V. I.   Lenin

Truly Russian Morals

Published: Pravda No. 160, November 4, 1912. Signed: T.. Published according to the Pravda text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1975], Moscow, Volume 18, pages 376-377.
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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A few days ago the newspaper Zemshchina carried, along with verses by Purishkevich, a little article concerning the “famous” official publicist Guryev of Rossiya (who from now on will be famous without inverted commas). Zemshchina assures its readers that he is a “publicist of a Jewish-liberal shade”. How strange! Is it possible that the official Rossiya, too, is a Jewish-liberal organ?

But what is the point? It is that Guryev has been unanimously expelled from the board of a St. Petersburg spinning mill by the general meeting of its shareholders. In addition, the meeting resolved to request the procurator to start proceedings against Guryev for his irregular practices.

It appears that Guryev contributed 1,000 rubles and acquired the right to one-third of the profits, although two co-owners of the mill had contributed 100,000 rubles! Why this generous treatment of Guryev by the capitalists?

Because that gentleman is a councillor of state, a contributor to the official newspaper Rossiya, and so on and so forth. He was Witte’s private secretary. He has “exceptional connections”. He promised government subsidies!

And so, the capitalist gentlemen “valued” those government “connections” fairly highly: 49,000 rubles exactly. You have the goods, we have the money. You have “connections in government quarters”, an opportunity of obtaining subsidies, we have money. Sale and purchase. “Connections in government quarters”, so-and-so many thou sands; a promise of subsidies, so-and-so much; contributions to the official Rossiya, so-and-so much. Collect your money, Mr. Guryev!

Guryev collected it—and fooled them. He did not keep his promises but claimed over one-third of the profits and,   what is more, resorted to blackmail, i.e., to extorting money under threat of undermining the credit of the establishment.

A characteristic affair. A typical affair. An everyday occurrence. An illustration to the theme, “Government connections and subsidies, and their relation to capital”.

Only, where does the “Jewish-liberal shade” come in, gentlemen of Zemshchina? It is a truly Russian, truly conservative shade! Don’t be so modest, friends of Purishkevich!


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