The Evil Spectre of Communism (Essay)
Abundant living will belong to the twenty-first rather than the twentieth century. Years must pass before even Europe alone can restore its shattered economy. For a number of years there will be immense and tragic shortages of food, clothing, and other necessities. The era of abundance is, therefore, not an immediate possibility. The postwar years are necessarily filled with privation for many millions of people.
Now this may be done and these problems may be solved by peaceful discussions and mutual agreement, which is the philosophic way, or by bitter strife and physical violence, which has been the common way. The first seeks the general welfare whereas the second seeks a partisan victory. The advantages of the philosophic way of speeded up evolutionary change are manifold in the economic sphere. The afflicted world's need is not more hatred but less, not more warfare but more co-operation. Philosophy is opposed to all doctrines of class hatred. It believes that the situation today requires an integral multi-class outlook. Its opposition to the old-fashioned materialistic propaganda for abrupt social change is not to its egalitarian aims but to the preaching of hatred as a personal ethic and the advocacy of violence as an instrument of attainment. For both hatred and violence are the voices of the beast in man. An age sickened by the horrors of scientific warfare ought not need to witness the further horrors of scientific revolution. But it is hard to persuade them that reconstruction is a saner and safer path to take than revolution, the ballot-box wiser than bloodshed, and that our duty is not to imitate the terrorists but to build peacefully a better order suited to sensible kindly and decent human beings. It cannot accept hatred as an inspiration to social betterment. For it knows that we cannot gather grapes off thistles nor human happiness off the tree of hatred. The history of mankind has shown what psychology always knew, that the hater will start looking for new human objects of his hatred, new enemies, as soon as the existing ones have been, in his horrible modern terminology, "liquidated." The ugly passion of hatred, having been developed and nurtured, will still exist and still seek an outlet as soon as it can persuade the mind to interpret conditions in its favour.
This is why the Buddha said: "Hatred ceaseth not by hatred. It ceaseth by compassion." If philosophy advocates the peaceful way of quickened evolution and dynamic progressivism as against the violent way of abrupt revolution, it is because it knows that the moral evils which are introduced by brutality--not to speak of the physical ones which inevitably follow from it--constitute too high a price for the benefits received. For if the latter tend to disappear, the former tend to become stabilized. A great social change which stimulated hatred, passion, selfishness, and materialism would negate the ultimate purpose which lies behind all social evolution--the spiritualization of human character. A better society, to be based on goodwill and co-operation, cannot be reached by arousing hatred and selfishness. The defense that ends justify means is a self-deceptive one. It is for the votaries of philosophy to follow the right path and to abstain from brutal or bloody methods, especially as we know that whilst conditions create them, there will always be others who are naturally inclined towards the transplanted barbarism of Communism.
Russia is today the homeland of Communism. Her achievements, sacrifices, and struggles during World War II, unexpected as they were and so valuable in giving other nations a respite of time to eliminate their own unpreparedness for the Nazi aggressions, forcibly brought Russia's thought and fate to the whole world's attention. By reason of her exceptional geographical position, with one foot in Europe and another in Asia, Russia would have been a suitable mediator between the cultures of both continents and an especially suitable interpreter of Asiatic wisdom to European minds, had she not been formerly so cut off from the rest of Europe by her intellectual and industrial backwardness, her difficult language and her deliberate exclusion of foreigners. The course of recent history, and especially wartime history, delusively appeared to be bringing these hindrances to an end. Given entirely different leadership, there might have been within the Slavonic republic the impending gestation of a new spiritual-practice culture, of a spiritually aspiring economic order. Russia and Germany constitute the two largest national populations in Europe. If the old Slav mysticism and the vanished German idealism could have been reincarnated in new non-materialistic, uncorrupt, and undistorted forms, there would have been hope for Europe. But the criminal leadership which existed actually destroyed this chance. This was all the more regrettable because, before the revolution of 1917, the Russians were particularly reputed to be a religious and mystical people whilst their literature was known to reflect these attributes. However, the explanation is easy. Russia was then a land of peasant communities with very few towns. Because their daily work keeps them in constant touch with nature, the peasant classes everywhere in the world have more religious emotion and mystical feeling than the others. But because they are also the most illiterate, the least educated, the most economically depressed and least travelled of all classes, their religion is more virulently intolerant and stupidly superstitious and their mysticism more medievally anti-rational and emotionally unbalanced than are those of other classes. All these undesirable features were prominent in pre-revolutionary Russia. The type of mysticism which can best flourish today and best meet the modern need can arise and develop only in more advanced countries, where the agricultural and industrial classes are more evenly distributed.
