* See pp. 450-51 of this volume. --Ed. [Transcriber's Note: See Lenin's "Talk and Rumours About the Dissolution of the State Duma". -- DJR]
evitable new struggle, of what Plekhanov has called "falling into the abyss". Exposing the Cadets, Comrade Plekhanov, means preparing the minds of the masses of the people for this fall, preparing them to take an active part in bringing it about, to keep the Cadets away from the government "pie" when the fall comes; it means making bold and vigorous preparations for it.
The Duma is rousing the people; the Duma is dispelling the last illusions, we are told. True. But the "Duma" is doing this only to the extent that we are exposing the timidity and instability of the Cadet Duma, only to the extent that we are explaining the facts about the Duma that indicate the dispelling of illusions. The Cadets are not doing this. They are trying to counteract it. They are spreading constitutional illusions. Zubatovism also roused the workers, also exposed illusions; but it did this only to the extent that we combated the corruption of the minds of the people by Zubatovism. And let no one try to attempt to refute this argument by stating that the Duma is not Zubatovism. Comparing things does not mean identifying them. Show me a Cadet newspaper, or an important political statement by the Cadets, which does not contain elements of the political corruption of the minds of the people.
That is what Comrade Plekhanov forgets when he declares majestically and portentously: "This is the meaning of all philosophy: all that contributes to the political education of the people is good; all that hinders it is bad." Everything else is prejudice, scholasticism.
Yes, yes, a certain wing of Social-Democracy is indeed slipping into hopeless scholasticism. But which wing, the Right or the Left? Can one imagine anything more pedantic, lifeless and truly scholastic than reducing the tactics of the proletariat in a period of revolution to the task of politically educating the people? Where, then, is the border-line between the Social-Democratic class struggle and the struggle of a common or garden bourgeois "uplifter"? Revolution is in full swing, different classes are coming to the forefront, the masses have set about making history, bourgeois parties of different shades are arising, the complicated political crisis is becoming more acute, the struggle is entering a new stage for which the ground was prepared by
the unusually rich crop of events and experience of 1905 -- and all this is reduced to one thing: the political education of the people! Truly, our dame de classe has made a brilliant discovery. Truly, a wonderful "key" to all the concrete problems of politics and, moreover, a key that any Cadet, and even the Party of Democratic Reforms, and even Heyden, would accept in full, would clutch at with both hands. Yes, this is exactly the "broad" criterion we need, this is what will rally and unite the classes, and not sow hatred and strife. Precisely! Bravo, Plekhanov -- say all these good people. This is the "solution" that will certainly obscure, or force into the background, that new "period of madness", the new "whirlwind" which the bourgeois dreads so much. No whirlwinds -- then no cataclysms, Comrade Plekhanov, be consistent: no abysses either! The political education of the people -- that is our banner, that is the meaning of all philosophy!
Comrade Plekhanov has wholly and completely taken on the likeness of that average German Cadet in the Frankfurt Parliament. Oh, how many matchless speeches these windbags delivered on the political consciousness of the people! How many magnificent "constructive" laws they drafted for this purpose! And how nobly they protested when they were dispersed after they had bored the people to death and had lost all revolutionary importance.
We are told that the Russian revolution goes deeper, its tide is rising, it will not be stopped at the dam of the Cadet Duma, Cadet phrase-mongering, Cadet timidity, and Cadet Draconian Bills. Yes, gentlemen, that is absolutely true: the Russian revolution is broader, mightier and deeper. Its tide is rising. It is sweeping on over the Cadets. And we revolutionary Social-Democrats express this deeper movement, we are striving to explain this loftier task to the workers and peasants, we are helping them, as best we can, to rise above the Cadet dam.