The Clash of Political Ideals: A Source Book on Democracy, Communism and the Totalitarian State

The Clash of Political Ideals: A Source Book on Democracy, Communism and the Totalitarian State

The Clash of Political Ideals: A Source Book on Democracy, Communism and the Totalitarian State

The Clash of Political Ideals: A Source Book on Democracy, Communism and the Totalitarian State

Excerpt

This book is for all those who wish to learn something at first hand of the rival ideals of Democracy, Communism, Fascism, Nazism, and the Japanese nation.

Such a book could appear only in a country where the ideal of free discussion prevails. Totalitarian states do not wish their subjects to hear the case of their opponents. But democracy permits the public to hear all sides of every issue, and has faith that the public will in the long run choose the good and reject the evil.

Some say that "Ideas are the warriors of the world." Mazzini, for instance, while exhorting the Italians to achieve national unity, declared, "Ideas rule the world and its events. A revolution is the passage of an Idea from theory to practice. Whatever men say, material interests never have caused, and never will cause, a revolution. . . . Revolutions have their origin in the mind, in the very root of life, not in the material organism. A religion or a philosophy lies at the base of every revolution." (Quoted by Mario Palmieri at the beginning of his Philosophy of Fascism.)

On the other hand one of the founders of Communism declared that "the final causes of all social changes and political revolutions are to be sought, not in men's brains, not in man's better insight into eternal truth and justice, but in changes in the modes of production and exchange. They are to be sought, not in the philosophy but in the economics of each particular epoch." (Cited from Engels, Anti-Dühring, in the Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, article Socialism.) In the Communist Manifesto we read, "The charges against Communism made from a religious, a philosophical, and, generally, from an ideological standpoint are not deserving of serious examination. Does it require deep intuition to comprehend that man's ideas, views, and conceptions, in one word, man's consciousness changes with every change in the conditions of his material existence, in his social relations and in his social life? What else does the history of ideas prove, than that intellectual production changes its character in proportion as material production has been changed? The ruling ideas of each age have ever been the ideas of its ruling class. When people speak of ideas that revolu . . .

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