(17) Dostoevsky criticized communism and socialist revolutionaries - The reality of the International Peace Conference in Geneva

Dostoevsky and His Wife's Fateful Journey: Travels in Western Europe of Madness and Love

(17) Dostoevsky Criticized Communist and Socialist Revolutionaries - The Reality of the International Peace Conference in Geneva

Previous ArticleDostoevsky's days in Geneva: the start of writing "The Idiot" and the birth of his famous manager, Madame Anna.In the previous section, I introduced the friendship between Mr. and Mrs. Dostoevsky. In this article, I would like to discuss a very important point in considering the character of Dostoevsky.

Dostoevsky reinterpreted by Soviet ideology

First of all, the basic premise is thatDostoevsky was a Russian writer."This is so self-evident. This is all too obvious.

But,Dostoevsky was a Soviet writer."What if they say.

In fact, Dostoevsky is both a Russian and a Soviet writer.

Dostoevsky died in 1881. Naturally, he was a figure from the period before the establishment of the Soviet Union.

But still we must not only say "Russian writer" but also "Soviet writer".

For some of you, this may be a "?" state, but this may not be the case.Dostoevsky was reinterpreted during the Soviet era under Soviet-like ideology."This is the background of the project.

The study of Dostoevsky in the Soviet Union was managed under strict control. They were forced to intentionally dismiss religious elements and to portray Dostoevsky in a manner consistent with Soviet ideology.

We have previously discussed this on our blog, KudryavtsevRevolution or God: Dostoevsky's Worldview."introduced through a book called

The main feature of the book is the organization and criticism of other Dostoevsky theories by Soviet scholars.

Rather than presenting his own theory up front, the book proceeds in the form of a series of criticisms of other Dostoevsky theories. This criticism reveals an image of Dostoevsky that is in line with Soviet ideology. The book makes it clear how Dostoevsky is being Sovietized.

Interestingly, Kudryavtsev criticizes not only Dostoevsky's theory outside the Soviet Union, but also Dostoevsky's theory within the Soviet Union. First, he carefully organizes the domestic Dostoevsky theory, pointing out its ideological bias and errors, and then he goes on to criticize the famous exiled Dostoevsky scholar Berdyaev'sDostoevsky's Worldview."The following is a thorough critique of the

I'll summarize that criticism in a nutshell,Berdyaev does not see the real society. He lacks the perspective that the social system and capitalist ideology that causes poverty is to blame. Human evil is caused by the social environment. So his argument, which does not look at the material world, is erroneous." He states. And he says, 'Between the two regimes in our time, Dostoevsky is with us as a fighter against the exploitation of man by man *P224'"We conclude that.

From this area, the atmosphere is explicitly Soviet.

And he goes on to say

Dostoevsky is...Evil Spirits."Although they deny the revolutionaries by the "demonic" revolutionaries, they are only denying the "demonic" revolutionaries. They are egoistic and not true socialists. That is why Dostoevsky repudiated them in "Evil Spirits". Dostoevsky does not deny the true revolution, he 'is with us as the enemy of "demonicism" in the revolutionary movement *P225.'"

He preaches the theory that "the Soviet Union is the most important country in the world. Can we not finally see Dostoevsky assimilating with the ideology of the Soviet Union?

Then, in the last part of the book, he goes into the argument that Dostoevsky is an unbeliever.

After all, from the Soviet point of view, religion is taboo. I believe that this hostility toward religion stems from the fact that Soviet ideology itself was pseudo-monotheistic. This is why I studied the history of Marx, Engels, and the Soviet Union under the theme "Considering Marx as a Religious Phenomenon.

And back to the story, Kudryavtsev goes on to describe religion as completely inconsequential.

He has been a great admirer of Dostoevsky's works, especially theCrime and Punishment."andThe Moron., ,The Brothers KaramazovHe points out that religion has never actually helped those who suffer in terms of life, using the example of "The

It is all a deception because the salvation of religion does not bring material salvation in the real world. And time has proven it. Religion has no power in the Soviet Union now.He says. (*In fact, the Soviet Union severely suppressed religion and the church had completely lost its power. If there is a God, he says, how can he explain this situation? For more on Christianity in the Soviet era, see Yasuyuki Takahashi'sThe Russian Church Under Persecution: 70 Years of Orthodoxy in an Atheistic State."(I recommend that you read more about it in the following section.)

Praying to God does not change reality. God did not shower bread and gold on those who were suffering from poverty. That is why religion is insignificant. Dostoevsky depicted this in his novels. Dostoevsky wrote so because he was an unbeliever," Kudryavtsev said.

Was this really the teaching of Christ that Dostoevsky believed in? Did he really believe that the only way to achieve material wealth is to pray for it?

I think a lot of things, but it was clear from reading Kudryavtsev's argument that the Soviet Union saw religion that way, or was trying to see it that way.

Regarding Dostoevsky's letters and other writings, he says, "Dostoevsky lied in every aspect of his life because he was afraid of censorship by the government authorities. So we should not trust what he wrote in his letters or what he did on a daily basis," he says. Then, in light of this, he states, "In fact, this is what Dostoevsky thought. In this way, anything is possible. They can interpret the letter in any way that suits them. This is how "Dostoevsky, the Soviet ideologue" was created.

