A revolutionary prayer of confession

Our worst sin with regard to organisation consists in the fact that by our primitiveness we have lowered the prestige of revolutionaries in Russia. A person who is flabby and shaky on questions of theory, who has a narrow outlook, who pleads the spontaneity of the masses as an excuse for his own sluggishness, who resembles a trade-union secretary more than a spokesman of the people, who is unable to conceive of a broad and bold plan that would command the respect even of opponents, and who is inexperienced and clumsy in his own professional art – the art of combatting the political police – such a man is not a revolutionary, but a wretched amateur!

Let no-one take offense at these frank remarks, for I apply them first and foremost to myself.

Lenin, Collected Works, vol 5, p. 466.

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