This article was published in No. 3 of Sovremennaya Zhizn (Contemporary Life ), a Bolshevik legal weekly socio-political magazine
published in Baku from March 26 (April 8) to April 22 (May 5), 1911, under the editorship of S. G. Shahumyan. Three issues ap-
peared, but after the confiscation of the third issue, the magazine was closed down by the government.
Vozrozhdeniye (Regeneration) -- a legal Menshevik-liquidator magazine, published in Moscow from December 1908 to July 1910; it was replaced by the magazines Zhizn (Life ) in 1910 and Dyelo Zhizni (Life's Cause ) in 1911.
Dyelo Zhizni (Life's Cause ) -- a legal magazine of the Menshevik-liquidators, published in St. Petersburg from January to October 1911.
This refers to the thesis of Eduard Bernstein, an outspoken exponent of revisionist ideas, founder of Bernsteinism, the anti-Marxist, opportunist trend in international Social-Democracy, which arose at the end of the nineteenth century in Germany.
The reference is to the thesis of the Economists developed in their programme Credo, written in 1899 by Y. D. Kuskova.
Economism was an opportunist trend in Russian Social-Democracy at the turn of the century, a Russian variety of international opportunism. The newspaper Rabochaya Mysl (Workers' Thought ) (1897-1902) and the magazine Rabocheye Dyelo (The Workers' Cause ) (1899-1902) were organs of the Economists.
The Economists limited the tasks of the working-class movement to the economic struggle for higher wages, better working conditions, etc., asserting that the political struggle was the affair of the liberal bourgeoisie. They denied the leading role of the party of the working class, considering that it should merely observe the spontaneous development of the movement and record events. Deferring to the "spontaneity" of the working-class movement, they belittled the importance of revolutionary theory and class-consciousness, and claimed that socialist ideology could develop from the spontaneous working-class movement; they denied the necessity for bringing socialist consciousness into the working-class movement from without, by the Marxist party, and thus, they actually cleared the way for bourgeois ideology. They championed the existing scattered, isolated study circles with their parochial amateurish approach, encouraged disunity in the Social Democratic ranks, and opposed the creation of a centralised working-class party. Economism threatened to turn the working class away from the path of class, revolutionary struggle, and to convert it into a political appendage of the bourgeoisie.
Comprehensive criticisms by Lenin of the Economist standpoint are to be found in a number of his articles. They include "A Protest by Russian Social-Democrats" (directed against the Credo ; written in 1899, while Lenin was in Siberian exile, and signed by 17 other exiled Marxists), "A Retrograde Trend in Russian Social-Democracy", "Apropos of the Profession de foi" and "A Talk with Defenders of Economism" (see present edition, Vol. 4, pp. 167-82, 255-85, 286-96, and Vol. 5, pp. 313-20). Lenin's What Is To Be Done?
brought about the ideological rout of Economism (see present edition, Vol. 5, pp. 347-529). A major part in the struggle against the Economists was also played by the newspaper Iskra.
Lujo Brentano (1844-1931) -- the German bourgeois economist, the author of a variety of bourgeois distortion of Marxism known as Brentanoism. Brentano advocated "social peace" in capitalist society, the possibility of overcoming the social contradictions of capitalism without resorting to the class struggle, maintaining that the solution of the working-class problem lay in the organisation of reformist trade unions and the introduction of factory legislation and that the interests of workers-and capitalists could be reconciled.
A theory analogous to that of Brentanoism was propounded in Russia by the chief representative of "legal Marxism", P. B. Struve, in an attempt to use Marxism in the interests of the bourgeoisie. Lenin pointed out that "Struveism" takes "from Marxism all that is acceptable to the liberal bourgeoisie" and rejects its "living soul", its revolutionary nature. Struve was in complete agreement with the vulgar political economy preached abroad, and ascribed to capitalism aims which were foreign to it, namely the fullest satisfaction of man's needs; he invited people to "learn from capitalism", and openly advocated Malthusian ideas. According to Lenin, Struve was the "great master of renegacy, who, starting with opportunism, with 'criticism of Marx', ended in the ranks of counter-revolutionary bourgeois national-liberalism".
Among Struve's followers was the bourgeois publicist A. S. Izgoyev whom Lenin called, as he did Struve, a "hack writer for the landlords and capitalists".
Mayevsky -- the Menshevik V. A. Gutovsky.
Lenin is referring to Cherevanin's pamphlet The London Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. in 1907, at the end of which the author criticised the decision of the Congress on the question of the labour congress and non-Party workers' organisations from the liquidationist standpoint.