It may be problematic to speak of the Soviet Union as a large group, but this is how mainstream theories were formed, which I came to learn in this book.

This is what I meant when I first said that there is a "Russian writer Dostoevsky" and a "Soviet writer Dostoevsky".

This is probably the reason why there are so many different interpretations of Dostoevsky even today.

I am sure that everyone who has read this far will agree that Dostovsky's theory that he was a revolutionary and wanted to assassinate the Czar would have been strongly influenced by Soviet ideology.

Freud also famously interpreted his own Oedipus Complex theory by applying it to Dostoevsky, who also developed "killing the father" to speak of "killing the emperor.

The historian Tony Judt also told me that Marx and Freud were similar in the way they told their stories and disseminated their theories. This was a very interesting theory to me. I hope you will read it as well. I am sure it will change the way you look at history.

However, having discussed "Russian Dostoevsky" and "Soviet Dostoevsky" up to this point, it is important to note that, unlike "Soviet Dostoevsky," "Russian Dostoevsky" was not created by Russian ideological interpretation.

However, it should also be noted that if President Putin interprets Dostoevsky ideologically for war use, that would be "modern Russian Dostoevsky". In fact, he quotes Dostoevsky's words in a fragmentary manner. We have discussed this earlier in this blog.Recommended! Naoto Saito and Yoko Ueda, "Does Dostoevsky Support War? 〜Traveling in Russia in ~2022" # Shiras"If you are interested, please refer to the article in the following section.

Finally, we hope you will find the following list of recommended books for studying "Dostoevsky in Russia" and "Dostoevsky in the USSR" useful.

.Kudryavtsev, "Revolution or God - Dostoevsky's Worldview.
.Berdyaev, "Dostoevsky's View of the World."
.Motulisky, "Critical Biography of Dostoevsky.
.Fudeli, The Dostoevskii Legacy.
.Takahashi, Yasuyuki, Greek Orthodoxy.
The Russian Church under Persecution: Seventy Years of Orthodoxy in an Atheistic Nation," by Yasuyuki Takahashi.

Dostoevsky, a critic of communism and socialist revolutionaries - head of the International Peace Conference in Geneva in reality.

Now that we have established the difference between "Dostoevsky the Russian writer" and "Dostoevsky the Soviet writer," let us finally look at Dostoevsky's views from now on.

In September 1867, Dostoevsky went to Geneva, where he was staying, to observe an international peace conference of socialists. Incidentally, this peace conference was a meeting of the First International, and this First International's "First International Founding DeclarationThe "Covenant" and the "Statutes" were drafted by that Marx. Marx himself was absent from the Geneva conference of 1867, but a number of Marxist figures attended the meeting.

The note at the end of the book explains this meeting as follows.

The first Congress of the League of Peace and Freedom was held in Geneva from September 9 to 12, 1867. It brought together thinkers, writers, and activists of various political leanings, including Hugo, Garibaldi, Mill, Büchner, Gertzen, and Bakunin. The purpose of this meeting was to promote the ideas of national peace and freedom in the anti-militarist atmosphere following the Prussian-Austrian War of 1866. Dostoevsky's "Fire and Sword" is an expression of Bakunin's anarchist speech.

Misuzu Shobo, Anna Dostoevskaya, translated by Hiroshi MatsushitaDostoevsky in Recollection."p232-233

What did Dostoevsky think of the international conference titled "The First Congress of the League of Peace and Freedom"? Let's take a look at "Recollections" by his wife Anna.

In early September 1867, a peace conference was held in Geneva, and Giuseppe Garibaldi came to open the conference. The people of Geneva attached great importance to this event and prepared to welcome him with a town-wide welcome. We also went out to Rue Mont Blanc, where he was scheduled to come from the train station and pass through. The houses along the street were decorated with green leaves and flags, and the streets were filled with crowds. Garibaldi was dressed in his signature outfit, standing atop a four-wheeled carriage, waving his hat in the air to the cheers of the crowd. I was lucky enough to see him up close, and my husband said that the Italian hero had a very friendly face and a benevolent smile.

We were interested in the proceedings of the peace conference and spent two hours there on the third day. My husband, however, was so displeased with the speeches that he wrote to his niece, Ivanova Khumuilova: "They wrote to my niece, Ivanova Khumuilova, saying that the Christian world must be exterminated in order to bring peace on earth. They began by saying that Christianity must be exterminated in order to bring peace to the earth, that great nations must be destroyed to make small nations, that all capital must be eliminated in order to make everything common by decree, and so on. All of these things are without any proof, just what they have learned from their own mouths 20 years ago. And that peace will come only after everything has been destroyed by fire and sword at all costs.

Misuzu Shobo, Anna Dostoevskaya, translated by Hiroshi MatsushitaDostoevsky in Recollection."p183-184

Dostoevsky.They begin by saying that Christianity must be exterminated in order to bring peace to the earth, that great nations must be destroyed and small nations created, that all capital must be eliminated in order to make all things common by decree, and so on. All of these things are without any proof, just what they have learned from their own mouths 20 years ago. And that peace will come only after everything has been destroyed by fire and sword.and this criticism of communist and socialist revolutionaries is a very important point.

