Having now published a couple of posts on what is a recent great Russian achievement, the completion on May 9, 2020 (a significant date, being 75 years to the day, the true day, when the Great Patriotic War – WW2 to some – was completed in Europe) marking the completion of the Russian Orthodox cathedral known as The Main Cathedral of the Russian Armed Forces, I can now reveal that the story came to me as the central point in the fitting conclusion to his own literary masterpiece by Andrei Martyanov.
I speak of Martyanov’s latest literary work, titled ‘Disintegration’ and sub-titled ‘Indicators of the Coming American Collapse’ – which I have just finished reading. This is a book about the rise of one nation – Russia – from the ashes of a state brought low mainly by the unremitting external actions of another state, and, it has to be said, the then Soviet state’s own inherent weaknesses – compared to the, I was going to say ‘coming fall’, but the fall is already underway, leading to the disintegration of that ‘other state’ – the United States of America – a state which never actually achieved true nationhood, of which Martyanov speaks.
The story of recent Russian glory makes a fitting end to the book. As part of that ending the author quotes a passage from Rod Dreher in The American Conservative online magazine. In which Dreher says, and I guess I can also share this…
What an overpowering work of architecture. What troubles me about it, a bit, as an Orthodox Christian, is that it is dedicated to military might. …Unlike many American Christians, I am divided internally about mixing nationalism with religion— but I do recognize that that view is massively ahistorical. I don’t judge the Russians on this; their cathedral is also a memorial to those who died in defense of the Russian homeland. No one who knows even the slightest thing about the way the patriotic Russians fought the Nazis, and how they suffered, can begrudge them something like this. I don’t bring it up in this context to argue about its appropriateness. Rather, I want to say that a nation that can build a monument like this to its God and to its greatness is a nation of immense depth and power.
Could we build anything like this in America? Don’t be absurd. We don’t have the internal strength and imagination to do so. And therein lies a tale. We are a nation that allows scum to throw red paint onto statues of our Founders, and to pull down a statue of Union soldiers who died in a war to end slavery, and few if any of our leaders say a word.Rod Dreher, “America’s Monumental Existential Problem,” The American Conservative, June 30, 2020,
I won’t quote many of Martanov’s own words around this, you need to read the book for yourself, but I will offer this short taster as one of his concluding remarks…
The United States doesn’t have a nation anymore. Not even close, and if the magnificence and power, through visual representation, of the nation’s cathedrals is any indication, the United States has become as a tasteless boxy post-modernist mega-church preaching prosperity gospel. It is fake, it always was, and it cannot stop the disintegration.Andrei Martyanov. Disintegration (Kindle Locations 4485-4488). Clarity Press. Kindle Edition.
And that, my friends, is all I have to say on the matter. For now.