V. I. Lenin

Among the Newspapers and Magazines (June 28, 1906)

Written: Written on June 28 (July 11), 1908
Published: Published on June 29, 1906 in the newspaper Ekho No. 7. Printed from the Ekho text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 41, pages 183.2-184.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) © 2004 Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.  

Following the unsuccessful affair of the Cadet-Octobrist-official ministry, the government has tried to scare the Cadets with the prospect of a dictatorship. Now the Cadets are trying to scare the government with the prospect of a revolution. Rech writes:

“The conflagration is spreading—such is the impression of the news coming by cable from every corner of Russia.... It is no longer the revolutionary intelligentsia or even the working class that is aflame; the peasantry, the troops are aflame too. That is, it is more correct to say that the whole of Russia is in flames.... At the slightest pretext, the peasants flock in their thousands to deal summarily with the authorities, the landowners, the estates and the manors.”

On the subject of this “conflagration”, Prof. Gredeskul hastens to show the depth of his understanding of the historical events:

“We are undoubtedly on the eve of crucial events. Either the government will come to its senses within the next few days and hand the power over to a Duma ministry, or it will bring us to the greatest disasters.”

And so, it is either a revolution or a Cadet ministry. It is not surprising at all that a Cadet tries to use everything, the people’s spontaneous revolutionary activity above all, to demonstrate the need for a Cadet ministry. However, he is labouring under a delusion: the antidote—a Cadet ministry—which the Cadet quacks are now prescribing for the revolution will not work against the poison of spontaneous revolutionary action by the mass, against its urge, to which Rech itself testifies, to realise its right to freedom of assembly (not the Cadet freedom of assembly, but full freedom) and to all the land.

You can go on trying hard, gentlemen, but the revolution has coped with the Witte-Durnovo system, and it will also cope with the Cadet antidotes.

*     *

It is either a revolution or a Cadet ministry, says Rech and adds: we beg to inform you that we, for our part, are net afraid of the revolution, whereas you are going to get hurt. But those who know how to take a militant stand at a fighting moment are well aware of the worth of such talk. Novoye Vremya,{1} an organ of the pogromites and sergeant-majors, is also well aware that Messrs. Gredeskuls give a reminder of the revolution only because they fear it like the plague. That is why Novoye Vremya, we believe, gives a much better exposé of the psychology and political substance of the deal which is being prepared, when it says: “Messrs. Cadets, we both have the same fear of the revolution, but we have almost exhausted our resources in the struggle against it, and you still have a thing or two left, which is why you should get on with it and not drag things out for too long.” That is just what they are saying. The Cadets say: we for our part can afford to wait. But the Novoye Vremya gentlemen urge: come, make haste, the revolution is pressing.

The latest issue of Novoye Vremya says as much:

“...there will be an explosion the responsibility for which will fall not only on the present ministry, but also on the Cadet Party, which is guilty of the fact that being reluctant, for want of courage, to lose a part of its popularity among the extreme Left-wingers, it has led the Duma into a fatally drawn-out conflict and has committed a crime against the law of peaceful evolution, insisting on an immediate militant implementation of a political programme, a process which requires a very, very long time.”

That’s how things are: there is a bit of bargaining, a bit of scaring, and then a deal is done, for they have a common cause and a common aim.


{1} Novoye Vremya (New Times)—a daily published in St. Petersburg from 1868 to 1917 by various publishers, repeatedly changing its political orientation. Moderately liberal at first, it became an organ of reactionary landowner and official bureaucratic circles in 1876, when A. S. Suvorin took over as publisher. From 1905—an organ of the Black Hundreds. After the bourgeois-democratic revolution in February 1917, the paper gave total support to the counter-revolutionary policy of the bourgeois Provisional Government and fiercely attacked the Bolsheviks. It was closed down by the Revolutionary Military Committee of the Petrograd Soviet on October 26 (November 8), 1917. p. 184

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