of elected representatives of the people in the legislature; equality of all before the law; a responsible Cabinet; abolition of the redemption payments; cheap credit; gradual sharing out of the state lands among the people; an income-tax. (If this report is true, it points to an extremely interesting interpretation of the Social-Democratic programme in the minds of the masses or their not very class-conscious leaders.) The correspondent of The Standard, an English newspaper, reports that three meetings took place on January 5 (18) (of which one was attended by 4,000 and another by 2,000) and that the following political demands were endorsed: (1) the immediate convocation of a Constituent Assembly elected by a general vote; (2) an end to the war; (3) full amnesty for political exiles and prisoners; (4) freedom of the press and of conscience; (5) freedom of assembly and the right of association. The foreign press for January 8 (21) reports that preparations are under way for a demonstration to be held on Sunday, January 9 (22), outside the Winter Palace, at which a petition is to be presented "to the tsar himself". Freedom or death, declare the workers. Moscow and Libau are sending workers' delegates to St. Petersburg.
Such is the limited and still unconfirmed information to have reached us to date. Obviously the movement has not yet attained its zenith by far, and we must await further events before we can form a definite opinion of what is occurring. One is struck by the amazingly rapid shift of the movement from the purely economic to the political ground, by the tremendous solidarity and energy displayed by hundreds of thousands of proletarians‹and all this, notwithstanding the fact that conscious Social-Democratic influence is lacking or is but slightly evident. The primitive character of the socialist views held by some of the leaders of the movement and the tenacity with which some elements of the working class cling to their naïve faith in
the tsar enhance rather than lessen the significance of the revolutionary instinct now asserting itself among the proletariat. The political protest of the leading oppressed class and its revolutionary energy break through all obstacles, both external, in the form of police bans, and internal, in the form of the ideological immaturity and backwardness of some of the leaders. The work of the Social-Democrats during the last ten years and the lessons of the working-class movement during this period have borne fruit; the ideas of socialism and of the political struggle are streaming through the broadest channels. The proletariat is proving in action that on the political scene in Russia there are not only two forces (autocracy and bourgeois society), as some in their faintness of heart have been ready to believe. It is showing us manifestly superior forms of mobilisation of the revolutionary class forces; this mobilisation, of course, is not to be classed with demonstrations of minor importance in this or that municipal council, but with mass movements, like the Rostov demonstration and the strikes of 1903 in the South. The mobilisation of the revolutionary forces of the proletariat in this new and higher form is bringing us with gigantic strides nearer to the moment when the proletariat will even more decisively and more consciously join battle with the autocracy.