V. I.   Lenin

“What Thou Doest, Do Quickly”

Published: Ekho, No. 1, June 22, 19O6. Published according to the Ekho text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1965, Moscow, Volume 11, pages 38-39.
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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Today, two newspapers that do not belong to the sensational boulevard press, namely, Nasha Zhizn and Mysl,[2] publish the important news that the Goremykin Cabinet has at last decided to resign. The new Cabinet is expected to be made up as follows: Yermolov—Prime Minister; Urusov—Minister of the Interior; Herzenstein—Finance; Timiryazev—Commerce; Stakhovich—Agriculture; Kuzmin-Karavayev—Justice; Nabokov—Foreign Affairs. It is believed that Heyden will “take” Education and that the Ministry of Railways will be taken by the present Minister, or by Shukhtan, the Chief of the Nikolayevskaya Railway.

Thus, we have the old bureaucrats in alliance with the Octobrists and Right Cadets, mainly ex-officials, that is to say, former bureaucrats (Urusov was formerly Deputy Minister of the Interior, Kuzmin-Karavayev a general, and Nabokov a gentleman-in-waiting).

Both the above-mentioned newspapers also report that lively negotiations have been taking place recently between the “Centre Party” in the Council of State[3] (i.e., the gang of bureaucrats who are a cross between the Black Hundreds and the “law and order” people[4]) and the Cadets.

Let us assume that all this is true. We must assume that it is true until the opposite is proved; for the source of in formation is fairly reliable, and the fact follows logically from all preceding events.

Well, whose views are proved to be right by this Cabinet, or these negotiations between the Cadets and the pogrom-mongers? Our readers will recall that at the meeting in the Panina Palace on May 9,[5] the Social-Narodnik, Mr. Myakotin, answering a Social-Democrat, protested that it was not fair to accuse the Cadets of desiring to make a deal with the pogrom-mongers. They will also recall that our   Right-wing Social-Democrats, headed by Plekhanov, loudly declared that all talk about treachery and making deals was groundless and premature.

Negotiations mark the beginning of a deal, said the Social-Democrat in reply to Mr. Myakotin. A deal marks the completion of negotiations.[1] Well, the fact That negotiations have been going on is now confirmed. The deal is well on the way.

But what has become of the promised complete amnesty, guarantee of liberties, and the abolition of the Council of State? Were these questions discussed during the negotiations between the Cadets and the pogrom-mongers? The news papers are silent on this point. And we all know that the knights of “people’s freedom” have never categorically stipulated that these measures should be guaranteed before a Cadet Cabinet is formed. It is the minor things, which are done behind the backs of the people, which provide portfolios and soft jobs, that have been put in the forefront. What is vital for the people has been shifted into the background. The Cadets will “fight” for an amnesty and for freedom when they are in the Cabinet—this is the answer that will be used to silence the simpletons who have been spreading among the people the slogan of supporting a “responsible” Cabinet. But this Cabinet will be responsible as before to the laws, which remain the old, pogrom laws, and also to the Star Chamber, or camarilla, that appointed it. And by a “fight” for an amnesty and for freedom, the Cadets have meant in the past, and will continue to mean: negotiations between the Rodichevs and Nabokovs, the Nabokovs and Urusovs, the Urusovs and Goremykins and the Goremykins and Trepovs.

But it’s an ill-wind that blows nobody any good. The Cabinet of pogrom-mongers, Octobrists and Cadets will soon make things move; that is to say, it will drive the Cadets towards political bankruptcy, it will help the people to cast off one more harmful illusion, and accelerate the progress of political events towards a revolutionary denouement.


[1] See present edition, Vol. 10, p. 408.—Ed.

[2] Nasha Zhizn (Our Life)—a daily newspaper close to the Left wing of the Cadet Party issued in St. Petersburg, with interruptions, from November 6 (19), 1904 to July 11(24), 1906.

Mysl (Thought)—a legal daily newspaper of the S.-R.’s issued in St. Petersburg in June-July 1906.

[3] The Council of State—one of the supreme state bodies in pre-revolutionary Russia. It was set up in 1810 according to the plan of M. M. Speransky as a legislative and advisory body, the members of which were appointed and confirmed in office by the tsar. By the Law of February 20 (March 5), 1906 the Council of State was reorganised and given the right to confirm or reject Bills after they had been debated in the State Duma. But the right of altering basic legislation and promulgating a number of particularly important laws rested with the tsar.

From 1906 half the members of the Council of State consisted of elected representatives of the nobility, clergy and big bourgeoisie, the other half consisting of dignitaries appointed by the tsar. Consequently, the Council of State was an extremely reactionary institution, which rejected even the moderate legislation adopted by the State Duma.

[4] “Law and order” people—representatives of the Party of “Law and Order”, a counter-revolutionary party of the big industrialists, trading bourgeoisie, landlords and top section of the bureaucracy. The Party was founded in the autumn of 1905 and took final shape after the publication of the Manifesto of October 17. Using the watchword of “law and order” as a disguise, the Party in fact came out strongly in defence of the tsarist regime. It welcomed the dissolution of the First State Duma; during the elections to the Second Duma it made a bloc with the Black Hundreds of the “Union of True-Russian People”, proposing that the Octobrists too should   enter this bloc. In 1907 the Party broke up; part of its members went over to the Octobrists and part joined the overt Black Hundreds.

[5] A mass meeting organised in St. Petersburg by the socio-political club was held in Countess Panina’s Palace on May 9 (22), 1906, in connection with the work of the Duma and its reply to the tsar’s address from the throne.

The meeting was attended by about 3,000 persons, half of whom were workers. Lenin, under the name of Karpov, spoke in opposition to the “Popular Socialist” Myakotin and the Menshevik F. Dan, who defended a bloc with the Cadets. The resolution moved by Lenin (see present edition, Vol. 10, p.409) was adopted by the meeting almost unanimously. A report of Lenin’s speech was printed in the Bolshevik newspaper Volna and in the Menshevik Nevskaya Gazeta (see present edition, Vol. 10, pp. 407-408).

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