Daniil Andreev. «The Rose of the World»
Book IX. On the Metahistory of the Petersburg Empire

IX. Chapter 2. The Second Witzraor and the Homeland Space

In trying to project what the demiurge demanded of the demon of statehood in the times of Peter I onto the plane of human notions, I have emphasized in the preceding chapters the imperious need for inner reform in Russia, namely: the elimination of the boyars as the leading force in the state (this was accomplished); transference of this leading role onto the gentry (this was also carried out) and middle class (this remained in the embryonic stage) – all to gradually uplift and engage the poor, savage-like peasantry into civil and cultural life. This was far from being materialized either.

The fact that Peter I did not manage to see this through was only half the problem: the deadlines could still be met. The real problem was that, over the following century and a half, his successors could not or did not will to make this happen.

If what I have described in the preceding chapters about the interreligion, interculture, and transformation of the state into a brotherhood is properly understood, there could be made a rather rueful conclusion: that the spectacle of the suprapeople, having been called out of nonexistence for the sake of these very goals and yet, after almost a millennium, languishing in slavery with 80% of its massif – such a spectacle can only evoke poignant concern and deep sadness.

What saddens one is not only the fact of serfdom as such: at a certain period, this evil was hardly avertible for it had been precipitated by a host of objective reasons which are all too well-known to dwell on them. Lamentable and unrelievable was the too late emancipation.

What appalls us is the yawning ethical gap between the obligement laid upon the suprapeople and its societal organization which it had tolerated for so many centuries. Frightening is the gap between the actual ethical level of the suprapeople and what is required for the implementation of its mission. The lag in the emancipation brought forth an array of immediate consequences, which reverberated, in turn, through our post-revolutionary time.

What are the most significant of these consequences from the metahistorical perspective?

The first consequence is economical and cultural. That is to say – there existed a caveman level of material wellbeing with its correspondent living standards. We ought to realize that, apart from being a pure evil debasing rather than elevating the human, this factor enabled the Third Witzraor – a monster of the twentieth century – to develop his methods which could take hold only in a society accustomed to all sorts of hardships, shoddiness, and poverty.

The second is a moral-psychological consequence, namely a steady, deeply-ingrained aptitude for subservience in the psyche of the masses: the lacking in the complex of civil sentiments and ideas, humiliating submissiveness, disrespect for the individual, and, finally, the proclivity of former slaves to be turned into despots once, by a stroke of luck, they find themselves raised above the habitual perch. How tragic is the confession of Chekhov, one of our literary luminaries, made at the turn of the twentieth century about “squeezing slavishness out of himself” – this applied even to him! – over the years, for the whole of his life.

Without this psychological characteristic, which wears off gradually and only with effort, the emergence and flourishing of the Third Witzraor would have been otherwise impossible.

The third consequence is religious in the broadest sense. Out of the slavish psychology, out of the poverty of demands and aspirations, out of the narrow-mindedness, out of misery there sprang up a paralysis of the spiritual-creative impulse. It is impossible to sit, with burning splinters grudgingly giving off the light, with a belly bloated from hunger, with a brain unsullied by a single book and a throng of nude children, while creating, at the same time, “spiritual values”. The people that proved its spiritual giftedness, depth, and scale of religious capabilities through some of its greatest sons and daughters, by and large, did not produce, over the space of many centuries, any developed spiritual movement other than the Old Faith. The survey of Russian sects leaves a painful impression, especially upon those familiar, however superficially, with the history of religious thought in antiquity, Byzantium, or from India and Germany. Russian sectionalism would either come down to outbursts of ancient orgiastic elements comingled with a muddied and unrecognizable squirt of Christianity and transformed into little vortices of mystical lust, with radiations from Duggur as a surrogate of spirituality; or, it would take on the form of the rationalistic sects of Western European origin lacking in the murk of the Khlysts and barbarity of the Skoptsy (self-castraters, translator’s note), yet overbearing with the shallowness of their commandments, with the astonishing lack of aesthetic principle, with poverty of imagination, and with some overall winglessness, I would say, unblessedness. It would be best to not delve into the intellectually generalizing, “theological” side of all these sects, which is a sheer desolation peppered only with little prickles of venomous and haughty polemics. As for the dominance of the church, save the five-six names of remarkable ascetics, this only genuine fount of spirituality of the great country had rippled with none of new waves, had glinted with none of fresh streams for over two centuries. Only the silent subterranean waters of pilgrimage, wandering, praying in cells, and the mysterial communion of the masses with the Transmyth of Christianity through divine services and sacraments attested to the church’s vitality.

