Benedetto Croce: that liberty which is only another name for humanity


Nevertheless the Russian Communists have not solved, nor will their violent and repressive methods ever enable them to solve, the fundamental problem of human society, the problem of freedom. For in freedom only can human society flourish and bear fruit. Freedom alone gives meaning to life: without it life is unbearable. Here is an inescapable problem. It cannot be eliminated. It springs from the very vitals of things and stirs in the souls of all those countless human beings whom the Communists are trying to control and reshape in accordance with their arbitrary concepts. And on the day that this problem is faced, the materialistic foundations of the Soviet structure will crumble and new and very different supports will have to be found for it. Then, even as now, pure communism will not be practiced in Russia. 

…. Even if such experiments should develop in other parts of Europe, the fact that other countries differ so from Russia in religion, civilization, education, customs, traditions—in historical background, in short—would produce something quite new, whatever its name and appearance; or else, after an indeterminate period of blind groping and struggle, there would sooner or later emerge that liberty which is only another name for humanity.

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