The Age of Concentration

Many regard Russia as backward, lagging behind the West. This is not so. Our shared civilization is changing, and because of our raw experience of the twentieth century, my country is in some respects ahead of the West. I have described the coming epoch as a new medievalism (“The New Middle . . . . Continue Reading »

The Dark Russian

Rasputin: Faith, Power, and the Twilight of the Romanovs by douglas smith farrar, straus and giroux, 848 pages, $35 The Okhrana, the czar’s secret police, gave him the code name “the Dark One”—not only because he was mysterious, but also because his influence on Russia was so baleful. Except . . . . Continue Reading »

Spiritual Freedom

On the outskirts of Moscow, there is an Orthodox Christian memorial. The site, known as Butovo, once belonged to a private estate. The Soviets expropriated the land after the revolution and turned it into a firing range. It was there during Stalin’s purges that more than 20,000 “enemies of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Materialist Delusions

The drama of human history cannot be reduced to considerations of material wealth. The threats—or opportunities—posed by Putin’s Russia are a function of the countless free decisions made by leaders there and elsewhere, and those of their followers. Continue Reading »

Letters

No Authority As a practicing general pediatrician, I appreciated Dr. Leonard Sax’s article “Don’t Ask the Kids” in the October issue of First Things. Sax makes some very helpful suggestions for parents struggling to raise respectful children, but his emphasis is misplaced in advocating . . . . Continue Reading »