V. I.   Lenin

Preface to the Russian Translation of K. Kautsky’s Pamphlet Social-Democracy Wiped Out!

Published: Published in March-April 1906 in the pamphlet: K. Kautsky, Social-Democracy Wiped Out!. Published according to the pamphlet text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1965, Moscow, Volume 10, pages 196-198.
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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This is the Russian translation of a pamphlet written by one of the most outstanding representatives of German Social-Democracy. The author has succeeded in covering a far wider ground than the subject he has chosen would lead one to expect. Instead of merely refuting the lying assertions of Herr Burger, an unscrupulous henchman of the manufacturers, he has provided a wonderfully lucid and popular outline of the fundamental problems of the working-class movement, not only in Germany but all over the world. The decay of small-scale production and the impoverishment of the people are taking place everywhere. Like Herr Burger, the bourgeois politicians and economists in all countries are trying hard to obscure this fact. A methodical examination of the arguments usually advanced by these gentlemen is therefore of great value.

The author deals almost exclusively with facts concerning Germany. On some questions it would be useful to supplement these with facts concerning Russia. The publishers will probably make an effort to do so if this pamphlet achieves the circulation ii fully deserves. It must be observed, however, that Russian industrial and agricultural statistics are in a most pitiable condition compared with German. In the case of Germany, it is possible to compare the returns of two national industrial and agricultural censuses, taken at different times. In Russia, not a single census of this kind has ever been taken, and apart from the Zemstvo statistics which have analysed in a European way   only small, isolated sections of our national economy, we have nothing more than the lying, slipshod, bureaucratically muddled statistics of various “departments”, which would better deserve the title of police whitewash.

The Russian bureaucracy is preventing the Russian people from learning the whole truth about their conditions. But every educated Russian reader will easily recall hundreds and thousands of examples from our literature, illustrating the conditions of peasant farming, the handicraft trades and factory life, which fully bear out the conclusions arrived at by the author of this pamphlet. Every Russian worker and peasant will easily see that the impoverishment of the people described in this pamphlet is going on in Russia on a still larger scale, and in still more intense and cruder forms.

March 1906

N. Lenin


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