From Marxism to Judaism
Until nine or ten years ago, I was a thoroughgoing Marxist. I had spent most of my life in the radical movement, and Marxism was to me more than a mere strategy of political action, more than a program of economic and social reconstruction, more even than a comprehensive theory of history and society. Marxism was to me, and to others like me, a religion, an ethic, and a theology: a vast, all-embracing doctrine of man and the universe, a passionate faith endowing life with meaning, vindicating the aims of the movement, idealizing its activities, and guaranteeing its ultimate triumph In the certainty of this faith, we felt we could stand against the world.
It was a faith committed to freedom, justice, and brotherhood as ultimate ideals and supreme values. But it was also a faith, that staked everything on the dogma of Progress, that is, on the unlimited redemptive power of history. Through its own inherent energies, the materialist Dialectic of history would sooner or later solve every problem, fulfill every possibility, and eliminate every evil of human life, leading mankind through terrific struggles to a final perfection of uncoerced harmony amidst peace, plenty, and untroubled happiness.
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