Go ahead and talk. It’s no sin to listen. I am not a coward either. I am simply careful.
This would only be the beginning, brother.
A good beginning, I won’t deny it. And what will be the end?
The earth stripped naked, a tabula rasa, do you understand? And on this naked earth, naked man, naked as his mother bore him. No breeches on him, no orders, no pockets, nothing. Imagine men without pockets. Queer, isn’t it? Yes indeed, brother, the ikon is only the beginning.
Oh, they’ll make new ones.
But they won’t be the same as before. And they’ll never forget this much—that dynamite is mightier than their God, and that man is mightier than dynamite. Look at them; see them yonder praying and kneeling, not daring to raise their heads and look you straight in the face, mean slaves that they are! Then comes a real man, and smash goes the whole humbug. Done for!
And when a dozen of their idols have gone the same way, the slaves will begin to understand that the kingdom of their God is at an end, and that the kingdom of man has come. Lots of them will drop from sheer terror. Some will lose their wits, and others will throw themselves into the fire. They’ll say that Antichrist has come. Think of it, Kondraty!
And aren’t you sorry for them?
Sorry for them? Why, they built a prison for me, and I am to be sorry for them. They put me in a torture chamber, and I am to be sorry for them. Bah!
Who are you to be above pity?
I? I am a man who have been born. And having been born, I began to look about. I saw churches and penitentiaries. I saw universities and houses of prostitution. I saw factories and picture galleries. I saw palaces and filthy dens. I calculated the number of prisons there are to each gallery, and I resolved that the whole edifice must go, the whole of it must be overturned, annihilated. And we are going to do it. Our day of reckoning has come. It is time.
Who are “we”?
I, you Kondraty, and others.