Russian nationalism in its political and in its mystical expressions was amalgamated with the Communist ideology. Today “cosmopolitan” is the name for the worst heretic in the Communist countries. The Communists in spite of their prophetic background, their valuation of reason, and their tremendous technical productivity have almost reached the stage of tribal collectivism. Therefore it is possible to analyze the courage to be as a part in neocollectivism by looking mainly at its Communist manifestation. Its world historical significance must be seen in the light of an ontology of self-affirmation and courage. One would avoid the issue if one derived the characteristics of Communist neocollectivism from contributing causes like the Russian character, the history of Tsarism, the terror of Stalinism, the dynamics of a totalitarian system, the world political constellation. All these things contribute but are not the source. They help to preserve and to spread the system but they do not constitute its essence. Its essence is the courage to be as a part which it gives to masses of people who lived under an increasing threat of nonbeing and a growing feeling of anxiety. The traditional ways of life from which they got either inherited forms of the courage to be as a part or, since the ipth century, new possibilities of the courage to be as oneself, were rapidly uprooted in the modern world. This has happened and is happening in Europe as well as in the remotest corners of Asia and Africa.

It is a worldwide development. And communism gives to those who have lost or are losing their old collectivist self-affirmation a new collectivism and with it a new courage to be as a part. If we look at the convinced adherents of communism we find the willingness to sacrifice any individual fulfillment to the self-affirmation of the group and to the goal of the movement. But perhaps the Communist fighter would not approve of such a description of what he does. Perhaps, like fanatical believers in all movements, he would not feel that he makes a sacrifice. He may feel that he has taken the only right way in which to reach his own fulfillment. If he affirms himself by affirming the collective in which he participates, he receives himself back from the collective, filled and fulfilled by it. He gives much of what belongs to his individual self, perhaps its existence as a particular being in time and space, but he receives more because his true being is enclosed in the being of the group. In surrendering himself to the cause of the collective he surrenders that in him which is not included in the self- affirmation of the collective; and this he does not deem to be worthy of affirmation. In this way the anxiety of individual nonbeing is transformed into anxiety about the collective, and anxiety about the collective is conquered by the courage to affirm oneself through participation in the collective. This can be shown in relation to the three main types of anxiety. As in every human being the anxiety of fate and death is present in the convinced Communist. No being can accept its own nonbeing without a negative reaction. The terror of the totalitarian state would be meaningless without the possibility of producing terror in its subjects. But the anxiety of fate and death is taken into the courage to be as a part within the whole by whose terror one is threatened.

Through the participation one affirms that which may become a destructive fate or even the cause of death for oneself. A more penetrating analysis shows the following structure: Participation is partial identity, partial nonidentity. Fate and death may hurt or destroy that part of oneself that is not identical with the collective in which one participates. But there is another part according to the partial identity of participation. And this other part is neither hurt nor destroyed by the demands and actions of the whole. It transcends fate and death. It is eternal in the sense in which the collective is considered to be eternal, namely as an essential manifestation of being universal. All this need not be conscious in the members of the collective. But it is implicit in their emotions and actions. They are infinitely concerned about the fulfillment of the group. And from this concern they derive their courage to be. The term eternal should not be confused with immortal. There is no idea of individual immortality in old and new collectivism. The collective in which one participates replaces individual immortality. On the other hand, it is not a resignation to annihilation—otherwise no courage to be would be possible —but it is something above both immortality and annihilation; it is the participation in something which transcends death, namely the collective, and through it, in being-itself. He who is in this position feels in the moment of the sacrifice of his life that he is taken into the life of the collective and through it into the life of the universe as an integral element of it, even if not as a particular being.