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Title: Our Revolution - Essays on Working-Class and International Revolution, 1904-1917
Author: Trotzky, Leon Davidovich, 1879-1940
Language: English
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  Essays on Working-Class and International Revolution, 1904-1917


  Collected and Translated, with Biography and Explanatory Notes

  Author of "The Soul of the Russian Revolution"



  COPYRIGHT, 1918,

  Published March, 1918


The world has not known us Russian revolutionists. The world has
sympathized with us; the world abroad has given aid and comfort to our
refugees; the world, at times, even admired us; yet the world has not
known us. Friends of freedom in Europe and America were keenly anxious
to see the victory of our cause; they watched our successes and our
defeats with breathless interest; yet they were concerned with material
results. Our views, our party affiliations, our factional divisions, our
theoretical gropings, our ideological constructions, to us the leading
lights in our revolutionary struggles, were foreign to the world. All
this was supposed to be an internal Russian affair.

The Revolution has now ceased to be an internal Russian affair. It has
become of world-wide import. It has started to influence governments and
peoples. What was not long ago a theoretical dispute between two
"underground" revolutionary circles, has grown into a concrete
historical power determining the fate of nations. What was the
individual conception of individual revolutionary leaders is now ruling

The world is now vitally interested in understanding Russia, in learning
the history of our Revolution which is the history of the great Russian
nation for the last fifty years. This involves, however, knowing not
only events, but also the development of thoughts, of aims, of ideas
that underlie and direct events; gaining an insight into the immense
volume of intellectual work which recent decades have accumulated in
revolutionary Russia.

We have selected Leon Trotzky's contribution to revolutionary thought,
not because he is now in the limelight of history, but because his
conceptions represent a very definite, a clear-cut and intrinsically
consistent trend of revolutionary thought, quite apart from that of
other leaders. We do not agree with many of Trotzky's ideas and
policies, yet we cannot overlook the fact that these ideas have become
predominant in the present phase of the Russian Revolution and that they
are bound to give their stamp to Russian democracy in the years to come,
whether the present government remains in power or not.

The reader will see that Trotzky's views as applied in Bolsheviki ruled
Russia are not of recent origin. They were formed in the course of the
First Russian Revolution of 1905, in which Trotzky was one of the
leaders. They were developed and strengthened in the following years of
reaction, when many a progressive group went to seek compromises with
the absolutist forces. They became particularly firm through the world
war and the circumstances that led to the establishment of a republican
order in Russia. Perhaps many a grievous misunderstanding and
misinterpretation would have been avoided had thinking America known
that those conceptions of Trotzky were not created on the spur of the
moment, but were the result of a life-long work in the service of the

Trotzky's writings, besides their theoretical and political value,
represent a vigor of style and a clarity of expression unique in Russian
revolutionary literature.


New York, February 16th, 1918.



  Biographical Notes                                         3

  The Proletariat and the Revolution                        23

  The Events in Petersburg                                  47

  Prospects of a Labor Dictatorship                         63

  The Soviet and the Revolution                            147

  Preface to _My Round Trip_                               163

  The Lessons of the Great Year                            169

  On the Eve of a Revolution                               179

  Two Faces                                                187

  The Growing Conflict                                     199

  War or Peace?                                            205

  Trotzky on the Platform in Petrograd                     213



Trotzky is a man of about forty. He is tall, strong, angular; his
appearance as well as his speech give the impression of boldness and
vigor. His voice is a high tenor ringing with metal. And even in his
quiet moments he resembles a compressed spring.

He is always aggressive. He is full of passion,--that white-hot,
vibrating mental passion that characterizes the intellectual Jew. On the
platform, as well as in private life, he bears an air of peculiar
importance, an indefinable something that says very distinctly: "Here is
a man who knows his value and feels himself chosen for superior aims."
Yet Trotzky is not imposing. He is almost modest. He is detached. In the
depths of his eyes there is a lingering sadness.

It was only natural that he, a gifted college youth with a strong
avidity for theoretical thinking, should have exchanged, some twenty
years ago, the somber class-rooms of the University of Odessa for the
fresh breezes of revolutionary activity. That was the way of most gifted
Russian youths. That especially was the way of educated young Jews whose
people were being crushed under the steam-roller of the Russian

In the last years of the nineteenth century there was hardly enough
opportunity to display unusual energy in revolutionary work. Small
circles of picked workingmen, assembling weekly under great secrecy
somewhere in a backyard cabin in a suburb, to take a course in sociology
or history or economics; now and then a "mass" meeting of a few score
laborers gathered in the woods; revolutionary appeals and pamphlets
printed on a secret press and circulated both among the educated classes
and among the people; on rare occasions, an open manifestation of
revolutionary intellectuals, such as a meeting of students within the
walls of the University--this was practically all that could be done in
those early days of Russian revolution. Into this work of preparation,
Trotzky threw himself with all his energy. Here he came into the closest
contact with the masses of labor. Here he acquainted himself with the
psychology and aspirations of working and suffering Russia. This was the
rich soil of practical experience that ever since has fed his
revolutionary ardor.

His first period of work was short. In 1900 we find him already in
solitary confinement in the prisons of Odessa, devouring book after book
to satisfy his mental hunger. No true revolutionist was ever made
downhearted by prison, least of all Trotzky, who knew it was a brief
interval of enforced idleness between periods of activity. After two and
a half years of prison "vacation" (as the confinement was called in
revolutionary jargon) Trotzky was exiled to Eastern Siberia, to Ust-Kut,
on the Lena River, where he arrived early in 1902, only to seize the
first opportunity to escape.

Again he resumed his work, dividing his time between the revolutionary
committees in Russia and the revolutionary colonies abroad. 1902 and
1903 were years of growth for the labor movement and of
Social-Democratic influence over the working masses. Trotzky, an
uncompromising Marxist, an outspoken adherent of the theory that only
the revolutionary workingmen would be able to establish democracy in
Russia, devoted much of his energy to the task of uniting the various
Social-Democratic circles and groups in the various cities of Russia
into one strong Social-Democratic Party, with a clear program and
well-defined tactics. This required a series of activities both among
the local committees and in the Social-Democratic literature which was
conveniently published abroad.

It was in connection with this work that Trotzky's first pamphlet was
published and widely read. It was entitled: _The Second Convention of
The Russian Social-Democratic Labor Party_ (Geneva, 1903), and dealt
with the controversies between the two factions of Russian
Social-Democracy which later became known as the Bolsheviki and the
Mensheviki. Trotzky's contribution was an attempt at reconciliation
between the two warring camps which professed the same Marxian theory
and pursued the same revolutionary aim. The attempt failed, as did many
others, yet Trotzky never gave up hope of uniting the alienated

On the eve of the Revolution of 1905, Trotzky was already a
revolutionary journalist of high repute. We admired the vigor of his
style, the lucidity of his thought and the straightness of his
expression. Articles bearing the pseudonym "N. Trotzky" were an
intellectual treat, and invariably aroused heated discussions. It may
not be out of place to say a few words about this pseudonym. Many an
amazing comment has been made in the American press on the Jew Bronstein
"camouflaging" under a Russian name, Trotzky. It seems to be little
known in this country that to assume a pen name is a practice widely
followed in Russia, not only among revolutionary writers. Thus "Gorki"
is a pseudonym; "Shchedrin" (Saltykov) is a pseudonym. "Fyodor Sologub"
is a pseudonym. As to revolutionary writers, the very character of their
work has compelled them to hide their names to escape the secret police.
Ulyanov, therefore, became "Lenin," and Bronstein became "Trotzky." As
to his "camouflaging" as a Russian, this assertion is based on sheer
ignorance. Trotzky is not a genuine Russian name--no more so than
Ostrovski or Levine. True, there was a Russian playwright Ostrovski, and
Tolstoi gave his main figure in _Anna Karenin_ the name of Levine. Yet
Ostrovski and Levine are well known in Russia as Jewish names, and so is
Trotzky. I have never heard of a Gentile bearing the name Trotzky.
Trotzky has never concealed his Jewish nationality. He was too proud to
dissimulate. Pride is, perhaps, one of the dominant traits of his
powerful personality.

Revolutionary Russia did not question the race or nationality of a
writer or leader. One admired Trotzky's power over emotion, the depth of
his convictions, the vehemence of his attacks on the opponents of the
Revolution. As early as 1904, one line of his revolutionary conceptions
became quite conspicuous: _his opposition to the liberal movement in
Russia_. In a series of essays in the Social-Democratic _Iskra_
(_Spark_), in a collection of his essays published in Geneva under the
title _Before January Ninth_, he unremittingly branded the Liberals for
lack of revolutionary spirit, for cowardice in face of a hateful
autocracy, for failure to frame and to defend a thoroughly democratic
program, for readiness to compromise with the rulers on minor
concessions and thus to betray the cause of the Revolution. No one else
was as eloquent, as incisive in pointing out the timidity and meekness
of the Zemstvo opposition (Zemstvo were the local representative bodies
for the care of local affairs, and the Liberal land owners constituted
the leading party in those bodies) as the young revolutionary agitator,
Trotzky. Trotzky's fury against the wavering policy of the well-to-do
Liberals was only a manifestation of another trait of his character:
_his desire for clarity in political affairs_. Trotzky could not
conceive of half-way measures, of "diplomatic" silence over vital
topics, of cunning moves and concealed designs in political struggles.
The attitude of a Milukov, criticizing the government and yet willing to
acquiesce in a monarchy of a Prussian brand, criticizing the
revolutionists and yet secretly pleased with the horror they inflicted
upon Romanoff and his satellites, was simply incompatible with Trotzky's
very nature and aroused his impassioned contempt. To him, black was
always black, and white was white, and political conceptions ought to be
so clear as to find adequate expression in a few simple phrases.

Trotzky's own political line was the Revolution--a violent uprising of
the masses, headed by organized labor, forcibly to overthrow bureaucracy
and establish democratic freedom. With what an outburst of blazing joy
he greeted the upheaval of January 9, 1905--the first great
mass-movement in Russia with clear political aims: "The Revolution has
come!" he shouted in an ecstatic essay completed on January 20th. "The
Revolution has come. One move of hers has lifted the people over scores
of steps, up which in times of peace we would have had to drag ourselves
with hardships and fatigue. The Revolution has come and destroyed the
plans of so many politicians who had dared to make their little
political calculations with no regard for the master, the revolutionary
people. The Revolution has come and destroyed scores of superstitions,
and has manifested the power of the program which is founded on the
revolutionary logic of the development of the masses.... The Revolution
has come and the period of our infancy has passed."

The Revolution filled the entire year of 1905 with the battle cries of
ever-increasing revolutionary masses. The political strike became a
powerful weapon. The village revolts spread like wild-fire. The
government became frightened. It was under the sign of this great
conflagration that Trotzky framed his theory of _immediate transition
from absolutism to a Socialist order_. His line of argument was very
simple. The working class, he wrote, was the only real revolutionary
power. The bourgeoisie was weak and incapable of adroit resistance. The
intellectual groups were of no account. The peasantry was politically
primitive, yet it had an overwhelming desire for land. "Once the
Revolution is victorious, political power necessarily passes into the
hands of the class that has played a leading rôle in the struggle, and
that is the working class." To secure permanent power, the working class
would have to win over the millions of peasants. This would be possible
by recognizing all the agrarian changes completed by the peasants in
time of the revolution and by a radical agrarian legislation. "Once in
power, the proletariat will appear before the peasantry as its
liberator." On the other hand, having secured its class rule over
Russia, why should the proletariat help to establish parliamentary rule,
which is the rule of the bourgeois classes over the people? "To imagine
that Social-Democracy participates in the Provisional Government,
playing a leading rôle in the period of revolutionary democratic
reconstruction, insisting on the most radical reforms and all the time
enjoying the aid and support of the organized proletariat,--only to step
aside when the democratic program is put into operation, to leave the
completed building at the disposal of the bourgeois parties and thus to
open an era of parliamentary politics where Social-Democracy forms only
a party of opposition,--to imagine this would mean to compromise the
very idea of a labor government." Moreover, "once the representatives of
the proletariat enter the government, not as powerless hostages, but as
a leading force, the divide between the minimum-program and the
maximum-program automatically disappears, collectivism becomes the order
of the day," since "political supremacy of the proletariat is
incompatible with its economic slavery." It was precisely the same
program which Trotzky is at present attempting to put into operation.
This program has been his guiding star for the last twelve years.

In the fall of 1905 it looked as if Trotzky's hope was near its
realization. The October strike brought autocracy to its knees. A
Constitution was promised. A Soviet (Council of Workmen's Deputies) was
formed in Petersburg to conduct the Revolution. Trotzky became one of
the strongest leaders of the Council. It was in those months that we
became fully aware of two qualities of Trotzky's which helped him to
master men: his power as a speaker, and his ability to write short,
stirring articles comprehensible to the masses. In the latter ability
nobody equals him among Russian Socialists. The leaders of Russian
Social-Democracy were wont to address themselves to the intellectual
readers. Socialist writers of the early period of the Revolution were
seldom confronted with the necessity of writing for plain people.
Trotzky was the best among the few who, in the stormy months of the 1905
revolution, were able to appeal to the masses in brief, strong, yet
dignified articles full of thought, vision, and emotion.

The Soviet was struggling in a desperate situation. Autocracy had
promised freedom, yet military rule was becoming ever more atrocious.
The sluices of popular revolutionary movement were open, yet
revolutionary energy was being gradually exhausted. The Soviet acted as
a true revolutionary government, ignoring the government of the
Romanoffs, giving orders to the workingmen of the country, keeping a
watchful eye on political events; yet the government of the old régime
was regaining its self-confidence and preparing for a final blow. The
air was full of bad omens.

It required an unusual degree of revolutionary faith and vigor to
conduct the affairs of the Soviet. Trotzky was the man of the hour.
First a member of the Executive Committee, then the chairman of the
Soviet, he was practically in the very vortex of the Revolution. He
addressed meetings, he ordered strikes, he provided the vanguard of the
workingmen with firearms; he held conferences with representatives of
labor unions throughout the country, and--the irony of history--he
repeatedly appeared before the Ministers of the old régime as a
representative of labor democracy to demand from them the release of a
prisoner or the abolition of some measures obnoxious to labor. It was in
this school of the Soviet that Trotzky learned to see events in a
national aspect, and it was the very existence of the Soviet which
confirmed his belief in the possibility of a revolutionary proletarian
dictatorship. Looking backward at the activities of the Soviet, he thus
characterized that prototype of the present revolutionary government in
Russia. "The Soviet," he wrote, "was the organized authority of the
masses themselves over their separate members. This was a true,
unadulterated democracy, without a two-chamber system, without a
professional bureaucracy, with the right of the voters to recall their
representative at will and to substitute another." In short, it was the
same type of democracy Trotzky and Lenin are trying to make permanent in
present-day Russia.

The black storm soon broke loose. Trotzky was arrested with the other
members of the "revolutionary government," after the Soviet had existed
for about a month and a half. Trotzky went to prison, not in despair,
but as a leader of an invincible army which though it had suffered
temporary defeat, was bound to win. Trotzky had to wait twelve years for
the moment of triumph, yet the moment came.

In prison Trotzky was very active, reading, writing, trying to sum up
his experience of the revolutionary year. After twelve months of
solitary confinement he was tried and sentenced to life exile in
Siberia: the government of the enemies of the people was wreaking
vengeance on the first true representatives of the people. On January 3,
1907, Trotzky started his trip for Obdorsk, in Northern Siberia on the
Arctic Ocean.

He was under unusual rigid surveillance even for Russian prisons. Each
movement of his and of his comrades was carefully guarded. No
communication with the outer world was permitted. The very journey was
surrounded by great secrecy. Yet such was the fame of the Soviet, that
crowds gathered at every station to greet the prisoners' train, and even
the soldiers showed extraordinary respect for the imprisoned
"workingmen's deputies" as they called them. "We are surrounded by
friends on every side," Trotzky wrote in his note book.

In Tiumen the prisoners had to leave the railway train for sleighs
drawn by horses. The journey became very tedious and slow. The monotony
was broken only by little villages, where revolutionary exiles were
detained. Here and there the exiles would gather to welcome the leaders
of the revolution. Red flags gave touches of color to the blinding white
of the Siberian snow. "Long live the Revolution!" was printed with huge
letters on the surface of the northern snow, along the road. This was
beautiful, but it gave little consolation. The country became ever more
desolate. "Every day we move down one step into the kingdom of cold and
wilderness," Trotzky remarked in his notes.

It was a gloomy prospect, to spend years and years in this God forsaken
country. Trotzky was not the man to submit. In defiance of difficulties,
he managed to escape before he reached the town of his destination. As
there was only one road along which travelers could move, and as there
was danger that authorities, notified by wire of his escape, could stop
him at any moment, he left the road and on a sleigh drawn by reindeer he
crossed an unbroken wilderness of 800 versts, over 500 miles. This
required great courage and physical endurance. The picturesque journey
is described by Trotzky in a beautiful little book, _My Round Trip_.

It was in this Ostiak sleigh, in the midst of a bleak desert, that he
celebrated the 20th of February, the day of the opening of the Second
Duma. It was a mockery at Russia: here, the representatives of the
people, assembled in the quasi-Parliament of Russia; there, a
representative of the Revolution that created the Duma, hiding like a
criminal in a bleak wilderness. Did he dream in those long hours of his
journey, that some day the wave of the Revolution would bring him to the
very top?

Early in spring he arrived abroad. He established his home in Vienna
where he lived till the outbreak of the great war. His time and energy
were devoted to the internal affairs of the Social-Democratic Party and
to editing a popular revolutionary magazine which was being smuggled
into Russia. He earned a meager living by contributing to Russian
"legal" magazines and dailies.

I met him first in 1907, in Stuttgart. He seemed to be deeply steeped in
the revolutionary factional squabbles. Again I met him in Copenhagen in
1910. He was the target of bitter criticism for his press-comment on one
of the Social-Democratic factions. He seemed to be dead to anything but
the problem of reconciling the Bolsheviki with the Mensheviki and the
other minor divisions. Yet that air of importance which distinguished
him even from the famous old leaders had, in 1910, become more apparent.
By this time he was already a well-known and respected figure in the
ranks of International Socialism.

In the fall of 1912 he went into the Balkans as a war correspondent.
There he learned to know the Balkan situation from authentic sources.
His revelations of the atrocities committed on both sides attracted wide
attention. When he came back to Vienna in 1913 he was a stronger
internationalist and a stronger anti-militarist than ever.

His house in Vienna was a poor man's house, poorer than that of an
ordinary American workingman earning eighteen dollars a week. Trotzky
has been poor all his life. His three rooms in a Vienna working-class
suburb contained less furniture than was necessary for comfort. His
clothes were too cheap to make him appear "decent" in the eyes of a
middle-class Viennese. When I visited his house I found Mrs. Trotzky
engaged in housework, while the two light-haired lovely boys were
lending not inconsiderable assistance. The only thing that cheered the
house were loads of books in every corner, and, perhaps, great though
hidden hopes.

On August 3, 1914, the Trotzkys, as enemy aliens, had to leave Vienna
for Zurich, Switzerland. Trotzky's attitude towards the war was a very
definite one from the very beginning. He accused German Social-Democracy
for having voted the war credits and thus endorsed the war. He accused
the Socialist parties of all the belligerent countries for having
concluded a truce with their governments which in his opinion was
equivalent to supporting militarism. He bitterly deplored the collapse
of Internationalism as a great calamity for the emancipation of the
world. Yet, even in those times of distress, he did not remain inactive.
He wrote a pamphlet to the German workingmen entitled _The War and
Internationalism_ (recently translated into English and published in
this country under the title _The Bolsheviki and World Peace_) which was
illegally transported into Germany and Austria by aid of Swiss
Socialists. For this attempt to enlighten the workingmen, one of the
German courts tried him in a state of contumacy and sentenced him to
imprisonment. He also contributed to a Russian Socialist daily of
Internationalist aspirations which was being published by Russian
exiles in Paris. Later he moved to Paris to be in closer contact with
that paper. Due to his radical views on the war, however, he was
compelled to leave France. He went to Spain, but the Spanish government,
though not at war, did not allow him to stay in that country. He was
himself convinced that the hand of the Russian Foreign Ministry was in
all his hardships.

So it happened that in the winter 1916-1917, he came to the United
States. When I met him here, he looked haggard; he had grown older, and
there was fatigue in his expression. His conversation hinged around the
collapse of International Socialism. He thought it shameful and
humiliating that the Socialist majorities of the belligerent countries
had turned "Social-Patriots." "If not for the minorities of the
Socialist parties, the true Socialists, it would not be worth while
living," he said once with deep sadness. Still, he strongly believed in
the internationalizing spirit of the war itself, and expected humanity
to become more democratic and more sound after cessation of hostilities.
His belief in an impending Russian Revolution was unshaken. Similarly
unshaken was his mistrust of the Russian non-Socialist parties. On
January 20, 1917, less than two months before the overthrow of the
Romanoffs, he wrote in a local Russian paper: "Whoever thinks critically
over the experience of 1905, whoever draws a line from that year to the
present day, must conceive how utterly lifeless and ridiculous are the
hopes of our Social-Patriots for a revolutionary coöperation between the
proletariat and the Liberal bourgeoisie in Russia."

