What Really Happened on Bloody Sunday

It is an old cliche that “history is written by the victors”.  This is particularly true of revolutionary regimes, who feel that they must blacken all that came before in the most horrible way possible; a sort of “you’re so bad” I must be “really good” fallacy of logic.  

In reality, this is perhaps the central conceit of the Enlightenment; namely, that progress is all and all that came before was defective.   C S Lewis called it “chronological snobbery”.  For the eminences of this movement, the Renaissance was a “rebirth” of civilization from the so-called Dark Ages. 

Unfortunately, these same devotees could not quite explain how the great cathedrals of Europe were crafted during those “Dark Ages” or how the scientific method was first postulated in the Franciscan priories in the twelfth century, or even how the great universities arose during that same time period. 

Oh well, I guess we can file that under a foolish consistency being the hobgoblin of little minds.

That being said, this type of magical thinking/historiography has never left us.  This is even more true during the last century when we were consistently told that all that came before Year ‘X’ was particularly bad, evil, or retrograde.  When critics reply that what came after appeared worse, well then we are told that the Great Men who ushered in the New Age had good intentions.  That’s basically the standard argument. You know, you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.

Nevertheless, the truth will eventually “win out” as they say.

I will interject at this point that we may be seeing the end of the progressive ideology.  The Fall of Kabul to the Taliban indicates to me that realism is starting to interject itself into the collective minds of the West.  It is my considered opinion that the false religions of BLM, homosexualism and feminism are on their last legs.  Hopefully, Wilsonian exceptionalism will dissipate as well.  

This is particularly true of the Romanov dynasty, which we have been told since time immemorial was horrible; that Nicholas II was a feckless (but bloody) dictator, who ruled over a lumbering empire in which millions of people went starving on a daily basis.  This was never true.   Fortunately, this cartoonish take on that period of Russian history is likewise being viewed with scrutiny.  It should be remembered that Nicholas reigned over a Russia that was in its “Silver Age”, a time of relative peace and ever-growing prosperity as well as astounding cultural accomplishments.  

It is thus with great pleasure that I recommend the book The Romanov Royal Martyrs: What Silence Could not Conceal.  To be sure, it is written from a decidedly pro-Romanov standpoint, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good history.  It is.  And it provides contexts that were never taken into consideration before (or were even known).  Be that as it may, the previous anti-Romanov historiography makes that bias necessary. 

But it is no hagiography.  Nicholas and his family truly were the models of decency and rectitude.  As a man, he took all slanders that were directed to him stoically and never responded.  He expected the same from his family which was particularly difficult for his wife, the former Princess Alice of Hesse-Darmstadt, who was regularly slandered as a German spy. 

They were also the very picture of Orthodox piety and constantly gave their time and resources to help the less fortunate.  During the Great War, Empress Alexandra and her two eldest daughters, Olga and Tatiana, were certified as nurses and cared for the wounded day and night, often living in squalid conditions and doing so uncomplainingly.  

The Romanov dynasty has long fascinated me.  Particularly the figure of Tsar Nicholas II and the brutal murder of him and his family in Ekaterinburg.  I have been a staunch anti-communist all my life, but I bought into the idea that Nicholas II was a repressive ruler, governed by the reactionary mindset of his late father.

Little did I know that upon his accession to the throne, he called for the formation of an international court of justice to which the nations of the world could take their grievances.  Further, he recommended that all of the powers of Europe disarm so as to prevent further wars.  His dream of an international court came into fruition in The Hague; his idea for universal disarmament, unfortunately, was never realized.  In any event, while these ideas sound naive –unworkable even–they are not the product of a reactionary mind. 

Upon receiving word that Nicholas wanted to create a permanent peace conference at the Hague, some 4,665 American citizens from all over the United States wrote this laudatory letter to him:

“We, the undersigned, sovereign citizens of the United States of America, without regard to race, creed, or political affinity, desire to express our hearty sympathy with the Czar’s noble effort for the cause of God and humanity. Appreciating the difficulties which confront him at home and abroad, we admire the high moral courage with which he dares to face them, in the faith which, in all ages, has removed mountains. We think of no more fitting place can be found from which to start an American crusade, than this city of Philadelphia (Brotherly Love) in this state of Pennsylvania, whose founder, in 1693, published an appeal for arbitration to the nations of Europe, while war was raging among them, and practically gave them an illustrious example of what a colony can be whose chief defenses are arbitration and justice extended to all men. Here, from the cradle of liberty, where later we proclaimed that not only ourselves, but all the world, had a right to ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ we stretch forth the helping hand to Russia, our friend, when she ‘bringeth good tidings, when she publisheth peace’. The Czar of Russia, Nicholas II, has called a conference of all those nations which sent representatives to St Petersburg, to meet at the Hague, May 18th, 1899, to consider a plan to promote ‘Arbitration and Gradual Disarmament’. We desire to send him the enclosed address of sympathy, and invite all who will unite with us to add their signatures.”

