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Bulgakov, Sergei Category: Communism. Russia Penultimate Pope will sit…

Communism. XX Century. Russia
Nikolai Berdyaev about Communism in Russia

Willing to make sacrifices

The hatred which the Russian communists feel for Christianity involves a selfcontradiction which those whose judgment is subjected by communist doctrine are not in a position to observe. The best type of communist, that is to say, the man who is completely in the grip of the service of an idea and capable of enormous sacrifices and disinterested enthusiasm, is a possibility only as the result of the Christian training of the human spirit, of the remaking of the natural man by the Christian spirit. The result of this Christian influence upon the human spirit, frequently hidden and unperceived, remains even when the people consciously refuse Christianity, and even become its foe. If it were granted that anti-religious propaganda were finally to destroy all traces of Christianity in the soul of the Russian people, and annihilate all religious feeling, then the actual realization of communism would become impossible, for no one would be willing to make sacrifices, no one would interpret life as service of a higher purpose, and the final victory would remain with the self-seeking type who thinks only of his own interests. This last type of person, even now, already plays no small part, and the growth of the bourgeois spirit is due to him.

Nicolas Berdyaev
The Origin of Russian Communism
Ch.VII: Communism and Christianity

The absence of a developed bourgeoisie

Tkachev has no desire to allow Russia to be transformed into a constitutional and bourgeois state. He considers that the absence of a developed bourgeoisie is Russia's greatest advantage, as facilitating the possibility of a social revolution. The Russian people are socialist by instinct.

Nicolas Berdyaev
The Origin of Russian Communism
Ch.III: Russian Narodnichestvo and Anarchism

The most dreadful thing in communism

Communists are fond of emphasizing that they are opponents of Christian evangelical morality based upon love, pity, and sympathy, and that perhaps is the most dreadful thing in communism.

Nicolas Berdyaev
The Origin of Russian Communism
Ch.VII: Communism and Christianity

Communism is the profession of a definite faith

The communist, the real integral communist, cannot be a religious man, a believing man; he cannot be a Christian. A definite world outlook is binding upon a member of the communist party; he must be a materialist and an atheist, and, what is more, a militant atheist. It is not enough to share in the socialist programme of communism to make one a member of the communist party; communism is the profession of a definite faith, a faith which is opposed to Christianity.

Nicolas Berdyaev
The Origin of Russian Communism
Ch.VII: Communism and Christianity

The dictatorship of a general outlook on life

The communist state, in fact, is the dictatorship of a general outlook on life. The communist régime is extreme etatism. In it the state is totalitarian, absolute, and demands an enforced unity of thought. Communism carries on a persecution of every church, and above all of the Orthodox Church, on account of the part that it has played in history. Communists profess a militant atheism and they are compelled to carry on anti-religious propaganda.

Николай Александрович Бердяев
Истоки и смысл русского коммунизма
Ch.VII: Communism and Christianity

Communist party is a religious atheist sect

In its very make-up and in the spiritual structure of its adepts, the communist party is something in the nature of an atheist sect, a religious atheist sect which has got the Government into its hands.

Nicolas Berdyaev
The Origin of Russian Communism
Ch.VII: Communism and Christianity

Communism wants to be a religion itself, to take the place of Christianity

Communism in actual fact is the foe of every form of religion and especially of Christianity, not as a social system, but as itself a religion. It wants to be a religion itself, to take the place of Christianity. It professes to answer the religious questions of the human soul and to give a meaning to life. Communism is integrated; it embraces the whole of life; its relations are with no special section of it. On this account its conflict with other religious faiths is inevitable. Intolerance and fanaticism always have a religious origin. No scientific, purely intellectual theory can be so intolerant and fanatical, and communism is exclusive as a religious faith is.

Nicolas Berdyaev
The Origin of Russian Communism
Ch.VII: Communism and Christianity

The use of the Church for the support of the ruling classes

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.

Nicolas Berdyaev
The Origin of Russian Communism
Ch.VII: Communism and Christianity

Church is also a social institution

The Church is the mystical Body of Christ, a spiritual reality, continuing in history the Life of Christ, and its origin is revelation, the action of God upon man and the world. But the Church is also a social phenomenon, a social institution; it is linked with its social environment, and feels its influence; it finds itself in interaction with the State; it has its own law and polity and its origin is social. The Church as a social institution, as part of history, is sinful, liable to fall and to distort the eternal truth of Christianity, passing off the temporary and human as the eternal and divine. The Church in history is a very complex divine-human and not only divine process, and the human side of it is fallible;

Nicolas Berdyaev
The Origin of Russian Communism
Ch.VII: Communism and Christianity

In communism is to be seen the Highest Tribunal

…the eternal truth of the Church of Christ acts secretly and operates through the Church as a social institution which is always relative and fallible. The Marxist-Leninists see the Church only as a social phenomenon and institution and see nothing behind it. To them the whole is thrust into the foreground; to them there is no spiritual life; that is only an epiphenomenon. Existence is flat, two-dimensional; there is no measurement of depth. But communism must be understood as a challenge to the Christian world. In it is to be seen the Highest Tribunal and a reminder of duty unfulfilled. The communists themselves do not understand this and cannot understand it. The communists expose the evil violent actions of Christians but they themselves continue to do the same evil and violence.

Nicolas Berdyaev
The Origin of Russian Communism
Ch.VII: Communism and Christianity

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