His demand for _clarity_ in political affairs had become more pronounced
during the war and through the distressing experiences of the war.
"There are times," he wrote on February 7, 1917, "when diplomatic
evasiveness, casting glances with one eye to the right, with the other
to the left, is considered wisdom. Such times are now vanishing before
our eyes, and their heroes are losing credit. War, as revolution, puts
problems in their clearest form. For war or against war? For national
defense or for revolutionary struggle? The fierce times we are living
now demand in equal measure both fearlessness of thought and bravery of

When the Russian Revolution broke out, it was no surprise for Trotzky.
He had anticipated it. He had scented it over the thousands of miles
that separated him from his country. He did not allow his joy to
overmaster him. The March revolution in his opinion was only a
beginning. It was only an introduction to a long drawn fight which would
end in the establishment of Socialism.

History seemed to him to have fulfilled what he had predicted in 1905
and 1906. The working class was the leading power in the Revolution. The
Soviets became even more powerful than the Provisional Government.
Trotzky preached that it was the task of the Soviets to become _the_
government of Russia. It was his task to go to Russia and fight for a
labor government, for Internationalism, for world peace, for a world
revolution. "If the first Russian revolution of 1905," he wrote on March
20th, "brought about revolutions in Asia,--in Persia, Turkey,
China,--the second Russian revolution will be the beginning of a
momentous Social-revolutionary struggle in Europe. Only this struggle
will bring real peace to the blood-drenched world."

With these hopes he went to Russia,--to forge a Socialist Russia in the
fire of the Revolution.

Whatever may be our opinion of the merits of his policies, the man has
remained true to himself. His line has been straight.


     The essay _The Proletariat and the Revolution_ was published at the
     close of 1904, nearly one year after the beginning of the war with
     Japan. This was a crucial year for the autocratic rulers of Russia.
     It started with patriotic demonstrations, it ended with a series of
     humiliating defeats on the battlefields and with an unprecedented
     revival of political activities on the part of the well-to-do
     classes. The Zemstvos (local elective bodies for the care of local
     affairs) headed by liberal landowners, conducted a vigorous
     political campaign in favor of a constitutional order. Other
     liberal groups, organizations of professionals (referred to in
     Trotzky's essay as "democrats" and "democratic elements") joined in
     the movement. The Zemstvo leaders called an open convention in
     Petersburg (November 6th), which demanded civic freedom and a
     Constitution. The "democratic elements" organized public gatherings
     of a political character under the disguise of private banquets.
     The liberal press became bolder in its attack on the
     administration. The government tolerated the movement. Prince
     Svyatopolk-Mirski, who had succeeded Von Plehve, the reactionary
     dictator assassinated in July, 1904, by a revolutionist, had
     promised "cordial relations" between government and society. In the
     political jargon, this period of tolerance, lasting from August to
     the end of the year, was known as the era of "Spring."

     It was a thrilling time, full of political hopes and expectation.
     Yet, strange enough, the working class was silent. The working
     class had shown great dissatisfaction in 1902 and especially in
     summer, 1903, when scores of thousands in the southwest and in the
     South went on a political strike. During the whole of 1904,
     however, there were almost no mass-manifestations on the part of
     the workingmen. This gave an occasion to many a liberal to scoff at
     the representatives of the revolutionary parties who built all
     their tactics on the expectation of a national revolution.

     To answer those skeptics and to encourage the active members of the
     Social-Democratic party, Trotzky wrote his essay. Its main value,
     which lends it historic significance, is the clear diagnosis of the
     political situation. Though living abroad, Trotzky keenly felt the
     pulse of the masses, the "pent up revolutionary energy" which was
     seeking for an outlet. His description of the course of a national
     revolution, the rôle he attributes to the workingmen, the
     non-proletarian population of the cities, the educated groups, and
     the army; his estimation of the influence of the war on the minds
     of the raw masses; finally, the slogans he puts before the
     revolution,--all this corresponds exactly to what happened during
     the stormy year of 1905. Reading _The Proletariat and the
     Revolution_, the student of Russian political life has a feeling
     as if the essay had been written _after_ the Revolution, so closely
     it follows the course of events. Yet, it appeared before January
     9th, 1905, i.e., before the first great onslaught of the Petersburg

     Trotzky's belief in the revolutionary initiative of the working
     class could not be expressed in a more lucid manner.

The proletariat must not only conduct a revolutionary propaganda. The
proletariat itself must move towards a revolution.

To move towards a revolution does not necessarily mean to fix a date for
an insurrection and to prepare for that day. You never can fix a day and
an hour for a revolution. The people have never made a revolution by

What _can_ be done is, in view of the fatally impending catastrophe, to
choose the most appropriate positions, to arm and inspire the masses
with a revolutionary slogan, to lead simultaneously all the reserves
into the field of battle, to make them practice in the art of fighting,
to keep them ready under arms,--and to send an alarm all over the lines
when the time has arrived.

Would that mean a series of exercises only, and not a decisive combat
with the enemy forces? Would that be mere manoeuvers, and not a street

Yes, that would be mere manoeuvers. There is a difference, however,
between revolutionary and military manoeuvers. Our preparations can
turn, at any time and independent of our will, into a real battle which
would decide the long drawn revolutionary war. Not only can it be so, it
_must_ be. This is vouched for by the acuteness of the present political
situation which holds in its depths a tremendous amount of revolutionary

At what time mere manoeuvers would turn into a real battle, depends
upon the volume and the revolutionary compactness of the masses, upon
the atmosphere of popular sympathy which surrounds them and upon the
attitude of the troops which the government moves against the people.

Those three elements of success must determine our work of preparation.
Revolutionary proletarian masses _are_ in existence. We ought to be able
to call them into the streets, at a given time, all over the country; we
ought to be able to unite them by a general slogan.

All classes and groups of the people are permeated with hatred towards
absolutism, and that means with sympathy for the struggle for freedom.
We ought to be able to concentrate this sympathy on the proletariat as a
revolutionary power which alone can be the vanguard of the people in
their fight to save the future of Russia. As to the mood of the army, it
hardly kindles the heart of the government with great hopes. There has
been many an alarming symptom for the last few years; the army is
morose, the army grumbles, there are ferments of dissatisfaction in the
army. We ought to do all at our command to make the army detach itself
from absolutism at the time of a decisive onslaught of the masses.

Let us first survey the last two conditions, which determine the course
and the outcome of the campaign.

We have just gone through the period of "political renovation" opened
under the blare of trumpets and closed under the hiss of knouts,--the
era of Svyatopolk-Mirski--the result of which is hatred towards
absolutism aroused among all the thinking elements of society to an
unusual pitch. The coming days will reap the fruit of stirred popular
hopes and unfulfilled government's pledges. Political interest has
lately taken more definite shape; dissatisfaction has grown deeper and
is founded on a more outspoken theoretical basis. Popular thinking,
yesterday utterly primitive, now greedily takes to the work of political
analysis. All manifestations of evil and arbitrary power are being
speedily traced back to the principal cause. Revolutionary slogans no
more frighten the people; on the contrary, they arouse a thousandfold
echo, they pass into proverbs. The popular consciousness absorbs each
word of negation, condemnation or curse addressed towards absolutism, as
a sponge absorbs fluid substance. No step of the administration remains
unpunished. Each of its blunders is carefully taken account of. Its
advances are met with ridicule, its threats breed hatred. The vast
apparatus of the liberal press circulates daily thousands of facts,
stirring, exciting, inflaming popular emotion.

The pent up feelings are seeking an outlet. Thought strives to turn into
action. The vociferous liberal press, however, while feeding popular
unrest, tends to divert its current into a small channel; it spreads
superstitious reverence for "public opinion," helpless, unorganized
"public opinion," which does not discharge itself into action; it brands
the revolutionary method of national emancipation; it upholds the
illusion of legality; it centers all the attention and all the hopes of
the embittered groups around the Zemstvo campaign, thus systematically
preparing a great debacle for the popular movement. Acute
dissatisfaction, finding no outlet, discouraged by the inevitable
failure of the legal Zemstvo campaign which has no traditions of
revolutionary struggle in the past and no clear prospects in the future,
must necessarily manifest itself in an outbreak of desperate terrorism,
leaving radical intellectuals in the rôle of helpless, passive, though
sympathetic onlookers, leaving liberals to choke in a fit of platonic
enthusiasm while lending doubtful assistance.

This ought not to take place. We ought to take hold of the current of
popular excitement; we ought to turn the attention of numerous
dissatisfied social groups to one colossal undertaking headed by the
proletariat,--to the _National Revolution_.

The vanguard of the Revolution ought to wake from indolence all other
elements of the people; to appear here and there and everywhere; to put
the questions of political struggle in the boldest possible fashion; to
call, to castigate, to unmask hypocritical democracy; to make democrats
and Zemstvo liberals clash against each other; to wake again and again,
to call, to castigate, to demand a clear answer to the question, _What
are you going to do?_ to allow no retreat; to compel the legal liberals
to admit their own weakness; to alienate from them the democratic
elements and help the latter along the way of the revolution. To do this
work means to draw the threads of sympathy of all the democratic
opposition towards the revolutionary campaign of the proletariat.

We ought to do all in our power to draw the attention and gain the
sympathy of the poor non-proletarian city population. During the last
mass actions of the proletariat, as in the general strikes of 1903 in
the South, nothing was done in this respect, and this was the weakest
point of the preparatory work. According to press correspondents, the
queerest rumors often circulated among the population as to the
intentions of the strikers. The city inhabitants expected attacks on
their houses, the store keepers were afraid of being looted, the Jews
were in a dread of pogroms. This ought to be avoided. _A political
strike, as a single combat of the city proletariat with the police and
the army, the remaining population being hostile or even indifferent, is
doomed to failure._

The indifference of the population would tell primarily on the morale of
the proletariat itself, and then on the attitude of the soldiers. Under
such conditions, the stand of the administration must necessarily be
more determined. The generals would remind the officers, and the
officers would pass to the soldiers the words of Dragomirov: "Rifles are
given for sharp shooting, and nobody is permitted to squander cartridges
for nothing."

_A political strike of the proletariat ought to turn into a political
demonstration of the population_, this is the first prerequisite of

The second important prerequisite is the mood of the army. A
dissatisfaction among the soldiers, a vague sympathy for the
"revoluters," is an established fact. Only part of this sympathy may
rightly be attributed to our direct propaganda among the soldiers. The
major part is done by the practical clashes between army units and
protesting masses. Only hopeless idiots or avowed scoundrels dare to
shoot at a living target. An overwhelming majority of the soldiers are
loathe to serve as executioners; this is unanimously admitted by all
correspondents describing the battles of the army with unarmed people.
The average soldier aims above the heads of the crowd. It would be
unnatural if the reverse were the case. When the Bessarabian regiment
received orders to quell the Kiev general strike, the commander declared
he could not vouch for the attitude of his soldiers. The order, then,
was sent to the Cherson regiment, but there was not one half-company in
the entire regiment which would live up to the expectations of their

Kiev was no exception. The conditions of the army must now be more
favorable for the revolution than they were in 1903. We have gone
through a year of war. It is hardly possible to measure the influence of
the past year on the minds of the army. The influence, however, must be
enormous. War draws not only the attention of the people, it arouses
also the professional interest of the army. Our ships are slow, our guns
have a short range, our soldiers are uneducated, our sergeants have
neither compass nor map, our soldiers are bare-footed, hungry, and
freezing, our Red Cross is stealing, our commissariat is
stealing,--rumors and facts of this kind leak down to the army and are
being eagerly absorbed. Each rumor, as strong acid, dissolves the rust
of mental drill. Years of peaceful propaganda could hardly equal in
their results one day of warfare. The mere mechanism of discipline
remains, the faith, however, the conviction that it is right to carry
out orders, the belief that the present conditions can be continued,
are rapidly dwindling. The less faith the army has in absolutism, the
more faith it has in its foes.

We ought to make use of this situation. We ought to explain to the
soldiers the meaning of the workingmen's action which is being prepared
by the Party. We ought to make profuse use of the slogan which is bound
to unite the army with the revolutionary people, _Away with the War!_ We
ought to create a situation where the officers would not be able to
trust their soldiers at the crucial moment. This would reflect on the
attitude of the officers themselves.

The rest will be done by the street. It will dissolve the remnants of
the barrack-hypnosis in the revolutionary enthusiasm of the people.

The main factor, however, remain the revolutionary masses. True it is
that during the war the most advanced elements of the masses, the
thinking proletariat, have not stepped openly to the front with that
degree of determination which was required by the critical historic
moment. Yet it would manifest a lack of political backbone and a
deplorable superficiality, should one draw from this fact any kind of
pessimistic conclusions.

The war has fallen upon our public life with all its colossal weight.
The dreadful monster, breathing blood and fire, loomed up on the
political horizon, shutting out everything, sinking its steel clutches
into the body of the people, inflicting wound upon wound, causing mortal
pain, which for a moment makes it even impossible to ask for the causes
of the pain. The war, as every great disaster, accompanied by crisis,
unemployment, mobilization, hunger and death, stunned the people, caused
despair, but not protest. This is, however, only a beginning. Raw masses
of the people, silent social strata, which yesterday had no connection
with the revolutionary elements, were knocked by sheer mechanical power
of facts to face the central event of present-day Russia, the war. They
were horrified, they could not catch their breaths. The revolutionary
elements, who prior to the war had ignored the passive masses, were
affected by the atmosphere of despair and concentrated horror. This
atmosphere enveloped them, it pressed with a leaden weight on their
minds. The voice of determined protest could hardly be raised in the
midst of elemental suffering. The revolutionary proletariat which had
not yet recovered from the wounds received in July, 1903, was powerless
to oppose the "call of the primitive."

The year of war, however, passed not without results. Masses, yesterday
primitive, to-day are confronted with the most tremendous events. They
must seek to understand them. The very duration of the war has produced
a desire for reasoning, for questioning as to the meaning of it all.
Thus the war, while hampering for a period of time the revolutionary
initiative of thousands, has awakened to life the political thought of

The year of war passed not without results, not a single day passed
without results. In the lower strata of the people, in the very depths
of the masses, a work was going on, a movement of molecules,
imperceptible, yet irresistible, incessant, a work of accumulating
indignation, bitterness, revolutionary energy. The atmosphere our
streets are breathing now is no longer an atmosphere of blank despair,
it is an atmosphere of concentrated indignation which seeks for means
and ways for revolutionary action. Each expedient action of the vanguard
of our working masses would now carry away with it not only all our
revolutionary reserves, but also thousands and hundreds of thousands of
revolutionary recruits. This mobilization, unlike the mobilization of
the government, would be carried out in the presence of general
sympathy and active assistance of an overwhelming majority of the

In the presence of strong sympathies of the masses, in the presence of
active assistance on the part of the democratic elements of the people;
facing a government commonly hated, unsuccessful both in big and in
small undertakings, a government defeated on the seas, defeated in the
fields of battle, despised, discouraged, with no faith in the coming
day, a government vainly struggling, currying favor, provoking and
retreating, lying and suffering exposure, insolent and frightened;
facing an army whose morale has been shattered by the entire course of
the war, whose valor, energy, enthusiasm and heroism have met an
insurmountable wall in the form of administrative anarchy, an army which
has lost faith in the unshakable security of a régime it is called to
serve, a dissatisfied, grumbling army which more than once has torn
itself free from the clutches of discipline during the last year and
which is eagerly listening to the roar of revolutionary voices,--such
will be the conditions under which the revolutionary proletariat will
walk out into the streets. It seems to us that no better conditions
could have been created by history for a final attack. History has done
everything it was allowed by elemental wisdom. The thinking
revolutionary forces of the country have to do the rest.

A tremendous amount of revolutionary energy has been accumulated. It
should not vanish with no avail, it should not be dissipated in
scattered engagements and clashes, with no coherence and no definite
plan. All efforts ought to be made to concentrate the bitterness, the
anger, the protest, the rage, the hatred of the masses, to give those
emotions a common language, a common goal, to unite, to solidify all the
particles of the masses, to make them feel and understand that they are
not isolated, that simultaneously, with the same slogan on the banner,
with the same goal in mind, innumerable particles are rising everywhere.
If this understanding is achieved, half of the revolution is done.

We have got to summon all revolutionary forces to simultaneous action.
How can we do it?

First of all we ought to remember that the main scene of revolutionary
events is bound to be the city. Nobody is likely to deny this. It is
evident, further, that street demonstrations can turn into a popular
revolution only when they are a manifestation of _masses_, i.e., when
they embrace, in the first place, the workers of factories and plants.
To make the workers quit their machines and stands; to make them walk
out of the factory premises into the street; to lead them to the
neighboring plant; to proclaim there a cessation of work; to make new
masses walk out into the street; to go thus from factory to factory,
from plant to plant, incessantly growing in numbers, sweeping police
barriers, absorbing new masses that happened to come across, crowding
the streets, taking possession of buildings suitable for popular
meetings, fortifying those buildings, holding continuous revolutionary
meetings with audiences coming and going, bringing order into the
movements of the masses, arousing their spirit, explaining to them the
aim and the meaning of what is going on; to turn, finally, the entire
city into one revolutionary camp, this is, broadly speaking, the plan of

The starting point ought to be the factories and plants. That means that
street manifestations of a serious character, fraught with decisive
events, ought to begin with _political strikes of the masses_.

It is easier to fix a date for a strike, than for a demonstration of
the people, just as it is easier to move masses ready for action than to
organize new masses.

A political strike, however, not a _local, but a general political
strike all over Russia_,--ought to have a general political slogan. This
slogan is: _to stop the war and to call a National Constituent

This demand ought to become nation-wide, and herein lies the task for
our propaganda preceding the all-Russian general strike. We ought to use
all possible occasions to make the idea of a National Constituent
Assembly popular among the people. Without losing one moment, we ought
to put into operation all the technical means and all the powers of
propaganda at our disposal. Proclamations and speeches, educational
circles and mass-meetings ought to carry broadcast, to propound and to
explain the demand of a Constituent Assembly. There ought to be not one
man in a city who should not know that his demand is: a National
Constituent Assembly.

The peasants ought to be called to assemble on the day of the political
strike and to pass resolutions demanding the calling of a Constituent
Assembly. The suburban peasants ought to be called into the cities to
participate in the street movements of the masses gathered under the
banner of a Constituent Assembly. All societies and organizations,
professional and learned bodies, organs of self-government and organs of
the opposition press ought to be notified in advance by the workingmen
that they are preparing for an all-Russian political strike, fixed for a
certain date, to bring about the calling of a Constituent Assembly. The
workingmen ought to demand from all societies and corporations that, on
the day appointed for the mass-manifestation, they should join in the
demand of a National Constituent Assembly. The workingmen ought to
demand from the opposition press that it should popularize their slogan
and that on the eve of the demonstration it should print an appeal to
the population to join the proletarian manifestation under the banner of
a National Constituent Assembly.

We ought to carry on the most intensive propaganda in the army in order
that on the day of the strike each soldier, sent to curb the "rebels,"
should know that he is facing the people who are demanding a National
Constituent Assembly.


     "_The hiss of the knout_" which ended the era of "cordial
     relations" was a statement issued by the government on December 12,
     1904, declaring that "all disturbances of peace and order and all
     gatherings of an anti-governmental character must and will be
     stopped by all legal means in command of the authorities." The
     Zemstvo and municipal bodies were advised to keep from political
     utterings. As to the Socialist parties, and to labor movement in
     general, they were prosecuted under Svyatopolk-Mirski as severely
     as under Von Plehve.

     "_The vast apparatus of the liberal press_" was the only way to
     reach millions. The revolutionary "underground" press, which
     assumed towards 1905 unusual proportions, could, after all, reach
     only a limited number of readers. In times of political unrest, the
     public became used to read between the lines of the legal press all
     it needed to feed its hatred of oppression.

     By "_legal_" _press_, "_legal_" _liberals_ are meant the open
     public press and those liberals who were trying to comply with the
     legal requirements of absolutism even in their work of condemning
     the absolutist order. The term "legal" is opposed by the term
     "revolutionary" which is applied to political actions in defiance
     of law.

     _Dragomirov_ was for many years Commander of the Kiev Military
     region and known by his epigrammatic style.