What is happening inside the Russian soul must interest us because it is important to us. The direction taken there is deciding the fate of other peoples as well as that of the Russians. They are a remarkable people, a bridge between Asia and Europe, and it would have been fitting that out of their tremendous sufferings and sacrifices there should emerge a happier country. Everything had depended on how far the Russians could overcome their greatest defect--fanatical lack of balance. Had they done this quickly enough, they could have risen to the grand height of a spiritual-material civilization. But, because they failed, because they listened too long to the evil voice of Communism, we have the danger of a third world war.
We should feel sorry for the Russian masses, who are blind dupes of their leaders, where the real evil resides. The inspiration of Russian leadership has been brutal hatred and camouflaged materialism, as well as the selfish preservation of their own power. But the law of compensation makes the masses responsible for their surrender and obedience to such criminal leadership. Their years of sacrifice in blood and comfort profit them nothing. They are sacrifices made in an evil cause. Those whose whole attitude is quarrelsome and carping and hating and irresponsible can contribute only unscrupulous criticism and hysterical destruction towards life. They are eager to obstruct and even destroy, but never to create, to co-operate, or to build. The Communist leaders, as distinct from their blind dupes, are the poisonous scorpions of society.
Their fanatic hostility to all spiritual enlightenment is inspired by the same dark forces that inspired the fanatic hostility of Nazism. The second world war was the epochal struggle between the unseen powers of evil working through mesmerized Germans and barbarized Japanese and the unseen powers of good instilling ideals of decency into other peoples. This inner war between good and evil goes on at all times; the military world war was but a dramatic outward representation of it. That--the real war--is not ended. We must beware of those who never went to Germany and never wore a swastika on a brown shirt, but who nevertheless imbibed the Nazi spirit and wore the swastika in their hearts. They have reappeared in Russia. Those unseen spirits which animated, prompted, and inspired the Nazi leaders are now performing the same office for the Communist leaders. It would have been better for Europe if the Communists and their twins, the Nazis with their slippery morality, had never existed. It is an unendurable thought; nevertheless, the truth must be faced that we shall have peace only by having war. The dangers to which humanity was exposed did not all vanish with the Nazis' defeat. Those unseen powers still exist. What they could not achieve through a straightforward conflict, they will desperately try to achieve through a confused one. This indeed is the next phase of experience through which we are about to pass and which we shall have to endure.
Nevertheless the presence of an evil tyranny in both Russia and Germany ought not to blind us to the vital difference between their forms of government. In Russia, Stalin's dictatorial control was expounded and accepted theoretically as a purely temporary measure on the road to full democratic freedom, whereas in Germany Hitler's dictatorial control was expounded and accepted as an ultimate ideal in itself. The dangers to which Nazism exposed the human race were immeasurably larger than those to which Communism exposes it. For no matter how brutal, how violent, and how materialistic Communism became, it always remained in theory an anguished and desperate attempt--however ugly in form--to win justice for the underprivileged and to compel the social whole to accept responsibility for their unavoidable sufferings. But the ultimate trend of the Nazification of Europe could only be the animalization of Europeans. All that gives dignity and worth to human beings, all their ethics and rationality, all their art and idealism would have disappeared under Nazi reign within a generation or two. The disfigured form of man would thenceforth bear a close resemblance to the worst kind of beast, albeit a cunning one, whose God was Hatred. If we must compare the two evil systems, Bolshevism had this superiority at most, that it arose under the inspiration of great hope, whereas Nazism arose under that of great despair and revenge.
But alas, just as the arising of Nazism earlier forced the world unwillingly into a struggle to the death, so the leaders of Communism are now forcing the world into the same kind of struggle. The human race is being made to chalk out a boundary line and to take sides in preparation for the inevitable.
The responsibility for this degeneration does not lie with those who still believe in the ideals of freedom and truth, but with those who reject these ideals. The guilt does not lie with those who seek to defend themselves against the aggressions of an evil doctrine, it lies with those who spread this doctrine by every means, including the most criminal means.
