Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Dostoyevsky on Church and State

“’Reduce God to a mere attribute of nationality?... On the contrary, I elevate the nation to God.  Has it ever been otherwise?  The people is the body of God.  Every nation is a nation only so long as it has its own particular God, excluding all other gods on earth without any possible reconciliation, so long as it believes that by its own God it will conquer and drive all other gods off the face of the earth.
At least that’s what all great nations have believed since the beginning of time, all those remarkable in any way, those standing in the vanguard of humanity.  It’s impossible to go against the fact.  The Jews lived solely in expectation of the true God, and they left this true God to the world.  The Greeks deified nature and bequeathed this religion to the world, that is, philosophy and art.  Rome deified the nation in the state and bequeathed the state to other nations.  France, in the course of its long history, was merely the embodiment and development of the idea of the Roman God, and if it finally hurled its Roman God into the abyss and embraced atheism, which, for the time being, they call socialism, it’s solely because atheism is still healthier than Roman Catholicism.
If a great nation doesn’t believe that the truth resides in it alone (in it alone to the exclusion of all other nations), if it doesn’t believe that it alone is capable and chosen to resurrect and save everyone through its own history, then it immediately ceases to be a great nation and it at once transformed merely into ethnographic material.”

-- (Demons, p265-266).

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