“How probable is it that a tiny people, the children of Israel, known today as Jews, numbering less than a fifth of a per cent of the population of the world, would outlive every empire that sought its destruction? Or that a small, persecuted sect known as the Christians would one day become the largest movement of any kind in the world?
Nikolai Berdyaev (1874-1948) was a Russian Marxist who broke with the movement after the Russian Revolution and its aftermath. He became an unconventional Christian — he had been charged with blasphemy for criticising the Russian Orthodox Church in 1913 — and went into exile, eventually settling in Paris. In The Meaning of History, he tells us why he abandoned Marxism:
I remember how the materialist interpretation of history, when I attempted in my youth to verify it by applying it to the destinies of peoples, broke down in the…
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