It is better, indeed, that the face of Communism should be seen for what it is, with all its malignant cruelty and materialistic criminality, than that the world should continue in complacent blindness to the danger in which it stands. Ever since the war ended we have tried to make peace or effect compromises with this dark force, but to no avail. It does not want peace because it does not believe in peace. It is committed to the doctrine that it must fight for the soul of humanity--which soul it seeks to enslave for its own evil purposes.
The frightful shape which the next war would necessarily take may make us wonder whether it would be better for humanity to save its body at least, by appeasing the powers of evil or by surrendering to them. But is it only for the body's sake that we are upon this earth? If there were no higher purpose to life than preserving the body, such appeasement and such surrender might be worthwhile. But we know that there is such a purpose, that we are here for soul development even more than for any other kind. If appeasement and surrender are the only price at which we can purchase peace, then the still small voice within answers, "War is still better--even if costlier."
The effort is one thing, whilst its effect is another. We must estimate the Bolshevik achievement by its practical results rather than by its theoretical claims. We must keep close to earth in these matters and test the printed page by the human scene. And if we do this without paying uncritical homage to the dynamism it has shown, we find that Bolshevism has dragged men's souls in mire and their bodies in prison--for Russia became nothing else--and the economic lot of the peasant and the workman is no better, and generally is far worse, than it is in most capitalistic countries. Russia suffered the painful consequences of her own barbarities and fanaticisms, and she has pruned her communistic ideas of some of their extremism. She found by experience that it was an error to withdraw the profit motive entirely. Human nature being psychologically what it is, sufficient financial inducement had to be given to evolve personal efficiency and enterprise and to encourage new inventions. She found that any economic order which ignored the inequalities of capacity and qualifications, talents and minds among its members, could only be a half-success and must be a half-failure. Men require the energizing motive of more pay for more work or higher pay for higher type of work. Men must have rewards for extra labour or extra talent, which means they must own possessions and get privileges in unequal degrees. Any economic scheme must frankly face and accept this psychological fact, otherwise it would set up a perpetual friction between the individual and the state. Russian Communism was compelled, by initial failures in obtaining adequate production, to give more remuneration to skilled workers and to institute hierarchic organization in factories. Moreover the ever-present need of stimulating general human evolution requires the offering of rewards to draw out the varied possibilities lying latent within man, the holding-up of baits to make him realize the fuller stature of his being.
The crude kind of socialism which would erect the state into a tyrannous dictator, create an order of bureaucratic parasites, and organize every detail of the mental and physical existence of its unfortunate victims, is intolerable to intelligent people who rightly wish to exercise their personal initiative, to develop their creative abilities, to attain self-responsibility, to achieve economic independence, and to think for themselves. Only those who possess slave-mentalities can fail to be opposed by temperament to any totalitarian form which would compel every man to walk in standardized step with all other men, which would dictate how he should think, live, talk, work, rest, and marry, and which would reduce all society to a dead monotony of uniformity. Such a system is the kind which can suit only a people which has made materialism its religion. On the other hand, a system which would allow room for diverse forms of living, which would encourage and not stifle individual initiative, and which would lead men to liberation and not to enslavement is the kind which is based on the right comprehension of existence. Man cannot live by Marxism alone. A system which deprived its citizens of their personal initiative and individual enterprise would thereby deprive society of valuable gifts. The delight of creative self-expression and personal initiative ought to be encouraged and not chilled, as it is under Communism. It is better for a man--and consequently for the nation--that he should farm his own little piece of land in economic and individual freedom than that he should be a mere labouring "hand" under State employ on a mammoth agricultural enterprise. The notion that slavery becomes innocuous when it is slavery under a bureaucratic State instead of under a particular master is a notion to be repudiated. The worthwhile values which have been so far derived from a free system should not be sacrificed, even though the system itself may have to be brought up-to-date. It must defend itself against the hard dogmas which would destroy individuality. Nobody who loves liberty can be happy if he is numbered, regimented, dragged about, and enslaved by a cold, unfeeling, abstract entity called the State. The intellectual mistake of destroying personal freedom in order to achieve the ends, alone renders Communism unacceptable to the philosophic mind. The emotional mistake of effecting such destruction violently and brutally renders it still more unacceptable.
