of the bankers who were cringing before the Russian tyrants. He called her a republic without republicans. It is time a new Shchedrin was born to ridicule Vasilyev and the Mensheviks, who are advocating revolution with the slogan of "no" revolutionaries, "no" revolution.
Are we right in interpreting Vasilyev's "pronouncement" in this way ? Are we right in putting him on a par with the Mensheviks?
Of course, we are! Vasilyev's whole article, all his ideas, all his proposals are imbued with the "plan" to facilitate the birth of a constitution by killing the revolution. To "temporarily relinquish" all programmes, to merge all Social-Democrats, Socialist-Revolutionaries, and suchlike with the Cadets in one liberal party, to unite them all for the struggle for a "political constitution" "without the simulta-
neous solution of economic programmes" (this is exactly what the letter says -- "without solution of programmes". The Swiss advisers of the Russian proletariat are not always able to express themselves in good Russian) -- does not all this evince a desire to save the constitution by renouncing the revolution?
A revolution in the real, serious sense is inconceivable without "solution of economic programmes". A revolution can only be made by the masses, actuated by profound economic needs. The fall of absolutism in Russia, its real fall, would inevitably mean an economic revolution. Only those who are virginally innocent of socialism can fail to understand this. To abandon economic programme means abandoning the fundamental economic causes of revolution, abandoning the economic interests which impel the masses of downtrodden, cowed, ignorant people to wage a great and unprecedentedly selfless struggle. It means abandoning the masses, leaving only a gang of intellectual spouters, and substituting liberal spouting for socialist policy.
"What benefit was it to the peasants that their cause was espoused by the Duma that was dissolved mainly on ac count of the agrarian question?" Does not this argument entitle Vasilyev to have a monument erected to him in his lifetime for socialist opportunism unsurpassed in the world?
And is this not (we now pass to the second of the two questions raised above) a Menshevik argument?
Ride in the same compartment with the Cadets as far as Tver without disturbing each other, says Plekhanov. Ride with the Cadets to the Duma, allying ourselves with a non-revolutionary party (for a time! "for a short time!" says Vasilyev, supplementing the Menshevik formula) for revolutionary objects -- say the Mensheviks. Ride together as far as a Cadet Cabinet, said our Central Committee recently.
Yes, let's ride, agrees Vasilyev, "without jostling or frightening each other ". "Now, at this moment, it [the struggle of classes and groups] is fatal and criminal."
To wage the class struggle is criminal; to jeopardise the constitution by revolutionary demands (such as: a Duma with full power, a constituent assembly, etc.) is criminal. However much the Mensheviks may repudiate Vasilyev (they have not done so yet, by the by) they will never be able to
obliterate the fact that it is this idea that underlies blocs with the Cadets, support for the demand for a Duma Cabinet, and all these joint trips as far as Tver, etc., etc.
Vasilyev, of course, is unique. But even unique phenomena of nature occur only in a definite environment and spring only from definite conditions. Vasilyev, of course, is the Mont Blanc of opportunism. But one does not find Mont Blancs in the steppes. They exist only among Alpine peaks. Vasilyevs can only appear in company with the "Plekhanovs", Cherevanins, and tutti quanti down to Prokopovich.
And thanks to "the Plekhanovs in the Vasilyev sense" Mr. Struve is able to say, as he did at a meeting in Solyanoi Gorodok on December 27 (Tovarishch of December 28) that "all the present opponents of the Cadets will in the near future become Cadets themselves. Tovarishch is already being called a Cadet paper. The Popular Socialists are being called Social-Cadets, the Mensheviks -- semi-Cadets. Many people regard G. V. Plekhanov as a Cadet, and indeed, many of his present utterances can be welcomed by the Cadets. It is a pity only that he did not say these things when the Cadets stood alone. The Bolsheviks alone may prove incorrigible, hence their fate will be to end up in a museum of history."
Thank you for the compliment, clumsy Mr. Struve! Yes, we shall end up in the museum of history that is called "the history of the revolution in Russia". Our Bolshevik slogans, the Bolshevik boycott of the Bulygin Duma, the Bolshevik calls for a mass strike and uprising (as early as the Third Congress) will be inseparably and forever associated with the October Revolution in Russia. And we shall use our place in this museum even during long years or (if it comes to the worst) decades of reaction to teach the proletariat to hate the treacherous Octobrist-Cadet bourgeoisie, to despise intellectualist phrases and petty-bourgeois sentimentality. We shall use our place in this museum under all political conditions, even the worst, to preach relentless class struggle to the workers, to teach them how to prepare for a new revolution -- one that will be more independent of the half-hearted and flabby bourgeoisie, and closer to the socialist revolution of the proletariat.
And your place in the museum, worthy Mr. Struve, will be the place assigned to those who rejoice and make fine speeches when counter-revolution triumphs. You will always be able to rejoice at such times over the fact that the revolutionaries have fallen in battle and the stage is occupied by the liberals, who lay down voluntarily, lay down at the enemy's feet, so as to "crawl into infamy".
If, contrary to our expectations, the revolution is not destined to rise again and wrest power from the tsar and his gang, you will long remain the hero of the counter-revolution. We will have a "place in the museum", but a good place -- that of the October struggle of the people. If, however, the revolution rises again, as we believe it will, every trace of the miserable Cadets will disappear within a week, and the struggle of the masses of the proletariat and the ruined peasantry will once again go forward under Bolshevik slogans. Under the hegemony of the Cadets, the revolution can only lie in the dust. It can be victorious only under the hegemony of the Bolshevik Social-Democrats.