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Some critics of Marxism and Bolshevism claim that we are simply dealing with a Christian or pseudo-Christian heresy, a kind of immanentization of the eschaton. This criticism often comes from libertarians or conservatives who are atheists. This book, "The Russian revolution" by Nicolas Berdyaev, also accuses the Bolsheviks for being a pseudo-Christian heresy. Interestingly, Berdyaev was no atheist. Quite the contrary. He was a Christian!
Berdyaev was nominally a follower of the Russian Orthodox Church, but in practice he seems to have been an independent-minded thinker, closer to Existentialism than traditional Christianity. Berdyaev emphasized individual liberty, while also calling for a kind of Christian socialism or corporatism. There is also a strong streak of pessimistic Zivilisationskritik in his works. His ideas strike me as contradictory. Interestingly, he opposed Russian nationalism and rather eulogized the Early Italian Renaissance. Berdyaev was forced to leave Russia in 1922, and it seems that neither Bolsheviks nor "White" émigrés liked him. He was too right-wing for the former, and too left-wing for the latter. He died in France in 1948.
"The Russian revolution" is a short book first published in 1931. For good or for worse, Berdyaev doesn't analyze the material or political conditions in Russia which made Bolshevism possible and successful. Rather, he concentrates on Bolshevism as a psychological and "religious" phenomenon. The author sees intriguing parallels between Bolshevism and Russian Orthodox messianism and asceticism, especially in their "anti-establishment" forms.Read more ›
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