A Philosophy of Hate

We are not waging war against individual persons. We are exterminating the bourgeoisie as a class. During the investigation, do not look for evidence that the accused acted in deed or word against soviet power. The first questions to put are:
To what class does he belong?
What is his origin?
What is his education or profession?
And it is these questions that ought to determine the fate of the accused. In this lies the significance and essence of the Red Terror.

p>. -- M. Y. L atsis, senior official in CHEKA
Geoffrey A. Hosking, A History of the Soviet Union

The scientific concept, dictatorship, means neither more nor less than unlimited power resting directly on force, not limited by anything, not restrained by any laws or any absolute rules. Nothing else but that.

p>. -- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

These leeches have drunk the blood of toilers, growing richer the more the workers starved in the cities and factories. The vampires have gathered and continue to gather in their hands the lands of landlords, enslaving, time and time again, the poor peasants. Merciless war against these kulaks! Death to them!

p>. -- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, regarding the peasants who refused
to sell food to the state at the subsistence rates he demanded, in a speech

[S]o long as other classes continue to exist, the capitalist class in particular, the proletariat fights it (for with the coming of the proletariat to power, its enemies will not yet have disappeared, the old organization of society will not yet have disappeared), it must still use a measure of force, hence governmental measures; if it itself still remains a class and the economic conditions on which the class struggle and the existence of classes have not yet disappeared, they must be forcibly removed or transformed, and the process of their transformation must be forcibly accelerated.

p>. -- Karl Marx, After the Revolution

[T]he three classes of modern society, the feudal aristocracy, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, each have a morality of their own... [W]e can only draw the one conclusion: that men, consciously or unconsciously, derive their ethical ideas in the last resort from the practical relations on which their class position is based... We therefore reject every attempt to impose on us any moral dogma whatsoever as an eternal, ultimate and forever immutable ethical law on the pretext that the moral world, too, has its permanent principles which stand above history and the differences between nations.

p>. -- Friedrich Engels, Anti-Duhring

Hatred as an element of the struggle; a relentless hatred of the enemy, impelling us over and beyond the natural limitations that man is heir to and transforming him into an effective, violent, selective and cold killing machine. Our soldiers must be thus; a people without hatred cannot vanquish a brutal enemy.

p>. -- Che Guevara, message to the Tricontinental, 1967


Send to Penza

To Comrades Kuraev,
Bosh, Minkin and
other Penza

Comrades! The revolt by the five kulak volost's must be suppressed without mercy. The interest of the entire revolution demands this, because we have now before us our final decisive battle "with the kulaks." We need to set an example.

1) You need to hang (hang without fail, so that the public sees) at least 100 notorious kulaks, the rich, and the bloodsuckers.

2) Publish their names.
3) Take away all of their grain.
4) Execute the hostages - in accordance with yesterday's telegram.

This needs to be accomplished in such a way, that people for hundreds of miles around will see, tremble, know and scream out: let's choke and strangle those blood-sucking kulaks.

Telegraph us acknowledging receipt and execution of this.

Yours, Lenin

P.S. Use your toughest people for this.
TRANSLATOR'S COMMENTS: Lenin uses the derogative term kulach'e in reference to the class of prosperous peasants. A volost' was a territorial/administrative unit consisting of a few villages and surrounding land.

-- order from Lenin to communists in Penza, August 11, 1918

Back to May Day: A Day of Remembrance Share this

"It turns out that in that

"It turns out that in that terrible year Andrei Yanuaryevich (one longs to blurt out 'Jaguaryevich') Vyshinksy, availing himself of the most flexible dialectics (of a sort nowadays not available to either Soviet citizens or electronic calculators, since to them yes is yes and no is no), pointed out in a report which became famous in certain circles that it is never possible for mortal men to establish absolute truth, but relative truth only. He then proceeded to a further step, which jurists of the last two thousand years had not been willing to take: that the truth established by interrogation and trial could not be absolute, but only, so to speak, relative. Therefore, when we sign a sentence ordering someone to be shot we can never be absolutely certain, but only approximately, in view of certain hypotheses, and in a certain sense, that we are punishing a guilty person. Thence arose the most practical conclusion: that it was useless to seek absolute evidence - for evidence is always relative - or unchallengable witnesses - for they can say different things at different times. The proofs of guilt were relative, approximate, and the interrogator could find them, even when there was no evidence and no witness, without leaving his office, 'basing his conclusions not on his own intellect but also on his party sensitivity, his moral forces' (in other words, the superiority of someone who has slept well, has been well fed, and has not been beaten up) 'and on his character' (i.e., his willingness to apply cruelty).

Of course, his formulation was much more elegant than Latsis' instructions. But the essence of both was the same.

In only one respect did Vyshinsky fail to be consistent and retreat from dialectical logic: for some reason, the executioners' bullet which he allowed was not relative but absolute."

(Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, "The Gulag Archipelago - An Experiment In Literary Investigation", 1973, Harper & Row, Inc., Vol. I, Part I, "The Prison Industry", chapter 3, "The Interrogation", pp. 100-101, all emphases original)

I hope you don't think this

I hope you don't think this is any argument against relativism or for absolutism. The problem with the approach mentioned above is not the relativism, but the way relativism is applied. I'm sure you wouldn't think it a mark against absolutism and principles if I found a quote from some Nazi executioner on that particular topic.

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