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Ordering of society Society. East-West Universalism and Nationalism

Society. East-West
Third Internationale
According to Nikolai Berdyaev

The fact that the Third International is not international but a Russian national idea is very poorly understood in the West. Here we have the transformation of Russian messianism. Western communists, … they do not understand that in joining the Third International they are joining the Russian people and realizing its messianic vocation.

The Russian people have not realized their messianic idea of Moscow the Third Rome. The ecclesiastical schism of the seventeenth century revealed that the Muscovite Tsardom is not the Third Rome; still less, of course, was the Petersburg Empire a realization of the idea of the Third Rome. In it a final cleavage took place. The messianic idea of the Russian people assumed either an apocalyptic form or a revolutionary; and then there occurred an amazing event in the destiny of the Russian people. Instead of the Third Rome in Russia, the Third International was achieved, and many of the features of the Third Rome pass over to the Third International. The Third International is also a consecrated realm, and it also is founded on an orthodox faith. The fact that the Third International is not international but a Russian national idea is very poorly understood in the West. Here we have the transformation of Russian messianism. Western communists, when they join the Third International, play a humiliating part; they do not understand that in joining the Third International they are joining the Russian people and realizing its messianic vocation.

I have heard that at a French communist meeting a French communist asserted, 'Marx said that the workmen have no fatherland. This used to be true, but now it is no longer true; they have a fatherland, that is, Russia, Moscow, and the workers should defend their fatherland'. This is absolutely true and ought to be understood by everybody. Something has happened which Marx and the Western Marxists could not have foreseen, and that is a sort of identification of the two messianisms, the messianism of the Russian people and the messianism of the proletariat. The Russian working class and peasantry are a proletariat; and the proletariat of the whole world from France to China is becoming the Russian people — a unique people in the world; and the messianic consciousness of the working class and proletariat is bringing about an almost Slavophil attitude towards the West. The West is always identified with the bourgeoisie and capitalism. The nationalization of Russian communism, to which all bear witness, has its source in the fact that communism has come into existence in only one country, in Russia, and the communist realm is surrounded by bourgeois capitalist states. A communist revolution in a single country inevitably leads to nationalism and a nationalist standpoint in political relations with other countries. For example, we see that the Soviet Government is at the present time much more interested in its connection with the French Government than in its connections with French communists. Only Trotsky has remained an internationalist and continues to assert that communism in a single country is not feasible and necessitates world revolution. For chis reason he has been ejected. He was not wanced because he did not fie in with the constructive national period of the communist revolution. In Soviet Russia now they talk about the socialist fatherland and they want to defend it; they are ready to sacrifice their lives for it. But the socialist fatherland is still the same Russia, and in Russia perhaps popular patriotism is coming into being for the first time. This patriotism is a positive face, but nationalism can take a negative form. The danger from Japan and Germany strengthens Russian patriotism. A defeat of Soviet Russia would be a defeat of communism, a defeat of the world idea which the Russian people proclaim.

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