The Catechism of the Revolutionary

The Cathechism of the Revolutionary seems to be contradictory. The prevalent theme is that the primary and single motivator behind all decisions is the consideration of how said decision will benefit or harm the revolution. Any action that will benefit the revolution must be undertaken immediately, regardless of any personal conflicts or entanglements and, likewise, any action or person who could harm the revolution must be destroyed. While the idea that the revolution stands above all else remains constant throughout, there are discrepancies in the teaching that the entire modern world must be hated in order to appropriately embrace a new world embodied by happiness and peace. How could love spawn from hatred, and how could humanity be embraced if all members of the revolutionary organization are considered as nothing more than parts of a machine, as means to an end? If the organization has no other aim that “complete freedom and happiness of the people”, then wouldn’t the happiness and dignity of the people need to be considered throughout the process of the revolution and not just at the end, when the goal has been accomplished? A revolution cannot fulfill its ultimate goal, which is to preserve the dignity of the people, if there is no consideration of the individual struggle throughout the process. If the entire movement revolves around doing whatever possible, no matter the destruction involved, to achieve a goal, there leaves little likelihood for the consideration of the people’s complete happiness to be a top priority in the future. Human beings cannot change their thinking processes at the drop of a hat. The means to this revolution do not match up to the ends, but only add to an already prevalent cycle of destruction and attempted rebuilding which results in a society very different, and far less palatable, from the original aim of revolution.

2 thoughts on “The Catechism of the Revolutionary

  1. I agree with Aubrey on the point that the Catechism does seem contradictory. Additionally, I’d like to note how in paragraph 15 when it calls for the violent deaths of those whose existence hinders the revolution, it is very similar to what happened in the French Revolution when the people called for several people to be beheaded. Just like in Aubrey’s point where it seems difficult if not impossible for love to spread from hate, the period during the French Revolution when people were led to the guillotine every day did not lead to productive change in France.

  2. The Catechism of the Revolutionary seems counter intuitive to me as well. The very first paragraph, it states that the “revolutionary is a doomed man”. As Aubrey asked, how will these ‘doomed men’ be able to create an environment of peace and happiness? The aspect of doom versus happiness is certainly contradictory.

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