V. I.   Lenin

The Victory of the Cadets and the Tasks of the Workers’ Party



A Popular Talk With Cadet Publicists and Learned Professors

But what was the real reason that induced Mr. Blank to come to the monstrously wrong conclusion that all Marxist principles and ideas vanished in the period of the “whirl wind”? It is very interesting to examine this circumstance;   it still further exposes the real nature of philistinism in politics.

What is it that mainly distinguished the period of the revolutionary whirlwind” from the present “Cadet” period, as regards the various, forms of political activity and the various methods by which the people make history? First and mainly, it is that during the period of the “whirlwind” certain special methods of making history were employed which are foreign to other periods of political life. The following were the most important of these methods: (1) the seizure” by the people of political liberty—its exercise without any rights and laws, and without any limitations (freedom of assembly, even if only in the universities, freedom of the press, freedom of association, the holding of congresses, etc.); (2) the creation of new organs of revolutionary authority— Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’, Railwaymen’s and Peasants’ Deputies, new rural and urban authorities, and so on, and so forth. These bodies were set up exclusively by the revolutionary sections of the people; they were formed irrespective of all laws and regulations, entirely in a revolutionary way, as a product of the native genius of the people, as a manifestation of the independent activity of the people which had rid it self, or was ridding itself, of its old police fetters. Lastly, they were indeed organs of authority, for all their rudimentary, spontaneous, amorphous and diffuse character, in composition and in activity. They acted as a government when, for example, they seized printing plants (in St. Petersburg) and arrested police officials who were preventing the revolutionary people from exercising their rights (such cases also occurred in St. Petersburg, where the new organ of authority concerned was weakest, and where the old government was strongest). They acted as a government when they appealed to the whole people to withhold money from the old government. They confiscated the old government’s funds (the railway strike committees in the South) and used them for the needs of the new, people’s government. Yes, these were undoubtedly the embryos of a new, people’s, or, if you will, revolutionary government. In their social and political character, they were the rudiments of the dictatorship of the revolutionary elements of the people. This surprises you, Mr. Blank and Mr. Kiesewetter! You do not see here the “reinforced   security”, which for the bourgeois is tantamount to dictatorship? We have already told you that you have not the faintest notion of the scientific concept “dictatorship”. We will explain it to you in a moment; but first we will deal with the third “method” of activity in the period of the “revolutionary whirlwind”; the use by the people of force against those who used force against the people.

The organs of authority that we have described represented a dictatorship in embryo, for they recognised no other authority, no law and no standards, no matter by whom established. Authority—unlimited, outside the law, and based on force in the most direct sense of the word—is dictatorship. But the force on which this new authority was based, and sought to base itself was not the force of bayonets usurped by a handful of militarists, not the power of the “police force”, not the power of money nor the power of any previously established institutions. It was nothing of the kind. The new organs of authority possessed neither arms, nor money, nor old institutions. Their power—can you imagine it, Mr. Blank and Mr. Kiesewetter? — had nothing in common with the old instruments of power, nothing in common with “rein forced security”, if we do not have in mind the reinforced security established to protect the people from the tyranny of the police and of the other organs of the old regime.

What was this power based on, then? It was based on the mass of the people. This is the main feature that distinguished this new authority from all the preceding organs of the old regime. The latter were the instruments of the rule of the minority over the people, over the masses of workers and peasants. The former was an instrument of the rule of the people, of the workers and peasants, over the minority, over a handful of police bullies, over a handful of privileged nobles and government officials. Such is the difference between dictatorship over the people and dictatorship of the revolutionary people: mark this well, Mr. Blank and Mr. Kiesewetter! As the dictatorship of a minority, the old regime was able to maintain itself solely with the aid of police devices, solely by preventing the masses of the people from taking part in the government and from supervising the government. The old authority persistently distrusted the masses, feared the light, maintained itself by deception. As the dictatorship of the overwhelming   majority, the new authority maintained itself and could maintain itself solely because it enjoyed the confidence of the vast masses, solely because it, in the freest, widest and most resolute manner, enlisted all the masses in the task of government. It concealed nothing, it had no secrets, no regulations, no formalities. It said, in effect: Are you a working man? Do you want to fight to rid Russia of the gang of police bullies? You are our comrade. Elect your deputy. Elect him at once, immediately, whichever way you think best. We will willingly and gladly accept him as a full member of our Soviet of Workers’ Deputies, Peasant Committee, Soviet of Soldiers’ Deputies, and so forth. It was an authority open to all, it carried out all its functions before the eyes of the masses, was accessible to the masses, sprang directly from the masses, and was a direct and immediate instrument of the popular masses, of their will. Such was the new authority, or, to be exact, its embryo, for the victory of the old authority trampled down the shoots of this young plant very soon.

Perhaps, Mr. Blank or Mr. Kiesewetter, you will ask: Why “dictatorship”, why “force”? Is it necessary for a vast mass to use force against a handful? Can tens and hundreds of millions be dictators over a thousand or ten thousand?

This question is usually put by people who for the first time hear the term dictatorship used in what to them is a new connotation. People are accustomed to see only a police authority and only a police dictatorship. The idea that there can be government without any police, or that dictatorship need not be a police dictatorship, seems strange to them. You say that millions need not resort to force against thousands? You are mistaken; and your mistake arises from the fact that you do not regard a phenomenon in its process of development.. You forget that the new authority does not drop from the skies, but grows up, arises parallel with, and in opposition to, the old authority, in struggle against it. Unless force is used against tyrants armed with the weapons and instruments of power, the people cannot be liberated from tyrants.

Here is a very simple analogy, Mr. Blank and Mr. Kiesewetter, which will help you to grasp this idea, which seems so remote and “fantastic” to the Cadet mind. Let us suppose that Avramov is injuring and torturing Spiridonova. On   Spiridonova’s side, let us say, are tens and hundreds of unarmed people. On Avramov’s side there is a handful of Cossacks. What would the people do if Spiridonova were being tortured, not in a dungeon, but in public? They would resort to force against Avramov and his body-guard. Perhaps they would sacrifice a few of their comrades, shot down by Avramov; but in the long run, they would forcibly disarm Avramov and his Cossacks, and in all probability would kill on the spot some of these brutes in human form; and they would clap the rest into some gaol to prevent them from committing any more outrages and to bring them to judgement before the people.

