of the Communist regime, it was this noble attempt to kill Greed. We need money to eat, to pay for the house, to travel – not to collect and multiply. This is the main reason why Communism is so hated. Fidel Castro as he bade farewell to his party on April 19, 2016 said that the very name of Communism has been defamed and besmirched. “Communism has been the most distorted and maligned concept of history by those, who had the privilege of exploiting the poor.” Indeed now we know that majority of anti-Communist stories you, my reader, imbibed from childhood, are inventions of Cold War propagandists.

The Russian church is divided within itself in its attitude to the Soviet past. Some bishops are violently against anything that smacks of Communism. This is especially true regarding the bishops of the Russian Church Abroad. This church had reunited with Moscow some ten years ago, but historically it has been fanatically anti-Communist. Their bishops prayed for Hitler’s victory, and they misunderstood Moscow’s desire to bring them and their worshippers to their bosom as repentance of the Church. Their influence is to be regretted.

Patriarch Kyril is quite tolerant. Speaking of the Soviet days, he said: “In every period of our history, there were people who committed good deeds for our country. In the Middle Ages, our country has been called ‘Holy Russia’ not because it was holy per se, but because its ideal was holiness. The days of Communist revolution were quite hard and bloody, but the ideal was good, the ideal of fairness. Soviet period was also quite difficult, but there were great achievements connected with the ideal of solidarity. Let us preserve all these ideals, of holiness, of justice and of solidarity”.

Kyril spoke with great appreciation of Fidel Castro and of Cuba. He had met the Cuban leader few times in his life, he had long discussions with him, and he came convinced that Castro has been moved by a Christian sentiment, by the teaching of Our Lord: “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.”

Russian Communists, the second biggest party in Russia, are friendly to the Church. “Jesus Christ has been the first Communist”, said the head of the Communist Party, Dr Zyuganov. The biggest party, United Russia, is also Church-friendly. Only small liberal pro-Western groups and parties prefer Pussy Riot and gay freedom, but they have little following. So the position of the Church in Russia is rather enviable. But then, despite its economic disparity and wholesale embrace of the Western mores, Russia does not worship Greed.

ORDER IT NOW

The Catholic Church did not manage well recently. Its enemies invent and promote stories of abusing priests, of the Church’s collaboration with Nazis. The reason is the same one: the Church rejects Avarice, the moving force of their adversaries. Indeed another common feature of the Church and Communism is that they lost some important battles and became “has-been”.

The winner is Neo-Judaic Capitalist “Church”. For it, Avarice is a virtue, while the worst sin is “intolerance”, whatever this means. Its commandment is “Do Not Be a Loser”. They have no ethics: everything is ethical as long as it is not a criminal offence.

For a Christian, “loser” means nothing. Our Lord has been a loser, until he won his victory over death. “Intolerance” means nothing, for the Church always accepted people of all colours and walks of life. Not only coloured folks: there is a Russian icon of a saint with dog’s head. In the days of old, cynocephali, dog-headed folk, had been seen and reported by such varied sources as Herodotus, St Augustine, Beowulf’s author; and the Church had no doubt that such creatures also can be saved and become saints.

So what is this “tolerance” they preach? It is just a way to escape real issues. It is easier to bring a handicapped person to a school than to let poor children study together with children of the rich parents. It is easier to demand more seats for the Jewish women at the board of directors than to equalise incomes of employees of these companies. Today, it is easier to fight for unisex lavatories than against outsourcing.

Still, the most important mission of the Church is to turn us to God. Equality, justice, family – all that is very good, but it is better to feel the elation of God’s nearness.

Israel Shamir can be contacted at adam@israelshamir.net

This article appeared at The Unz Review

 
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  1. Mr. Israel Shamir.

    I appreciate your articles but don’t always agree with your viewpoints.

    This time I take up your comments on Soviet Communism especially “The Soviet Union had no millionaires”. I refer you to an earlier article on that very point. While it was published in an Australian journal it may not have received much attention elsewhere.

    The key words are: September, 1981 edition of “The New Times”

    South African journalist and political commentator Ivor Benson observed: “What we are seeing today are the first signs of dramatic change in the picture of the Soviet Union as presented by the Western media and contemporary historians. In other words, the whole story of what has happened since the Bolshevik Revolution is going to have to be retold in a revised form.”
    He asked, “Is the whole world being prepared for a further move towards a convergence of the Communist and non-Communist world in an attempt to create a New World Order?” Yes! As we can see twenty years or more later he correctly assessed what was about to happen…
    At the time Ivor Benson wrote:
    “The Soviet Union has given up another of its biggest and best-kept secrets – the great socialist republic, dictatorship of the proletariat, is swarming with millionaire capitalists, every one of them a Soviet citizen, and many in the same league as the super-rich of the capitalist west!
    Is it not strange, and most significant, that this fact should have passed unnoticed by the Western media and Western historians for more than 60 years, a fact of major importance that did not qualify for as much as a mention in Time magazine’s most exhaustive 45-page presentation “Inside the U.S.S.R.” in its issue of June 23, 1980!
    Strange and significant, yes, but not altogether surprising when it is remembered that Western journalists and academics haven’t yet even got around to admitting that the Western super-rich with their banks and multi-national companies have likewise been swarming all over the vast country ever since the Bolshevik Revolution promoting another kind of economic colonialism.*
    The story of “Russia’s Underground Millionaires” was told in the June 29 issue of Fortune magazine, the plush and expensive sister journal of Time, by no less an authority than a former international law expert in the Soviet Ministry of Justice, one Konstantin Simis, now resident in the United States.
    There is no reason to doubt the accuracy of the facts supplied, but good reason to examine closely and critically the meaning which Simis and the Fortune editors give to these astonishing facts which have emerged so suddenly and without warning from what is certainly the biggest area of secrecy and disinformation (i.e. lying) in the history of mankind…”

    The full article can be found here The New Times September 1981

    Read More
    • Replies: @Israel Shamir
    Dear Betty, as far as I know, Russian underground millionaires usually had very short lifetime )) They were usually apprehended and shot. However, some could survive hiding, definitely not flashing their wealth. They could not buy assets anyway: they could not buy an apartment or a house or a plant, they had no way to invest. So I doubt Soviet millionaires had much to look for.
    , @Andrei Martyanov

    South African journalist and political commentator Ivor Benson observed: “What we are seeing today are the first signs of dramatic change in the picture of the Soviet Union as presented by the Western media and contemporary historians. In other words, the whole story of what has happened since the Bolshevik Revolution is going to have to be retold in a revised form.
     
    Most of what "Western" USSR observers provided for Western public was greatly distorted. Whitman Bassow wrote an excellent treatise on the issue called "Moscow Correspondent". He writes about BS which was reported to the western public at length--a tradition strictly observed today as it was in 1970s or 1980s. The same goes for the source you cited--this South African fellow. Soviet "millionaires", if such category existed at all, were mostly illegal in Slavic and semi-legal in Caucasus Republics, so called, Tzekhoviki (shop owners) who sold badly made knock offs of western consumer goods for deficit-ridden Soviet consumer market. Those people did have money, sometimes a lot, but not in millions of dollars and, as Israel correctly noted, their life expectancy wasn't very high. In general, Soviet history as it is known today in the West is as "accurate" as contemporary Russian history as reported by ignoramuses in US media, that is--mostly BS.
    , @dahoit
    Citing and or believing capitalist tomes on Communism is dumb.
    Communism collapsed because it didn't produce widgets for its people and greed is a too common inherent human fault.(or an astute attribute to Zionists and their ilk.)
    Too much command and control,also.
    Jesus was the first socialist rather than commie,No dead people on his head.
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  2. @Betty Luks
    Mr. Israel Shamir.

    I appreciate your articles but don't always agree with your viewpoints.

    This time I take up your comments on Soviet Communism especially "The Soviet Union had no millionaires". I refer you to an earlier article on that very point. While it was published in an Australian journal it may not have received much attention elsewhere.

    The key words are: September, 1981 edition of "The New Times"

    South African journalist and political commentator Ivor Benson observed: "What we are seeing today are the first signs of dramatic change in the picture of the Soviet Union as presented by the Western media and contemporary historians. In other words, the whole story of what has happened since the Bolshevik Revolution is going to have to be retold in a revised form."
    He asked, "Is the whole world being prepared for a further move towards a convergence of the Communist and non-Communist world in an attempt to create a New World Order?" Yes! As we can see twenty years or more later he correctly assessed what was about to happen…
    At the time Ivor Benson wrote:
    "The Soviet Union has given up another of its biggest and best-kept secrets - the great socialist republic, dictatorship of the proletariat, is swarming with millionaire capitalists, every one of them a Soviet citizen, and many in the same league as the super-rich of the capitalist west!
    Is it not strange, and most significant, that this fact should have passed unnoticed by the Western media and Western historians for more than 60 years, a fact of major importance that did not qualify for as much as a mention in Time magazine's most exhaustive 45-page presentation "Inside the U.S.S.R." in its issue of June 23, 1980!
    Strange and significant, yes, but not altogether surprising when it is remembered that Western journalists and academics haven't yet even got around to admitting that the Western super-rich with their banks and multi-national companies have likewise been swarming all over the vast country ever since the Bolshevik Revolution promoting another kind of economic colonialism.*
    The story of "Russia's Underground Millionaires" was told in the June 29 issue of Fortune magazine, the plush and expensive sister journal of Time, by no less an authority than a former international law expert in the Soviet Ministry of Justice, one Konstantin Simis, now resident in the United States.
    There is no reason to doubt the accuracy of the facts supplied, but good reason to examine closely and critically the meaning which Simis and the Fortune editors give to these astonishing facts which have emerged so suddenly and without warning from what is certainly the biggest area of secrecy and disinformation (i.e. lying) in the history of mankind..."

    The full article can be found here The New Times September 1981

    Dear Betty, as far as I know, Russian underground millionaires usually had very short lifetime )) They were usually apprehended and shot. However, some could survive hiding, definitely not flashing their wealth. They could not buy assets anyway: they could not buy an apartment or a house or a plant, they had no way to invest. So I doubt Soviet millionaires had much to look for.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Betty Luks
    Mr. Shamir,
    Thank you for responding to me. No doubt there were many “underground millionaires” caught and punished under the Soviet system, and this fact Ivor Benson acknowledges in his article. But the question he asks is - To What End? Why were such activities exposed to the western world in the first place and why just then?

    He then outlines his Inspired Guess as to why:
    “In these circumstances, the truth, if it is to be found is more likely to be the product of what, for want of any better description, we call insight, or, as some would say, "an inspired guess", than the product of a detailed and laborious study and juxtaposition of all the available facts — which, in any case, are always in short supply. Therefore we should know in advance that the truth we are seeking is not something that can ever be "proved" with evidence and argument; it is "truth" of a kind which only unfolding history can prove or refute.

    For example, no one was ever able to "prove" Oswald Spengler's axiom that "there is no proletarian movement, not even a Communist one, which does not operate in the interest of money...” and yet it is one that continues to offer the clearest, most coherent and most consistent explanation of much that has happened in the world since those words were written more than 60 years ago.
    Likewise, Douglas Reed's dictum that "similar men, with a common aim, secretly rule in both camps"- the capitalist West and the Soviet Union.

    Insights of this kind are not pure guesswork, but can be described metaphorically as the product of some higher computing process of the mind in which the enquirer, having absorbed as many as possible of the available hard facts, is able to "tune in" emotionally to the motivational systems involved - rather like having electronic bugging devices planted inside the minds of those men whose policies and actions are being studied. The infinitely wise Chinese call this jen ai, putting yourself in the place of the other person, the secret of all skill in human relations, whether these are friendly or hostile.

    A Convergence
    Implied in the policies and actions of the leading Western powers, the U.S.A. in particular, is the assumption that all are working towards the "ideal" of some sort of convergence of the two worlds, an ''ideal'' that does not, however, exclude the possibility of a third world war.

    Meanwhile, it is becoming increasingly obvious that economic socialism of the kind implemented in the Soviet Union by Lenin and his successors cannot ever be made to work. It is, therefore, highly significant that in the Soviet Union, as Simis shows, there has come into existence a vast network of super-rich capitalists, matching in so many ways the super-rich capitalists of the West, ready to take over when the present system of totalitarian state capitalism finally collapses, as collapse it must, sooner or later. How else? And who better entitled to take over than "heroes" of the underground, anti-Communist, counter-revolutionary struggle, freedom, every one of them "freedom fighters" in the new dispensation?”
    Source: http://www.alor.org/NewTimes%20Survey/Underground%20Millionaires%20of%20Soviet%20Union.htm

    From where I sit Mr. Shamir, Ivor Benson’s 1980’s ‘inspired guess’ was pretty near the mark. Communism ‘collapsed’ just ten years later and Gorbachev announced perestroika.

    In another Australian newsletter it was asked, 2nd February 1990:
    What has happened to Communism?
    “The struggle for the world has entered a new and more dangerous phase. Stemming from the same philosophical root as Communism, Hitler's "anti-Communism" merely made a major contribution to the drive for centralised power. There is going to be greater instability than ever, and the greatest contribution Australians can make to their own future, and to that of Western Christian civilisation, of which they are a part, is to resist valiantly every policy of centralisation irrespective of how it is labelled.”
    Source: http://alor.org/Volume26/Vol26No3.htm

    Best wishes
    Betty Luks
  3. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Betty Luks
    Mr. Israel Shamir.

    I appreciate your articles but don't always agree with your viewpoints.

    This time I take up your comments on Soviet Communism especially "The Soviet Union had no millionaires". I refer you to an earlier article on that very point. While it was published in an Australian journal it may not have received much attention elsewhere.

