V. I.   Lenin

Results of the Elections



“End” of the Illusions About the Cadet Party

1. The facts have shown that the real meaning of the Cadet slogan of a “single opposition” or “two camps” was deception of the democrats, the liberals’ fraudulent appropriation of the fruits of a democratic awakening, and the liberals’ curtailment, blunting and frustration of this awakening of the only force capable of pushing Russia ahead.

2. The facts have shown that the only election struggle that was at all like the “open”, “European” type consisted precisely in wresting the democratic movement from the hands of the liberals. This slogan was a living reality, it expressed the awakening of a new democratic movement, an awakening that is actually taking place. As for the liquidators’ slogan “Wrest the Duma from the hands of the reactionaries”, it was a rotten invention of a circle of liberal intellectuals.

3. The facts have shown that only the “furious” struggle against the Cadets, and only the “Cadet-eating” of which the liberals’ spineless servants, the liquidators, accused us, expressed the real need of the real mass campaign, be cause the Cadets actually turned out to be even worse than we had painted them. The Cadets turned out to be outright allies of the Black Hundreds against the Social-Democrat Priedkalns and the Social-Democrat Pokrovsky![1]

It is a historic turning-point in Russia: the Black Hundreds, who had gone to the length of blind hatred of the Cadets, whom they saw as their chief enemy, were impelled   by the course of events to back the Cadets against the Social-Democrats. This seemingly minor fact denotes a very great shift in party policies, showing how superficial in fact were the Black-Hundred attacks on the Cadets and vice versa, and how easily in fact Purishkevich and Milyukov found their bearings, and came to their unity against the Social-Democrats.

Experience has shown that we Bolsheviks, far from under estimating the possibility of blocs with the Cadets (at the second stage and so on), rather continued to overestimate it, for what actually occurred in a number of cases was the formation of blocks between the Cadets and the Octobrists against us! This, of course, does not mean that we refused (as certain over-zealous otzovists of yesterday and their friends would have liked us to do) in a number of cases, such as at gubernia election meetings, to resort to blocs between ourselves and the Cadets against the Rights. What it does mean is that our general line (three camps; democrats against Cadets) was borne out and strengthened still further by experience.

Incidentally, Levitsky, Cherevanin and other contributors to Nasha Zarya collected valuable data for our election statistics with the most commendable zeal and diligence. It is a pity they did not sum up the data—which they evidently had—on the number of cases of direct and indirect blocs of the Cadets with the Octobrists and Rights against the Social-Democrats.

Priedkalns and Pokrovsky are not isolated cases; for there were many other cases of a similar nature at the gubernia election meetings. They should not be forgotten. They are worthy of serious attention.

To proceed. Our “witness”, who had to draw the above conclusions about the Cadets, gave no thought at all to the appraisal of the Cadet Party that these conclusions bore out. Who called the Cadets a party of urban democrats? And who had argued since March 1906, or even earlier, that this liberal party kept itself alive by deceiving the democratic voter?

Now the liquidators have begun to chant like so many Forgetful Ivans: “The Cadet monopoly is coming to an end.” Consequently, there was a “monopoly”. What does this   mean? Monopoly is the removal of competition. Was Social-Democratic Competition against the Cadets in 1906–07 removed to a greater extent than in 1912?

Mr. V. Levitsky repeats a common phrase without thinking of the meaning of the words he is uttering. As he under stands it, monopoly means “simply” that the Cadets predominated and that this is is over now. But if you claim to be Marxists, gentlemen, you should really ponder, if only a little bit, on the class character of parties, and not treat so flippantly your own statements of yesterday.

If the Cadets are a party of urban democrats, then their predominance is not a “monopoly”, but a product of the class interests of the urban democrats! If, however, their predominance turned out, a couple of years later, to be a “monopoly”, i.e., something accidental and abnormal from the standpoint of the general and fundamental laws of capitalism and relations between the classes in capitalist society, it follows that those who took the Cadets for a party of urban democrats were opportunists, that they were carried away by a short-lived success, bowed down before the fashionable splendour of Cadetism, and abandoned Marxist criticism of the Cadets for liberal servility to them.

Mr. V. Levitsky’s conclusion bears out entirely, word for word, the resolution on the class character of the Cadet Party adopted by the Bolsheviks in London in 1907, a resolution which the Mensheviks vehemently disputed. If the urban democrats followed the lead of the Cadets “by force of tradition and because they were simply deceived by the liberals”, as the resolution has it, then it is perfectly logical that the severe lessons of 1908–11 dispelled “constitutional illusions”, undermined “tradition”, exposed the “deceit” and thereby ended the “monopoly”.

Wilful or involuntary oblivion of the past, and an extremely thoughtless attitude towards precise, straightforward and clear answers to all important political questions and to verifying these answers by the ample experience of 1905–07 and 1908–12, is a much too widespread phenomenon nowadays. Nothing could be so ruinous to the awakening democratic movement as this oblivion and this attitude.



[1] This refers to the Fourth Duma elections in Riga and Yekaterinodar, where the Cadets voted with the Right-wing Black-Hundred parties against the Social-Democratic candidates.

  The Election Slogans Tested by Experience | Concerning an “Enormous Danger to the Landownership of the Nobility”  

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