So you see, Mr. Blank and Mr. Kiesewetter, when Avramov and his Cossacks torture Spiridonova, that is military and police dictatorship over the people. When a revolutionary people (that is to say, a people capable of fighting the tyrants, and not only of exhorting, admonishing, regretting, condemning, whining and whimpering; not a philistine narrow-minded, but a revolutionary people) resorts to force against Avramov and the Avramovs, that is a dictatorship of the revolutionary people. It is a dictatorship, because it is the authority of the people over Avramov, an authority unrestricted by any laws (the philistine, perhaps, would be opposed to rescuing Spiridonova from Avramov by force, thinking it to be against the “law”. They would no doubt ask: Is there a “law” that permits the killing of Avramov? Have not some philistine ideologists built up a theory of non-resistance to evil?).[1] The scientific term “dictatorship” means nothing more nor less than authority untrammeled by any laws, absolutely unrestricted by any rules whatever, and based directly on force. The term “dictatorship” has no other meaning but this— mark this well, Cadet gentlemen. Again, in the analogy we have drawn, we see the dictatorship of the people, because the people, the mass of the population, unorganised, “casually” assembled at the given spot, itself appears on the scene, exercises justice and metes out punishment, exercises power   and creates a new, revolutionary law. Lastly, it is the dictatorship of the revolutionary people. Why only of the revolutionary, and not of the whole people? Because among the whole people, constantly suffering, and most cruelly, from the brutalities of the Avramovs, there are some who are physically cowed and terrified; there are some who are morally degraded by the “resist not evil” theory, for example, or simply degraded not by theory, but by prejudice, habit, routine; and there are indifferent people, whom we call philistines, petty-bourgeois people who are more inclined to hold aloof from intense struggle, to pass by or even to hide themselves (for fear of getting mixed up in the fight and getting hurt). That is why the dictatorship is exercised, not by the whole people, but by the revolutionary people who, however, do not shun the whole people, who explain to all the people the motives of their actions in all their details, and who willingly enlist the whole people not only in “administering” the state, but in governing it too, and indeed in organising the state.

Thus our simple analogy contains all the elements of the scientific concept “dictatorship of the revolutionary people”, and also of the concept “military and police dictatorship”. We can now pass from this simple analogy, which even a learned Cadet professor can grasp, to the more complex developments of social life.

Revolution, in the strict and direct sense of the word, is a period in the life of a people when the anger accumulated during centuries of Avramov brutalities breaks forth into actions, not merely into words; and into the actions of millions of the people, not merely of individuals. The people awaken and rise up to rid themselves of the Avramovs. The people rescue the countless numbers of Spiridonovas in Russian life from the Avramovs, use force against the Avramovs, and establish their authority over the Avramovs. Of course, this does not take place so easily, and not “all at once”, as it did in our analogy, simplified for the benefit of Professor Kiesewetter. This struggle of the people against the Avramovs, a struggle in the strict and direct sense of the word, this act of the people in throwing the Avramovs off their backs, stretches over months and years of “revolutionary whirlwind”. This act of the people in throwing the Avramovs off their backs is the real content of what is called the great   Russian revolution. This act, regarded from the standpoint of the methods of making history, takes place in the forms we have just described in discussing the revolutionary whirl wind, namely: the people seize political freedom, that is, the freedom which the Avramovs had prevented them from exercising; the people create a new, revolutionary authority, authority over the Avramovs, over the tyrants of the old police regime; the people use force against the Avramovs in order to remove, disarm and make harmless these wild dogs, all the Avramovs, Durnovos, Dubasovs, Mins, etc., etc.

Is it good that the people should apply such unlawful, irregular, unmethodical and unsystematic methods of struggle as seizing their liberty and creating a new, formally unrecognised and revolutionary authority, that it should use force against the oppressors of the people? Yes, it is very good. It is the supreme manifestation of the people’s struggle for liberty. It marks that great period when the dreams of liberty cherished by the best men and women of Russia come true, when liberty becomes the cause of the vast masses of the people, and not merely of individual heroes. It is as good as the rescue by the crowd (in our analogy) of Spiridonova from Avramov, and the forcible disarming of Avramov and making him harmless.

But this brings us to the very pivot of the Cadets’ hidden thoughts and apprehensions. A Cadet is the ideologist of the philistines precisely because he looks at politics, at the liberation of the whole people, at revolution, through the spectacles of that same philistine who, in our analogy of the torture of Spiridonova by Avramov,would try to restrain the crowd, advise it not to break the law, not to hasten to rescue the victim from the hands of the torturer, since he is acting in. the name of the law. In our analogy, of course, that philistine would be morally a monster; but in social life as a whole, we repeat, the philistine monster is not an individual, but a social phenomenon, conditioned, perhaps, by the deep-rooted prejudices of the bourgeois-philistine theory of law.

Why does Mr. Blank hold it as self-evident that all Marxist principles were forgotten during the period of “whirl wind”? Because he distorts Marxism into Brentanoism, and thinks that such “principles” as the seizure of liberty, the establishment of revolutionary authority and the use of   force by the people are not Marxist. This idea runs through the whole of Mr.. Blank’s article; and not only Mr. Blank’s, but the articles of all the Cadets, and of all the writers in the liberal and radical camp who, today, are praising Plekhanov for his love of the Cadets; all of them, right up to the Bernsteinians of Bez Zaglavia,[8] the Prokopoviches, Kuskovas and tutti quanti.

Let us see how this opinion arose and why it was bound to arise.

It arose directly out of the Bernsteinian or, to put it more broadly, the opportunist concepts of the West-European Social-Democrats. The fallacies of these concepts, which the “orthodox” Marxists in Western Europe have been systematically exposing all along the line, are now being smuggled into Russia “on the sly”, in a different dressing and on a different occasion. The Bernsteinians accepted and accept Marxism minus its directly revolutionary aspect. They do not regard the parliamentary struggle as one of the weapons particularly suitable for definite historical periods, but as the main and almost the sole form of struggle making “force”, “seizure”, “dictatorship”, unnecessary. It is this vulgar philistine distortion of Marxism that the Blanks and other liberal eulogisers of Plekhanov are now smuggling into Russia. They have become so accustomed to this distortion that they do not even think it necessary to prove that Marxist principles and ideas were forgotten in the period of the revolutionary whirlwind.

Why was such an opinion bound to arise? Because it accords very well with the class standing and interests of the petty bourgeoisie. The ideologists of “purified” bourgeois society agree with all the methods used by the Social-Democrats in their struggle except those to which the revolutionary people resort in the period of a “whirlwind”, and which revolutionary Social-Democrats approve of and help in using. The interests of the bourgeoisie demand that the proletariat should take part in the struggle against the autocracy, but only in a way that does not lead to the supremacy of the proletariat and the peasantry, and does not completely eliminate the old, feudal-autocratic and police organs of state power. The bourgeoisie wants to preserve these organs, only establishing its direct control over them. It needs them against the   proletariat, whose struggle would be too greatly facilitated if they were completely abolished. That is why the interests of the bourgeoisie as a class require both a monarchy and an Upper Chamber, and the prevention of the dictatorship of the revolutionary people. Fight the autocracy, the bourgeoisie says to the proletariat, but do not touch the old organs of state power, for I need them. Fight in a “parliamentary” way, that is, within the limits that we will prescribe by agreement with the monarchy. Fight with the aid of organisations, only not organisations like general strike committees, Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ Deputies, etc., but organisations that are recognised, restricted and made safe for capital by a law that we shall pass by agreement with the monarchy.

It is clear, therefore, why the bourgeoisie speaks, with disdain, contempt, anger and hatred about the period of the “whirlwind”,[2] and with rapture, ecstasy and boundless philistine infatuation for reaction, about the period of constitutionalism as protected by Dubasov. It is once again that constant, invariable quality of the Cadets: seeking to lean on the people and at the same time dreading their revolutionary initiative.

It is also clear why the bourgeoisie is in such mortal fear of a repetition of the whirlwind, why it ignores and obscures the elements of the new revolutionary crisis, why it fosters constitutional illusions and spreads them among the people.