    The key words are: September, 1981 edition of "The New Times"

    South African journalist and political commentator Ivor Benson observed: "What we are seeing today are the first signs of dramatic change in the picture of the Soviet Union as presented by the Western media and contemporary historians. In other words, the whole story of what has happened since the Bolshevik Revolution is going to have to be retold in a revised form."
    He asked, "Is the whole world being prepared for a further move towards a convergence of the Communist and non-Communist world in an attempt to create a New World Order?" Yes! As we can see twenty years or more later he correctly assessed what was about to happen…
    At the time Ivor Benson wrote:
    "The Soviet Union has given up another of its biggest and best-kept secrets - the great socialist republic, dictatorship of the proletariat, is swarming with millionaire capitalists, every one of them a Soviet citizen, and many in the same league as the super-rich of the capitalist west!
    Is it not strange, and most significant, that this fact should have passed unnoticed by the Western media and Western historians for more than 60 years, a fact of major importance that did not qualify for as much as a mention in Time magazine's most exhaustive 45-page presentation "Inside the U.S.S.R." in its issue of June 23, 1980!
    Strange and significant, yes, but not altogether surprising when it is remembered that Western journalists and academics haven't yet even got around to admitting that the Western super-rich with their banks and multi-national companies have likewise been swarming all over the vast country ever since the Bolshevik Revolution promoting another kind of economic colonialism.*
    The story of "Russia's Underground Millionaires" was told in the June 29 issue of Fortune magazine, the plush and expensive sister journal of Time, by no less an authority than a former international law expert in the Soviet Ministry of Justice, one Konstantin Simis, now resident in the United States.
    There is no reason to doubt the accuracy of the facts supplied, but good reason to examine closely and critically the meaning which Simis and the Fortune editors give to these astonishing facts which have emerged so suddenly and without warning from what is certainly the biggest area of secrecy and disinformation (i.e. lying) in the history of mankind..."

    The full article can be found here The New Times September 1981

    South African journalist and political commentator Ivor Benson observed: “What we are seeing today are the first signs of dramatic change in the picture of the Soviet Union as presented by the Western media and contemporary historians. In other words, the whole story of what has happened since the Bolshevik Revolution is going to have to be retold in a revised form.

    Most of what “Western” USSR observers provided for Western public was greatly distorted. Whitman Bassow wrote an excellent treatise on the issue called “Moscow Correspondent”. He writes about BS which was reported to the western public at length–a tradition strictly observed today as it was in 1970s or 1980s. The same goes for the source you cited–this South African fellow. Soviet “millionaires”, if such category existed at all, were mostly illegal in Slavic and semi-legal in Caucasus Republics, so called, Tzekhoviki (shop owners) who sold badly made knock offs of western consumer goods for deficit-ridden Soviet consumer market. Those people did have money, sometimes a lot, but not in millions of dollars and, as Israel correctly noted, their life expectancy wasn’t very high. In general, Soviet history as it is known today in the West is as “accurate” as contemporary Russian history as reported by ignoramuses in US media, that is–mostly BS.

    Read More
    • Agree: Regnum Nostrum
    • Replies: @AP

    Soviet “millionaires”, if such category existed at all, were mostly illegal in Slavic and semi-legal in Caucasus Republics, so called, Tzekhoviki (shop owners) who sold badly made knock offs of western consumer goods for deficit-ridden Soviet consumer market

     

    While it is true that there were no Soviet millionaires and that material inequality is orders of magnitude greater now than it had been, differences in lifestyles were pronounced. To a certain degree this was because there was no private property in Russia (only personal property, such as books, clothing, jewelry, automobiles). But differences in "access" could be extreme. On the one hand a family of 3 generations could be crammed into a Khrushchovka (or even several families in a communal apartment, though this was becoming rarer), on the other hand a family could live in a multi- room Stalin flat with high ceilings and spacious rooms in a city's central core, spend weekends at a luxurious dacha (the one for the central committee where my wife used to relax with her family had an incredible chef), vacation every summer in Crimea and the Georgian coast, and even go abroad every few years or so.

    While none of the people actually owned anything really valuable, if access could be monetized legal millionaire status might at least not have been too far away, for some, whereas many others lived worse than do people in American housing projects. There wasn't anything close to true material equality.

  4. Two quick things:

    Ivor Benson was no disinformation peddler but a very careful, experienced and honest reporter. He did not write propaganda.

    Secondly, I wish in my heart of hearts that it was some Pope other than Francis who met with the Patriarch. The more he flushes 2,000 years of Catholic tradition down the toilet the more the world loves him which, of course, is hardly surprising. I greatly admire Mr Shamir and what he writes but it is possible he is viewing the papacy of Francis through rose-colored glasses.

    Having said all that, if someone can explain Francis to me I would be forever grateful, because I simply cannot figure him out.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein

    Having said all that, if someone can explain Francis to me I would be forever grateful, because I simply cannot figure him out.
     
    Francis is an Antipope, a heretic, and a usurper. Was that simple enough for you?

    If you want someone who can go into the details at great length, I suggest Dr. Thomas Droleskey who runs the website Christ or Chaos.

    http://www.christorchaos.com/

    Bishop Donald Sanborn is also quite good:

    http://www.novusordowatch.org/wire/sanborn-conference-audios.htm

    That should give you plenty to start with. Please research Sedevacantism, and let me know if I can be of service.
    , @Andrei Martyanov

    Ivor Benson was no disinformation peddler but a very careful, experienced and honest reporter. He did not write propaganda.
     
    That maybe so, but what you presented as his work is nothing more than utter BS.
    , @RMM
    Perhaps the meeting should be viewed in broader terms, as Mr Shamir discusses, but especially as nan effort towards cooperation, especially in saving what can still be saved of the Middle East Christians, rather than a step towards any doctrinal union and suchlike. The Orthodox Church and Catholic Church in Russia have already begun to organise joint projects in Syria (and soon in Iraq) to help the Christians there. http://www.pravmir.com/moscow-patriarchate-and-roman-catholic-church-launch-joint-project-in-support-of-syrian-christians/
    As for the respective health status of the two churches, Mr Shamir is right: "The position of the Church in Russia is rather enviable" while "the Catholic Church did not manage well recently" - not least as regards the support of her own senior leaders - or rather, the lack thereof. The spectacle of so many cardinals and top prelates running down their own church or flaunting their post-modern views and behaviour is quite depressing...
    Not to mention the generalised apostasy and "worship of greed" in Western countries.
    , @Art
    Having said all that, if someone can explain Francis to me I would be forever grateful, because I simply cannot figure him out.

    May I take a try at that.

    Jesus was a nice guy – he preached hope and goodness and forgiving – So too with Pope Francis.

    Pope Francis gets into trouble when he wants to forgive people. A big problem is that he wants to forgive divorce – to let people receive the sacraments if they remarry.

    NOT the bishops – they do not want to give up that power over the faithful. Divorcees now have to go the bishop and beg – bishops like that.

    Should a faithful life be over if one divorces and remarries? The sacraments are positive acts that build better lives. Wouldn’t a divorcee be a better parent if they received the sacraments?

    Those who love Jesus believe that God forgives murder – why can’t the bishops forgive divorce?

    Be like Jesus!

    p.s. Clearly the hard line bishops are NOT stopping divorce. They need to get a grip.

    p.s. The bishops and their hard line are pushing people away from the church – end of story.
  5. Only fools would take Jesuit Francis seriously as takes orders not from St. Paul but from the Organized Jewry. The other ‘two churches’ should take care of Anti-Christ moles like activist Paul Kivel who told Christian sheep at the ’2016 White Privilege Conference’ in Philadelphia: “Everything bad comes from Christianity.”

    https://rehmat1.com/2016/04/19/jew-author-everything-bad-comes-from-christianity/

    Read More
    • Replies: @RMM
    This meeting was not a personal issue: the men met as representatives of their churches, within the framework of their respective religious organisations' rules.
  6. @Israel Shamir
    Dear Betty, as far as I know, Russian underground millionaires usually had very short lifetime )) They were usually apprehended and shot. However, some could survive hiding, definitely not flashing their wealth. They could not buy assets anyway: they could not buy an apartment or a house or a plant, they had no way to invest. So I doubt Soviet millionaires had much to look for.

    Mr. Shamir,
    Thank you for responding to me. No doubt there were many “underground millionaires” caught and punished under the Soviet system, and this fact Ivor Benson acknowledges in his article. But the question he asks is – To What End? Why were such activities exposed to the western world in the first place and why just then?

    He then outlines his Inspired Guess as to why:
    “In these circumstances, the truth, if it is to be found is more likely to be the product of what, for want of any better description, we call insight, or, as some would say, “an inspired guess”, than the product of a detailed and laborious study and juxtaposition of all the available facts — which, in any case, are always in short supply. Therefore we should know in advance that the truth we are seeking is not something that can ever be “proved” with evidence and argument; it is “truth” of a kind which only unfolding history can prove or refute.

    For example, no one was ever able to “prove” Oswald Spengler’s axiom that “there is no proletarian movement, not even a Communist one, which does not operate in the interest of money…” and yet it is one that continues to offer the clearest, most coherent and most consistent explanation of much that has happened in the world since those words were written more than 60 years ago.
    Likewise, Douglas Reed’s dictum that “similar men, with a common aim, secretly rule in both camps”- the capitalist West and the Soviet Union.

    Insights of this kind are not pure guesswork, but can be described metaphorically as the product of some higher computing process of the mind in which the enquirer, having absorbed as many as possible of the available hard facts, is able to “tune in” emotionally to the motivational systems involved – rather like having electronic bugging devices planted inside the minds of those men whose policies and actions are being studied. The infinitely wise Chinese call this jen ai, putting yourself in the place of the other person, the secret of all skill in human relations, whether these are friendly or hostile.

    A Convergence
    Implied in the policies and actions of the leading Western powers, the U.S.A. in particular, is the assumption that all are working towards the “ideal” of some sort of convergence of the two worlds, an ”ideal” that does not, however, exclude the possibility of a third world war.

    Meanwhile, it is becoming increasingly obvious that economic socialism of the kind implemented in the Soviet Union by Lenin and his successors cannot ever be made to work. It is, therefore, highly significant that in the Soviet Union, as Simis shows, there has come into existence a vast network of super-rich capitalists, matching in so many ways the super-rich capitalists of the West, ready to take over when the present system of totalitarian state capitalism finally collapses, as collapse it must, sooner or later. How else? And who better entitled to take over than “heroes” of the underground, anti-Communist, counter-revolutionary struggle, freedom, every one of them “freedom fighters” in the new dispensation?”
    Source: http://www.alor.org/NewTimes%20Survey/Underground%20Millionaires%20of%20Soviet%20Union.htm

    From where I sit Mr. Shamir, Ivor Benson’s 1980’s ‘inspired guess’ was pretty near the mark. Communism ‘collapsed’ just ten years later and Gorbachev announced perestroika.

    In another Australian newsletter it was asked, 2nd February 1990:
    What has happened to Communism?
    “The struggle for the world has entered a new and more dangerous phase. Stemming from the same philosophical root as Communism, Hitler’s “anti-Communism” merely made a major contribution to the drive for centralised power. There is going to be greater instability than ever, and the greatest contribution Australians can make to their own future, and to that of Western Christian civilisation, of which they are a part, is to resist valiantly every policy of centralisation irrespective of how it is labelled.”
    Source: http://alor.org/Volume26/Vol26No3.htm

    Best wishes
    Betty Luks

    Read More
    • Replies: @Regnum Nostrum

    It is, therefore, highly significant that in the Soviet Union, as Simis shows, there has come into existence a vast network of super-rich capitalists, matching in so many ways the super-rich capitalists of the West, ready to take over when the present system of totalitarian state capitalism finally collapses, as collapse it must, sooner or later.
     
    The claim of a vast network of super-rich capitalists in the Soviet Union belongs to the same category as Tooth fairy. The whole comment can easily compete with the stories of Baron Munchausen.
  7. Mr Shamir,
    Thank you. A very informative piece. However, I do disagree with one of your contentions.
    “Its enemies invent and promote stories of abusing priests.”
    This had nothing to do with its enemies. The people who exposed the abuse of children, particularly boys, by Catholic priests,were Catholics who had been abused.
    The sooner the Roman Catholic Church follows the Orthodox Church in having their priests grow beards and marry the better. Maybe the beards can be optional.

    Read More
    • Replies: @dahoit
    Isn't it that it is the banning of marriage by Catholic priests and nuns that draws to the church homosexuals in the first place?
  8. @schmenz
    Two quick things:

    Ivor Benson was no disinformation peddler but a very careful, experienced and honest reporter. He did not write propaganda.

    Secondly, I wish in my heart of hearts that it was some Pope other than Francis who met with the Patriarch. The more he flushes 2,000 years of Catholic tradition down the toilet the more the world loves him which, of course, is hardly surprising. I greatly admire Mr Shamir and what he writes but it is possible he is viewing the papacy of Francis through rose-colored glasses.

    Having said all that, if someone can explain Francis to me I would be forever grateful, because I simply cannot figure him out.

    Having said all that, if someone can explain Francis to me I would be forever grateful, because I simply cannot figure him out.

    Francis is an Antipope, a heretic, and a usurper. Was that simple enough for you?

    If you want someone who can go into the details at great length, I suggest Dr. Thomas Droleskey who runs the website Christ or Chaos.

    http://www.christorchaos.com/

    Bishop Donald Sanborn is also quite good:

    http://www.novusordowatch.org/wire/sanborn-conference-audios.htm

    That should give you plenty to start with. Please research Sedevacantism, and let me know if I can be of service.

