We are often accused of terrorism but in vain - we were not engaged in it, and I repent of it now. I have once heard so many phrases of “hysteric flashes” and “iron footstep of proletarian battalions” lifted out of the context by our theoreticians that I have almost completely excluded individual terror (i.e. shooting off representatives of bourgeoisie and bureaucracy) from our repertoire. I was even arguing that more bourgeois smashed daily in their cars than revolutionaries had shot off during the entire post-perestroika period, and their amount was not decreasing - as a result we were not to deal with it but to concentrate our attention at propaganda and labour movement. Well, that’s certainly a very important matter but now I have doubts whether we had denied individual terror to no purpose.
There is an opinion that individual terror discredits revolutionaries. The question is: in whose eyes?
Even idealess killers shooting off businessmen for hire don’t cause commoners’ unconditional hatred - usually their victims meet no compassion. Common men of the street look at these showdowns and journalistic investigations on TV at worst like ancient Romans at fence-plays - with unhealthy thrill, sometimes they even sympathize killers: it serves the “subject” right! It concerns bureaucrats particularly. The completely unknown before retired colonel Vladimir Kvachkov accused of assassination attempt upon Chubais and kept in custody in the “Matrosskaya Tishina” prison has gained 30% votes at the State Duma deputies by-election in December 2005 and given way to Putin’s protégé Shavrin only. Moreover, it happened in Moscow, I think it is not necessary to explain what Moscow is.
On the contrary, a correctly chosen and killed villain would only add sympathy of degraded and robbed people to guerillas. But the opinion of bourgeois, their henchmen and commoners of bourgeois spirit doesn’t concern us. Do you think revolutionaries who had executed an enterprise director for wages non-payment to workers could discredit themselves in these workers’ eyes?
The next argument of terror adversaries is that as a result revolutionaries can get into prison for a long time or even die. But what for do they put a revolutionary in prison? To render him harmless, at least for the detention period, to “output” him. Our Marxists ignore completely the fact that a killed exploited is also “output” - unlike them, we have no opportunity to put him into prison and have to throw him out by such a more reliable way. Only those who are no danger for bourgeoisie are not put into prison - at the level of “barking dog which does not bite”.
Finally, the favourite argument of the “right Marxists” is the necessity to develop labour movement. Only the most consequent revolutionary class - the proletariat can break capitalism to pieces. Maybe it can but not here and not now. Numerous communist parties, leave alone Trotskyites, etc., try to raise it to struggle by their formulas but fail to raise it not only to political struggle but even to some serious economic one.
But according to the final result several “terrorists” are able to reach more in fulfilling economic demands than collectives of many thousands with less labour inputs and losses. Not to be empty I will give a concrete and well-known example: workers of the “Lisichansk soda” had been fighting for timely wages payment for almost a year. They resorted to several thousand strong meetings, rallies, blocked the production outflow through the enterprise gates, blacked their work almost up to equipment explosion, applied to the prosecutor and used the support of the communist deputies… Even the participants cannot remind how many times they blocked the railway: “Near seven or nine times”. Briefly, they used all the repertoire of organized class struggle. But the masters did not care a wit: they paid a sop for a month and continued brutalizing workers and cracking down. But once they cut it too fat unexpectedly: applied the epithet of “working trash” to a worker who was asking for material assistance to pay for kindergarten for his child. He went home, returned with a gun and cracked the assistant director. After this accident the wages are paid out not only regularly and monthly but even bimonthly - the pay-packet and subsistence allowance - one darer succeeded to do more than a collective of almost three thousands.
But when you get down to it - the masters have got frightened in vain. Roman Kamynin surrendered. “Arrest me, I killed Carmen!” - why not to go on the run and continue further terror on bourgeoisie? And the others haven’t got guts for resistance. Imagine now that several military groups appeared and shoot out bourgeois, their directors and guards purposefully…
One may object that militants wouldn’t be able to reach all the bourgeois. For example, let’s take the “prince” of metallurgy and one of the most shameless exploiters of the modern world - the Indian billionaire Mittal Lakshmi who actually lives in London and is certainly guarded well. What to do? In fact there is no trouble - he does not manage the branches of his empire himself but through his less high-ranking assistants. So blows should be launched not at the “think tank” of the capitalist octopus but at tentacles - directors and private guardians - either they would run away or demand such salaries for risk that it is cheaper to increase workers’ ones. So there’s nothing to say of pettier bourgeois - how can they protect themselves? Would they hire bodyguards? It’s too expensive, moreover, would it help? In general bodyguards’ confidence is estimated as 7-10%. 90% of attempts are prevented operationally, 8% are prevented by chance and only 2% by bodyguards if it comes to shooting.
