V. I.   Lenin

A Caricature of Marxism and Imperialist Economism


7. Conclusion. Alexinsky Methods

We have analysed only a fraction of P. Kievsky’s arguments. To analyse all of them would require an article five times the length of this one, for there is not a single correct view in the who]e of what Kievsky has to say. What is correct—if there are no mistakes in the figures—is the footnote data on banks. All the rest is an impossible tangle of confusion peppered with phrases like “driving a stake into the quivering body”, “we shall not only judge the conquering heroes, but condemn them to death and elimination”, “the new world will be born in agonising convulsions”, “the question will not be one of granting charters and rights, nor of proclaiming the freedom of the nations, but of establishing genuinely free relationships, destroying age old slavery and social oppression in general, and national oppression in particular”, and so on and so forth.

These phrases are, at one and the same time, the cover and expression of two things: first, their underlying “idea” is imperialist Economism, which is just as ugly a caricature of Marxism, and just as complete a misinterpretation of the relationship between socialism and democracy, as was the late and unlamented Economism of 1894–1902.

Second, we have in these phrases a repetition of Alexinsky methods. This should be especially emphasised, for a whole section of Kievsky’s article (Chapter II, §f, “The Special Position of the Jews”) is based exclusively on these methods.

At the 1907 London Congress the Bolsheviks would dissociate themselves from Alexinsky when, in reply to theoretical arguments, he would pose as an agitator and resort to high-falutin, but entirely irrelevant, phrases against one or another type of exploitation and oppression. “He’s begun his shouting again,” our delegates would say. And the “shouting” did not do Alexinsky any good.

There is the same kind of “shouting” in Kievsky’s article. He has no reply to the theoretical questions and arguments expounded in the theses. Instead, he poses as an agitator and begins shouting about the oppression of the Jews, though every thinking parson will realise that his shouting, and the Jewish question in general, have no relation whatever to the subject under discussion.

Alexinsky methods can lead to no good.


  6. The Other Political Issues Raised and Distorted By P. Kievsky |  

< backward     Contents     forward >
Works Index   |   Volume 23 | Collected Works   |   L.I.A. Index