Thursday, 27 December 2012

The Duties of the Revolutionist to Himself

1. The Revolutionist is a person doomed [consecrated]. He has no personal
interests, no business affairs, no emotions, no attachments, no property, and no
name. Everything in him is wholly absorbed in the single thought and the single
passion for Revolution.
2. The Revolutionist knows that in the very depths of his being, not only in words
but also in deeds, he has broken all the bonds which tie him to the civil order and
the civilized world with all its laws, moralities, and customs, and with all its
generally accepted conventions. He is their implacable enemy, and if he continues
to live with them it is only in order to destroy them more speedily.
3. The Revolutionist despises all doctrines and refuses to accept the mundane
sciences, leaving them for future generations. He knows only one science: the
science of destruction. For this reason, but only for this reason, he will study
mechanics, physics, chemistry, and perhaps medicine. But all day and all night he
studies the vital science of human beings, their characteristics and circumstances,
at every possible level of social existence. The object is perpetually the same: the
surest and quickest way of destroying the whole filthy order.
4. The Revolutionist despises public opinion. He despises and hates the existing
social morality in all its manifestations. For him, morality is everything which
contributes to the triumph of the Revolution.

5. The Revolutionist is a person doomed [consecrated]. He is merciless toward
the state and toward the whole formal social structure of educated society; and he
can expect no mercy from them. Between him and them there exists, declared or
concealed, a relentless and irreconcilable war to the death. He must accustom
himself to torture.
6. Tyrannical toward himself, he must be tyrannical toward others. All the
gentle and enervating sentiments of kinship, love, friendship, gratitude, and even honor, must be suppressed in him and give place to the cold and single-minded
passion for Revolution. For him, there exists only one pleasure, on consolation,
one reward, one satisfaction -- the success of the Revolution. Night and day he
must have but one thought, one aim -- merciless destruction. Striving
cold-bloodedly and indefatigably toward this end, he must be prepared to destroy
himself and to destroy with his own hands everything that stands in the path of the
7. The nature of the true Revolutionist excludes all sentimentality, romanticism,
infatuation, and exaltation. All private hatred and revenge must also be excluded.
Revolutionary passion, practiced at every moment of the day until it becomes a
habit, is to be employed with cold calculation. At all times, and in all places, the
Revolutionist must obey not his personal impulses, but only those which serve the
cause of the Revolution.

Mikhail Bakunin


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