V. I.   Lenin

The “Reconciliation” of the Nationalists and Cadets

Published: Pravda No. 194, December 15, 1912. Published according to the Pravda text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1975], Moscow, Volume 18, pages 439-440.
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.
Other Formats:   TextREADME

The most important political result of the Duma debate on the declaration of the government is the touching unity of the nationalists, Octobrists and Cadets. Our Russian so-called “society” yields so readily to high-sounding and cheap phrases that we have to lay particular emphasis on this real result of the action of all parties, with their criticism of political questions of principle.

The parties disappeared,” wrote the nationalist Novoye Vremya (No. 13199). “Deputy Maklakov’s excellent speech (at the December 7 sitting) united the entire Duma, which applauded him, forgetful of all party calculations and differences of opinion.”

This comment by a nationalist paper, the chief organ of all toadyism, of persecution of Jews and non-Russians in general. should be remembered and pondered by all who take a serious interest in politics.

It was not because they were “forgetful” of party differences of opinion that the Octobrists and nationalists, the Guchkovites and the Novoye Vremya people applauded Maklakov, but because they appreciated the profound unity of opinion of the liberal bourgeoisie and the nationalist landlords.

Maklakov revealed that unity of opinion on the fundamental issues of home and foreign policy. “While Russia does not seek war, neither does she dread it,” exclaimed this Cadet, to prolonged applause by the nationalists. How could they help applauding? Any politically literate person realises that these words expressed the Cadets’ acceptance of the policy of resorting to the threat of war,   the policy of militarism, of armaments by land and by sea that oppress and ruin the mass of the people.

The liberals, who support militarism, are not feared by the reactionaries, who very correctly argue that support for militarism is action, whereas liberal exclamations are mere words which simply cannot be made a reality so long as the reactionaries are in power. “Give us millions to spend on armaments, and we will clap and applaud your liberal talk”—this is what every clever semi-feudal landlord says, and should say, to the Duma Balalaikins.[1]

And what about Maklakov’s stand on home policy? Is it accidental that the Right-wing priests are highly satisfied, as Rech itself testifies, or that Novoye Vremya gleefully reprints Maklakov’s “keynote”: “Let there be no division of Russia into two camps—the country and the government”?

No, it is not accidental, because by his whining about the desirability of “reconciliation” Maklakov in fact echoes Kokovtsov. For Kokovtsov, too, desires “reconciliation”!

Kokovtsov desires no change in the balance of the social forces. Maklakov did not show the slightest understanding of the kind of change that is necessary or how it can be brought about. “Reconciliation” is precisely the term which obscures the only serious question, that of the conditions and means of achieving this change—obscures it with rotten phrases that say nothing, that blunt the civic consciousness of the masses and lull them.

A “society” which is capable of applauding the speeches of a Maklakov about “reconciliation” deserves nothing but contempt.

As for the speech of Malinovsky, the workers’ representative, on the Ministerial declaration, both the nationalists and the Cadets took pains not to notice that in it the democrats were posing questions. But then Malinovsky’s speech was not intended for their like at all.


[1] Balalaikin—a character in M. Saltykov-Shchedrin’s A Modern Idyll, personifying a liberal windbag, impostor and liar.

Works Index   |   Volume 18 | Collected Works   |   L.I.A. Index
< backward   forward >