He who loves freedom to follow a spiritual path and values independence of mental outlook will not care to be rigorously controlled at every step of his work and for every hour of his intellectual life by any bureaucratic regime. When, for instance, writers, artists, and clergymen have to serve the State first and truth, beauty, or God afterwards, they can do so only at the cost of forfeiting the authentic inspiration which these ideals provide. They must be free or the community will get not their best but their worst work. The extinction of intellectual and spiritual liberty, the destruction of personal self-respect, and the disregard of the sacredness of individual life are definite evils. Philosophy is opposed to totalitarianism in all its forms because it believes in the necessity of preserving human dignity, human freedom, and human individuality, within proper limits. Unless there is respect for such aspirations, spiritual growth will be hampered. To a totalitarian order, things are more important than men, frontiers than the people behind them, and the State than its citizens. But to a true philosophy, men in their final essence are creatures with divine possibilities, human dignity is sacred, inviolable, and human individuality is to be sacrificed only at God's behest. This development is one of the last things that a totalitarian state can wish or permit. Therefore, the practice of true religion, mysticism, and philosophy, which leads to the development of man's spiritual individuality, could only end in collision between the seeker and such a state. Consequently, the latter could afford to sanction the existence only of a false, nationalistic, materialistic, pseudo-spiritual teaching or, in the end, prohibit it altogether. Fatalism has crept into economic thinking in the most vicious and distorted form, the form of Communism. According to this doctrine, history's course is predetermined: the capitalistic phase of society cannot avoid being followed by the chaotic phase of its own dissolution, and that, in its turn, cannot avoid being followed by the Communistic form of a rigid reorganization. This is a materialistic caricature of the doctrine of fatalism, which in its true form as karma has so far entered only into the spiritual thinking of the West. This Marxian view, that is to say, the short-sighted view, is too simple to be true. Life is more complex than that. It is true that Demos is astir and seeks at the least to better his lot and at the most a paradise on earth. When a man passes through a long period of unemployment or earns too little for adequate support of his family, he begins to feel despairingly that society has no use for him. This bitterness weakens his ethical sense and renders him liable to fall into the illusion that any social change, even a violent one, is necessarily a change for the better. If, instead of making proper efforts to remove the deficiencies and eliminate shortcomings, we merely seek for plausible pretexts to justify them, then we ought not to be astonished when disaster comes. Those who feel that economic reform is the most urgent duty facing humanity have usually opposed the mystical movement. They have done so on the grounds that it diverts attention from the real (that is, the economic) issues, that it enfeebles the urge towards social improvement and individual ambition, and that it leads to sleepy, dreamy complacency. Karl Marx's criticism of religion, that it had become a mere appendix of bourgeois thought, had some truth in it for his own times. But today many religious leaders have been aroused to the danger and are sincerely striving to bring the social order into line with religious ethics. They are no longer falsifying religious ethics by striving to bring them into line with the social order.
Yet the solution Communists offer is philosophically unsatisfactory for it is born out of crude materialism, based on venomous class hatred, and stiffened by bureaucratic tyranny. Their ultimate aim, however, is a good one only insofar as it is the elimination of capitalism's defects, such as avoidable unemployment, extreme poverty, and social injustices, but their means and methods are very bad. There is only one real capitalist--Nature--one real proprietor of the earth and all that therein is, and consequently all the children of earth are its rightful heirs. We usually forget that we have no ethical right to possess what we have not toiled for. This is overlooked by society as a whole and we, as individuals, take shelter beneath the common sin. For sin it is, albeit only one of omission. Those, however, who have cast aside the conventional view can see it for what it is. That which this earth produces is for all. Every man has his birthright in what it stores or gives forth, although not an equal birthright to every other man's. This, surely, is Nature's view, although man in his ignorance has developed other ideas upon the matter and so brought great misery upon his fellows and great nemesis upon himself. The world is for our temporary use and does not constitute our eternal property. Whoever thinks otherwise--whether it be a single individual or a community of individuals called a "nation"--and excludes all others from consideration, whoever thinks he has a full right to eat whilst others have a full right to starve, whoever cannot identify himself with the suffering people of his own or another country, will be tutored by pain and instructed by loss. We are all stewards, not proprietors, and own nothing in reality. This was pithily expressed by a highly advanced Indian mystic of well-deserved repute. He was the Jain Mahatma Shantivijaya who lived on Mount Abu until he died during the War. When one of his devotees, a rich landlord, came to him and complained of having been robbed of some jewels, the yogi observed, "Perhaps Nature regards you also as a thief. Perhaps she thinks you have no more right to appropriate such a large piece of land than you think the other man has to your jewels?" The same idea was beautifully expressed in a verse by my revered Irish friend, the late A.E.: "How would they think on, with what shame, all that fierce talk of thine and mine, if the true Master made His claim, the World He fashioned so divine. What could they answer did He say, `When did I give my world away?'