Now we have fully explained why Mr. Blank and his like declare that in the period of the “whirlwind” all Marxist principles and ideas were forgotten. Like all philistines, Mr. Blank accepts Marxism minus its revolutionary aspect;   he accepts Social-Democratic methods of struggle minus the most revolutionary and directly revolutionary methods.

Mr. Blank’s attitude towards the period of “whirlwind” is extremely characteristic as an illustration of bourgeois failure to understand proletarian movements, bourgeois horror of acute and resolute struggles, bourgeois hatred for every manifestation of a radical and directly revolutionary method of solving social historical problems, a method that breaks up old institutions. Mr. Blank has betrayed himself and all his bourgeois narrow-mindedness. Somewhere he heard and read that during the period of whirlwind the Social-Democrats made “mistakes”—and he has hastened to conclude, and to declare with self-assurance, in tones that brook no contradiction and require no proof, that all the “principles” of Marxism (of which he has not the least notion!) were forgot ten. As for these “mistakes”, we will remark: Has there been a period in the development of the working-class movement, in the development of Social-Democracy, when no mistakes were made, when there was no deviation to the right or the left? Is not the history of the parliamentary period of the struggle waged by the German Social-Democratic Party—the period which all narrow-minded bourgeois all over the world regard as the utmost limit—filled with such mistakes? If Mr. Blank were not an utter ignoramus on problems of socialism, he would easily call to mind Mülberger, Dühring, the Dampfersubvention[9] question, the “Youth”,[10] the Bernsteiniad[11] and many, many more. But Mr. Blank is not interested in studying the actual course of development of the Social-Democratic movement; all he wants is to minimise the scope of the proletarian struggle in order to exalt the bourgeois paltriness of his Cadet Party.

Indeed, if we examine the question in the light of the deviations that the Social-Democratic movement has made from its ordinary, “normal” course, we shall see that even in this respect there was more and not less solidarity and ideological integrity among the Social-Democrats in the period of “revolutionary whirlwind” than there was before it. The tactics adopted in the period of “whirlwind” did not further estrange the two wings of the Social-Democratic Party, but brought them closer together. Former disagreements gave way to unity of opinion on the question of armed uprising.   Social-Democrats of both factions were active in the Soviets of Workers’ Deputies, these peculiar instruments of embryonic revolutionary authority; they drew the soldiers and peas ants into these Soviets, they issued revolutionary manifestos jointly with the petty-bourgeois revolutionary parties. Old controversies of the pre-revolutionary period gave way to unanimity on practical questions. The upsurge of the revolutionary tide pushed aside disagreements, compelling Social-Democrats to adopt militant tactics; it swept the question of the Duma into the background and put the question of insurrection on the order of the day; and it brought closer together the Social-Democrats and revolutionary bourgeois democrats in carrying out immediate tasks. In Severny Golos,[12] the Mensheviks, jointly with the Bolsheviks, called for a general strike and insurrection; and they called upon the workers to continue this struggle until they had captured power. The revolutionary situation itself suggested practical slogans. There were arguments only over matters of detail in the appraisal of events: for example, Nachalo[13] regarded the Soviets of Workers’ Deputies as organs of revolutionary local self-government, while Novaya Zhizn regarded them as embryonic organs of revolutionary state power that united the proletariat with the revolutionary democrats.

Nachalo inclined towards the dictatorship of the proletariat. Novaya Zhizn advocated the democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry. But have not disagreements of this kind been observed at every stage of development of every socialist party in Europe?

Mr. Blank’s misrepresentation of the facts and his gross distortion of recent history are nothing more nor less than a sample of the smug bourgeois banality, for which periods of revolutionary whirlwind seem folly (“all principles are forgotten”, “even intellect and reason almost vanish”), while periods of suppression of revolution and philistine “progress” (protected by the Dubasovs) seem to be periods of reasonable, deliberate and methodical activity. This comparative appraisal of two periods (the period of “whirlwind” and the Cadet period) runs through the whole of Mr. Blank’s article. When human history rushes forward with the speed of a locomotive, he calls it a “whirlwind”, a “torrent”, the “vanishing” of all “principles and ideas”. When history plods along at   dray-horse pace, the very symbol of it becomes reason and method. When the masses of the people themselves, with all their virgin primitiveness and simple, rough determination begin to make history, begin to put “principles and theories” immediately and directly into practice, the bourgeois is terrified and howls that “intellect is retreating into the back ground” (is not the contrary the case, heroes of philistinism? Is it not the intellect of the masses, and not of individuals, that invades the sphere of history at such moments? Does not mass intellect at such a time become a virile, effective, and not an armchair force?). When the direct movement of the masses has been crushed by shootings, repressive measures, floggings, unemployment and starvation, when all the bugs of professorial science financed by Dubasov come creeping out of their crevices and begin to administer affairs on behalf of the people, in the name of the masses, selling and betraying their interests to a privileged few—then the knights of philistinism think that an era of calm and peaceful progress has set in and that “the turn of intellect and reason has come”. The bourgeois always and everywhere remains true to himself: whether you take Polyarnaya Zvezda or Nasha Zhizn, whether you read Struve or Blank, you will always find this same narrow-minded, professorially pedantic and bureaucratically lifeless appraisal of periods of revolution and periods of reform. The former are periods of madness, tolle Jahre, the disappearance of intellect and reason. The latter are periods of “deliberate and systematic” activities.

Do not misinterpret what I am saying. I am not arguing that the Blanks prefer some periods to others. It is not a matter of preference; our subjective preferences do not determine the changes in historical periods. The thing is that in analysing the characteristics of this or that period (quite apart from our preferences or sympathies), the Blanks shamelessly distort the truth. The thing is that it is just the revolutionary periods which are distinguished by wider, richer, more deliberate, more methodical, more systematic, more courageous and more vivid making of history than periods of philistine, Cadet, reformist progress. But the Blanks turn the truth in side out! They palm off paltriness as magnificent making of history. They regard the inactivity of the oppressed or down trodden masses as the triumph of “system” in the work of   bureaucrats and bourgeois. They shout about the disappearance of intellect and reason when, instead of the picking of draft laws to pieces by petty bureaucrats and liberal penny-a-liner[3] journalists, there begins a period of direct political activity of the “common people”, who simply set to work without more ado to smash all the instruments for oppressing the people, seize power and take what was regarded as belonging to all kinds of robbers of the people—in short, when the intellect and reason of millions of downtrodden people awaken not only to read books, but for action, vital human action, to make history.

Look how majestically this Cadet knight argues: “The whirlwind raged for a time and then subsided on the spot where it began.” Why, the fact that the liberal philistines are still alive, that they have not been gobbled up by the Dubasovs, is due entirely to this whirlwind. “On the spot where it began,” you say? You say that Russia in the spring of 1906 is on the same spot as she was in September 1905?

Yes, throughout the “Cadet” period the Dubasovs and Durnovos have been dragging, and will drag Russia “deliberately, methodically and systematically” back, in order to return her to September 1905; but they haven’t the strength to do so, because during the whirlwind the proletarians, the railway- men, the peasants, the mutinous soldiers, have driven all Russia forward with the speed of a locomotive.

