Humanism and Terror: An Essay on the Communist Problem |
Starting with the assumption that a society is not a "temple of value-idols that figure on the front of its monuments or in its constitutional scrolls; the value of a society is the value It places upon man's relation to man," Merleau-ponty examines not only the Moscow trials of the late thirties but also Koestler's re-creation of them. And Merleau-Ponty makes it clear that the Moscow trials—and violence in general in the Communist world—can be understood only In the context of revolutionary violence. He demonstrates that it is pointless to begin an examination of Communist violence by asking whether Communism respects the rules of liberal thought; it is evident that Communism does not. The question that should be asked is whether the violence Communism exercises is revolutionary violence, capable of building humane relations among men.
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