Archive for April 2006

Extract from ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

April 6, 2006

For the world says: "You have needs, therefore satisfy them, for you have the same rights as the noblest and richest men. Do not be afraid to satisfy them, but even increase them"- this is the current teaching of the world. And in this they see freedom. But what comes of this right to increase one's needs? for the rich, isolation and spiritual suicide; for the poor, envy and murde, for they have been given rights, but have not yet been shown any way of satisfying their needs. We are assured that the world is becoming mor united, is being formed into brotherly communion, by the shortening of distances, by the transmitting of thoughts through the air. Alas, do not believe in such a union of people. Taking freedom to mean the increase and prompt satisfaction of needs, they distort their own nature, for they generate many meaningless and foolish desires, habits, and the most absurd fancies in themselves. they live only for mutual envy, for pleasure seeking and self-display. To have dinners, horses, carriages, rank, and slaves to serve them in now considered such a necessity that for the sake of it, they will sacrifice life, honor, the love of mankind, and will even kill themselves if they are unable to satisfy it. We see the same thing in those who are not rich, while the poor, so far, simply drown their unsatisfied needs and envy in drink. But soon they will get drunk on blood instead of wine, they are being led to that. I ask you: is such a man free?

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