To consider this in more detail, let us look at the letter dated October 11, 1867. Mrs. Anna summarizes this letter as above, but the letter goes on to say the following about this matter.

Geneva is located on the shores of Lake Geneva. The lake water is astonishing and the shores picturesque, but Geneva itself is a summit of malaise. It is an old Protestant town, yet it is crawling with drunks. I come here, and suddenly I'm like, "I'm here, I'm here, I'm here, I'm here,International Peace Conference、、、、、、The first time they bumped into the Garibaldjie attended. Garibaldjie left immediately, but the gibbering on the podium before an audience of 5,000 socialists and revolutionaries, whom I met for the first time in real life and not in a book, is beyond the scope of this paper! No description can convey this. The ridiculousness, the weakness, the nonsense, the incongruity, the self-contradiction - it is beyond imagination! And yet, these jokers are upsetting the unfortunate workers! This is a sad state of affairs. For starters, they insist that Christianity must be eradicated in order to achieve peace on earth, that large nations must be eliminated and small ones created, that all capital must be confiscated and everything must be made common by decree, and so on. All of these are still there as they were memorized on a stick twenty years ago, without any proof. But the main ones are fire and sword. And only after everything is destroyed, according to their opinion, will there be peace. But enough is enough. My dear friend, I will surely reply to your letter without delay.

Kawade Shobo Shinsha, translated by Masao Yonekawa, Dostoevsky's Complete Works 17, p. 84

It is clear that the book contains criticisms that are considerably more in-depth than Mrs. Anna's "Recollections".

In "A Critical Biography of Dostoevsky," he also discusses thisDostoevsky had, at last, clearly recognized the face of his enemy. The ideology of "Sigalovism" dated back to the impressions he had received at the Geneva Conference of 1867. Now he knew what kind of opponent he should fight against, and he began to work feverishly on a plan for a full-length novel (p. 359). (p. 359)"It is explained as follows.

Sigalovism" is one of the theories of the revolutionaries described in "Evil Spirits. I will not go into the details here, but Dostoevsky's criticism of these socialist revolutionaries is strongly expressed in his later works.

Evil Spirits."is the best example of this, andThe Brothers Karamazov.(at sentence-end, falling tone) indicates a confident conclusionChapter of the Grand Inquisitor."raises a terrifying question that seems to foretell the future of the Soviet Union.

Thus, the Soviet Union reinterpreted Dostoevsky, who was originally incompatible with socialism and communist revolutionaries, and created a "Dostoevsky in line with Soviet ideology.

I think it is also a very important perspective to consider the relationship between these historical backgrounds and literature.

Of course, we do not believe that all research on Dostoevsky during the Soviet era was unjustified. Thanks to the steady accumulation of research by researchers, we have been able to learn about Dostoevsky's works, letters, and life. However, it can happen that when someone talks about Dostoevsky, if it is not clear what kind of material he is basing his work on, Dostoevsky's image of the man and his ideas become like a different person. Whether it is the letter above, Dostoevsky is clearly criticizing the socialists. But if we want to look at it from the Soviet point of view, this is "double-talk," and furthermore, "This is a criticism of the bad revolutionaries, not of the righteous Marxist revolutionaries. It could also be interpreted as "Dostovsky is hoping to move in that direction. To be honest, it is difficult to say whether this can be called "interpretation," but it is possible to create a "Dostoevsky" in this way if one wants to do so. The general reader cannot verify such a theory of an authoritative scholar. That being said, it is what it is.

And this can happen to any writer, not just Dostoevsky. It is not only writers. Mendelssohn, a German musician in the middle of the 19th century, was also attacked by the Nazis, who denied his musicality because of his "Jewishness. The way an artist was perceived depended on the political situation at that time.

Each person is free to read what he or she wants to read from Dostoevsky's works of fiction. It is not impossible to read a Soviet-style revolutionary in "Evil Spirits" or "The Brothers Karamazov," and that is open to interpretation. However, what kind of person Dostoevsky himself was is another matter. It is a very important question what kind of materials were used and from what standpoint the interpretation was made.

It is difficult to determine what kind of person and what kind of ideology a person has just by looking at a single theory or commentary. Before getting to know a person, we must first know from what standpoint the commentator is speaking. The "way of looking at things" differs depending on one's position. That is why it is necessary to look at things from multiple perspectives. I feel this especially about Dostoevsky. Dostoevsky is such a complex and difficult person to grasp.

Dostoevsky's stay in Geneva provided the impetus for his opposition to communism and socialism.

I believe that the significance of the Dostoevsky couple's trip to Western Europe is immeasurable, considering that their experience there led to "Evil Spirits" and "The Brothers Karamazov" later on.

be unbroken

Next Article.

Click here to read the previous article.

Click here for a list of Dostoevsky's recommended books.

List of recommended Dostoevsky biographies."
List of recommended Dostoevsky commentaries.
A list of recommended commentaries on "Dostoevsky and Christianity."

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