Had this unreasoning whirlwind really subsided, the Cadet Duma would have been doomed to engage only in tinkering with wash-basins.

But Mr. Blank has no inkling that the question whether the whirlwind has subsided is a separate and purely scientific question, the answer to which will settle a number of problems of tactics, and an answer to which is essential if we want to understand at all clearly the problems of present-day tactics. Mr. Blank has not based his conclusion that the conditions for a movement in the form of a whirl wind are lacking at present on the examination of facts and arguments (if it were well-founded, such a conclusion would really be of fundamental importance in determining tactics, for, we repeat, these tactics cannot be determined simply by   one’s “preference” for one course or another). No, he is simply and frankly expressing his profound (and profoundly short sighted) conviction that it cannot be otherwise. Strictly speaking, Mr. Blank regards the “whirlwind” just as it is regarded by the Wittes, Durnovos, Bülows and other German bureaucrats, who long .ago pronounced the year 1848 to have been a “mad year”. Mr. Blank’s phrase “the whirl wind subsided” expresses, not a scientific conviction, but philistine stupidity, which regards every whirlwind, and whirlwinds in general, as the “disappearing of intellect and reason

The Social-Democrats have returned to their starting-point,” Mr. Blank assures us. The Mensheviks’ new tactics direct the Russian Social-Democratic movement along the path that is being followed by the entire international Social-Democratic movement.

You see that for some reason Mr. Blank declares the parliamentary path to be the “starting-point” (although it could not have been the starting-point for Social-Democracy in Russia). Mr. Blank regards the parliamentary path as what may be called the normal, the main and even the sole, all-embracing and exclusive path for international Social-Democracy. He has no inkling that, in this respect, he is repeating in its entirety the bourgeois distortion of Social- Democracy that predominates in the German. liberal press, and which at one time was borrowed by the followers of Bern stein. The liberal bourgeois imagines that one of the methods of fighting is the sole method. This fully expresses the Brentano conception of the working-class movement and the class struggle. Mr. Blank has no inkling that the Social-Democrats in Europe took the parliamentary path, and were able to do so, only when objective conditions had removed the question of carrying the bourgeois revolution to its complete fulfilment from the agenda of history, only when the parliamentary system had really become the principal form of bourgeois rule and the principal arena of the social struggle. He does not even stop to think whether there is a parliament and a parliamentary system in Russia, but declares in a peremptory manner: the Social-Democrats have returned to their starting-point. The bourgeois mind can conceive only of incomplete democratic revolutions (for at bottom   the interests of the bourgeoisie require incomplete revolutions). The bourgeois mind shuns all non-parliamentary methods of struggle, all open mass actions, any revolution in the direct sense of the term. The bourgeois instinctively hastens to declare, proclaim and accept all sham parliamentarism as real parliamentarism in order to put a stop to the “dizzying whirlwind” (which may be dangerous not only for the heads of many weak-headed bourgeois, but also for their pockets). That is why the Cadet gentlemen are totally incapable even of understanding the scientific and really important question whether the parliamentary method of struggle can be recognised as having any real meaning for Russia, and whether the movement in the form of a “whirl wind” has spent itself. And the material, class background of this incomprehension is quite clear: let the workers support a Cadet Duma by a peaceful strike or some other action, but they must not think of waging an earnest and resolute war of extermination, they must not think of rising in revolt against the autocracy and the monarchy.

Now the turn of intellect and reason has come again,” says Mr. Blank, going into raptures over the period of Dubasov’s victories. Do you know what, Mr. Blank? There has been no period in the history of Russia to which the expression “the turn of intellect and reason has come again” could be better applied than the period of Alexander III! That is really a fact. It was in that period that the old Russian Narodism ceased to be merely the dreamy contemplation of the future and made its rich contribution to Russian social thought by its researches into the economic life of Russia. It was in that period that Russian revolutionary thought worked hardest, and laid the groundwork for the Social-Democratic world-outlook. Yes, we revolutionaries are far from denying the revolutionary role of reactionary periods. We know that the form of the social movement changes, that periods of direct, constructive political activity by the masses of the people give way in history to periods of outward calm, when the masses, downtrodden and crushed by back-breaking toil and want, are silent or dormant (appear to be dormant), when modes of production become revolutionised with particular rapidity, when the intellect of the foremost representatives of human thought is summing up the past and devising   new systems and new methods of research. After all, in Europe, too, the period after the suppression of the revolution of 1848 was distinguished by unprecedented economic progress and by the labours of the intellect that created, say, Marx’s Capital. In short, “the turn of intellect and reason” comes sometimes in periods of human history just as a period of imprisonment in the life of a political leader gives him an opportunity to engage in scientific study and work.

But the trouble with our bourgeois philistine is that he does not realise that his remarks have, so to speak, a prison or Dubasov ring. He does not notice the fundamental question: Is the Russian revolution crushed, or is it on the eve of a revival? Has the form of the social movement changed from a revolutionary form to one adjusted to the Dubasov regime? Have the forces making for a “whirlwind” spent them selves, or not? The bourgeois intellect does not trouble it self with these questions because, in general, it regards revolution as an unreasoning whirlwind, and reform as the return of intellect and reason.

Examine his most edifying argument about organisation. “The first thing” intellect and reason must do, he informs us, “is to take precautions to prevent a repetition of what occurred in the first period of the Russian revolution, in its Sturm- und Drang-Zeit, that is, measures against the destructive effects of revolutionary torrents and hurricanes. The only effective precaution against this is to enlarge and strengthen the organisation.”

You see that, as the Cadet conceives it, the period of hurricane destroyed organisations and organisation itself (see Novoye Vremya, I mean Polyarnaya Zvezda, containing Struve’s articles against anarchy, spontaneity, lack of firm authority during revolutions, etc., etc.); whereas the period of intellect and reason protected by Dubasov is a period for building up organisations. Revolution is evil; it destroys, it is a hurricane, a dizzying whirlwind. Reaction is good; it creates, it is a favourable wind and a time for deliberate, methodical, and systematic activity.

