Leaving Moderates Out in the Cold

Reading The Catechism of the Revolutionary and Demands of the Narodnaia Volia reminded me of Pussy Riot. Both groups want roughly the same thing (considering the time periods in which they are from). In a documentary I watched about Pussy Riot and the trial proceeding their ‘performance’ at Christ the Savior Cathedral, a prosecutor approached the women and told them their actions essentially alienated liberals and prevented moderates from joining a more liberal camp. The Catechism and Demands essentially do just that. Any moderate person of the time reading the documents would most likely be put off by such a radical, far left.

The Catechism of the Revolutionary makes extraordinary demands of revolutionaries, essentially detailing out a revolutionary’s entire life. Revolutionaries may not have friends or family, and cannot do anything unless it benefits the organization. The document makes revolutionaries out to be terrorist operatives, essentially devoid of humanity and feeling (unless it forwards the goals of the organization). On the other hand, Demands of the Narodnaia Volia confirms any suspicions that these revolutionaries might be operatives.

Part D of the Demands of the Narodnaia Volia lays out the various operations of the terrorist organization. Item number two specifically discusses “destructive and terrorist activity”, essentially condoning any actions or deaths, if they are in the best interests of the organization’s goals. The entire document makes the Narodnaia Volia out to be a cold, extremely focused organization.

These documents were both intriguing to me. Have either of these been applied to and used for modern terrorist organizations? How many people could truly call themselves ‘revolutionaries’ and how seriously were the rules in the Catechism taken?