And that is all.

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

WFRL: Dostoyevsky's Green Shirt ~

From "The Demons" by Dostoyevsky, 1872
Thanks to StrulZ for this passage:

Pyotr Verkhovensky describes the Shigalyov system to Stavrogin:
"It's well put in his notebook. (...) He's got spying down. He has each member of society watching the others and obliged to inform. Each belongs to all, and all to each. All are slaves, and are equal in their slavery. In extreme cases, there's slander and murder, but the main thing is equality. The first thing is to lower the level of education, science and accomplishment. A high level of science and accomplishment is accessible only to people of high ability, and there's no need for high ability! People of high ability have always sized power and been despots. People of high ability can't help but be despots and have always corrupted more than they have brought benefit; they are sent into exile or executed. Cicero had his tongue cut out, Copernicus had his eyes put out, Shakespeare was stoned - that's Shigalyovism! Slaves should be equal; without despotism there has never yet been either freedom or equality, but there should be equality in the herd, and that's Shigalyovism! (...) I'm for Shigalyov! There's no need for education, enough of science! Even without science there's enough material for a thousand years, but obedience has to be established. There's only one thing lacking in the world: obedience. The thirst for education is nothing but an aristocratic thirst. No sooner do we have the family or love than the desire for private property arises. We will kill desire: we will foster drunkenness, gossip, denunciation; we will foster unheard-of depravity; we will stifle every genius in its infancy. Everything reduced to a common denominator, complete equality.

(The Demons~ Translated by Robert A. Maguire. Penguin: Harmondsworth, 2008. Page 463)
Alternative translation:
"He's got everything perfect in his note-book. (...) Spying. Every member of society spies on the others, and he is obliged to inform against them. Everyone belongs to all the others, and all belong to everyone. All are slaves and equal in slavery. In extreme cases slander and murder, but, above all, equality. To begin with, the level of education, science, and accomplishment is lowered. A high level of scientific thought and accomplishment is open only to men of the highest abilities! Men of the highest ability have always seized the power and become autocrats. Such men cannot help being autocrats, and they've always done more harm than good; they are either banished or executed. A Cicero will have his tongue cut out, Copernicus will have his eyes gouged out, a Shakespeare will be stoned - there you have Shigalyov's doctrine! Slaves must be equal: without despotism there has never been any freedom or equality, but in a herd there is bound to be equality - there's the Shigalyov doctrine for you! (...) I'm for Shigalyov! We don't want education. We have had enough of science. We have plenty of material without science to last us a thousand years. The thing we want is obedience. The only thing that's wanting in the world is obedience. The desire for education is an aristocratic desire. The moment a man falls in love or has a family, he gets a desire for private property. We will destroy that desire; we'll resort to drunkenness, slander, denunciations; we'll resort to unheard-of depravity; we shall smother every genius in infancy. We shall reduce everything to one common denominator. Full equality."

(The Devils~ Translated by David Magarshack. Penguin: Harmondsworth, 1960. Page 419)

Better cut off all identifying labels

Before they put you on the torture table

'Cause somewhere in the "Quisling Clinic"
There's a shorthand typist taking seconds over minutes
She's listening in to the Venus line
She's picking out names
I hope none of them are mine

But you tease, and you flirt...

Never said I was a stool pigeon
I never said I was a diplomat
Everybody is under suspicion
But you don't wanna hear about that

'Cause you tease, and you flirt...

Better send a begging letter to the big investigation
Who put these fingerprints on my imagination?

You tease, and you flirt...
And you shine all the buttons on your green shirt
You can please yourself
But somebody's gonna get it....

Click Me, Tovarich! I'm Prescient!

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