V. I. Lenin

More About the Peasant Deputies in the Fourth Duma

Written: Written on November 27–28 (December 10–11), 1912
Published: First published in 1961 in Vol. 22 of the Fifth Russian edition of the Collected Works. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 41, pages 271.2-272.1.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) © 2004 Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.  

Novoye Vremya recently reported the final organisation of separate peasant group in the Fourth Duma. The report says that it consists of 40 men. The group’s bureau consists of Yevseyev, Karaulov, Ichas, Firsov and Mershchy.

“Karaulov (a Cossack),” wrote Novoye Vremya, “is said to be one of the most vigorous men in the new group; he drew public attention by his original definition of p arty affiliation in the form which members of the Duma are asked to fill in by the magistrate office. In the ‘party affiliation’ column Karaulov wrote: ‘I do not belong to any party or faction. I am what every man who truly loves his country must be: I am a monarchist-democrat.’”

Can we accept that such a definition of party affiliation is “original”? Yes and no. Yes, considering that Karaulov has frankly expressed what many are afraid to say. No, because in point of fact Deputy Karaulov’s opinion is notoriously shared by a very considerable number of peasants and Cossacks.

Incidentally, Deputy Karaulov believes that “every man who truly loves his country” must be a democrat. Deputy Karaulov is clearly mistaken. Let him look at all the Right-wing half or even the Right-wing two-thirds of the Duma: can he truly say that among all these “Rightists”—from “Nationalists” to Octobrists—there is no one “who truly loves his country”? Karaulov must concede that there probably is.

But it is quite obvious that the Rightists, and the Nationalists, and the Octobrists (and, honestly speaking, the Cadets as well) are n o t “democrats”.

They are all monarchists, that is beyond question, but they are not democrats. They either do not at all favour a democratic electoral law, democratic laws on the press, on association and assembly, democratic distribution of landed property, or talk their way out of the serious problems of democracy.

What then is to be done? Is it not clear that the landowners, for instance, take a different view of “true love for the country” than the peasants, although both may be monarchists?

The work of the Fourth Duma will surely make Karaulov and men like him give serious thought to this.


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