Nikolai Berdyaev: Revolution is a redemption
Revolution is a payback for the sins and a redemption
“A revolution means always, that the powers of good have revealed themselves creatively in life, but also that there has accumulated much evil and poison, making inevitable a renewal through catastrophe and the playing out of evil powers, if the renewal not be made through a good spiritual power.”
The revolution is a payback for the sins of the past and also a redemption. No one can consider himself exempt from the common guilt, from the common fate. And only in the experiencing of the guilt is what makes the revolution endurable. A revolution means always, that the powers of good have revealed themselves creatively in life, but also that there has accumulated much evil and poison, making inevitable a renewal through catastrophe and the playing out of evil powers, if the renewal not be made through a good spiritual power. A man can be situated in the emigration, can be an implacable foe of the evil of Bolshevism, but he has to sense and be conscious of the fact, that the revolution is an inward occurrence, transpiring both in him and with him and that its significance can be enormous for the historical fate of the people, though quite inconsistent with what the makers of the revolution themselves see it to be. The emotional suffocation and loss of the meaning of life will be overcome, if it be realised, that we live in an epoch of great crisis and upheaval, that there ensues a new period of history, that the old world has collapsed and a new as yet unseen world is being created. And each man is called to be active in this process. Upon the spiritual power manifest by each depends the future. But such epochs always give birth to a great host of sufferings. These sufferings are however neither without meaning nor without value. What has to be overcome is the dejected and demoralised mindset in the Russian emigration, especially in the youth. These depressed states of mind grow out of a defective view on the tribulations from the revolution, from disillusion in the old methods of struggle against Bolshevism, from mistaken ideas, spiritual hindrances for surviving revolution.
The Doctors of the Church said that property is theft
The sins of Christians, the sins of the historical churches, have been very great, and these sins bring with them their just punishment. Betrayal of the covenant of Christ, the use of the Christian Church for the support of the ruling classes, human weakness being what it is, cannot but bring about the lapse from Christianity of those who are compelled to suffer from that betrayal and from such a distortion of Christianity. In the Prophets, in the Gospels, in the Apostolic Epistles, in most of the Doctors of the Church, we find censure of the riches of the rich and repudiation of property, and the affirmation of the equality of all men before God. In Basil the Great, and especially in John Chrysostom, may be met judgments upon social injustice due to wealth and property, so sharp that Proudhon and Marx pale before them. The Doctors of the Church said that property is theft. St. John Chrysostom was a complete communist, though of course his was not communism of the capitalist or the industrial period. There are good grounds for asserting that communism has Christian or Judaic-Christian origins.[*]
[*] Gеrаrd Wаltег — «Lеs огiginеs du Cоmmunismе».