Ecce homo

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Dec 10 18:26:17 MST 2002

But among the Marxists there were also people of another sort. Especially
Ulyanov. His friends called him Old Man because of his wisdom, although he
was still young. He had a bald skull, the huge dome of which indicated an
outstanding intelligence. His eyes were sharp: they seemed to drill right
through his collocutor. His character was iron. His energy colossal. A man
of incomparable erudition, he kept up with all the facts, even the
smallest. In his hands the merest statistical detail became grounds for
wrath and hatred against the whole social system, a sentence of
condemnation, and a sword. His mind was like a sharpened revolutionary
guillotine. His arm was authoritative, short, strong. And he himself was
short, rather small, with a small, reddish beard, a native Russian from
Simbirsk. He had an excellent command of languages and kept abreast of
world literature. But it was not a chair at the university that he aspired
to. No! He was leading workers' circles. He was an underground activist. He
wrote inflammatory leaflets, illegal pamphlets. He brought together
reliable cohorts, out of whom later an invincible army would develop. His
brother had been hanged--but he was following his own path. His scholarly
articles, signed with the pseudonym "V. Ilyin," were an unbroken phalanx of
arguments that invariably destroyed his opponent completely. But he was
also a brilliant strategist, tactician, organizer, practical worker. He
strove to fan every spark into a flame. Ecce homo!

(from Nikolai Bukharin's "How It All Began")

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