* See pp. 124-26 of this volume. --Ed. [Transcriber's Note: See Lenin's "The Nature and Significance of Our Polemics Against the Liberals". -- DJR]
** Rech objects to this, saying: if that is so, why do the Rights sympathetically quote Pravda against Rech ? Rech makes an overstatement here: if the Rights were to give Pravda more freedom than to Rech, it would be a forcible argument against the Social-Democrats. But everyone knows that the reverse is the case. Our press has a hundred times less freedom than Rech ; it is a thousand times less firmly established and enjoys 10,000 times less "constitutional" protection. Any literate person realises that Rossiya and Novoye Vremya are teasing Rech with Pravda and that, moreover, they are strangling Pravda while merely grumbling at or chiding Rech. These are two entirely different things.
Look at the liquidationist views as a whole -- at their inner logic, at their interconnection and the interdependence of the various theses: "freedom of association" is a constitutional reform; economic strikes are supplemented with a "political revival ", no more; a far-reaching election platform is declared to be "lunacy"; the task is formulated as one of fighting for the open existence of the Party, i.e., is also formulated as a constitutional reform; the regime in Russia is declared to be bourgeois already (Larin); the commercial and industrial bourgeoisie is declared to be already a ruling class; the workers are told that it is "sufficient" to seize on the contradiction between absolutism and constitutionalism (Martov).
Taken as a whole, this is reformism, it is the system of views of a liberal labour policy. It makes no difference at all that some Ivan or Pyotr, in defending these views (some part or other of them, for liquidationism is going through a "process of growth of growing tasks"), himself thinks he is a Marxist.
The point at issue is not their good intentions (of those who have any), but the objective significance of their policy, i.e., what its results are, cui prodest -- whom it benefits, to whose mill it actually brings grist.
This is defence of the workers' interests on the basis provided by the "struggle" (or is it bickering?) between the liberals and the Rights; it is not a struggle for a democratic, anti-liberal basis of sapping the strength of the Rights. The liquidators are supporters of the workers, there is no doubt of that. But they understand the interests of the workers in such a way that they uphold these interests within the framework of the Russia which the liberals promise to build, not of the Russia which the democrats were building yesterday, and will be building tomorrow (and which they are invisibly building even today), in spite of the liberals.
That is the crux of the matter. So far there is no new Russia. It has yet to be built. Should the workers build themselves a nest of a "class" (in effect a craft) nature in the Russia of the kind which the Milyukovs are building in common with the Purishkeviches, or should the workers themselves, in their own way, build a new Russia entirely without the Purishkeviches and in spite of the Milyukovs?
That new Russia will in any case be bourgeois, but there is quite a big difference between the bourgeois (agrarian and non-agrarian) policy of Stolypin and the bourgeois policy of Sun Yat-sen.
The chief feature of the present epoch in Russia is determination of the size of that difference.
"In spite of the Milyukovs", we said. It is this "in spite of" that is "Cadet-eating". That is why, being unafraid of words, we remain, and shall remain, "Cadet-eaters" as a matter of principle, without forgetting for one moment the special tasks of the working class, both against Milyukov and against Sun Yat-sen.
The accusation of "Cadet-eating" is merely a longing (whether conscious or unconscious, makes no difference) to see the workers, in building a new Russia, trail after the Milyukovs and not show the way to our own little Sun Yat-sens in spite of the Milyukovs.
It remains for us to say a few words about a second circumstance, which those who talk about "Cadet-eating" overlook.
It is said: why cannot we develop our views constructively ? Why engage in excessive polemics ? Those who say that argue, as it were, in the following way: we are not against a special line entirely different from the Cadet line, nor are we against three camps; we are only against the "substitution of polemics for politics", to use the biting phrase of a friend of the liquidators.
It is easy to answer those who talk like that: in the first place, one cannot develop new views other than through polemics (and Marxist views are new, both as regards the time of their emergence and the extent to which they have spread, in comparison with liberal views). Secondly, the arena in which Nevskaya Zvezda and Pravda are operating, is an arena of purely theoretical Marxist propaganda. It would be wrong to regard this arena as something more: it is only a theoretical ABC, a theoretical first step, an indication of the direction of the work, but not yet the work itself.
In this arena, Marxists cannot present their practical conclusions in a "constructive" form, for "reasons beyond our control". It would therefore be a liquidationist error to
exaggerate the importance of this arena. The most that can be done here is to indicate the direction, and that only in the form of a criticism of the Cadets.
Novoye Vremya and Zemshchina, in teasing the Cadets, draw a picture of the Cadets being eaten, and that is all. Rech, for obvious reasons, pretends to accept this "interpretation". The Korobkas and Kuskovas make the same pretence -- some from sheer stupidity, and others from sheer "pro-Cadet flunkeyism".
But every politically literate person sees very well that Marxist "Cadet-eating", on absolutely every point of its criticism of the Cadets, indicates the direction of a different "opposition", if I may use this unsuitable term.
When "eating" a Cadet because of Karaulov's "pious" speeches, a Marxist is not in a position to develop his point of view constructively. But any literate person understands that democracy cannot remain true to the name if it is pious.
When "eating" a Cadet because of Gredeskul's speeches, a Marxist is not in a position to develop his point of view constructively. But any literate person realises that democracy cannot remain true to the name if it shares Gredeskul's views.
When a Marxist -- but we should never finish if we undertook to list in this manner all the questions and points of our "Cadet-eating". The two examples are enough to make our thesis on the second circumstance perfectly clear: accusations of Cadet-eating are a form of expressing the philistine, harmful, bad prejudice that a certain arena is an adequate arena.
We shall remain "Cadet-eaters", incidentally with the very aim of combating that harmful prejudice.