manoeuvre. That was long ago, when he was "a bit of a Marxist," and when we fought together against the Narodniks in the columns of the now defunct Novoye Slovo. In the July 1897 issue of this periodical, Mr. Struve wrote about N. V. Vodovozov: "I remember a conversation we had in the street in 1890 -- I had just returned from a summer trip through Germany, full of new and strong impressions -- a conversation on Wilhelm II's social policy and plans of reform. Vodovozov attached importance to them and did not agree with me, to whom the question of the significance of the fact and idea of the so-called 'social monarchy' was at that time (and so much the more so at present) decided once and for all in the negative. Vodovozov viewed the idea of social reform in the abstract, divorced from the real social forces that create it. That is why he considered Catholic socialism in the main a peculiar ideological movement in favour of social reform and not a specific form of preventative reaction to the growing working-class movement on the part of the European bourgeoisie, and partly also of the remnants of European feudalism. . . ." So you see: in the distant past, at the time of his youthful infatuations, Mr. Struve understood that reforms may be a preventative reaction, i.e., a measure to prevent the ruling classes
from falling, and directed against the revolutionary class, even though it does improve the condition of this class. I put it to the reader: who, then, is right? Was it "revolutionary phrase-mongering" I indulged in when I exposed the reformist one-sidedness of Mr. Struve's attitude towards a reform such as the Zemstvo, or has Mr. Struve become wiser and abandoned "once and for all" the position of a revolutionary which he at one time defended (allegedly once and for all)? Have I become a champion of the Slavophils and Goremykin, or did the "strong impressions" of his trip through socialist Germany last Mr. Struve only a few years??
Yes, indeed, there are different conceptions of the strength of impressions, of the force of convictions, of the significance of convictions, of the compatibility of political ethics and political conviction with the launching of slogans which are valuable by reason of their vagueness. . . .
In conclusion I cannot but remark on several statements of Mr. Struve's that considerably "mar" the pleasant impression produced by his turn to the Left. Although he has advanced only one democratic demand (universal suffrage) Mr. Struve is already making haste to speak of a "liberal democratic party." Is this not somewhat premature? Would it not be better first to definitely indicate all the democratic transformations which the Party demands unconditionally not only in the agrarian and workers programme but in the political programme as well, and only then to paste on a label, only then claim promotion from the "rank" of liberal to the rank of liberal democrat? After all, universal suffrage is a minimum of democracy that has been recognised even by some conservatives who (in Europe) have become reconciled to elections in general. But for some reason or other, Mr. Struve does not go beyond this minimum either in No. 17 or in No. 18. Further, we shall note, in passing, Mr. Struve's curious remark that the problem of socialism must be put entirely aside by the liberal democratic party "primarily because socialism is actually only a problem so far." Is it not, most esteemed Mr. Struve, because the "liberal democratic" elements of Russian society express the interests of the classes that oppose the socialist demands of the proletariat? I repeat, this is said merely
in passing, in order to note the new methods used by the liberals to "negate" socialism. Actually, of course, Mr. Struve is right when he says that the liberal "democratic" party is not a socialist party and that it would not be fitting for it to pose as such.
As to the tactics of the new party, Mr. Struve could not have expressed himself more vaguely. That is very regrettable. And it is even more regrettable that he repeats again and again, and stresses the necessity of "two-in-one" tactics in the sense of a "skilful, flexible and indissoluble combination" of legal and illegal methods of action. At best, this is an evasion of the urgent questions connected with the methods of illegal activities. And this is a pressing question because it is only systematic illegal activity that actually determines the physiognomy of the party. At worst, this is a repetition of the wriggling used by Mr. Struve when he wrote about "Rights, and an Authoritative Zemstvo," and not about an openly and definitely constitutional and "democratic" party. Every illegal party "combines" illegal with legal activities in the sense that it relies on the masses, who do not participate directly in illegal activities, that it supports legal protests, utilises legal opportunities for propaganda, organisation, etc. This is generally known, and it is not this that is meant when the tactics of an illegal party are discussed. The point in question is the irrevocable recognition of struggle by this party, elaboration of methods of struggle, the duty of party members not to limit themselves to legal protests, but to subordinate everything without exception to the interests and demands of the revolutionary struggle. If there is no systematic illegal activity and revolutionary struggle, then there is no party that can really be constitutional (let alone democratic). And no greater harm can be done to the cause of the struggle than by confusing revolutionary work, which is based on the broad masses, makes use of mass organisations, and facilitates the political training of legal party functionaries, with work restricted within legal bounds.