Eugene Lanti 1929

If Lenin Were an Esperantist?

Source: E. Lanti, Vortoj de Kamarado E. Lanti. La Juna Pensa, Laroque Timbault, 1979;
Translated: for by Mitch Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) 2006.

Comrade Umo asserts that if the world-language movement isn’t progressing rapidly it’s because Esperanto isn’t a sufficiently perfect language. According to him, if we were to accept the reforms that he has proposed, and even implemented, we would see our cause progress rapidly.

Comrade Jeo emphatically says that if SAT were to accept his party’s program the latter would show sympathy with our language and would certainly accept it.

Both comrades are very sincere, convinced, and ready to exclusively defend their point of view until death.

And there exist many other comrades who believe that it would be enough embrace their proposed solutions or tactics in order to soon attain “the glorious goal.”

I am one of those who doesn’t believe that we will soon give effect to our desires. But it isn’t pointless to explore the causes of this slow progress. I think that the chief cause is that in general Esperantists themselves are not sufficiently conscious of the seriousness of the instrument that they use. In some of their cases it would be more accurate to say: that they more or less play with. Yes, for a great number of Esperantists the participation on our movement is something of a game, a fashion that they abandon as soon as they take up lodging in another fashion.

In order to become conscious of the seriousness of the Esperanto cause it is necessary to understand the great role played by technology, the artificial in humanity’s evolution. It is necessary to understand that the artificial language is product of technology, whose manipulation and use demands particular care in order to impose it on the greater public.

This instrument cannot obtain general acceptance if it is mainly the unskilled who use it. But if we were to suppose that Tolstoy, Romain Rolland, Henri Barbusse, Maxim Gorky and other famous writers, instead of speaking a few bombastic phrases in support of Esperanto were to learn it and were to write in it; that Jaurès, Bebel, Lenin and other influential leaders were to speak in our language at international congresses; to suppose that . . . the reader himself can continue the suppositions. Would one then not have the right to think that thus our movement would advance by giant steps? I believe that if Lenin was an Esperantist then all the cultured class in the Soviet Union, the entire communist movement all over the world would be Esperanto speaking. And who would contradict me if I were to assert that like the unity of thought and action, the unity of will would be much stronger than in fact it currently is in proletarian circles?

What is needed is a strong conviction that the Esperanto cause is not an accessory item which it suffices to dedicate a few hours to from time to time in order to be a conscious world-languagist.

Technologies have already revolutionized the world. But it isn’t enough to invent them, it isn’t enough to praise them: what is needed is more learned technicians to make them function better.

SATists should become good technicians. They should show concern for and love the linguistic instrument that they have acquired. They should become skillful, never forgetting that their work for and with Esperanto is revolutionary work in the deepest meaning of the word.

(June 13, 1929)

1. Green is the color of the flag of the Esperanto movement.