With the establishment of the collective and the exclusive emphasis on self-affirmation as a part, those expressions of the courage to be as oneself had to be rejected. The neocollectivist is also able to take the anxiety of guilt and condemnation into his courage to be as a part. It is not his personal sin that produces anxiety of guilt but a real or possible sin against the collective. The collective, in this respect, replaces for him the God of judgment, repentance, punishment, and forgiveness. To the collective he confesses, often in forms reminiscent of early Christianity or later sectarian groups. From the collective he accepts judgment and punishment. To it he directs his desire for forgiveness and his promise of self-transformation. If he is accepted back by it, his guilt is overcome and a new courage to be is possible. These most striking features in the Communist way of life can hardly be understood if one does not go down to their ontological roots and their existential power in a system which is based on the courage to be as a part. This description is a typological one, as the descriptions of the earlier forms of collectivism were. A typological description presupposes by its very nature that the type is rarely fully actualized. There are degrees of approxi- mation, mixtures, transitions, and deviations. But it was not my intention to give a picture of the Russian situation as a whole, including the significance of the Greek Orthodox Church, or of the different national movements or of individual dissenters. I wanted to describe the neocollectivist structure and its type of courage, as actualized predominantly in present-day Russia.

The Courage to Be as a Part in Democratic Conformism