Such was the third consequence of the agelong slavery of the masses and the religious politics of the empire. Perhaps, it is needless to say that, without this consequence, the domination of the Third Witzraor in that soul-stifling expression in which history came to know it would have been impossible. The late outpouring of primitive materialism across the largest swath of the boundless working class and half-educated masses would have not materialized either. The religious ignorance of the new Soviet generations would have been barely conceivable, the one comparable with the primitive nihilism of the Kubu Tribe well-known in the scientific circles. In a word, illuminers, heralds of the Rose of the World would have not had to come to grips with the tenacity of the consequential religious level, which was a nearly superhumanly arduous task.

There was yet another failing – on the already long list – of the obtuse demon of “greatpowerness”. I have mentioned it only in passing: the ignoring of the essential historical need to transfer the leading political-social role onto the middle class.

Enumerating the political measures that, over the course of a century and a half, hindered the development of merchantry and the lower middle-class, as well as pointing out the slackness of the state in creating conditions for the emergence of the interclass intelligentsia up until the epoch of Alexander II, would be a redundancy. But it would do no harm, perhaps, to vocalize a thought shared by many but, as far as I know, not properly formulated in our literature: had the statehood, without severing ties with the nobility, been able to garner the support of the merchantry and the lower middle-class as early as in the seventeenth century; had the formation of the national bourgeoise and the intelligentsia outside of the gentry happened a few decades earlier than it actually did – the history of Russia would have taken a different turn, most likely, an evolutionary one in the narrow sense of this word. It is hard to imagine how many calamities and tragedies would not have entered into both our motherland and the entire planet.

However, while pondering upon the failings of the Second Demon of Statehood which ultimately entailed his loss of the demiurge’s sanction and demise, we cannot but ask ourselves: perhaps, these failings are not so much the demon’s, but rather the blame mostly lies upon the instruments of his will that, over the last few centuries, had successively taken the helm of the Russian state?

Since olden times and up until the twentieth century, Russia had been a hereditary monarchy. That is why the dynasty happened to be, in a matter-of-fact way, the main instrument of witzraors. Yet, the dynasty was comprised not of some ghostlike automats, not of ideally fine-tuned agents of witzraors but of living humans, each of them having a unique set of inborn characteristics. Through them, a peculiar scale of different degrees of involtation was being created. Some of the monarchs, up to a point, became instruments of the demonic will simply by virtue of their standing and, so to speak, in accord with the logic of power. Their lacking in special abilities rendered them tolerable for the witzraor, nothing more. Others turned out to be completely unfitting for his goals, whether it be for mental sluggishness, wild mood swings, or being of a young age in the absence of a suitable regent – these traits were detrimental to any sustained, goal-oriented string of actions. The bearers of such traits had to be forcibly eliminated (Ivan VI and Anna Leopoldovna, Peter III, Pavel). Therefore, the collision between the witzraors’ will and the living motley of human characteristics was but one of those tragic inner contradictions of the societal organization which the witzraor safeguarded and buttressed, and which could be headed only by a hereditary monarch. The principle of hereditary absolutism turned out to be an extremely imperfect, unreliable instrument distorting the metahistorical plan of the witzraors with an unflagging inflow of contingencies.

The state of the demon of statehood was also aggravated by the fact that, having eliminated some contenders for power and elevated others, he created something that was beyond his understanding as anything related to ethics – witzraors are amoral by nature. What I mean here is that the mesh of human karma, the tracery of failings and retributions, the moral law of crime and punishment are simply beyond the grasp of the witzraors. According to this law which rarely becomes overridden, and only through the intervention of Providential Forces at that, a failing that is not redeemed in one’s lifetime as if bifurcates: it aggravates not only the afterlife of the transgressor but also the fate of his or her progeny.

