V. I.   Lenin

Speech Delivered in the Name of the R.S.D.L.P. at
The Funeral of Paul and Laura Lafargue November 20 (December 3), 1911

Published: Sotsial-Demokrat, No. 25, December 8 (21), 1911. Published according to the Sotsial-Demokrat text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1974], Moscow, Volume 17, pages 304-305.
Translated: Dora Cox
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

Comrades, on behalf of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party I wish to convey our feelings of deep sorrow on the death of Paul and Laura Lafargue. Even in the period of preparation for the Russian revolution, the class-conscious workers and all Social-Democrats of Russia learned profound respect for Lafargue as one of the most gifted and profound disseminators of the ideas of Marxism, ideas that were so brilliantly confirmed by the class struggle during the Russian revolution and counter-revolution. United under the banner of those ideas, the vanguard of the Russian workers waged an organised mass struggle and dealt a blow to absolutism, it upheld, as it continues to uphold, the cause of socialism, the cause of the revolution, the cause of democracy despite the treachery, vacillation, and irresolution of the liberal bourgeoisie.

For the Russian worker Social-Democrats Lafargue symbolised two eras: the era in which the revolutionary youth of France, animated by republican ideas, marched shoulder to shoulder with the French workers to attack the Empire, and the era in which the French proletariat, under Marxist leadership, waged a sustained class struggle against the en tire bourgeois system and prepared for the final battle against the bourgeoisie to win socialism.

We, Russian Social-Democrats, who have experienced all the oppression of an absolutism impregnated with Asiatic barbarity, and who have had the good fortune, through the writings of Lafargue and his friends, directly to draw on the revolutionary experience and revolutionary thought of   the European workers—we can now see with particular clarity how rapidly we are nearing the triumph of the cause to which Lafargue devoted all his life. The Russian revolution ushered in an era of democratic revolutions throughout Asia, and 800 million people are now joining in the democratic movement of the whole of the civilised world. In Europe, too, there are increasing signs that the era of so-called peaceful bourgeois parliamentarianism is drawing to an end, to give place to an era of revolutionary battles by a proletariat that has been organised and educated in the spirit of Marxist ideas, and that will overthrow bourgeois rule and establish a communist system.


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