So once again the philosopher of the Cadet Party slanders the revolution and betrays all his infatuation with bourgeois-restricted forms and conditions of the movement. The hurricane destroyed organisations! What a glaring untruth!   Mention a period in Russian or world history, find any six months or six years, when as much was done for the free and independent organisation of the masses of the people as was done during the six weeks of the revolutionary whirlwind in Russia when, according to the slanderers of the revolution, all principles and ideas were forgotten and reason and intellect disappeared! What was the all-Russian general strike? Was it not organisation? True, it was not registered by the police, it was not a permanent organisation, and there fore you refuse to take it into account. Take the political organisations. Do you know that the working people, the raw masses, never joined political organisations so eagerly, never increased the membership of the political associations so enormously, never created such original, semi-political organisations as the Soviets of Workers’ Deputies? But you are a bit afraid of the political organisations of the proletariat. Like a true disciple of Brentano, you think that trade unions are safer for the bourgeoisie (and therefore more sound and respectable). If we take the trade unions, we shall find that, in spite of all the philistine tittle-tattle about their being ignored in time of revolution, Russia never saw such a multitude of trade union organisations formed by the workers as in those days. The columns of the socialist, and precisely the socialist, newspapers, both Novaya Zhizn and Nachalo, were packed with reports of the formation of more and more trade unions. Even backward sections of the proletariat, like domestic servants, who could barely be roused in decades of “methodical and systematic” philistine progress, displayed the greatest eagerness and ability to organise. Take the Peasant Union. One often meets Cadets today who speak about this Union with magnificent disdain. Why, it was a semi-fictitious organisation, they say. It has disappeared without leaving a trace. I wonder, gentlemen, how much of your Cadet organisations would be left had you been obliged to contend with punitive expeditions, with innumerable rural Luzhenovskys, Rimans, Filonovs, Avramovs and Zhdanovs. The Peasant Union grew with fabulous speed in the period of the revolutionary whirl wind. It was a genuinely popular, mass organisation, sharing, of course, in a number of peasant prejudices, and susceptible to the petty-bourgeois illusions of the peasants (just   like our Socialist-Revolutionaries); but it was undoubtedly a real organisation of the masses, of “men of the soil”, unquestionably revolutionary at bottom, capable of employing genuinely revolutionary methods of struggle. It did not restrict but extended the scope of the political initiative of the peasantry, and brought them, with their hatred of the government officials and the landlords, into the arena—not the semi-intellectuals who are so often inclined to hatch all sorts of proposals for a deal between the revolutionary peasantry and the liberal landlords. The current disdain for the Peasant Union most of all expresses the philistine bourgeois narrow-mindedness of the Cadet, who has no faith in the in dependent revolutionary activity of the masses and is afraid of it. In the days of liberty, the Peasant Union was one of the mightiest realities, and we can confidently predict that, if the Luzhenovskys and Rimans do not butcher more tens of thousands of young, progressive peasants, if the slightest breeze of liberty blows again, this Union will grow with lightning speed, and will become an organisation against which the present Cadet committees will look like specks of dust.[4]

To sum up: the organising abilities of the people, particularly of the proletariat, but also of the peasantry, are revealed a million times more strongly, fully and productively in periods of revolutionary whirlwind than in periods of so-called calm (dray-horse) historical progress. The Blanks’   opinion to the contrary is a bourgeois-bureaucratic distortion of history. The good bourgeois and honest bureaucrat regard as “genuine” only such organisations as have been properly registered by the police and scrupulously conform to all sorts of “provisional regulations”. They cannot conceive of methods and system without provisional regulations. We must therefore have no illusions about the true significance of high-sounding words from a Cadet about romantic contempt for legality and aristocratic disdain for economics. These words have only one real meaning—a bourgeois opportunist dread of the independent revolutionary activity of the people.

Finally, let us examine the last point in Mr. Blank’s Cadet “theory”: the relation between worker democrats and bourgeois democrats. Mr. Blank’s arguments on this subject deserve the closest attention of Social-Democrats, for they provide an example of how Marx is misrepresented by quotations from Marx. Just as Brentano, Sombart, Bernstein and Co. substituted Brentanoism for Marxism by employing Marxian terminology, by quoting some of Marx’s statements and by assuming a Marxist disguise, so our Cadets indulge in the “subtle art” of faking Marxism on the question of the relation between worker democrats and bourgeois democrats.

Unless the activities of the worker democrats and bourgeois democrats are co-ordinated, the bourgeois-democratic revolution cannot be successful. This is gospel truth. Absolute truth. It seems to you, Messrs. Blank, Izgoyev and Co., that the revolutionary Social-Democrats forgot this particularly during the days of the “whirlwind”? You are mistaken, or are deliberately substituting for the concept revolutionary bourgeois democrats the concept bourgeois democrats in general, which includes the monarchist-liberal democrats and the opportunist democrats, but above all the monarchist-liberal democrats. Take Novaya Zhizn, and you will find that it deals with the question of joint action, of a fighting agreement between the worker democrats and the revolutionary bourgeois democrats in nearly every issue. It speaks of the importance of the Peasant Union and of the peasant movement in the most emphatic terms. Despite the Cadet fables about the Marxists’ intolerance and narrow-minded dogmatism, you will find that that paper fully recognises the importance of   non-party associations and organisations[5] : but of course only non-party revolutionary organisations. The pivot of the question that is so artfully concealed by our Brentanoists in politics is: Which elements of bourgeois democracy are capable of pushing the bourgeois-democratic revolution to its complete fulfilment when that revolution is, so to speak, half-way towards its goal? Is it the elements that accept the monarchist-liberal programme, that are completely submerged in constitutional illusions and be-spatter revolutionary periods and revolutionary methods of making history with the slime of their philistine anger, condemnation and regret? Or is it those who accept the programme of a complete victory of the peasant uprising (instead of a deal between the peasants and the landlords), of complete victory for democracy (instead of a deal between the democratic Lower Chamber, on the one hand, and the Upper Chamber and the monarchy, on the other)? Have these gentlemen, the Blanks and the Izgoyevs, ever given a thought to this question? Must we at the present time “strike together” with the bourgeois-democratic compromisers or with the bourgeois-democratic revolutionaries?

Have you, esteemed gentlemen, who are so fond of quoting and misrepresenting Marx, ever heard how mercilessly Marx lashed the bourgeois-democratic compromisers in Germany in 1848?[14] And yet these compromisers were members of a National Assembly and not of a paltry State Duma: as democrats, they were far more “resolute” (in words) than our Cadets.

And fifteen years later, during the “constitutional conflict” in Prussia, the same Marx and Engels advised the workers’ party to support the bourgeois-democratic Progressists, who were not a whit better than the Frankfurt democrats.[15] You think that this shows that Marx and Engels were inconsistent and contradicted themselves? You think this proves that they, too, in the period of the “revolutionary whirlwind” almost lost their “intellect and reason” (this view is held by the majority of the Bernsteinians and most of the Cadets)? As a matter of fact, there is no contradiction   here at all. In the period of revolutionary struggle, Marx concentrated his attack on constitutional illusions and constitutional compromisers. When the force of the revolutionary “whirlwind” was spent, and there could no longer be any doubt that the German Cadets had utterly betrayed the revolution, when the insurrections had been finally and completely suppressed, and economic prosperity was making any repetition of them hopeless, then and only then (Marx and Engels were not craven-hearted, and their faith in insurrection did not dwindle after the very first defeat!), did they recognise the parliamentary struggle as the main form of struggle. In parliament, once you have gone into it, it is not only permissible but obligatory, in certain circumstances, to support the turncoat Izgoyev against Shipov, and Shipov against Durnovo. In the fight for real parliamentarism there is sometimes nothing more dangerous than Cadet “compromisers”.

If you want to quote Marx, gentlemen, try to prove that our Duma is already an instrument of the rule of the bourgeoisie in a free Russia, and not a fig-leaf for the autocracy. You will say that the latter may evolve into the former through a few slight changes, and that the election of the Cadets is already not a slight, but an important testimony of this “evolution”.

