The Orthodox Nationalist: Russian Nationalist Philosopher – Ivan Alexandrovich Ilyin

Dr Matthew Raphael Johnson presents a podcast on Russian nationalist and royalist philosopher Ivan Alexandrovich Ilyin, refuting the Council on Foreign Relations defamation of him in their article “Putin’s Philosopher Ivan Ilyin and the Ideology of Moscow’s Rule”, while exploring some of his ideas about the relationship between the nation and the state.

The CFR claim that Ilyin was a “Eurasianist” and that he admired Hitler, when it was really the National Socialist economic and social theories that he admired, he did not care much for his anti-Slavic ideas. The authors of the article have clearly never read anything by him and neither has Putin, who they say quotes him all the time.

Ilyin was a “right Hegelian” and  a nationalist. Freedom was a central concept to his writings and it was always an inner fact – it was freedom from self-interests and appetites, and freedom as the ability to act arbitrarily.

Nations and states are often opposed even though they should not be. The totalitarian state exists when the state is separate from the nation and even hostile to it. If the state has no cultural buttress, then it must control everything by force. The state should really only ever be a compliment to the nation and only there does its laws take force – from national history and the basic facts about human nature.

The USSR was a state and a party radically alien from the nations that it ruled. As everyone said at the time, the USSR was a Jewish ethnic experiment. It was literally an alien force using the wealth of Russians and others for its own parasitic enrichment.

Reason is a part of human nature but is not the whole of it, faith and love must come first. Reason needs facts to work on and therefore, these facts must be present before reasoning about them. The culture of the nation provides these facts in the form of the faith, aspirations and loves of a people. Reason then arranges them into a rational order in law. In fact, Ilyin actually defines “justice” as “making values and meaning into law.”

Source: Radio Aryan

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  • Eucherius

    Father Bless!
    Thank you! Few people have taught me so much as an adult and opened my so! As you have noted many times so little of the great modern and contemporary Russian political and philosophical writers have been translated. It’s a blessing to have you and others spreading the good word of Orthodox Social Nationalism and true Populism!

By: Fr. Matthew Raphael Johnson

Matthew Raphael Johnson is a scholar of Russian Orthodox history and philosophy. His research interests focus on Russian political theory and religious ideas, concentrating on the central role of nationalism, Eurasianism and the Orthodox tradition as forms of rebellion against globalism and liberalism. His Orthodox Nationalist podcast series is available here.

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