September 28, 2009

Excerpt from The Seven Madmen


I’m telling you honestly – I don’t know if our society would be Bolshevik or fascist. Sometimes I think the best thing would be to concoct such an unholy mixture that not even God could untangle it. I’m being completely frank with you now. For the moment, what I’m aiming for is a huge undefined mass which could accommodate every possible human aspiration. My plan is to target young Bolsheviks, students and intelligent proletarians. We will also welcome all those who have some grandiose scheme for reshaping the universe, all those clerks who dream of becoming millionaires, all the failed inventors, all those who have lost their job, whatever it might have been, those who are being taken to court and have no idea where to turn…

The strength of our society won’t depend so much on what its members donate as on the earnings from the brothel each cell will run. And when I talk of a secret society I don’t mean the traditional kind, but a super-modern one, in which each member or associate has a stake and earns a profit – that’s the only way to get them to identify more and more closely with its aims, although these will only really be known to a few. That’s the commercial side of things. The brothels will guarantee enough income to support the growing number of ventures the society undertakes. We’ll set up a revolutionary training camp in the mountains. The new recruits will undergo instruction in anarchist tactics, revolutionary propaganda, military engineering, industrial relations, so that the day the leave the colony they can set up a branch of the society anywhere… D’you follow me? The secret society will have its own academy, the Academy for Revolutionaries.

- from The Seven Madmen (1929) by Roberto Arlt


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