V. I. Lenin


Vperyod, No. 3,
January 24 (11). 1905

Published according to
the manuscript

From V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th English Edition,
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965

Second Revised Edition

Vol. 8, pp. 72-82.

Translated from the Russian by
Bernard Isaacs and Isidor Lasker
Editor: V. J. Jerome

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

    page 584


      [32] Narodism (from the word narod -- people) -- a petty-bourgeois trend in the Russian revolutionary movement, which began to manifest itself in the sixties and seventies of the nineteenth century. The Narodniks stood for the abolition of the autocracy and the transler of the landlords' lands to the peasantry. At the same time, they believed capitalism in Russia to be a fortuitous phenomenon with no prospect of development, and they therefore considered the peasantry, and not the proletariat, to be the main revolutionary force in Russia. They regarded the village commune as the embryo of socialism. With the object of rousing the peasantry to struggle against absolutism, the Narodniks "went among the people", to the village, but they found no support there. In the eighties and nineties the Narodniks adopted a policy of conciliatoriness to tsarism, expressed the interests of the kulak class, and waged a persistent fight against Marxism.    [p.72]

      [33] Narodnaya Volya members -- participants in the secret political organisation of the Narodnik terrorists called Narodnaya Volya (The People's Will), which came into being in August 1879 as a result of the split in the Zemlya i Volya (Land and Freedom) secret society . The immediate aim of the Narodnaya Volya was the overthrow of the autocracy. Its programme called for the organisation of "a permanent representative assembly of the people" elected on the basis of universal suffrage, the proclamation of democratic liberties, transfer of the land to the people, and adoption of measures for transferring the factories and mills to the workers. The Narodnaya Volya members, however failed to and a way to the broad masses and took the path of political conspiracies and individual terrorism. Their terroristic struggle was not supported by the revolutionary movement of the masses, and this enabled the government to wreck the organisation by means of savage persecutions, death sentences, and provocations.
        After 1881 the Narodnaya Volya broke up. Abortive attempts to revive it were made repeatedly in the course of the eighties. Thus, in 1886 a terrorist group was formed, headed by A. I. Ulyanov (Lenin's brother) and P. Y. Shevyryov, which followed the tradi-

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    tions of the Narodnaya Volya. After the failure of the attempt to assassinate Alexander III the group was discovered and its active members were executed.
        While criticising their fallacious and utopian programme Lenin thought highly of the noble struggle of the Narodnaya Volya members against tsarism. In 1899, in "A Protest by Russian Social Democrats", he pointed out that "the members of the old Narodnaya Volya managed to play an enormous role in the history of Russia despite the fact that only narrow social strata supported the few heroes, and despite the fact that it was by no means a revolutionary theory which served as the banner of the movement". (See present edition, Vol. 4, p. 181.)    [p.72]

      [34] V. V. -- pseudonym of V. P. Vorontsov, one of the ideologues of liberal Narodism of the eighties and nineties of the past century.    [p.72]

      [35] Legal Marxism -- a bourgeois perversion of Marxism, which originated in the nineties of the past century among the bourgeois intellectuals. The "legal Marxists" tried to make the labour movement serve the interests of the bourgeoisie. While criticising the Narodniks and acknowleding the capitalist path of development the "legal Marxists" denied the inevitability of capitalism's down fall. They threw out of the Marxian doctrine its most important tenet, the doctrine of the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat.    [p.73]

      [36] See Lenin, "The Economic Content of Narodism and the Criticism of It in Mr. Struve's Book" (present edition, Vol. 1, pp. 333-507).    [p.73]

      [37] Bernsteinian opportunism -- an anti-Marxian trend in the international Social-Democratic movement which appeared in the late nineteenth century in Germany, so called from the name of the German Social-Democrat Eduard Bernstein. The latter tried to revise the revolutionary teaching of Marx in the spirit of bourgeois liberalism.
        The followers of Bernstein in Russia were the "legal Marxists", the "Economists", the Bundists, and the Mensheviks.    [p.73]

      [38] Starover -- pseudonym of the Menshevik A. N. Potresov.    [p.74]

      [39] Zarya (Dawn ) -- a Marxist scientific and political magazine published in Stuttgart in 1901-02 by the Iskra Editorial Board. The following articles by Lenin appeared in this publication: "Casual Notes", "The Persecutors of the Zemstvo and the Hannibals of Liberalism ", the first four chapters of "The Agrarian Question and the 'Critics of Marx'" (under the heading of "Messrs. the 'Critics' on the Agrarian Question"), "Review of Home Affairs", "The Agrarian Programme of Russian Social-Democracy". Altogether four numbers (in three issues) appeared: No. 1, No. 2-3, and No. 4.    [p.77]