Georges Florovsky [Георгий Васильевич Флоровский]

Metaphysical presupposition of utopianism

translated by: J. Atanasije

pages: 185-210


Utopianism is a complex many-sided edifice and should be studied from its elementary aspect — the social utopianism. Under this notion we understand every belief that the last word is possible, belief into the final realization of an ideal society in the framework of history. The utopian ethical naturalism believes that the ideal and empirical fact are one and identical. Hence the naive hope in social institutions so much as to make gods out of them — out of the finality of progress, too. In this deterministic vision of history the evil is subsumed as the dialectical necessity. Renouvier has already pointed out that the theory of progress is in fact one of many variations of the Western dogma of the irresistible grace. In the sight of the »Messianic banquet« the sufferings and pains of man are just neglected.

The utopianists are recognized by the fact that they are cosmos-possessed. They accept this world as an impersonal totality into which an individual sinks as into one cosmic whirlwind. Hence a kind of apathy of an utopian man, since he feels his own person to be illusory and condemned to disappear into the universal all-unity of the world. Person is opposed to cosmos. The pathetic belief in collectivism has its root in the vision of the world as a total all-unity. This naturalistic monism sinks into a pantheistic deification of the world. Everything is »absolute« and »divine«. Utopianism believes in the adequacy of being and knowledge. This epistemological optimism excluded any feeling of mystery and admiration before the world and its Creator.

Christianity believes that the world is ethically (not ontologically) dual; it believes in the tragic character of freedom. The world is ripening for the cata- strophy of the Last Day, when evil and good men will be separated, when God, Who is outside of the world, will reveal His presence in His Church throughout the whole of Cosmos.

The particular vocation of the Orthodox nations is not rooted in their Eastern or Slavic origin, but in their Orthodox origin, in their genuine deep foundation. The holy Greece, the holy Russia and the holy Serbia are historical products of Orthodoxy. Christian Orthodoxy has been, is and will be always a God-given task.





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