Pravda No. 55, March 7, 1913.
Published according to the Pravda text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, , Moscow, Volume 18, pages 588-589.
Translated: Stepan Apresyan
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Mr. Milyukov’s Duma speech on universal suffrage was of outstanding interest because he had to touch on a number of subjects of prime importance to democrats.
Our press in general, including the liberal press, is becoming more and more addicted to the abominably unprincipled habit of disposing of Duma speeches by commenting on them in glowing (Mr. Litovtsev in Rech) or abusive terms, without ever analysing their ideological content!
The workers do not believe in bourgeois political chicanery. They want to learn politics. In response to this desire of theirs, we shall attempt an analysis of Mr. Milyukov’s speech.
“You,” said Mr. Milyukov, addressing himself all the time to the Octobrists, “are not linked with authority either by specific commitments or even by gratitude”,
for the elections, you say, were rigged against you.
Mr. Milyukov, one of the most educated Cadets, a professor, editor, etc., put forward this argument in the most earnest way, and even added:
“Apparently there is no social stratum in Russia supporting the present government policy...” (Rossiya No. 2236).
The falsity of this argument is glaring. None other than Mr. Milyukov himself went on to quote the Frenchman Chasles, who very justly says that the “crux of the matter” “is the agrarian questions”.
“To obtain a conservative Third Duma,” says Chasles, “the majority had to be shifted from the peasants to the landlords.... The landed proprietors and the aristocracy of wealth can form a bloc of five-eighths of the votes [in the elections to the Duma under our electoral law] and the minority can literally be crushed: the peasants, the middle classes and the town democrats are invited by the legislator to look on at the elections and not make them, to attend but not participate in them.”
The reactionary Chasles argues cleverly and correctly. We thank Mr. Milyukov for his interesting quotations which defeat Mr. Milyukov’s phrase-mongering! In Russia there evidently is a social “stratum” (the class of landlords—feudal lords or feudal-minded landlords) which supports the policy of the government and is linked “with authority” by the bonds of class interests. As for being linked by “commitments” and “gratitude”, it is perfect nonsense. Remember that, learned Cadet!
In our next article we shall show how this learned Cadet circled—like a cat round hot milk—about the “crux of the matter” (i.e., the agrarian question), which the reactionary Chasles correctly pointed out.
 See pp. 590–91 of this volume.–Ed. —Lenin