V. I. Lenin

Outline of a Report on the Political Situation{1}

Written: Written at the end of 1911
Published: First published in 1961 in Vol. 21 of the Fifth Russian edition of the Collected Works. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 41, pages 243.3-245.1.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) © 2004 Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.  


Political Situation

1. Crop failure—and the famine. “Food” campaign—Lidvaliad.{2}

2. Stolypin’s “agrarian reform”: bourgeois wine poured into serf-owning wineskins. They burst.

3. December 1908 about the Stolypin reform{3} and failure of the liquidators and the Vperyod people to understand.

4. Commissary trials: stealing.

5. Mismanagement and disorder.
—Cadet and Octobrist press. Flight from St. Petersburg to Moscow, lorry runs, construction of railways, Russian industry in the foreign market, public education and Kasso’s “broom”{4}— ——sighs, oh’s and ah’s, and regrets all over the place.

6. The bourgeoisie craves for the bourgeois system. It wants to “wash the wineskin without dipping it into the water”.

7. Revolution is the only way. Fear, hatred, mistrust—against the tide.

8. “Against the tide”. For the revolution. The working class and the revolution. For revolution (n o t “universal suffrage”) is the slogan which sums up the political situation and determines the whole content of Party agitation and propaganda (in particular, before the Fourth Duma).


Crop failure
Commissary trials
Kasso and rout
The Jews and the “nationalisation of trade”.

T h e W o r k i n g C l a s s a n d t h e R e v o l u t i o n

1. The “revival”, of which everyone is talking, is a symptom of the fresh upsurge of the revolution.

2. Attitude to the revolution that was: spite, fear, hatred—cowardice, scepticism, lack of spirit—attitude of the working class (“you’ll get another 1905”).

3. Tasks of working-class activity in the new conditions
(α) > consciousness of the masses (δ)
(β) > development of capitalism (α)  
(γ) > hostility of the bourgeoisie (β)
(δ) > alliance of enemies (γ).

4. Character of agitation and propaganda.
No need for an illegal party ” ” ” propaganda of revolution (not hegemony)
etc., etc.
[BOX ENDS:] [[ liquidationism ]].

Manifestation of bourgeois counter revolutionary spirit among Social-Democrats.

5. “Bird’s-eye view”=Third Duma. Role of (Cadets)


{1} The exact date and the circumstances in which Lenin gave this report on the political situation have not been established. p. 243

{2} Lidvaliad—the case of the big swindler and speculator E. Lidval and V. I. Gurko, Deputy Minister for the Interior. With Gurko’s help, Lidval concluded a deal with the government to supply 10 million poods of rye to the famine-stricken gubernias of Russia from October to December 1906. Having received a sizable advance through Gurko from the treasury, Lidval brought up less than 10 per cent of the total quantity of grain to the railway lines by mid-December 1906. This embezzlement and speculation on the famine were exposed and widely reported, forcing the tsarist government to institute legal proceedings. But apart from being removed from his post, Gurko was not punished in any way. p. 243

{3} A reference to the resolution of the Fifth Conference of the R.S.D.L.P. (All-Russia Conference of 1908), “The Present Moment and the Tasks of the Party” (see K.P.S.S. v rezolutsiyakh..., Part 1, pp. 195–97). p. 244

{4} A reference to the explanations by Minister of Public Education L. A. Kasso in the Fourth Duma in connection with the question entered by 44 deputies on December 14 (27), 1912, over the arrest of 34 pupils of secondary schools in St. Petersburg at a meeting in Vitmer’s private school. The pupils were suspected by the secret police of belonging to an illegal circle. The question was discussed at the 12th, 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th sittings of the Duma. On February 6 (19), 1913, a majority adopted a formula to proceed with the business of the Duma, recognising the Minister’s explanations as being unsatisfactory. p. 244

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