Skip to comments.Zuckoevsky: The Grand Inquisitor Protects the Peasants from Freedom and Truth
Posted on 07/10/2017 7:13:07 PM PDT by poconopundit
Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) was a famous Russian novelist. His most recognized work was Brothers Karamazov, a long -- and tedious -- story about a family feud that Dostoevsky finished only 4 months before his death at the age of 60.
However, chapter 5 of the novel is The Grand Inquisitor, one of the most stirring philosophical, religious, and political tales in all of literature.
In the tale, Christ comes back to Earth in Seville, Spain at the time of the Inquisition. Christ performs some miracles and the people recognize and adore him, but he is arrested by Inquisition leaders and sentenced to be burned to death the next day. The Grand Inquisitor visits him in his cell to tell him the Church no longer needs him. The Grand Inquisitor does all the talking as he explains to Jesus why his return would interfere with the mission of the Church.
Well, as President Trump has just returned from Poland and the glorious speech he gave there in defense of Western Civilization, I think this is a very appropriate time to review Dostoevsky's message. Here then, is a brief selection from the text as The Grand Inquisitor talks to Jesus:
Oh, we shall persuade them at last not to be proud, for Thou didst lift them up and thereby taught them to be proud.
We shall show them that they are weak, only pitiful children, but that childlike happiness is the sweetest of all.
They will become timid and will look to us and huddle close to us in fear, as chicks to the hen. They will marvel at us and will be awe-stricken before us, and will be proud at our being so powerful and clever that we have been able to subdue such a turbulent flock of thousands of millions.
They will tremble impotently before our wrath, their minds will grow fearful, they will be quick to shed tears like children, but they will be just as ready at a sign from us to pass to laughter and rejoicing, to happy mirth and childish song.
Yes, we shall set them to work, but in their leisure hours we shall make their life like a child's game, with children's songs and innocent dance. Oh, we shall allow them even sin, they are weak and helpless, and they will love us like children because we allow them to sin.
We shall tell them that every sin will be expiated, if it is done with our permission, that we allow them to sin because we love them, and the punishment for these sins we take upon ourselves.
And they will have no secrets from us. We shall allow or forbid them to live with their wives and mistresses, to have or not to have children according to whether they have been obedient or disobedient -- and they will submit to us gladly and cheerfully."
While the novel doesn't exactly give away whose creed Dostoevsky favors, his whole life puts him clearly on the side of Jesus, freedom, and defiant men who refuse to be subdued by an overpowering State or politicized Church. He was an outspoken supporter of the traditional Russian Orthodox Church, and for five years was imprisoned for his opposition in terribly inhumane conditions in Siberia.
So on President Trump's first official visit to Eastern Europe, Dostoevsky's soul surely smiled down from heaven because he saw a populist champion of freedom and self-reliance fighting for men and women with souls. And on the opposite side, of course, he saw the obedient and dependent class bowing to the Grand Inquisitors of our time: Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Jeff Zucker, Jonathan Guber, John McCain, Warren "Golden Sacks" Buffet, and Jeff Bezos.
Includes a CNN meme with a Russian theme...
At the heart of every state, of every denomination, of every large organization sits an ogre who accrues power. His role is stark: to control the masses under his authority. Freedom, personal dignity, honor, justice, morality, these are trinkets, baubles dispensed by the ogre as toys to keep his subjects in submission.
Thanks poconopundit! Dostoevsky was a Christian intellectual who wrote about the darkness of power-hungry intellectuals. The Grand Inquisitor was the greatest expression of this, with Raskalnikof of Crime and Punishment coming in as a close runner-up.
I once read a Dostoevesky analyst describe his works as follows: when portraying intellectuals, D makes you feel how twisted and disturbed they were, while when portraying Christians, D made them resonate with mystical experiences. It made for painful reading whenever the scene involved an intellectual, such as the Grand Inquisitor or Raskalnikof, and it made some fascinating reading whenever the scene involved a Christian.
Our fake manipulative media fancies themselves to be intellectuals, whereas we see them as power-hungry control freaks. If D were still with us, he would portray them in the darkest light.
Dostoevsky’s amazing. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Fungi! Dostoevsky is one of the greatest voices in Western Civilization.
I am currently reading Dostoevsky’s “The Possessed” which is about a group of aristocratic left-wing snowflakes who are early 19th century socialists.
They are remarkably shallow, venal, prideful, elitists, much like those of today.
Perhaps it's no surprise that Christians -- men of reason whose minds can fathom the laws of societal growth and decay -- are also the most receptive to mystical experience.
Maybe mysticism and reason are not at opposite poles after all! The power of great thinkers like Emerson, Alan Watts, and Wittgenstein is their ability to leap above reasoning to get a brief glimpse of God or the Great Wave that connects each of the tiny droplets.
When I read Leftist (fake) intellectuals, their writing doesn't unify thoughts or clarify issues: they usually just muddy things up. The same goes for a guy like George Will, who sounds smart, but ends up saying nothing profound. And perhaps this is why Will has been a fixture of Washington intelligentsia for decades: his mental processes mirror those of the nihilist Leftists.
As I researched this vanity, I came across a telling interpretation by Peter Brooks, a NYTimes columnist:
In that paragraph, I think Brooks has accidentally described Leftist intellectuals very well. They are only comfortable with ambiguity. They cringe at authoritarian answers. And truth is merely an open-ended dialogue by an anguished soul.
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