Tolerance and Revolution:
A Marxist-non-Marxist Humanist Dialogue

edited by Paul Kurtz and Svetozar Stojanović


This volume contains the proceedings of the second Marxist‑non‑Marxist Humanist Dialogue held in Herzog Novi, Yugoslavia, August 11‑16, 1969. The Dialogue was sponsored by the Yugoslavian Philosophy Association; the Serbian Philosophy Association; and the International Humanist and Ethical Union, which contains humanist organizations in some 30 countries of the world.

Recognizing that Christians and Marxists have engaged in dialogue, it was thought important that non‑Marxist and Marxist humanists, who share many common values, also engage. The resulting Dialogue brought together some 35 humanist scholars from various parts of the world to discuss problems common to many countries. Among the key problems covered were alienation, bureaucracy, tolerance, freedom, human nature, social structure, revolution and social change.

There were seven main papers delivered during the first three days of the Dialogue. These were simultaneously translated into four languages. Participants at the Dialogue were invited to write up for publication, if they wished, their critical remarks following the main papers. Some of them availed themselves of this opportunity. The main papers and the commentaries on them are contained in Part I of this volume.

Following the plenary sessions, the Dialogue was divided into three smaller discussion groups. Part II contains summaries of the more intensive discussions, which were held the last three days of the Dialogue. Many of the participants found this portion of the Dialogue to be the most useful part of the exchange, since it was held in an atmosphere of frank honesty and cordiality. This part of the Dialogue was conducted without translation, and was divided into three language sections: English, German, and French. The topics discussed were: (1) Human Nature and Common values, (2) [5/6] Humanism and Radical Change of Social Structures, and (3) Participation and Bureaucracy.

Part III of this volume contains an informal concluding Dialogue transcribed verbatim at the end of the Dialogue by four of its participants and summing up some of the general conclusions of the Dialogue.

One shared conclusion reached by the participants of the Dialogue was the inestimable value of such discussion, the need for people from East and West to meet in a common exchange of ideas, and the hope that out of such dialogues mutual understanding between peoples might further develop.

We wish to thank the following for their assistance in providing translations of various papers in this volume: Richard Tucker, Henry Darcy, and Mary J. Cohen.

Paul Kurtz

Svetozar Stojanović



        Preface ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑                                                5


                      I. PAPERS AND COMMENTARIES


I.  J. P. van Praag Causes of Alienation in Modern

        Technical Society and Their Elimination ‑ ‑ ‑                     11

        John Lewis – Commentary on van Praag ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑                25

        Mathilde Niel – Commentary on van Praag ‑ ‑                 27

    II. Svetozar StojanovićRevolutionary Teleology and

        Ethics ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑                                                     29

        Andre Niel Commentary on Stojanović ‑ ‑ ‑                  49

        Staniša NovakovićCommentary on Stojanović - -       51

  III. Paul Kurtz – In Defense of Tolerance ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑                     53

        Mathilde Niel – Commentary on Kurtz ‑ ‑ ‑                     60

        Pierre Lamarque – Commentary on Kurtz ‑ ‑ ‑                61

  IV. Niculae Bellu and Alex. Tanase  Perspectives and

       Contradictions in the Contemporary Development of

        Man       ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑                                                         65

        Andre NielCommentary on Bellu and Tanase  ‑          82

   V. Mihailo MarkovićHuman Nature and Present Day

       Possibilities of Social Development ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑                         85

        Mathilde Niel Commentary on Marković ‑ ‑ -              102

  VI. Lucien de Coninck – Human Possibilities and Social

       Conditions                      ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ - -                    105

        Andre Niel – Commentary on de Coninck ‑ ‑ ‑                 112

VII. Andrej J. Hlávek – Power and Responsibility ‑ ‑              115

VIII. Emanuele Rierso – Rights of Individuals and Demands

         of Society ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑                                               123




1. Human Nature and Common Values ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑                 131


Robert Tucker                          English section

P. Vranicki                               German section

Andre Niel                                French section


2. Humanism and Radical Change of Social Structures       137


John Lewis                               English section

J. Pasman                                 German section

Alex. Tanase                             French section


3. Participation and Bureaucracy ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑ ‑                           145


Robert Stein                             English section

L. Hansel                                  German section

Lj. Tadić                                   French section




Participation, Bureaucracy, and the Limits of Tolerance ‑ - 153


Paul Kurtz

Mihailo Marković

J. P. van Praag

Niculae Bellu



Niculae Bellu, University of Bucharest, Roumania.

Lucien de Coninck, University of Gand, Belgium.

L. Hansel, Bund Freireligioser Gemeinden Deutschlands, West Germany.

Andrej J. Hlávek, University of Bratislava, Czechoslovakia.

Paul Kurtz, State University of New York at Buffalo, and American Humanist Association, U. S. A.

Pierre Lanzarque, Ligue Francaise de l’Enseignement, Paris, France.

John Lewis, Great Britain

Mihailo Marković, University of Belgrade, Yugoslavia.

Andre Niel, Institut de l’Homme, Paris, France.

Mathilde Niel, Institut de l’Homme, Paris, France.

Staniša Novaković, Institute of Social Sciences in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.

J. Pasman, International Humanist and Ethical Union, Netherlands.

Emanuele Riverso, University of Salerno, Italy.

Robert Stein, American Ethical Union, New York, U. S. A.

Svetozar Stojanović, University of Belgrade, Yugoslavia.

Lj. Tadić, University of Belgrade, Yugoslavia.

Alex. Tanase, University of Bucharest, Roumania

Robert Tucker, Princeton University, Princeton, N. J., U. S. A.

J. P. van Praag, University of Utrecht and International Humanist and Ethical Union, Netherlands

P. Vranicki, University of Zagreb, Yugoslavia.


SOURCE: Tolerance and Revolution: A Marxist-non-Marxist Humanist Dialogue, edited by Paul Kurtz and Svetozar Stojanović. Beograd: Philosophical Society of Serbia, 1970. 165, [1] pp. Preface, pp. 5-6; Contents, pp. 7-8; Notes on Contributors, following p. 165.

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