How likely is Russia to become a monarchy again?

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David40:
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In the rare cases when nations have returned to monarchical rule (England under Charles II, France under Louis XVIII), they have done so within a generation



It was a rather long generation (38 years) in Spain, though.

Actually the Spanish situation could happen in Russia, too.  A dictator agrees to the restoration of monarchy upon their death because (from the point of view of the dictator) (a) it limits infighting for the succession while the dictator is alive and (b) the dictator doesn't care what happens after they die.

David40:
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It was a rather long generation (38 years) in Spain, though.

Actually the Spanish situation could happen in Russia, too.  A dictator agrees to the restoration of monarchy upon their death because (from the point of view of the dictator) (a) it limits infighting for the succession while the dictator is alive and (b) the dictator doesn't care what happens after they die.



I think another factor--equally important--is that monarchies provide (or provided) a long-term, stable, often (but not always) predictable succession.  If a nation has outgrown autocratic monarchy, but is having difficulty forming a stable alternative form of government, restoring the monarchy (usually in a much less autocratic form) is an attractive alternative precisely because there is usually one (or at most two) clear claimants to the throne.  The problem of deciding who is to rule the country is solved immediately.  You give the restored monarch enough power to provide some stability, but not nearly enough to allow them to revert back to autocracy.  It can be a very effective tool in the transition to democracy.

The difficulty in Russia is that there is no clear claimant to the throne.  There are at least three lines that are said to have some claim (Maria/George, the Ilyinskys, and the head of the RFA), although at least two of those three lines have no professed interest in the job.  So if Russia were threatened with instability, with different factions competing for control, almost certainly the possibility of a royal restoration would be accompanied by different factions aligning themselves with different branches of the family.  The problem (of instability)--which would be the only reason to consider a restoration in the first place--would unfortunately remain unsolved.

Tsarfan:
The point about controversy over the rightful succession is well taken.

Also, I think the Orthodox Church would be a wild card in a restoration of monarchy in Russia that could prevent restoration from playing the stabilizing role it has in other countries.  Some of their pronouncements have signalled a dream that a restoration would be a prelude to the return of Old Russia.  That's one clock that cannot be turned back.

AlexP:
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The point about controversy over the rightful succession is well taken.

Also, I think the Orthodox Church would be a wild card in a restoration of monarchy in Russia that could prevent restoration from playing the stabilizing role it has in other countries.  Some of their pronouncements have signalled a dream that a restoration would be a prelude to the return of Old Russia.  That's one clock that cannot be turned back.


Dear Tsarfan,

Your comments about the role of Russian Orthodox Church almost caused me to fall off my chair -- or perhaps I do not understand what you mean correctly.  Forgive me, but I think that I may have the "pulse" of the various Russian Orthodox Churches on this matter, and  would like to share my thoughts with you very kindly, group by group.

If I misunderstood you, please let me know.

1.  The Russian Orthodox Church in Western Europe, headed by the Archbishop Gabriel (the "Paris Exarchate").

    website:   www.exarchat.org

    Openly in favor of a return of the monarchy, from the Archbishop himself to all of the clergy.  Exceptionally monarchistic.

2.  The Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, headed by Metropolitan Lauras (the biggest of the Russian Churches outside of Russia).

    website:   www.synod.com

    Absolutely promonarchy, unfailingly since 1917.  No question here.  This is a matter of open position.  Soon to be assimilated into the mainstream Russian Church where they are highly respected and will carry a great deal of influence.



3.   The Russian Orthodox Church in Russia, headed by the Patriarch, His Holiness, Alexis II (THE Russian Church, and the largest Orthodox Church in terms of baptized numbers -- approximately 125,000,000, in number of parishes, clergy, hierarchy -- a Phoenix resussicated from the ashes).

      www.mospat.ru

      Since they are on a case-by-case basis, let's look closely here:

     His Holiness, the Patriarch.

     Timid at first, and very much a creature of the Soviet Regime, he has returned to his roots as a son of the nobility and goes OUT of his way to include the Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna in everything and to favorize all things monarchical, without making any direct statements.   Hedging his bets.  But he is 76 years old now and in increasingly ill health.  Inside take:  decidedly a monarchist.  Deeds speak louder than words.

     His Eminence, Metropolian Juvenaly, Head of the Synodal Commission which recommended sainthood for the Imperial Family.

      Known by those close to him as a monarchist.  Low-key under the Soviet regime.  An eminent public speaker on the cause.

      His Beautitude, Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev.  A republican, simply and directly.  Too busy involved trying to save his own skin in the religious mess he created in Kiev to pay attention to anything else.

       His Eminence Metropolitan Philaret of Minsk.  Very quietly a monarchist.  Sides with the Patriarch and Metropolitan Juvenaly on votes on these issues.  Has opened more parishes and monasteries and new churches in Belorus than he has been given credit for, and pays tremenduous attention to the Saints of the Ancien Regime.

       His Eminence, Metropolitan Kyrill, the Church's Foreign Minister.  A neutral.  Will put his finger up in the wind and see which way things are going.  The face of the Church to the West, currently too busy fighting with the Pope to pay attention anywhere else.

       His Eminence Metropolitan Vladimir of St. Petersburg. By far the most conversative churchman in the group, and thus a confirmed Monarchist.  Far less a creature of the Soviet regime than the others.

       His Grace, Metropolitan Kliment, Secretary of the Patriarch and being groomed for the Patriarchal Throne.  A disgusting creature if there ever was one.  He was once Bishop of the United States and Canada until he was politely ordered out by the State Department for activities incompatible with his status.  Another figure in the wind and truly a shadowy and shady creature.

      Together they form the Synodal Committee that directs the Church.  As you can see, the important ones -- and thus the majority are monarchical.

      As for the various Abbots who head the many monasteries, yes, 100%.  There is not a republican among them.  And as is the Father Confessor to the President of Russia in Moscow.  Also a monarchist.

     As for the majority of the bishops and archbishops in the provinces, yes, indeed, but they will follow orders (at least publicly).

    So I do not see a wild card here at all.  The cards are actually in and it will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next 10-15 years.  And remember -- the Church is solidly behind the Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna -- that is an accepted position.  The others were written off a long time ago.

   With all of the best from Shanghai,


A.A.


     

Belochka:
Quote

 Some of their pronouncements have signalled a dream that a restoration would be a prelude to the return of Old Russia.  That's one clock that cannot be turned back.



Clocks can certainly be manipulated to follow two pathways, however to function correctly that clock can only proceed forward.

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