Revolutionary Apocalypse: Ideological Roots of Terrorism (Praeger Security International)
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Emerging from the cultural catastrophe produced by the traumatic advance of modernity, the professional revolutionary is one disenchanted with the world. Incapable of accepting reality, he/she is convinced that he/she has a scientific knowledge that resolves the puzzle of history and will result in the creation of a paradise on Earth. Pellicani details the history of the birth of revolutionarism as a new form of Gnosticism through a study of the theory, the organization, and the practice of the Leninist party and their project to purify society by permanent terrorism. He analyzes the causes behind the collapse of the totalitarian system built by the Bolsheviks, and he provides new insights into understanding the recent revival of the nihilistic anarchism of the Black Blocks in Europe and their violent attacks against globalization and modern civilization.
As Pellicani describes, the goal of the professional revolutionary is the evangelical community, based on concepts of equality and universal brotherhood. To reach the desired goal, the revolutionary sees only one road-a war of annihilation against the capitalists who are responsible for the corruption of humanity. This is the source of the panthoclastic passion of the Gnostic revolution: the whole world must be destroyed to arrive at the New World, the Kingdom of God without God, Paradise on Earth.
Hence their receptivity to new messages, especially those favoring a radical overturning of the existing order that they hated and resented. Hence their search for a new group in the hope of recovering lost solidarity. At this point they became a “class of outsiders,” in conﬂict with everyone and everything: people, behavior, values, institutions. The scene was set for the revolutionary secession of the internal proletariat, not— this should be clear—to be confused with Jacquerie. The history of
most civilizations is marked by revolts of the oppressed against cruel, heartless oppressors. The objective of these revolts is to suppress abuses, not uses. “Dominated by the omnipotence of custom,”6 the rebels aspire to restore the previous, overturned order, not to create a new one. Instead in Europe in the Low Middle Ages a radically new sociological phenomenon appeared on the scene: the violent eruption, in successive waves, of movements in direct conﬂict with the dominant system of values,
Bompiani, 1990), p. 84. 69. Tibor Szamuely, The Russian Tradition, pp. 178–179. 70. N. V. Riasanovsky, A History of Russia, 4th ed. (Oxford, New York: OUP, 1984). 71. Paolo Angarano, “Introduzione” to M. Bakunin, Liberta` e rivoluzione (Naples: Avanzini e Torraca, 1968), p. 5. Interestingly, Chernyshevsky saw in the “religious madmen” of ancient Russia “a human quality not unlike what so many were to call his ‘Nihilism’” (F. Venturi, Roots of Revolution, p. 131). 72. Nikolai Berdiaev, “Gli
superior logic with respect to formal logic, which belonged to the sphere of abstract intellect. It was the “magic operator” by which Hegel successfully reintroduced the end causes into the heart of reality.36 In fact, dialectical logic went hand in hand with the theory of alienation, which in turn was but a variation of the myth of the fall and the redemption. Hegel’s philosophy of history acts in exactly the same way as the gnostic soteriologies: humanity is conceived as a potential god, which,
at the end of a difﬁcult pilgrimage, seeks to achieve its hidden divine essence.37 As Marx had placed the problem of alienation at the very heart of his theory, despite his declared materialism, he could hardly refute the fundamental principle of Hegelian idealism that “proclaimed the unity of reason and reality.”38 On the basis of this principle, it was possible to think of being as a totality, marching toward the kingdom of liberty, without resorting to a transcendent God. You could be atheist