Very well. But in that way you are only putting the question off, you are not answering it. Has the present Duma, right now, already outgrown its limits to such an extent that it can become an organ of state power? Those of you who think so, and are trying to make the people think so, are deliberately spreading the most harmful constitutional illusions: you are downright counter-revolutionaries. Those of you, however, who think it probable that “Durnovo will remain in order to disperse the Duma”,[6] or who realise that nothing is certain yet without an extra-“parliamentary”, revolutionary onslaught,[7] are proving how shaky your position is. Their admissions clearly show that the Cadets’ policy is a policy of the moment, and not a policy of earnestly   defending the permanent and fundamental interests of the revolution. These admissions show that during the solution of the new revolutionary crisis that is now maturing, a large number of revolutionary bourgeois democrats will break away from the Cadets, and will be impelled by the Durnovos’ outrages against the Duma to go to the barricades. Thus the whole difference is that you want to restrict this inevitable new battle, to fetter it, to narrow it down to the task of supporting the Cadet Duma; whereas we want to concentrate all our plans, all our energies, all our work of agitation, propaganda and organisation on extending the scope of this battle beyond the limits of Cadet programmes, to extend it to the complete overthrow of the autocracy., to the complete victory of the peasant uprising, to the convocation of a national constituent assembly by revolutionary means.

It seems to you that there are no revolutionary bourgeois democrats in Russia, that the Cadets are the only, or at all events, the main force of bourgeois democracy in Russia. But it seems so to you only because you are short-sighted, be cause you are content to observe only the surface of political events; you do not see or understand the “essence of the constitution”. Being hand-to-mouth politicians, you are most typical opportunists, for the momentary interests of democracy shut out from your view its more profound and fundamental interests: because, engrossed in the tasks of the moment, you forget the more serious tasks of the future: the label prevents you from seeing the contents. There are revolutionary bourgeois democrats in Russia, and there must be, so long as there is a revolutionary peasantry, which by thousands of millions of threads is also bound up with the poorer classes in the towns. These democrats are lying low only because of the activities of the Rimans and Luzhenovskys.[16] The events of the very near future will dispel Cadet illusions. Either the regime of repression continues, the Rimans and Luzhenovskys “do things” while the Cadet Duma talks—and in that case the paltriness of this Duma and of the party that predominates in it will immediately become evident to the vast masses of the people. There will be a strong outbreak, in which it will not be the Cadets as a party that will participate, of course, but those elements among the people that constitute the revolutionary democracy. Or the regime of repression   will be relaxed, the government will make a few concessions, and the Cadet Duma, of course, will begin to melt as a result of the very first concessions, and will settle for Shipov, or even perhaps for something worse. The counter revolutionary nature of the Cadets (which stood out in striking relief during the days of the “whirlwind”, and is constantly evident in their literature) will display itself in full. But the very first fresh breeze of liberty, the slightest relaxation of repression, will again inevitably call into being hundreds and thousands of organisations, unions, groups, circles and undertakings of a revolutionary-democratic nature. And this will as inevitably result in another “whirlwind”, in a repetition of the October-December struggle, but on an immeasurably greater scale. The Cadets, who are shining so brightly today, will be dimmed once again. Why? Because maggots are found near corpses, not near living people.

In other words, the Cadets may finally make the people “acquire a taste”, as Durnovo would say, for “people’s freedom”, but they can never under any circumstances wage a genuine struggle for real freedom of the people, freedom without inverted commas, without a compromise with the autocracy. This struggle has still inevitably to be waged; but it will be waged, not by the Cadets, but by other parties, other social elements. It is clear, therefore, why the revolutionary Social-Democrats do not in the least envy the successes of the Cadets, and continue to concentrate on this forthcoming real, and not sham, fight.

Mr. Blank quotes what Marx said about the supreme significance of bourgeois democracy. To express Marx’s real opinion, he should have added: and supremely treacherous significance. Marx said this a thousand times in different passages in his various writings. Comrade Plekhanov, who is inclining towards Brentanoism in present-day politics, has forgotten what Marx said on this score. Indeed, Comrade Plekhanov has no inkling of what the liberal democrats may betray. The answer to this is very simple, Comrade Plekhanov. The party of “people’s freedom” has betrayed the freedom of the people, and will continue to do so.

Mr. Blank admonishes us not to push the bourgeois democrats “into the camp of reaction and counter-revolution”. We ask this sagacious Cadet: do you want to take the   world of ideas, theories, programmes and lines of tactics, or the world of material class interests? Let us take both. Who pushed your friend Mr. Struve into the camp of counter revolution, and when? Mr. Struve was a counter-revolutionary in 1894, when, in his Critical Remarks, he made Brentanoist reservations concerning Marxism. And despite the efforts some of us made to “push” him from Brentanoism to Marxism, Mr. Struve went over entirely to Brentanoism. And the counter-revolutionary tone never left the pages of Osvobozhdeniye, the illegal “Osvobozhdeniye”. Was this mere chance? Was it by chance that Mr. Struve was prompted to start that model organ of reactionary spleen, Polyarnaya Zvezda, precisely in the period of the “whirlwind”, of the independent revolutionary activity of the people?

What, in general, pushes the small producer in a commodity economy over to the side of reaction and counter-revolution? The position he occupies in capitalist society between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. The petty bourgeois inevitably, in all countries and in every combination of political circumstances, vacillates between revolution and counter-revolution. He wants to free himself from the yoke of capital and to strengthen his position as a small proprietor. This is virtually impossible; and the vacillations of the petty bourgeois are inevitable and ineradicable owing to the very system of modern society. That is why no one but the ideologists of the petty bourgeoisie can imagine that it is thinkable for the workers, or for the peasants rising in revolt against landlordism, to display independent revolutionary activity that will not push a certain section of the bourgeois democrats into the camp of reaction. Only knights of philistinism can regret this.

Do the Blanks and the Izgoyevs (or Comrade Plekhanov) really imagine that it is possible, for example, to have a complete victory of the peasant uprising, that it is possible completely to “take the land” (Plekhanov’s slogan) from the landlords without compensation, without three-fifths of the Cadet “bourgeois democrats” being pushed into the camp of counter-revolution? Should we, therefore, begin bargaining with the Cadets about a “reasonable” peasant programme? What do you think, Comrade Plekhanov? What is your opinion, Messrs. Blank and Izgoyev?

And now for the finale of the political arguments advanced by our Cadet: if the bourgeois democrats are opposed to armed uprising at the present time, it is useless talking about it.

These words express the whole sum and substance of Cadet policy: to subordinate the proletariat to the Cadets, to take it in tow on the fundamental question of its political conduct and its political struggle. It is no use shutting our eyes to that. Mr. Blank rather dexterously tries to distract our attention from the main point. He speaks not about the Cadets, but about bourgeois democrats in general. He talks about the “present juncture”, but not about insurrection in general. But only a child could be taken in by this trick, and fail to realise that the true meaning of Blank’s conclusion is the one we have indicated. We have already cited a number of examples to show that Mr. Blank (like all the Cadets) systematically ignores the bourgeois democrats who are more to the left than the Cadets; and that, in keeping with his whole position as an advocate of constitutional illusions, he identifies the Cadets with the bourgeois democrats, and ignores the revolutionary bourgeois democrats. It only remains for us to prove that the Cadets are opposed to armed uprising in general, and not only to choosing the wrong “moment” (it is curious how often these two things are confused, and it is particularly to the advantage of the Cadets to confuse them, and to cover up their repudiation of insurrection by arguments about the moment chosen for it). This is quite easy to prove. It is sufficient to refer to the illegal “Osvobozhdeniye”, where Mr. Struve, in the spring and summer of 1905, after January 9 and before October 9, strongly opposed armed uprising, and argued that to preach it was “folly and a crime”. Events have sufficiently refuted this counter-revolutionary. Events have proved that it was the combination of general strike and armed uprising—which the Marxists foresaw and put forward as a watchword — that alone won the recognition of liberty and the rudiments of constitutionalism in Russia. Only a very few Social-Democrats, with no supporters in Russia (like Plekhanov), cravenly said about the December insurrection: “It was wrong to take up arms.” On the contrary, the overwhelming majority of Social-Democrats agree that insurrection was a necessary act of resistance to the withdrawal of liberties; that it raised   the entire movement to a higher plane and demonstrated the possibility of fighting against regular troops. The latter circumstance has been admitted by such an impartial, sober-minded and cautious witness as Kautsky.

