Volume 5, Number 3-4
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The “Revolutionaries” – A Supplement
Do you know that we are tremendously powerful already? Our party does not consist only of those who commit murder and arson, fire off pistols in the traditional fashion, or bite colonels… Listen. I’ve reckoned them all up: a teacher who laughs with children at their God and at their cradle is on our side. The lawyer who defends an educated murderer because he is more cultured than his victims and could not help murdering them to get money is one of us. The schoolboys who murder a peasant for the sake of sensations are ours. The juries who acquit every criminal are ours. The prosecutor who trembles at a trial for fear he should not seem advanced enough is ours, ours. Among officials and literary men we have lots, lots, and they don’t know it themselves… Do you know how many we shall catch by little, ready-made ideas? When I left Russia, Littre’s dictum that crime is insanity was all the rage; I come back and find that crime is no longer insanity, but simply common sense, almost a duty; anyway, a gallant protest.
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Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881)