V. I.   Lenin

An Irate Reply

Published: Proletary, No. 20, October 10 (September 27), 1905. Published according to the text in Proletary.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1972, Moscow, Volume 9, page 329.
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.
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Our article, “The Theory of Spontaneous Generation” (Proletary, No. 16[1] ), has evoked an extremely irate reply from the Bund. The latter even ran short of its own supply of virulent words and borrowed some from Plekhanov, that well-known opponent of coarse polemics. What is the trouble? Why is the Bund so incensed? It is so because we, on the one hand, mentioned the possibility of there being irony in the Bund’s praise for Iskra, and, on the other hand, ridiculed the Bund’s solidarity with Iskra on a number of questions. It is such duplicity that the Bund imputes to us, accusing us of prestidigitation, etc., while maintaining complete silence about all our analysis of the Bund’s indubitably unironical and just as indubitably incorrect arguments. Why has the Bund maintained silence over this analysis of the crux of a question it has itself raised? That is because this analysis reveals the duplicity in the stand of the Bund itself, which, on the one hand, has renounced Iskra’s “Duma” tactics, and, on the other, has in dead earnest repeated a number of Iskra’s mistakes. What the irate Bund puts down to our duplicity should in fact be put down to the duplicity of the Bund’s own stand on the question of whether our slogan should be the convocation of a constituent assembly by a provisional revolutionary government, or by the tsar or by the State Duma, or whether it should be the spontaneous generation of this constituent assembly.

We have shown that the Bund is all muddled on this issue. Till this very moment the Bund has not provided a straight forward answer. And if the Bund is now railing because we have held up a mirror to it, we can only answer by quoting the saying: “It’s no use blaming the mirror if....”


[1] See pp. 246-51 of this volume.—Ed.

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