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A little tea, a little chat

I've been a compulsive reader, writer and theatre goer all my life. My book blog is here: http://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/ Mostly food at the moment but also knitting is here: http://cathyingeneva.wordpress.com/

Currently reading

Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism
Sheldon S. Wolin
The Temptation of Saint Anthony
Gustave Flaubert
Nebula Award Stories 3
Harlan Ellison, Gary Wright, Samuel R. Delany, Michael Moorcock, Fritz Leiber, Roger Zelazny, J.G. Ballard, Anne McCaffrey
Cosmology and Controversy: The Historical Development of Two Theories of the Universe
Helge Kragh
Max Frisch

Краткий философский словарь

Краткий философский словарь - Anonymous Political correctness Soviet-style.

This is a translation from Short Philosophical Dictionary Moscow 1951. I think it first came out in the 1930s, but if so, I don't know the status of the reprinting. The translation is by JEH Smith as published on his brilliant blog.

Existentialism (Lat. existentia- existence). A decadent, subjective-idealistic philosophical current of the epoch of imperialism, the fundamental purposes of which are the demoralization of social consciousness, the battle against revolutionary proletarian organizations, the moral and political disintegration of progressive social movements. Existentialism is particularly widespread at present in France. This reactionary philosophy was founded by the Danish obscurantist Kierkegaard (1813-1855), a most venomous enemy of socialism and democracy, who considered even Schelling's philosophy of revelation to be insufficiently reactionary. By 'existence' he understands 'individual spiritual life', and he juxtaposes 'existence' to 'being', that is, to the material world, to real physical and social life. Disgust with life, fear of death, despair: these are the basic themes of his works, which it would be largely justified to ascribe rather to psychopathology than to philosophy. This degenerate, misanthropic 'philosophy' was adopted as a weapon by the ideologues of German imperialism (Heidegger, Jaspers). With the new historical circumstances this perverted philosophy presents itself under the falsified guise of 'atheist philosophy', of 'the philosophy of freedom'. Its reactionary essence has remained unchanged; all that changed were its strategies in the battle against revolutionary theory, as well as its methods of disguise. The renegades of the 'Resistance movement' --Sartre, Camus, and their loyal supporters-- now strive to blacken the legacy of the battle against fascism, of the revolutionary workers' struggle for socialism, of the battle of all progressive humanity for peace and democracy, promoting instead an intellectual and moral nihilism, and disregard for science and morality. They call to mind the gang of fashionably reactionary authors of the time of the Stolypin Reaction in Russia, who 'wore their Marxism loosely', pouring scorn on the idea of revolution, boasting about their treachery, and celebrating sexual promiscuity in the name of the 'cult of personality'. Setting out from subjective-idealist premises, making 'pure self-consciousness' into their philosophy's point of departure, the existentialists fight zealously against dialectical and historical materialism, against the Marxist, scientific understanding of the world. Metaphysically separating 'existence' from 'essence', the existentialists set these up in opposition to one another, demonstrating the primacy of 'existence'. This theory is directed against the materialist doctrine of the primacy of matter, and, in application to social life, against the scientific understanding of the role of historical laws. The existentialists understand 'freedom' not as a real social relationship that prevails in the battle against the enslavement of classes and nations, and that is attained with the arrival of socialism, but rather as the idealistic 'freedom of the will' that gives the bourgeois individual the freedom to act according to his whim. In this way the sophistry of the existentialists serves as a defense of the baseness of imperialism, justifying treachery, and libelling all forward-thinking and progressive social movements. The imperialists make broad use of the existentialists for the formation of the cadres of traitors of class and national interests. Another branch of existentialism (Jaspers in Germany, Marcel in France, Lowrie in the USA) amounts to an explicit defence of Papism, and is one of the current manifestations of Catholic or Protestant propaganda.