toward women and that he should realise the impropriety of using "unprintable" language, or if one were to demand tolerance of Illiodor, altruism and honesty of Gurko and Reinbot, respect for law and order of Tolmachov and Dumbadze, and democratic reforms of Nicholas Romanov!
Consider the question from, so to speak, the general historical standpoint. It is obvious (to all, except Larin and a handful of liquidators) that the bourgeois revolution in Russia has not been consummated. Russia is heading for
a revolutionary crisis. We must prove that revolution is necessary and preach that it is legitimate and "beneficial". This being the case, we must conduct our propaganda for political liberty so as to pose the question in all its aspects, formulate the goal for a movement that is bent on victory and not one that stops half-way (as was the case in 1905); we must issue a slogan capable of arousing enthusiasm among the masses who can no longer endure life as it is in Russia, who suffer because they are ashamed of being Russians, and are striving for a really free and really renewed Russia. Consider the question from the standpoint of practical propaganda. You cannot help making clear even to the most benighted muzhik that the state must be governed by a Duma which is more freely elected than the First Duma, by a Duma elected by the whole people. But how are we to ensure that the Duma cannot be dispersed. Only the destruction of the tsarist monarchy can guarantee this.
It may be objected that to issue the slogan of a republic as the watchword of the entire election campaign would mean precluding the possibility of conducting it legally, and thereby show that recognition of the importance and necessity of legal work is not seriously intended. Such objections, however, would be sophisms, worthy of the liquidators. We cannot legally advocate a republic (except from the rostrum of the Duma, from which republican propaganda can and should be carried on fully within the bounds of legality); but we can write and speak in defence of democracy in such a way that we do not in the least condone ideas about the compatibility of democracy with the monarchy; in such a way as to refute and ridicule the liberal and Narodnik monarchists; in such a way as to make sure that the readers and the audiences form a clear idea of the connection between the monarchy, precisely as a monarchy, and the despotism and arbitrary rule reigning in Russia. Russians have gone through a long school of slavery -- they have learnt to read between the lines and add what the speaker has left unsaid. "Do not say 'I can't' -- say 'I shan't'" -- that is the reply we must give Social-Democrats who are working legally, should they plead that it is "impossible" to make the demand for a republic a central point in our propaganda and agitation.
It is hardly necessary to dwell at particular length on the importance of the demand for the confiscation of all landed estates. At a time when the Russian villages never cease groaning under the burden of the Stolypin "reform", when an extremely fierce struggle is going on between the mass of the population on the one hand and the "new landowners" and the rural police on the other, and when, according to the testimony of extremely conservative people hostile to the revolution, bitterness such as has never before been seen is making itself felt ever more strongly -- at such a time the demand must be made a central plank of the whole democratic election platform. We shall only point out that this is the very demand that will draw a clear line of demarcation between consistent proletarian democracy and not only the landlord liberalism of the Cadets, but also the intellectual-bureaucratic talk about "standards", "consumption standards", "production standards", "equalitarian distribution", and similar nonsense, of which the Narodniks are so fond, and at which every sensible peasant laughs. For us it is not a question of "how much land does the muzhik need"; the Russian people need to confiscate the entire land of the landowners, so as to throw off the yoke of feudal oppression in the entire economic and political life of the country. Unless this measure is carried out, Russia will never be free, and the Russian peasant will never eat anything like his fill, nor will he ever be truly literate.
The third point -- the eight-hour day -- stands even less in need of comment. The counter-revolutionary forces are frantically robbing the workers of the gains of 1905; and all the more intense, therefore, is the struggle of the workers for better working and living conditions, chief among which is the introduction of the eight-hour day.
To sum up, the substance and mainspring of the Social-Democratic election platform can be expressed in three words: for the revolution ! Shortly before his death Lev Tolstoi said -- in a tone of regret typical of the worst aspects of "Tolstoi-ism" -- that the Russian people had "learned how to make a revolution" all too quickly. We regret only the fact that the Russian people have not learned this science thoroughly enough, for without it they may remain the slaves of the Purishkeviches for many centuries to come. It is
true, however, that the Russian proletariat, in its striving to achieve the complete transformation of society on socialist lines, has given the Russian people in general, and the Russian peasants in particular, indispensable lessons in this science. Neither the gallows erected by Stolypin, nor the efforts of Vekhi, can make them forget these lessons. The lesson has been given, it is being assimilated, it will be repeated.
The basis of our election platform is the programme of the R.S.D.L.P., our old programme of revolutionary Social-Democracy. Our programme gives a precise formulation of our socialist aims, of the ultimate goal of socialism; and it is a formulation, moreover, which is particularly emphatic in its opposition to opportunism and reformism. At a time when in many countries, including our own, reformism is raising its head and when, on the other hand, there is a growing number of indications that in the most advanced countries the period of so-called "peaceful parliamentarianism" is drawing to a close and a period of revolutionary unrest among the masses is setting in -- at such a time our old programme assumes even greater significance (if that is possible). With regard to Russia the programme of the R.S.D.L.P. sets the Party the immediate aim of "overthrowing the autocratic tsar and establishing a democratic republic". The special sections of our programme dealing with the questions of government, finances, and labour legislation, and with the agrarian question, provide exact and definite material to guide the entire work of every propagandist and agitator, in all its many aspects; they should enable him to particularise on our election platform in speaking before any audience, on any occasion, and on any subject.
The tactics of the R.S.D.L.P. during the period of 1908-11 have been determined by the resolutions adopted in December 1908. Endorsed by the Plenary Meeting held in January 1910, and tested by the experience of the whole "Stolypin period", these resolutions provide an exact appraisal of the situation and of the tasks dictated by that situation. Just as before, the old autocracy is still the main enemy; just as before, a revolutionary crisis is inevitable, and Russia is again heading for such a crisis. But the situation is not the same as before; autocracy has taken "a step in the transformation into a bourgeois monarchy"; it is trying to strengthen
feudal landed proprietorship by a new, bourgeois agrarian policy; it is trying to arrange alliances between the feudal-minded landowners and the bourgeoisie in the reactionary and servile Duma; it is making use of widespread counter-revolutionary (Vekhi ) sentiments among the liberal bourgeoisie. Capitalism has advanced a few steps, class contradictions have sharpened, the split between the democratic elements and the Vekhi type liberalism of the Cadets has become more pronounced, and the activity of the Social-Democrats has extended to new spheres (the Duma and "legal opportunities"), which enables them to broaden the scope of their propaganda and agitation despite the counter-revolution and even though the illegal organisations have been badly "battered". The old revolutionary tasks and the old, tested methods of revolutionary mass struggle, that is what our Party champions in this period of disorganisation and disintegration, when it is often necessary "to start from the beginning", when, in view of the changed circumstances, it is necessary to resort not only to old methods, but also to conduct the work of preparation and gather forces for the impending period of new battles in a new way, and by new methods.