"We can do anything if we are not afraid to die."
Mikhailov (1879 Russian Nihilist)
"History moves too slowly-it needs a push."
"Nihilism, mother of bolshevism, came , as her daughter came, from Germany. A simple creed, it held that the happiness of mankind requires the abolition of everything."
Edgar Saltus (1920)
The Imperial Orgy
"Nihilists believe in nothing and teach it."
"A little learning is a dangerous thing and a lot of it may be revolutionary."
"Take earth and heaven, take all laws human and divine and spit on them and that is nihilism…..
"Our first work must be the annihilation of everything as it now exists. The old world must be destroyed and replaced by a new one. When you have freed your mind from fear of God, and that childish respect for the fiction of right, then, then all the remaining chains that bind you-property, marriage, morality, and justice-will snap asunder like threads."
God and the State
"I am convinced that our country, now asleep, will awake; and its awakening will be terrible...it will no longer allow its rights to be trampled under foot, and its children to be buried alive in the mines of Siberia.....society will shake off its infamous yoke, and avenge us; and this revenge will be terrible....Persecute us, assassinate us, Judges and Executioners, (but) as long as you command material force, we shall resist you with moral force....for we have with us the ideas of liberty and equality, and your bayonets cannot pierce them."
Sophia Bardina (23 years old at her trial in Russia 1879) Her crime was espousing the beliefs of Nihilism...
"Russian nihilism denied God, the soul, the spirit, ideas, standards and the highest values. And none the less, nihilism must be recognized as a religious phenomenon.....At the base of Russian nihilism, when grasped in its purity and depth, lies the Orthodox rejection of the world, its sense of the truth that 'the whole world lieth in wickedness', the acknowledgment of the sinfulness of all riches and luxury, of all creative profusion of art and thought. Like Orthodox asceticism, nihilism was an individualist movement, but it was also directed against the fullness and richness of life. Nihilism considers as sinful luxury not only art, metaphysics, and spiritual values, but religion also....
....Nihilism is a demand for nakedness, for the stripping from oneself of all the trappings of culture, for the annihilation of all historical traditions, for the setting free of the natural man, upon whom there will no longer be fetters of any sort. The intellectual asceticism of nihilism found expression in materialism; any more subtle philosophy was proclaimed a sin....The attitude of the Russian nihilists to science was idolatrous....There was nothing skeptical in Russian nihilism, it was a faith....."
The Origins of Russian Communism
"Listen, first we'll start unrest," Verkhovensky said in a terrible hurry, tugging constantly at Stavrogin's left sleeve, "As I told you, we are penetrating deep into the masses themselves. Do you know that, even now, we are terribly strong? We have people other than those who cut throats, set places on fire, go in for classical assassinations, and go around biting people. Those people only get in the way. Without discipline, what they do can have no sense for me. In reality, I'm a crook and not a socialist, ha-ha-ha! I have them all at hand already: we have the teacher who makes the children entrusted to his care laugh at their God and at their families; we have the lawyer defending the well-educated murderer because he has reached a higher stage of development than his victims and couldn't get hold of their money without killing them; the schoolboys who, to experience a strong sensation, kill a peasant, are also with us; the juries who acquit criminals are all working for us; the prosecutor torn by his anguished fear of not being liberal enough does us a service. Ah, we have so many high government officials with us, and so many literary figures, who don't even know it themselves! On the other hand, the obedience of schoolboys and little fools has reached the high-water mark; the educators' gall bladders have ruptured and everywhere people's vanity and appetites have reached unheard-of-proportions. Have you any idea how much we can do with ready-made ideas alone? When I was leaving for abroad, the rage of the day was Littre's theory that crime is insanity; today, it is no longer insanity but the soundest common sense-indeed, almost a sacred trust or at least a noble gesture of protest. How, they say, can an educated killer help killing if he needs money? The Russian god as already capitulated to cheap liquor : the people are drunk, the children are drunk, the churches are empty, and in the courts of justice the alternative is between two hundred lashes and a bucketful of vodka.....
The Possessed (1881)
"It will be like the LA riots, the Oklahoma bombing, WWII, Vietnam, duke, and doom all mixed together. maybe we will even start a little rebellion or revolution to fuck things up as much as we can. i want to leave a lasting impression on the world, and god damnit do not blame anyone else besides me and V(Klebold) for this. don't blame my family, they had no clue and there is nothing they could have done, they brought me up just fucking fine. don't blame toy stores or any other stores for selling us ammo, bomb materials, or anything like that because it's not their fault. i don't want no fucking laws on buying fucking PVC pipes. we are kind of a select case here so don't think this will happen again. don't blame the school, don't fucking put cops all over the place, just because we went on a killing spree doesn't mean everyone else will, and hardly ever do people bring bombs or guns to school anyway. the admin is doing a fine job as it is. i don't know who will be left after we kill but damnit don't change any policies just because of us. it would be stupid, and if there is any way in this fucked up universe we can come back as ghosts or what the fuck ever we will haunt the life out of anyone who blames anyone besides me and V, if by some weird as shit luck me and V survive and escape will move to some island somewhere or maybe mexico, new zelend, or some exotic place where americans can't get us. if there isn't such a place, then we will hijack a hell of a lot of bombs and crash a plane into NYC with us inside firing away as we do down. just something to cause more devistation."
from the journal of Eric Harris, who, with Dylan Klebold, committed suicide after killing thirteen people in April 1999 at Columbine High School. The journal was leaked last December, after eight of the nine cases against the school district and police were dismissed. Duke and Doom are video games.
"A Nihilist is a man who bows to no authority, who accepts no principle without examination, however high this principle may stand in the opinion of men."
(Arkady in Ivan Turgenev's Fathers and Sons 1862)
..."They're a community of believers, in a way," he told me. They come from all kinds of backgrounds. But what unites them are these apocalyptic suspicions that they have. They think and act as though it's an extremely late hour in the day, and nothing much matters anymore. A lot of them are suicidal. Most of them see themselves as frustrated travelers. Solitary wayfarers. They've done things that have broken them off from their past and set off on the open road. Eventually they got arrested. This may be hard for some people to swallow, I guess, but they talk about their crimes almost as if they were acts of faith. Maybe these kinds themselves wouldn't use those words. But the things they've done, on some level, strike me as almost ecstatic attempts to vault over the shabby facts of their everyday lives. They haven't read much. But some of them, the more down-and-out ones especially, read the Book of Revelation a lot."
"The Apocalypse of Adolescence" by Ron Powers The Atlantic Monthly Mar 2002
Book: The Possessed" by Dostoevsky
Book: The Anarchist Prince: Peter Kropotkin by George Woodcock
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