Previous: Narodniki, part 6

(ii) The Dialectic of Struggle: From Religion to Terrorism, and From That to Revolution

It is possible to suppose that the stages of revolution in Russia model the stages of the future world revolution. This is similar to the hypothesis that stages of the French revolution in the main foretold the stages of the Russian revolution, both in the upward and downward movements.

Leila Khaled - Bethlehem wall graffiti 2012-05-27

Leila Khaled, PFLP member who hijacked a TWA flight and attempted to hijack an ElAl flight. A mural in Bethlehem, 2012.

So, we suppose that terrorism is a necessary stage in the formation of a revolutionary party. This terrorism we have seen in the activity of "Narodnaya Volya". In our days, we have witnessed similar events all over the world: in the explosions of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, in 1998, in the explosions of the American military ship USS Cole in 2000 in the port of Aden, Yemen, in the simultaneous bombings of the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001 in the USA, in the train bombings in Madrid, Spain, in 2004, in tube and bus bombings in London, England, in 2005, etc. 

Alexander Soloviev 1879

Alexander Soloviev, 1879.

A second attempt at the life of tsar Alexander II was made by Alexander Soloviov in 1879. Read the following excerpt from a biography of this A. Soloviov: "On 1 April, 1879 he bid farewell to all his acquaintances at the apartment of Alexander Mikhailov". Does it not remind us of the modern terrorists, who bid us their farewells in the videos which they make before going to their deaths? E.g. watch this terrorist saying a farewell to his baby daughter.

Some facts from the life of A. Soloviov: "In 1865 he entered the law faculty of the St. Petersburg University, but was forced to leave the school, in the second year of studies, due to lack of funds... For a while he was a deeply religious ascetic, but became disappointed in religion; in 1876 he joined 'Zemlya i Volya'... On April 2, 1879 on his own initiative he made an unsuccessful attempt at the life of Alexander II. After an attempt at suicide, Soloviov was arrested, sentenced to death and hanged".


"The Development of Capitalism in Russia", by Lenin, was written against the theoretical views of Narodniks.

Here we see a man who started his search on the road of religion. Then became disappointed and turned to terrorism. Is it not possible to suppose that some modern Islamic terrorists, in the future, will shed their religious clothes?

Our hypothesis is the following: global terrorism is the first stage of revolutionary party appearing on the global scale. The new revolutionary party will need to overcome Islamic ideology, but retain their present militancy and popular support. 

Just as  Plekhanov and Lenin have given a battle to the narodnik movement, on theoretical and propagandist levels, and this was the first stage of formation of a Marxist party, so today we need to give a battle to the militant Islamic movement.

Next: Narodniki, part 8

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