* "The Proletariat and the Peasantry", 1905; " On Our Agrarian Programme", 1905; " The Agrarian Programme of the Liberals", 1905. See present edition, Vol. 8, pp. 231-36, 246-51, 315-22. --Ed.
to fight it when, and to the extent that, it becomes reactionary and anti-proletarian. The essence of Marxism lies in that double task, which only those who do not understand Marxism can vulgarise or compress into a single and simple task.
Let us take a concrete instance. Let us assume that the peasant uprising has been victorious. The revolutionary peasant committees and the provisional revolutionary government (relying, in part, on these very committees) can proceed to any confiscation of big property. We are in favour of confiscation, as we have already declared. But to whom shall we recommend giving the confiscated land. On this question we have not committed ourselves nor shall we ever do so by declarations like those rashly proposed by the author of the letter. The latter has forgotten that the same resolution of the Third Congress speaks of "purging the revolutionary-democratic content of the peasant movement of all reactionary admixtures " -- that is one point -- and, secondly, of the need "in all cases and under all circumstances for the independent organisation of the rural proletariat ". These are our directives. There will always be reactionary admixtures in the peasant movement, and we declare war on them in advance. Class antagonism between the rural proletariat and the peasant bourgeoisie is unavoidable, and we disclose it in advance, explain it, and prepare for the struggle on the basis of that antagonism. One of the immediate causes of such a struggle may very likely be provided by the question: to whom shall the confiscated land be given, and how? We do not gloss over that question, nor do we promise equalitarian distribution, "socialisation", etc. What we do say is that this is a question we shall fight out later on, fight again, on a new field and with other allies. There, we shall certainly be with the rural proletariat, with the entire working class, against the peasant bourgeoisie. In practice this may mean the transfer of the land to the class of petty peasant proprietors -- wherever big estates based on bondage and feudal servitude still prevail, and there are as yet no material conditions for large-scale socialist production; it may mean nationalisation -- given complete victory of the democratic revolution -- or the big capitalist estates being transferred to workers' associations, for from
the democratic revolution we shall at once, and precisely in accordance with the measure of our strength, the strength of the class-conscious and organised proletariat, begin to pass to the socialist revolution. We stand for uninterrupted revolution. We shall not stop half-way. If we do not now and immediately promise all sorts of "socialisation", that is because we know the actual conditions for that task to be accomplished, and we do not gloss over the new class struggle burgeoning within the peasantry, but reveal that struggle.
At first we support the peasantry en masse against the landlords, support it to the hilt and with all means, including confiscation, and then (it would be better to say, at the same time) we support the proletariat against the peasantry en masse. To try to calculate now what the combination of forces will be within the peasantry "on the day after" the revolution (the democratic revolution) is empty utopianism. Without falling into adventurism or going against our conscience in matters of science, without striving for cheap popularity we can and do assert only one thing : we shall bend every effort to help the entire peasantry achieve the democratic revolution, in order thereby to make it easier for us, the party of the proletariat, to pass on as quickly as possible to the new and higher task -- the socialist revolution. We promise no harmony, no equalitarianism or "socialisation" following the victory of the present peasant uprising, on the contrary, we "promise" a new struggle, new inequality, the new revolution we are striving for. Our doctrine is less "sweet" than the legends of the Socialist-Revolutionaries, but let those who want to be fed solely on sweets join the Socialist-Revolutionaries; we shall say to such people: good riddance.
In our opinion this Marxist point of view settles also the question of the committees. In our opinion there should be no Social-Democratic peasant committees. If they are Social-Democratic, that means they are not purely peasant committees; if they are peasant committees, that means they are not purely proletarian, not Social-Democratic committees. There is a host of such who would confuse the two, but we are not of their number. Wherever possible we shall strive to set up our committees, committees of the Social-
Democratic Labour Party. They will consist of peasants, paupers, intellectuals, prostitutes (a worker recently asked us in a letter why not carry on agitation among the prostitutes), soldiers, teachers, workers -- in short, all Social Democrats, and none but Social-Democrats. These committees will conduct the whole of Social-Democratic work, in its full scope, striving, however, to organise the rural proletariat especially and particularly, since the Social-Democratic Party is the class party of the proletariat. To consider it "unorthodox" to organise a proletariat which has not entirely freed itself from various relics of the past is a tremendous delusion, and we would like to think that the relevant passages of the letter are due to a mere misunderstanding. The urban and industrial proletariat will inevitably be the nucleus of our Social-Democratic Labour Party, but we must attract to it, enlighten, and organise all who labour and are exploited, as stated in our programme -- all without exception: handicraftsmen, paupers, beggars, servants, tramps, prostitutes -- of course, subject to the necessary and obligatory condition that they join the Social-Democratic movement and not that the Social-Democratic movement join them, that they adopt the standpoint of the proletariat, and not that the proletariat adopt theirs.
The reader may ask -- what is the point, then, of having revolutionary peasant committees? Does this mean that they are not necessary? No, they are necessary. Our ideal is purely Social-Democratic committees in all rural districts, and then agreement between them and all revolutionary democratic elements, groups, and circles of the peasantry for the purpose of establishing revolutionary committees. There is a perfect analogy here to the independence of the Social-Democratic Labour Party in the towns and its alliance with all the revolutionary democrats for the purpose of insurrection. We are in favour of a peasant uprising. We are absolutely opposed to the mixing and merging of heterogeneous class elements and heterogeneous parties. We hold that for the purpose of insurrection Social-Democracy should give an impetus to all revolutionary democracy, should help it all to organise, should march shoulder to shoulder with it, but without merging with it, to the barricades
in the cities, and against the landlords and the police in the villages.
Long live the insurrection in town and country against the autocracy! Long live revolutionary Social-Democracy, the vanguard of all revolutionary democracy in the present revolution!
 Issue No. 10 of
Proletary, August 2 (July 20), 1905, published a resolution of the Saratov Committee of the R.S.D.L.P., which held a conciliatory stand; the resolution had been adopted on a report on the Third Congress of the Party and the Mensheviks' Conference.
Proletary published the resolution with an epilogue by Lenin (see Lenin Miscellany XVI, p. 130).
 Winter hiring -- the hiring of peasants for summer work, practised by the landlords and kulaks during the winter, when the peasants were particularly in need of cash, and would agree to extortionate terms.