V. I.   Lenin

The Aim of the Proletarian Struggle in Our Revolution



To conclude. Comrade Martov has touched on an extremely important question that deserves discussing very thoroughly in the columns of the Party’s Central Organ. But it is not a question to “touch on”, it must be examined in great detail, in the light not only of the teachings of Marx and Engels but also of the experience of the Russian Revolution of 1905-07.

The suggestion that the idea of a revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry is the result of a Narodnik spell cast over the Social-Democrats can only provoke a smile. If that were true, the quasi-Marxists who argue in this way should first of all have accused Kautsky, Marx and Engels of falling under the Narodnik spell. In all the great bourgeois revolutions decisive victory could be achieved only by the proletariat (more or less developed) in alliance with the peasantry; and the same holds true for the bourgeois revolution in Russia. In the experience of 1905-07 the truth of this was given a practical demonstration by every important turn in events: for in practice all decisive actions, both “combative” and parliamentary, were actually “joint actions” of the proletariat and the peasantry.

Our Party holds firmly to the view that the role of the proletariat is the role of leader in the bourgeois-democratic revolution; that joint actions of the proletariat and the peasantry are essential to carry it through to victory; that unless political power is won by the revolutionary classes, victory is impossible. Rejection of these truths must inevitably doom Social-Democrats to vacillation, to “movement with out a goal”, to advocating casual agreements with complete disregard for principle, and in practice means falling captive to the Cadets, i. e., making the working class dependent upon the liberal-monarchist, counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie.


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