Sunday, December 20, 2009

Berdyaev


I've been struck Berdyaev's book "End of Our Time"; he was writing in 1935. Here's a quote:

"Faith in the ultimate political and social salvation of mankind is quenched. We have reached settlement-day after a series of centuries during which movement was from the centre, the spiritual core of life, to the periphery, its surface and social exterior. And the more empty of real significance social life has become, the more it has tyrannized over the general life of man. Politics have twined about us like a strangling parasite, and the greater part of contemporary political and social life has no reality, no being, at all: it is just bogus. The strife of parties, parliaments, conferences, newspapers, programmes and platforms, propaganda and demonstrations, the grab and scheming for power - these are not life... they are a hopeless hindrance."

He doesn't have much time for the Bolshevists either. These, he feels, are in the grip of a diabolic, supernatural power, the "kingdom of Satan".

Perhaps they were - or are. Regardless, I like "strangling parasite". Seems to sum our situation up neatly, and his thoughts on secularism aren't bad either, but that's another post.

Have a blessed Sunday,

LSP

2 comments:

foutsc said...

Wow! What a quote. I love discovering these old jewels that give voice to what is happening today.

I think it's also part and parcel that almost no one writes like that today. The Menckens and Muggeridges are few and far between today. It's either shameless toadying or slobbering invective.

Thanks for sharing!

LSP said...

I know - 'End of Our Time' is relentlessly clear, prophetic and beautifully written. I've been staring at his volumes for years and never really made the effort get into them; well, better late than never.

Berdyaev's analysis of Marxism & secular Democracy is brilliant. Must read more.

I think your Mencken/Muggeridge point is right on the money.

Cheers!