Why We Need Aristocracy

Contrary to socialist utopian thinking, there will never be a classless society. In any society a small group of elites will rise to the top and become its leaders. There are many ways in which one could become a leader, but it essentially boils down to two paths; ethical or unethical. Since there are an unlimited number of unethical paths, I will write today about the ethical, or the virtuous path.

The moral high ground in leadership is the road less traveled, the thorny road of challenge, growth and character building. It is the road that men choose. Being an unethical leader is easy, being an ethical leader is not. What are some of the things that make up an ethical leader and what are the societal structures that can help or hamper him?

Corporatism (what most people think is capitalism), and socialism do not provide the framework for ethical leadership to blossom. Ethical leadership requires societal norms, practices and structures in place to hold those in power accountable. These norms have developed over centuries, they are such things as “noblesse oblige” and chivalry. These norms take into account a ruling class who is expected to be virtuous and rule justly. Such norms gave birth to the ideal of the “Rex justus”. While socialism and republicanism aim to “level the playing field” they take away the obligations of a nobility towards those whom they rule over. A congressman or senator has no legal or moral obligation towards those whom they rule over, an aristocrat does.

In a democratic/socialistic society, leaders are “ruled by the people” rather than the people being ruled by a ruler. When a ruler rules, he has the responsibility over the financial, physical and spiritual well being of his subjects. He must take care of them, he must put in place structures in society which facilitate virtue and the progress in virtue. He must be a father figure. “Holy Rus” was such, not because the men in power or those ruled over where any “holier” than at other times or other places, but that the societal structure was in place for people to attain “holiness”.

Alas, people are people and rulers are also subject to the faults, inadequacies and problems of everyone else. They must constantly be waging war on themselves and their shortcomings in order to become a better leader and a better man. Hereditary nobility allows men to work on the betterment of themselves and then pass the baton to their sons, teaching them from an early age the elements of leadership and instructing them in attained wisdom.



Observations on Vladimir Putin

In the light of current world events, I would be remiss if I didn’t address some of the masculine characteristics of Vladimir Putin. It is quite interesting that over this past year several pictures have surfaced showing Putin and Obama next to each other and their respective body language. While it was interesting then, it is even more fascinating now to see how Putin displays many masculine characteristics.

I saw a replay of a morning network talk show from today. One of the commentators, a woman, made the remark that Putin knows what he thinks and isn’t afraid to act on it. I believe that she was spot on with this comment. Whether you believe that his current actions are good, bad or indifferent, he is acting clearly with focus and intent on something that he believes in. While he is moving forward, western leaders are issuing, “strongly worded statements.”

Knowing what you are about, what you believe in and acting on it, moving forward with it, are traits of leadership. These are traits of the Alpha male. Vladimir Putin could care less about what the rest of the world thinks about him, because he knows what he believes in. These are traits that we should all work towards daily.

While other world leaders are busy taking “selfies”, Putin practices Judo, lifts weights, flies ultra lights, goes fishing, and the list goes on. He is the closest thing that the world has to warrior kings of old. I would love to see him and Vitali Klitschko go head to head in a UFC ring over the Ukraine issue.

There is a point where an alpha can become a thug. Having a code, particularly through religion, is essential to any man. We must have this code lest we abuse our power and then fall into thuggery. I hope to write more on this topic soon.

For all of those who are starting the Great Fast tomorrow, I wish you all a blessed struggle,and I wish peace for the Ukraine.




A Prayer Before Decision

The Soul of the East

Philosopher Ivan Aleksandrovich Ilyin (1883-1954) was a young man when he saw his beloved country overrun by the forces of international Revolution. Before his 1922 exile, he was actively organizing resistance to Bolshevism in the White underground. Here is his prayer for the strength of spiritual freedom, the prayer of a patriot and counter-revolutionary. Translated by Mark Hackard.  


From the notes of a murdered friend. 8 Nov. 1917.

“For we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Romans VIII: 26

This night before my decision I shall never forget. It was clear to me that Russia stood before the abyss, and that the people could neither understand nor oppose its temptation. We the sober and loyal were few, and we were obligated to struggle unto the end. I had to decide…

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Some Thoughts on the Situation in the Ukraine

The following are just some observations on the situation, I propose no solutions. Three quarters of my family and my heritage come from the Carpathian mountains in Western Ukraine and Southeast Poland. My family has a long history of battle with the Soviets. That being said, I have an incredible amount of respect for Vladimir Putin, there are many things that I admire about him not only as a leader, but as a man.

