Nikolai Chernyshevsky, What is to be Done?, Chapter 2, entire

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The remainder of Chernyshevsky, What is to be Done?, Chapter 2 raises the issue of materialism and socialism–a very theoretical debate that seems very important to our author. The central tenet of socialism is the doctrine that says human beings are what they are because society makes them that way. Socialism goes with materialism. Let us not use all of these fancy words if we don’t need to. If the environment is what makes us what we are, we are probably just material. We are acted upon not actors. Lopukhov and our narrator seem to embrace this view, but it is a real question whether anyone can consistently adhere to it. Read the entire Chapter 2 to get the most out of this video.

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