    Read More
  9. I have long admired much of Israel Shamir’s writing; one essay in particular, a jewel, “Galilee Flower”, stands out.

    With regard to the two Christian churches, however, I think (with all due respect) that he knows very little. I would recommend “The Essential Saker” to him.

    He should research “Communism” (and its history) as well; for example, how a 20th Century reincarnation was made to order for use “by way of deception” by such as the Neo-Bolsheviks in Washington. And to consider how “Cultural Marxism” is used in the West. Quoting from Mr. Sharmir’s article, “The Communists had many faults, but they were the most persistent warriors against Avarice.” Really?

    Read More
  10. Author says, “The Communists had many faults, but they were the most persistent warriors against Avarice.”

    That may prove to be the knee-slappingest howler ever written at Unz.com.

    Read More
    • Replies: @I.W.
    It's a hard to top "howler" if one can be light enough to laugh. I wish I could slap my knee over it.

    Given what's actually happening it seems no funnier than Vladimir Lenin's “The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.” The proverbial wolf who can't get enough.

  11. @The Grate Deign
    Author says, "The Communists had many faults, but they were the most persistent warriors against Avarice."

    That may prove to be the knee-slappingest howler ever written at Unz.com.

    It’s a hard to top “howler” if one can be light enough to laugh. I wish I could slap my knee over it.

    Given what’s actually happening it seems no funnier than Vladimir Lenin’s “The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.” The proverbial wolf who can’t get enough.

    Read More
  12. Priss Factor [AKA "Dominique Francon Society"] says: • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Good to see some respect for tradition in Russia.

    Meanwhile in the US:

    Millennials. ‘Progressives’ might as well be called ‘Programics’ or ‘Programsters, the guinea pigs of globalist . They are programmed by homosexual-tranny agenda funded and promoted by Wall Street, Hollywood, Harvard, Las Vegas, Pentagon, and Silicon Valley. So easy to mold their putty minds.

    But then, “well-informed” ‘progressives’ think 25% of Americans are homosexual.

    https://www.facebook.com/NowThisNews/videos/1014180118672112/

    Homo agenda is just a proxy of globalist imperialism funded by Wall Street, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and etc.

    Read More
  13. A Soviet Millionaire would not have been by the measures of the west. In the Soviet Union what mattered was what you controlled. Brezhnev, for example, could have anything the Soviet system could produce. By that measure, the man was quite wealthy.

    One reason that Kirill is underappreciated is the lack of Christianity in the man. He has supported the rape of Crimea, and the attempted rape of the Donbas. His “church” is training terrorists to go to the Donbas and join those already there. Given his origin, it is quite likely he was a KGB priest as well. The Soviet Regime sent thousands of Priests to the camps that had made the choice between Christ and regime, for Christ rather than regime. The Russian Orthodox Church has never purged itself of those that compromised themselves

    These are some of the things wrong with the article. That Shamir sees none of this is a shame.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous
    "He has supported the rape of Crimea, and the attempted rape of the Donbas."

    You must have software that alerts you of every opportunity to recycle your assertions about Ukraine. What kind of cookies is Ms. Nuland giving people like you these days?
    , @RMM
    Mr Shamir is discussing principles, not personalities.
    You are reacting emotionally, adducing hearsay and slander in lieu of argument.
    Do you think, for instance, that the Russian Orthodox Church was so insufficiently purged by the communists that it needed additional purging?
    , @dahoit
    The propaganda is deep in this one.
    Are you an American?Or one of those serial lying Zionists,who hate Russia because Vlad kicked out their Zionist tithers for Israel,and sent them to Britain where they are sucking the lifeblood and reason from Britain.
    Hopefully Trump will neuter them here too.
    Why else do they hate him?America First!Yahoo!
  14. @Betty Luks
    Mr. Shamir,
    Thank you for responding to me. No doubt there were many “underground millionaires” caught and punished under the Soviet system, and this fact Ivor Benson acknowledges in his article. But the question he asks is - To What End? Why were such activities exposed to the western world in the first place and why just then?

    He then outlines his Inspired Guess as to why:
    “In these circumstances, the truth, if it is to be found is more likely to be the product of what, for want of any better description, we call insight, or, as some would say, "an inspired guess", than the product of a detailed and laborious study and juxtaposition of all the available facts — which, in any case, are always in short supply. Therefore we should know in advance that the truth we are seeking is not something that can ever be "proved" with evidence and argument; it is "truth" of a kind which only unfolding history can prove or refute.

    For example, no one was ever able to "prove" Oswald Spengler's axiom that "there is no proletarian movement, not even a Communist one, which does not operate in the interest of money...” and yet it is one that continues to offer the clearest, most coherent and most consistent explanation of much that has happened in the world since those words were written more than 60 years ago.
    Likewise, Douglas Reed's dictum that "similar men, with a common aim, secretly rule in both camps"- the capitalist West and the Soviet Union.

    Insights of this kind are not pure guesswork, but can be described metaphorically as the product of some higher computing process of the mind in which the enquirer, having absorbed as many as possible of the available hard facts, is able to "tune in" emotionally to the motivational systems involved - rather like having electronic bugging devices planted inside the minds of those men whose policies and actions are being studied. The infinitely wise Chinese call this jen ai, putting yourself in the place of the other person, the secret of all skill in human relations, whether these are friendly or hostile.

    A Convergence
    Implied in the policies and actions of the leading Western powers, the U.S.A. in particular, is the assumption that all are working towards the "ideal" of some sort of convergence of the two worlds, an ''ideal'' that does not, however, exclude the possibility of a third world war.

    Meanwhile, it is becoming increasingly obvious that economic socialism of the kind implemented in the Soviet Union by Lenin and his successors cannot ever be made to work. It is, therefore, highly significant that in the Soviet Union, as Simis shows, there has come into existence a vast network of super-rich capitalists, matching in so many ways the super-rich capitalists of the West, ready to take over when the present system of totalitarian state capitalism finally collapses, as collapse it must, sooner or later. How else? And who better entitled to take over than "heroes" of the underground, anti-Communist, counter-revolutionary struggle, freedom, every one of them "freedom fighters" in the new dispensation?”
    Source: http://www.alor.org/NewTimes%20Survey/Underground%20Millionaires%20of%20Soviet%20Union.htm

    From where I sit Mr. Shamir, Ivor Benson’s 1980’s ‘inspired guess’ was pretty near the mark. Communism ‘collapsed’ just ten years later and Gorbachev announced perestroika.

    In another Australian newsletter it was asked, 2nd February 1990:
    What has happened to Communism?
    “The struggle for the world has entered a new and more dangerous phase. Stemming from the same philosophical root as Communism, Hitler's "anti-Communism" merely made a major contribution to the drive for centralised power. There is going to be greater instability than ever, and the greatest contribution Australians can make to their own future, and to that of Western Christian civilisation, of which they are a part, is to resist valiantly every policy of centralisation irrespective of how it is labelled.”
    Source: http://alor.org/Volume26/Vol26No3.htm

    Best wishes
    Betty Luks

    It is, therefore, highly significant that in the Soviet Union, as Simis shows, there has come into existence a vast network of super-rich capitalists, matching in so many ways the super-rich capitalists of the West, ready to take over when the present system of totalitarian state capitalism finally collapses, as collapse it must, sooner or later.

    The claim of a vast network of super-rich capitalists in the Soviet Union belongs to the same category as Tooth fairy. The whole comment can easily compete with the stories of Baron Munchausen.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bill Jones
    Wealth is the ability to control resources and services as one chooses.
    In the (freeish) market West, it is determined by financial resources, in the Soviet Union it was determined by political power.

    There were very many wealthy people in the USSR.
  15. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @schmenz
    Two quick things:

    Ivor Benson was no disinformation peddler but a very careful, experienced and honest reporter. He did not write propaganda.

    Secondly, I wish in my heart of hearts that it was some Pope other than Francis who met with the Patriarch. The more he flushes 2,000 years of Catholic tradition down the toilet the more the world loves him which, of course, is hardly surprising. I greatly admire Mr Shamir and what he writes but it is possible he is viewing the papacy of Francis through rose-colored glasses.

    Having said all that, if someone can explain Francis to me I would be forever grateful, because I simply cannot figure him out.

    Ivor Benson was no disinformation peddler but a very careful, experienced and honest reporter. He did not write propaganda.

    That maybe so, but what you presented as his work is nothing more than utter BS.

    Read More
    • Replies: @schmenz
    You are confusing me with another commenter. I did not quote anything from Mr Benson.
  16. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Quartermaster
    A Soviet Millionaire would not have been by the measures of the west. In the Soviet Union what mattered was what you controlled. Brezhnev, for example, could have anything the Soviet system could produce. By that measure, the man was quite wealthy.

    One reason that Kirill is underappreciated is the lack of Christianity in the man. He has supported the rape of Crimea, and the attempted rape of the Donbas. His "church" is training terrorists to go to the Donbas and join those already there. Given his origin, it is quite likely he was a KGB priest as well. The Soviet Regime sent thousands of Priests to the camps that had made the choice between Christ and regime, for Christ rather than regime. The Russian Orthodox Church has never purged itself of those that compromised themselves

    These are some of the things wrong with the article. That Shamir sees none of this is a shame.

    “He has supported the rape of Crimea, and the attempted rape of the Donbas.”

    You must have software that alerts you of every opportunity to recycle your assertions about Ukraine. What kind of cookies is Ms. Nuland giving people like you these days?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thales the Milesian
    Yes, cookies for Quartermaster!

    Quartermaster is not a master; he is a helot.
  17. @Andrei Martyanov

    Ivor Benson was no disinformation peddler but a very careful, experienced and honest reporter. He did not write propaganda.
     
    That maybe so, but what you presented as his work is nothing more than utter BS.

    You are confusing me with another commenter. I did not quote anything from Mr Benson.

    Read More
  18. For clarification on these and related issues I recommend “The Essential Saker” to the last three respondents (#s 15, 16 and 17) – and to everyone:

    https://southfront.org/get-now-the-essential-saker-book-in-hardcover-or-ebook-format/

    Read More
  19. @Andrei Martyanov

    South African journalist and political commentator Ivor Benson observed: “What we are seeing today are the first signs of dramatic change in the picture of the Soviet Union as presented by the Western media and contemporary historians. In other words, the whole story of what has happened since the Bolshevik Revolution is going to have to be retold in a revised form.
     
    Most of what "Western" USSR observers provided for Western public was greatly distorted. Whitman Bassow wrote an excellent treatise on the issue called "Moscow Correspondent". He writes about BS which was reported to the western public at length--a tradition strictly observed today as it was in 1970s or 1980s. The same goes for the source you cited--this South African fellow. Soviet "millionaires", if such category existed at all, were mostly illegal in Slavic and semi-legal in Caucasus Republics, so called, Tzekhoviki (shop owners) who sold badly made knock offs of western consumer goods for deficit-ridden Soviet consumer market. Those people did have money, sometimes a lot, but not in millions of dollars and, as Israel correctly noted, their life expectancy wasn't very high. In general, Soviet history as it is known today in the West is as "accurate" as contemporary Russian history as reported by ignoramuses in US media, that is--mostly BS.

    Soviet “millionaires”, if such category existed at all, were mostly illegal in Slavic and semi-legal in Caucasus Republics, so called, Tzekhoviki (shop owners) who sold badly made knock offs of western consumer goods for deficit-ridden Soviet consumer market

    While it is true that there were no Soviet millionaires and that material inequality is orders of magnitude greater now than it had been, differences in lifestyles were pronounced. To a certain degree this was because there was no private property in Russia (only personal property, such as books, clothing, jewelry, automobiles). But differences in “access” could be extreme. On the one hand a family of 3 generations could be crammed into a Khrushchovka (or even several families in a communal apartment, though this was becoming rarer), on the other hand a family could live in a multi- room Stalin flat with high ceilings and spacious rooms in a city’s central core, spend weekends at a luxurious dacha (the one for the central committee where my wife used to relax with her family had an incredible chef), vacation every summer in Crimea and the Georgian coast, and even go abroad every few years or so.

    While none of the people actually owned anything really valuable, if access could be monetized legal millionaire status might at least not have been too far away, for some, whereas many others lived worse than do people in American housing projects. There wasn’t anything close to true material equality.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    if access could be monetized legal millionaire status might at least not have been too far away,
     
    As Russian proverb goes--If babushka had balls, she would have been dedushka. Or, as Tolstoy stated in War And Peace:"It is akin to imagining what would it have been if Spring happened in Winter". I see that you watched Moscow Doesn't Believe In Tears, but if you had known rental market, say in Sevastopol in 1970s or 1980s, you would have changed your mind very quickly. As per Soviet elite or nomenclature (I knew more of former but also a latter too)--it is a complex and a very long story. Let's put it this way--it varied greatly. My late father was a very good friend with Cosmonaut Grechko, he also was a good friend of Valery Brumel and Elena Petushkova (both Olympic Champions and legends in their own right, Brumel has movie about himself) while they were married. Whenever in Moscow he always stayed with them. Very nice people and no millionaires--pretty average Soviet people with some fairly modest privileges. So, let's not generalize here, especially within the framework of "western" understanding of USSR, which is mostly a combination of ridiculous cliches.
  20. “So what is this “tolerance” they preach? It is just a way to escape real issues. It is easier to bring a handicapped person to a school than to let poor children study together with children of the rich parents. It is easier to demand more seats for the Jewish women at the board of directors than to equalise incomes of employees of these companies. Today, it is easier to fight for unisex lavatories than against outsourcing.” – Exactly so!