Now let us see what the moral that the Blanks draw amounts to: the proletariat must not think of insurrection if the Cadet Party (which was never revolutionary) is not in sympathy with it (although at present, and at all other times, it is opposed to insurrection). No, Mr. Blank! The proletariat will certainly reckon with the bourgeois democrats on the question of insurrection in general, and on the question of the moment to be chosen f or it in particular—only, it will reckon not with the Cadet bourgeois democrats, but with the revolutionary bourgeois democrats; not wit.h the liberal-monarchist, but with the revolutionary-republican trends and parties; not with windbags who are satisfied with a toy parliament, but with the masses of the peasantry (who are also bourgeois democrats), whose attitude towards insurrection differs from that of the Cadets.

The Cadets are opposed to insurrection.” Why, they have never been in favour, nor can they ever be in favour of it. They dread it. They naively imagine that it depends on their wishes—the wishes of the intermediary elements who stand aloof from the most acute and direct struggle—whether there is to be an insurrection or not. What a delusion! The autocracy is preparing for civil war, and is just now preparing for it very methodically. A new, much wider and more pro found political crisis is maturing because of the Duma. Both the peasant masses and the proletariat still have in their midst vast numbers of militants who are emphatically demanding freedom for the people, not deals that will curtail the freedom of the people. Can the wishes of this or that party determine in these circumstances whether an insurrection will break out or not?

Just as the West-European philistine on the eve of socialist revolution yearns for an abatement of the class antagonisms between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, pleads with the latter not to push the representatives of the bourgeoisie into the camp of reaction, declares in favour of social peace, and with profound moral indignation rejects the unscientific, narrow-minded, conspiratorial, anarchist, and   so forth, idea of a cataclysm, so the Russian philistine, half way on the road towards our bourgeois-democratic revolution, yearns for an abatement of the antagonism between the autocracy and people’s freedom, pleads with the revolutionaries, that is, with all resolute and consistent support ers of the people’s freedom, not to push the liberal bourgeoisie into the camp of reaction, advocates the constitutional path, and with sincere indignation, reinforced with philosophical idealism, rejects the unscientific, narrow-minded, conspiratorial, anarchist, and so forth, idea of insurrection. The class-conscious worker says to the West-European philistine:

The question of a cataclysm will be decided by the intensification of extremes and not by the intermediary elements.” To the Russian philistine (and the Cadet is the ideal philistine in politics) the class-conscious worker says: “The question of insurrection depends, not on the will of the liberals, but on the actions of the autocracy and the growth of the class-consciousness and the indignation of the revolutionary peasantry and the proletariat. The West-European philistines say to the proletariat: “Don’t repel the small peasants and the enlightened, social-liberal, reforming petty bourgeoisie generally; don’t isolate yourselves; it is the reactionaries who want to isolate you.” To this the proletarian replies: “I must, in the interests of the whole of toiling humanity, isolate my self from those who advocate compromise between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, for these compromisers are advising me to disarm; they are exercising the most harmful, immediately and practically harmful influence on the minds of the oppressed class by preaching compromise, abatement of antagonisms, etc. But I do not isolate myself from that vast mass of the petty bourgeoisie, the working masses, who are capable of adopting the point of view of the proletariat, of not yearning for compromise, of not being carried away by the consolidation of petty economy in capitalist society, and of not renouncing the struggle against the capitalist system itself.”

Much the same is taking place in Russia, but in different conditions, in a different historical period, on the eve (and not even on the eve, but in the midst) of a bourgeois-democratic and not a socialist revolution. The philistine says to the proletarian: “The reactionaries want to isolate you; you must   isolate the reactionaries; don’t repel the enlightened, politically-liberal Cadets who want reforms.” To this the proletarian replies: “In the interests of the genuine struggle for real freedom, I must isolate myself from the advocates of a compromise between the autocracy and the representatives of the people, for these compromisers are advising us to disarm, they are befogging the civic consciousness of the people by their advocacy of ’political peace’ and constitutional illusions. But these compromisers, all these Cadets, are not the people at all, they are not the masses at all, they are not a force at all, as seems to those who give way to the moods and impressions of the moment, and are now shouting about the danger of the proletariat being isolated. The real masses are the revolutionary peasantry and the poorer sections of the town population. From these masses I do not isolate myself; I call upon them to cast off their constitutional illusions,I call upon them to take up the real struggle, I call them to insurrection. In deciding on the moment for the insurrection, I will pay very serious attention to the mood and to the process of political development of these masses (not of the Cadet compromisers); but I will not for a moment forget the revolutionary struggle against the autocracy that is maturing very fast, and will probably break out in the near future, for the sake of momentary successes, for the sake of the tawdry brilliance of Cadet parliamentarism (or rather Dubasov parliamentarism, to put it more correctly).”

In Europe, not so long ago, the flashy and loud-mouthed social-liberal, the petty-bourgeois compromiser, importunately pressed his offers of alliances and agreements upon the proletariat. The intellectual wing of the Social-Democratic parties took the bait, succumbed to the policy of the moment, founded the notorious Bernsteiniad, etc. A year or two passed, the fog of “social peace” was completely dispelled, and the correctness of the position taken up by the revolutionary wing of the Social-Democratic parties, which consistently adhered to the proletarian point of view, became perfectly evident.

In Russia today everybody is intoxicated with the Cadet victories and with the prospect of a Cadet Duma. There is a danger that the intellectual wing of our Party will be fascinated by these brilliant successes and will be taken in by the   idea of an election bloc with the Cadets, by the idea of sup porting them, by a policy of “dealing tactfully” with the Cadets. There is a danger that they will be reluctant clearly and distinctly to define from the proletarian point of view the petty-bourgeois class nature of this party, the harmfulness of its constitutional illusions and the constant danger created by its tactics of “compromise”. But in a few years, or perhaps even months, the fog will be dispelled; the views of the revolutionary Social-Democrats will be borne out by reality, and the columns of the Cadet newspapers and magazines will cease to ring with eulogies of certain Social-Democrats, which are offensive to the proletariat and are symptomatic of some disease within the Social-Democratic Party.


