Ekho, No. 11, July 4, 1906.
Published according to the Ekho text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1965, Moscow, Volume 11, pages 94-95.
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Our observations in Ekho, No. 9, on the historical role of the boycott and on the significance of non-party revolutionary organisations have evoked characteristic replies from the extreme Right and the extreme Left wing of the bourgeois democrats.
As was to be expected, Mysl was offended by our use of the term “bourgeois democrats” and angrily evades the main issue. It writes:
“Ekho even finds ’bourgeois democrats’ in the ’Soviets of Workers’ Deputies’, which are purely proletarian class organisations.... One can hardly go further than that.”
You radical gentlemen must remember that most of the Soviets of Workers’ Deputies did not remain “purely proletarian”. They very often accepted delegates from soldiers, sailors, office employees and peasants. Would it not be better to tell us candidly why you don’t like the term “bourgeois democrats” instead of avoiding disagreements by quibbling?
Rech is quite beside itself with rage. In their opening remarks against us the Cadets handle us with kid gloves, as it were, “not desiring to say anything offensive”. What perfect gentlemen! But towards the end these Cadets swear like ... like troopers. Our appraisal of the boycott is dubbed “clownish, or impenetrable stupidity”. Oh, what gentlemen these Cadets are!
“At all events, let us place on record that the object of the Bolshevik tactics was to fight for the convocation of the Duma. And the object of all this beating the breast and shouting about the necessity of a boycott was to mislead the government.”
Stop joking, gentlemen! You know perfectly well that our idea was quite different. The object of the boycott was to sweep away the Witte Duma, just as the Bulygin Duma was swept away. Although it failed to achieve its own, i. e., its direct and immediate object, the boycott nevertheless was indirectly of advantage in that, among other things, it distracted the attention of the government. In this case, too, as always, revolutionary tactics were the best means of developing the class-consciousness and fighting efficiency of the proletariat, and of indirectly ensuring the achievement of half-hearted reforms in the event of failure to achieve complete victory.
 See pp. 77-82 of this volume.—Ed.