    “Its commandment is “Do Not Be a Loser”.” – This is a very powerful commandment as it can penetrate deep into the soul of the Western men and Americans in particular. A very powerful psycho-manipulation essential part of socio-technique. Its root is Protestantism or it might be Jewish. But Jews have a solidarity of the tribe that protects them from the destructive power of this commandment..

    Read More
  21. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @schmenz
    You are confusing me with another commenter. I did not quote anything from Mr Benson.

    My apologies.

    Read More
  22. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @AP

    Soviet “millionaires”, if such category existed at all, were mostly illegal in Slavic and semi-legal in Caucasus Republics, so called, Tzekhoviki (shop owners) who sold badly made knock offs of western consumer goods for deficit-ridden Soviet consumer market

     

    While it is true that there were no Soviet millionaires and that material inequality is orders of magnitude greater now than it had been, differences in lifestyles were pronounced. To a certain degree this was because there was no private property in Russia (only personal property, such as books, clothing, jewelry, automobiles). But differences in "access" could be extreme. On the one hand a family of 3 generations could be crammed into a Khrushchovka (or even several families in a communal apartment, though this was becoming rarer), on the other hand a family could live in a multi- room Stalin flat with high ceilings and spacious rooms in a city's central core, spend weekends at a luxurious dacha (the one for the central committee where my wife used to relax with her family had an incredible chef), vacation every summer in Crimea and the Georgian coast, and even go abroad every few years or so.

    While none of the people actually owned anything really valuable, if access could be monetized legal millionaire status might at least not have been too far away, for some, whereas many others lived worse than do people in American housing projects. There wasn't anything close to true material equality.

    if access could be monetized legal millionaire status might at least not have been too far away,

    As Russian proverb goes–If babushka had balls, she would have been dedushka. Or, as Tolstoy stated in War And Peace:”It is akin to imagining what would it have been if Spring happened in Winter”. I see that you watched Moscow Doesn’t Believe In Tears, but if you had known rental market, say in Sevastopol in 1970s or 1980s, you would have changed your mind very quickly. As per Soviet elite or nomenclature (I knew more of former but also a latter too)–it is a complex and a very long story. Let’s put it this way–it varied greatly. My late father was a very good friend with Cosmonaut Grechko, he also was a good friend of Valery Brumel and Elena Petushkova (both Olympic Champions and legends in their own right, Brumel has movie about himself) while they were married. Whenever in Moscow he always stayed with them. Very nice people and no millionaires–pretty average Soviet people with some fairly modest privileges. So, let’s not generalize here, especially within the framework of “western” understanding of USSR, which is mostly a combination of ridiculous cliches.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    I see that you watched Moscow Doesn’t Believe In Tears
     
    Long ago, but I don't remember much of it. I've lived in Moscow though, my wife's dad worked for ЦК КПСС from the early 80s. I know how she and her friends lived, I can compare to how others whom I know lived.

    The point is that, the Western and Soviet systems were quite different - and just because there was no real private property didn't mean that there wasn't significant inequality (implied in comments about there not being any millionaires in the Soviet Union). It was rather common to see families in which, for example, parents, grandparents and children shared a small 2 room apartment (grandmother and kids in one room, parents in another) - at least as bad as the poorest American housing projects, except without the shooting. And then many families whom I knew lived in (but of course did not own) large apartments in central Moscow where each kid had their own bedroom. The latter may not have actually "owned" a million dollars worth of assets but combining their residence access, their dacha access, access to luxury items, travel, entertainment, etc. and you saw lifestyles very much approaching those of urban American millionaires. Though, certainly not billionaires or anything close to it. But then, the country was in general rather poor.
  23. @Rehmat
    Only fools would take Jesuit Francis seriously as takes orders not from St. Paul but from the Organized Jewry. The other 'two churches' should take care of Anti-Christ moles like activist Paul Kivel who told Christian sheep at the '2016 White Privilege Conference' in Philadelphia: "Everything bad comes from Christianity."

    https://rehmat1.com/2016/04/19/jew-author-everything-bad-comes-from-christianity/

    This meeting was not a personal issue: the men met as representatives of their churches, within the framework of their respective religious organisations’ rules.

    Read More
  24. @Quartermaster
    A Soviet Millionaire would not have been by the measures of the west. In the Soviet Union what mattered was what you controlled. Brezhnev, for example, could have anything the Soviet system could produce. By that measure, the man was quite wealthy.

    One reason that Kirill is underappreciated is the lack of Christianity in the man. He has supported the rape of Crimea, and the attempted rape of the Donbas. His "church" is training terrorists to go to the Donbas and join those already there. Given his origin, it is quite likely he was a KGB priest as well. The Soviet Regime sent thousands of Priests to the camps that had made the choice between Christ and regime, for Christ rather than regime. The Russian Orthodox Church has never purged itself of those that compromised themselves

    These are some of the things wrong with the article. That Shamir sees none of this is a shame.

    Mr Shamir is discussing principles, not personalities.
    You are reacting emotionally, adducing hearsay and slander in lieu of argument.
    Do you think, for instance, that the Russian Orthodox Church was so insufficiently purged by the communists that it needed additional purging?

    Read More
  25. @schmenz
    Two quick things:

    Ivor Benson was no disinformation peddler but a very careful, experienced and honest reporter. He did not write propaganda.

    Secondly, I wish in my heart of hearts that it was some Pope other than Francis who met with the Patriarch. The more he flushes 2,000 years of Catholic tradition down the toilet the more the world loves him which, of course, is hardly surprising. I greatly admire Mr Shamir and what he writes but it is possible he is viewing the papacy of Francis through rose-colored glasses.

    Having said all that, if someone can explain Francis to me I would be forever grateful, because I simply cannot figure him out.

    Perhaps the meeting should be viewed in broader terms, as Mr Shamir discusses, but especially as nan effort towards cooperation, especially in saving what can still be saved of the Middle East Christians, rather than a step towards any doctrinal union and suchlike. The Orthodox Church and Catholic Church in Russia have already begun to organise joint projects in Syria (and soon in Iraq) to help the Christians there. http://www.pravmir.com/moscow-patriarchate-and-roman-catholic-church-launch-joint-project-in-support-of-syrian-christians/
    As for the respective health status of the two churches, Mr Shamir is right: “The position of the Church in Russia is rather enviable” while “the Catholic Church did not manage well recently” – not least as regards the support of her own senior leaders – or rather, the lack thereof. The spectacle of so many cardinals and top prelates running down their own church or flaunting their post-modern views and behaviour is quite depressing…
    Not to mention the generalised apostasy and “worship of greed” in Western countries.

    Read More
    • Replies: @schmenz
    "Perhaps the meeting should be viewed in broader terms, as Mr Shamir discusses, but especially as nan effort towards cooperation, especially in saving what can still be saved of the Middle East Christians,"

    Yes, that is a definite good that was solidified by that meeting. Any cooperation of that nature cannot help but restore a much-needed lessening of tensions between Catholicism and Orthodoxy.
  26. @Andrei Martyanov

    if access could be monetized legal millionaire status might at least not have been too far away,
     
    As Russian proverb goes--If babushka had balls, she would have been dedushka. Or, as Tolstoy stated in War And Peace:"It is akin to imagining what would it have been if Spring happened in Winter". I see that you watched Moscow Doesn't Believe In Tears, but if you had known rental market, say in Sevastopol in 1970s or 1980s, you would have changed your mind very quickly. As per Soviet elite or nomenclature (I knew more of former but also a latter too)--it is a complex and a very long story. Let's put it this way--it varied greatly. My late father was a very good friend with Cosmonaut Grechko, he also was a good friend of Valery Brumel and Elena Petushkova (both Olympic Champions and legends in their own right, Brumel has movie about himself) while they were married. Whenever in Moscow he always stayed with them. Very nice people and no millionaires--pretty average Soviet people with some fairly modest privileges. So, let's not generalize here, especially within the framework of "western" understanding of USSR, which is mostly a combination of ridiculous cliches.

    I see that you watched Moscow Doesn’t Believe In Tears

    Long ago, but I don’t remember much of it. I’ve lived in Moscow though, my wife’s dad worked for ЦК КПСС from the early 80s. I know how she and her friends lived, I can compare to how others whom I know lived.

    The point is that, the Western and Soviet systems were quite different – and just because there was no real private property didn’t mean that there wasn’t significant inequality (implied in comments about there not being any millionaires in the Soviet Union). It was rather common to see families in which, for example, parents, grandparents and children shared a small 2 room apartment (grandmother and kids in one room, parents in another) – at least as bad as the poorest American housing projects, except without the shooting. And then many families whom I knew lived in (but of course did not own) large apartments in central Moscow where each kid had their own bedroom. The latter may not have actually “owned” a million dollars worth of assets but combining their residence access, their dacha access, access to luxury items, travel, entertainment, etc. and you saw lifestyles very much approaching those of urban American millionaires. Though, certainly not billionaires or anything close to it. But then, the country was in general rather poor.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Regnum Nostrum

    The latter may not have actually “owned” a million dollars worth of assets but combining their residence access, their dacha access, access to luxury items, travel, entertainment, etc. and you saw lifestyles very much approaching those of urban American millionaires.
     
    Weird and forced logic. According to you if I have an access to Bolshoi Theatre or Winter Palace I can count them as my assets? Also comparing the quality of accommodation in postwar USSR, where most of the cities were utterly destroyed during WW2, with housing projects in the US which made a lot of money during that war not to mention the fact that none of its cities was destroyed, is ridiculous. The line that accommodation in USSR was as bad as the poorest American housing projects says a lot. USSR was still recovering from the devastation caused by WW2, something that you cannot fix in a year or two while the US was a rich country.

    You saw lifestyles very much approaching those of urban American millionaires.
     
    I do not know when you lived in Moscow but since you do not remember much of it, most likely quite a few years ago. At that time you could hardly see any lifestyle approaching those of urban American millionaires.
    , @Andrei Martyanov

    It was rather common to see families in which, for example, parents, grandparents and children shared a small 2 room apartment (grandmother and kids in one room, parents in another) – at least as bad as the poorest American housing projects, except without the shooting. And then many families whom I knew lived in (but of course did not own) large apartments in central Moscow where each kid had their own bedroom.
     
    Communalka (as weel as Uplotnenie) was a common thing for much of the USSR--a direct result of devastation of what was known as Zhiloi Fond both in Civil and Great Patriotic War--I lived in one in 1960s and early 1970s. Again, unless we are talking about absolutely top notch elite--such as Chief Designers, big time Academics or Military (such as Chief of the General Staff) or creative class at the very top--all those accommodations, even with those 5 meter high ceiling and large rooms were enviable but not rare at all. Stalin apartment complexes were like this and not only in Moscow or Leningrad. In general, the first privilege was to live in Moscow itself. As per dachas--many, in fact very many, had those--most of them simple working class folks and all this due to massive exodus of peasantry to the cities. Many also build ones. Again, I don't know where you lived but even top notch Moscow flats (however horrendously overpriced today), such as Andropov's, as an example, were nowhere near to accommodations of what run of the mill US millionaire could afford then. In general, compared to today's tacky, tasteless Russian nouveau riches (this also goes for many American ones too)--even Soviet top notch elite lived very humbly. There is also no denying of the fact, that building of Zhiloi Fond was extremely active starting from late 1950s and eventually went from Khruschevkas to very modern decent apartments. If I would tell you what my mother's Moscow apartment is worth today...well--it is a separate story. But then again looking an NYT real estate--no surprises.
  27. “In the Havana Declaration, the Pope and the Patriarch stated: “The family is the natural centre of human life and society.”

    And in that line alone you have the central reason for the globalist neoliberal hatred of the Church.

    Read More
  28. @Regnum Nostrum

    It is, therefore, highly significant that in the Soviet Union, as Simis shows, there has come into existence a vast network of super-rich capitalists, matching in so many ways the super-rich capitalists of the West, ready to take over when the present system of totalitarian state capitalism finally collapses, as collapse it must, sooner or later.
     
    The claim of a vast network of super-rich capitalists in the Soviet Union belongs to the same category as Tooth fairy. The whole comment can easily compete with the stories of Baron Munchausen.

    Wealth is the ability to control resources and services as one chooses.
    In the (freeish) market West, it is determined by financial resources, in the Soviet Union it was determined by political power.

    There were very many wealthy people in the USSR.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Regnum Nostrum

    Wealth is the abundance of valuable resources or valuable material possessions.
     
    You are little bit confused about the definitions. The ability to control resources and services as one chooses is not wealth. According to the above definition Soviet Union was a very wealthy country but none of that wealth belonged to an individual. It belonged, all of it, to the state. The state controlled that wealth for the benefit of all.

    There were very many wealthy people in the USSR.
     
    Just because one had political power in the Soviet Union does not mean one was rich. If there were so many wealthy people in USSR can you name a few, say how they became rich and state their possessions in US dollars.
  29. @schmenz
    Two quick things:

    Ivor Benson was no disinformation peddler but a very careful, experienced and honest reporter. He did not write propaganda.

    Secondly, I wish in my heart of hearts that it was some Pope other than Francis who met with the Patriarch. The more he flushes 2,000 years of Catholic tradition down the toilet the more the world loves him which, of course, is hardly surprising. I greatly admire Mr Shamir and what he writes but it is possible he is viewing the papacy of Francis through rose-colored glasses.

    Having said all that, if someone can explain Francis to me I would be forever grateful, because I simply cannot figure him out.

    Having said all that, if someone can explain Francis to me I would be forever grateful, because I simply cannot figure him out.

    May I take a try at that.

    Jesus was a nice guy – he preached hope and goodness and forgiving – So too with Pope Francis.

    Pope Francis gets into trouble when he wants to forgive people. A big problem is that he wants to forgive divorce – to let people receive the sacraments if they remarry.

