Shagin

8

“We shall proclaim destruction! We shall set towns on fire, we shall create myths, and for that, any lousy cell shall be useful to us. In those cells of five I’ll find you volunteers who’ll be prepared to assassinate anyone and thank you for sending them to do it. So we’ll start unrest, and there’ll be havoc everywhere – havoc such as the world has never before witnessed. Russia will be shrouded in mist and the Earth will weep for its old gods. […] Ah, what a marvellous legend we shall let loose on them! The main point will be that a new authority is coming, and that’s just what they’ll be longing and crying out for. What use can we have for socialism? It destroys the old authority without replacing it. But we will have authority – authority such as the world has never before heard of. All we’ll need is a level to lift the Earth, and since we have it, we’ll lift it!

Listen, I won’t show you to anyone, not anyone. That’s the way it must be. He exists, but no one has ever seen him because he’s in hiding. You know, though, we might show you to one in, say, a hundred thousand; then the rumour will spread all over the Earth: ‘he has been seen, they saw him!’ The leader of the sect of Flagellants, Ivan Filipovich, was seen by some 'with their own eyes,’ as he ascended into heaven in his golden chariot. And you’re much better than Ivan Filipovich. You’re a beautiful, proud young god who seeks nothing for himself, but stays in hiding with a halo of sacrifice around his head. The main thing is to create a legend – after that, all you have to do is look at them and they will be conquered.” – Pyotr Verkhovensky in Dostoyevsky’s Demons.