"Review of Die Lehre von den Geistigen und vom Volke" / Gustav Landauer. Zukunft. As translated in The Philosophy of Spinoza and Brunner, p. 239.
No, this is no book that one has read. I read it again and again and read it even though I do not have my eyes upon it. And since I have been reading it, there has been an eternal working within me, a continual discussion of pro and con, negation then—enthusiastic approval. It sweeps me along and it tears me apart and sometimes I feel as if I plainly perceive how the author, too, is rending himself apart to show me his heart and therein the Truth.... Here is one who speaks of Truth not only in the misty hours of ecstasy, and not only in the language of presentiment.... Here is one who above all has no need of leaning on superstition. Nor does he at once retire to the recesses of the inner life. He understands and loves the external world. Feeling, Knowing, and Willing constitute to him the great unity of our living and creative thinking. He is one who does not love mere fragments or freakish aphorisms. He spreads his arms out far above the world and creates a system. How rightly do we despise these systematic, pedantic writers who out of five books make a sixth one and call it a "comprehensive work". Here, however, we have a comprehensive head. Here speaks a man who is moved and agitated by something different from anything this age of ours has been moved by. We were down-trodden and oppressed by much that happened and still happens among us, and we have often allowed ourselves to be misled into imputing to the World all the meanness and nonentities that were between ourselves, and have thus transformed our human woes into Weltschmerz, the easier to bear it. We were quite ready to stain the Universe with our moral judgements with which we unnecessarily hurt each other. Here, however, speaks a man who feels great happiness within him and would like to give great happiness. Even if you disagree, even if you believe: there is not much to what he says, it is simply marvelous how he says it. -But you will entertain such thoughts only at the beginning. No doubt you will soon be delighted with this fire, with this most powerful sermon, with this fierce, prophetic voice. But this is not all. Gradually as you delve more deeply into it you meet with many decisive contributions which he renders to thought and science, and you soon realize that here speaks a clear and sober mind, a man of bright thoughts to whom fire is not merely dim and oppressive heat. You begin to leave mere aesthetic enjoyment and you are finally ready to maintain: This man does not claim to say what is new. He thinks very little of those who are forever hunting up strange and novel things. But he does bring the old Truth, which he himself declares to have been the Truth of Plato, of Christ, and of Spinoza. He brings the Truth of which in our age only a few have sung or stammered and brings it up in profound and yet lofty and high-soaring speech.