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Articles Opiate of the Intellectuals? Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, ISBN Moscow: Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie, Only … a revolutionary regime, because it accepts the permanent use of violence, seems capable of attaining the goal of perfection…. Violence itself attracts and fascinates more than it repels. Long before the Russian Revolution, Russian philosophers were already interpreting politics as a form of religion.

The flagship journal of this trend, founded in by Michael Burleigh, is Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions. These scholars draw on a complex legacy of earlier political theorists, historians of ideas and religion, and students of National Socialism, frequently drawing genealogies back to the work by the refugee political philosopher Eric Voegelin, Die politischen Religionen The Political Religions.

Communism -- Germany

On the one hand, the historiographical transformation of the last 20 years in the study of early Soviet and Stalin-era culture, politics, and ideology—much of it dealing with relevant issues of belief, ritual, doctrine, and legitimacy—has hardly at all participated in the largely British and German-led political religion revival inspired by Gentile. The most comprehensive compilation resulting from the scholarly embrace of political religions is the three-volume collection edited by Hans Maier, Totalitarianism and Political Religions vol.

Jodi Bruhn London: Routledge, —7. See also Roger Griffin, ed. Tucker, Philosophy and Myth in Karl Marx, 3rd ed. Norton, , This view has a long pedigree of its own, greatly furthered by the retrospective repentance of former fellow-travelers in The God That Failed. Crossman, ed. But charges against the vandals were dropped and the curators themselves tried and fined after the Orthodox Church condemned the exhibition as blasphemous.

Persephone by Gide Andre

Alchuk was found drowned in the Spree in April Thus Ryklin sets out to analyze both elements of faith and elements of doubt, paying special attention to those times when intellectuals touched on the topic of communism as religion. Petrovskaia and A. When a figure such as Russell uses the comparison between Bolshevism and religion explicitly to criticize the revolutionary order, the relevance of the political religion concept is clear. But when it comes to the many varieties of Western sympathy for early Soviet communism, why not use concepts such as worldview or ideology?

More broadly, what does the concept of political religion add to or detract from our understanding of the Soviet phenomenon? Not unexpectedly, the new man along with the utopianism and dogmatism of Marxism-Leninism are brought in to make the case.

Meaning of "Gide" in the German dictionary

Ryklin is a philosopher and essayist, not a historian. His form, again, is an extended essay, which includes quirky touches such as a seven-paragraph riff on the American film directed by Joel Coen, Barton Fink — Ryklin clearly did not launch a major effort of scholarly research, and his discussion of the early Soviet Union bypasses the historical literature in favor of the lens afforded by a group of favored thinkers such as Derrida, Benjamin, Raymond Aron, and even Franz Kafka. One need only look at the modern United States to wonder how inevitable this scenario is, and sociologists of religion have increasingly challenged the notion of unilinear secularization even in the face of the most far-reaching anti-religious campaign of all time.

Ryklin, who knows the recent German- language scholarly literature on political religions, is well aware of one of the key debates revolving around the definition of religion: it is commonly understood to involve belief in a transcendent source of being and goodness. No ideology presented itself as more scientific, rational, and forward-looking than communism.

New Haven: Yale University Press, , — Two meticulous German studies of French and German travelers and travelogues have highlighted significant numbers of critical, doubting, and hostile visitors. Not once does he mention that at the outset of the Cold War Koestler and others had a strong interest in explaining away their earlier allegiances as blind faith. See also the discussion of Fitzpatrick and Rasmussen, eds.

But as an example let us take his treatment of Gide, whose emergence as a fellow-traveler in the early s, at the height of his prestige in French letters, was one of the greatest coups of Soviet international cultural politics. But it was a work more critical of Soviet cultural and ideological conformity than anything a celebrated sympathizer had written until that time. For context and reception, see David C. Dorothy Bussy New York: Knopf, , Geburtstag, ed.

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Norbert Otto Eke und Gerhard P. In Retour, Gide only referred to the Soviet law criminalizing male homosexuality so heatedly discussed by his inner circle in one-half of a single footnote. His revulsion for the conformity of bourgeois society, as well as his initial attraction and subsequent disillusionment with Soviet communism, was rooted specifically in this remarkable form of civic engagement.

Long before , Gide had written another book called Retour, establishing himself as a writer of travelogues very different from the pro-Soviet genre: his Retour du Tchad, a companion to his anticolonial Voyage au Congo. They were tied to Gide through literary patronage and intimate friendship, and by the fact that several were also homosexuals whose association of the USSR with socio-sexual liberation was called into question in the s. Paris: Gallimard, ; C.

Post-war hopes arouse that this could mark the beginning of a period of long-lasting peace, and the latter half of was supposed to be a time of celebration. However, all these hopes should be dashed soon. Only a few months later, Stalin started to implement his own regime of terror. Instead of keeping his promise to hold free elections in the countries of East Europe, Stalin installed loyal communist governments in Poland, Romania, Hungary, and so on, and therefore made these nations satellite states of the Soviet Union.

Additionally, the countries of Greece and Turkey were also about to turn communist, as their respective governments were locked in civil wars with communist guerrillas.

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In , when U. President Harry S.

Browse subject: Communism -- Germany | The Online Books Page

Therefore, it must be the goal of the United States to prevent the Soviet sphere of influence from expanding, but also to prevent a third world war by not intervening in the already existing Soviet sphere of influence Shi, and Mayer But not everyone in America was happy with this way of dealing with the Soviet threat. Different actors opposed the policy of containment for different reasons and came up with their own, alternative ways of how to deal with the worldwide spread of communism.

Main critics of the containment policy included parts of the Republican Party, various isolationists and famous journalist Walter Lippmann.

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In this essay, I will uphold the view that there were no promising alternatives to the policy of containment by first rejecting these three alternatives and then showing that the policy of containment was a rather efficient and safe [1] way to face Soviet expansionism. Some Republican circles felt that Truman was going soft on communism. They believed that the United States should have acted more aggressively in order to face the Soviet threat.


In contrast with containment, which means preventing the expansion of an enemy state, rollback is the strategy of destroying an enemy state by exerting diplomatic, economic, and military pressure. Contemporary proponents of this strategy claim that once President Ronald Reagan shifted from the policy of containment to the strategy of rollback, the Soviet Union started to disintegrate Bova Additionally, they suggest that the Soviet Union was a rather weak state right from the beginning, and if such a shift in American foreign policy had been done earlier, the Cold War would have come to a sooner end.

Instead, the dissolution of the Soviet Union was mainly due to internal factors, especially its weak centrally planned economy. Second, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev is not comparable to his predecessors. This applies in particular for Joseph Stalin, who was an erratic and totalitarian dictator, as, for example, widely acknowledged and prize-winning historian Paul Johnson states in his classic work, A History of the American People Therefore, if the strategy of rollback had been tried earlier, the effects would have been different from those in the s.

Stalin probably would have responded with force, and the strategy of rollback would have led to a third world war. Hence, the strategy of rollback was not a safe and promising alternative to the policy of containment in the first 40 years after the end of World War II. There were parts of the Republican Party which preferred another strategy in order to deal with the Soviet and communist threat. These parts were neither in favor of containment nor of rollback; instead, they preferred an isolationist approach.

To them, it would have been more in the national interest of the United States to focus solely on the defense of the own country, therefore saving American financial, military, and human resources.

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