Source: Aurora (México), num. 65, Dec. 1926, pp. 897 and 907.
Translated by: For Marxists.org by José Acosta.
This Edition: Marxists.org, February 2014.
The fulfillment of social necessities has been the reason for the creation of professions. The artificial necessities created by the actual regime of oppression and inequality will be considered useless by future generations. What is more, other necessities will persist by being perfected and adjusted to the historical moment. For example, we will always have a necessity for a laborer to dominate nature in the mine, sea or forest, while, it may be, and it is desirable to eliminate the necessity for the merchant, soldier and the entangler of justice in the same way that the slave owner and other parasites from previous epochs were eliminated. (It is true that these have been substituted by the bourgeois and the priest, but this same substitution announces their extinction.) There is a profession that has existed in other epochs that is of utmost importance in the agitated era of today. I'm referring to the professional revolutionary. Although ignored, this profession has been fundamental in fulfilling the necessity of social progress. Along with the miner, wise inventor, electrician, pedagogue, and railroad driver we can find, without any doubt, the revolutionary. Before, there was Graco, Spartacus, Marat, Robespierre, Bolivar, Marx, Lenin, and Sun Yat Sen... Slave liberator, patron of the agrarian revolution, liberator of the bourgeoisie from the yoke of feudalism or of the proletarian from the yoke of the bourgeoisie. We can grasp that his duty, his trade, his profession is the same, only in a different stage.
The principal characteristic of the revolutionary is their absolute comprehension and total identification with the cause they defend. The ideas they embrace are converted into generators of a social energy. The ignorant are accustomed to classifying them as fanatics for this reason. Reactionaries, led by hate and fear, fill the revolutionary with insults. There has been no man more insulted than Lenin in all this century. Likewise, there has been no other that approached brilliance, sanctity, and ethically considered heroism in the same length as the leader of the III international.
If the professional revolutionary is a Marxist, for example, they can apply Marxism to all problems. Enemies are amazed in front of the power of its truth, but they dare not accept it despite considering it true and refusing to attack it openly. They give the monstrous sensation of locomotives advancing through virgin jungles and populated cities. The professional revolutionary may arrive at martyrdom or what is considered as such by strangers. Furthermore: every minute in his unfamiliar life would be a minute in hell for countless others. They may die in the gallows, in torture, or reviving the slaughter of the circus. They accept all things with the same naturalness that the baseball player accepts his earnings: it is their profession and nothing more. For this reason, when the public or the public opinion applaud any of their daily gestures of heroism they consider it so strange as if they were watching a public applaud a singer after hearing their voice from a record player.
Their actions, like the voice in the record, is not theirs, it is rather a reflection and inspiration of the social environment. Like Bernard Shaw remembers in Saint Joan, they are dragged perhaps without understanding the reason.
They recognize the infiniteness of human action. Like Zarathustra, they understand the meaning of the earth. They are saints of this earth, hero of man and geniuses of the smallness of the moment. They do not aspire for transcendentalism. They have pride in being a bridge for the rest to advance. They will most likely not believe in the Nietzschean superman. But they recognize the progress made from the worm to the monkey and from the latter to man. In the same manner, historical materialism has taught them the steps from the feudal to the bourgeoisie and from the latter to the proletarian.
After having died completely consumed and drained like a log during a fire, they die satisfied recognizing the utility of their action. They have been violently burned. But they have illuminated many and warmed up the cold social atmosphere.
If you are a student it is possible that you do not comprehend your profession. You may have seen, if you are sincere, that medical knowledge is worthless if a vast majority of ills are produced by misery and social injustice.
You may have seen that all juridical theories are nothing in the interior of the ruling class. You may have seen that the conquests of modern industrialization are worthless if the vast majority of the population still lives in the conditions of a caveman. So, dear comrade, if not one of the professions offered in bourgeois universities speak to you, become a revolutionary. Go to the prisons in search of your doctorate.
If you are worker, if you comprehend that your 8 to 16 hours of work represent exploitation without limits, understand that neither you nor society will ever receive the earnings of your labor, if you comprehend that despite all the strikes you will always be exploited, become a revolutionary. The oppressed are looking for these professionals that will fulfill the great necessity of the moment. It is the profession without competition, the triumphant profession, the profession that every honest man must perform.