which is substituted for Marxism, and the editors wash their hands of it -- by a little reservation, in just the same way as in the Cadet Rech.
The point is not only that Mr. Yermansky "underestimates" a certain aspect of the issue. The point is that his view on the class struggle is wrong from beginning to end. The point is that he makes a fundamental mistake in appraising the social organisation of the autocracy. We pointed out long ago, and shall not cease to point out, that this question cannot be evaded by ridiculing "the answers of 1908" (or 1912), etc. This question cannot be evaded in any political writing that is at all serious.
The difference of opinion between Yermansky and Larin, on the one hand, and the editors of Nasha Zarya, on the other, is a difference between frank and, in their own way, honest liquidators and the diplomats of liquidationism. We should have no illusions on this score.
Larin wrote that the state power in our country has already become bourgeois. Therefore the workers must organise, not in expectation of a revolution (and not "for revolution", he added), but for taking part in the constitutional renovation of the country. Yermansky, who approaches the question
from a different angle, repeats in substance Larin's first premise; but he only hints at the conclusions, without stating them plainly.
Martov "corrected" Larin in the same way as the editors of Nasha Zarya are correcting Yermansky, saying that the state power is not bourgeois as yet, and it will be "enough" for the workers to seize on the contradiction between constitutionalism and absolutism.
Thus the result is agreement between Martov (plus the editors of Nasha Zarya ) and Larin-Yermansky as regards the conclusions, which is quite natural considering their agreement on the fundamental premises of the liberal view on labour policy.
We, however, still believe this view to be fundamentally wrong. The point is not whether Yermansky "underestimates" or Martov "overestimates" the "leftward trend" of the Guchkovs, Ryabushinskys and Co. It is not whether Yermansky "underestimates" or Martov "overestimates" the "importance which direct participation in the exercise of political power has for the bourgeoisie ". The point is that both of them not only "underestimate", but simply do not appreciate the importance which "direct participation in the exercise of political power" has for the working class, and for the bourgeois democracy that is following its lead and is free from the present-day waverings of the liberals! Both of them have in mind only one "political power" and forget about the other.
Both of them are looking up to the top and do not see the lower ranks. But if a dozen Ryabushinskys and a hundred Milyukovs are grumbling and giving vent to liberal indignation, that means that tens of millions of petty bourgeois and of "small folk" in all walks of life feel that their condition is unbearable. And these millions, too, are a potential source of "political power". Only the rallying of such democratic elements against the Rights and regardless of the vacillation of the liberals can "solve" the problems with which history has confronted Russia since the beginning of the twentieth century.