This Storm Is What We Call Progress

Denis Maksimov/AVENIR INSTITUTE reading "This Storm is What We Call Progress"

Denis Maksimov/AVENIR INSTITUTE reading "This Storm is What We Call Progress"

“ ’Tis but a tent where takes his one day’s rest

A Sultan to the realm of death addressed.

The Sultan rises and the dark Ferrash 

Strikes, and prepares it for another guest.” 

Difficult, indeed, it is, judicially to handle a subject where even probable truth will hardly gain assent. In the affairs of war we excel those of our enemies, who adhere to methods opposite to our own. In our manner of living we show an elegance tempered with frugality, and we cultivate philosophy without enervating the mind. When power leads man towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. 

And yet we pass the soundest judgements, and are quick at catching the right apprehensions of things, not thinking that words are prejudicial to actions, but rather the not being duly prepared by previous debate before we are obliged to proceed to execution. Envy will exert itself against a competitor while life remains; but when death stops the competition, affection will applaud without restraint. Moreover, we may hence conclude that there is great hope that death is a blessing. And if it is a privation of all sensation, as it were, a sleep in which the sleeper has no dream, death would be a wonderful gain; for thus all futurity appears to be nothing more than one night. 

To conquer we have need to dare, to dare again, ever to dare!

Chaos isn't a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, but they refuse. History teaches us that no oppressed class has ever come into power and cannot come into power, without passing through a period of dictatorship, that is, the conquest of power and forcible suppression of the most desperate and mad resistance which does not hesitate to resort to any crimes, such has always been shown by the exploiters. And by the hundreds of thousands today we find our own people have become impatient, turning away from your white nationalism, which you call democracy, toward the militant, uncompromising policy of black nationalism. There is no system more corrupt than a system that represents itself as example of freedom, the example of democracy, and can go all over this earth telling other people how to straighten out their house, when you have citizens of this country who have to use bullets if they want to cast a ballot. 

We are new brooms; let us see that we sweep the right rooms. For it is monstrous that the feet should direct the head. There is no jewel, be it of never so rich a price, which I set before this jewel: I mean your love. For I do esteem it more than any treasure or riches; for that we know how to prize, but love and thanks I count invaluable. Neither do I desire to live longer days than I may see your prosperity and that is my only desire. I have ever used to set the Last Judgement Day before mine eyes and so to rule as I shall be judged to answer before higher judge, and now if my kingly bounties have been abused and my grants turned to the hurt of my people contrary to my will and meaning, and if any in authority under me have neglected or perverted what I have committed to them, I hope God will not lay their culps and offenses in my charge. Let tyrants fear; I have always so behaved myself that, under God, I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good will of my subjects. 

To be a king and to wear a crown is a thing more glorious to them that see it than it is pleasant to them that bear it. In such a time of necessity those who act in the name of God are not those who, citing Bible quotations, wander idly about the country and spend the day partly doing nothing and partly criticising the work of others; but those whose prayers take the highest form of uniting man with his God, that is the form of work. I encourage you from time to time and always in respectful manner to question my logic. If you’re unconvinced with a particular plan of action I’ve decided is the wisest then tell me so. But allow me to convince you and I promise you right here and now - no subject will ever be taboo. 

Except of course the subject that was just under discussion. The price you pay for bringing it up: I collect your fucking head! Now, if any of you, son of bitches got anything else to say now is the fucking time!

Ours is a righteous cause. The enemy shall be defeated. Victory will be ours. 

The text was read publicly by Denis Maksimov (Avenir Institute) at the opening lecture-performance of the total installation "Storming" by Alexander Shishkin-Hokusai in London. It features quotations (in the order of appearance) from Omar Khayyam, Pericles, John F. Kennedy, Socrates, Georgres Danton, Petyr Baelish, Vladimir Lenin, Malcolm X, Lady Astor, Elizabeth Tudor, Adolf Hitler, O-Ren Ishii and Vyacheslav Molotov.