In 1897, Nicholas had instituted reforms in working conditions, specifically protecting women and children under the age of 17 from having to work evening or night shifts. Surprisingly, his reforms predated all of the other Western nations, as President William Howard Taft remark in 1913: “. . . the Russian Emperor has enacted labor legislation which not a single democratic state could boast of”.

Other forward-thinking initiatives, like hospitalization and medical care, were implemented for all under various medical cooperatives, the cost of which was a single ruble, per person, per year.

None of this sounds like a repressive government.  In fact, it is the exact opposite.  It is progressivism as rightly understood.

More can, and will be, said about the increase in living standards.  The purpose of this post is to illustrate the degree of deceit that many historians cultivated to calumniate Nicholas regarding a specific incident is known as Bloody Sunday, wherein several thousand striking workers were massacred. 

Simply put, the entire incident was stage-managed by professional agitators and communist infiltrators, who knew full well that the Tsar was not going to be at the Winter Palace to hear the complaints of the striking workers.  They knew that Nicholas had retired to Tsarskoe Selo days before but did nothing to inform the vast majority of workers that this was the case.  The majority of the protestants were essentially duped by professional agitators. Worse, these agitators and provocateurs did everything they could to ensure that violence would ensue. 

The workers, the vast majority of whom were patriotic Orthodox Christians, fervently believed that their Batiushka  (“little Father”) would listen to their grievances.  The revolutionaries and terrorists on the other hand, did everything possible to do whatever they could to make the urban proletariat of St Petersburg believe otherwise.

I highly recommend that if you are interested in learning more details about “Blood Sunday” that you watch this short (20 minute) documentary.


  1. The entire liberal/progressive narrative was a scam from the very beginning. The only question is how far back you trace to get to “the beginning”. It is one of the profound benefits coming out of the first Trump Administration that his challenging of the liberal norm of both parties has resulted in critical inquiry toward how we got to that point to begin with.

    Diaspora Russians have a critique of Tsar Nicholas II, but it has nothing to do with the “Bloody Nicholas” narrative. Both the late tsar and the Provisional Government that purported to take power after his abdication were both weak and feckless, though the tsar himself and his family were by all accounts otherwise quite righteous. But weakness is a character defect, albeit the opposite of the one alleged by the Left. That was the issue, not tyrannical behavior.

    The only strong, confident ones on the scene, a sign of the times, were the leftists – specifically, the Bolsheviks, who ended up assuming power in what was at least a nebulous chaotic state of affairs, if not a power vacuum. Lenin himself remarked that he found power lying in the streets and merely picked it up.

    The Provisional Government armed the Bolsheviks against fears and rumors of a monarchist resurgence under a tsarist general. Of course, they never returned the arms. Tsar Nicholas as well could have cracked down just as Alexander III before him had done and Lenin would never have had the courage to return, but instead he lost heart and abdicated.

    The Left has been scheming and agitating for much longer than we like to imagine. The thing to understand about them is that they are, inherently, anarchistic (though often operating through unstable, self destructive tyrannies), and diabolical. To be left of a righteous authority on the political spectrum is, by definition, to be a force for evil and chaos. In the French parliament, the position of “the Left” signified distance from the righteous order of the Crown. All one can say is that the devil and chaos are sexy and seductive and they exploit the imperfections of the Right and the consequences of the Fall. Of course, that is what the story of the Fall is all about, no?

    It can all be broken down to the Robin Hood tale. The ideal is a righteous king, like King John in the story. However, sometimes an intervening force asserts itself for the worse – this being the evil Sheriff of Nottingham. In that instance, a Robin Hood arises to correct the imbalance from below. However, Robin Hood can never be king. He himself is a reaction to disequilibrium. What is necessary is the restoration of the righteous King John.

    Nottingham could be an abusive tyrant or a totalitarian leftist government, take your pick. Robin Hood could be any form of resistance to Nottingham. But if raised to the level of permanent government, Robin Hood will become Nottingham in time. Robin Hood’s goodness is absolutely dependent on there being an unrighteous, exploitative wealthy elite. If he succeeds against the unrighteous, exploitative elements, he becomes the monster . . . because he is not a righteous king and there are natural, righteous beneficial hierarchies.

    • I like your mind, Misha. However the “righteous king” in question was Richard the Lionhearted.

      And your right about Robin being an agent for good but only as he remained “from below”. Otherwise, in power he would be just as bad as the sheriff of Nottingham.