     This is an essay of triumph. Written on January 20, 1905, eleven
     days after the "bloody Sunday," it gave vent to the enthusiastic
     feelings of every true revolutionist aroused by unmistakable signs
     of an approaching storm. The march of tens of thousands of
     workingmen to the Winter Palace to submit to the "Little Father" a
     petition asking for "bread and freedom," was on the surface a
     peaceful and loyal undertaking. Yet it breathed indignation and
     revolt. The slaughter of peaceful marchers (of whom over 5,000 were
     killed or wounded) and the following wave of hatred and
     revolutionary determination among the masses, marked the beginning
     of broad revolutionary uprisings.

     For Trotzky, the awakening of the masses to political activity was
     not only a good revolutionary omen, but also a defeat of liberal
     ideology and liberal tactics. Those tactics had been planned under
     the assumption that the Russian people were not ripe for a
     revolution. Trotzky, a thorough revolutionist, _saw_ in the liberal
     movement a manifestation of political superstitions. To him, the
     _only_ way to overthrow absolutism was the way of a violent
     revolution. Yet, when the liberals proudly asserted that the
     revolutionary masses of Russia were only a creation of the
     overheated phantasy of the revolutionists, while the movement of
     the well-to-do intelligent elements was a flagrant fact, the
     Social-Democrats had no material proofs to the contrary, except
     sporadic outbursts of unrest among the workingmen and, of course,
     the conviction of those revolutionists who were in touch with the
     masses. It is, therefore, easy to understand the triumph of a
     Trotzky or any other Socialist after January 9th. In Trotzky's
     opinion, the 9th of January had put liberalism into the archives.
     "We are done with it for the entire period of the revolution," he
     exclaims. The most remarkable part of this essay, as far as
     political vision is concerned, is Trotzky's prediction that the
     left wing of the "Osvoboshdenie" liberals (later organized as the
     Constitutional Democratic Party) would attempt to become leaders of
     the revolutionary masses and to "tame" them. The Liberals did not
     fail to make the attempt in 1905 and 1906, but with no success
     whatever. Neither did Social-Democracy, however, completely succeed
     in leading the masses all through the revolution, in the manner
     outlined by Trotzky in this essay. True, the Social-Democrats were
     the party that gained the greatest influence over the workingmen in
     the stormy year of 1905; their slogans were universally accepted by
     the masses; their members were everywhere among the first ranks of
     revolutionary forces; yet events developed too rapidly and
     spontaneously to make the leadership of a political organization

How invincibly eloquent are facts! How utterly powerless are words!

The masses have made themselves heard! They have kindled revolutionary
flames on Caucasian hill-tops; they have clashed, breast against breast,
with the guards' regiments and the cossacks on that unforgettable day of
January Ninth; they have filled the streets and squares of industrial
cities with the noise and clatter of their fights....

The revolutionary masses are no more a theory, they are a fact. For the
Social-Democratic Party there is nothing new in this fact. We had
predicted it long ago. We had seen its coming at a time when the noisy
liberal banquets seemed to form a striking contrast with the political
silence of the people. _The revolutionary masses are a fact_, was our
assertion. The clever liberals shrugged their shoulders in contempt.
Those gentlemen think themselves sober realists solely because they are
unable to grasp the consequences of great causes, because they make it
their business to be humble servants of each ephemeral political fact.
They think themselves sober statesmen in spite of the fact that history
mocks at their wisdom, tearing to pieces their school books, making to
naught their designs, and magnificently laughing at their pompous

"_There are no revolutionary people in Russia as yet._" "_The Russian
workingman is backward in culture, in self-respect, and (we refer
primarily to the workingmen of Petersburg and Moscow) he is not yet
prepared for organized social and political struggle._"

Thus Mr. Struve wrote in his _Osvoboshdenie_. He wrote it on January
7th, 1905. Two days later the proletariat of Petersburg arose.

"_There are no revolutionary people in Russia as yet._" These words
ought to have been engraved on the forehead of Mr. Struve were it not
that Mr. Struve's forehead already resembles a tombstone under which so
many plans, slogans, and ideas have been buried,--Socialist, liberal,
"patriotic," revolutionary, monarchic, democratic and other ideas, all
of them calculated not to run too far ahead and all of them hopelessly
dragging behind.

"_There are no revolutionary people in Russia as yet_," so it was
declared through the mouth of _Osvoboshdenie_ by Russian liberalism
which in the course of three months had succeeded in convincing itself
that liberalism was the main figure on the political stage and that its
program and tactics would determine the future of Russia. Before this
declaration had reached its readers, the wires carried into the remotest
corners of the world the great message of the beginning of a National
Revolution in Russia.

Yes, the Revolution has begun. We had hoped for it, we had had no doubt
about it. For long years, however, it had been to us a mere deduction
from our "doctrine," which all nonentities of all political
denominations had mocked at. They never believed in the revolutionary
rôle of the proletariat, yet they believed in the power of Zemstvo
petitions, in Witte, in "blocs" combining naughts with naughts, in
Svyatopolk-Mirski, in a stick of dynamite.... There was no political
superstition they did not believe in. Only the belief in the proletariat
to them was a superstition.

History, however, does not question political oracles, and the
revolutionary people do not need a passport from political eunuchs.

The Revolution has come. One move of hers has lifted the people over
scores of steps, up which in times of peace we would have had to drag
ourselves with hardships and fatigue. The Revolution has come and
destroyed the plans of so many politicians who had dared to make their
little political calculations with no regard for the master, the
revolutionary people. The Revolution has come and destroyed scores of
superstitions, and has manifested the power of the program which is
founded on the revolutionary logic of the development of the masses.

The Revolution has come, and the period of our political infancy has
passed. Down to the archives went our traditional liberalism whose only
resource was the belief in a lucky change of administrative figures. Its
period of bloom was the stupid reign of Svyatopolk-Mirski. Its ripest
fruit was the Ukase of December 12th. But now, January Ninth has come
and effaced the "Spring," and has put military dictatorship in its
place, and has promoted to the rank of Governor-General of Petersburg
the same Trepov, who just before had been pulled down from the post of
Moscow Chief of Police by the same liberal opposition.

That liberalism which did not care to know about the revolution, which
hatched plots behind the scenes, which ignored the masses, which
counted only on its diplomatic genius, has been swept away. _We are done
with it for the entire period of the revolution._

The liberals of the left wing will now follow the people. They will soon
attempt to take the people into their own hands. The people are a power.
One must _master_ them. But they are, too, a _revolutionary_ power. One,
therefore, must _tame_ them. This is, evidently, the future tactics of
the _Osvoboshdenie_ group. Our fight for a revolution, our preparatory
work for the revolution must also be our merciless fight against
liberalism for influence over the masses, for a leading rôle in the
revolution. In this fight we shall be supported by a great power, the
very logic of the revolution!

The Revolution has come.

The _forms_ taken by the uprising of January 9th could not have been
foreseen. A revolutionary priest, in perplexing manner placed by history
at the head of the working masses for several days, lent the events the
stamp of his personality, his conceptions, his rank. This form may
mislead many an observer as to the real substance of the events. The
actual meaning of the events, however, is just that which
Social-Democracy foresaw. The central figure is the Proletariat. The
workingmen start a strike, they unite, they formulate political demands,
they walk out into the streets, they win the enthusiastic sympathy of
the entire population, they engage in battles with the army.... The
hero, Gapon, has not created the revolutionary energy of the Petersburg
workingmen, he only unloosed it. He found thousands of thinking
workingmen and tens of thousands of others in a state of political
agitation. He formed a plan which united all those masses--for the
period of one day. The masses went to speak to the Tzar. They were faced
by Ulans, cossacks, guards. Gapon's plan had not prepared the workingmen
for that. What was the result? They seized arms wherever they could,
they built barricades.... They fought, though, apparently, they went to
beg for mercy. This shows that they went _not to beg, but to demand_.

The proletariat of Petersburg manifested a degree of political alertness
and revolutionary energy far exceeding the limits of the plan laid out
by a casual leader. Gapon's plan contained many elements of
revolutionary romanticism. On January 9th, the plan collapsed. Yet the
revolutionary proletariat of Petersburg is no romanticism, it is a
living reality. So is the proletariat of other cities. An enormous wave
is rolling over Russia. It has not yet quieted down. One shock, and the
proletarian crater will begin to erupt torrents of revolutionary lava.

The proletariat has arisen. It has chosen an incidental pretext and a
casual leader--a self-sacrificing priest. That seemed enough to start
with. It was not enough to _win_.

_Victory_ demands not a romantic method based on an illusory plan, but
revolutionary tactics. _A simultaneous action of the proletariat of all
Russia must be prepared._ This is the first condition. No local
demonstration has a serious political significance any longer. After the
Petersburg uprising, only an all-Russian uprising should take place.
Scattered outbursts would only consume the precious revolutionary energy
with no results. Wherever spontaneous outbursts occur, as a late echo of
the Petersburg uprising, _they must be made use of to revolutionize and
to solidify the masses, to popularize among them the idea of an
all-Russian uprising_ as a task of the approaching months, perhaps only

This is not the place to discuss the technique of a popular uprising.
The questions of revolutionary technique can be solved only in a
practical way, under the live pressure of struggle and under constant
communication with the active members of the Party. There is no doubt,
however, that the technical problems of organizing a popular uprising
assume at present tremendous importance. Those problems demand the
collective attention of the Party.

    [Trotzky then proceeds to discuss the question of armament,
    arsenals, clashes with army units, barricades, etc. Then he

As stated before, these questions ought to be solved by local
organizations. Of course, this is only a minor task as compared with the
political leadership of the masses. Yet, this task is most essential for
the political leadership itself. The organization of the revolution
becomes at present the axis of the political leadership of revolting

What are the requirements for this leadership? A few very simple things:
freedom from routine in matters of organization; freedom from miserable
traditions of underground conspiracy; a broad view; courageous
initiative; ability to gauge situations; courageous initiative once

The events of January 9th have given us a revolutionary beginning. We
must never fall below this. We must make this our starting point in
moving the revolution forward. We must imbue our work of propaganda and
organization with the political ideas and revolutionary aspirations of
the uprising of the Petersburg workers.

The Russian revolution has approached its climax--a national uprising.
The organization of this uprising, which would determine the fate of the
entire revolution, becomes the day's task for our Party.

No one can accomplish it, but we. Priest Gapon could appear only once.
He cherished extraordinary illusions, that is why he could do what he
has done. Yet he could remain at the head of the masses for a brief
period only. The memory of George Gapon will always be dear to the
revolutionary proletariat. Yet his memory will be that of a hero who
opened the sluices of the revolutionary torrent. Should a new figure
step to the front now, equal to Gapon in energy, revolutionary
enthusiasm and power of political illusions, his arrival would be too
late. What was great in George Gapon may now look ridiculous. There is
no room for a second George Gapon, as the thing now needed is not an
illusion, but clear revolutionary thinking, a decisive plan of action, a
flexible revolutionary organization which would be able to give the
masses a slogan, to lead them into the field of battle, to launch an
attack all along the line and bring the revolution to a victorious

Such an organization can be the work of Social-Democracy only. No other
party is able to create it. No other party can give the masses a
revolutionary slogan, as no one outside our Party has freed himself from
all considerations not pertaining to the interests of the revolution. No
other party, but Social-Democracy, is able to organize the action of the
masses, as no one but our Party is closely connected with the masses.

Our Party has committed many errors, blunders, almost crimes. It
wavered, evaded, hesitated, it showed inertia and lack of pluck. At
times it hampered the revolutionary movement.

_However, there is no revolutionary party but the Social-Democratic

Our organizations are imperfect. Our connections with the masses are
insufficient. Our technique is primitive.

_Yet, there is no party connected with the masses but the
Social-Democratic Party!_

At the head of the Revolution is the Proletariat. At the head of the
Proletariat is Social-Democracy!

Let us exert all our power, comrades! Let us put all our energy and all
our passion into this. Let us not forget for a moment the great
responsibility vested in our Party: a responsibility before the Russian
Revolution and in the sight of International Socialism.

The proletariat of the entire world looks to us with expectation. Broad
vistas are being opened for humanity by a victorious Russian revolution.
Comrades, let us do our duty!

Let us close our ranks, comrades! Let us unite, and unite the masses!
Let us prepare, and prepare the masses for the day of decisive actions!
Let us overlook nothing. Let us leave no power unused for the Cause.

Brave, honest, harmoniously united, we shall march forward, linked by
unbreakable bonds, brothers in the Revolution!


     _Osvoboshdenie_ (_Emancipation_) was the name of a liberal magazine
     published in Stuttgart, Germany, and smuggled into Russia to be
     distributed among the Zemstvo-liberals and other progressive
     elements grouped about the Zemstvo-organization. The
     _Osvoboshdenie_ advocated a constitutional monarchy; it was,
     however, opposed to revolutionary methods.

     _Peter Struve_, first a Socialist, then a Liberal, was the editor
     of the _Osvoboshdenie_. Struve is an economist and one of the
     leading liberal journalists in Russia.

     _Zemstvo-petitions_, accepted in form of resolutions at the
     meetings of the liberal Zemstvo bodies and forwarded to the central
     government, were one of the means the liberals used in their
     struggle for a Constitution. The petitions, worded in a very
     moderate language, demanded the abolition of "lawlessness" on the
     part of the administration and the introduction of a "legal order,"
     i.e., a Constitution.

     _Sergius Witte_, Minister of Finance in the closing years of the
     19th Century and up to the revolution of 1905, was known as a
     bureaucrat of a liberal brand.

     _The Ukase of December 12th, 1905_, was an answer of the government
     to the persistent political demands of the "Spring" time. The Ukase
     promised a number of insignificant bureaucratic reforms, not even
     mentioning a popular representation and threatening increased
     punishments for "disturbances of peace and order."

     _Trepov_ was one of the most hated bureaucrats, a devoted pupil of
     Von Plehve's in the work of drowning revolutionary movements in

     _George Gapon_ was the priest who organized the march of January
     9th. Trotzky's admiration for the heroism of Gapon was originally
     shared by many revolutionists. Later it became known that Gapon
     played a dubious rôle as a friend of labor, and an agent of the

     _The_ "_Political illusions_" of George Gapon, referred to in this
     essay, was his assumption that the Tzar was a loving father to his
     people. Gapon hoped to reach the Emperor of all the Russias and to
     make him "receive the workingmen's petition from hand to hand."


     This is, perhaps, the most remarkable piece of political writing
     the Revolution has produced. Written early in 1906, after the great
     upheavals of the fall of 1905, at a time when the Russian
     revolution was obviously going down hill, and autocracy, after a
     moment of relaxation, was increasing its deadly grip over the
     country, the essays under the name _Sum Total and Prospectives_
     (which we have here changed into a more comprehensible name,
     _Prospects of Labor Dictatorship_) aroused more amazement than
     admiration. They seemed so entirely out of place. They ignored the
     liberal parties as quite negligible quantities. They ignored the
     creation of the Duma to which the Constitutional Democrats attached
     so much importance as a place where democracy would fight the
     battles of the people and win. They ignored the very fact that the
     vanguard of the revolution, the industrial proletariat, was beaten,
     disorganized, downhearted, tired out.

     The essays met with opposition on the part of leading
     Social-Democratic thinkers of both the Bolsheviki and Mensheviki
     factions. The essays seemed to be more an expression of Trotzky's
     revolutionary ardor, of his unshakable faith in the future of the
     Russian revolution, than a reflection of political realities. It
     was known that he wrote them within prison walls. Should not the
     very fact of his imprisonment have convinced him that in drawing a
     picture of labor dictatorship he was only dreaming?

     History has shown that it was not a dream. Whatever our attitude
     towards the course of events in the 1917 revolution may be, we must
     admit that, in the main, this course has taken the direction
     predicted in Trotzky's essays. There is a labor dictatorship now in
     Russia. It is a _labor_ dictatorship, not a "dictatorship of the
     proletariat and the peasants." The liberal and radical parties have
     lost influence. The labor government has put collective ownership
     and collective management of industries on the order of the day.
     The labor government has not hesitated in declaring Russia to be
     ready for a Socialist revolution. It was compelled to do so under
     the pressure of revolutionary proletarian masses. The Russian army
     has been dissolved in the armed people. The Russian revolution has
     called the workingmen of the world to make a social revolution.

     All this had been outlined by Trotzky twelve years ago. When one
     reads this series of essays, one has the feeling that they were
     written not in the course of the first Russian upheaval (the essays
     appeared in 1906 as part of a book by Trotzky, entitled _Our
     Revolution_, Petersburg, N. Glagoleff, publisher) but as if they
     were discussing problems of the present situation. This, more than
     anything else, shows the _continuity_ of the revolution. The great
     overthrow of 1917 was completed by the same political and social
     forces that had met and learned to know each other in the storms of
     1905 and 1906. The ideology of the various groups and parties had
     hardly changed. Even the leaders of the major parties were, in the
     main, the same persons. Of course, the international situation was
     different. But even the possibility of a European war and its
     consequences had been foreseen by Trotzky in his essays.

     Twelve years ago those essays seemed to picture an imaginary world.
     To-day they seem to tell the history of the Russian revolution. We
     may agree or disagree with Trotzky, the leader, nobody can deny the
     power and clarity of his political vision.

            *       *       *       *       *

     In the _first_ chapter, entitled "Peculiarities of Our Historic
     Development," the author gives a broad outline of the growth of
     absolutism in Russia. Development of social forms in Russia, he
     says, was slow and primitive. Our social life was constructed on an
     archaic and meager economic foundation. Yet, Russia did not lead an
     isolated life. Russia was under constant pressure of higher
     politico-economical organisms,--the neighboring Western states. The
     Russian state, in its struggle for existence, outgrew its economic
     basis. Historic development in Russia, therefore, was taking place
     under a terrific straining of national economic forces. The state
     absorbed the major part of the national economic surplus and also
     part of the product necessary for the maintenance of the people.
     The state thus undermined its own foundation. On the other hand, to
     secure the means indispensable for its growth, the state forced
     economic development by bureaucratic measures. Ever since the end
     of the seventeenth century, the state was most anxious to develop
     industries in Russia. "New trades, machines, factories, production
     on a large scale, capital, appear from a certain angle to be an
     artificial graft on the original economic trunk of the people.
     Similarly, Russian science may appear from the same angle to be an
     artificial graft on the natural trunk of national ignorance." This,
     however, is a wrong conception. The Russian state could not have
     created something out of nothing. State action only accelerated the
     processes of natural evolution of economic life. State measures
     that were in contradiction to those processes were doomed to
     failure. Still, the rôle of the state in economic life was
     enormous. When social development reached the stage where the
     bourgeoisie classes began to experience a desire for political
     institutions of a Western type, Russian autocracy was fully
     equipped with all the material power of a modern European state. It
     had at its command a centralized bureaucratic machinery, incapable
     of regulating modern relations, yet strong enough to do the work of
     oppression. It was in a position to overcome distance by means of
     the telegraph and railroads,--a thing unknown to the
     pre-revolutionary autocracies in Europe. It had a colossal army,
     incompetent in wars with foreign enemies, yet strong enough to
     maintain the authority of the state in internal affairs.

     Based on its military and fiscal apparatus, absorbing the major
     part of the country's resources, the government increased its
     annual budget to an enormous amount of two billions of rubles, it
     made the stock-exchange of Europe its treasury and the Russian
     tax-payer a slave to European high finance. Gradually, the Russian
     state became an end in itself. It evolved into a power independent
     of society. It left unsatisfied the most elementary wants of the
     people. It was unable even to defend the safety of the country
     against foreign foes. Yet, it seemed strong, powerful, invincible.
     It inspired awe.

     It became evident that the Russian state would never grant reforms
     of its own free will. As years passed, the conflict between
     absolutism and the requirements of economic and cultural progress
     became ever more acute. There was only one way to solve the
     problem: "to accumulate enough steam inside the iron kettle of
     absolutism to burst the kettle." This was the way outlined by the
     Marxists long ago. Marxism was the only doctrine that had correctly
     predicted the course of development in Russia.

            *       *       *       *       *

     In the _second_ chapter, "City and Capital," Trotzky attempts a
     theoretical explanation to the weakness of the middle-class in
     Russia. Russia of the eighteenth, and even of the major part of the
     nineteenth, century, he writes, was marked by an absence of cities
     as industrial centers. Our big cities were administrative rather
     than industrial centers. Our primitive industries were scattered in
     the villages, auxiliary occupations of the peasant farmers. Even
     the population of our so called "cities," in former generations
     maintained itself largely by agriculture. Russian cities never
     contained a prosperous, efficient and self-assured class of
     artisans--that real foundation of the European middle class which
     in the course of revolutions against absolutism identified itself
     with the "people." When modern capitalism, aided by absolutism,
     appeared on the scene of Russia and turned large villages into
     modern industrial centers almost over night, it had no middle-class
     to build on. In Russian cities, therefore, the influence of the
     bourgeoisie is far less than in western Europe. Russian cities
     practically contain great numbers of workingmen and small groups of
     capitalists. Moreover, the specific political weight of the Russian
     proletariat is larger than that of the capital employed in Russia,
     because the latter is to a great extent _imported_ capital. Thus,
     while a large proportion of the capital operating in Russia exerts
     its political influence in the parliaments of Belgium or France,
     the working class employed by the same capital exert their entire
     influence in the political life of Russia. As a result of these
     peculiar historic developments, the Russian proletariat, recruited
     from the pauperized peasant and ruined rural artisans, has
     accumulated in the new cities in very great numbers, "and nothing
     stood between the workingmen and absolutism but a small class of
     capitalists, separated from the 'people' (i.e., the middle-class in
     the European sense of the word), half foreign in its derivation,
     devoid of historic traditions, animated solely by a hunger for



History does not repeat itself. You are free to compare the Russian
revolution with the Great French Revolution, yet this would not make the
former resemble the latter. The nineteenth century passed not in vain.