One can envision a monumental psychological-historical research based on the painstaking analysis of a plethora of biographical materials about the life of the Romanov dynasty’s members – it would reveal the inexorable workings of karma from Patriarch Philaret down to the last emperor and his offspring. In this research, there would be touched upon not only the outward flowing of destinies but also the depths of the inner life, the inner collisions, the maze of which could be grasped only through combining the erudition and objectivity of a scientist, the imagination of an artist, and the intuition of a thinker. As I posses these qualities not, I am just passingly outlining the possibility of such a theme and make a few brief comments on certain historical junctions of this agelong dynastical tragedy.

When murdering his son Alexei, Peter I barely had an inkling, nor did his invisible inspirer have one, of the karmic knot he was tying. The reins of power went through a succession of the dynasty members, and each time the right to the throne of each of them was cast into doubt. Among thirteen monarchs who had reigned from Peter the Great to Nikolai II, four were enthroned through a coup d'état, and six died by violence. In the halls of the Winter Palace and Ropsha (a settlement in Russia, t/n), in the bedchamber of the Engineers’ Castle, in the barracks of Shlisselburg (a town in Russia, t/n), in the basements of the revolutionary Ekaterinburg (a town in Russia, t/n), even at the Petersburg’s waterfront sparsely lit by the winter sun, rulers had been struck by their fateful hour, as the tangle of [karmic] failings had been passed down, with more and more threads being interwoven into the destinies of the successors.

Thus, the collision of the witzraor’s will with the law of human karma, unintelligible to him as it was, was the second contradiction of the societal organization which he stood guard over and bolstered. A string of palace coups turned out to be a mere expression of this metahistorical disarray in the transference of power. Individuals that ruled the country, be they successful or unsuccessful instruments of Zhrugr’s will, got their individual “just desserts” in the afterlife. But the responsibility lay solely upon the demon of statehood for failing and not even trying, over the space of two centuries, to create a historical instrument that would be more fine-tuned to his involtation and to transfer the state power to the successor, another human instrument, in a more orderly fashion.

There is something more important yet. If, while surveying the historical activity of the witzraor, we overlook, even for a split second, his ultimate goal and dream, that is, the ideal tyranny, we will get entangled in contradictions and, after all, understand nothing in the subject of our interest. Ideal tyranny hovered around the Second Witzraor’s eyes first as a distant dream. Yet, from the times of Peter the Great, something else became observable: the demon of statehood’s aims as if began to swing between the fulfilment of the demiurge’s will and his own tendency of converting statehood into a tyrannical apparatus. This can be traced in the activities of Anna, Ekaterina II, Pavel, and, finally, Alexander I. At the end of the latter’s rule, the witzraor’s willingness to follow the demiurgical precepts waned completely. And so, Nikolai I, having become an obedient instrument of the immensely prideful witzraor, entered the very fatal path that had been Ivan the Terrible’s three hundred years before.

So, we are coming to understand why the Second Zhrugr fell short of Yarosvet’s sanction, hence his historical doom.

I do not want the reader, however, to take this survey of the Second Witzraor’s activities as a belated criticism. It is far from being a decrial; rather, it is an attempt to assess the historical deeds of the one who, over three centuries, has been overlooking the creation of the citadel of igvas below, in Drukkarg, and the citadel of the Russian “greatpowerness” here, above. Only metahistory can come closer to an assessment of the historical phenomena by asking the following question: what would happen, if, in such and such a case, another choice had been made, another force had triumphed? Metahistorical contemplation and the sense of proportion would preclude inquiring about secondary concerns, and the method, properly imbibed, would prevent from sprawling about in fantastic and untenable assumptions. Evidently, only in this way does it become possible to apply the tenets of teleology, toward the overall comprehension of history as a string of symbols into a reading of these symbols, into deciphering the reality, into an interpretation of concrete historical phenomena.

to the next part: 9.3 Withdrawal of the Sanction
to the previous part: 9.1 The Second Witzraor and the World Arena
to the beginning: «The Rose of the World». Table of contents
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