Take the German magazine Sozialistische (??) Monatshefte  and you will always find in it utterances by men like Legien, which are thoroughly opportunist, and have nothing in common with socialism, utterances touching on all the vital issues of the labour movement.
The "official" explanation of the "official" German party is that "nobody reads" Sozialistische Monatshefte, that it has no influence, etc.; but that is not true. The Stuttgart "incident" proved that it is not true. The most prominent and responsible people, members of parliament and trade union leaders who write for Sozialistische Monatshefte, constantly and undeviatingly propagate their views among the masses.
The "official optimism" of the German party has long been noted in its own camp by those people who earned Legien's appellation of "these editors" -- an appellation contemptuous from the point of view of the bourgeois and honourable from the point of view of a socialist. And the more often the liberals and the liquidators in Russia (including Trotsky, of course) attempt to transplant this amiable characteristic to our soil, the more determinedly must they be resisted.
German Social-Democracy has many great services to its credit. Thanks to Marx's struggle against all the Höchbergs, Dührings, and Co., it possesses a strictly formulated theory, which our Narodniks vainly try to evade or touch up along opportunist lines. It has a mass organisation, newspapers, trade unions, political associations -- that same mass organisation which is so definitely building up in our country in the shape of the victories the Pravda Marxists are winning everywhere -- in Duma elections, in the daily press, in Insurance Board elections, and in the trade unions. The attempts of our liquidators, whom the workers have "removed from office", to evade the question of the growth of this mass organisation in Russia in a form adapted to Russian conditions are as vain as those of the Narodniks, and imply a similar intellectualist breakaway from the working-class movement.
But the merits of German Social-Democracy are merits, not because of shameful speeches like those delivered by Legien or the "utterances" (in the press) by the contribu-
tors to Sozialistische Monatshefte, but despite them. We must not try to play down the disease which the German party is undoubtedly suffering from, and which reveals itself in phenomena of this kind; nor must we play it down with "officially optimistic" phrases. We must lay it bare to the Russian workers, so that we may learn from the experience of the older movement, learn what should not be copied from it.
 Lenin is referring to the tsarist bureaucracy's attitude towards the democratic Zemstvo personnel -- doctors, technicians, statisticians, teachers, agriculturists, etc., called the "third element" in a speech made in 1900 by the Samara Deputy Governor-General Kondoidi. The expression was subsequently used in literature to designate the Zemstvo democratic intelligentsia.
 Lenin refers to the
International Socialist Congress in Stuttgart (the Seventh Congress of the Second International) held in August 1907. One of the principal items on the agenda was the colonial question, over which a sharp struggle was waged at the Congress. The opportunist section of the Congress moved a resolution justifying colonial conquests. The Dutch "socialist" Van Kol made a statement to the effect that in future socialists should go to "the savage peoples" not only with machines and other achievements of culture, but with weapons in their hands. The opportunist draft resolution was supported by the majority of the German delegation. Only as a result of the efforts of the Russian and Polish socialists, a small part of the German, French and British socialists, as well as of all the socialists of the small countries owning no colonies, was this resolution defeated, and amendments adopted to it which practically changed its whole tenor. The resolution on the colonial question adopted by the Congress plainly and unreservedly condemned every kind of colonial policy.
 Sozialistische Monatshefte (Socialist Monthly
) -- the chief organ of the German opportunists and a mouthpiece of international revisionism, published in Berlin from 1897 to 1933. During World War I (1914-18) it took a social-chauvinist stand.