Book 8, part 2. The Rites of Love (2006)
Love and the State’s military preparedness
But what link can there possibly be, readers might wonder, between the conquest of Russia and love? The connection is quite direct. After seizing Russian lands, enslaving the Russian peasants, prohibiting rites capable of leading to love, the Constantinople assault force thereby began to hinder the formation of strong loving families and especially family domains. This meant, in effect, the immediate imposition of serf law.
Love among slaves, as a rule, is a most unhappy love.
In order for the feeling of love ignited in young people to be preserved, one’s own Space is required. If it is not there, love, as a rule, vanishes. And what Space could be possessed by slaves? None at all.
Let’s think: why, over the many millennia before the princes came to Rus’, was our territory never conquered? There was the Egyptian army, after all, and the Roman legions, but all these hosts with all their well-trained and well-equipped soldiers did not succeed in conquering our lands.
To answer this question, let us suppose that Genghis Khan’s troops had launched an invasion of pre-Christian Rus’.
At that time, the territory of our present-day country was inhabited almost exclusively by people living in family communities. At the approach of any army, no matter what its size, the members of the community would hide part of their food supplies, take the remainder with them — along with their household livestock — and head off into the forest. Their horses and cows were loaded up with family belongings.
An invading army could move into a territory only so far as the provisions they carried with them allowed. But this was already an army on its last legs. The return journey would be impossible.
They couldn’t go hunting in the forest, as that had to be done in small groups (any larger groupings would scare away the game), but once they penetrated the forest, small groups would quickly fall into traps and perish.
They ate, for the most part, the meat of their own emaciated horses, whose numbers kept rapidly decreasing, so that any kind of movement became exceedingly difficult.
Our ancestors would set up a whole bunch of clever traps all along the route of the foe’s retreat, both in the forests and on the rivers. For example, they would sink a huge tree with prickly branches and stretch a cable tied to the tree across the water and fasten its other end on the shore. Whenever a boat approached the spot, the tree would float to the surface and catch the side of the boat in its branches, and then sink again, overturning the boat in the process. In the meantime the retreating soldiers would be met with a hail of arrows and harpoons launched from the shore.
But when the retreating soldiers stepped out on the bank, after gathering together the rest of the troops that had been spread out along the flotilla, there was nobody to be seen.
The people annihilated any enemy that invaded their Motherland. After all, they had something worth protecting. This was no abstract Motherland defined only by a beautiful word with not even a clump of native soil to back it up. They had their own family land, the same land that their ancestors had called home, and now it was where they lived along with their families, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
And there was love in their families. And they protected their dear mothers, fathers and children. They protected their love! And that was why they could not be conquered.