V. I.   Lenin

The Plans of a Buffoon-Minister

Published: Proletary, No. 23, October 31 (18), 1905. Published according to the text in Proletary.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1972, Moscow, Volume 9, page 410.
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

To gain a better understanding of today’s politics, it is sometimes worth while to look back at yesterday’s. Here is what the usually well-informed correspondent of the London Times cabled from St. Petersburg on October 10 (23):

"From a high source I learn that the government has resolved to grant the four liberties demanded by the reformers, subject, however, to restrictions. It is hoped that this concession will rally the Moderates. Count Witte yesterday had a long conference on the subject with the tsar. Mr. Goremykin is drafting a measure for endowing peasants with state lands. This will be placed on the table when the Duma meets. It is thereby hoped to conciliate the peasant vote.

"Such briefly is the government’s plan of campaign. It apparently excludes the intention of voluntarily granting a constitution before the meeting of the Duma, although some hope of this prevails among the Constitutional-Democrats. One of the principal points to be discussed at their Congress on Wednesday will be with regard to the action of the party in the event of a constitution’s being granted on or before the assembling of the Duma—namely, whether the party shall consent in that case to work in the Duma or insist upon the convocation of a constituent assembly elected by universal suffrage.

“The supporters of the bureaucracy hope that the concessions which will be granted by the government will at last check the constitutional movement without an extension of the suffrage or an endorsement of the legislative character of the Duma, but all the indications are the other way.”

Indeed, the government’s “plan of campaign” is clear. Equally clear to all people who have eyes to see is the “campaign” of the Constitutional-Democratic gentry, who are bargaining with the government. There is only one snag: the working class is stirring, and stirring in such a way that all the ingenious plans of both Mr. Witte and the Constitutional-Democrats are crumbling to dust.


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