My good friend Anomaly UK created a post yesterday in response to a conversation I had on Twitter with Marko Sket and Carlos Esteban about “Neoreaction and Dynasties.” The discussion was about Russia, and how the situation there ought to be handled. Carlos is well-known as an advocate for the crowning of Vladimir Putin as Tsar of Russia, while I am a Romanov loyalist (and Marko seems to be one as well, or at least an opponent of the ‘Putin as Tsar’ idea.)
I think Anomaly’s mistake here is to identify me as a neoreactionary. I dont know about Carlos or Marco, but I am not a neoreactionary, and this has been the subject of a good deal of wrangling already. I’m a paleoreactionary. I have, therefore, a rather different view of monarchy from Anomaly’s. Honestly, I am surprised to find Catholic monarchist Carlos Esteban on the other side of this. He, I would have thought, would share my dynastic legitimism more than anyone.
You see, I do actually see St Nicholas II as a divinely-ordained monarch, and the Grand Duchess as his rightful successor today. This title is at least as important in the ethical sphere as any private property claim. On one level, I’m inclined to simply leave it at that. Russia was stolen, and the rightful owner is alive. So give it to her, just the same as you would (or should) return any stolen property if you are able.
However, I realise that may not be entirely persuasive. So let me add this:
Putin, as Marko points out, is a creature of the Revolution. I happen to admire him in many ways. I think he is a good leader, and perhaps the only sane head of state left in what was once Christendom. Honestly, I hope he can have a role in the Tsarina’s administration when she is restored. However, for him to crown himself Tsar has a bit too much of the ring of Napoleon to it. Russia cannot truly and completely repent of the evil of the revolution until it restores the Ancien Régime as far as possible. Think about this:
When one does wrong, there are three stages to repentance: First, one must acknowledge that one has done wrong. Second, one must resolve to avoid said wrong in the future. Third, one must undo, as far as it is possible to undo, the effects of the Revolution. As long as Russia’s rightful monarch lives, and yet another rules the country, Russia has not properly repented; she still has one foot in 1917. Putin will find it very difficult if not impossible to establish legitimacy without taking as a given that the Revolution, of which he is heir, was at least somewhat legitimate.
Would I rock the boat if I lived in Russia and Putin were Tsar? Perhaps not; there is a good chance things would get worse (I take the same attitude toward Napoleon). But would I push for that outcome over and against the real Tsarina? Why on earth would I do that?