    • Are you comparing today’s left with the Bolshevik left?

      • I’m not comparing them. They are the same. Different capabilities due to context, same evil spirit. That goes for the entire Democratic Party and the left beyond.

        However, present context has made them weaker than the original Bolshies because they’ve had a long series of successes with incrementalism and so they are not uniformly so bold to risk throwing it all away by the sudden imposition of a police state. They are more divided in the respective strengths of their totalitarian impulses. The political logic is clear, but it is a question of nerve which is spread out unevenly in the movement.

        They all should be imprisoned and/or executed, however.

        • Anonymous II says


          …or exiled back into a Pale of Settlement. Once that was opened, Russia fell under their yoke and the world was plunged deeper into war.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Misha, I was thinking more about your assessment with how Nicholas controlled/put down the terrorists as opposed to his father, Alexander III.

      You are correct. However, the cultural rot that made terrorism possible –going all the way back to the Decembrist Revolt, if not earlier–made Russia ungovernable by the authoritarian means that would have been necessary. Worse, it would have bifurcated the Russian people into a secular-liberal society as well as a traditionalist-conservative one. And the liberals, not pleased with the pace of “reform” would have made Russia what the West is today (especially America).

      God, in His mercy, allowed the scourge of Bolshevism to chastise the liberals first (then the rest of the nation). It was a horrible chastisement, one that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, but in doing so, preserved the faithful remnant to rise anew.

      This has also been the case with the Catholic countries that fell behind the Iron Curtain (Poland, Hungary) and the Protestant ones (the Baltic states). Today, it is the former Warsaw Pact countries that are the most nationalist and most immune to the idiocy of liberalism that afflicts the West.

      Greece likewise was spared the whip but if anything is even more secular than Bulgaria, Serbia, et al.

      Just some rambling thoughts.

  2. So what can we do to get the folks our of prison in DC ?

    • Nothing effective until the next election, at least. Evil minions have seized power. Let us pray they are not bold enough to corrupt all future elections. If not, and if we are resolutely committed to their absolute destruction, we may survive and prevail. But we can never allow them to assume power again and that means ending the two party system. Clinging to it is suicidal.

      • George Michalopulos says

        Well, for what it’s worth, both Michael Moore and Frankie Schaeffer have announced that the State needs to turn its arsenal on the “American Taliban”.

        That would be those of us who voted for Trump and have quaint views about the Constitution.

        • Do they realize that the Taliban won?

          • George Michalopulos says

            Good question!

            My guess is that because they worship secular/liberalism, they’re desperate for the DS to win one.

            Their hatred for us is deep and wide, hence they cannot see the evilness of what they wish for.

        • Cynthia curran says

          Frankie Schaeffer is a weird dude. He started out protestant then Orthodox, and then agnostic. Anyways, he thinks he is making up for his sins on the right. Really.

  3. It’s rather a shame that people—not very well schooled in even basic history—have the most bizarre images of Nicholas II. He was not a tyrannical ruler, but just the opposite as has been already written here. Granted, he wasn’t very well-suited to be an absolute (or autocratic) Tsar, just the opposite. Given time, and I think that Russia was absolutely going in this direction before World War I, he would have made an ideal constitutional monarch. His blood, and that of his family, and millions of other Orthodox Christians, paid for their nation’s cleansing with their blood. The ‘West’ now truly trembles and fears a resurgent Orthodox Christian Russia.

    Holy Tsar-Martyr Nicholas, pray unto God for us!

  4. Lenin: “We found power lying in the streets
    and simply picked it up.”

    Napoleon: “I found the crown in the gutter and I picked it up.
    I did not steal the crown. I found it lying in the gutter,
    and I picked it up with the sword.
    But it was the people who placed it on my head.”

  5. Can we blame Alexander III for being reactionary? His father was the great emancipator who freed the serfs and they still assassinated him. I don’t know that I can really blame Alexander for taking a more iron fist approach.

    • George Michalopulos says

      I personally cannot blame Alexander III for being a reactionary and coming down like a load of bricks on the terrorists.

      My broader point was that the cultural and religious rot that emboldened the terrorists in their liberal fantasies was well underway among the elite. Had Russia not experienced the Bolshevik scourge, Orthodoxy would have degenerated into a minor religion in a Western-crapulent kakistocracy (much like what we have now in the EU/US).

      • And the revolution did happen. And many great men and women who fled here saw in it a blessing because it flung Holy Russia to other parts of the world. We had a shot, in these people, to transfigure America, but we didn’t appreciate them. And now they’re gone.

  6. Here is a great documentary on the history of the Romanov Dynasty (English dubbed):

  7. Cynthia curran says

    The tech left are into a book called Homo Deus. Combining people and machines.