Would they apply to police? The police guards’ confidence is not higher than common bodyguards’ (“not higher” is even an exaggeration). How long would they be able to guard him? A guerilla attack may occur tonight as well as in a half a year. Besides, the authorities would found themselves in an ambiguous situation. They don’t like to take the side of private owners openly, especially when they are apparently wrong: it undermines the voters’ trust, etc. - so they prefer not to intervene. Probably in this case they would take the owners under their protection but recommend them strongly to settle the conflict with workers amicably - that’s a small victory.
What do workers as well as gangsters’ “tops” demand from bourgeois? - Of course money! But workers demand what is due to them, what they have earned legally, or to increase wages a little because it is impossible to live upon such a small modicum. But workers’ requests are treated as something offensive: idle trash doesn’t want to work - in contrary, “strong requests” of gangsters are met with some sort of masochism and pride of being under some “top”. They justify their “sharing” by mutual profit - they are under protection, otherwise is impossible - such behaviour is well-known to psychologists. If bourgeois are properly frightened they will begin to pay out wages in time and to throw non-recurrent sops - I am handsome, I take care of you, let me alone! If a bourgeois is stubborn and decides: “I’ll die heroically but never increase wages!”, “I’ll hold up the manufacture but fire all of you!” - the advantage of terrorists is apparent: it is possible to lock-out workers, to hire new and more easy-going ones - but it is impossible to lock-out killers.
One may object that it is criminally liable, that the militants would be exposed to unnecessary risk and lose their lives in vain instead of organized class struggle at enterprises. Such statements are forgivable only because there is almost no class struggle in Russia. So the number of murdered labour militants or those with broken ribs amounts to single ones. Taking into consideration our Latin-American tempers revolutionary killers are safer within normal class struggle - at least they are to be found first. The “death squadrons” in Latin America are powerless against guerillas but are engaged in mass murders of labour militants and trade union leaders. I want to put a condition in order not to have ascribed what I haven’t said. If the fabricants are being shot out they may make concessions to a certain level only: to lose a part of their profits but never everything. Although occasionally some bourgeois subjected to gangsters’ pressing gave up their business completely and retired - the price of life is higher. Besides, revolutionary terrorism produce such an argument as loss of our best cadres as a result of untimely action. But as soon as “the best of us” are smashed as a result of untimely action” the best of them are also smashed during such action that is often left out of account.
Let’s now pass to the essence: those who state the possibility of bloodless overthrowing of the power as a result of elections, strikes, meetings-rallies either tell lie consciously or are hopelessly stupid. Bourgeois themselves as well as workers to whose interests such persons refer tell directly that nobody would give the power away to communists on his free will. Unlike home-made “theoreticians” they are familiar with life.
Those who accept the inevitability of civil war but deny individual terror (attempts) aimed at single representatives of bourgeoisie and bureaucracy in fact play the game fastened upon them: “As a result of the Red Army’s successful offensive Kolchak’s losses amounted to so many…” Have you ever thought about the social structure of the lost? It is no coincidence that I have mentioned Kolchak here - it was his army which had the largest ratio of peasants conscripted by force. But the bourgeoisie for whose interests they were dying holed up in the rear and led its “business”, demanded for decisive actions and succeeded to board on steamships before the “white troops” as usual.
Small guerilla groups’ purposeful hunt on bourgeois and bureaucrats has such an advantage over classic guerilla or civil war that direct offenders constitute much higher ratio among the fallen enemies. It is their “heelers”, private guards, security officers and even common soldiers who mainly die in usual “correct” engagements.
The “Odessa case” affirms it very well as the guerillas waged a “correct” civil war according to Marxist conception. In fact some of the affected (killed and injured) persons were “aliens”: eight security officers, one private guard, one loader and only one bourgeois woman but only because she had jumped at a gun foolishly.
Such small amount of victims can be explained by lack of our activity in “organizing the working class struggle”, otherwise a great amount of killed and crippled enterprises guards would have been added. Haven’t our “Marxists” ever try to agitate at private enterprises directly, to organize a strike there? We visited enterprises with guns, knives and fittings. We were not going to be thrown out of the gate or rendered to police. (The director or owner would hole up in his office calling up to police). A semi-absurd case: while “pressing” us in the Lenin district police department the cops shouted: “You’d better take those explosives and blow up the Supreme Rada or Kuchma - why do you shoot at us?” Bourgeois may sacrifice their hirelings endlessly and much the more the scorned “trash” but they preserve their own lives desperately. And if you want to crush bourgeoisie and bureaucrats in one you should invite danger for them directly - only then they push off abroad (those who succeed) having previously stolen everything they can. Those who speak against terrorism, for “correct” civil war in fact speak for death of mainly conscripted by force workers and peasants in engagements with insurgents.
The last argument is that terrorism doesn’t result to demolition of the established order. Nobody states the opposite: terrorism is only one of the tools of revolutionary struggle - not the main but a very effective one and we have no necessity to reject it.