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On Marxism


Marxists tell us that once the fight is won and true history has begun, the new problems that may arise will generate their own solutions, which can be peacefully realised by the united powers of harmonious, classless society. This seems to me a piece of metaphysical optimism for which there is no evidence in historical experience. In a society in which the same goals are universally accepted, problems can be only of means, all soluble by technological methods . That is a society in which the inner life of man, the moral and spiritual and aesthetic imagination , no longer speaks at all. Is it for this that men and women should be destroyed or societies enslaved? Utopias have their value – nothing so wonderfully expands the imaginative horizons of human potentialities – but as guides to conduct they can prove literally fatal.

Berlin, Isaiah (2012-12-31). The Proper Study Of Mankind: An Anthology of Essays (p. 12). Random House. Kindle Edition.



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2 Comments - Share Yours!:

Zenster said...

This seems to me a piece of metaphysical optimism for which there is no evidence in historical experience.

Your degree of understatement is akin to calling the ocean, "rather damp".

Let's make a cursory examination of Socialism's track record:

Nazi Germany: 6 million

Soviet Union: 30 to 50 million

Communist China: 60 million*

* Including famine from the Great Leap Forward

That's an easy 100 million deaths by unnatural causes in pursuit of Socialist utopian visions. Hell, those of you who (mistakenly) deem Nazism to be "right wing" can even pull Hitler out of the mix and still get a solid 100 million.

This beggars the question; What size mountain of skulls will it take before humanity finally admits that, "Socialism just doesn't work"?

Yet, historical illiterates like 0bama, the EU and their ilk continue to assure us that, "It just hasn't been done right yet."

I can only ask in reply, "How high will the mountain of skulls be when Socialism is finally done right?"

Nick said...

I think you'd enjoy that essay of Berlin's - it's called "Pursuit of the Ideal"