October 27, 2004 by AK

Slavophiles and the decline of the West

Generally speaking, Russian Slavophiles (a misnomer) did not summarily condemn the West — they only thought the West had strayed away from its precious roots, and it was time for Russia to pick up the torch. “The world is going downhill” is nearly an archetypal thread, and still it is noteworthy that Khomyakov wrote this decades before Spengler:

O sad am I! Impenetrable darkness is descending

In the distant West, the land of holy miracles.

Old luminaries pale, burning out,

And the best stars fall down from the skies.

Similarly, Konstantin Leontiev, with his disgust for uniformity and stylelessness that progress brings about, and admiration for the “blossoming complexity” of medieval and ancient universes, was in some way a precursor of Hillaire Belloc and G.K. Chesterton. The Russian conservative thought of the 19th century seems kindred, in its approaches and conclusions although not in its depth and breadth, to the intellectual underpinnings of modern American paleoconservatism and “far-right” European nationalism.

Damn reactionaries!

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