Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial evidence book. People's Exhibit 54.
The Alarm (Newspaper) article, "Bakunin's Ground-Work for the Social Revolution," 1885 Dec. 26
Introduced Vol. K p. 647, 1886 July 30.
Transcript of article.
Illinois vs. August Spies et al. trial evidence book. People's Exhibit 54.
(A free translation from the German.)
BAKUNIN'S GROUND-WORK FOR THE SOCIAL REVOLUTION.
A Revolutionist's duty to himself.
1. The revolutionist is a self-offered man. He has no personal interest, feelings or inclinations; no property, not even a name. Everything in him is consumed by one single interest., by one single thought, one single passion---the revolution.
2. The whole work of his existence, not only in words, but also in deeds, is at war with the existing order of society, and with the whole so-called civilized world, with its laws, morals and customs, he is an uncompromising opponent. He lives in this world for the purpose to more surely destroy it.
3. The revolutionist despises every doctrine and disclaims society in its present form. He leaves the reorganization of society to the future generations. He knows only one science; the science of destruction. He studies mathematics, physics, chemistry, and perhaps medicine for and only for this purpose. For the same reason he studies day and night the living science of men, characters, conditions, and also the situation of the present social
"order". The quick and sure destruction of the present unreasonable order of the world is the object of the studies.
4. He despises public sentiment. He despises and hates the present social "morality" in all its instigations and manifestations. He acknowledges as moral whatever favors the triumph of the revolution; immoral and criminal whatever checks it.
5. The revolutionist is a consecrated being (who does not belong to himself); he would not spare the state in general and the entire class of society, and at the same time does not expect mercy for himself. Between him and society reigns the war of death or life, publicly and secretly, but always steady and unpardoning. He has to get used to standing all endurance.
6. Stringent with himself he must also be to others. All weak sentiment towards relation, friendship, love and thankfulness must be suppressed through the only cold passion of the revolutionary work. For him there exists only one benefit, one wager, one satisfaction;: the effect of the revolution. Day and night dare he have only one thought, one aim: the unmerciful destruction; while he, cold-blooded and without rest, follows that aim, he himself must be ready to die at any time and ready to kill with his own hands any one who seeks to thwart his aims.
7. The nature of the revolutionist excludes every romance, every sentimentality, every private enthusiasm and
enrapture; it excludes every personal hatred and revenge. The revolutionary sentiment, developed into an every day and steady habit must be paid with a cold calculation. Never and nowhere dare he obey his personal inclinations, but only that what the common interest of the revolution has staked out before him.
The revolutionist's duty toward his revolutionary comrades.
8. The revolutionist can only conceive friendship and have affection for him, who has shown with deeds, that he is a comrade of the revolution. The degree of friendship, attachment and other obligations toward such a comrade is measured by his usefulness in the practical work of the destructive revolution.
9. It is unnecessary to speak of the fellowship amongst the revolutionists; upon them exists the entire might of the revolutionary work. Comrades of the revolution, who stand even high on the revolutionary understanding and revolutionary habit, must as much as possible consult all important affairs in common and take resolution unanimously. In executing a resolved upon case, everybody must as much as possible depend upon himself. In case, where a lot of destructive deeds is to be done, everybody must be self-operating and request help and counsel of his comrades only in cases where it is absolutely necessary for success.
10. Every comrade of the revolution shall have several revolutionists in the second or third order, on hand, that is such persons as are not thoroughly instructed; he shall dispose of them as a trusted part of the revolutionary capital. He shall use his part of the capital economically, in order to get as great results from them as possible. He shall dispose of himself as so much capital to be used for the triumph of the work of the revolution, but a capital which he cannot dispose of without the full consent of all the fully consecrated comrades.
11. In case a comrade should be in danger, he dare not question himself as to whether he shall rescue him or not, take his personal feeling in consideration; but he shall consider only and solely the interest and act for the sake of the revolution. Therefore he must weigh the usefulness of his comrade and what he is able to perform on one side, and the value of his revolutionary power on the other, and act just as the scale may sink on one side or the other,
The revolutionist's duty toward society.
12. A new candidate for membership, after having proved in deeds, not in words, themselves worthy to become a member can be unanimously only taken up into the association.
13. A revolutionist moves in the world of state, in the world of classes, in the so-called "civilized world", and lives in the same, just for the simple reason that he believes
in its speedy destruction. He is no true revolutionist who clings to anything at all in this bouregoise world. He dare not shrink where the cause is at stake or refuse to break any tie which binds him to the old world, or hesitate to destroy any institution or its upholders. Equally must he hate everything, but that is ani-revolutionary. So much the worse for him if he has in the present world ties of relation, friendship or love; he is no revolutionist if these ties are able to arrest his arm.
14. For the sake of the unmerciful destruction the revolutionist can, and often he must, live in the very centre of severity and seem to be a different person from what he really is. A revolutionist must obtain entrance in the upper ten as well as among the middle class, in stores, in churches, in the aristocratic palace, in the political, military and literary world; yes, even in the detective agency and the Emperor's palace.
15. The entire filthy society of our time should be divided into different categories. The first one consists of those who are immediately sentenced to death. The members may make up lists of such delinquents, in a degree according to their rascality, and in regard to the effect of the revolutionary work, but so, that the first members may be served before the rest.
16. In making up these lists, and arranging the categories,
the individual corruptionist dare not justify himself, or perhaps the hatery by which he is feared to the members of the organization or the people, because corruption is useful, when it is able to stir up a riot. The measure of usefulness is only to be considered, which may result from the death of a certain person for revolutionary work. In the first place those persons are to be destroyed, who are most harmful to the revolutionary organization, and whose violent and sudden death is able to terrify the governments and shake their might the most, in so far as it will rob the powers that be of their most energetic and intelligent agents.
17. The second category consists of those who are temporarily permitted to live so that they will be a series of terrible deeds, drive the people into open revolt.
18. To the third category belongs a number of beasts, who are neither through intellect or energy distinguished, but who, by their condition are possessors of vast wealth, high connections, influences and might. These must in all possible ways be taken advantage of; they must become entangled and confused, and by making ourselves masters of their dirty secrets to bring them over to ourselves. In this way we make their might, connections, influence and wealth to be an inexhaustible treasury and a splendid help to many revolutionary undertakings.
19. The fourth category consists of all kinds of ambitious officers and liberals of different shades. With these we can with their own program conspire, by acting as though we were blindly following them. We must bring them and their secrets into our hands and completely expose them so as to prevent them from ever rejoining the reactionists, and thus make work and help stir up riots in the state.
20. The fifth category forms the doctrinaire "conspiratars and revolutionists" i. e. all those who prattle in meetings or as writers. They must without rest be driven to practical and dangerous manifestations and the result will be that the largest portion of them will disappear, whilst some of them will develope into genuine revolutionists.
21. The sixth category is of importance. It is the women, who are to be divided into three classes. To the first belong the perfunctorious women, without intellect or heart, who are to be usded in the same manner as the men in the third and fourth categories. To the second class belong the passionate, devoted and qualified women, who, although they do not belong to us, because they have not risen to the practical, praiseless, revolutionary comprehension, they must be handled as the men in the fifth category. In the third category are the women who are wholly consecrated to the social revolution, that is, they have accepted our whole program. They are to be guarded as the most
valuable part of the revolutionary treasures, for without their assistance we are unable to achieve the social revolution.