V. I.   Lenin

A Little Explanation

Published: Pravda No. 85, August 8, 1912. Signed: N. B.. Published according to the Pravda text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1975], Moscow, Volume 18, pages 254-255.
Translated: Stepan Apresyan
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 question whether our Cadets are democrats or a party of the liberal-monarchist bourgeoisie is of great scientific interest.

Let us recall that even the Trudovik (bourgeois democrat) Vodovozov showed vacillation on this question.

Concerning this question, Pravda referred to Mr. Gredeskul’s recent statements, repeated in “Rech”.[1]

Rech answers: “We do not know what statements by Mr. Gredeskul Pravda is talking about.”

How very nice, isn’t it? Pravda said in clear and precise terms that it was speaking of the statements repeated in Rech. Well? Can it be that Rech does not know what is published in Rech?? Would it not be more natural to suppose that the liberals want to forget certain things in their recent past for the sake of their pre-election playing at democracy?

Be that as it may, I shall quote, with a view to clarifying an important scientific question, what Mr. Gredeskul said in a series of public lectures and what he repeated in Rech No. 117 (2071), without the editors making a single reservation.

At the very end of my lecture,” wrote Mr. Gredeskul, “in arguing against the contention of Vekhi that the Russian emancipation movement had failed (allegedly through the fault of the intelligentsia) and comparing it with the opinion of those who stand much further to the left than P. B. Struve but who likewise believe that the movement has brought us absolutely nothing, I upheld a thesis to the contrary, saying that a very great deal had been done, that the very foundations had been laid for the future constitutional edifice, and very deeply and solidly, too, in the very midst of the masses of   the people. To provide a critical confrontation for these two assertions and at the same time to express an idea which I also consider of the utmost political importance for our time, I brought both of them into relation with the future and said that from the point of view of the former (if nothing had been done in 1905–06), everything had to be started from the beginning, or, in other words, a second movement had to be organised, whereas from the point of view of the latter assertion (that 1905–06 had seen the laying of the foundations for a Russian constitution), the opposite was true—no second popular movement was needed but merely quiet, persevering and confident constitutional work.

It was at this point that I was interrupted by the Lepaya chief of police (it happened in Lepaya). In this manner there ensued in Lepaya a police demonstration against a public denial of the need for a new revolution in Russia” (Rech, 1912, No. 117 [2071 ]).

Mr. Gredeskul has fully proved that the Lepaya chief of police made a mistake. But besides this, Mr. Gredeskul has proved two important things: (1) that the polemics of Mr. Gredeskul and Co. against Vekhi are so much pretence and empty talk. Actually, in all essential respects, the whole Cadet Party is a Vekhi party; (2) that the Marxist characterisation of the Cadet Party according to its scientific, economic and political features is perfectly correct.


[1] See p. 246 of this volume.—Ed.

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