V. I.   Lenin

The Liberal Campaign

Published: Pravda No. 77, July 28, 1912. Published according to the Pravda text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1975], Moscow, Volume 18, pages 231-232.
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.
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The liberals have begun to get busy and have brought concerted pressure to bear on Pravda. Leading articles in the Cadet Rech, and the non-partisan progressive Mr. Prokopovich and Mr. R. Blank in Zaprosy Zhizni opened fire on the workers’ newspaper for its decision to conduct an independent election campaign in St. Petersburg.

The efforts of Nevskaya Zvezda and Pravda are completely useless,” asserts Zaprosy Zhizni. “Surely they cannot seriously expect the candidate of the workers’ party to win in the St. Petersburg city curia, where the workers’ participation is negligible.”

There you have a sample of the liberal arguments, and a method of intimidating the voter who has not yet risen above philistinism, has not worked out an entirely conscious policy for himself.

There was a time when the liberals tried to intimidate simply with the prospect of a Black-Hundred victory in the elections. But crude lies no longer “work”. Everyone knows that there is not the slightest danger of the Black Hundreds winning in the St. Petersburg elections. So a different kind of intimidation is resorted to: “there is no reason to expect the workers to win”.

Oh, no, liberal gentlemen, the democratic voter in general, and the worker in particular, has lived through many things, he has thought over and learned many things in the past difficult five years. That sort of intimidation will get you nowhere.

Nowhere in the world have the workers begun their election campaign in a big city without being opposed by strong liberal parties. Nowhere in the world have worker   democrats succeeded without a stubborn fight in wresting from the liberals their influence on the mass of the lower-grade office workers, shop-assistants, handicraftsmen, petty traders, etc.

Whoever is against the St. Petersburg workers beginning that fight here and now (or rather going on from where they left off in 1906, 1907 and 1909), assumes the name of democrat in vain, and remains in fact a slave of the liberals.

Thousands upon thousands of new democratic voters will now take part in the St. Petersburg elections.

The St. Petersburg workers’ great achievement in founding their own workers’ daily newspaper fully entitles us to expect no lesser achievements in the election campaign.

Thousands of old voters are awakening to a new, more class-conscious political activity. They are learning, with the help of their workers’ newspaper, to fight for a better life for themselves, developing the habit of joint political action, and growing increasingly aware of the great national problems which the worker democrats are solving.

The liberals in St. Petersburg can be defeated. And from the liberals’ uneasiness and quarrelsome sallies, from their shouting and their attempts at intimidation, democratic St. Petersburg will derive added confidence that it is on the right path to victory.


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