Slovakia: Seminar on Ideological Aspects of the Russian Revolution


By Barbara Grabner, UPF Slovakia

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary, UPF Slovakia prepared a thrilling lecture about the ideological aspects of the Russian Revolution. UPF invited the philosopher Herbert Giller from Vienna to speak on the very date of the revolution – 7th November. He is a brilliant analyst and critic of Marxist thought and Communism in all its shades. “It has been a long, deep desire of mine to give a lecture in a communist country someday,” he said while accepting our invitation in mid- October.

To find a convenient room for 7th November proofed unexpectedly difficult. There were numerous obstacles to be overcome until the event took place.

Finally, we found a lecture hall in the city centre. Our small team worked tirelessly to inform and invite the public. We were happy to greet 40 participants. The audience was treated to a demanding two- hour lesson spiced with exciting statements. UPF general secretary Milos Klas had done an excellent job by translating 40 slides from German into Slovak in advance. Some guests took diligently notes; one lady spontaneously applauded several times to statements of the lecturer. One sociologist was so moved that he asked permission to take home a poster as memento. One of the guests was the Russian attaché who bought the exhibited book “March to Moscow”.

Herbert Giller gave an in-depth view into the antagonism of Christian and Marxist philosophy concerning their view of just society. The main source was the book “Truth and Untruth of Communism” which is based on the writings of the Russian philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev (1874-1948), who opposed communism before Lenin and his comrades took power. For some years Berdyaev had believed in Marxism; timely he became aware of the dangerous delusion. In 1920, Berdyaev was accused of conspiracy, arrested and jailed. His prior record of revolutionary activities saved him from execution; instead he was sent into exile. One of his profound insights says: “The Russian people did not achieve their ancient dream of Moscow, the Third Rome. The ecclesiastical schism of the seventeenth century revealed that the muscovite tsardom is not the third Rome. The messianic idea of the Russian people assumed either an apocalyptic or a revolutionary form; and then there occurred an amazing event in the destiny of the Russian people. Instead of the Third Rome in Russia, the Third International was achieved, and many of the features of the Third Rome passed over to the Third International.” In his writings Nikolai Berdyaev outlined that atheistic Communism itself is a religion – without a God, and the proletariat taking the role of the saviour.

At conclusion, Herbert Giller was appointed Ambassador of Peace. UPF Slovakia hopes that he will come next year again, since 2018 will be the 200th birthday of Karl Marx. Since there are some signs of a Marxism renaissance among intellectuals, it is necessary to address the errors in his philosophy once again.

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