V. I.   Lenin

Note on M. N. Pokrovsky’s Article “The Professional Intelligentsia and the Social-Democrats”

Published: Proletary, No. 13, August 22 (9), 1905. Published according to the text in Proletary.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1972, Moscow, Volume 9, page 189.
Translated: The Late Abraham Fineberg and Julius Katzer
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2004). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.README

It seems to us that the differences between the author of the article entitled “The Osvobozhdeniye People at Work” and Comrade “Uchitel”[1] are not as great as the latter thinks. Anybody of long standing in the revolutionary movement becomes accustomed to the political struggle between various trends, acquires definite views of his own, and is, naturally, inclined to presuppose equally definite views in others, whom he classes as members of this or that “party” because of some opinion—or lack of opinion—of theirs on a particular question. It stands to reason that an agitator at public meetings would do well to take into account not only the “political”, but also the “pedagogical” point of view, place himself in the position of his audience, explain more than “decry”, etc. Extremes are bad everywhere, but if the choice lay with us, we would prefer narrow and intolerant concision to mild and limp diffuseness. It is only flabby and weak-kneed characters who will be frightened away from us by fear of “tyranny”. Anyone who has the least “go” in him will soon see for himself, and be shown by events, that clear- cut and sharply expressed political opinions concerning a “mythical Osvobozhdeniye member” are fully justified and that he himself considered this typical Osvobozhdeniye member “mythical” only because of lack of political experience. Comrade “Uchitel”, whose suggestions are very helpful in view of his knowledge of the environment, himself speaks of the rapidity with which “bitter truths are assimilated”.


[1] Uchitel (Teacher) was the pseudonym used by M. N. Pokrovsky. The article “The Osvobozhdeniye People at Work” was written by V. D. Bonch-Bruyevich.

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