Already the year of 1848 is widely different from 1789. As compared with
the Great Revolution, the revolutions in Prussia or Austria appear
amazingly small. From one viewpoint, the revolutions of 1848 came too
early; from another, too late. That gigantic exertion of power which is
necessary for the bourgeois society to get completely square with the
masters of the past, can be achieved either through powerful _unity_ of
an entire nation arousing against feudal despotism, or through a
powerful development of _class struggle_ within a nation striving for
freedom. In the first case--of which a classic example are the years
1789-1793,--the national energy, compressed by the terrific resistance
of the old régime, was spent entirely in the struggle against reaction.
In the second case--which has never appeared in history as yet, and
which is treated here as hypothetical--the actual energy necessary for a
victory over the black forces of history is being developed within the
bourgeois nation through "civil war" between classes. Fierce internal
friction characterizes the latter case. It absorbs enormous quantities
of energy, prevents the bourgeoisie from playing a leading rôle, pushes
its antagonist, the proletariat, to the front, gives the workingman
decades' experience in a month, makes them the central figures in
political struggles, and puts very tight reins into their hands. Strong,
determined, knowing no doubts, the proletariat gives events a powerful

Thus, it is either--or. Either a nation gathered into one compact whole,
as a lion ready to leap; or a nation completely divided in the process
of internal struggles, a nation that has released her best part for a
task which the whole was unable to complete. Such are the two polar
types, whose purest forms, however, can be found only in logical

Here, as in many other cases, the middle road is the worst. This was the
case in 1848.

In the French Revolution we see an active, enlightened bourgeoisie, not
yet aware of the contradictions of its situation; entrusted by history
with the task of leadership in the struggle for a new order; fighting
not only against the archaic institutions of France, but also against
the forces of reaction throughout Europe. The bourgeoisie consciously,
in the person of its various factions, assumes the leadership of the
nation, it lures the masses into struggle, it coins slogans, it dictates
revolutionary tactics. Democracy unites the nation in one political
ideology. The people--small artisans, petty merchants, peasants, and
workingmen--elect bourgeois as their representatives; the mandates of
the communities are framed in the language of the bourgeoisie which
becomes aware of its Messianic rôle. Antagonisms do not fail to reveal
themselves in the course of the revolution, yet the powerful momentum of
the revolution removes one by one the most unresponsive elements of the
bourgeoisie. Each stratum is torn off, but not before it has given over
all its energy to the following one. The nation as a whole continues to
fight with ever increasing persistence and determination. When the upper
stratum of the bourgeoisie tears itself away from the main body of the
nation to form an alliance with Louis XVI, the democratic demands of the
nation turn _against_ this part of the bourgeoisie, leading to universal
suffrage and a republican government as logically consequent forms of

The Great French Revolution is a true national revolution. It is more
than that. It is a classic manifestation, on a national scale, of the
world-wide struggle of the bourgeois order for supremacy, for power, for
unmitigated triumph. In 1848, the bourgeoisie was no more capable of a
similar rôle. It did not want, it did not dare take the responsibility
for a revolutionary liquidation of a political order that stood in its
way. The reason is clear. The task of the bourgeoisie--of which it was
fully aware--was not to secure its _own_ political supremacy, but to
secure for itself _a share_ in the political power of the old régime.
The bourgeoisie of 1848, niggardly wise with the experience of the
French bourgeoisie, was vitiated by its treachery, frightened by its
failures. It did not lead the masses to storm the citadels of the
absolutist order. On the contrary, with its back against the absolutist
order, it resisted the onslaught of the masses that were pushing it

The French bourgeoisie made its revolution great. Its consciousness was
the consciousness of the people, and no idea found its expression in
institutions without having gone through its consciousness as an end, as
a task of political construction. It often resorted to theatrical poses
to conceal from itself the limitations of its bourgeois world,--yet it
marched forward.

The German bourgeoisie, on the contrary, was not doing the revolutionary
work; it was "doing away" with the revolution from the very start. Its
consciousness revolted against the objective conditions of its
supremacy. The revolution could be completed not by the bourgeoisie, but
against it. Democratic institutions seemed to the mind of the German
bourgeois not an aim for his struggle, but a menace to his security.

Another class was required in 1848, a class capable of conducting the
revolution beside the bourgeoisie and in spite of it, a class not only
ready and able to push the bourgeoisie forward, but also to step over
its political corpse, should events so demand. None of the other
classes, however, was ready for the job.

_The petty middle class_ were hostile not only to the past, but also to
the future. They were still entangled in the meshes of medieval
relations, and they were unable to withstand the oncoming "free"
industry; they were still giving the cities their stamp, and they were
already giving way to the influences of big capital. Steeped in
prejudices, stunned by the clatter of events, exploiting and being
exploited, greedy and helpless in their greed, they could not become
leaders in matters of world-wide importance. Still less were the
_peasants_ capable of political initiative. Scattered over the country,
far from the nervous centers of politics and culture, limited in their
views, the peasants could have no great part in the struggles for a new
order. The _democratic intellectuals_ possessed no social weight; they
either dragged along behind their elder sister, the liberal bourgeoisie,
as its political tail, or they separated themselves from the bourgeoisie
in critical moments only to show their weakness.

_The industrial workingmen_ were too weak, unorganized, devoid of
experience and knowledge. The capitalist development had gone far enough
to make the abolition of old feudal relations imperative, yet it had not
gone far enough to make the working class, the product of new economic
relations, a decisive political factor. Antagonism between bourgeoisie
and proletariat, even within the national boundaries of Germany, was
sharp enough to prevent the bourgeoisie from stepping to the front to
assume national hegemony in the revolution, yet it was not sharp enough
to allow the proletariat to become a national leader. True, the internal
frictions of the revolution had prepared the workingmen for political
independence, yet they weakened the energy and the unity of the
revolution and they caused a great waste of power. The result was that,
after the first successes, the revolution began to plod about in painful
uncertainty, and under the first blows of the reaction it started
backwards. Austria gave the clearest and most tragic example of
unfinished and unsettled relations in a revolutionary period. It was
this situation that gave Lassalle occasion to assert that henceforward
revolutions could find their support only in the class struggle of the
proletariat. In a letter to Marx, dated October 24, 1849 he writes: "The
experiences of Austria, Hungary and Germany in 1848 and 1849 have led me
to the firm conclusion that no struggle in Europe can be successful
unless it is proclaimed from the very beginning as purely Socialistic.
No struggle can succeed in which social problems appear as nebulous
elements kept in the background, while on the surface the fight is
being conducted under the slogan of national revival of bourgeois

We shall not attempt to criticize this bold conclusion. One thing is
evident, namely that already at the middle of the nineteenth century the
national task of political emancipation could not be completed by a
unanimous concerted onslaught of the entire nation. Only the independent
tactics of the proletariat deriving its strength from no other source
but its class position, could have secured a victory of the revolution.

The Russian working class of 1906 differs entirely from the Vienna
working class of 1848. The best proof of it is the all-Russian practice
of the Councils of Workmen's Deputies (Soviets). Those are no
organizations of conspirators prepared beforehand to step forward in
times of unrest and to seize command over the working class. They are
organs consciously created by the masses themselves to coördinate their
revolutionary struggle. The Soviets, elected by and responsible to the
masses, are thoroughly democratic institutions following the most
determined class policy in the spirit of revolutionary Socialism.

The differences in the social composition of the Russian revolution are
clearly shown in the question of arming the people.

_Militia_ (national guard) was the first slogan and the first
achievement of the revolutions of 1789 and 1848 in Paris, in all the
Italian states and in Vienna and Berlin. In 1846, the demand for a
national guard (i.e., the armament of the propertied classes and the
"intellectuals") was put forth by the entire bourgeois opposition,
including the most moderate factions. In Russia, the demand for a
national guard finds no favor with the bourgeois parties. This is not
because the liberals do not understand the importance of arming the
people: absolutism has given them in this respect more than one object
lesson. The reason why liberals do not like the idea of a national guard
is because they fully realize the impossibility of creating in Russia an
armed revolutionary force outside of the proletariat and against the
proletariat. They are ready to give up this demand, as they give up many
others, just as the French bourgeoisie headed by Thiers preferred to
give up Paris and France to Bismarck rather than to arm the working

The problem of an armed revolution in Russia becomes essentially a
problem of the proletariat. National militia, this classic demand of
the bourgeoisie of 1848, appears in Russia from the very beginning as a
demand for arming the people, primarily the working class. Herein the
fate of the Russian revolution manifests itself most clearly.



A revolution is an open contest of social forces in their struggle for
political power.

The state is not an end in itself. It is only a working machine in the
hands of the social force in power. As every machine, the state has its
motor, transmission, and its operator. Its motive power is the class
interest; its motor are propaganda, the press, influences of school and
church, political parties, open air meetings, petitions, insurrections;
its transmission is made up of legislative bodies actuated by the
interest of a caste, a dynasty, a guild or a class appearing under the
guise of Divine or national will (absolutism or parliamentarism); its
operator is the administration, with its police, judiciary, jails, and
the army.

The state is not an end in itself. It is, however, the greatest means
for organizing, disorganizing and reorganizing social relations.

According to who is directing the machinery of the State, it can be an
instrument of profoundest transformations, or a means of organized

Each political party worthy of its name strives to get hold of political
power and thus to make the state serve the interests of the class
represented by the party. Social-Democracy, as the party of the
proletariat, naturally strives at political supremacy of the working

The proletariat grows and gains strength with the growth of capitalism.
From this viewpoint, the development of capitalism is the development of
the proletariat for dictatorship. The day and the hour, however, when
political power should pass into the hands of the working class, is
determined not directly by the degree of capitalistic development of
economic forces, but by the relations of class struggle, by the
international situation, by a number of subjective elements, such as
tradition, initiative, readiness to fight....

It is, therefore, not excluded that in a backward country with a lesser
degree of capitalistic development, the proletariat should sooner reach
political supremacy than in a highly developed capitalist state. Thus,
in middle-class Paris, the proletariat consciously took into its hands
the administration of public affairs in 1871. True it is, that the reign
of the proletariat lasted only for two months, it is remarkable,
however, that in far more advanced capitalist centers of England and the
United States, the proletariat never was in power even for the duration
of one day. To imagine that there is an automatic dependence between a
dictatorship of the proletariat and the technical and productive
resources of a country, is to understand economic determinism in a very
primitive way. Such a conception would have nothing to do with Marxism.

It is our opinion that the Russian revolution creates conditions whereby
political power can (and, in case of a victorious revolution, _must_)
pass into the hands of the proletariat before the politicians of the
liberal bourgeoisie would have occasion to give their political genius
full swing.

Summing up the results of the revolution and counter-revolution in 1848
and 1849, Marx wrote in his correspondences to the New York _Tribune_:
"The working class in Germany is, in its social and political
development, as far behind that of England and France as the German
bourgeoisie is behind the bourgeoisie of those countries. Like master,
like man. The evolution of the conditions of existence for a numerous,
strong, concentrated, and intelligent proletariat goes hand in hand
with the development of the conditions of existence for a numerous,
wealthy, concentrated and powerful middle class. The working class
movement itself never is independent, never is of an exclusively
proletarian character until all the different factions of the middle
class, and particularly its most progressive faction, the large
manufacturers, have conquered political power, and remodeled the State
according to their wants. It is then that the inevitable conflict
between employer and the employed becomes imminent, and cannot be
adjourned any longer."[1] This quotation must be familiar to the reader,
as it has lately been very much abused by scholastic Marxists. It has
been used as an iron-clad argument against the idea of a labor
government in Russia. If the Russian capitalistic bourgeoisie is not
strong enough to take governmental power into its hands, how is it
possible to think of an industrial democracy, i.e., a political
supremacy of the proletariat, was the question.

     [1] Karl Marx, _Germany in 1848_. (English edition, pp. 22-23.)

Let us give this objection closer consideration.

Marxism is primarily a method of analysis,--not the analysis of texts,
but the analysis of social relations. Applied to Russia, is it true
that the weakness of capitalistic liberalism means the weakness of the
working class? Is it true, not in the abstract, but in relation to
Russia, that an independent proletarian movement is impossible before
the bourgeoisie assume political power? It is enough to formulate these
questions in order to understand what hopeless logical formalism there
is hidden behind the attempt to turn Marx's historically relative remark
into a super-historic maxim.

Our industrial development, though marked in times of prosperity by
leaps and bounds of an "American" character, is in reality miserably
small in comparison with the industry of the United States. Five million
persons, forming 16.6 per cent. of the population engaged in economic
pursuits, are employed in the industries of Russia; six millions and
22.2 per cent. are the corresponding figures for the United States. To
have a clear idea as to the real dimensions of industry in both
countries, we must remember that the population of Russia is twice as
large as the population of the United States, and that the output of
American industries in 1900 amounted to 25 billions of rubles whereas
the output of Russian industries for the same year hardly reached 2.5

There is no doubt that the number of the proletariat, the degree of its
concentration, its cultural level, and its political importance depend
upon the degree of industrial development in each country.

This dependence, however, is not a direct one. Between the productive
forces of a country on one side and the political strength of its social
classes on the other, there is at any given moment a current and cross
current of various socio-political factors of a national and
international character which modify and sometimes completely reverse
the political expression of economic relations. The industry of the
United States is far more advanced than the industry of Russia, while
the political rôle of the Russian workingmen, their influence on the
political life of their country, the possibilities of their influence on
world politics in the near future, are incomparably greater than those
of the American proletariat.

In his recent work on the American workingman, Kautsky arrives at the
conclusion that there is no immediate and direct dependence between the
political strength of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat of a country
on one hand and its industrial development on the other. "Here are two
countries," he writes, "diametrically opposed to each other: in one of
them, one of the elements of modern industry is developed out of
proportion, i.e., out of keeping with the stage of capitalistic
development; in the other, another; in America it is the class of
capitalists; in Russia, the class of labor. In America there is more
ground than elsewhere to speak of the dictatorship of capital, while
nowhere has labor gained as much influence as in Russia, and this
influence is bound to grow, as Russia has only recently entered the
period of modern class struggle." Kautsky then proceeds to state that
Germany can, to a certain degree, study her future from the present
conditions in Russia, then he continues: "It is strange to think that it
is the Russian proletariat which shows us our future as far as, not the
organization of capital, but the protest of the working class is
concerned. Russia is the most backward of all the great states of the
capitalist world. This may seem to be in contradiction with the economic
interpretation of history which considers economic strength the basis of
political development. This is, however, not true. It contradicts only
that kind of economic interpretation of history which is being painted
by our opponents and critics who see in it not a _method of analysis_,
but a _ready pattern_."[2] These lines ought to be recommended to those
of our native Marxians who substitute for an independent analysis of
social relations a deduction from texts selected for all emergencies of
life. No one can compromise Marxism as shamefully as these bureaucrats
of Marxism do.

     [2] K. Kautsky, _The American and the Russian Workingman_.

In Kautsky's estimation, Russia is characterized, economically, by a
comparatively low level of capitalistic development; politically, by a
weakness of the capitalistic bourgeoisie and by a great strength of the
working class. This results in the fact, that "the struggle for the
interests of Russia as a whole has become the task of _the only powerful
class in Russia_, industrial labor. This is the reason why labor has
gained such a tremendous political importance. This is the reason why
the struggle of Russia against the polyp of absolutism which is
strangling the country, turned out to be a single combat of absolutism
against industrial labor, a combat where the peasantry can lend
considerable assistance without, however, being able to play a leading

     [3] D. Mendeleyer, _Russian Realities_, 1906, p. 10.

Are we not warranted in our conclusion that the "man" will sooner gain
political supremacy in Russia than his "master"?

       *       *       *       *       *

There are two sorts of political optimism. One overestimates the
advantages and the strength of the revolution and strives towards ends
unattainable under given conditions. The other consciously limits the
task of the revolution, drawing a line which the very logic of the
situation will compel him to overstep.

You can draw limits to all the problems of the revolution by asserting
that this is a bourgeois revolution in its objective aims and inevitable
results, and you can close your eyes to the fact that the main figure in
this revolution is the working class which is being moved towards
political supremacy by the very course of events.

You can reassure yourself by saying that in the course of a bourgeois
revolution the political supremacy of the working class can be only a
passing episode, and you can forget that, once in power, the working
class will offer desperate resistance, refusing to yield unless
compelled to do so by armed force.

You can reassure yourself by saying that social conditions in Russia are
not yet ripe for a Socialist order, and you can overlook the fact that,
once master of the situation, the working class would be compelled by
the very logic of its situation to organize national economy under the
management of the state.

The term _bourgeois revolution_, a general sociological definition,
gives no solution to the numerous political and tactical problems,
contradictions and difficulties which are being created by the mechanism
of a _given_ bourgeois revolution.

Within the limits of a bourgeois revolution at the end of the eighteenth
century, whose objective was the political supremacy of capital, the
dictatorship of the _Sans-Culottes_ turned out to be a fact. This
dictatorship was not a passing episode, it gave its stamp to a whole
century that followed the revolution, though it was soon crushed by the
limitations of the revolution.

Within the limits of a revolution at the beginning of the twentieth
century, which is also a bourgeois revolution in its immediate objective
aims, there looms up a prospect of an inevitable, or at least possible,
supremacy of the working class in the near future. That this supremacy
should not turn out to be a passing episode, as many a realistic
Philistine may hope, is a task which the working class will have at
heart. It is, then, legitimate to ask: is it inevitable that the
dictatorship of the proletariat should clash against the limitations of
a bourgeois revolution and collapse, or is it not possible that under
given _international conditions_ it may open a way for an ultimate
victory by crushing those very limitations? Hence a tactical problem:
should we consciously strive toward a labor government as the
development of the revolution will bring us nearer to that stage, or
should we look upon political power as upon a calamity which the
bourgeois revolution is ready to inflict upon the workingmen, and which
it is best to avoid?



In case of a victorious revolution, political power passes into the
hands of the class that has played in it a dominant rôle, in other
words, it passes into the hands of the working class. Of course,
revolutionary representatives of non-proletarian social groups may not
be excluded from the government; sound politics demands that the
proletariat should call into the government influential leaders of the
lower middle class, the intelligentzia and the peasants. The problem is,
_Who will give substance to the politics of the government, who will
form in it a homogeneous majority?_ It is one thing when the government
contains a labor majority, which representatives of other democratic
groups of the people are allowed to join; it is another, when the
government has an outspoken bourgeois-democratic character where labor
representatives are allowed to participate in the capacity of more or
less honorable hostages.

The policies of the liberal capitalist bourgeoisie, notwithstanding all
their vacillations, retreats and treacheries, are of a definite
character. The policies of the proletariat are of a still more definite,
outspoken character. The policies of the intelligentzia, however, a
result of intermediate social position and political flexibility of this
group; the politics of the peasants, a result of the social
heterogeneity, intermediate position, and primitiveness of this class;
the politics of the lower middle class, a result of muddle-headedness,
intermediate position and complete want of political traditions,--can
never be clear, determined, and firm. It must necessarily be subject to
unexpected turns, to uncertainties and surprises.

To imagine a revolutionary democratic government without representatives
of labor is to see the absurdity of such a situation. A refusal of labor
to participate in a revolutionary government would make the very
existence of that government impossible, and would be tantamount to a
betrayal of the cause of the revolution. A participation of labor in a
revolutionary government, however, is admissible, both from the
viewpoint of objective probability and subjective desirability, _only
in the rôle of a leading dominant power_. Of course, you can call such a
government "dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry,"
"dictatorship of the proletariat, the peasantry, and the
intelligentzia," or "a revolutionary government of the workingmen and
the lower middle class." This question will still remain: Who has the
hegemony in the government and through it in the country? _When we speak
of a labor government we mean that the hegemony belongs to the working

The proletariat will be able to hold this position under one condition:
if it broadens the basis of the revolution.

Many elements of the working masses, especially among the rural
population, will be drawn into the revolution and receive their
political organization only after the first victories of the revolution,
when the revolutionary vanguard, the city proletariat, shall have seized
governmental power. Under such conditions, the work of propaganda and
organization will be conducted through state agencies. Legislative work
itself will become a powerful means of revolutionizing the masses. The
burden thrust upon the shoulders of the working class by the
peculiarities of our social and historical development, the burden of
completing a bourgeois revolution by means of labor struggle, will thus
confront the proletariat with difficulties of enormous magnitude; on the
other hand, however, it will offer the working class, at least in the
first period, unusual opportunities. This will be seen in the relations
between the proletariat and the peasants.

