The Development of the Monist View of History

The Development of the Monist View of History

The Development of the Monist View of History

The Development of the Monist View of History

Excerpt

I have here corrected only slips and misprints which had crept into the first edition. I did not consider it right to make any changes in my arguments, since this is a polemical work. Making alterations in the substance of a polemical work is like appearing before your adversary with a new weapon, while compelling him to fight with his old weapon. This is impermissible in general, and still less permissible in the present case because my chief adversary, N. K. Mikhailovsky, is no longer alive.

The critics of our views asserted that these views are, first, wrong in themselves; secondly, that they are particularly wrong when applied to Russia, which is destined to follow its own original path in the economic field; thirdly, that they are bad, because they dispose their supporters to impassivity, to "quietism." This last stricture is not likely to be reiterated by anyone nowadays. The second has also been refuted by the whole development of Russian economic life in the past decade. As to the first stricture, it is enough to acquaint oneself with recent ethnological literature, if with nothing else, to be convinced of the correctness of our explanation of history. Every serious work on "primitive civilization" is obliged to resort to it whenever the question under discussion is the causal connection between manifestations of the social and spiritual life of "savage" peoples. Witness, for example, the classical work of K. Stainen. Unter der Naturvölkern Zentral-Braziliens. But I cannot, of course, dilate on this subject here.

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