Nikolai Berdyaev: The Religion of Communism (1931) // The Paradox of the Lie (1939)
Here are two of Berdayev's essays, on communism; and on the lie - on which also see: Alexandre Koyré The Political Function of the Modern Lie. I need hardly point out the relevance of the function of lying and deceit in this era of ideological tyranny. The so-called 'parivar' currently ruling India might be surprised to learn how close its instincts are to the totalitarian stream within the communist movement. There was an anti-Bolshevik stream as well, which is another story. As Berdayev says,
'The lie is the chief foundation of the so-called totalitarian states, and without an organising lie they could never have been created.. the lie can even seem the sole truth..'
Berdayev's 'christian existentialist' critique of communism contains this sentence: "For what is most terrible in it is the mixture of truth and falsehood.." and this paragraph: "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 form or a revolutionary; 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 pass over to the Third International. The Third International is also a Holy Empire, and it also is founded on an Orthodox faith. The Third International is not international, but a Russian national idea"- cited Benedikt Sarnov, Moscow Union of Writers in Our Soviet Newspeak: A Short Encyclopedia of Real Socialism., p. 446-447
The psychological atmosphere has been very unfavourable to an understanding of the ideological world in which Communism moves. Among Russian emigrants it has roused a passionate emotional reaction such as one might expect from wounded people; there are too many who, on being asked what Communism is, could answer, "My own shattered life and unhappy lot." In Western Europe men's attitude is characterised either by bourgeois fright and the bourgeois reaction of the capitalist world, or by the superficial and irresponsible toying with Bolshevism (a snobbish fad, for the most part) indulged in by some intellectuals. But hardly anyone has taken the ideology of Communism, the Communist faith, seriously.