    NOT the bishops – they do not want to give up that power over the faithful. Divorcees now have to go the bishop and beg – bishops like that.

    Should a faithful life be over if one divorces and remarries? The sacraments are positive acts that build better lives. Wouldn’t a divorcee be a better parent if they received the sacraments?

    Those who love Jesus believe that God forgives murder – why can’t the bishops forgive divorce?

    Be like Jesus!

    p.s. Clearly the hard line bishops are NOT stopping divorce. They need to get a grip.

    p.s. The bishops and their hard line are pushing people away from the church – end of story.

    Read More
  30. @anonymous
    "He has supported the rape of Crimea, and the attempted rape of the Donbas."

    You must have software that alerts you of every opportunity to recycle your assertions about Ukraine. What kind of cookies is Ms. Nuland giving people like you these days?

    Yes, cookies for Quartermaster!

    Quartermaster is not a master; he is a helot.

    Read More
  31. @ filioque, which is so obscure that few worshippers understand or care.

    Indeed, if the root of all schisms in the Church, the filioque, is no more understood or cared for, why should one care for the Truth? One must not “proselytize” (especially not the Jews!). It’s just a matter of “preferences”. Easterners love bread with wine and bearded popes, Westerners love matzos (that’s why they don’t proselytize the Jews anymore, they became like Jews) and no wine and shaved priests. So, what’s the big deal? It’s “normal”.
    So, if the Truth does not matter anymore why condemn the “sexual preferences”? They are “normal”.
    The real problem is that the prerequisite of Communion is the common confession of the same Truth (and the whole Truth at that, not just selections of it). And that does not happen whatever much lurve we put in the process of rapprochement (which is not a bad thing).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Israel Shamir
    Seraphim, "do not proselytize" in Havana Declaration refers to Orthodox Christians, not to Jews or Muslims or heathen who can be proselytized. This is a very sensible ruling. The Orthodox Church of Jerusalem has lost many members to the Catholic Church.
    Try and be honest and sincere while speaking of church and faith - otherwise, your effort is wasted. Only a dishonest sophist will compare a mortal sin of "laying with man as with woman" with a cultural preference. There is no real reason for preferring leavened or unleavened bread but the cultural one; the tradition of the church. This point is not included in Credo. Likewise, beards are not in Credo.
    As for filioque, indeed was the root of the schism, but now it is forgotten. Likewise, the difference between homoiousios vs. homoousios is lost. Unless one wants to perpetuate the schism...
  32. @RMM
    Perhaps the meeting should be viewed in broader terms, as Mr Shamir discusses, but especially as nan effort towards cooperation, especially in saving what can still be saved of the Middle East Christians, rather than a step towards any doctrinal union and suchlike. The Orthodox Church and Catholic Church in Russia have already begun to organise joint projects in Syria (and soon in Iraq) to help the Christians there. http://www.pravmir.com/moscow-patriarchate-and-roman-catholic-church-launch-joint-project-in-support-of-syrian-christians/
    As for the respective health status of the two churches, Mr Shamir is right: "The position of the Church in Russia is rather enviable" while "the Catholic Church did not manage well recently" - not least as regards the support of her own senior leaders - or rather, the lack thereof. The spectacle of so many cardinals and top prelates running down their own church or flaunting their post-modern views and behaviour is quite depressing...
    Not to mention the generalised apostasy and "worship of greed" in Western countries.

    “Perhaps the meeting should be viewed in broader terms, as Mr Shamir discusses, but especially as nan effort towards cooperation, especially in saving what can still be saved of the Middle East Christians,”

    Yes, that is a definite good that was solidified by that meeting. Any cooperation of that nature cannot help but restore a much-needed lessening of tensions between Catholicism and Orthodoxy.

    Read More
  33. @Bill Jones
    Wealth is the ability to control resources and services as one chooses.
    In the (freeish) market West, it is determined by financial resources, in the Soviet Union it was determined by political power.

    There were very many wealthy people in the USSR.

    Wealth is the abundance of valuable resources or valuable material possessions.

    You are little bit confused about the definitions. The ability to control resources and services as one chooses is not wealth. According to the above definition Soviet Union was a very wealthy country but none of that wealth belonged to an individual. It belonged, all of it, to the state. The state controlled that wealth for the benefit of all.

    There were very many wealthy people in the USSR.

    Just because one had political power in the Soviet Union does not mean one was rich. If there were so many wealthy people in USSR can you name a few, say how they became rich and state their possessions in US dollars.

    Read More
  34. @AP

    I see that you watched Moscow Doesn’t Believe In Tears
     
    Long ago, but I don't remember much of it. I've lived in Moscow though, my wife's dad worked for ЦК КПСС from the early 80s. I know how she and her friends lived, I can compare to how others whom I know lived.

    The point is that, the Western and Soviet systems were quite different - and just because there was no real private property didn't mean that there wasn't significant inequality (implied in comments about there not being any millionaires in the Soviet Union). It was rather common to see families in which, for example, parents, grandparents and children shared a small 2 room apartment (grandmother and kids in one room, parents in another) - at least as bad as the poorest American housing projects, except without the shooting. And then many families whom I knew lived in (but of course did not own) large apartments in central Moscow where each kid had their own bedroom. The latter may not have actually "owned" a million dollars worth of assets but combining their residence access, their dacha access, access to luxury items, travel, entertainment, etc. and you saw lifestyles very much approaching those of urban American millionaires. Though, certainly not billionaires or anything close to it. But then, the country was in general rather poor.

    The latter may not have actually “owned” a million dollars worth of assets but combining their residence access, their dacha access, access to luxury items, travel, entertainment, etc. and you saw lifestyles very much approaching those of urban American millionaires.

    Weird and forced logic. According to you if I have an access to Bolshoi Theatre or Winter Palace I can count them as my assets? Also comparing the quality of accommodation in postwar USSR, where most of the cities were utterly destroyed during WW2, with housing projects in the US which made a lot of money during that war not to mention the fact that none of its cities was destroyed, is ridiculous. The line that accommodation in USSR was as bad as the poorest American housing projects says a lot. USSR was still recovering from the devastation caused by WW2, something that you cannot fix in a year or two while the US was a rich country.

    You saw lifestyles very much approaching those of urban American millionaires.

    I do not know when you lived in Moscow but since you do not remember much of it, most likely quite a few years ago. At that time you could hardly see any lifestyle approaching those of urban American millionaires.

    Read More
    • Agree: Andrei Martyanov
    • Replies: @AP

    Weird and forced logic. According to you if I have an access to Bolshoi Theatre or Winter Palace I can count them as my assets?
     
    No, but being registered in a large flat in central Moscow, having access to a dacha with its chef and servants, not to mention nice and exclusive resorts on the Black Sea can be considered equivalent to assets. Regularly attending the Bolshoi, buying nice (Western) goods in special stores are lifestyle markers. Someone with, say 1-2 million dollars in Manhattan doesn't live better.

    Also comparing the quality of accommodation in postwar USSR, where most of the cities were utterly destroyed during WW2, with housing projects in the US which made a lot of money during that war not to mention the fact that none of its cities was destroyed, is ridiculous.
     
    This is true, but it doesn't change the facts concernng inequality in the USSR.

    The line that accommodation in USSR was as bad as the poorest American housing projects says a lot.
     
    It says the truth. I drove my Russian in-laws through Cabrini Green (the worst projects in Chicago) and they were not impressed - better than much Soviet housing materially. Obviously the Cabrini residents mistreated their homes and each other far more than Russians did. But physically, not much difference.

    USSR was still recovering from the devastation caused by WW2, something that you cannot fix in a year or two while the US was a rich country.
     
    Khrushchevky were by definition built long after the war (immediately after the war many people lived in barracks). Many Soviets were living in horrible housing decades after the war. So the gulf between the Soviet elite and many regular folk was rather large, even if nothing compared to the modern gap. Soviet equality was a myth.

    I do not know when you lived in Moscow but since you do not remember much of it,
     
    I said I don't remember much of the movie Moscow Doesn't Believe in Tears. I remember my life there in the early to mid 2000s quite well.
  35. anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    Not being religious perhaps I should not give an opinion but, nevertheless, I hope they don’t change the calendar. Christmas is now so hyper-commercialized that it’s become some drawn out affair that’s downright embarrassing. Nobody in America, or hardly any, know anything about the different calendars and I’ve come to see that as a good thing. After the hubbub is all over with a person can quietly raise a glass and observe the holiday in peace and tranquility, far away from the maddening crowds.

    Read More
  36. Andrei Martyanov [AKA "SmoothieX12"] says: • Website     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @AP

    I see that you watched Moscow Doesn’t Believe In Tears
     
    Long ago, but I don't remember much of it. I've lived in Moscow though, my wife's dad worked for ЦК КПСС from the early 80s. I know how she and her friends lived, I can compare to how others whom I know lived.

    The point is that, the Western and Soviet systems were quite different - and just because there was no real private property didn't mean that there wasn't significant inequality (implied in comments about there not being any millionaires in the Soviet Union). It was rather common to see families in which, for example, parents, grandparents and children shared a small 2 room apartment (grandmother and kids in one room, parents in another) - at least as bad as the poorest American housing projects, except without the shooting. And then many families whom I knew lived in (but of course did not own) large apartments in central Moscow where each kid had their own bedroom. The latter may not have actually "owned" a million dollars worth of assets but combining their residence access, their dacha access, access to luxury items, travel, entertainment, etc. and you saw lifestyles very much approaching those of urban American millionaires. Though, certainly not billionaires or anything close to it. But then, the country was in general rather poor.

    It was rather common to see families in which, for example, parents, grandparents and children shared a small 2 room apartment (grandmother and kids in one room, parents in another) – at least as bad as the poorest American housing projects, except without the shooting. And then many families whom I knew lived in (but of course did not own) large apartments in central Moscow where each kid had their own bedroom.

    Communalka (as weel as Uplotnenie) was a common thing for much of the USSR–a direct result of devastation of what was known as Zhiloi Fond both in Civil and Great Patriotic War–I lived in one in 1960s and early 1970s. Again, unless we are talking about absolutely top notch elite–such as Chief Designers, big time Academics or Military (such as Chief of the General Staff) or creative class at the very top–all those accommodations, even with those 5 meter high ceiling and large rooms were enviable but not rare at all. Stalin apartment complexes were like this and not only in Moscow or Leningrad. In general, the first privilege was to live in Moscow itself. As per dachas–many, in fact very many, had those–most of them simple working class folks and all this due to massive exodus of peasantry to the cities. Many also build ones. Again, I don’t know where you lived but even top notch Moscow flats (however horrendously overpriced today), such as Andropov’s, as an example, were nowhere near to accommodations of what run of the mill US millionaire could afford then. In general, compared to today’s tacky, tasteless Russian nouveau riches (this also goes for many American ones too)–even Soviet top notch elite lived very humbly. There is also no denying of the fact, that building of Zhiloi Fond was extremely active starting from late 1950s and eventually went from Khruschevkas to very modern decent apartments. If I would tell you what my mother’s Moscow apartment is worth today…well–it is a separate story. But then again looking an NYT real estate–no surprises.

    Read More
    • Agree: Regnum Nostrum
    • Replies: @AP

    Again, I don’t know where you lived but even top notch Moscow flats (however horrendously overpriced today), such as Andropov’s, as an example, were nowhere near to accommodations of what run of the mill US millionaire could afford then.
     
    For example, my wife's Moscow flat had 4 rooms plus kitchen and two bathrooms, two balconies on opposite sides, it was 5 minute walk to the metro and 15 minute walk to Red Square. Even an American millionaire (not multimillionaire or billionaire of course) would have trouble affording an equivalent place in a comparably elite neighborhood of Manhattan.

    It is of course totally overshadowed by post-Soviet elite housing that includes underground parking, swimming pools, much larger rooms, multiple levels, etc.

    In general, compared to today’s tacky, tasteless Russian nouveau riches (this also goes for many American ones too)–even Soviet top notch elite lived very humbly.
     
    This is generally true. They lived like millionaires, not like billionaires. No enormous personal yachts, estates in southern France, private helicoptors, etc. Though Brezhnev had an impressive and large collection of race cars that he enjoyed playing with in his free time.

    There is also no denying of the fact, that building of Zhiloi Fond was extremely active starting from late 1950s and eventually went from Khruschevkas to very modern decent apartments.
     
    Sure, but millions of even "middle class" Soviets were still living in Khrushchevky at the end of the Soviet period. Such was the nature of Soviet inequality - nobody living like billionaires, but some living like millionaires, very many living (materially! not culturally!) like American project-dwellers.
  37. @Regnum Nostrum

    The latter may not have actually “owned” a million dollars worth of assets but combining their residence access, their dacha access, access to luxury items, travel, entertainment, etc. and you saw lifestyles very much approaching those of urban American millionaires.
     
    Weird and forced logic. According to you if I have an access to Bolshoi Theatre or Winter Palace I can count them as my assets? Also comparing the quality of accommodation in postwar USSR, where most of the cities were utterly destroyed during WW2, with housing projects in the US which made a lot of money during that war not to mention the fact that none of its cities was destroyed, is ridiculous. The line that accommodation in USSR was as bad as the poorest American housing projects says a lot. USSR was still recovering from the devastation caused by WW2, something that you cannot fix in a year or two while the US was a rich country.

    You saw lifestyles very much approaching those of urban American millionaires.
     
    I do not know when you lived in Moscow but since you do not remember much of it, most likely quite a few years ago. At that time you could hardly see any lifestyle approaching those of urban American millionaires.

    Weird and forced logic. According to you if I have an access to Bolshoi Theatre or Winter Palace I can count them as my assets?