In the revolutions of 1789-93, and 1848, governmental power passed from
absolutism into the hands of the moderate bourgeois elements which
emancipated the peasants before revolutionary democracy succeeded or
even attempted to get into power. The emancipated peasantry then lost
interest in the political ventures of the "city-gentlemen," i.e., in the
further course of the revolution; it formed the dead ballast of "order,"
the foundation of all social "stability," betraying the revolution,
supporting a Cesarian or ultra-absolutist reaction.

The Russian revolution is opposed to a bourgeois constitutional order
which would be able to solve the most primitive problems of democracy.
The Russian revolution will be against it for a long period to come.
Reformers of a bureaucratic brand, such as Witte and Stolypin, can do
nothing for the peasants, as their "enlightened" efforts are continually
nullified by their own struggle for existence. The fate of the most
elementary interests of the peasantry--the entire peasantry as a
class--is, therefore, closely connected with the fate of the revolution,
i.e., with the fate of the proletariat.

_Once in power, the proletariat will appear before the peasantry as its

Proletarian rule will mean not only democratic equality, free
self-government, shifting the burden of taxation on the propertied
classes, dissolution of the army among the revolutionary people,
abolition of compulsory payments for the Church, but also recognition of
all revolutionary changes made by the peasants in agrarian relations
(seizures of land). These changes will be taken by the proletariat as a
starting point for further legislative measures in agriculture. Under
such conditions, the Russian peasantry will be interested in upholding
the proletarian rule ("labor democracy"), at least in the first, most
difficult period, not less so than were the French peasants interested
in upholding the military rule of Napoleon Bonaparte who by force
guaranteed to the new owners the integrity of their land shares.

But is it not possible that the peasants will remove the workingmen
from their positions and take their place? No, this can never happen.
This would be in contradiction to all historical experiences. History
has convincingly shown that the peasantry is incapable of an independent
political rôle.

The history of capitalism is the history of subordination of the village
by the city. Industrial development had made the continuation of feudal
relations in agriculture impossible. Yet the peasantry had not produced
a class which could live up to the revolutionary task of destroying
feudalism. It was the city which made rural population dependent on
capital, and which produced revolutionary forces to assume political
hegemony over the village, there to complete revolutionary changes in
civic and political relations. In the course of further development, the
village becomes completely enslaved by capital, and the villagers by
capitalistic political parties, which revive feudalism in parliamentary
politics, making the peasantry their political domain, the ground for
their preëlection huntings. Modern peasantry is driven by the fiscal and
militaristic system of the state into the clutches of usurers' capital,
while state-clergy, state-schools and barrack depravity drive it into
the clutches of usurers' politics.

The Russian bourgeoisie yielded all revolutionary positions to the
Russian proletariat. It will have to yield also the revolutionary
hegemony over the peasants. Once the proletariat becomes master of the
situation, conditions will impel the peasants to uphold the policies of
a labor democracy. They may do it with no more political understanding
than they uphold a bourgeois régime. The difference is that while each
bourgeois party in possession of the peasants' vote uses its power to
rob the peasants, to betray their confidence and to leave their
expectations unfulfilled, in the worst case to give way to another
capitalist party, the working class, backed by the peasantry, will put
all forces into operation to raise the cultural level of the village and
to broaden the political understanding of the peasants.

Our attitude towards the idea of a "dictatorship of the proletariat and
the peasantry" is now quite clear. It is not a question whether we think
it "admissible" or not, whether we "wish" or we "do not wish" this form
of political coöperation. In our opinion, it simply cannot be realized,
at least in its direct meaning. Such a coöperation presupposes that
either the peasantry has identified itself with one of the existing
bourgeois parties, or it has formed a powerful party of its own. Neither
is possible, as we have tried to point out.



The proletariat can get into power only at a moment of national
upheaval, of sweeping national enthusiasm. The proletariat assumes power
as a revolutionary representative of the people, as a recognized leader
in the fight against absolutism and barbaric feudalism. Having assumed
power, however, the proletariat will open a new era, an era of positive
legislation, of revolutionary politics, and this is the point where its
political supremacy as an avowed spokesman of the nation may become

The first measures of the proletariat--the cleansing of the Augean
stables of the old régime and the driving away of their
inhabitants--will find active support of the entire nation whatever the
liberal castraters may tell us of the power of some prejudices among the
masses. The work of political cleansing will be accompanied by
democratic reorganization of all social and political relations. The
labor government, impelled by immediate needs and requirements, will
have to look into all kinds of relations and activities among the
people. It will have to throw out of the army and the administration all
those who had stained their hands with the blood of the people; it will
have to disband all the regiments that had polluted themselves with
crimes against the people. This work will have to be done immediately,
long before the establishment of an elective responsible administration
and before the organization of a popular militia. This, however, will be
only a beginning. Labor democracy will soon be confronted by the
problems of a normal workday, the agrarian relations and unemployment.
The legislative solution of those problems will show the _class
character_ of the labor government. It will tend to weaken the
revolutionary bond between the proletariat and the nation; it will give
the economic differentiation among the peasants a political expression.
Antagonism between the component parts of the nation will grow step by
step as the policies of the labor government become more outspoken, lose
their general democratic character and become _class policies_.

The lack of individualistic bourgeois traditions and anti-proletarian
prejudices among the peasants and the intelligentzia will help the
proletariat assume power. It must not be forgotten, however, that this
lack of prejudices is based not on political understanding, but on
political barbarism, on social shapelessness, primitiveness, and lack of
character. These are all qualities which can hardly guarantee support
for an active, consistent proletarian rule.

The abolition of the remnants of feudalism in agrarian relations will be
supported by all the peasants who are now oppressed by the landlords. A
progressive income tax will be supported by an overwhelming majority of
the peasants. Yet, legislative measures in defense of the rural
proletariat (farm hands) will find no active support among the majority,
and will meet with active opposition on the part of a minority of the

The proletariat will be compelled to introduce class struggle into the
village and thus to destroy that slight community of interests which
undoubtedly unites the peasants as a whole. In its next steps, the
proletariat will have to seek for support by helping the poor villagers
against the rich, the rural proletariat against the agrarian
bourgeoisie. This will alienate the majority of the peasants from labor
democracy. Relations between village and city will become strained. The
peasantry as a whole will become politically indifferent. The peasant
minority will actively oppose proletarian rule. This will influence part
of the intellectuals and the lower middle class of the cities.

Two features of proletarian politics are bound particularly to meet with
the opposition of labor's allies: _Collectivism_ and _Internationalism_.
The strong adherence of the peasants to private ownership, the
primitiveness of their political conceptions, the limitations of the
village horizon, its distance from world-wide political connections and
interdependences, are terrific obstacles in the way of revolutionary
proletarian rule.

To imagine that Social-Democracy participates in the provisional
government, playing a leading rôle in the period of revolutionary
democratic reconstruction, insisting on the most radical reforms
and all the time enjoying the aid and support of the organized
proletariat,--only to step aside when the democratic program is put into
operation, to leave the completed building at the disposal of the
bourgeois parties and thus to open an era of parliamentary politics
where Social-Democracy forms only a party of opposition,--to imagine
this would mean to compromise the very idea of a labor government. It is
impossible to imagine anything of the kind, not because it is "against
principles"--such abstract reasoning is devoid of any substance--but
because it is _not real_, it is the worst kind of Utopianism, it is the
revolutionary Utopianism of Philistines.

Our distinction between a minimum and maximum program has a great and
profound meaning only under bourgeois rule. The very fact of bourgeois
rule eliminates from our minimum program all demands incompatible with
private ownership of the means of production. Those demands form the
substance of a Socialist revolution, and they presuppose a dictatorship
of the proletariat. The moment, however, a revolutionary government is
dominated by a Socialist majority, the distinction between minimum and
maximum programs loses its meaning both as a question of principle and
as a practical policy. _Under no condition will a proletarian government
be able to keep within the limits of this distinction._

Let us take the case of an eight hour workday. It is a well established
fact that an eight hour workday does not contradict the capitalist
order; it is, therefore, well within the limits of the Social-Democratic
minimum program. Imagine, however, its realization in a revolutionary
period, when all social passions are at the boiling point. An eight hour
workday law would necessarily meet with stubborn and organized
opposition on the part of the capitalists--let us say in the form of a
lock-out and closing down of factories and plants. Hundreds of thousands
of workingmen would be thrown into the streets. What ought the
revolutionary government to do? A bourgeois government, however radical,
would never allow matters to go as far as that. It would be powerless
against the closing of factories and plants. It would be compelled to
make concessions. The eight hour workday would not be put into
operation; the revolts of the workingmen would be put down by force of

Under the political domination of the proletariat, the introduction of
an eight hour workday must have totally different consequences. The
closing down of factories and plants cannot be the reason for increasing
labor hours by a government which represents not capital, but labor, and
which refuses to act as an "impartial" mediator, the way bourgeois
democracy does. A labor government would have only one way out--to
expropriate the closed factories and plants and to organize their work
on a public basis.

Or let us take another example. A proletarian government must
necessarily take decisive steps to solve the problem of unemployment.
Representatives of labor in a revolutionary government can by no means
meet the demands of the unemployed by saying that this is a bourgeois
revolution. Once, however, the state ventures to eliminate
unemployment--no matter how--a tremendous gain in the economic power of
the proletariat is accomplished. The capitalists whose pressure on the
working class was based on the existence of a reserve army of labor,
will soon realize that they are powerless _economically_. It will be the
task of the government to doom them also to _political_ oblivion.

Measures against unemployment mean also measures to secure means of
subsistence for strikers. The government will have to undertake them, if
it is anxious not to undermine the very foundation of its existence.
Nothing will remain for the capitalists but to declare a lock-out, to
close down factories and plants. Since capitalists can wait longer than
labor in case of interrupted production, nothing will remain for a labor
government but to meet a general lock-out by expropriating the factories
and plants and by introducing in the biggest of them state or communal

In agriculture, similar problems will present themselves through the
very fact of land-expropriation. We cannot imagine a proletarian
government expropriating large private estates with agricultural
production on a large scale, cutting them into pieces and selling them
to small owners. For it the only open way is to organize in such estates
coöperative production under communal or state management. This,
however, _is the way of Socialism_.

Social-Democracy can never assume power under a double obligation: to
put the _entire_ minimum program into operation for the sake of the
proletariat, and to keep strictly _within the limits_ of this program,
for the sake of the bourgeoisie. Such a double obligation could never be
fulfilled. Participating in the government, not as powerless hostages,
but as a leading force, the representatives of labor _eo ipso_ break the
line between the minimum and maximum program. _Collectivism becomes the
order of the day._ At which point the proletariat will be stopped on
its march in this direction, depends upon the constellation of forces,
not upon the original purpose of the proletarian Party.

It is, therefore, absurd to speak of a _specific_ character of
proletarian dictatorship (or a dictatorship of the proletariat _and_ the
peasantry) within a bourgeois revolution, viz., a _purely democratic_
dictatorship. The working class can never secure the democratic
character of its dictatorship without overstepping the limits of its
democratic program. Illusions to the contrary may become a handicap.
They would compromise Social-Democracy from the start.

Once the proletariat assumes power, it will fight for it to the end. One
of the means to secure and solidify its power will be propaganda and
organization, particularly in the village; another means will be a
_policy of Collectivism_. Collectivism is not only dictated by the very
position of the Social-Democratic Party as the party in power, but it
becomes imperative as a means to secure this position through the active
support of the working class.

       *       *       *       *       *

When our Socialist press first formulated the idea of a _Permanent
Revolution_ which should lead from the liquidation of absolutism and
civic bondage to a Socialist order through a series of ever growing
social conflicts, uprisings of ever new masses, unremitting attacks of
the proletariat on the political and economic privileges of the
governing classes, our "progressive" press started a unanimous indignant
uproar. Oh, they had suffered enough, those gentlemen of the
"progressive" press; this nuisance, however, was too much. Revolution,
they said, is not a thing that can be made "legal!" Extraordinary
measures are allowable only on extraordinary occasions. The aim of the
revolutionary movement, they asserted, was not to make the revolution go
on forever, but to bring it as soon as possible into the channels of
_law_, etc., etc. The more radical representatives of the same
democratic bourgeoisie do not attempt to oppose the revolution from the
standpoint of completed constitutional "achievements": tame as they are,
they understand how hopeless it is to fight the proletariat revolution
with the weapon of parliamentary cretinism _in advance_ of the
establishment of parliamentarism itself. They, therefore, choose another
way. They forsake the standpoint of law, but take the standpoint of what
they deem to be facts,--the standpoint of historic "possibilities," the
standpoint of political "realism,"--even ... even the standpoint of
"Marxism." It was Antonio, the pious Venetian bourgeois, who made the
striking observation:

        Mark you this, Bassanio,
    The devil can cite scriptures for his purpose.

Those gentlemen not only consider the idea of labor government in Russia
fantastic, but they repudiate the very probability of a Social
revolution in Europe in the near historic epoch. The necessary
"prerequisites" are not yet in existence, is their assertion.

Is it so? It is, of course, not our purpose to set a time for a Social
revolution. What we attempt here is to put the Social revolution into a
proper historic perspective.



Marxism turned Socialism into a science. This does not prevent some
"Marxians" from turning Marxism into a Utopia.

    [Trotzky then proceeds to find logical flaws in the arguments of N.
    Roshkov, a Russian Marxist, who had made the assertion that Russia
    was not yet ripe for Socialism, as her level of industrial technique
    and the class-consciousness of her working masses were not yet high
    enough to make Socialist production and distribution possible. Then
    he goes back to what he calls "prerequisites to Socialism," which in
    his opinion are: (1) development of industrial technique; (2)
    concentration of production; (3) social consciousness of the masses.
    In order that Socialism become possible, he says, it is not
    necessary that each of these prerequisites be developed to its
    logically conceivable limit.]

All those processes (development of technique, concentration of
production, growth of mass-consciousness) go on simultaneously, and not
only do they help and stimulate each other, but they also _hamper and
limit_ each other's development. Each of the processes of a higher order
presupposes the development of another process of a lower order, yet the
full development of any of them is incompatible with the full
development of the others.

The logical limit of technical development is undoubtedly a perfect
automatic mechanism which takes in raw materials from natural resources
and lays them down at the feet of men as ready objects of consumption.
Were not capitalism limited by relations between classes and by the
consequences of those relations, the class struggle, one would be
warranted in his assumption that industrial technique, having approached
the ideal of one great automatic mechanism within the limits of
capitalistic economy, _eo ipso_ dismisses capitalism.

The concentration of production which is an outgrowth of economic
competition has an inherent tendency to throw the entire population into
the working class. Taking this tendency apart from all the others, one
would be warranted in his assumption that capitalism would ultimately
turn the majority of the people into a reserve army of paupers, lodged
in prisons. This process, however, is being checked by revolutionary
changes which are inevitable under a certain relationship between social
forces. It will be checked long before it has reached its logical limit.

And the same thing is true in relation to social mass-consciousness.
This consciousness undoubtedly grows with the experiences of every day
struggle and through the conscious efforts of Socialist parties.
Isolating this process from all others, we can imagine it reaching a
stage where the overwhelming majority of the people are encompassed by
professional and political organizations, united in a feeling of
solidarity and in identity of purpose. Were this process allowed to grow
quantitatively without changing in quality, Socialism might be
established peacefully, through a unanimous compact of the citizens of
the twenty-first or twenty-second Century. The historic prerequisites to
Socialism, however, do not develop in isolation from each other; _they
limit each other_; reaching a certain stage, which is determined by many
circumstances, but which is very far from their mathematical limits,
they undergo a qualitative change, and in their complex combination they
produce what we call a Social revolution.

Let us take the last mentioned process, the growth of social
mass-consciousness. This growth takes place not in academies, but in the
very life of modern capitalistic society, on the basis of incessant
class struggle. The growth of proletarian class consciousness makes
class struggles undergo a transformation; it deepens them; it puts a
foundation of principle under them, thus provoking a corresponding
reaction on the part of the governing classes. The struggle between
proletariat and bourgeoisie has its own logic; it must become more and
more acute and bring things to a climax long before the time when
concentration of production has become predominant in economic life. It
is evident, further, that the growth of the political consciousness of
the proletariat is closely related with its numerical strength;
proletarian dictatorship presupposes great numbers of workingmen, strong
enough to overcome the resistance of the bourgeois counter-revolution.
This, however, does not imply that the overwhelming majority of the
people must consist of proletarians, or that the overwhelming majority
of proletarians must consist of convinced Socialists. Of course, the
fighting revolutionary army of the proletariat must by all means be
stronger than the fighting counter-revolutionary army of capital; yet
between those two camps there may be a great number of doubtful or
indifferent elements who are not actively helping the revolution, but
are rather inclined to desire its ultimate victory. The proletarian
policy must take all this into account.

This is possible only where there is a hegemony of industry over
agriculture, and a hegemony of the city over the village.

Let us review the prerequisites to Socialism in the order of their
diminishing generality and increasing complexity.

1. Socialism is not only a problem of equal distribution, but also a
problem of well organized production. Socialistic, i.e., coöperative
production on a large scale is possible only where economic progress has
gone so far as to make a large undertaking more productive than a small
one. The greater the advantages of a large undertaking over a small one,
i.e., the higher the industrial technique, the greater must be the
economic advantages of socialized production, the higher, consequently,
must be the cultural level of the people to enable them to enjoy equal
distribution based on well organized production.

This first prerequisite of Socialism has been in existence for many
years. Ever since division of labor has been established in
manufactories; ever since manufactories have been superseded by
factories employing a system of machines,--large undertakings become
more and more profitable, and consequently their socialization would
make the people more prosperous. There would have been no gain in making
all the artisans' shops common property of the artisans; whereas the
seizure of a manufactory by its workers, or the seizure of a factory by
its hired employees, or the seizure of all means of modern production by
the people must necessarily improve their economic conditions,--the more
so, the further the process of economic concentration has advanced.

At present, social division of labor on one hand, machine production on
the other have reached a stage where the only coöperative organization
that can make adequate use of the advantages of collectivist economy, is
the State. It is hardly conceivable that Socialist production would
content itself with the area of the state. Economic and political
motives would necessarily impel it to overstep the boundaries of
individual states.

The world has been in possession of technical equipment for collective
production--in one or another form--for the last hundred or two hundred
years. _Technically_, Socialism is profitable not only on a national,
but also to a large extent on an international scale. Why then have all
attempts at organizing Socialist communities failed? Why has
concentration of production manifested its advantages all through the
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries not in Socialistic, but in
capitalistic forms? The reason is that there was no social force ready
and able to introduce Socialism.

2. Here we pass from the prerequisite of industrial technique to the
_socio-economic_ prerequisite, which is less general, but more complex.
Were our society not an antagonistic society composed of classes, but a
homogeneous partnership of men consciously selecting the best economic
system, a mere calculation as to the advantages of Socialism would
suffice to make people start Socialistic reconstruction. Our society,
however, harbors in itself opposing interests. What is good for one
class, is bad for another. Class selfishness clashes against class
selfishness; class selfishness impairs the interests of the whole. To
make Socialism possible, a social power has to arise in the midst of the
antagonistic classes of capitalist society, a power objectively placed
in a position to be interested in the establishment of Socialism, at
the same time strong enough to overcome all opposing interests and
hostile resistance. It is one of the principal merits of scientific
Socialism to have discovered such a social power in the person of the
proletariat, and to have shown that this class, growing with the growth
of capitalism, can find its salvation only in Socialism; that it is
being moved towards Socialism by its very position, and that the
doctrine of Socialism in the presence of a capitalist society must
necessarily become the ideology of the proletariat.

How far, then, must the social differentiation have gone to warrant the
assertion that the second prerequisite is an accomplished fact? In other
words, what must be the numerical strength of the proletariat? Must it
be one-half, two-thirds, or nine-tenths of the people? It is utterly
futile to try and formulate this second prerequisite of Socialism
arithmetically. An attempt to express the strength of the proletariat in
mere numbers, besides being schematic, would imply a series of
difficulties. Whom should we consider a proletarian? Is the
half-paupered peasant a proletarian? Should we count with the
proletariat those hosts of the city reserve who, on one hand, fall into
the ranks of the parasitic proletariat of beggars and thieves, and, on
the other hand, fill the streets in the capacity of peddlers, i.e., of
parasites on the economic body as a whole? It is not easy to answer
these questions.

