* We took as an example only one instance of the political inconsistency of Martov, who in the same article, No. 13, speaks of the coming crisis as a "constitutional" crisis, and so on.
example. "The exodus from the village communes is proceeding at a forced pace." True. What is your conclusion?. . . "It is obvious that the break-up by the landlords will be successfully completed and that in the course of a few years, precisely in those extensive areas of Russia where quite recently the agrarian movement was taking the most acute forms, the village commune will be destroyed and with it the chief cradle of Trudovik ideology will disappear. Thus one of Proletary 's two prospects, the 'bright' one, is eliminated."
It is not a question of the village commune, dear Comrade Martynov, for the Peasant Union in 1905 and the Trudoviks in 1906-07 demanded that the land be transferred not to the village communes but to individuals or free associations. The village commune is being destroyed both by the landlords' breaking up of the old system of land tenure under the supervision of Stolypin and its breaking up by the peasants, i.e., confiscation for the creation of a new order on the land. Proletary 's "bright" prospect is not connected with the village commune or with Trudovism as such, but with the possibility of an "American" development, the creation of free farmers. So by saying that the bright prospect is eliminated, and at the same time declaring that "the slogan of expropriating the big landowners will not go by the board" Comrade Martynov is making an unholy muddle. If the "Prussian" type is established this slogan will go by the board and the Marxists will say: we have done everything in our power to bring about a more painless development of capitalism, now we must fight for the destruction of capitalism itself. If, on the other hand, this slogan does not go by the board it will mean that the objective conditions are at hand for switching the "train" on to the American "line". In that case the Marxists, if they do not wish to become Struve-ists, will know how to see, behind the reactionary "socialist" phraseology of the petty bourgeois, expressing the latter's subjective views, the objectively real struggle of the masses for better conditions of capitalist development.
Let us sum up. Disputes over tactics are vain if they are not based on a clear analysis of economic possibilities. The question of Russia's agrarian evolution taking a Prussian or American form has been raised by the struggle of
1905-07, which proved its reality. Stolypin is taking another step further along the Prussian path -- it would be a ludicrous fear of the bitter truth not to recognise this. We must go through a peculiar historical stage in the conditions created by this new step. But it would be criminal as well as ludicrous not to recognise the fact that Stolypin has so far only complicated and aggravated the old state of affairs without creating anything new. Stolypin is "putting his stake on the powerful" and asks for "20 years of peace and tranquillity" for the "reformation" (read: spoliation) of Russia by the landlords. The proletariat must put its stake on democracy, without exaggerating the latter's strength and without limiting itself to merely "pinning hopes" on it, but steadily developing the work of propaganda, agitation and organisation, mobilising all the democratic forces -- the peasants above all and before all -- calling upon them to ally themselves with the leading class, to achieve the "dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry" for the purpose of a full democratic victory and the creation of the best conditions for the quickest and freest development of capitalism. Failure to fulfil this democratic duty on the part of the proletariat will inevitably lead to vacillations and objectively play into the hands of the counter-revolutionary liberals outside the labour movement and the liquidators within it.