    No, but being registered in a large flat in central Moscow, having access to a dacha with its chef and servants, not to mention nice and exclusive resorts on the Black Sea can be considered equivalent to assets. Regularly attending the Bolshoi, buying nice (Western) goods in special stores are lifestyle markers. Someone with, say 1-2 million dollars in Manhattan doesn’t live better.

    Also comparing the quality of accommodation in postwar USSR, where most of the cities were utterly destroyed during WW2, with housing projects in the US which made a lot of money during that war not to mention the fact that none of its cities was destroyed, is ridiculous.

    This is true, but it doesn’t change the facts concernng inequality in the USSR.

    The line that accommodation in USSR was as bad as the poorest American housing projects says a lot.

    It says the truth. I drove my Russian in-laws through Cabrini Green (the worst projects in Chicago) and they were not impressed – better than much Soviet housing materially. Obviously the Cabrini residents mistreated their homes and each other far more than Russians did. But physically, not much difference.

    USSR was still recovering from the devastation caused by WW2, something that you cannot fix in a year or two while the US was a rich country.

    Khrushchevky were by definition built long after the war (immediately after the war many people lived in barracks). Many Soviets were living in horrible housing decades after the war. So the gulf between the Soviet elite and many regular folk was rather large, even if nothing compared to the modern gap. Soviet equality was a myth.

    I do not know when you lived in Moscow but since you do not remember much of it,

    I said I don’t remember much of the movie Moscow Doesn’t Believe in Tears. I remember my life there in the early to mid 2000s quite well.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    [access ... can be considered equivalent to assets.]

    No it can't, unless staying at Trump's resort can be considered equivalent to being Trump.
    Obvious shyster is obvious.
  38. @Andrei Martyanov

    It was rather common to see families in which, for example, parents, grandparents and children shared a small 2 room apartment (grandmother and kids in one room, parents in another) – at least as bad as the poorest American housing projects, except without the shooting. And then many families whom I knew lived in (but of course did not own) large apartments in central Moscow where each kid had their own bedroom.
     
    Communalka (as weel as Uplotnenie) was a common thing for much of the USSR--a direct result of devastation of what was known as Zhiloi Fond both in Civil and Great Patriotic War--I lived in one in 1960s and early 1970s. Again, unless we are talking about absolutely top notch elite--such as Chief Designers, big time Academics or Military (such as Chief of the General Staff) or creative class at the very top--all those accommodations, even with those 5 meter high ceiling and large rooms were enviable but not rare at all. Stalin apartment complexes were like this and not only in Moscow or Leningrad. In general, the first privilege was to live in Moscow itself. As per dachas--many, in fact very many, had those--most of them simple working class folks and all this due to massive exodus of peasantry to the cities. Many also build ones. Again, I don't know where you lived but even top notch Moscow flats (however horrendously overpriced today), such as Andropov's, as an example, were nowhere near to accommodations of what run of the mill US millionaire could afford then. In general, compared to today's tacky, tasteless Russian nouveau riches (this also goes for many American ones too)--even Soviet top notch elite lived very humbly. There is also no denying of the fact, that building of Zhiloi Fond was extremely active starting from late 1950s and eventually went from Khruschevkas to very modern decent apartments. If I would tell you what my mother's Moscow apartment is worth today...well--it is a separate story. But then again looking an NYT real estate--no surprises.

    Again, I don’t know where you lived but even top notch Moscow flats (however horrendously overpriced today), such as Andropov’s, as an example, were nowhere near to accommodations of what run of the mill US millionaire could afford then.

    For example, my wife’s Moscow flat had 4 rooms plus kitchen and two bathrooms, two balconies on opposite sides, it was 5 minute walk to the metro and 15 minute walk to Red Square. Even an American millionaire (not multimillionaire or billionaire of course) would have trouble affording an equivalent place in a comparably elite neighborhood of Manhattan.

    It is of course totally overshadowed by post-Soviet elite housing that includes underground parking, swimming pools, much larger rooms, multiple levels, etc.

    In general, compared to today’s tacky, tasteless Russian nouveau riches (this also goes for many American ones too)–even Soviet top notch elite lived very humbly.

    This is generally true. They lived like millionaires, not like billionaires. No enormous personal yachts, estates in southern France, private helicoptors, etc. Though Brezhnev had an impressive and large collection of race cars that he enjoyed playing with in his free time.

    There is also no denying of the fact, that building of Zhiloi Fond was extremely active starting from late 1950s and eventually went from Khruschevkas to very modern decent apartments.

    Sure, but millions of even “middle class” Soviets were still living in Khrushchevky at the end of the Soviet period. Such was the nature of Soviet inequality – nobody living like billionaires, but some living like millionaires, very many living (materially! not culturally!) like American project-dwellers.

    Read More
  39. @AP

    Weird and forced logic. According to you if I have an access to Bolshoi Theatre or Winter Palace I can count them as my assets?
     
    No, but being registered in a large flat in central Moscow, having access to a dacha with its chef and servants, not to mention nice and exclusive resorts on the Black Sea can be considered equivalent to assets. Regularly attending the Bolshoi, buying nice (Western) goods in special stores are lifestyle markers. Someone with, say 1-2 million dollars in Manhattan doesn't live better.

    Also comparing the quality of accommodation in postwar USSR, where most of the cities were utterly destroyed during WW2, with housing projects in the US which made a lot of money during that war not to mention the fact that none of its cities was destroyed, is ridiculous.
     
    This is true, but it doesn't change the facts concernng inequality in the USSR.

    The line that accommodation in USSR was as bad as the poorest American housing projects says a lot.
     
    It says the truth. I drove my Russian in-laws through Cabrini Green (the worst projects in Chicago) and they were not impressed - better than much Soviet housing materially. Obviously the Cabrini residents mistreated their homes and each other far more than Russians did. But physically, not much difference.

    USSR was still recovering from the devastation caused by WW2, something that you cannot fix in a year or two while the US was a rich country.
     
    Khrushchevky were by definition built long after the war (immediately after the war many people lived in barracks). Many Soviets were living in horrible housing decades after the war. So the gulf between the Soviet elite and many regular folk was rather large, even if nothing compared to the modern gap. Soviet equality was a myth.

    I do not know when you lived in Moscow but since you do not remember much of it,
     
    I said I don't remember much of the movie Moscow Doesn't Believe in Tears. I remember my life there in the early to mid 2000s quite well.

    [access ... can be considered equivalent to assets.]

    No it can’t, unless staying at Trump’s resort can be considered equivalent to being Trump.
    Obvious shyster is obvious.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    With respect to being registered in a flat (while not owning it because ownership did not exist in that system) or spending weekends in the dacha, attended by servants, without ever paying for this, than access is indeed equivalent to assets. Free stays in cottages in Crimea or Sukhumi cottages could be comparable to owning a timeshare.

    Such is not the same as staying in a hotel.

    If you are seriously arguing that everyone was in the Soviet Union was roughly equal, because technically nobody owned anything other than personal items, than you are the shyster. Which we know you are.
  40. @Seraphim
    @ filioque, which is so obscure that few worshippers understand or care.

    Indeed, if the root of all schisms in the Church, the filioque, is no more understood or cared for, why should one care for the Truth? One must not "proselytize" (especially not the Jews!). It's just a matter of "preferences". Easterners love bread with wine and bearded popes, Westerners love matzos (that's why they don't proselytize the Jews anymore, they became like Jews) and no wine and shaved priests. So, what's the big deal? It's "normal".
    So, if the Truth does not matter anymore why condemn the "sexual preferences"? They are "normal".
    The real problem is that the prerequisite of Communion is the common confession of the same Truth (and the whole Truth at that, not just selections of it). And that does not happen whatever much lurve we put in the process of rapprochement (which is not a bad thing).

    Seraphim, “do not proselytize” in Havana Declaration refers to Orthodox Christians, not to Jews or Muslims or heathen who can be proselytized. This is a very sensible ruling. The Orthodox Church of Jerusalem has lost many members to the Catholic Church.
    Try and be honest and sincere while speaking of church and faith – otherwise, your effort is wasted. Only a dishonest sophist will compare a mortal sin of “laying with man as with woman” with a cultural preference. There is no real reason for preferring leavened or unleavened bread but the cultural one; the tradition of the church. This point is not included in Credo. Likewise, beards are not in Credo.
    As for filioque, indeed was the root of the schism, but now it is forgotten. Likewise, the difference between homoiousios vs. homoousios is lost. Unless one wants to perpetuate the schism…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seraphim
    @As for filioque, indeed was the root of the schism, but now it is forgotten.

    Does the fact that filioque is 'forgotten' makes it disappear? Had it disappeared from the papal Credo, Catechism, ritual formulas? Did it really stopped to be considered as a sign of the theological superiority of the 'West', a sign of their intellectual prowess?
    The difference between homoiousios vs. homoousios is lost, because it was solved at the Council of Niceea. Nowadays it is a strawman, bringing it again and again in any discussion is just a pretext to ridicule "Christianity [which] was nearly split by the smallest letter in the Greek alphabet" (Gibbon).

    Maybe I got it wrong, but the phrase “their mission entails mutual respect for members of the Christian communities and excludes any form of proselytism" entails that the Orthodox are also forbidden to 'proselytize in any form' the Catholics and Protestants, in other words not to tell them that we are right. We can't tell the Catholics that 'filioque' is wrong, that would be a 'lack of mutual respect'.
    The reason for preferring leavened vs. unleavened is not cultural, but doctrinal (even a very important point of doctrine). Catholics renounced the use of leavened bread and introduced azymes because they wanted to align their practice with the Jewish ones, in direct defiance of the Church canons which expressly forbid it (and with what the Christ expressly commanded). This is not a matter of 'tradition' but of correct tradition vs. erroneous tradition (orthodoxy vs. heresy). This was actually the real cause of the Schism, more than the filioque.

    What I was saying in relation to 'preferences' is that once we adopt a relativistic position in matters of dogmas, canons, rituals, and would embrace any parasynagogue which sports the tag "Christian' as a "church" equal to the True Church, nothing could prevent the adoption of 'same-sex marriages' (female priests and bishops managed to impose themselves to the most so-called "conservative" 'churches').

    "one wants to perpetuate the schism…" I say it again: "the prerequisite of Communion is the common confession of the same Truth (and the whole Truth at that, not just selections of it)". Without that there is no union, nor that it should be.
  41. @5371
    [access ... can be considered equivalent to assets.]

    No it can't, unless staying at Trump's resort can be considered equivalent to being Trump.
    Obvious shyster is obvious.

    With respect to being registered in a flat (while not owning it because ownership did not exist in that system) or spending weekends in the dacha, attended by servants, without ever paying for this, than access is indeed equivalent to assets. Free stays in cottages in Crimea or Sukhumi cottages could be comparable to owning a timeshare.

    Such is not the same as staying in a hotel.

    If you are seriously arguing that everyone was in the Soviet Union was roughly equal, because technically nobody owned anything other than personal items, than you are the shyster. Which we know you are.

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    Quite the straw man you have there! Of course everyone in the USSR was not equal. That doesn't make it any more meaningful to arbitrarily assign a monetary value to attributes of social position which could not conceivably be monetised.
  42. […] Shamir has been kind enough to confirm it promptly with his last article, which is a real masterpiece of idiotic spiritual decay. It features all the themes dear to the […]

    Read More
  43. @AP
    With respect to being registered in a flat (while not owning it because ownership did not exist in that system) or spending weekends in the dacha, attended by servants, without ever paying for this, than access is indeed equivalent to assets. Free stays in cottages in Crimea or Sukhumi cottages could be comparable to owning a timeshare.

    Such is not the same as staying in a hotel.

    If you are seriously arguing that everyone was in the Soviet Union was roughly equal, because technically nobody owned anything other than personal items, than you are the shyster. Which we know you are.

    Quite the straw man you have there! Of course everyone in the USSR was not equal. That doesn’t make it any more meaningful to arbitrarily assign a monetary value to attributes of social position which could not conceivably be monetised.

    Read More
  44. @Israel Shamir
    Seraphim, "do not proselytize" in Havana Declaration refers to Orthodox Christians, not to Jews or Muslims or heathen who can be proselytized. This is a very sensible ruling. The Orthodox Church of Jerusalem has lost many members to the Catholic Church.
    Try and be honest and sincere while speaking of church and faith - otherwise, your effort is wasted. Only a dishonest sophist will compare a mortal sin of "laying with man as with woman" with a cultural preference. There is no real reason for preferring leavened or unleavened bread but the cultural one; the tradition of the church. This point is not included in Credo. Likewise, beards are not in Credo.
    As for filioque, indeed was the root of the schism, but now it is forgotten. Likewise, the difference between homoiousios vs. homoousios is lost. Unless one wants to perpetuate the schism...

    @As for filioque, indeed was the root of the schism, but now it is forgotten.

    Does the fact that filioque is ‘forgotten’ makes it disappear? Had it disappeared from the papal Credo, Catechism, ritual formulas? Did it really stopped to be considered as a sign of the theological superiority of the ‘West’, a sign of their intellectual prowess?
    The difference between homoiousios vs. homoousios is lost, because it was solved at the Council of Niceea. Nowadays it is a strawman, bringing it again and again in any discussion is just a pretext to ridicule “Christianity [which] was nearly split by the smallest letter in the Greek alphabet” (Gibbon).

