To Be Burned Twice

“For, to be burned twice in one’s lifetime, is, after all, a rare distinction.”

I recently finished reading Arthur Koestler’s two-part auto-biography, P1 “Arrow in the Blue” and P2 “The Invisible Writing”. Finished when he was only thirty-five years old and finally settled as a refugee in post-war England, these books outline his journey fleeing fascism; into and then out of communism. To the realization that while Nazi Germany was evil, that did not make the Soviet Union any less evil. And that the scrapping for Socialist Utopia – whether National Socialist or Bolshevik Socialist, are all chasing after an arrow in the blue, in devotion to the new faith which became the most wicked of all dictatorships.

Of course, Koestler says it best himself below:

“Every period has its dominant religion and hope, and ‘Socialism’ in a vague and undefined sense was the hope of the early twentieth century. So much so that German ‘National-Socialists’, French ‘Radical-Socialists’, Italian ‘Christian-Socialists’ all felt the need to include the fetish-word into their names. In the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics this hope seemed to have found its incarnation; and the magic worked, and still works, with varying degrees of intensity, on a considerable portion of mankind. The realization of the full truth about the regime which now rules one-third of the world: that it is the most inhuman regime in human history and the gravest challenge that mankind has yet encountered, is psychologically as difficult to face for most of us as an empty heaven was for Gothic man.”

About Joel D. Hirst

Joel D. Hirst is a novelist and a playwright. His most recently released work is "Dreams of the Defeated: A Play in Two Acts" about a political prisoner in a dystopian regime. His novels include "I, Charles, From the Camps" about the life of a young man in the African camps and "Lords of Misrule" about the making and unmaking of a jihadist in the Sahara. "The Lieutenant of San Porfirio" and its sequel "The Burning of San Porfirio" are about the rise and fall of socialist Venezuela (with magic).
This entry was posted in Book Review, Liberty and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to To Be Burned Twice

  1. pennwordsgmailcom says:

    Both extremes, Communism and Fascism, are dangerous.


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  3. Pingback: “Apocalypse Never” – A Must Read | Joel D. Hirst's Blog

  4. Pingback: “Apocalypse Never”–A Must Read | THE ARTFUL DILETTANTE

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