The paper discusses Dostoevsky’s insight into the oxymoronic metaphysics of the Russian revolution. The keys to it are contained in two of Dostoevsky’s works. The first is Demons with Kirillov’s idea of self-deification in death intended to fill the gap left by the proclaimed absence of God. The second is Notes from the House of the Dead, where Dostoevsky depicts the Russian peasants as people for whom even such notions as freedom, happiness and honor are expressed in monetary terms. The Russian revolution was created by people of Kirillov’s persuasion; yet this ideal was offered to people whose teleology was firmly rooted in the earthly life. The interpenetration of these worldviews resulted in the initial victory of the revolution, but the dominance of the peasant Weltanschauung with its earthly teleology ultimately led to the collapse of the communist project a few decades later.
Studies in East European Thought – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 22, 2017
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