The importance of the proletariat is based not only on its numbers, but
primarily on its rôle in industry. The political supremacy of the
bourgeoisie is founded on economic power. Before it manages to take over
the authority of the state, it concentrates in its hands the national
means of production; hence its specific weight. The proletariat will
possess no means of production of its own before the Social revolution.
Its social power depends upon the circumstance that the means of
production in possession of the bourgeoisie can be put into motion only
by the hands of the proletariat. From the bourgeois viewpoint, the
proletariat is also one of the means of production, forming, in
combination with the others, a unified mechanism. Yet the proletariat is
the only non-automatic part of this mechanism, and can never be made
automatic, notwithstanding all efforts. This puts the proletariat into a
position to be able to stop the functioning of the national economic
body, partially or wholly--through the medium of partial or general

Hence it is evident that, the numerical strength of the proletariat
being equal, its importance is proportional to the mass of the means of
production it puts into motion: the proletarian of a big industrial
concern represents--other conditions being equal--a greater social unit
than an artisan's employee; a city workingman represents a greater unit
than a proletarian of the village. In other words, the political rôle of
the proletariat is greater in proportion as large industries predominate
over small industries, industry predominates over agriculture, and the
city over the village.

At a period in the history of Germany or England when the proletariats
of those countries formed the same percentage to the total population as
the proletariat in present day Russia, they did not possess the same
social weight as the Russian proletariat of to-day. They could not
possess it, because their objective importance in economic life was
comparatively smaller. The social weight of the cities represents the
same phenomenon. At a time when the city population of Germany formed
only 15 per cent. of the total nation, as is the case in present-day
Russia, the German cities were far from equaling our cities in economic
and political importance. The concentration of big industries and
commercial enterprises in the cities, and the establishment of closer
relations between city and country through a system of railways, has
given the modern cities an importance far exceeding the mere volume of
their population. Moreover, the growth of their importance runs ahead of
the growth of their population, and the growth of the latter runs ahead
of the natural increase of the entire population of the country. In
1848, the number of artisans, masters and their employees, in Italy was
15 per cent. of the population, the same as the percentage of the
proletariat, including artisans, in Russia of to-day. Their importance,
however, was far less than that of the Russian industrial proletariat.

The question is not, how strong the proletariat is numerically, but what
is its position in the general economy of a country.

    [The author then quotes figures showing the numbers of wage-earners
    and industrial proletarians in Germany, Belgium and England: in
    Germany, in 1895, 12.5 millions proletarians; in Belgium 1.8
    millions, or 60 per cent. of all the persons who make a living
    independently; in England 12.5 millions.]

In the leading European countries, city population numerically
predominates over the rural population. Infinitely greater is its
predominance through the aggregate of means of production represented by
it, and through the qualities of its human material. The city attracts
the most energetic, able and intelligent elements of the country.

Thus we arrive at the conclusion that economic evolution--the growth of
industry, the growth of large enterprises, the growth of cities, the
growth of the proletariat, especially the growth of the industrial
proletariat--have already prepared the arena not only for the _struggle_
of the proletariat for political power, but also for the _conquest_ of
that power.

3. Here we approach the third prerequisite to Socialism, the
_dictatorship of the proletariat_.

Politics is the plane where objective prerequisites intersect with
subjective. On the basis of certain technical and socio-economic
conditions, a class puts before itself a definite task--to seize power.
In pursuing this task, it unites its forces, it gauges the forces of the
enemy, it weighs the circumstances. Yet, not even here is the
proletariat absolutely free: besides subjective moments, such as
understanding, readiness, initiative which have a logic of their own,
there are a number of objective moments interfering with the policies of
the proletariat, such are the policies of the governing classes, state
institutions (the army, the class-school, the state-church),
international relations, etc.

Let us first turn our attention to the subjective moment; let us ask,
_Is the proletariat ready for a Socialist change?_ It is not enough that
development of technique should make Socialist economy profitable from
the viewpoint of the productivity of national labor; it is not enough
that social differentiation, based on technical progress, should create
the proletariat, as a class objectively interested in Socialism. It is
of prime importance that this class should _understand_ its objective
interests. It is necessary that this class should _see_ in Socialism the
only way of its emancipation. It is necessary that it should unite into
an army powerful enough to seize governmental power in open combat.

It would be a folly to deny the necessity for the preparation of the
proletariat. Only the old Blanquists could stake their hopes in the
salutary initiative of an organization of conspirators formed
independently of the masses. Only their antipodes, the anarchists, could
build their system on a spontaneous elemental outburst of the masses
whose results nobody can foresee. When Social-Democracy speaks of
seizing power, it thinks of _a deliberate action of a revolutionary

There are Socialists-ideologists (ideologists in the wrong sense of the
word, those who turn all things upside down) who speak of preparing the
proletariat for Socialism as a problem of moral regeneration. The
proletariat, they say, and even "humanity" in general, must first free
itself from its old selfish nature; altruistic motives must first become
predominant in social life. As we are still very far from this ideal,
they contend, and as human nature changes very slowly, Socialism appears
to be a problem of remote centuries. This view seems to be very
realistic, evolutionistic, etc. It is in reality a conglomeration of
hackneyed moralistic considerations.

Those "ideologists" imagine that a Socialist psychology can be acquired
before the establishment of Socialism; that in a world ruled by
capitalism the masses can be imbued with a Socialist psychology.
Socialist psychology as here conceived should not be identified with
Socialist aspirations. The former presupposes the absence of selfish
motives in economic relations, while the latter are an outcome of the
class psychology of the proletariat. Class psychology, and Socialist
psychology in a society not split into classes, may have many common
features, yet they differ widely.

Coöperation in the struggle of the proletariat against exploitation has
developed in the soul of the workingmen beautiful sprouts of idealism,
brotherly solidarity, a spirit of self-sacrifice. Yet those sprouts
cannot grow and blossom freely within capitalist society: individual
struggle for existence, the yawning abyss of poverty, differentiations
among the workingmen themselves, the corrupting influence of the
bourgeois parties,--all this interferes with the growth of idealism
among the masses.

However, it is a fact that, while remaining selfish as any of the lower
middle class, while not exceeding the average representative of the
bourgeois classes by the "human" value of his personality, the average
workingman learns in the school of life's experience that _his most
primitive desires and most natural wants can be satisfied only on the
debris of the capitalist order_.

If Socialism should attempt to create a new human nature within the
limits of the old world, it would be only a new edition of the old
moralistic Utopias. The task of Socialism is not to create a Socialist
psychology as a prerequisite to Socialism, but to create Socialist
conditions of human life as a prerequisite to a Socialist psychology.



The objective prerequisites of a Social revolution, as we have shown
above, have been already created by the economic progress of advanced
capitalist countries. But how about Russia? Is it possible to think that
the seizure of power by the Russian proletariat would be the beginning
of a Socialist reconstruction of our national economy?

A year ago we thus answered this question in an article which was
mercilessly bombarded by the organs of both our factions. We wrote:

"The workingmen of Paris, says Marx, had not expected miracles from the
Commune. We cannot expect miracles from a proletarian dictatorship now.
Governmental power is not almighty. It is folly to think that once the
proletariat has seized power, it would abolish capitalism and introduce
socialism by a number of decrees. The economic system is not a product
of state activity. What the proletariat will be able to do is to
shorten economic evolution towards Collectivism through a series of
energetic state measures.

"The starting point will be the reforms enumerated in our so-called
minimum program. The very situation of the proletariat, however, will
compel it to move along the way of collectivist practice.

"It will be comparatively easy to introduce the eight hour workday and
progressive taxation, though even here the center of gravity is not the
issuance of a 'decree,' but the organization of its practical
application. It will be difficult, however,--and here we pass to
Collectivism--to organize production under state management in such
factories and plants as would be closed down by their owners in protest
against the new law.

"It will be comparatively simple to issue a law abolishing the right of
inheritance, and to put it into operation. Inheritances in the form of
money capital will not embarrass the proletariat and not interfere with
its economy. To be, however, the inheritor of capital invested in land
and industry, would mean for a labor government to organize economic
life on a public basis.

"The same phenomenon, on a vastly larger scale, is represented by the
question of expropriation (of land), with or without compensation.
Expropriation with compensation has political advantages, but it is
financially difficult; expropriation without compensation has financial
advantages, but it is difficult politically. Greater than all the other
difficulties, however, will be those of an economic nature, the
difficulties of organization.

"To repeat: a labor government does not mean a government of miracles.

"Public management will begin in those branches where the difficulties
are smallest. Publicly managed enterprises will originally represent
kind of oases linked with private enterprises by the laws of exchange of
commodities. The wider the field of publicly managed economy will grow,
the more flagrant its advantages will become, the firmer will become the
position of the new political régime, and the more determined will be
the further economic measures of the proletariat. Its measures it will
base not only on the national productive forces, but also on
international technique, in the same way as it bases its revolutionary
policies not only on the experience of national class relations but also
on the entire historic experience of the international proletariat."

_Political supremacy of the proletariat is incompatible with its
economic slavery._ Whatever may be the banner under which the
proletariat will find itself in possession of power, it will be
compelled to enter the road of Socialism. It is the greatest Utopia to
think that the proletariat, brought to the top by the mechanics of a
bourgeois revolution, would be able, even if it wanted, to limit its
mission by creating a republican democratic environment for the social
supremacy of the bourgeoisie. Political dominance of the proletariat,
even if it were temporary, would extremely weaken the resistance of
capital which is always in need of state aid, and would give momentous
opportunities to the economic struggle of the proletariat.

A proletarian régime will immediately take up the agrarian question with
which the fate of vast millions of the Russian people is connected. In
solving this, as many another question, the proletariat will have in
mind the main tendency of its economic policy: to get hold of a widest
possible field for the organization of a Socialist economy. The forms
and the tempo of this policy in the agrarian question will be
determined both by the material resources that the proletariat will
be able to get hold of, and by the necessity to coördinate its
actions so as not to drive possible allies into the ranks of the

It is evident that the _agrarian_ question, i.e., the question of rural
economy and its social relations, is not covered by the _land_ question
which is the question of the forms of land ownership. It is perfectly
clear, however, that the solution of the land question, even if it does
not determine the future of the agrarian evolution, would undoubtedly
determine the future agrarian policy of the proletariat. In other words,
the use the proletariat will make of the land must be in accord with its
general attitude towards the course and requirements of the agrarian
evolution. The land question will, therefore, be one of the first to
interest the labor government.

One of the solutions, made popular by the Socialist-Revolutionists, is
the _socialization of the land_. Freed from its European make-up, it
means simply "equal distribution" of land. This program demands an
expropriation of all the land, whether it is in possession of landlords,
of peasants on the basis of private property, or it is owned by village
communities. It is evident that such expropriation, being one of the
first measures of the new government and being started at a time when
capitalist exchange is still in full swing, would lead the peasants to
believe that they are "victims of the reform." One must not forget that
the peasants have for decades made redemption payments in order to turn
their land into private property; many prosperous peasants have made
great sacrifices to secure a large portion of land as their private
possession. Should all this land become state property, the most bitter
resistance would be offered by the members of the communities and by
private owners. Starting out with a reform of this kind, the government
would make itself most unpopular among the peasants.

And why should one confiscate the land of the communities and the land
of small private owners? According to the Socialist-Revolutionary
program, the only use to be made of the land by the state is to turn it
over to all the peasants and agricultural laborers on the basis of equal
distribution. This would mean that the confiscated land of the
communities and small owners would anyway return to individuals for
private cultivation. Consequently, there would be _no economic gain_ in
such a confiscation and redistribution. _Politically_, it would be a
great blunder on the part of the labor government as it would make the
masses of peasants hostile to the proletarian leadership of the

Closely connected with this program is the question of hired
agricultural labor. Equal distribution presupposes the prohibition of
using hired labor on farms. This, however, can be only a _consequence_
of economic reforms, it cannot be decreed by a law. It is not enough to
forbid an agricultural capitalist to hire laborers; one must first
secure agricultural laborers a fair existence; furthermore, this
existence must be profitable from the viewpoint of social economy. To
declare equal distribution of land and to forbid hired labor, would mean
to compel agricultural proletarians to settle on small lots, and to put
the state under obligation to provide them with implements for their
socially unprofitable production.

It is clear that the intervention of the proletariat in the organization
of agriculture ought to express itself not in settling individual
laborers on individual lots, but in organizing _state or communal
management of large estates_. Later, when socialized production will
have established itself firmly, a further step will be made towards
socialization by forbidding hired labor. This will eliminate small
capitalistic enterprises in agriculture; it will, however, leave
unmolested those private owners who work their land wholly or to a great
extent by the labor of their families. To expropriate such owners can by
no means be a desire of the Socialistic proletariat.

The proletariat can never indorse a program of "equal distribution"
which on one hand demands a useless, purely formal expropriation of
small owners, and on the other hand it demands a very real parceling of
large estates into small lots. This would be a wasteful undertaking, a
pursuance of a reactionary and Utopian plan, and a political harm for
the revolutionary party.

       *       *       *       *       *

How far, however, can the Socialist policy of the working class advance
in the economic environment of Russia? One thing we can say with perfect
assurance: it will meet political obstacles long before it will be
checked by the technical backwardness of the country. _Without direct
political aid from the European proletariat the working class of Russia
will not be able to retain its power and to turn its temporary supremacy
into a permanent Socialist dictatorship._ We cannot doubt this for a
moment. On the other hand, there is no doubt that a _Socialist
revolution in the West would allow us to turn the temporary supremacy of
the working class directly into a Socialist dictatorship_.



In June, 1905, we wrote:

"More than half a century passed since 1848. Half a century of
unprecedented victories of capitalism all over the world. Half a century
of "organic" mutual adaptation of the forces of the bourgeois and the
forces of feudal reaction. Half a century in which the bourgeoisie has
manifested its mad appetite for power and its readiness to fight for it

"As a self-taught mechanic, in his search for perpetual motion, meets
ever new obstacles and piles mechanism over mechanism to overcome them,
so the bourgeoisie has changed and reconstructed the apparatus of its
supremacy avoiding 'supra-legal' conflicts with hostile powers. And as
the self-taught mechanic finally clashes against the ultimate
insurmountable obstacle,--the law of conservation of energy,--so the
bourgeoisie had to clash against the ultimate implacable barrier,--class
antagonism, fraught with inevitable conflict.

"Capitalism, forcing its economic system and social relations on each
and every country, has turned the entire world into one economic and
political organism. As the effect of the modern credit system, with the
invisible bonds it draws between thousands of enterprises, with the
amazing mobility it lends to capital, has been to eliminate local and
partial crises, but to give unusual momentum to general economic
convulsions, so the entire economic and political work of capitalism,
with its world commerce, with its system of monstrous foreign debts,
with its political groupings of states, which have drawn all reactionary
forces into one world-wide co-partnership, has prevented local political
crises, but it has prepared a basis for a social crisis of unheard of
magnitude. Driving unhealthy processes inside, evading difficulties,
staving off the deep problems of national and international politics,
glossing over all contradictions, the bourgeoisie has postponed the
climax, yet it has prepared a radical world-wide liquidation of its
power. It has clung to all reactionary forces no matter what their
origin. It has made the Sultan not the last of its friends. It has not
tied itself on the Chinese ruler only because he had no power: it was
more profitable to rob his possessions than to keep him in the office
of a world gendarme and to pay him from the treasury of the bourgeoisie.
Thus the bourgeoisie made the stability of its political system wholly
dependent upon the stability of the pre-capitalistic pillars of

"This gives events an international character and opens a magnificent
perspective; political emancipation, headed by the working class of
Russia, will elevate its leader to a height unparalleled in history, it
will give Russian proletariat colossal power and make it the initiator
of world-wide liquidation of capitalism, to which the objective
prerequisites have been created by history."

It is futile to guess how the Russian revolution will find its way to
old capitalistic Europe. This way may be a total surprise. To illustrate
our thought rather than to predict events, we shall mention Poland as
the possible connecting link between the revolutionary East and the
revolutionary West.

    [The author pictures the consequences of a revolution in Poland. A
    revolution in Poland would necessarily follow the victory of the
    revolution in Russia. This, however, would throw revolutionary
    sparks into the Polish provinces of Germany and Austria. A
    revolution in Posen and Galicia would move the Hohenzollerns and
    Hapsburgs to invade Poland. This would be a sign for the proletariat
    of Germany to get into a sharp conflict with their governments. A
    revolution becomes inevitable.]

A revolutionary Poland, however, is not the only possible starting point
for a European revolution. The system of armed peace which became
predominant in Europe after the Franco-Prussian war, was based on a
system of European equilibrium. This equilibrium took for granted not
only the integrity of Turkey, the dismemberment of Poland, the
preservation of Austria, that ethnographic harlequin's robe, but also
the existence of Russian despotism in the rôle of a gendarme of the
European reaction, armed to his teeth. The Russo-Japanese war has given
a mortal blow to this artificial system in which absolutism was the
dominant figure. For an indefinite period Russia is out of the race as a
first-class power. The equilibrium has been destroyed. On the other
hand, the successes of Japan have incensed the conquest instincts of the
capitalistic bourgeoisie, especially the Stock Exchange, which plays a
colossal rôle in modern politics. _The possibilities of a war on
European territory have grown enormously._ Conflicts are ripening here
and there; so far they have been settled in a diplomatic way, but
nothing can guarantee the near future. _A European war, however, means a
European revolution._

Even without the pressure of such events as war or bankruptcy, a
revolution may take place in the near future in one of the European
countries as a result of acute class struggles. We shall not make
computations as to which country would be first to take the path of
revolution; it is obvious, however, that class antagonisms have for the
last years reached a high degree of intensity in all the European

The influence of the Russian revolution on the proletariat of Europe is
immense. Not only does it destroy the Petersburg absolutism, that main
power of European reaction; it also imbues the minds and the souls of
the European proletariat with revolutionary daring.

It is the purpose of every Socialist party to revolutionize the minds of
the working class in the same way as development of capitalism has
revolutionized social relations. The work of propaganda and organization
among the proletariat, however, has its own intrinsic inertia. The
Socialist parties of Europe--in the first place the most powerful of
them, the German Socialist party--have developed a conservatism of their
own, which grows in proportion as Socialism embraces ever larger masses
and organization and discipline increase. Social-Democracy, personifying
the political experience of the proletariat, can, therefore, at a
certain juncture, become an immediate obstacle on the way of an open
proletarian conflict with the bourgeois reaction. In other words, the
propaganda-conservatism of a proletarian party can, at a certain moment,
impede the direct struggle of the proletariat for power. The colossal
influence of the Russian revolution manifests itself in killing party
routine, in destroying Socialist conservatism, in making a clean contest
of proletarian forces against capitalist reaction a question of the day.
The struggle for universal suffrage in Austria, Saxony and Prussia has
become more determined under the direct influence of the October strike
in Russia. An Eastern revolution imbues the Western proletariat with
revolutionary idealism and stimulates its desire to speak "Russian" to
its foes.

The Russian proletariat in power, even if this were only the result of a
passing combination of forces in the Russian bourgeois revolution,
would meet organized opposition on the part of the world's reaction, and
readiness for organized support on the part of the world's proletariat.
Left to its own resources, the Russian working class must necessarily be
crushed the moment it loses the aid of the peasants. Nothing remains for
it but to link the fate of its political supremacy and the fate of the
Russian revolution with the fate of a Socialist revolution in Europe.
All that momentous authority and political power which is given to the
proletariat by a combination of forces in the Russian bourgeois
revolution, it will thrust on the scale of class struggle in the entire
capitalistic world. Equipped with governmental power, having a
counter-revolution behind his back, having the European reaction in
front of him, the Russian workingman will issue to all his brothers the
world over his old battle-cry which will now become the call for the
last attack: _Proletarians of all the world, unite!_


     The first _Council of Workmen's Deputies_ was formed in Petersburg,
     on October 13th, 1905, in the course of the great general October
     strike that compelled Nicholas Romanoff to promise a Constitution.
     It represented individual factories, labor unions, and included
     also delegates from the Socialist parties. It looked upon itself as
     the center of the revolution and a nucleus of a revolutionary labor
     government. Similar Councils sprung up in many other industrial
     centers. It was arrested on December 3d, having existed for fifty
     days. Its members were tried and sent to Siberia.

     _Intelligentzia_ is a term applied in Russia to an indefinite,
     heterogeneous group of "intellectuals," who are not actively and
     directly involved in the industrial machinery of capitalism, and at
     the same time are not members of the working class. It is customary
     to count among the _Intelligentzia_ students, teachers, writers,
     lawyers, physicians, college professors, etc. However, the term
     _Intelligentzia_ implies also a certain degree of idealism and
     radical aspirations.

     _Witte_ was the first prime-minister under the quasi-constitution
     granted on October 17th, 1905. _Stolypin_ was appointed prime
     minister after the dissolution of the first Duma in July, 1906.

     Under the _minimum program_ the Social-Democrats understand all
     that range of reforms which can be obtained under the existing
     capitalist system of "private ownership of the means of
     production," such as an eight hour workday, social insurance,
     universal suffrage, a republican order. The _maximum program_
     demands the abolition of private property and public management of
     industries, i.e., Socialism.

