* This, for example is what the conservative bourgeois Slovo (No. 364 of January 25) writes: "Among the most convinced adherents of the Centre, one more and more often hears the opinion, hesitant and timid though it still is, that unless there is another outbreak, prepared by the revolutionary parties, reform will not be brought about with the necessary fulness and completeness. . . . There is now hardly any hope that reforms will be brought about peacefully from above."
mockery if, when the peasants rise in a body and begin to confiscate the land, the workers were to offer them the co-operation of trade unions that were under the tutelage of the police, instead of the co-operation of fighting organisations.
We really have no grounds for shelving the question of insurrection. We must not revise our Party tactics to suit the conditions of the present moment of reaction. We cannot, and must not, give up hope of at last merging the three separate streams of insurrection -- workers', peasants' and military -- into a single victorious insurrection. We must prepare for this, without, of course, renouncing any "legal" means of extending propaganda, agitation and organisation: but harbouring no illusions about the durability and importance of these means. We must collect the esperience of the Moscow, Donets, Rostov and other uprisings and spread knowledge of them far and wide; we must perseveringly and patiently prepare new fighting forces, train and steel them in a series of fighting guerrilla operations. The new outbreak may not take place in the spring; but it is approaching, and in all probability is not very far off. We must meet it armed, organised in military fashion, and prepared for determined offensive operations.
We will make a slight digression here about the guerrilla operations by the fighting squads. We think it is wrong to put these operations on a par with the old type of terrorism. Terrorism consisted in acts of vengeance against individuals. Terrorism was a conspiracy by groups of intellectuals. Terrorism in no way reflected the temper of the masses. Terrorism never served to train fighting leaders of the masses. Terrorism was the result -- and also the symptom and concomitant -- of lack of faith in insurrection, of the absence of conditions for insurrection.
Guerrilla operations are not acts of vengeance, but military operations. They no more resemble adventurous acts than the harassing of the enemy's rear by raiding parties of huntsmen during a lull on the main battlefield resembles the killing of an individual in a duel or by assassination. Guerrilla operations conducted by fighting squads -- formed long ago by Social-Democrats of both factions in all the important centres of the movement and consisting mainly of
workers -- undoubtedly reflect, clearly and directly, the temper of the masses. Guerrilla operations by fighting squads directly train fighting leaders of the masses. The guerrilla operations of the fighting squads today do not spring from lack of faith in insurrection, and are not conducted because insurrection is impossible; on the contrary, they are an essential component of the insurrection now in progress. Of course, mistakes may be made in all things and always: premature and unnecessary attempts at insurrection are possible; so also are over-zealousness and excesses, which are always and definitely harmful, and may injure even the best of tactics. But the fact is that in most of the purely Russian centres we have so far been suffering from the other extreme, namely, insufficient initiative among our fighting squads, lack of fighting experience, and insufficient determination in their activities. In this respect we have been outstripped by the Caucasus, Poland and the Baltic Provinces, i.e., the centres where the movement has left the old terrorism farthest of all behind, where preparations for insurrection have been made best, and where the proletarian struggle most clearly and vividly bears a mass character.
We must catch up with these centres. We must not restrain but encourage the guerrilla operations of the fighting squads if we want to prepare for insurrection not merely in words, and if we recognise that the proletariat is seriously ready for insurrection.
The Russian revolution started with petitions to the tsar to grant freedom. Shootings, reaction and Trepovism did not stamp out, but fanned the names of the movement. The revolution took a second step forward. It forcibly compelled the tsar to recognise freedom. It defended this freedom arms in hand. It did not succeed at the first attempt. Shootings, reaction and Dubasovism will not stamp out the movement, they will fan its flames. Taking shape before our eyes is the third step, which will decide the outcome of the revolution: the struggle of the revolutionary people for an authority that will really introduce freedom. In this struggle, we must count on the support of the revolutionary-democratic parties, and not of the opposition parties. Shoulder to shoulder with the socialist proletariat will march the democratic and revolutionary peasantry. It will be a great
and arduous struggle, a struggle for the completion, for the complete victory, of the democratic revolution. But all the signs now are that such a struggle is being brought near by the course of events. Let us see to it that the new wave finds the proletariat of Russia at a new stage of fighting preparedness.