    Maybe I got it wrong, but the phrase “their mission entails mutual respect for members of the Christian communities and excludes any form of proselytism” entails that the Orthodox are also forbidden to ‘proselytize in any form’ the Catholics and Protestants, in other words not to tell them that we are right. We can’t tell the Catholics that ‘filioque’ is wrong, that would be a ‘lack of mutual respect’.
    The reason for preferring leavened vs. unleavened is not cultural, but doctrinal (even a very important point of doctrine). Catholics renounced the use of leavened bread and introduced azymes because they wanted to align their practice with the Jewish ones, in direct defiance of the Church canons which expressly forbid it (and with what the Christ expressly commanded). This is not a matter of ‘tradition’ but of correct tradition vs. erroneous tradition (orthodoxy vs. heresy). This was actually the real cause of the Schism, more than the filioque.

    What I was saying in relation to ‘preferences’ is that once we adopt a relativistic position in matters of dogmas, canons, rituals, and would embrace any parasynagogue which sports the tag “Christian’ as a “church” equal to the True Church, nothing could prevent the adoption of ‘same-sex marriages’ (female priests and bishops managed to impose themselves to the most so-called “conservative” ‘churches’).

    “one wants to perpetuate the schism…” I say it again: “the prerequisite of Communion is the common confession of the same Truth (and the whole Truth at that, not just selections of it)”. Without that there is no union, nor that it should be.

    Read More
  45. ” The reason for preferring leavened vs. unleavened is not cultural, but doctrinal (even a very important point of doctrine).”

    and nutritional – B vitamins in yeast

    3×1=3
    3×1(+1)=4; 3×4=12
    there’s a difference

    Read More
    • Replies: @5371
    Your arithmetic is sound, but your meaning obscure.
    , @Seraphim
    It was the argument of the Orthodox against the Catholics: leaven makes the bread alive.
    "In popular opinion, the flour and water wafers of the "Franks" were not bread; their sacrifices were invalid; they were Jews not Christians. Their lifeless bread could only symbolize a soulless Christ; therefore, they had clearly fallen into the heresy of Apollinaris. The controversy became a key factor in producing the East-West Schism, which persists to this day."

    "The love of God and a feeling of friendliness impelled the writers to admonish the Bishops, clergy, monks and laymen of the Franks, and the Most Reverend Pope himself, concerning their azyms and Sabbaths, which were unbecoming, as being Jewish observances and instituted by Moses. But our Pasch is Christ. The Lord, indeed, obeyed the law by first celebrating the legal pasch; but, as we learn from the Gospel, he subsequently instituted the new pasch.... He took bread, etc., that is, a thing full of life and spirit and heat. You call bread panis; we call it artos. This from airoel (airo), to raise, signifies a something elevated, lifted up, being raised and warmed by the ferment and salt; the azym, on the other hand, is lifeless as a stone or baked clay, fit only to symbolize affliction and suffering. But our Pasch is replete with joy; it elevates us from the earth to heaven even as the leaven raises and warms the bread" (Letter of Leo of Achrida, metropolitan of the Bulgarians, to John, Bishop of Trani, in Apulia, at the time subject to the Byzantine emperor, and by decree of Leo the Isaurian attached to the Eastern Patriarchate).

    But the justification is in the very words of Jesus:
    "Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened." (Matthew)
    "And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened" (Luke).

    The Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven is the Holy Spirit the Life-Giver.
    Jesus gives even indications how to prepare the oblation bread. Even today it is prepared by women.
    Fermentation is also what transforms water into wine!

  46. @helena
    " The reason for preferring leavened vs. unleavened is not cultural, but doctrinal (even a very important point of doctrine)."

    and nutritional - B vitamins in yeast

    3x1=3
    3x1(+1)=4; 3x4=12
    there's a difference

    Your arithmetic is sound, but your meaning obscure.

    Read More
  47. @helena
    " The reason for preferring leavened vs. unleavened is not cultural, but doctrinal (even a very important point of doctrine)."

    and nutritional - B vitamins in yeast

    3x1=3
    3x1(+1)=4; 3x4=12
    there's a difference

    It was the argument of the Orthodox against the Catholics: leaven makes the bread alive.
    “In popular opinion, the flour and water wafers of the “Franks” were not bread; their sacrifices were invalid; they were Jews not Christians. Their lifeless bread could only symbolize a soulless Christ; therefore, they had clearly fallen into the heresy of Apollinaris. The controversy became a key factor in producing the East-West Schism, which persists to this day.”

    “The love of God and a feeling of friendliness impelled the writers to admonish the Bishops, clergy, monks and laymen of the Franks, and the Most Reverend Pope himself, concerning their azyms and Sabbaths, which were unbecoming, as being Jewish observances and instituted by Moses. But our Pasch is Christ. The Lord, indeed, obeyed the law by first celebrating the legal pasch; but, as we learn from the Gospel, he subsequently instituted the new pasch…. He took bread, etc., that is, a thing full of life and spirit and heat. You call bread panis; we call it artos. This from airoel (airo), to raise, signifies a something elevated, lifted up, being raised and warmed by the ferment and salt; the azym, on the other hand, is lifeless as a stone or baked clay, fit only to symbolize affliction and suffering. But our Pasch is replete with joy; it elevates us from the earth to heaven even as the leaven raises and warms the bread” (Letter of Leo of Achrida, metropolitan of the Bulgarians, to John, Bishop of Trani, in Apulia, at the time subject to the Byzantine emperor, and by decree of Leo the Isaurian attached to the Eastern Patriarchate).

    But the justification is in the very words of Jesus:
    “Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.” (Matthew)
    “And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened” (Luke).

    The Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven is the Holy Spirit the Life-Giver.
    Jesus gives even indications how to prepare the oblation bread. Even today it is prepared by women.
    Fermentation is also what transforms water into wine!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    If I may...

    I don't have a dog in this fight, but it seems you are for perpetuating the schism due to fine legal interpretations, is that correct? If so, your position seems very much to parallel the intractable Salafi/Wahhabi types in my tradition who basically say, 'my way or the highway'. They will bother people and cause division based on the smallest things like whether one raises their hands at a specific point in the prayer - not recognizing that another legal school may have very good reason and evidence to reject their conclusions.

    And - with all due respect - without knowing the actual text in its native language of the quotes from the bible that you provided (and coming from a background of studying sacred law and the science of its jurisprudence) - it seems these are weak evidences for being so confident in concluding your position. A parable or simile rarely (on its own) provides sufficient proof since the intent of the words may just have been to convey a lesson in morality or otherwise and a legal ruling has been coaxed out of it.

    Second, if the main authorities of the churches, backed by their scholars and counselors are willing to bury these hatchets (especially in light of a church that is bleeding out its life as people are emptying the pews), what authority/legitimacy do you have to dig them back up?

    Peace.
  48. @Seraphim
    It was the argument of the Orthodox against the Catholics: leaven makes the bread alive.
    "In popular opinion, the flour and water wafers of the "Franks" were not bread; their sacrifices were invalid; they were Jews not Christians. Their lifeless bread could only symbolize a soulless Christ; therefore, they had clearly fallen into the heresy of Apollinaris. The controversy became a key factor in producing the East-West Schism, which persists to this day."

    "The love of God and a feeling of friendliness impelled the writers to admonish the Bishops, clergy, monks and laymen of the Franks, and the Most Reverend Pope himself, concerning their azyms and Sabbaths, which were unbecoming, as being Jewish observances and instituted by Moses. But our Pasch is Christ. The Lord, indeed, obeyed the law by first celebrating the legal pasch; but, as we learn from the Gospel, he subsequently instituted the new pasch.... He took bread, etc., that is, a thing full of life and spirit and heat. You call bread panis; we call it artos. This from airoel (airo), to raise, signifies a something elevated, lifted up, being raised and warmed by the ferment and salt; the azym, on the other hand, is lifeless as a stone or baked clay, fit only to symbolize affliction and suffering. But our Pasch is replete with joy; it elevates us from the earth to heaven even as the leaven raises and warms the bread" (Letter of Leo of Achrida, metropolitan of the Bulgarians, to John, Bishop of Trani, in Apulia, at the time subject to the Byzantine emperor, and by decree of Leo the Isaurian attached to the Eastern Patriarchate).

    But the justification is in the very words of Jesus:
    "Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened." (Matthew)
    "And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened" (Luke).

    The Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven is the Holy Spirit the Life-Giver.
    Jesus gives even indications how to prepare the oblation bread. Even today it is prepared by women.
    Fermentation is also what transforms water into wine!

    If I may…

    I don’t have a dog in this fight, but it seems you are for perpetuating the schism due to fine legal interpretations, is that correct? If so, your position seems very much to parallel the intractable Salafi/Wahhabi types in my tradition who basically say, ‘my way or the highway’. They will bother people and cause division based on the smallest things like whether one raises their hands at a specific point in the prayer – not recognizing that another legal school may have very good reason and evidence to reject their conclusions.

    And – with all due respect – without knowing the actual text in its native language of the quotes from the bible that you provided (and coming from a background of studying sacred law and the science of its jurisprudence) – it seems these are weak evidences for being so confident in concluding your position. A parable or simile rarely (on its own) provides sufficient proof since the intent of the words may just have been to convey a lesson in morality or otherwise and a legal ruling has been coaxed out of it.

    Second, if the main authorities of the churches, backed by their scholars and counselors are willing to bury these hatchets (especially in light of a church that is bleeding out its life as people are emptying the pews), what authority/legitimacy do you have to dig them back up?

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seraphim
    @you are for perpetuating the schism due to fine legal interpretations, is that correct?

    No, it is not correct. You erect a straw man and make a false analogy. And what makes you assume so confidently that I don't know the actual texts in their native language?
  49. I find it depressing to see how so many people are willing to spend so much time and energy in endless, futile arguments about whose delusion is better. Even people who share the same religion more often than not cannot agree on proper ceremony. I mean does God wants you to cross with two fingers or three? Is it really that important? The endless, futile arguments are bad enough but more often than not the adherents of one delusion are quite willing to kill the adherents of another delusion or those who refuse to be deluded.

    Read More
  50. @Betty Luks
    Mr. Israel Shamir.

    I appreciate your articles but don't always agree with your viewpoints.

    This time I take up your comments on Soviet Communism especially "The Soviet Union had no millionaires". I refer you to an earlier article on that very point. While it was published in an Australian journal it may not have received much attention elsewhere.

    The key words are: September, 1981 edition of "The New Times"

    South African journalist and political commentator Ivor Benson observed: "What we are seeing today are the first signs of dramatic change in the picture of the Soviet Union as presented by the Western media and contemporary historians. In other words, the whole story of what has happened since the Bolshevik Revolution is going to have to be retold in a revised form."
    He asked, "Is the whole world being prepared for a further move towards a convergence of the Communist and non-Communist world in an attempt to create a New World Order?" Yes! As we can see twenty years or more later he correctly assessed what was about to happen…
    At the time Ivor Benson wrote:
    "The Soviet Union has given up another of its biggest and best-kept secrets - the great socialist republic, dictatorship of the proletariat, is swarming with millionaire capitalists, every one of them a Soviet citizen, and many in the same league as the super-rich of the capitalist west!
    Is it not strange, and most significant, that this fact should have passed unnoticed by the Western media and Western historians for more than 60 years, a fact of major importance that did not qualify for as much as a mention in Time magazine's most exhaustive 45-page presentation "Inside the U.S.S.R." in its issue of June 23, 1980!
    Strange and significant, yes, but not altogether surprising when it is remembered that Western journalists and academics haven't yet even got around to admitting that the Western super-rich with their banks and multi-national companies have likewise been swarming all over the vast country ever since the Bolshevik Revolution promoting another kind of economic colonialism.*
    The story of "Russia's Underground Millionaires" was told in the June 29 issue of Fortune magazine, the plush and expensive sister journal of Time, by no less an authority than a former international law expert in the Soviet Ministry of Justice, one Konstantin Simis, now resident in the United States.
    There is no reason to doubt the accuracy of the facts supplied, but good reason to examine closely and critically the meaning which Simis and the Fortune editors give to these astonishing facts which have emerged so suddenly and without warning from what is certainly the biggest area of secrecy and disinformation (i.e. lying) in the history of mankind..."

    The full article can be found here The New Times September 1981

    Citing and or believing capitalist tomes on Communism is dumb.
    Communism collapsed because it didn’t produce widgets for its people and greed is a too common inherent human fault.(or an astute attribute to Zionists and their ilk.)
    Too much command and control,also.
    Jesus was the first socialist rather than commie,No dead people on his head.

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  51. @Silverminer
    Mr Shamir,
    Thank you. A very informative piece. However, I do disagree with one of your contentions.
    "Its enemies invent and promote stories of abusing priests."
    This had nothing to do with its enemies. The people who exposed the abuse of children, particularly boys, by Catholic priests,were Catholics who had been abused.
    The sooner the Roman Catholic Church follows the Orthodox Church in having their priests grow beards and marry the better. Maybe the beards can be optional.

    Isn’t it that it is the banning of marriage by Catholic priests and nuns that draws to the church homosexuals in the first place?

    Read More
  52. @Quartermaster
    A Soviet Millionaire would not have been by the measures of the west. In the Soviet Union what mattered was what you controlled. Brezhnev, for example, could have anything the Soviet system could produce. By that measure, the man was quite wealthy.

    One reason that Kirill is underappreciated is the lack of Christianity in the man. He has supported the rape of Crimea, and the attempted rape of the Donbas. His "church" is training terrorists to go to the Donbas and join those already there. Given his origin, it is quite likely he was a KGB priest as well. The Soviet Regime sent thousands of Priests to the camps that had made the choice between Christ and regime, for Christ rather than regime. The Russian Orthodox Church has never purged itself of those that compromised themselves

    These are some of the things wrong with the article. That Shamir sees none of this is a shame.

