Should a New East Policy with Russia be designed and based on interests, not on values, but then again on the basis of a supposed common Christian heritage. In the Global Review interview with Alexander Rahr, he also supports the idea of a New East Policy based on common interests in the face of pandemic, climate change and geopolitical and geo-economic changes, but then he also speaks of the long lines of history and then advocates an alliance based on an alleged common Christian heritage. If one considers that the majority of Europeans – with the exception of Poland – are secular agnostics, atheists and esotericists, the Western Churches, with the exception of the Evangelicals, have continuous membership losses, the European, especially the German mainstream Christianity is rather liberal and not conservative of values, how then a New East Policy should be possible on this supposed common Christian heritage? Right radical movement like PEGIDA claim that they defend the supposed Christian Ocident and a allegedly common Christinan heritage, which would result more in a regime change in the West in favor of conservative authoritarianism or clerical fascism hiding under the camouflage name of a common Christian heritage and the Christian Ocident, and has always been and still is especially a concept and a catch phrase of the culture struggle of the right , as an excellent FAZ article once showed.
One should not strive for a regime change in Russia, insofar as Putin is reluctant to do so in Europe, but a New East Policy based on common interests will only be possible if Putin-Russia is accommodating. makes compromises and stops such frontal attacks as to grant a 40 million Euro credit to the Front National through an oligarch friend which was a attempt to destroy the EU.
At first glance, ideas to build a New East Policy (Neue Ostpolitik) on interests as well as on a common Christian heritage, but by no means on liberal values, are contradictory and, at best syncretic. One should define common interests and not engage in cultural struggles for values and a nebulous and vague Christian heritage, because otherwise you want a cultural struggle and regime change in the liberal- democratic West. We also do not know whether the Russians are really such a religious or conservative people, is Putin is a believing Christian, as Alexander Rahr suspects, but he himself acknowledges that there are supposedly no sociological studies about this topic , while Dr. Kulikov, for example, assures that there are tons of literature, but without naming a single source.
While it can be assumed that Putin is conservative of values, he, conversely, views religion from a Machiavellian point of view, uses it politically for his purposes, and would also sanction and slow down any idiosyncrasy of the Orthodox-Russian Church against himself or for another movement, but he was given freedom for reactionary thoughts and some philosophers and thinkers in the tradition of Boris Mezhuev or Nikolai Berdyaev and his „The Russian Idea“ which would start a completely new movement that could be imagined if the Putin system or any pro-Western orientations were collapsing. Unlike Alexander Rahr assumes, Putin should not be seen as believing Christians and it should also be doubted. that the majority of the Russians and Putin are believers, but they are already conservative of values and can also be mobilized for a new Russian revival movement, which is why this is not a contradiction. Boris Mezhuev prophesizes such a spiritual and political movement for the future thinks one cannot imagine its new definition and idea of conservatism at the present and that such a movement will solve the contradiction that Russia is part of the West without being part of it.
The framework for such a new conervative movement Mezhuev skretches in an oped in „The Amercian Conservtaive“: A Russian takes on The Benedict Option“:
and in the contribution “Who calls oneself pro-imperial today risks being reputed a dissenter“:
„Is Russia able to make “Benedict’s choice“? Of course, to naively believe that Russia will be a single civilisation and how the single civilisation will up and completely turn its back to the “rotten West“ if we look realistically. But it seems that many things are going to happen in our history. I think some powerful ideological movement can suddenly arise in Russia from a place environment we just don’t have the idea of. Like communism in the past. This movement will need to solve two problems in Russia very quickly – how to be with the West and not to be with at the same time.
Source : https://m.realnoevremya.com/articles/1722-boris-mezhuev-who-calls-himself-pro-imperial-today-risks-to-be-reputed-dissenter?_url=%2Farticles%2F1722-boris-mezhuev-who-calls-himself-pro-imperial-today-risks-to-be-reputed-dissenter&utm_source=desktop&utm_medium=redirect&utm_campaign=mobile#from_desktop
That Russia, be it Tsarist or Sovjetcommunist had to have a mission and to be missionary, some thinkers earilier proclaimed:
„On December 3, 1944, a strange event took place in newly liberated Paris. Nikolai Berdyaev, a religious philosopher and the best-known Russian émigré intellectual of his time, made a speech before an audience of elderly Russian émigrés in support of the Soviet Union. A contemporary account of the speech in the Manchester Guardian is among the materials on Berdyaev in the Hoover Archives.
Berdyaev said the messianism of two European nations—Russia and Germany—had an impact on their neighbors. The two, however, were not similar. German messianism was pagan in character, marked by a glorification of race, nature, and the fighting spirit, completely contradicting the spiritual message of Judaism and Christianity. Russian messianism, by contrast, was deeply rooted in Jewish and Christian thought. “The Russian messianic conception,” Berdyaev said, “always exalted Russia as a country that would help to solve the problems of humanity and would accept a place in the service of humanity.”
Berdyaev concluded that “recent changes in Russia, the changed attitude to religion and to the country’s traditions, make it not only possible but right for Christian Russians to rally to the Soviet government.”
In today´s Russia a faction of thinkers also thinks about a spiritual missionary movement and revival of Russia under a Christian heritage, be it with Putin or even beyond him.
Conclusion: The collective value-conservative subconscious of Russia exists less in the hierarchical institutions of a church, but in the widespread popular belief, as propagated by Dr. Kulikov, whereby the question is whether this is so widespread as a conservative popular belief in view of the broad capitalist tendencies towards secularization and decades of atheism or at least secularism are also existing. All this remains highly speculative. It is better to base a New East Policy on common interests and to define them first and to see whether these definitions of interests find a majority and acceptance.