ABSTRACT

Devoid of the training in economic and social principles as understood to-day, Dostoevsky was the more inclined to rely on his intuitions, even on his wishful thinking. The idea of man being a mere product of economic factors, for example, would have seemed to him an insult and even something illogical, since it was man who produced and sl!aped those factors, for which reason he must come prior to them. Nor did he believe in the efficacy of a purely external reshuffiing of wealth. He wanted not only a quantitative, but a qualitative change. What he thought of a mere quantitative revolution, whether achieved through violence or otherwise, he said plainly enough in The Possessed and in The Grand Inquisitor. 'Human nature is not taken into account ... they (the pseudo-revolutionaries) do not want a living soul. And so it comes in the end to their reducing everything to the building of walls and passages in a phalanstery. Logic presupposes three possibilities, but there are millions! Cut away a million and reduce it all to a question of comfort! That is the easiest solution of the problem. . . . The whole secret of life on two pages of

149 print!' (The Possessed). Aiming at the integrated and not the standardized man, Dostoevsky saw the only possibility of a creative change on the spiritual plane. Hence his interest in religion. Hence his aversion to all those doctrines, systems and ideas in which there was no room for one's freedom of conscience, or for what he regarded as the irrational in a supranormal sense.