To Irene Grant (7 May 1932)

From Karl Polanyi
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[18] Darling Irene,

I am a pig and traitor not having written till now. Donald is perhaps back in Geneva again and we are most anxious to know what he has brought back from London.

we had a glorious time with the Big Brother here. for, you see, it was not only Saturday but also the eve of the First of May.

(Enter Dick)

Bad conscience, criminal leanings, cynical practice, fires of purgatory, forgiveness for the Repentant!

Thanjfykkt dud GF.. OH! HCE HCE HCE!!!

Gratefully did GF remember to me that he had had a letter from you -- he comes to see me this afternoon - I hope he is better now, although I am not quite reassured -- no body seems to know what is wrong with him - matters may be altogether better than we fear, of course -- often small temps of this sort disappear for good and all -- the doct. - s propose to inquire into the state of his jaw - bones, a thing they usually do when at a loss about the source of temps -- s o this newest feature is really more reassuring than other - wise , showing clearly that nos sure diagnosis has as yet been made, which is usually much to be preferred to the contrary.

We had a grand discussion on Fascism and Socialism in the A.F.O.R., with alive Faschist (a former Communist he was of course!) as opponent to meek Benedikt and inscrutable [19] bu y deadly me! I am so sorry not to know the persons by name: -- Benedikt happily seemed to know everybody ++ It must be more than a coincidence that the O.B. circle, the FOR, and R.R.'s group too are mainly concerned with the Ethics of Fascism at the moment, and that they all seem to agree that it is fundamentally opposed to Christianity. My Lunterenlecture (-- oh! really could not Tess somehow procure the text of it to me, I need it bitterly!!!) and my sociological theory of Fascism as the expression of a very real problem of our times: the problem of Democracy under the following aspect: Capitalism invests the leaders of industry with absolute prerogatives in the mill, the factory concerning the workers attached to them -- modern Democracy on the other hand, invests these self-same workers with absolute prerogatives in the State. There is an antinomy between these two series of phenomena.

[…] [19]

[20] (One should not be mislead for a moment by slogans: The Bolshevik declares that he is “abolishing” the State -- The Fascist that he is making the State supreme -- both conceptions are misleading as to the essence of the matter. It is the Socialist who continues the traditions of the “political” State, and the Fascist who is the inventor of the “non-political” State.

This evening I shall see Dr. Zerner about Wendy's school -- lots of new difficulties have arisen: Dr. Z. who seemed to be extremely keen on this affair told me to day that he has been informed by the authorities that there is no possible way of changing over to a higher class now, because this is allowed only during the first year of a foreigners stay in this country, later no more. This, if true, means the the Dornbach school made a bd technical mistake in not transferring Wendy in the first year. As a matter stans, he sais, there is only one way left, and that is to make a Privtschülerin, which the would exceptionnally allow her to do in spite of it being late in the year; quick decision of course being needed. I shall see him this evening and let you know the rest soon. There are many things to consider of course: the disadvantage of be a year back; the psychological and moral disadvantage of “privatshülerei”; the costs of private schooling which depends also on the legth of the term; etc. So I will let you know;

Donald was just Donald. Rather preoccupied in at first, full of new hope at the departure. We were decidedly more than glad to have him. Ilona is all right again, thank God;

Text Informations

KPA: 56/13, 18-20