Crime And Punishment Page-233

Crime And Punishment

it follows that, if society is normally organised, all crime will cease at once, since there will be nothing to protest against and all men will become righteous in one instant. Human nature is not taken into account, it is excluded, it’s not supposed to exist! They don’t recognise that humanity, developing by a historical living process, will become at last a normal society, but they believe that a social system that has come out of some mathematical brain is going to organise all humanity at once and make it just and sinless in an instant, quicker than any living process! That’s why they instinctively dislike history, ‘nothing but ugliness and stupidity in it,’ and they explain it all as stupidity! That’s why they so dislike the living process of life; they don’t want a living soul! The living soul demands life, the soul won’t obey the rules of mechanics, the soul is an object of suspicion, the soul is retrograde! But what they want though it smells of death and can be made of India-rubber, at least is not alive, has no will, is servile and won’t revolt! And it comes in the end to their reducing everything to the building of walls and the planning of rooms and passages in a phalanstery! The phalanstery is ready, indeed, but your human nature is not ready for the phalanstery—it wants life, it hasn’t completed its vital process, it’s too soon for the graveyard! You can’t skip over nature by logic. Logic presupposes three possibilities, but there are millions! Cut away a million, and reduce it all to the question of comfort! That’s the easiest solution of the problem! It’s seductively clear and you musn’t think about it. That’s the great thing, you mustn’t think! The whole secret of life in two pages of print!” “Now he is off, beating the drum! Catch hold of him, do!” laughed Porfiry. “Can you imagine,” he turned to Raskolnikov, “six people holding forth like that last night, in one room, with punch as a preliminary! No, brother, you are wrong, environment accounts for a great deal in crime; I can assure you of that.” “Oh, I know it does, but just tell me: a man of forty violates a child of ten; was it environment drove him to it?” “Well, strictly speaking, it did,” Porfiry observed with noteworthy gravity; “a crime of that nature may be very well ascribed to the influence of environment.” Razumihin was almost in a frenzy. “Oh, if you like,” he roared. “I’ll prove to you that your white eyelashes may very well be ascribed to the Church of Ivan the Great’s being two hundred and fifty feet high, and I will prove it clearly, exactly, progressively, and even with a Liberal tendency! I undertake to! Will you bet on it?” “Done! Let’s hear, please, how he will prove it!” “He is always humbugging, confound him,” cried Razumihin, jumping up and