Fyodor Dostoevsky

3/11/2022 5:28 AM I suppose many arm-chair-psychoanalysts, which I admit I think I am, are pondering over their Russian coffee, the psychology of Russian President Vladimir Putin.  I have not gone in search of these dudes but did stumble onto, now on my second coffee, Carl Jung: Psychology of The Devil [https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=r9MuMpod4GE], which has me wondering – is Mr. Putin a devil – is he evil?

Next, consider Fyodor Dostoevsky, the Russian novelist philosopher to be the Greatest Philosopher in History whose books, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, Demons, and The Brothers Karamazov Putin has to have on his bedside table. Dostoevsky explores “human psychology in the troubled socio-political atmosphere of 19th century Russia”, and we might add also in the 20th and still now in the 21st century. We learn that Fyodor’s novels address the psychology of those losing “their reason, who are nihilistic, or who become insane or commit murder”. Sounds like a Russian we know!

“Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote Notes from Underground in 1864 which is considered to be one of the first existentialist works, emphasizing the importance of freedom, responsibility, and individuality. It is an extraordinary piece of literature, social critique, and satire of the Russian nihilist movement as well as a novel with deep psychological insights on the nature of man.”

“Dostoevsky’s most sustained and spirited attack on the Russian nihilist movement is voiced by one of the darkest, least sympathetic of all his characters – the nameless narrator and protagonist known as the Underground Man, revealing the hopeless dilemmas in which he lands as a result. Notes from Underground attempts to warn people of several ideas that were gaining ground in the 1860s including moral and political nihilism, rational egoism, determinism, utilitarianism, utopianism, atheism and what would become communism” (Wikipedia).

Another surprise this morning is Fyodor’s 1864 novel Notes from Underground [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notes_from_Underground]. Fyodor observes that “utopian society removes suffering and pain, but man desires both things and needs them in order to be happy. He argues that removing pain and suffering in society takes away a man’s freedom. He says that the cruelty of society makes human beings moan about pain only to spread their suffering to others.”  This wiki entry on “Notes From Underground” goes deeper into what 1860 Russia experienced as it rubbed up against Western civilization.  That rubbing never was completed and today we are experiencing an intense rubbing.  Much more time can be spent digging deeper into these underground notes. I can just imagine my history teacher Bill Barney enjoying this!

Jordan Peterson: “Men are not piano keys on Dostoevsky’s Notes From Underground.”

This just received from CBS News “Putin is being investigated for war crimes, but convicting him will likely be difficult.” 3.11,2022 4:08 PM CST.

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