But there is a great distance from such abstract reflections to the concrete realities of contemporary social and economic life. The whole structure of laws and rights is based on these realities. And this is as it should be, for humanity, at its present stage of evolution, can best express itself and serve itself in that way. The anarchist would ignore them because he is one-sided and the Communist would violate them because he is unscrupulous. Philosophy does not object to any effort to remold society for the common welfare, but welcomes it.
No amount of academic sophistry can justify a system which permits the few to have more food than they can eat and forces the many to have less food than they need to eat. No amount of legal enactment can justify the ownership of a hundred thousand acres of land merely because five hundred years earlier some ancestor seized it. These ancient wrongs must be redressed. Both altruistic sentiment and political strategy--no less than karmic adjustment--demand such a revision, although the attempt to do so by violent means would introduce far worse wrongs.
In this momentous task, we have to prepare a blueprint--not of the ideal State which we would like to see arise, but of the actual State which can arise under the given circumstances. This means that we must follow a middle path. Any other way will be either too realistic or too idealistic and will lead to failure. For we must find not only what is theoretically right but also what is practically possible.
We cannot and we ought not do away wildly, abruptly, and violently with our social environment. Without it we would be savages. Those vanished men of the past had to learn arduously how to live on earth, how to adapt themselves to it. Think of what it would mean to be born into a world where no houses existed, no land was cultivated, no roads had been cut, no books were available, no shops could be found, no tools had been made, no machines invented, no knowledge and no art were known! All these and infinitely more exist today and constitute our surroundings, our civilization; but they did not spring up in a single night. They are the inheritance which we owe to a long trailing line of Egyptian, Asiatic, and European ancestors living and working and dying for countless centuries. They are our own racial past. We cannot dismiss this legacy without descending anew to the most barbarous existence. There are grave defects in this environment, it is true, but the young rebel who wishes to tear everything down in order to remove these defects, will also remove treasures bought at a price which will take the toil of millions through centuries to pay again. The past efforts of man appear in our present environment. Let us use it, but use it wisely. It is here to serve us. We need not be afraid to improve and alter it. Unbalanced hot-heads who say that such improvement and such alteration is only possible through complete destruction of what is the present order so that what may be shall rise on its ruins, have misread history.
But there is a right as well as a wrong way of doing this. The only proper way is by persuasion, by the persuasion and education of social conscience and by the uplift of social morality to loftier standards. Such reforms can be brought about only in an atmosphere of goodwill and calmness, not in an atmosphere of hatred and brutality. Man must choose which God he will serve, the God of hatred or the God of love, for he cannot serve both. He must effect these changes not by brutality or by blood, but by the gentler persuasions of reason and goodwill, slower though they necessarily are. Wisdom prefers to see needed reforms and overdue changes brought in by peaceful and not violent means, by the acknowledgment of their ethical need rather than by submission to materialistic values.
Orthodox Communism is a typical nineteenth-century product. The doctrine arose out of a completely materialistic view of history. It was formulated in an age when the mechanistic conception of life had captured the thinking world. It led naturally to an ethic of hatred and violence. It excluded all consideration of the higher destiny of men. Consequently it is emotionally unbalanced and intellectually unsatisfactory. The evil lies less in the doctrine itself, which is a confused mixture of nonsense and wisdom, of justice and crime, than in its human leaders. They are men without a conscience and maniacs entrenched in the seats of power. They trade on this confusion of doctrine to suborn the masses who lack the capacity to understand the inner source of Communism and its inability to redeem its promises. They achieve for themselves positions of power because they mercilessly push aside and trample all who are hapless enough to stand in their way.
He who thinks in terms of class hatred and class murder reveals himself as being naturally neurotic or malignant. As such he is unfit to lead people into a better condition than before and can only lead them into a worse one. The average Communist is unfit to lead a people or govern a nation. He is an extraordinary compound of keen critical thinking and irrational obsessions and class prejudices; consequently his thinking is distorted and unbalanced. He lives in a private Marxist world of his own, which he stupidly imagines to be a real world. But the greatest defect in himself and the greatest danger to others is the powerful hatred which actuates him and which has made him in fact a pathological case. He has become semi-insane because he cannot escape from it.
