Sunday, July 11, 2010

Walther Rathenau on Soviet Communism, early 1920s

From Wikipedia on Rathenau, Foreign Minister of the early Weimar Republic:

In fact, despite his desire for economic and political co-operation between Germany and the Soviet Union, Rathenau remained skeptical of the methods of the Soviets. In his Kritik der dreifachen Revolution (Critique of the triple revolution) he noted that:

We cannot use Russia's methods, as they only and at best prove that the economy of an agrarian nation can be leveled to the ground; Russia's thoughts are not our thoughts. They are, as it is in the spirit of the Russian city intelligentsia, unphilosophical, and highly dialectic; they are passionate logic based on unverified suppositions. They assume that a single good, the destruction of the capitalist class, weighs more than all other goods, and that poverty, dictatorship, terror and the fall of civilization must be accepted to secure this one good.

If ten million people must die to free ten million people from the bourgeoisie, then this is a harsh but necessary consequence. The Russian idea is compulsory happiness, in the same sense and with the same logic as the compulsory introduction of Christianity and the Inquisition.

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