Degree Year

2005

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Sociology

Advisor(s)

Veljko Vujacic

Keywords

Milosz, Koestler, Free-floating, Intellectual, Closed, System, Communist

Abstract

In this thesis, I will explore the reasons why intellectuals, who are thought to be critical of all governmental regimes, historically espoused revolutionary politics and communism. I will also elucidate how the "closed system" of logic in communist theory compels "free-floating" intellectuals to adhere to a dogmatic belief in the historical mission of the proletariat and justify revolutionary violence and the violent means used by the Communist Party to transform society.

In order to answer these questions, I will examine the literature and autobiographies of two Central European authors-Arthur Koestler and Csezlaw Milosz. First I will show that both authors were in fact "free-floating" intellectuals, who were not firmly based in a socio-economic class or a single profession. Neither author came from or drew the influence of a single homeland. Each writer spent extensive time outside of his home country and was exposed to a variety of cultures. Finally, neither man had solid interpersonal relationships that inhibited his travels and adventures or anchored him firmly in a location or social circle. This unique social position provided them with no definite class or national interests. Thus, Koestler and Milosz depended on logic and the consensus of intellectual circles to develop their political positions.Theories of communism, which were rational and logical, became their political guide.

Included in

Sociology Commons

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