Both the Nazi and Bolshevik revolutions failed to bring a better society, a happier healthier and more honourable world for the underdog, because they failed to recognize that the only way this could be achieved was by leaders of disinterested character and superior quality descending to the service of the lower classes. The reconstruction of the world's social and economic order cannot succeed if it comes from the mentally ungrown and ethically immature masses themselves. This has been clearly demonstrated by the melancholy history and comparative failure of the brutal Russian and German attempts. It could not be achieved by leaders of inferior character and merit rising from the ranks of the masses. The right way of social-economic progress is from the top downwards and not from the bottom upwards. The fruits of wisdom cannot come from below. But this does not mean they come from the aristocracy of blood; they can come only from aristocracy of mind and character. The masses will be best served by the man who disdains their approbation and waves aside their applause. For intellectual awakening of a people does not begin as an awakening of the masses; it begins as an awakening of the educated classes and proceeds downwards to the people. The masses must naturally follow more intelligent leaders, assimilate the ideas which are earlier embraced by their betters but which are gradually filtered down and thus rendered more acceptable. For it is not the ignorant blind toilers who can perceive the crowning principle of right reconstruction; they can perceive only their immediate needs, not their ultimate ones. Therefore the creation of a new order must not come from below but from above. It must come from the intellectual cream, the spiritual elite of society--from those who can reflect philosophically and serve selflessly and act calmly. They stand on the mountain peak, as it were, and see clearly what ought to be done whereas the masses are herded on the plains and can only run hither or thither as their emotions drive them.
The Communists cannot be regarded as sane, normal people; they are mentally in a psychopathic condition. Consequently they leave themselves open to submoral influences, and that they fully absorb these influences we may judge from the fact that they do indeed come to believe that the end justifies any means, however evil. It is a sophistry common alike to criminal gangsters and to totalitarian dictators that the sacrifice of ethical restraints and the aggressive use of brutal methods are quite justified by the achievement of success in their aims. Such callous belief, however, has a hundred times been proven worthless by history. Any totalitarian or revolutionary regime which, dead to humanitarian impulses, would brutally bring death and suffering and misery to millions now alive in order to bring prosperity and comfort and power to future and fortunate millions yet unborn, which would deny pity and peace to those in its midst in order to bestow them on those who are remote and unseen, is trying to purchase a possibility at such a tragically high present cost that it is not worth having. This is why philosophy says that the same change which, when naturally evolved tomorrow will be right and successful, may be arbitrary, premature, and disastrous today if it can be got only by violence and brutality on a vast scale.
The terrible human cost of these totalitarian and brutalitarian changes is at least equally as important as the economic cost. The resulting success or failure of these changes must be measured by broken hearts and broken bodies as much as by flaunting figures and astronomical statistics. To say that what the world needs today is only a new economic system is as fanatical and unbalanced as to say that it needs only a new dietetic outlook. It does need both these things, and needs them brought into reciprocal balance as well, but it certainly needs something else even more--a new spiritual outlook. The moment we have the understanding or courage to lift our public, economic, political, and social difficulties to the higher levels of religious, mystical, or philosophic insight and thus meet them with full consciousness, that moment they will all be solved. After all, the best laws people can obey are not the dried parchments of written statutes but the living ethical forces of justice, goodwill, truth, and service. A country which has such a real ethical foundation will get all the social economic and political reforms it needs as and when it needs them; no murderous revolution will be necessary whenever change must be made to adapt itself to new conditions. Back of the state laws there will then always be unwritten laws shaping them automatically and naturally.
The regimentation of the masses on a solely materialistic basis would enslave them in a different and, to some misguided people, more bearable form than the capitalistic order has already; but still it would enslave them. Any system which forcibly regimented the masses in order to guarantee their basic necessities could doubtless succeed in doing so. But if it would fill their stomachs it might still leave their souls empty.
When the inner life of mankind suffers from acute starvation it becomes inevitable, under the law that governs thought, that his outer life will, in time, also suffer acute starvation. There is this difference: that whereas the inner hunger, being spiritual, is unconscious, the outer hunger, being physical, is conscious. If civilization is dying it is dying because it has no vision, no ideals, no spiritual life. It is not dying because of the War; the War merely accelerated the process which started in prewar days. The storm is upon us and there is no shelter from it.
-- Notebooks Category 11: The Negatives > Chapter 3: Their Presence in The World > # 132
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