Empires have existed since the beginning of human political organisation. Babylon is the obvious ancient example, but there have also been Empires in Persia, Macedonia, China (which perhaps still exists), Central and South America, Africa, India and especially Western Europe. As regards Western Europe, since the time of Christ it is the memory of the pagan Roman Empire that has haunted the imagination, despite its obvious sadistic cruelty, slavery and gladiators. It was as a result of its pagan decadence and cruelty that the small Western tip of that Empire collapsed in the early fifth century, although its imperialistic concept that the ends justify the means has survived in Roman Catholicism.
The Roman Empire after the Roman Empire
Elsewhere, the large and Christianised Eurasian part of the Roman Empire lived on for another thousand years. Its survival was possible only because it was less centralised, because it was ‘Trinitarianised’, so that in its best moments it resembled more a (Byzantine) ‘Commonwealth’ than an Empire. Indeed, it would have lived on for a lot longer if it had not been betrayed, undermined and looted by invaders from both extremes, from the west and the east.
Even in the first millennium, the memory of the pagan Roman Empire swayed minds, notably those of Charlemagne and his court. Then, at the beginning of the second millennium, it was the Normans who created their Empire in northern France and southern Italy and then adopted the Roman name ‘Britain’ for their later conquest of England and its neighbours. Later still, the selfsame Normans were in the forefront of the Crusades, another colonialist movement masquerading as religious, as proved by the crusaders’ destruction of Christian New Rome, called Constantinople.
The British Empire
It was precisely the Norman Conquest of England, to which they soon added Wales and Ireland and then Scotland, which was much later to form the largest of the pseudo-Roman European Empires of recent times. It outclassed the Spanish, Portuguese and even French Empires. Readopting the name ‘Britain’ and taking as its emblem the mythical Roman ‘Britannia’, the triumphalist pomp and glory, arrogance and hubris, of the British Empire spread around the world, including to Australia, Canada and the Indian sub-continent, taking the English language with it. Its agenda, associated with the warship and a distorted understanding of the Bible, was ultimately secularist.
Even its State Church was structurally and inherently secular, for its doctrines had been fixed by its secularising monarchs, who declared themselves ‘heads’ of that ‘Church’. The hubris and overreach of the British Empire came to their head in the Boer War, in which British forces were responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Boer women and children in concentration camps, and then in the symbolic sinking of the unsinkable Titanic. Two European World Wars were enough to finish off that Empire. There survives a loose Commonwealth, a happier cultural friendship of independent nations. Today, the very word ‘British’ is about to be consigned to the history books. It has no future.
The Soviet Empire
The concept of the Soviet Empire was brought to the Russian (East Slav) Lands by Westernised or Western monarchs like Peter I and the German Catherine II, who were both admired by the Soviets. Bringing with them from the West the absolutist ideas of subjugating and even persecuting the Church, enslaving the peasantry and oppressing minorities, they tried to make Russia into an Empire. However, this imperialisation was only really possible after the removal of the Lord’s Anointed, Tsar Nicholas II following the Western-organised coup d’état of 1917 and then the attempt to annihilate the Church of Christ by the Soviet regime. Thus, there came the possibility to form a Union, the USSR, with its emblem of a star and its reality of the Gulag.
What remains 21 years after its fall? Still the largest country in the world, the remaining Russian Federation (not ‘Union’) could one day be at the centre of a loose Commonwealth, a Eurasian Confederation of Sovereign Nations. However, this could only happen if the Russian Federation fully, and not partially, returns to its millennial Trinitarian Faith. Any such Confederation could be at the centre of resistance to globalism, the move towards a unipolar world under the rule of a single dictator, after which - according to all the prophecies - the world will end.
The European Empire
After the fall of the brief Nazi Empire, some Western European nations decided to form a new European Empire, called a ‘Union’ in imitation of the fallen Soviet Union. In imitation of that and other Empires, it too adopted stars as its emblem. This European Empire has been used as a pawn to keep countries in Central and Eastern Europe from cultivating their own cultures and to bankrupt them, making them into feudal tributaries. Its tyranny has now reached a point where it is hated by many in some of its member states, for example, Greece.
Having imposed monetary union on many countries through the myth of democracy, this European Empire is now imposing fiscal union, which will finally and inevitably be followed by political union. This was the intention from the beginning. Thus, half of Europe will have been homogenised and be dominated by a single dictatorship. The only hope now is that it is not too late to reverse its centralisation, so that it can be transfigured into a free association of Sovereign Nations, a Confederation.
The American Empire
The American Empire began when its States became a Union as the result of a brutal civil war, which cost over 600,000 lives. Its emblems are stars and, as in the Roman Empire, an eagle. Once the American Empire had become a Union, instead of a Free Confederation of Independent States, it began to conquer and control the Spanish-speaking lands both near to and far from itself. From here it moved to impose its control over a suicidal Europe. Today, despite the dire warnings of both those on its political left and on its political right, the American Empire has reached through its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan the situation of the British Empire over four generations ago in the Boer War.
Its legions are sent out all over the world and are hated, their national flag is burned. Can we imagine an Afghan invasion of the USA and how Americans would react, as they are daily overflown by drones and helicopters and foreign soldiers patrol its streets and villages? Especially if the bodies of its heroes were urinated on by Afghan invaders, its holy book burned, and its women and children massacred by an out of control legionnaire. Of its own veterans, 18 commit suicide every day from the mere remembrance of what they saw and did in Iraq and Afghanistan. Through the same hubris, brash arrogance and overreach as that of the British, today the American Empire also faces its own suicidal Titanic.
Empires do not work. Imperialism does not work. They only bring hatred. Only free and decentralised Associations or Confederations of Sovereign Nations, come together for their mutual benefit, work. Today the world is moving towards centralisation, towards a single, ‘unipolar’ Global Empire. Those who resist it or stand out in any way from it are supposed to be crushed and annihilated. However, undaunted, we are those who resist and will resist. Not with arms or weapons of war, but with our souls and minds, not with words and acts of violence, but with words and acts of love.
Archpriest Andrew Phillips
5/18 March 2012