1) Ukrainians and Russians are eastern slavic peoples. The two languages are similar, coming from the same root, yet Ukrainian culture and Russian culture have developed differently, Ukrainian is not “Little Russian”. That being said, there has been significant amounts of persecution of Ukrainian identity by Russians throughout the centuries. These included the outlawing of the Ukrainian language, the forced relocation of the cossacks from central Ukraine to the Kuban in Russia. Much of the cultural tension that we are witnessing now stems from trojan horses set by the soviets for exactly this purpose. Many of the Russian speakers in the east of the Ukraine were settled there by Stalin after he purposely starved about 10 million Ukrainians to death. The Crimea has always been a Russian region, yet was moved to the Ukrainian SSR during the 1950’s. The left is expert at these things, expert at pitting people against each other.

2) The current crisis in the Ukraine was encouraged overtly and covertly by Western Europe and the United States. It is no different than the “Arab spring”. There is a concerted effort by western intelligence services to overthrow existing regimes, and to destabilize Russian influence, primarily through the use of Islamic terrorist groups. The key difference here is that the emasculated males in D.C., London, Paris and Berlin have bullied smaller countries that easily fell. Now they face a true Alpha male who is not going to back down.

3) The threat of any military action seems absurd. The Russian military is ill equipped to deal with any real military situation. Invading Georgia is one thing, invading the Ukraine is a completely different subject. I doubt the west would get involved, but the fact is that the U.S. has the most combat experienced military in the world right now. The Russian Black Sea fleet would literally not even know what hit it until it was at the bottom of the Black Sea. Then there is the possibility of guerilla warfare.  Many people don’t know, but the western Ukrainians fought against Soviet occupation well into the early 1950’s. Prisoners from this war were sent to Siberia, they still fought and eventually brought down Stalin’s vaunted gulag system. The Soviet Union had a higher casualty rate in the Carpathian mountains in the early 1950’s than they did in their war in Afghanistan.  In addition, the Ukraine has a decent sized military of its own.  A peaceful Ukraine benefits both Russia and the EU economically.

4) Russia is not “Holy Rus” until a Romanov is back on the throne.

5) In one sense the Ukraine is a proxy battlefield of cultures and values. More and more, Russia is standing for the freedom of traditional values. Putin makes no excuses for being who he is, or for believing what he believes. Putin believes in the masculine virtue of leadership and rule. The west loves to talk about freedom, yet our governments spy on us, religious freedom is trumped by gay rights, the government interferes more and more in your personal life. Traditionally, the west of Ukraine has looked more to Vienna rather than Moscow or St. Petersburg. This is now a different Vienna, a different Berlin. These are not capitals inhabited by the arch conservatives of Franz Joseph or Wilhelm. While I can understand people wanting economic well being for themselves, their country and their families, a deal with the west nowadays is basically a deal with the devil. On the back of EU funding will come gay activism, the push for liberal abortion laws and the break down of the traditional masculine character of the Ukrainian family.

No matter where any of us fall in our opinions on this matter, I think we can all agree that a peaceful situation in the Ukraine benefits everyone, especially the Ukrainians.

The Doctrine of Democratic Infallibility

The recent events in the Ukraine and in the United States point to a very interesting dogma of democracy; rule by the people is always right. Yet we see in the Ukraine that the president, who by all accounts that I have seen fairly won the election, ruled a corrupt system full of cronyism and bribes. He inhabited a $75 million dollar mansion, yet made less than $100,000 per year. In the United States the president enacts “Executive orders” to bypass Congress. Members of Congress vote in laws for the people of the United States that they themselves are not subject to. Corruption is rampant in the U.S. capital. According to the evangelists of democracy we install democratic governments to get rid of things like this. The people vote and cannot be wrong, the rulers are subject to the people, answerable to them. This is infallible doctrine, yet is it true? Of course not. 


Generally, we see revolutionary thinking coming from those who will benefit from it the most. You may be thinking of the poor and downtrodden, but it is not so. It is generally members of the middle class who want to destroy the aristocracy in order to become the aristocracy themselves. It is purely about power. There can be no classless society, for as soon as class systems are destroyed, someone will step up to that role. It can be a hero, or a murderous dictator. We see in the French revolution the slow decay of aristocratic power in royal times. As feudalism waned, more and more aristocrats moved into the cities, their power was taken away, only their titles remained. Without the aristocrats to administer their domains, a governmental middle class emerged, these were the people who benefited from the French revolution. There were very few new land owners after the confiscation of Church and aristocratic property in France, the vast majority of new land was purchased by those already owning land.

