V. I. Lenin


 Proletary, No. 4
 September 19, 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. 197-206.

Translated from the Russian
Edited by Clemens Dutt

Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo, (December 1997)

page 495


  [97] Narodism (from the word narod -- people) -- a petty-bourgeois trend in the Russian revolutionary movement, which arose in the sixties and seventies of the nineteenth century. The Narodniks stood for the abolition of the autocracy and the transfer of the landlords' lands to the peasantry. At the same time, they denied that capitalist relations and a proletariat were bound to develop in Russia, and they therefore considered the peasantry to be the main revolutionary force. They regarded the village commune as the embryo of socialism. With the object of rousing the peasantry to struggle against the autocracy, the Narodniks went to the countryslde ("among the people"). The Narodniks started out from an erroneous view of the role of the class struggle in historical development, considering that history is made by heroes who are followed passively by the mass of tbe people. In their struggle against tsarism the Narodniks used the tactics of individual terrorism.

page 496

    In the eighties and nineties the Narodniks began to reconcile themselves to tsarism; they expressed the interests of the kulaks and carried on a relentless struggle against Marxism.    [p.197]

  [98] Economism -- an opportunist trend in Russian Social-Democracy at the turn of the century, a Russian variety of international opportunism; its organs were the newspaper Rabochaya Mysl (Workers' Thought ), 1897-1902, and the magazine Rabocheye Dyelo (The Workers' Cause ), 1899-1902. The programme of the Economists whom Lenin called Russian Bernsteinians, was embodied in the so-called Credo, written in 1899 by Y. D. Kuskova.
    The Economists restricted the tasks of the working class to the economic struggle for higher wages, better working conditions etc., asserting that the political struggle was the business of the liberal bourgeoisie. They denied the leading role of the workers' party, which, they considered, should merely ohserve the spontaneous development of the movement and register events. In their glorifying of "spontaneity" they belittled the importance of revolutionary theory and class-consciousness, declaring that a socialist ideology could arise from the spontaneous workers' movement. By denying the need to imbue the workers' movement with socialist consciousness through the Marxist Party they cleared the way for bourgeois ideology. They defended isolation and amateurishness in the Social-Democratic movement and opposed the creation of a centralised working-class party. Economism threatened to divert the working class from the revolutionary class path and turn it into a political appendage of the bourgeoisie.
    Lenin made an extensive criticism of the views of the Economists in his works: "A Protest by Russian Social-Democrats" (which was directed against the Credo and was written during his exile in Siberia in 1899, where it was adopted and signed by seventeen exiled Marxists), "A Retrograde Trend in Russian Social Democracy", "Apropos of the Profession de foi ", "A Talk with Defenders of Economism" (see present edition, Vol. 4, pp. 167-82, 255-85, 286-96, Vol. 5, pp. 313-20). Lenin achieved the ideological rout of Economism in his book What Is To Be Done? (see present edition, Vol. 5, pp. 347-529). A major part in the fight against Economism was played by Lenin's Iskra.    [p.197]

  [99] Tag-in -- a pseudonym of the Socialist-Revolutionary Maximalist A. G. Troitsky.    [p.198]

  [100] Golos (The Voice ) -- a daily newspaper of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party, published in St. Petershurg in April-June 1906.

    Dyelo Naroda (People's Cause ) -- a daily newspaper of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party, published in St. Petersburg in May 1906.    [p.198]

  [101] V. V. (pseudonym of V. P. Vorontsov) and Nikola-on (pseudonym of N. F. Danielson) were ideologists of the liberal Narodniks in the eighties and nineties of the last century.    [p.199]

page 497

  [102] Russkoye Bogatstvo (Russian Wealth ) -- a monthly magazine published in St. Petersburg from 1876 to the middle of 1918. In the early 1890s it became the organ of the liberal Narodniks. From 1906 it was, in effect, the organ of the semi-Cadet "Popular Socialist" Party.    [p.199]

  [103] Agrarian Programme of the "104 " -- the "Draft of Fundamental Principles" of the land law put forward in the First Duma over the signatures of 104 peasant deputies on May 23 (June 5), 1906. The draft put forward demands for: establishment of a nation-wide stock of distributable land formed from state, crown and monastery lands, as well as privately-owned lands, if the estates exceeded the established labour norm; the right to hold land to be given only to those who actually till it. Compensation was envisaged for alienation of privately-owned land. The implementation of the land reform was to be in the hands of local peasant committees elected on a completely democratic basis. For Lenin's account of this plan see p. 469 in the present volume.    [p.200]

  [104] Bobchinsky and Dobchinsky -- characters in Gogol's comedy The Inspector-General.    [p.204]

  [105] Ushakov -- one of Zubatov's agents; in the autumn of 1905 he organised the "Independent Social Workers' Party" and published Rabochaya Gazeta (Workers' Gazette ) with government money. This party of "independents" tried to combat the Social-Democrats, but met with no success among the workers.    [p.205]

  [106] Otkliki Sovremennosti (Contemporary Reactions ) -- a Menshevik magazine which was published legally in St. Petersburg from March to June 1906. Five issues appeared.    [p.206]