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The Revolutionary Catechism by Sergey Nechayev

The booklet The Revolutionary Catechism was written by Sergey Nechayev (b. 2 October 1847 – d. 3 December 1882), a Russian communist revolutionary who advocated terror and violence—in short, the destruction of any sense of order, internally and externally—to achieve communist goals.

Sergey Nechayev
Sergey Nechayev

Some claim that Lenin and Stalin have both read it. That is difficult to confirm but they certainly acted like they did. (The same can be said for many leftists.)

At approximately 1,900 words in 26 paragraphs, the text is organized into four sections:

  • The Duties of the Revolutionary toward Himself

  • The Relations of the Revolutionary toward his Comrades

  • The Relations of the Revolutionary toward Society

  • The Attitude of the Society toward the People

Given the length, it is easier to just read it but a few excerpts are provided below that illustrate the satanic mentality of tyranny, inversion and destruction, even if it is ultimately self-contradictory and self-defeating. Please note that although paragraph numbers are included, the quotation may not be of the entire paragraph.

1. The revolutionary is a doomed man. 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 revolutionary 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 social 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 revolutionary despises all doctrines and refuses to accept the mundane sciences, leaving them for future generations. He knows only one science: the science of destruction.
6. Tyrannical toward himself, he must be tyrannical toward others.
13. He should not hesitate to destroy any position, any place, or any man in this world. He must hate everyone and everything in it with an equal hatred.
14. Aiming at implacable revolution, the revolutionary may and frequently must live within society will pretending to be completely different from what he really is, for he must penetrate everywhere, into all the higher and middle classes, into the houses of commerce, the churches, and the palaces of the aristocracy, and into the worlds of the bureaucracy and literature and the military…

The author splits the existing “filthy social order” into five categories (excluding women which he comments on separately). Those who are in the first category are to be “be condemned to death without delay”. The others are to be used for the benefit of the revolution. This, of course, includes manipulation and backstabbing.

18. The third category consists of a great many brutes in high positions, distinguished neither by their cleverness nor their energy, while enjoying riches, influence, power, and high positions by virtue of their rank. These must be exploited in every possible way; they must be implicated and embroiled in our affairs, their dirty secrets must be ferreted out, and they must be transformed into slaves. Their power, influence, and connections, their wealth and their energy, will form an inexhaustible treasure and a precious help in all our undertakings.
19. The fourth category comprises ambitious office-holders and liberals of various shades of opinion. The revolutionary must pretend to collaborate with them, blindly following them, while at the same time, prying out their secrets until they are completely in his power. They must be so compromised that there is no way out for them, and then they can be used to create disorder in the State.
20. The fifth category consists of those doctrinaires, conspirators, and revolutionists who cut a great figure on paper or in their cliques. They must be constantly driven on to make compromising declarations: as a result, the majority of them will be destroyed, while a minority will become genuine revolutionaries.

And as if all that isn’t clear enough, the author concludes with the following:

23. By a revolution, the Society does not mean an orderly revolt according to the classic western model—a revolt which always stops short of attacking the rights of property and the traditional social systems of so-called civilization and morality. … The only form of revolution beneficial to the people is one which destroys the entire State to the roots and exterminated all the state traditions, institutions, and classes…

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