    The propaganda is deep in this one.
    Are you an American?Or one of those serial lying Zionists,who hate Russia because Vlad kicked out their Zionist tithers for Israel,and sent them to Britain where they are sucking the lifeblood and reason from Britain.
    Hopefully Trump will neuter them here too.
    Why else do they hate him?America First!Yahoo!

    Read More
  53. @Talha
    If I may...

    I don't have a dog in this fight, but it seems you are for perpetuating the schism due to fine legal interpretations, is that correct? If so, your position seems very much to parallel the intractable Salafi/Wahhabi types in my tradition who basically say, 'my way or the highway'. They will bother people and cause division based on the smallest things like whether one raises their hands at a specific point in the prayer - not recognizing that another legal school may have very good reason and evidence to reject their conclusions.

    And - with all due respect - without knowing the actual text in its native language of the quotes from the bible that you provided (and coming from a background of studying sacred law and the science of its jurisprudence) - it seems these are weak evidences for being so confident in concluding your position. A parable or simile rarely (on its own) provides sufficient proof since the intent of the words may just have been to convey a lesson in morality or otherwise and a legal ruling has been coaxed out of it.

    Second, if the main authorities of the churches, backed by their scholars and counselors are willing to bury these hatchets (especially in light of a church that is bleeding out its life as people are emptying the pews), what authority/legitimacy do you have to dig them back up?

    Peace.

    @you are for perpetuating the schism due to fine legal interpretations, is that correct?

    No, it is not correct. You erect a straw man and make a false analogy. And what makes you assume so confidently that I don’t know the actual texts in their native language?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Dear Seraphim,


    No, it is not correct.
     
    No problem, you can discard most of my comment since it was premised on this assumption.

    And what makes you assume so confidently that I don’t know the actual texts in their native language?
     
    I should have been more clear; I meant that I did not know the actual meaning in its original language so I made my evaluation strictly based on the English translation you provided.

    May God grant us true understanding of His expectations of us.
  54. @Seraphim
    @you are for perpetuating the schism due to fine legal interpretations, is that correct?

    No, it is not correct. You erect a straw man and make a false analogy. And what makes you assume so confidently that I don't know the actual texts in their native language?

    Dear Seraphim,

    No, it is not correct.

    No problem, you can discard most of my comment since it was premised on this assumption.

    And what makes you assume so confidently that I don’t know the actual texts in their native language?

    I should have been more clear; I meant that I did not know the actual meaning in its original language so I made my evaluation strictly based on the English translation you provided.

    May God grant us true understanding of His expectations of us.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seraphim
    You confuse me a bit.
    "...it seems these are weak evidences for being so confident in concluding your position" has only one meaning. You were criticising MY position (that's how I understand "with all due respect") on the basis that you don't know the 'original' language, implying that I don't really know what I am talking about. Rest assured that the English translation is a faithful translation of the original one and I know what I was talking about.
  55. @Talha
    Dear Seraphim,


    No, it is not correct.
     
    No problem, you can discard most of my comment since it was premised on this assumption.

    And what makes you assume so confidently that I don’t know the actual texts in their native language?
     
    I should have been more clear; I meant that I did not know the actual meaning in its original language so I made my evaluation strictly based on the English translation you provided.

    May God grant us true understanding of His expectations of us.

    You confuse me a bit.
    “…it seems these are weak evidences for being so confident in concluding your position” has only one meaning. You were criticising MY position (that’s how I understand “with all due respect”) on the basis that you don’t know the ‘original’ language, implying that I don’t really know what I am talking about. Rest assured that the English translation is a faithful translation of the original one and I know what I was talking about.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Dear Seraphim,

    Let me make my position more clear...

    I was criticizing your claim to have a solid position based on the two textual sources you provided. I was simply saying that, since I don't know the original Greek/Hebrew/Latin, I would have to take the translations you provided as being faithful to the source. Assuming the translation is fairly sound, I still just don't see your position to be air-tight due to the reasons I outlined - namely that if this is the only evidence to back you opinion, it is very reasonable to assume a different position could be arrived at for the issue. And this is from someone looking at things from a neutral position since I am on neither side of the 'Schism'.

    I hope that clarifies things.

    Peace.
  56. @Seraphim
    You confuse me a bit.
    "...it seems these are weak evidences for being so confident in concluding your position" has only one meaning. You were criticising MY position (that's how I understand "with all due respect") on the basis that you don't know the 'original' language, implying that I don't really know what I am talking about. Rest assured that the English translation is a faithful translation of the original one and I know what I was talking about.

    Dear Seraphim,

    Let me make my position more clear…

    I was criticizing your claim to have a solid position based on the two textual sources you provided. I was simply saying that, since I don’t know the original Greek/Hebrew/Latin, I would have to take the translations you provided as being faithful to the source. Assuming the translation is fairly sound, I still just don’t see your position to be air-tight due to the reasons I outlined – namely that if this is the only evidence to back you opinion, it is very reasonable to assume a different position could be arrived at for the issue. And this is from someone looking at things from a neutral position since I am on neither side of the ‘Schism’.

    I hope that clarifies things.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seraphim
    @I don’t have a dog in this fight... I am on neither side of the ‘Schism’.

    If so, why are you so much preoccupied with it?
  57. Jimmie Moglia’s 4-part bio of Stalin offered insights into Communism’s attempt to reformat the patriarchy of the Abrahamic creeds (Part I –

    and even more insightfully, how Communism evolved from feudalism and serfdom (Part 3 )

    h/t Saker http://thesaker.is/the-life-of-stalin-by-jimmie-moglia/

    Kennan was right: it is essential to deep-dive into Russian literature and history.
    I would add that it’s useful to insert the activities of zionists and also Jewish anti-zionists in that the context and broad era.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Regnum Nostrum

    Communism evolved from feudalism and serfdom.
     
    I had no idea that the Communist Manifesto has been put together by some serfs in Russia. I have lived under the impression that communism evolved from the socialist movement of 19th-century Europe though the idea has been floating around in various forms for more than 2000 years.
  58. @Talha
    Dear Seraphim,

    Let me make my position more clear...

    I was criticizing your claim to have a solid position based on the two textual sources you provided. I was simply saying that, since I don't know the original Greek/Hebrew/Latin, I would have to take the translations you provided as being faithful to the source. Assuming the translation is fairly sound, I still just don't see your position to be air-tight due to the reasons I outlined - namely that if this is the only evidence to back you opinion, it is very reasonable to assume a different position could be arrived at for the issue. And this is from someone looking at things from a neutral position since I am on neither side of the 'Schism'.

    I hope that clarifies things.

    Peace.

    @I don’t have a dog in this fight… I am on neither side of the ‘Schism’.

    If so, why are you so much preoccupied with it?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    More from an academic viewpoint and it looked like - to me - that you were presenting your case as if no other opinion could be legitimately arrived at and that the case from the Orthodox perspective was THE correct one. Perhaps I was wrong and should have kept my mouth shut from the beginning.

    Feel free to ignore me if I'm getting annoying - my wife is quite skilled at this.

    Peace.

  59. @Seraphim
    @I don’t have a dog in this fight... I am on neither side of the ‘Schism’.

    If so, why are you so much preoccupied with it?

    More from an academic viewpoint and it looked like – to me – that you were presenting your case as if no other opinion could be legitimately arrived at and that the case from the Orthodox perspective was THE correct one. Perhaps I was wrong and should have kept my mouth shut from the beginning.

    Feel free to ignore me if I’m getting annoying – my wife is quite skilled at this.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seraphim
    @the Orthodox perspective was THE correct one

    Well, it is the ONLY correct one. In any case, a perspective that negates de plano the very subject of the discussion, like the Muslim one that you try to suggest, has absolutely no bearing on the discussion itself. Neither could a declaration of ignorance of the subject bring any clarity into the debate. Your wife seems to be the wise one.
  60. @SolontoCroesus
    Jimmie Moglia's 4-part bio of Stalin offered insights into Communism's attempt to reformat the patriarchy of the Abrahamic creeds (Part I --

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VStKhZpt5NY

    and even more insightfully, how Communism evolved from feudalism and serfdom (Part 3 )

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgovqnTMQU0


    h/t Saker http://thesaker.is/the-life-of-stalin-by-jimmie-moglia/

    Kennan was right: it is essential to deep-dive into Russian literature and history.
    I would add that it's useful to insert the activities of zionists and also Jewish anti-zionists in that the context and broad era.

    Communism evolved from feudalism and serfdom.

    I had no idea that the Communist Manifesto has been put together by some serfs in Russia. I have lived under the impression that communism evolved from the socialist movement of 19th-century Europe though the idea has been floating around in various forms for more than 2000 years.

    Read More
  61. @Talha
    More from an academic viewpoint and it looked like - to me - that you were presenting your case as if no other opinion could be legitimately arrived at and that the case from the Orthodox perspective was THE correct one. Perhaps I was wrong and should have kept my mouth shut from the beginning.

    Feel free to ignore me if I'm getting annoying - my wife is quite skilled at this.

    Peace.

    @the Orthodox perspective was THE correct one

    Well, it is the ONLY correct one. In any case, a perspective that negates de plano the very subject of the discussion, like the Muslim one that you try to suggest, has absolutely no bearing on the discussion itself. Neither could a declaration of ignorance of the subject bring any clarity into the debate. Your wife seems to be the wise one.

    Read More
  62. This article is just so wrong.

    Somehow, there is no mention of Bartholomew.

    Somehow, there is no mention of the Russian Orthodox church openly persecuting Protestants, with the complicity of the “government.”

    Somehow there is no mention of the fact that in Russia, no one attends services – maybe on Easter, which is viewed as bigger than Christmas.

    Somehow there is no mention of Ku Klux Klan Kirill’s “disappearing $40,000 watch” (if you don’t know about that one, let me know) and his Cadillac Escalades, which he transports via special train cars disguised to look like passenger train cars.

    Somehow, there is no mention of the total infiltration and co-opting by the KGB – including Kirill himself.

    Somehow there is no mention of the Russian “church” selling tobacco and alcohol, and other products.

    Somehow there is no mention of the Ukrainian Catholic Church saving many Jews from Nazis, including via conversion of Jews to Catholicism.

    Somehow there is no mention of the “Old Believers” – who totally reject Kirill and his “church.”

    And this is a real doozy:

    “The Soviet Union had no millionaires, and a person who would try to become one would be sent to a provincial factory as a roughneck for re-education. Bankers received the same salary as qualified factory workers, sometimes less.”

    That is just such utter poppycock!

    The sovoks, the nomenklatura, hid their wealth very carefully. Most of the time, the issue was control of vast assets, not outright ownership – but that wealth, and big dachas, were still there.

    That hiding of wealth morphed into the sovok mafia using “offshory”, and placeholders and nominees, to hide their wealth, and hands in the face of journalists and their cameras, and killing journalists, to hide their wealth and how they made it – via corruption, which started during sovok times.

    Georgia was known as the most corrupt of the soviet states. And there was an underground economy – getting dollars from tourists in exchange for rubles, far above the official exchange rate, and more.

    Brezhnev used to ask for a Mercedes gift every time he went to Germany on “official business.”

    Armand Hammer, from Occidental Petroleum, somehow conducted a minx fur trade under special circumstances.

    There is one thing that the orthodox and the Catholics and Baptists (and other Protestant denominations) have in common – they each are the “absolute and one true faith.”

    Russia does not worship Greed???????

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seraphim
    Should we LOL or ROFL at this piece of incoherent babble?
  63. @Henry Barth
    This article is just so wrong.

    Somehow, there is no mention of Bartholomew.

    Somehow, there is no mention of the Russian Orthodox church openly persecuting Protestants, with the complicity of the "government."

    Somehow there is no mention of the fact that in Russia, no one attends services - maybe on Easter, which is viewed as bigger than Christmas.

    Somehow there is no mention of Ku Klux Klan Kirill's "disappearing $40,000 watch" (if you don't know about that one, let me know) and his Cadillac Escalades, which he transports via special train cars disguised to look like passenger train cars.

    Somehow, there is no mention of the total infiltration and co-opting by the KGB - including Kirill himself.

    Somehow there is no mention of the Russian "church" selling tobacco and alcohol, and other products.


    Somehow there is no mention of the Ukrainian Catholic Church saving many Jews from Nazis, including via conversion of Jews to Catholicism.


    Somehow there is no mention of the "Old Believers" - who totally reject Kirill and his "church."


    And this is a real doozy:




    "The Soviet Union had no millionaires, and a person who would try to become one would be sent to a provincial factory as a roughneck for re-education. Bankers received the same salary as qualified factory workers, sometimes less."


    That is just such utter poppycock!

    The sovoks, the nomenklatura, hid their wealth very carefully. Most of the time, the issue was control of vast assets, not outright ownership - but that wealth, and big dachas, were still there.

    That hiding of wealth morphed into the sovok mafia using "offshory", and placeholders and nominees, to hide their wealth, and hands in the face of journalists and their cameras, and killing journalists, to hide their wealth and how they made it - via corruption, which started during sovok times.

    Georgia was known as the most corrupt of the soviet states. And there was an underground economy - getting dollars from tourists in exchange for rubles, far above the official exchange rate, and more.


    Brezhnev used to ask for a Mercedes gift every time he went to Germany on "official business."

    Armand Hammer, from Occidental Petroleum, somehow conducted a minx fur trade under special circumstances.


    There is one thing that the orthodox and the Catholics and Baptists (and other Protestant denominations) have in common - they each are the "absolute and one true faith."


    Russia does not worship Greed???????

    Should we LOL or ROFL at this piece of incoherent babble?

    Read More
  64. […] Shamir has been kind enough to confirm it promptly with his last article, which is a real masterpiece of idiotic spiritual decay. It features all the themes dear to the […]

    Read More
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