V. I.   Lenin

The Political Situation

Published: Put Pravdy No. 85, May 13, 1914. Published according to the text in Put Pravdy.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1972, Moscow, Volume 20, pages 292-293.
Translated: Bernard Isaacs and The Late Joe Fineberg
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.README

The present political situation in Russia is marked by the growth of the strike movement in general, as well as by an increase in the number of political strikes (for example, May 1st strikes), and by the growth of the Pravdist trend among the workers (the Insurance Board elections in the two capitals, and the election of the All-Russia Insurance Board provided additional proof, of this).

The connection between the nature of the working-class movement and the trend which the overwhelming majority of class-conscious workers have recognised as their own is obvious and requires no special explanation.

Another feature of the present political situation is the fact that a “Left bloc” is taking exceptionally clear and distinct shape, i.e., the emergence of joint action by proletarian and bourgeois democrats (Trudoviks and liquidators) against both the Purishkeviches and treacherous bourgeois liberalism. The obstruction organised by the Left in the Duma, and the suspension of the Social-Democrats and Trudoviks by the votes of the Rights, the Octobrists and a section of the Progressists, with the Cadets abstaining from voting, have clearly shown what this “Left bloc” is. Proletarian democrats have not weakened their independence by a jot, nor have they retreated from their proletarian, Pravdist line. The only ones to support this line against the liberals have been the Trudoviks and liquidators, although they both often waver and incline towards the liberals.

Lastly, the present political situation is marked by vacillation and discontent among the bourgeois classes. This was expressed in the speeches and resolutions of the Commercial and Industrial Congress. They revealed obvious discontent   with the government, and an obvious mood of opposition.

This also found expression in the anti-Cabinet motion adopted in the Duma by the Octobrists—the Zemstvo people and the liberals—during the debate on the estimates of the Ministry of the Interior. Jubilant at the Octobrists having adopted “their” point of view, the Cadets forget to add that they themselves had adopted the Octobrist point of view!

The resolution adopted by the Fourth Duma expresses a quite definite counter-revolutionary and imperialist point of view. In this resolution the government’s policy is condemned because

administrative tyranny all over the country is causing discontent and unrest among large, tranquil [i. e., bourgeois reactionary and landlord] sections of the population, and is thereby stimulating the rise and growth of anti-government tendencies”.

The Octobrists are referring to democracy. The Cadets have again and again publicly renounced democracy. So much the better, for they never have been, and never can be, democrats; they merely deceived democracy when they undertook to represent it. Democracy in Russia cannot take a single step forward unless it sees through the bourgeois liberal frauds perpetrated by the Cadets.

To sum up.

Continued growth of the working-class movement. Greater unity between the majority of the workers and Pravdism.

Definite emergence of a “Left bloc”, expressed in joint action by proletarian and bourgeois democrats (Trudoviks and liquidators) against the Rights and against the Cadets.

Disintegration, vacillation, mutual distrust and discontent within the Third of June system, among the land lords and reactionary bourgeoisie. “They” accuse one another—the Purishkeviches accuse the liberals, and the liberals the Purishkeviches—of encouraging and accelerating the new revolution.

Such is the situation.


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