Years of Counter-Revolution

I have dwelt but little on the work of Lenin in the years of the counter-revolution; yet this period was one of the most brilliant in his activity. One had to live through those hard times in distant emigration in order to appreciate all the services rendered by Lenin to the cause. Think for a moment of the foul atmosphere, our emigration in the years 1908-10. Lenin went into his second emigration in 1907, while I and other comrades were summoned abroad in the autumn of 1908, after we had been released from prison. It was mainly owing to the efforts of Lenin that we established our underground papers, first t Geneva, and then in Paris: the Proletarian and the Social Democrat. All round there was a complete debacle. There was gangrene in all emigrant circles. The old leaders who had grown grey under the revolutionary banner no longer believed in anything. Pornography captured our entire literature, and a spirit of apostasy pervaded politics. The notorious liquidation movement (a movement predominant among the Mensheviks to abandon all illegal revolutionary activity) was raising its head, and Stolypin was celebrating his orgies. It seemed as if there would be no end of that!

Next: The Period of Emigration