Stephen Hayes's Reviews > The Origin of Russian Communism

The Origin of Russian Communism by Nikolai A. Berdyaev
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it was amazing
bookshelves: philosophy, religion


It was the industrialist capitalist period which subjected man to the power of economics and money, and it does not become its adepts to teach communists the evangelical truth that man does not live by bread alone. The question of bread for myself is a material question, but the question of bread for my neighbours, for everybody, is a spiritual and religious question. Man does not live by bread alone, but he does live by bread and there should be bread for all. Society should be so organized that there is bread for all, and then it is that the spiritual question will present itself before men in all its depth. It is not permissible to base a struggle for spiritual interests and for a spiritual renaissance on the fact that for a considerable part of humanity bread will not be guaranteed. Such cynicism as this justly evokes an atheistic reaction and the denial of spirit. Christians ought to be permeated with a sense of the religious importance of the elementary needs of men, the vast masses of men, and not to despise these needs from the point of view of an exalted spirituality.

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message 1: by Ben (new)

Ben Fairchild Very interesting. It informs my own views on Christian charity. I see people who are happy to donate, or even work for, faraway causes and yet who refuse to share the good things of themselves with their own closest asssociates.

Artificially wrought social structures aside; would not wealth be shared equally, efficiently, and most wisely if people gave freely to those closest to them. For each of us is connected to the vase network of humanity through our neighbours.

The poverty of badly managed societies cannot be helped by more bread anymore than one who drowns one's woes in drink can be helped by more money.

Perhaps the truest charity of all is giving of one's attention to those who can offer us nothing. In doing this one truly gives one's life for what is life but moments of awareness.

For this reason I have found snobbery and the rejection of others (no matter how unpleasant they are) as the worst of all social crimes. Worse indeed than an aggressive confrontation over noble ideals.

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