Dostoevsky’s Critique of Socialism

Dostoevsky had a radical shift from flirting with socialist ideals in the past to becoming one of socialism’s biggest challengers. Why was this the case?

In order to understand this change, it is perhaps important to understand his Christian foundations. As a Christian, he believed that the main goal of humans was to love God and achieve salvation to be with Him in heaven, the bring earth (humans) to heaven. This is, however, exactly what the socialists were arguing against, the bringing of heaven to earth.

To Dostoevsky, not only did this go against the Christian ideal and the purpose of humans, it was a completely absurd concept, as humans, if given perfection on earth, would just end up destroying it.

This quote summarises it perfectly.

“For socialism is not only a problem of labour… but is the first instance a problem of atheism, of the contemporary embodiment of atheism, the problem of the Tower of Babel, constructed expressly without God, not for the attainment of heaven from earth, but for the abasement of heaven to earth.”

Mcduff, David. “The Elders.” The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Penguin Books Ltd, 2003, p. 40.

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