V. I.   Lenin

Talk and Rumours about the Dissolution of the State Duma

Published: Volna, No. 23, May 21, 1906. Published according to the Volna text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1965, Moscow, Volume 10, pages 450-451.
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

The newspapers have already commented on the brief communication published by Pravitelstvenny Vestnik[1] to the effect that it is proposed to adjourn the State Duma on June 15 for the summer recess! Now the news agencies are denying this, but as Rech quite rightly says, they are denying it in an ambiguous and unconvincing way.

Nevertheless, the possibility that in a few weeks’ time the Duma will be adjourned “for the summer” is real. Hence the question asked by Kuryer—whether the Duma will disperse—is a very interesting one. Kuryer quotes Mr. Rodichev as saying in the Duma: “We will not disperse until we have done what we were sent here to do.” And it also quotes another Cadet, Mr. Gredeskul, as saying: “In its struggle [against the government] the Duma still has another very important resource—its legislative power; and only when it has exhausted this will it have the right to disperse, and to announce to the people that it is powerless.”

Kuryerhopes that Mr. Rodichev was “in earnest” when he proposed that the Duma should not disperse if the govern ment dissolves it. And so Kuryer emphatically supports Rodichev against Gredeskul, and in this connection speaks with legitimate contempt of the prospect of “piling up a heap of laws” (and we will add—some of them positively Draconian, and some timid and irresolute) “only to certify their impotence to the people, and step aside”.

We are very glad that our comrades of Kuryer have admitted that the Duma will play a ludicrous and sordid role if it merely “piles up a heap of laws” and “displays its impotence”. And we are also very glad that our comrades of   Kuryer can speak of the Duma as “the rallying-centre of the forces of the people, the core around which the organisation of these forces is being built up, and the movement is uniting” only in connection with the prospect of the Duma refusing to disperse. We are ready to admit that the Duma, by refusing to confine itself to the present legal limits, could serve the movement better than it is serving it now. The only fight we have seen the Cadet Duma wage so far, however, is that against the timid attempts of the Trudoviks to take this line. We have no “hopes” that Mr. Rodichev spoke “in earnest”. Moreover, we think that if the Rodichevs are at all capable of going beyond the legal limits and of taking a step like that of refusing to disperse, then the choice of the moment for such a step should not be left to the government. Refusing to disperse means timing a decisive collision to a moment that will be determined by the government, for it is the government which will decree the dissolution of the Duma. Those who want to choose the best moment for the collision (we mean the Trudoviks, for we have no right to trust the Cadets) must proceed in such a way as to choose the moment themselves, and not leave it to the government to do so. After all, the government may do nothing to prevent the Cadets from “piling up a heap of laws”, as Kuryer puts it so aptly and venomously.


[1] Pravitelstvenny Vestnik (Government Herald)—a daily newspaper, official organ of the tsarist government; it appeared in St. Petersburg from 1869 to 1917.

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