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HOME > Classical Novels > On the Eve of Redemption > THE ETERNAL CYCLE
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 Every revolutionary phenomenon in life, every political , upsets men's minds and shakes old rooted opinions to their very foundations. The sudden break with tradition affects both the mind of the individual as well as that of the collective body. It brings about a change in views and sentiments and often in the whole world-concept. The gloomy may suddenly become a and versa. The earthquake of Lisbon of 1755 not only shook the belief in of the young Goethe, but turned numerous orthodox circles into agnostics. The French Revolution broke the conservative spirit that was in Western Europe and put an end to the mediaeval conception of the state, just as the appearance of Bonaparte brought about the of the for Caesaric and the of the superman.  
The Russian Revolution, successful till now, has naturally greatly the minds of our contemporaries, and compelled them to revise their attitude on many historical forces and to consider the course of recent history in an new light. Men who never believed in the political ability of the Slavonic race and, therefore, thought that Russia was as a political power, are now admiring the political genius of the Russian people and the tactfulness of its leaders. Many Jewish contemporaries, who considered the Jewish case hopeless because of the terrible oppressions directed against our brethren in Russia by the representatives of the old regime, are now joyous and think that since millions of Russian Jews have been freed the Jewish question is completely solved. To the minds of these men the Jewish question will sink into forgetfulness within a short time because the Jews will enjoy everywhere freedom and liberty and will live in complete happiness.
This is the attitude of just those people who but the other day were convinced of the hopelessness of the Jewish cause and were worried over the sufferings that the future had in store for the Jews. This radical outburst of optimism, understandable at the present junc[50]ture, nevertheless betrays a intellect and a lack of historical intelligence. We all hope that the successful Russian Revolution, next to the world war the most important event in the history of the twentieth century, will open a new era for our people, an era of happiness and peaceful development but, at the same time, we should never lose sight of the fact that there is so far nothing new under the sun. There is only a definite number of forces and energies prevailing in history and each and every one of these forces has in turn its term of domination. History is only a continuation of biological nature plus human intelligence. There is only a certain definite amount of matter and energy in the realm of nature as well as in history, and energy in history can be destroyed as little as energy in nature. And just as there is always a substitution and constant change of forms in the realm of nature, so there is in history. Progress never assumes the shape of a straight line but that of a curve. The most glorious period in human history may be followed by a period of decay and . The golden era may be followed by an era of iron, to use a of Ovid.
There is in the realm of history as well as in the realm of nature an eternal cycle. The old Graeco-Roman historian, Polybius, already recognized the eternal cycle in the development of the state when he described this development from despotism, monarchism and feudalism, and from republicanism, democracy and ochlocracy back again to despotism.
We, as Jews, have too often experienced ups and downs to believe that a happy era will last forever. The Jews in Spain not only saw golden days of complete happiness and freedom, but formed for a time the vanguard of human civilization. Yet within one hundred years the Spanish Inquisition 200,000 Jews while the other 400,000 were compelled to leave the country. Today, Spain is again the Jews to settle in the land, them complete liberty and freedom where Torquamada's rule was .
There was a time when the Jews of Poland lived in happiness. Today, the Poles are the Jews in every possible way and are scheming and devising plans to break up Judaism in Poland. In Rome, where the Jews only one hundred years ago were and , a Jewish mayor dared to criticize the Pope openly and to challenge all the forces of mediaevalism in the Eternal City. England, that invented the ritual murder
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