[1] Mr. Berdayev! Messrs. editors of Polyarnaya Zvezda or Svoboda Kultura![17] Here is another subject for your lengthy lamentations— I mean, for lengthy articles against the “hooliganism” of revolutionaries. Fancy, they dare to call Tolstoi a philistine!! “Quelle horreur!”—as the lady with many good points[18] used to say.—Lenin

[2] Compare, for example, the views of Russkiye Vedomosti, No.1, 1906, on the activities of the Peasant Union—which is nothing less than a denunciation to Dubasov of the revolutionary democrats, of their Pugachev aspirations,[19] of their approval of the idea of seizing the land and of establishing a new government, and so forth. Even the Left Cadets of Bez Zaglavia (No. 10) admonished Russkiye Vedomosti, and rightly put it on a par with Moskovskiye Vedomosti, for publishing such views. Unfortunately, the Left Cadets admonish Russkiye Vedomosti in a tone that sounds like an apology. Bez Zaglavia defends the Peasant Union, hut does not accuse the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie. Whether this not altogether decent method of controversy with Russkiye Vedomosti is due to its “fear of the Jews”, or to the fact that Mr. Blank writes for that paper, I cannot say. The Left Cadets are, after all, Cadets.—Lenin

[3] These words are in English in the original.—Ed.

[4] Of course, not being a class organisation, the Peasant Union also contains elements of disintegration. The more imminent the victory of the peasant uprising and the fuller that victory, the more imminent will be the disintegration of this Union. But up to the victory of the peasant uprising, and for such a victory, the Peasant Union is a mighty and viable organisation. Its function will cease with the complete victory of the bourgeois-democratic revolution, whereas the function of the proletarian organisations at that moment will he particularly important and vital in the struggle for socialism. But the function of the Cadet organisations is to hamper the complete victory of the bourgeois revolution, to excel in the preparatory periods of that revolution, in the periods of depression, stagnation and Dubasov rule. In other words, the peasantry will be victorious in the bourgeois-democratic revolution, and then cease to be revolutionary as a peasantry. The proletariat will be victorious in the bourgeois-democratic revolution, and only thereby will fully develop its true, genuine, socialist revolutionary nature. But the Cadet petty bourgeoisie will cease to be an opposition on the very next day after constitutional illusions are dispelled.—Lenin

[5] See my article in Novaya Zhizn: “The Socialist Party and Non-Party Revolutionism”. (See pp. 75-82 of this volume.—Ed.)—Lenin

[6] Rus and Molva. —Lenin

[7] P. Milyukov, “The Elements or the Conflict”, in Rech, No. 30, March 24—the extremely interesting credo of a compromiser.—Lenin

[17] Svoboda i Kultura (Freedom and Culture)—a weekly magazine of the Right wing of the Cadet Party. It was published in St. Petersburg instead of Polyarnaya Zvezda from April 1 (14) to May 31 (June 13), 1906. Its editor was S. L. Frank, with P. B. Struve as a close associate. Eight issues appeared in all. The publication was suspended due to a sharp drop in circulation.

[18] The lady with many good points— a character in Gogol’s Dead Souls.

[8] Bez Zaglavia (Without Title)—a political weekly published in St. Petersburg from January 24 (February 6) to May 14 (27), 1906. Its editor was S. N. Prokopovich, with Y. D. Kuskova, V. Y. Bogucharsky, V. V. Khizhnyakov and others as his associates. The Bez Zaglavia group was made up of Russian bourgeois intellectuals with semi-Cadet and semi-Menshevik leanings. Under cover of their formal non-partisanship, they advocated bourgeois liberalism and opportunism, and backed the revisionists among the Social-Democrats in Russia and abroad.

[19] Yemelyan Pugachev (1742?-1775)—leader of the war which Russia’s peasants waged against feudal tyranny in 1773-75.

[9] In March 1885, during the Reichstag debate on government subsidies to private business for the establishment of regular steamship services to East Asia, Australia and Africa, a majority of the Social-Democratic Group (the Right wing, which virtually supported Bismarck’s colonial policy) voted for an East-Asian and an Australian line. It also promised its support for other lines, provided all new ships were built in Germany It was not until alter the Reichstag had rejected this condition that the whole group voted against granting any subsidy The conduct of the group majority was denounced by Social-Democratic organisations. Engels condemned the opportunist stand of the Reichstag group.

[10] TheYouth” were a petty-bourgeois group that arose in 1890 among the German Social-Democrats. The group consisted chiefly of university students who had broken off their studies and of young writers (which accounted tom the name of the group). It advanced a platform rejecting all Social-Democratic participation in the Reichstag. The Erfurt Congress, held in October 1891, expelled the group from the Party

[11] Bernsteiniad (Bernsteinianism)—an anti-Marxist trend in inter national Social-Democracy. It arose at the end of the nineteenth century in Germany and was so named after the German Social-Democrat Eduard Bernstein, an opportunist. After Frederick Engels’s death Bernstein undertook an open revision of the revolutionary theory of Marx in the spirit of bourgeois liberalism, and   sought to turn the Social-Democratic Party into a petty-bourgeois party advocating social reforms.

[12] Severny Golos (The Voice of the North)—a legal daily newspaper of the R.S.D.L.P., published in St. Petersburg from December 6 (19), 1905 onwards and edited jointly by the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. It was closed with issue No. 3 on December 8 (21), 1905. Nash Golos (Our Voice), published once—on December 18 (31), 1905—was its continuation.

[13] Nachalo (The Beginning)—a legal Menshevik daily, published in St. Petersburg from November 13 (26) to December 2 (15), 1905. Altogether 16 issues were brought out.

[14] See Frederick Engels, “Marx and the Neue Rheinische Zeitung (1848-49)” (Marx and Engels, Selected Works, Vol. II, Moscow, 1958, pp. 328-37), and Frederick Engels, “Revolution and Counter Revolution in Germany”, VII. “The Frankfort National Assembly”, New York Daily Tribine, 1852. Articles from the Neue Rheinisehe Zeitung, June 1-November 7, 1848 (Marx, Engels, Werke, Bd. 5, Berlin, 1959).

[15] F. Engels, Die preuβische Militärfrage und die deutsche Arbeiterpartei, Hamburg, 1865; Marx and Engels, “To the Editorial Board of the Social-Demokrat” (see Marx and Engels, Selected Correspondence, Moscow, 1955, p. 201); F. Engels, “Notizen zur Broschüre: Die preuβische Militärfrage und die deutsche Arbetterpartei” (Berliner Reform, Nr. 53, 1865); K. Marx, “Rezension von Engels’ Broschüre: Die preuβische Militärfrage und die deutsche Arbeiterpartei” (Hermann, März 18, 1865); K. Marx, “Erklärung vom März 18, 1865” (Berliner Reform, Nr. 67, 1865).

[16] Riman, N. K. (1864-1917)—colonel of the tsarist army who was in command of a punitive expedition on the Moscow-Kazan Railway during the suppression of the Moscow armed uprising in December 1905.

Luzhenovsky, G. N. (1870-1906)—one of the organisers of Black-Hundred pogroms in 1905-06, notorious for the cruel suppression of the peasants’ revolutionary movement in the Tambov region. He was assassinated by the Socialist-Revolutionaries in 1906.

  A Sample of Cadet Smugness | Conclusion  

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