flavoured with incense of the celebrated "Enrichissez vous! -- enrich yourselves!" -- or of our Russian motto: "We put our stake on the strong!" When the bourgeoisie were helping the people to fight for freedom they declared this struggle to be a divine cause. When they became frightened of the people and turned to supporting all kinds of medievalism against the people, they declared as a divine cause "egoism", self-enrichment, a chauvinistic foreign policy, etc. Such was the case all over Europe. It is being repeated in Russia.
"The revolution should virtually and formally have culminated with the edict of October 17" (136). This is the alpha
and omega of Octobrism, i.e., of the programme of the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie. The Octobrists have always said this and acted openly in accordance with it. The Cadets acted surreptitiously in the same way (beginning from October 17), but at the same time wanted to keep up the pretence of being democrats. If the cause of democracy is to be successful, a complete, clear and open demarcation between the democrats and the renegades is the most effective and necessary thing. Vekhi must be utilised for this necessary act. "We must have the courage to confess at last," writes the renegade Izgoyev, "that in our State Dumas the vast majority of the deputies, with the exception of three or four dozen Cadets and Octobrists, have not displayed knowledge required for the government and reformation of Russia" (208). Well, of course, how could clod-hopping Trudovik deputies or some sort of working men undertake such a task? It needs a majority of Cadets and Octobrists and that needs a Third Duma. . . .
And so that the people and their idolators should realise their "responsibility" to the bosses in the Third Duma and Third Duma Russia the people must be taught -- with the assistance of Anthony, Bishop of Volhynia -- "repentance" (Vekhi, 26), "humility" (49), opposition to "the pride of the intellectual" (52), "obedience" (55), "the plain, coarse food of old Moses' Ten Commandments" (51), struggle against "the legion of devils who have entered the gigantic body of Russia" (68). If the peasants elect Trudoviks and the workers elect Social-Democrats, this of course is just such devils' work, for by their true nature the people, as Katkov and Pobedonostsev discovered long ago, entertain "hatred for the intelligentsia" (87; read: for democracy).
Therefore, Vekhi teaches us, Russian citizens must "bless this government which alone with its bayonets and prisons still protects us ["the intellectuals"] from popular fury" (88).
This tirade is good because it is frank; it is useful because it reveals the truth about the real essence of the policy of the whole Constitutional-Democratic Party throughout the period 1905-09. This tirade is good because it reveals concisely and vividly the whole spirit of Vekhi. And Vekhi is good because it discloses the whole spirit of the real policy of the Russian liberals and of the Russian Cadets included among them. That is why the Cadet polemic with Vekhi
and the Cadet renunciation of Vekhi are nothing but hypocrisy, sheer idle talk, for in reality the Cadets collectively, as a party, as a social force, have pursued and are pursuing the policy of Vekhi and no other. The calls to take part in the elections to the Bulygin Duma in August and September 1905, the betrayal of the cause of democracy at the end of the same year, their persistent fear of the people and the popular movement and systematic opposition to the deputies of the workers and peasants in the first two Dumas, the voting for the budget, the speeches of Karaulov on religion and Berezovsky on the agrarian question in the Third Duma, the visit to London -- these are only a few of the innumerable landmarks of just that policy which has been ideologically proclaimed in Vekhi.
Russian democracy cannot make a single step forward until it understands the essence of this policy and the class roots of it.