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V. I. Lenin

THE POLITICAL CRISIS
AND THE BANKRUPTCY
OF OPPORTUNIST TACTICS

Proletary, No. 1
August 21, 1906

Published according to
the Proletary text

From V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th English Edition,
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965

Second Impression

Vol. 11, pp. 150-66.

Translated from the Russian
Edited by Clemens Dutt


Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo, djr@cruzio.com December 1997)

THE POLITICAL CRISIS AND THE BANKRUPTCY OF OPPORTUNIST
    TACTICS   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .


150

I.  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .
II.  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .
III.  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .
IV.  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .
V.  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

150
151
154
160
163

NOTES




page 494


NOTES

  [63] Oko (The Eye ) -- a liberal-bourgeois daily newspaper of a Cadet tendency published in St. Petersburg from August 6 (19) to October 31 (November 13), 1906, instead of the previous successively published newspapers Rus, Molva (Hearsay ) and Dvadtsaty Vek (The Twentieth Century ).    [p.151]

  [64] Lenin is referring to the statement of the Bolshevik section of the Central Committee of July 20 (August 2), 1906, printed as a separate leaflet entitled "Statement of Three Central Committee Members in the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P." and in the pamphlet "Did the Party Have a Central Committee in 1906-07?"    [p.152]

  [65] Lenin is referring to the second paragraph of the Bolshevik draft resolution to the Unity Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. on "The Provisional Revolutionary Government and Local Organs of Revolutionary Authority" (see present edition, Vol. 10, pp. 154-56).  [Transcriber's Note: This is the fourth of ten draft resolutions appearing in Lenin's "A Tactical Platform for the Unity Congress of the R.S.D.L.P." -- DJR]    [p.156]

  [66] Osvobozhdeniye (Emancipation ) -- a fortnightly magazine of the bourgeois liberals, published abroad from 1902 to 1905 under the editorship of P. B. Struve. From January 1904 it was the organ of the liberal-monarchist "League of Emancipation". Later the Osvobozhdeniye group formed the nucleus of the Cadet Party -- the chief bourgeois party in Russia.    [p.158]

  [67] Polyarnaya Zvezda (The Pole Star ) -- a weekly magazine, organ of the Right wing of the Cadet Party, which was published in St. Petersburg in 1905-06 under the editorship of P. B. Struve.    [p.158]

  [68] Decembrists -- Russian revolutionaries of the nobility, fighters against serfdom and the autocracy, who made an abortive armed uprising in December 1825.    [p.158]

  [69] The raznochintsi (i.e., "men of different estates") were the Russian commoner-intellectuals, drawn from the small townsfolk, the clergy, the merchant classes, the peasantry, as distinct from those drawn from the nobility.    [p.158]

  [70] Narodnaya Volya (People's Will ) -- the secret political organisation of the terrorist Narodniks formed in August 1879 after the split in the organisation Zemlya i Volya. It was headed by an Executive Committee consisting of A. I. Zhelyabov, A. D. Mikhailov, M. F. Frolenko, N. A. Morozov, Vera Figner, Sophia Perovskaya, A. A. Kvyatkovsky, and others.
    While still adhering to the Narodnik utopian-socialist ideas, the members of Narodnaya Volya nevertheless embarked on a political struggle, regarding the overthrow of the autocracy and the achievement of political freedom as a major aim. Its programme envisaged a "permanent popular representative body" elected by universal suffrage, the proclamation of democratic liberties, the transfer of the land to the people, and measures to put the factories in the hands of the workers. "The Narodnaya Volya members," Lenin wrote, "made a step forward when they took up the political struggle, but they failed to connect it with socialism" (see present edition, Vol. 8, p. 72  [Transcriber's Note: See Lenin's "Working-Class and Bourgeois Democracy". -- DJR]).
    Naroduaya Volya fought heroically against the tsarist autocracy. But, starting out from the erroneous theory of "active" heroes and a "passive" mass, it expected to achieve the remaking of society without the participation of the people, by its own efforts, through individual terrorism that would intimidate and disorganise the government. After the assassination of Alexander II on March 1, 1881, the government was able, by savage reprisals, death sentences, and acts of provocation, to crush it out of existence.
    Repeated attempts to revive the organisation during the eighties ended in failure. Thus, in 1886 a group in the Narodnaya Volya tradition was formed by A. I. Ulyanov (elder brother of Lenin) and P. Y. Shevyryov, but after an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Alexander III in 1887, the group was uncovered and its active members executed.
    While criticising Narodnaya Volya's erroneous, utopian programme, Lenin expressed great respect for its members' selfless struggle against tsarism.    [p.158]

  [71] Manilovism -- from the name of the landlord Manilov in Gogol's Dead Souls, who was the embodiment of philistinism, smug complacency and futile day-dreaming.    [p.159]

  [72] This refers to the resolutions of the Kursk, Kaluga and Moscow district committees of the R.S.D.L.P., the Regional Bureau of the Central District and the Kostroma Party Conference held on July 25 (August 7), 1906.    [p.160]

  [73] This refers to the railwaymen's conference convened in August 1906 on the question of a general strike in connection with the dissolution of the First State Duma.
    The conference was attended by delegates of workers and employees of 23 railways and representatives of the Central Bu-

page 492

reau of the All-Russian Railwaymen's Union, the Trudovik Group the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P., the Bund, the Central Committee of the Socialist-Revolutionaries, and others. The resolution adopted by the conference pointed out: "The impending general strike will be an offensive of the popular forces that must wrest power from the hands of the autocratic government".    [p.161]