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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Socialism: The Tower of Babel Without God

Dostoevsky understood the connection between “atheism” and “socialism” before anyone else. In his book The Brothers Karamazov, published in 1879, decades before the Bolshevik experiment was executed in Russia by Lenin and Trotsky, Dostoevsky writes: “If he had decided that God and immortality did not exist, he would at once have become an atheist and a socialist. For socialism is not merely the labor question, it is before all things the atheistic question, the question of the form taken by atheism today, the question of the tower of Babel built without God, not to mount to heaven from earth but to set up heaven on earth.” In this excerpt, which occurs in Chapter 5, “Elders,” Dostoevsky is reflecting on the reasons which might have inspired the youngest of the Karamazov brothers, Alyosha Karamazov, to become a monk and not a socialist. Dostoevsky was a man of wisdom—in his books, he has given a magnificent description of the human condition.

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