Democratic leadership is like promiscuous sex, it is power without the responsibility or commitment. The rule of law that tied nobles to those living in their domain in a symbiotic relationship has been destroyed. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, when monarchy is gone we will idolize athletes, movie stars, and even prostitutes. I don’t think that we need to look to far in order to see the truth in his words.



On The Treatment of Inferiors

The Avenging Red Hand

A gentleman is one who treats his inferiors with the greatest courtesy, justice and consideration, and who exacts the same treatment from his superiors. — New York Daily News. (H/T: Quote Investigator)

The true measure of a man’s character is how he treats his inferiors. This ethical principle has a long pedigree but why is it so important, especially from an Orthodox Christian perspective?

First, let me make the usual disclaimer when it comes to theological posts: Although I consider myself well-studied and my opinions well-thought-out, I am neither a hierarch nor a priest and I do not speak for my Church in any official capacity. None of what I say is dogma, unless it’s quoting an official source, etc., etc.

That being said: I think the key thing to bear in mind here is that man is made in the image, and ought to be conformed to the…

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The Rich Keep Getting Richer

Have you ever heard this saying? It is usually uttered with some sort of disdain, often mumbled under one’s breath. I would have to agree with the saying itself, the rich often do get richer, but is this a bad thing? Is this a manly thing? My answer to these questions would be a resounding “no!” for the first question and a resounding, “Yes!” for the second.

Contemporary socialistic thinking would have us believe that anyone who earns wealth has done so illegitimately and off the backs of the “poor” or the “working man”. Those who have inherited wealth are detested for being “born into it”. As with the vast majority of socialist arguments, they are emotion based, not rational. These arguments focus on inflaming people’s jealousy for those who have more than them. With the backing of the media, the “1%” are portrayed as the root cause of many of our problems. They show a battle between “Main Street” and “Wall Street”. Many people buy into this battle, yet almost none of them have even a basic idea of economics or how the stock market actually works. Public school teachers do an excellent job of reinforcing this propaganda at the expense of such silly things as “reading, writing and arithmetic”.

There are several reasons why the rich getting richer is not a bad thing and why it is actually a manly thing.

First, men are constantly growing, moving forward. There is a saying that, “if you are not growing then you are dying.”. This is true in money, relationships, sports and so on. A world class athlete doesn’t remain a world class athlete for long without constant training. Men build empires, that is what we do. It doesn’t matter how big or how small your empire is, we just keep building. It is good for men and for society. Women will always choose the empire builder over the potatoe chip eating Xbox player. If you are the latter, change it.

Secondly, men build empires not just for themselves, but for their posterity. Family comes first, blood is thicker than water. As men we must take care of our families first, then our extended families and closest friends. Charity does start at home. As with a hereditary aristocracy, rich men teach their sons how to succeed. They teach their sons how to invest, how to buy assets, how to run businesses. When their sons grow up, they seem to make money effortlessly because they were taught to be industrious and how to make money. Someone who inherits his family’s money and does nothing with it is not the same as he who inherits and multiplies.

Thirdly, rich people give. Yes, rich people are by and large generous. High society frowns on those who do not donate money, time or knowledge to charitable causes. Rich people tithe to their church. Rich people who own companies employ people. In a feudalistic society the landed gentry take care of those under them, they are morally and legally responsible for those living on their land. Through the stock market and venture capital they invest in up and coming businesses. The socialists hate this because they want sole control. Read about Russian in the 2 or 3 decades before the revolution. Those government officials who went out of their way to improve conditions for factory workers and peasants usually wound up dead at the hands of the communists. There can be no competition in a socialist world.

I believe that there is more to this issue as well. The wealthy must have a moral code to abide by. This code came in the form of the aristocracy. There are social norms to be observed, there is a legal and moral obligation to take care of those who work their land. There is an extremely close tie to the church. There is an obligation to protect those who are in your charge. There is an obligation to promote and sponsor art and music. What we have lost in a revolutionary and corporate society is the idea that the gentry must answer to God Himself for their actions, its not all about the money.

God Save the King!