     "_Some prejudices among the masses_" referred to in this essay is
     the alleged love of the primitive masses for their Tzar. This was
     an argument usually put forth by the liberals against republican

     _Lower-Middle-Class_ is the only term half-way covering the Russian
     "Mieshchanstvo" used by Trotzky. "Mieshchanstvo" has a
     socio-economic meaning, and a flavor of moral disapproval. Socially
     and economically it means those numerous inhabitants of modern
     cities who are engaged in independent economic pursuits, as
     artisans (masters), shopkeepers, small manufacturers, petty
     merchants, etc., who have not capital enough to rank with the
     bourgeoisie. Morally "Mieshchanstvo" presupposes a limited horizon,
     lack of definite revolutionary or political ideas, and lack of
     political courage.

     The _Village community_ is a remnant of old times in Russia. Up to
     1906 the members of the village were not allowed to divide the land
     of the community among the individual peasants on the basis of
     private property. The land legally belonged to the entire community
     which allotted it to its members. Since 1906 the compulsory
     character of communal land-ownership was abandoned, yet in very
     great areas of Russia it still remained the prevailing system of

     Besides having a share in the community-land, the individual
     peasant could acquire a piece of land out of his private means (the
     seller being usually the landlord) and thus become a _small private


(Fifty Days)

     About two years after the arrest of the Soviet of 1905, a number of
     former leaders of that organization, among them Chrustalyov Nossar,
     the first chairman, and Trotzky, the second chairman, met abroad
     after having escaped from Siberian exile. They decided to sum up
     their Soviet experiences in a book which they called _The History
     of the Council of Workingmen's Deputies_. The book appeared in 1908
     in Petersburg, and was immediately suppressed. One of the essays of
     this book is here reprinted.

     In his estimation of the rôle of the Soviet Trotzky undoubtedly
     exaggerates. Only by a flight of imagination can one see in the
     activities of the Soviet regarding the postal, telegraph and
     railroad strikers the beginnings of a Soviet control over
     post-office, telegraph and railroads. It is also a serious question
     whether the Soviet was really a leading body, or whether it was led
     by the current of revolutionary events which it was unable to
     control. What makes this essay interesting and significant is
     Trotzky's assertion that "the first new wave of the revolution will
     lead to the creation of Soviets all over the country." This has
     actually happened. His predictions of the formation of an
     all-Russian Soviet, and of the program the Soviets would follow,
     have also been realized in the course of the present revolution.


The history of the Soviet is a history of fifty days. The Soviet was
constituted on October 13th; its session was interrupted by a military
detachment of the government on December 3rd. Between those two dates
the Soviet lived and struggled.

What was the substance of this institution? What enabled it in this
short period to take an honorable place in the history of the Russian
proletariat, in the history of the Russian Revolution?

The Soviet organized the masses, conducted political strikes, led
political demonstrations, tried to arm the workingmen. But other
revolutionary organizations did the same things. The substance of the
Soviet was its effort to become _an organ of public authority_. The
proletariat on one hand, the reactionary press on the other, have called
the Soviet "a labor government"; this only reflects the fact that the
Soviet was in reality _an embryo of a revolutionary government_. In so
far as the Soviet was in actual possession of authoritative power, it
made use of it; in so far as the power was in the hands of the military
and bureaucratic monarchy, the Soviet fought to obtain it. Prior to the
Soviet, there had been revolutionary organizations among the industrial
workingmen, mostly of a Social-Democratic nature. But those were
organizations _among_ the proletariat; their immediate aim was to
_influence the masses_. The Soviet is an organization _of_ the
proletariat; its aim is to fight for _revolutionary power_.

At the same time, the Soviet was _an organized expression of the will of
the proletariat as a class_. In its fight for power the Soviet applied
such methods as were naturally determined by the character of the
proletariat as a class: its part in production; its numerical strength;
its social homogeneity. In its fight for power the Soviet has combined
the direction of all the social activities of the working class,
including decisions as to conflicts between individual representatives
of capital and labor. This combination was by no means an artificial
tactical attempt: it was a natural consequence of the situation of a
class which, consciously developing and broadening its fight for its
immediate interests, had been compelled by the logic of events to assume
a leading position in the revolutionary struggle for power.

The main weapon of the Soviet was a political strike of the masses. The
power of the strike lies in disorganizing the power of the government.
The greater the "anarchy" created by a strike, the nearer its victory.
This is true only where "anarchy" is not being created by anarchic
actions. The class that puts into motion, day in and day out, the
industrial apparatus and the governmental apparatus; the class that is
able, by a sudden stoppage of work, to paralyze both industry and
government, must be organized enough not to fall the first victim of the
very "anarchy" it has created. The more effective the disorganization of
government caused by a strike, the more the strike organization is
compelled to assume governmental functions.

The Council of Workmen's Delegates introduces a free press. It organizes
street patrols to secure the safety of the citizens. It takes over, to a
greater or less extent, the post office, the telegraph, and the
railroads. It makes an effort to introduce the eight hour workday.
Paralyzing the autocratic government by a strike, it brings its own
democratic order into the life of the working city population.


After January 9th the revolution had shown its power over the minds of
the working masses. On June 14th, through the revolt of the Potyomkin
Tavritchesky it had shown that it was able to become a material force.
In the October strike it had shown that it could disorganize the enemy,
paralyze his will and utterly humiliate him. By organizing Councils of
Workmen's Deputies all over the country, _it showed that it was able to
create authoritative power_. Revolutionary authority can be based only
on active revolutionary force. Whatever our view on the further
development of the Russian revolution, it is a fact that so far no
social class besides the proletariat has manifested readiness to uphold
a revolutionary authoritative power. The first act of the revolution was
an encounter in the streets of the _proletariat_ with the monarchy; the
first serious victory of the revolution was achieved through the
_class-weapon of the proletariat_, the political strike; the first
nucleus of a revolutionary government was _a proletarian
representation_. The Soviet is the first democratic power in modern
Russian history. The Soviet is the organized power of the masses
themselves over their component parts. This is a true, unadulterated
democracy, without a two-chamber system, without a professional
bureaucracy, with the right of the voters to recall their deputy any
moment and to substitute another for him. Through its members, through
deputies elected by the workingmen, the Soviet directs all the social
activities of the proletariat as a whole and of its various parts; it
outlines the steps to be taken by the proletariat, it gives them a
slogan and a banner. This art of directing the activities of the masses
on the basis of organized self-government, is here applied for the first
time on Russian soil. Absolutism ruled the masses, but it did not direct
them. It put mechanical barriers against the living creative forces of
the masses, and within those barriers it kept the restless elements of
the nation in an iron bond of oppression. The only mass absolutism ever
directed was the army. But that was not directing, it was merely
commanding. In recent years, even the directing of this atomized and
hypnotized military mass has been slipping out of the hands of
absolutism. Liberalism never had power enough to command the masses, or
initiative enough to direct them. Its attitude towards mass-movements,
even if they helped liberalism directly, was the same as towards
awe-inspiring natural phenomena--earthquakes or volcanic eruptions. The
proletariat appeared on the battlefield of the revolution as a
self-reliant aggregate, totally independent from bourgeois liberalism.

The Soviet was a _class-organization_, this was the source of its
fighting power. It was crushed in the first period of its existence not
by lack of confidence on the part of the masses in the cities, but by
the limitations of a purely urban revolution, by the relatively passive
attitude of the village, by the backwardness of the peasant element of
the army. The Soviet's position among the city population was as strong
as could be.

The Soviet was not an official representative of the entire half million
of the working population in the capital; its organization embraced
about two hundred thousand, chiefly industrial workers; and though its
direct and indirect political influence was of a much wider range, there
were thousands and thousands of proletarians (in the building trade,
among domestic servants, day laborers, drivers) who were hardly, if at
all, influenced by the Soviet. There is no doubt, however, that the
Soviet represented the interests of _all_ these proletarian masses.
There were but few adherents of the Black Hundred in the factories, and
their number dwindled hour by hour. The proletarian masses of Petersburg
were solidly behind the Soviet. Among the numerous intellectuals of
Petersburg the Soviet had more friends than enemies. Thousands of
students recognized the political leadership of the Soviet and ardently
supported it in its decisions. Professional Petersburg was entirely on
the side of the Soviet. The support by the Soviet of the postal and
telegraph strike won it the sympathy of the lower governmental
officials. All the oppressed, all the unfortunate, all honest elements
of the city, all those who were striving towards a better life, were
instinctively or consciously on the side of the Soviet. The Soviet was
actually or potentially a representative of an overwhelming majority of
the population. Its enemies in the capital would not have been dangerous
had they not been protected by absolutism, which based its power on the
most backward elements of an army recruited from peasants. The weakness
of the Soviet was not its own weakness, it was the weakness of a purely
urban revolution.

The fifty day period was the period of the greatest power of the
revolution. _The Soviet was its organ in the fight for public
authority._ The class character of the Soviet was determined by the
class differentiation of the city population and by the political
antagonism between the proletariat and the capitalistic bourgeoisie.
This antagonism manifested itself even in the historically limited field
of a struggle against absolutism. After the October strike, the
capitalistic bourgeoisie consciously blocked the progress of the
revolution, the petty middle class turned out to be a nonentity,
incapable of playing an independent rôle. The real leader of the urban
revolution was the proletariat. Its class-organization was the organ of
the revolution in its struggle for power.


The struggle for power, for public authority--this is the central aim of
the revolution. The fifty days of the Soviet's life and its bloody
finale have shown that urban Russia is too narrow a basis for such a
struggle, and that even within the limits of the urban revolution, a
local organization cannot be the central leading body. For a national
task the proletariat required an organization on a national scale. The
Petersburg Soviet was a local organization, yet the need of a central
organization was so great that it had to assume leadership on a national
scale. It did what it could, still it remained primarily the
_Petersburg_ Council of Workmen's Deputies. The urgency of an
all-Russian labor congress which undoubtedly would have had authority to
form a central leading organ, was emphasized even at the time of the
first Soviet. The December collapse made its realization impossible. The
idea remained, an inheritance of the Fifty Days.

The idea of a Soviet has become ingrained in the consciousness of the
workingmen as the first prerequisite to revolutionary action of the
masses. Experience has shown that a Soviet is not possible or desirable
under all circumstances. The objective meaning of the Soviet
organization is to create conditions for disorganizing the government,
for "anarchy," in other words for a revolutionary conflict. The present
lull in the revolutionary movement, the mad triumph of reaction, make
the existence of an open, elective, authoritative organization of the
masses impossible. There is no doubt, however, that _the first new wave
of the revolution will lead to the creation of Soviets all over the
country_. An All-Russian Soviet, organized by an All-Russian Labor
Congress, will assume leadership of the local elective organizations of
the proletariat. Names, of course, are of no importance; so are details
of organization; the main thing is: a centralized democratic leadership
in the struggle of the proletariat for a popular government. History
does not repeat itself, and the new Soviet will not have again to go
through the experience of the Fifty Days. These, however, will furnish
it a complete program of action.

This program is perfectly clear.

To establish revolutionary coöperation with the army, the peasantry, and
the plebeian lower strata of the urban bourgeoisie. To abolish
absolutism. To destroy the material organization of absolutism by
reconstructing and partly dismissing the army. To break up the entire
bureaucratic apparatus. To introduce an eight hour workday. To arm the
population, starting with the proletariat. To turn the Soviets into
organs of revolutionary self-government in the cities. To create
Councils of Peasants' Delegates (Peasants' Committees) as local organs
of the agrarian revolution. To organize elections to the Constituent
Assembly and to conduct a preëlection campaign for a definite program on
the part of the representatives of the people.

It is easier to formulate such a program than to carry it through. If,
however, the revolution will ever win, the proletariat cannot choose
another. The proletariat will unfold revolutionary accomplishment such
as the world has never seen. The history of Fifty Days will be only a
poor page in the great book of the proletariat's struggle and ultimate


     Trotzky was never personal. The emotional side of life seldom
     appears in his writings. His is the realm of social activities,
     social and political struggles. His writings breathe logic, not
     sentiment, facts, not poetry. The following preface to his _Round
     Trip_ is, perhaps, the only exception. It speaks of the man Trotzky
     and his beliefs. Note his confession of faith: "History is a
     tremendous mechanism serving our ideals." ...

At the Stockholm Convention of the Social-Democratic Party, some curious
statistical data was circulated, showing the conditions under which the
party of the proletariat was working:

The Convention as a whole, in the person of its 140 members, had spent
in prison one hundred and thirty-eight years and three and a half

The Convention had been in exile one hundred and forty-eight years and
six and a half months.

Escaped from prison: Once, eighteen members of the Convention; twice,
four members.

Escaped from exile: Once, twenty-three; twice, five; three times, one

The length of time the Convention as a whole had been active in
Social-Democratic work, was 942 years. It follows that the time spent in
prison and exile is about one-third of the time a Social-Democrat is
active. But these figures are too optimistic. "The Convention has been
active in Social-Democratic work for 942 years"--this means merely that
the activities of those persons had been spread over so many years.
Their actual period of work must have been much shorter. Possibly all
these persons had worked, actually and directly, only one-sixth or
one-tenth of the above time. Such are conditions of underground
activity. On the other hand, the time spent in prison and exile is real
time: the Convention had spent over fifty thousand days and nights
behind iron bars, and more than that in barbarous corners of the

Perhaps I may give, in addition to these figures, some facts about
myself. The author of these lines was arrested for the first time in
January, 1898, after working for ten months in the workmen's circles of
Nikolayev. He spent two and a half years in prison, and escaped from
Siberia after living there two years of his four years' exile. He was
arrested the second time on December 3rd, 1905, as a member of the
Petersburg Council of Workmen's Deputies. The Council had existed for
fifty days. The arrested members of the Soviet each spent 400 days in
prison, then they were sent to Obdorsk "forever." ... Each Russian
Social-Democrat who has worked in his Party for ten years could give
similar statistics about himself.

The political helter-skelter which exists in Russia since October 17th
and which the Gotha Almanach has characterized with unconscious humor as
"_A Constitutional Monarchy under an absolute Tzar_," has changed
nothing in our situation. This political order cannot reconcile itself
with us, not even temporarily, as it is organically incapable of
admitting any free activity of the masses. The simpletons and hypocrites
who urge us to "keep within legal limits" remind one of Marie Antoinette
who recommended the starving peasants to eat cake! One would think we
suffer from an organic aversion for cake, a kind of incurable disease!
One would think our lungs infected with an irresistible desire to
breathe the atmosphere of the solitary dungeons in the Fortress of Peter
and Paul! One would think we have no other use for those endless hours
pulled out of our lives by the jailers.

We love our underground just as little as a drowning person loves the
bottom of the sea. Yet, we have as little choice, as, let us say
directly, the absolutist order. Being fully aware of this we can afford
to be optimists even at a time when the underground tightens its grip
around our necks with unrelenting grimness. It will not choke us, we
know it! We shall survive! When the bones of all the great deeds which
are being performed now by the princes of the earth, their servants and
the servants of their servants will have turned to dust, when nobody
will know the graves of many present parties with all their
exploits--the Cause we are serving will rule the world, and our Party,
now choking underground, will dissolve itself into humanity, for the
first time its own master.

History is a tremendous mechanism serving our ideals. Its work is slow,
barbarously slow, implacably cruel, yet the work goes on. We believe in
it. Only at moments, when this voracious monster drinks the living blood
of our hearts to serve it as food, we wish to shout with all our might:

_What thou dost, do quickly!_

Paris, April 8/21, 1907.


     This essay was published in a New York Russian newspaper on January
     20th, 1917, less than two months before the Second Russian
     Revolution. Trotzky then lived in New York. The essay shows how his
     contempt, even hatred, for the liberal parties in Russia had grown
     since 1905-6.

(January 9th, 1905--January 9th, 1917)

Revolutionary anniversaries are not only days for reminiscence, they are
days for summing up revolutionary experiences, especially for us
Russians. Our history has not been rich. Our so-called "national
originality" consisted in being poor, ignorant, uncouth. It was the
revolution of 1905 that first opened before us the great highway of
political progress. On January 9th the workingman of Petersburg knocked
at the gate of the Winter Palace. On January 9th the entire Russian
people knocked at the gate of history.

The crowned janitor did not respond to the knock. Nine months later,
however, on October 17th, he was compelled to open the heavy gate of
absolutism. Notwithstanding all the efforts of bureaucracy, a little
slit stayed open--forever.

The revolution was defeated. The same old forces and almost the same
figures now rule Russia that ruled her twelve years ago. Yet the
revolution has changed Russia beyond recognition. The kingdom of
stagnation, servitude, vodka and humbleness has become a kingdom of
fermentation, criticism, fight. Where once there was a shapeless
dough--the impersonal, formless people, "Holy Russia,"--now social
classes consciously oppose each other, political parties have sprung
into existence, each with its program and methods of struggle.

January 9th opens _a new Russian history_. It is a line marked by the
blood of the people. There is no way back from this line to Asiatic
Russia, to the cursed practices of former generations. There is no way
back. There will never be.

Not the liberal bourgeoisie, not the democratic groups of the lower
bourgeoisie, not the radical intellectuals, not the millions of Russian
peasants, but the _Russian proletariat_ has by its struggle started the
new era in Russian history. This is basic. On the foundation of this
fact we, Social-Democrats, have built our conceptions and our tactics.

On January 9th it was the priest Gapon who happened to be at the head of
the Petersburg workers,--a fantastic figure, a combination of
adventurer, hysterical enthusiast and impostor. His priest's robe was
the last link that then connected the workingmen with the past, with
"Holy Russia." Nine months later, in the course of the October strike,
the greatest political strike history has ever seen, there was at the
head of the Petersburg workingmen their own elective self-governing
organization--the Council of Workmen's Deputies. It contained many a
workingman who had been on Gapon's staff,--nine months of revolution had
made those men grow, as they made grow the entire working class which
the Soviet represented.

In the first period of the revolution, the activities of the proletariat
were met with sympathy, even with support from liberal society. The
Milukovs hoped the proletariat would punch absolutism and make it more
inclined to compromise with the bourgeoisie. Yet absolutism, for
centuries the only ruler of the people, was in no haste to share its
power with the liberal parties. In October, 1905, the bourgeoisie
learned that it could not obtain power before the back-bone of Tzarism
was broken. This blessed thing could, evidently, be accomplished only by
a victorious revolution. But the revolution put the working class in the
foreground, it united it and solidified it not only in its struggle
against Tzarism, but also in its struggle against capital. The result
was that each new revolutionary step of the proletariat in October,
November and December, the time of the Soviet, moved the liberals more
and more in the direction of the monarchy. The hopes for revolutionary
coöperation between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat turned out a
hopeless Utopia. Those who had not seen it then and had not understood
it later, those who still dream of a "national" uprising against
Tzarism, do not understand the revolution. For them class struggle is a
sealed book.

At the end of 1905 the question became acute. The monarchy had learned
by experience that the bourgeoisie would not support the proletariat in
a decisive battle. The monarchy then decided to move against the
proletariat with all its forces. The bloody days of December followed.
The Council of Workmen's Deputies was arrested by the Ismailovski
regiment which remained loyal to Tzarism. The answer of the proletariat
was momentous: the strike in Petersburg, the insurrection in Moscow, the
storm of revolutionary movements in all industrial centers, the
insurrection on the Caucasus and in the Lettish provinces.

The revolutionary movement was crushed. Many a poor "Socialist" readily
concluded from our December defeats that a revolution in Russia was
impossible without the support of the bourgeoisie. If this be true, it
would only mean that a revolution in Russia is impossible.

Our _upper industrial bourgeoisie_, the only class possessing actual
power, is separated from the proletariat by an insurmountable barrier of
class hatred, and it needs the monarchy as a pillar of order. The
Gutchkovs, Krestovnikovs and Ryabushinskys cannot fail to see in the
proletariat their mortal foe.

Our _middle and lower industrial and commercial bourgeoisie_ occupies a
very insignificant place in the economic life of the country, and is all
entangled in the net of capital. The Milukovs, the leaders of the lower
middle class, are successful only in so far as they represent the
interests of the upper bourgeoisie. This is why the Cadet leader called
the revolutionary banner a "red rag"; this is why he declared, after the
beginning of the war, that if a revolution were necessary to secure
victory over Germany, he would prefer no victory at all.

Our _peasantry_ occupies a tremendous place in Russian life. In 1905 it
was shaken to its deepest foundations. The peasants were driving out
their masters, setting estates on fire, seizing the land from the
landlords. Yes, the curse of the peasantry is that it is scattered,
disjointed, backward. Moreover, the interests of the various peasant
groups do not coincide. The peasants arose and fought adroitly against
their local slave-holders, yet they stopped in reverence before the
all-Russian slave-holder. The sons of the peasants in the army did not
understand that the workingmen were shedding their blood not only for
their own sake, but also for the sake of the peasants. The army was an
obedient tool in the hands of Tzarism. It crushed the labor revolution
in December, 1905.

