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One must tell people the truth, as they know it already, in any case. It is ridiculous to pretend to them – “Darkness At Noon” – Arthur Koestler

July 20th, 2012 · No Comments · Communism, Ideology, Politics

‘In your pamphlets,’ continued Rubashov in the same dry tone of voice, ‘of which you admit to be the author, there frequently appear phrases such as this: that we have suffered a defeat, that a catastrophe has befallen the Party, and that we must start afresh and change our policy fundamentally. That is defeatism. It is demoralizing and it lames the Party’s fighting spirit.’

‘I only know,’ said Richard, ‘that one must tell people the truth, as they know it already, in any case. It is ridiculous to pretend to them.’

‘The last congress of the Party,’ Rubashov went on, ‘stated in a resolution that the Party has not suffered a defeat and has merely carried out a strategic retreat; and that there is no reason whatever for changing its previous policy.’

….
You wrote: “The remains of the revolutionary movement must be gathered together and all powers hostile to tyranny must unite; we must stop our old internal struggles and start the common fight afresh.” That is wrong. The Party must not join the Moderates. It is they who in all good faith have countless times betrayed the movement, and they will do it again next time, and the time after next. He who compromises with them buries the revolution. You wrote: “When the house is on fire, all must help to quench it; if we go on quarrelling about doctrines, we will all be burnt to ashes.” That is wrong. We fight against the fire with water; the others do with oil. Therefore we must first decide which is the right method, water or oil, before uniting the fire-brigades. One cannot conduct politics that way. It is impossible to form a policy with passion and despair. The Party’s course is sharply defined, like a narrow path in the mountains. The slightest false step, right or left, takes one down the precipice. The air is thin; he who becomes dizzy is lost.’

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