Whoever thinks about the experiences of 1905, whoever draws a line from
that year to the present time, must see how utterly lifeless and pitiful
are the hopes of our Social-Patriots for revolutionary coöperation
between the proletariat and the liberal bourgeoisie.

During the last twelve years big capital has made great conquests in
Russia. The middle and lower bourgeoisie has become still more dependent
upon the banks and trusts. The working class, which had grown in numbers
since 1905, is now separated from the bourgeoisie by a deeper abyss than
before. If a "national" revolution was a failure twelve years ago,
there is still less hope for it at present.

It is true in the last years that the cultural and political level of
the peasantry has become higher. However, there is less hope now for a
revolutionary uprising of the peasantry as a whole than there was twelve
years ago. The only ally of the urban proletariat may be the proletarian
and half-proletarian strata of the village.

But, a skeptic may ask, is there then any hope for a victorious
revolution in Russia under these circumstances?

One thing is clear--if a revolution comes, it will not be a result of
coöperation between capital and labor. The experiences of 1905 show that
this is a miserable Utopia. To acquaint himself with those experiences,
to study them is the duty of every thinking workingman who is anxious to
avoid tragic mistakes. It is in this sense that we have said that
revolutionary anniversaries are not only days for reminiscences, but
also days for summing up revolutionary experiences.

     _Gutchkov_, _Ryabushinsky_ and _Krestovnikov_ are representatives
     of big capital in Russia. Gutchkov is the leader of the moderately
     liberal party of Octobrists. He was War Minister in the first
     Cabinet after the overthrow of the Romanoffs.


     This essay was written on March 13th, 1917, when the first news of
     unrest in Petrograd had reached New York.

The streets of Petrograd again speak the language of 1905. As in the
time of the Russo-Japanese war, the masses demand bread, peace, and
freedom. As in 1905, street cars are not running and newspapers do not
appear. The workingmen let the steam out of the boilers, they quit their
benches and walk out into the streets. The government mobilizes its
Cossacks. And as was in 1905, only those two powers are facing each
other in the streets--the revolutionary workingmen and the army of the

The movement was provoked by lack of bread. This, of course, is not an
accidental cause. In all the belligerent countries the lack of bread is
the most immediate, the most acute reason for dissatisfaction and
indignation among the masses. All the insanity of the war is revealed to
them from this angle: it is impossible to produce necessities of life
because one has to produce instruments of death.

However, the attempts of the Anglo-Russian semi-official news agencies
to explain the movement by a temporary shortage in food, or to snow
storms that have delayed transportation, are one of the most ludicrous
applications of the policy of the ostrich. The workingmen would not stop
the factories, the street cars, the print shops and walk into the
streets to meet Tzarism face to face on account of snow storms which
temporarily hamper the arrival of foodstuffs.

People have a short memory. Many of our own ranks have forgotten that
the war found Russia in a state of potent revolutionary ferment. After
the heavy stupor of 1908-1911, the proletariat gradually healed its
wounds in the following years of industrial prosperity; the slaughter of
strikers on the Lena River in April, 1912, awakened the revolutionary
energy of the proletarian masses. A series of strikes followed. In the
year preceding the world war, the wave of economic and political strikes
resembled that of 1905. When Poincaré, the President of the French
Republic, came to Petersburg in the summer of 1904 (evidently to talk
over with the Tzar how to free the small and weak nations) the Russian
proletariat was in a stage of extraordinary revolutionary tension, and
the President of the French Republic could see with his own eyes in the
capital of his friend, the Tzar, how the first barricades of the Second
Russian Revolution were being constructed.

The war checked the rising revolutionary tide. We have witnessed a
repetition of what happened ten years before, in the Russo-Japanese war.
After the stormy strikes of 1903, there had followed a year of almost
unbroken political silence--1904--the first year of the war. It took the
workingmen of Petersburg twelve months to orientate themselves in the
war and to walk out into the streets with their demands and protests.
January 9th, 1905, was, so to speak, the official beginning of our First

The present war is vaster than was the Russo-Japanese war. Millions of
soldiers have been mobilized by the government for the "defense of the
Fatherland." The ranks of the proletariat have thus been disorganized.
On the other hand, the more advanced elements of the proletariat had to
face and weigh in their minds a number of questions of unheard of
magnitude. What is the cause of the war? Shall the proletariat agree
with the conception of "the defense of the Fatherland"? What ought to
be the tactics of the working-class in war time?

In the meantime, the Tzarism and its allies, the upper groups of the
nobility and the bourgeoisie, had during the war completely exposed
their true nature,--the nature of criminal plunderers, blinded by
limitless greed and paralyzed by want of talent. The appetites for
conquest of the governing clique grew in proportion as the people began
to realize its complete inability to cope with the most elementary
problems of warfare, of industry and supplies in war time.
Simultaneously, the misery of the people grew, deepened, became more and
more acute,--a natural result of the war multiplied by the criminal
anarchy of the Rasputin Tzarism.

In the depths of the great masses, among people who may have never been
reached by a word of propaganda, a profound bitterness accumulated under
the stress of events. Meantime the foremost ranks of the proletariat
were finishing digesting the new events. The Socialist proletariat of
Russia came to after the shock of the nationalist fall of the most
influential part of the International, and decided that new times call
us not to let up, but to increase our revolutionary struggle.

The present events in Petrograd and Moscow are a result of this internal
preparatory work.

A disorganized, compromised, disjointed government on top. An utterly
demoralized army. Dissatisfaction, uncertainty and fear among the
propertied classes. At the bottom, among the masses, a deep bitterness.
A proletariat numerically stronger than ever, hardened in the fire of
events. All this warrants the statement that we are witnessing the
beginning of the Second Russian Revolution. Let us hope that many of us
will be its participants.


(Internal Forces of the Russian Revolution)

Let us examine more closely what is going on.

Nicholas has been dethroned, and according to some information, is under
arrest. The most conspicuous Black Hundred leaders have been arrested.
Some of the most hated have been killed. A new Ministry has been formed
consisting of Octobrists, Liberals and the Radical Kerensky. A general
amnesty has been proclaimed.

All these are facts, big facts. These are the facts that strike the
outer world most. Changes in the higher government give the bourgeoisie
of Europe and America an occasion to say that the revolution has won and
is now completed.

The Tzar and his Black Hundred fought for their power, for this alone.
The war, the imperialistic plans of the Russian bourgeoisie, the
interests of the Allies, were of minor importance to the Tzar and his
clique. They were ready at any moment to conclude peace with the
Hohenzollerns and Hapsburgs, to free their most loyal regiment for war
against their own people.

The Progressive Bloc of the Duma mistrusted the Tzar and his Ministers.
This Bloc consisted of various parties of the Russian bourgeoisie. The
Bloc had two aims: one, to conduct the war to a victorious end; another,
to secure internal reforms: more order, control, accounting. A victory
is necessary for the Russian bourgeoisie to conquer markets, to increase
their territories, to get rich. Reforms are necessary primarily to
enable the Russian bourgeoisie to win the war.

The progressive imperialistic Bloc wanted _peaceful_ reforms. The
liberals intended to exert a Duma pressure on the monarchy and to keep
it in check with the aid of the governments of Great Britain and France.
They did not want a revolution. They knew that a revolution, bringing
the working masses to the front, would be a menace to their domination,
and primarily a menace to their imperialistic plans. The laboring
masses, in the cities and in the villages, and even in the army itself,
want peace. The liberals know it. This is why they have been enemies of
the revolution all these years. A few months ago Milukov declared in
the Duma: "If a revolution were necessary for victory, I would prefer no
victory at all."

Yet the liberals are now in power--through the Revolution. The bourgeois
newspaper men see nothing but this fact. Milukov, already in his
capacity as a Minister of Foreign Affairs, has declared that the
revolution has been conducted in the name of a victory over the enemy,
and that the new government has taken upon itself to continue the war to
a victorious end. The New York Stock Exchange interpreted the Revolution
in this specific sense. There are clever people both on the Stock
Exchange and among the bourgeois newspaper men. Yet they are all
amazingly stupid when they come to deal with mass-movements. They think
that Milukov manages the revolution, in the same sense as they manage
their banks or news offices. They see only the liberal governmental
reflection of the unfolding events, they notice only the foam on the
surface of the historical torrent.

The long pent-up dissatisfaction of the masses has burst forth so late,
in the thirty-second month of the war, not because the masses were held
by police barriers--those barriers had been badly shattered during the
war--but because all liberal institutions and organs, together with
their Social-Patriotic shadows, were exerting an enormous influence over
the least enlightened elements of the workingmen, urging them to keep
order and discipline in the name of "patriotism." Hungry women were
already walking out into the streets, and the workingmen were getting
ready to uphold them by a general strike, while the liberal bourgeoisie,
according to news reports, still issued proclamations and delivered
speeches to check the movement,--resembling that famous heroine of
Dickens who tried to stem the tide of the ocean with a broom.

The movement, however, took its course, from below, from the
workingmen's quarters. After hours and days of uncertainty, of shooting,
of skirmishes, the army joined in the revolution, from below, from the
best of the soldier masses. The old government was powerless, paralyzed,
annihilated. The Tzar fled from the capital "to the front." The Black
Hundred bureaucrats crept, like cockroaches, each into his corner.

Then, and only then, came the Duma's turn to act. The Tzar had attempted
in the last minute to dissolve it. And the Duma would have obeyed,
"following the example of former years," had it been free to adjourn.
The capitals, however, were already dominated by the revolutionary
people, the same people that had walked out into the streets despite the
wishes of the liberal bourgeoisie. The army was with the people. Had not
the bourgeoisie attempted to organize its own government, a
revolutionary government would have emerged from the revolutionary
working masses. The Duma of June 3rd would never have dared to seize the
power from the hands of Tzarism. But it did not want to miss the chance
offered by interregnum: the monarchy had disappeared, while a
revolutionary government was not yet formed. Contrary to all their part,
contrary to their own policies and against their will, the liberals
found themselves in possession of power.

Milukov now declares Russia will continue the war "to the end." It is
not easy for him so to speak: he knows that his words are apt to arouse
the indignation of the masses against the new government. Yet he had to
speak to them--for the sake of the London, Paris and American Stock
Exchanges. It is quite possible that he cabled his declaration for
foreign consumption only, and that he concealed it from his own

Milukov knows very well that _under given conditions he cannot continue
the war, crush Germany, dismember Austria, occupy Constantinople and

The masses have revolted, demanding bread and peace. The appearance of a
few liberals at the head of the government has not fed the hungry, has
not healed the wounds of the people. To satisfy the most urgent, the
most acute needs of the people, _peace_ must be restored. The liberal
imperialistic Bloc does not dare to speak of peace. They do not do it,
first, on account of the Allies. They do not do it, further, because the
liberal bourgeoisie is to a great extent responsible before the people
for the present war. The Milukovs and Gutchkovs, not less than the
Romanoff camarilla, have thrown the country into this monstrous
imperialistic adventure. To stop the war, to return to the ante-bellum
misery would mean that they have to account to the people for this
undertaking. The Milukovs and Gutchkovs are afraid of the liquidation of
the war not less than they were afraid of the Revolution.

This is their aspect in their new capacity, as the government of
Russia. They are compelled to continue the war, and they can have no
hope of victory; they are afraid of the people, and people do not trust

This is how Karl Marx characterized a similar situation:

"From the very beginning ready to betray the people and to compromise
with the crowned representatives of the old régime, because the
bourgeoisie itself belongs to the old world; ... keeping a place at the
steering wheel of the revolution not because the people were back of
them, but because the people pushed them forward; ... having no faith in
themselves, no faith in the people; grumbling against those above,
trembling before those below; selfish towards both fronts and aware of
their selfishness; revolutionary in the face of conservatives, and
conservative in the face of revolutionists, with no confidence in their
own slogans and with phrases instead of ideas; frightened by the world's
storm and exploiting the world's storm,--vulgar through lack of
originality, and original only in vulgarity; making profitable business
out of their own desires, with no initiative, with no vocation for
world-wide historic work ... a cursed senile creature condemned to
direct and abuse in his own senile interests the first youthful
movements of a powerful people,--a creature with no eyes, with no ears,
with no teeth, with nothing whatever,--this is how the Prussian
bourgeoisie stood at the steering wheel of the Prussian state after the
March revolution."

These words of the great master give a perfect picture of the Russian
liberal bourgeoisie, as it stands at the steering wheel of the
government after _our_ March revolution. "With no faith in themselves,
with no faith in the people, with no eyes, with no teeth." ... This is
their political face.

Luckily for Russia and Europe, there is another face to the Russian
Revolution, a genuine face: the cables have brought the news that the
Provisional Government is opposed by a Workmen's Committee which has
already raised a voice of protest against the liberal attempt to rob the
Revolution and to deliver the people to the monarchy.

Should the Russian Revolution stop to-day as the representatives of
liberalism advocate, to-morrow the reaction of the Tzar, the nobility
and the bureaucracy would gather power and drive Milukov and Gutchkov
from their insecure ministerial trenches, as did the Prussian reaction
years ago with the representatives of Prussian liberalism. But the
Russian Revolution will not stop. Time will come, and the Revolution
will make a clean sweep of the bourgeois liberals blocking its way, as
it is now making a clean sweep of the Tzarism reaction.

(Published in New York on March 17, 1917.)

     _June Third_, 1907, was the day on which, after the dissolution of
     the First and Second Dumas, the Tzar's government, in defiance of
     the Constitution, promulgated a new electoral law which eliminated
     from the Russian quasi-Parliament large groups of democratic
     voters, thus securing a "tame" majority obedient to the command of
     the government. To say "The Duma of June Third" is equivalent to
     saying: "a Duma dominated by representatives of rich land-owners
     and big business," generally working hand in hand with autocracy,
     though pretending to be representatives of the people. In the Duma
     of June Third, the Octobrists and all parties to the right of them
     were with the government, the Constitutional Democrats (Cadets) and
     all parties to the left of them were in the opposition.

     The _Progressive Bloc_ was formed in the Duma in 1915. It included
     a number of liberal and conservative factions, together with the
     Cadets, and was opposed to the government. Its program was a
     Cabinet responsible to the Duma.


An open conflict between the forces of the Revolution, headed by the
city proletariat and the anti-revolutionary liberal bourgeoisie
temporarily at the head of the government, is more and more impending.
It cannot be avoided. Of course, the liberal bourgeoisie and the
quasi-Socialists of the vulgar type will find a collection of very
touching slogans as to "national unity" against class divisions; yet no
one has ever succeeded in removing social contrasts by conjuring with
words or in checking the natural progress of revolutionary struggle.

The internal history of unfolding events is known to us only in
fragments, through casual remarks in the official telegrams. But even
now it is apparent that on two points the revolutionary proletariat is
bound to oppose the liberal bourgeoisie with ever-growing determination.

The first conflict has already arisen around the question of the form of
government. The Russian bourgeoisie needs a monarchy. In all the
countries pursuing an imperialistic policy, we observe an unusual
increase of personal power. The policy of world usurpations, secret
treaties and open treachery requires independence from Parliamentary
control and a guarantee against changes in policies caused by the change
of Cabinets. Moreover, for the propertied classes the monarchy is the
most secure ally in its struggle against the revolutionary onslaught of
the proletariat.

In Russia both these causes are more effective than elsewhere. The
Russian bourgeoisie finds it impossible to deny the people universal
suffrage, well aware that this would arouse opposition against the
Provisional Government among the masses, and give prevalence to the
left, the more determined wing of the proletariat in the Revolution.
Even that monarch of the reserve, Michael Alexandrovitch, understands
that he cannot reach the throne without having promised "universal,
equal, direct and secret suffrage." It is the more essential for the
bourgeoisie to create right now a monarchic counterbalance against the
deepest social-revolutionary demands of the working masses. _Formally_,
in words, the bourgeoisie has agreed to leave the question of a form of
government to the discretion of the Constituent Assembly. Practically,
however, the Octobrist-Cadet Provisional Government will turn all the
preparatory work for the Constituent Assembly into a campaign in favor
of a monarchy against a Republic. The character of the Constituent
Assembly will largely depend upon the character of those who convoke it.
It is evident, therefore, that right now the revolutionary proletariat
will have _to set up its own organs, the Councils of Workingmen's
Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies, against the executive organs of the
Provisional Government_. In this struggle the proletariat ought to unite
about itself the rising masses of the people, with one aim in view--_to
seize governmental power_. Only a Revolutionary Labor Government will
have the desire and ability to give the country a thorough democratic
cleansing during the work preparatory to the Constituent Assembly, to
reconstruct the army from top to bottom, to turn it into _a
revolutionary militia_ and to show the poorer peasants in practice that
their only salvation is in a support of a revolutionary labor régime. A
Constituent Assembly convoked after such preparatory work will truly
reflect the revolutionary, creative forces of the country and become a
powerful factor in the further development of the Revolution.

The second question that is bound to bring the internationally inclined
Socialist proletariat in opposition to the imperialistic liberal
bourgeoisie, is _the question of war and peace_.

(Published in New York, March 19, 1917.)


The question of chief interest, now, to the governments and the peoples
of the world is, What will be the influence of the Russian Revolution on
the War? Will it bring peace nearer? Or will the revolutionary
enthusiasm of the people swing towards a more vigorous prosecution of
the war?

This is a great question. On its solution depends not only the outcome
of the war, but the fate of the Revolution itself.

In 1905, Milukov, the present militant Minister of Foreign Affairs,
called the Russo-Japanese war an adventure and demanded its immediate
cessation. This was also the spirit of the liberal and radical press.
The strongest industrial organizations favored immediate peace in spite
of unequaled disasters. Why was it so? Because they expected internal
reforms. The establishment of a Constitutional system, a parliamentary
control over the budget and the state finances, a better school system
and, especially, an increase in the land possessions of the peasants,
would, they hoped, increase the prosperity of the population and create
a _vast internal market_ for Russian industry. It is true that even
then, twelve years ago, the Russian bourgeoisie was ready to usurp land
belonging to others. It hoped, however, that abolition of feudal
relations in the village would create a more powerful market than the
annexation of Manchuria or Corea.

The democratization of the country and liberation of the peasants,
however, turned out to be a slow process. Neither the Tzar, nor the
nobility, nor the bureaucracy were willing to yield any of their
prerogatives. Liberal exhortations were not enough to make them give up
the machinery of the state and their land possessions. A revolutionary
onslaught of the masses was required. This the bourgeoisie did not want.
The agrarian revolts of the peasants, the ever growing struggle of the
proletariat and the spread of insurrections in the army caused the
liberal bourgeoisie to fall back into the camp of the Tzarist
bureaucracy and reactionary nobility. Their alliance was sealed by the
_coup d'état_ of June 3rd, 1907. Out of this _coup d'état_ emerged the
Third and the Fourth Dumas.

The peasants received no land. The administrative system changed only in
name, not in substance. The development of an internal market consisting
of prosperous farmers, after the American fashion, did not take place.
The capitalist classes, reconciled with the régime of June 3rd, turned
their attention to the usurpation of foreign markets. A new era of
Russian imperialism ensues, an imperialism accompanied by a disorderly
financial and military system and by insatiable appetites. Gutchkov, the
present War Minister, was formerly a member of the Committee on National
Defense, helping to make the army and the navy complete. Milukov, the
present Minister of Foreign Affairs, worked out a program of world
conquests which he advocated on his trips to Europe. Russian imperialism
and his Octobrist and Cadet representatives bear a great part of the
responsibility for the present war.

By the grace of the Revolution which they had not wanted and which they
had fought, Gutchkov and Milukov are now in power. For the continuation
of the war, for victory? Of course! They are the same persons who had
dragged the country into the war for the sake of the interests of
capital. All their opposition to Tzarism had its source in their
unsatisfied imperialistic appetites. So long as the clique of Nicholas
II. was in power, the interests of the dynasty and of the reactionary
nobility were prevailing in Russian foreign affairs. This is why Berlin
and Vienna had hoped to conclude a separate peace with Russia. Now,
purely imperialistic interests have superseded the Tzarism interests;
pure imperialism is written on the banner of the Provisional Government.
"The government of the Tzar is gone," the Milukovs and Gutchkovs say to
the people, "now you must shed your blood for the common interests of
the entire nation." Those interests the imperialists understand as the
reincorporation of Poland, the conquest of Galicia, Constantinople,
Armenia, Persia.

This transition from an imperialism of the dynasty and the nobility to
an imperialism of a purely bourgeois character, can never reconcile the
Russian proletariat to the war. An international struggle against the
world slaughter and imperialism are now our task more than ever. The
last despatches which tell of an anti-militaristic propaganda in the
streets of Petrograd show that our comrades are bravely doing their

_The imperialistic boasts of Milukov to crush Germany, Austria and
Turkey are the most effective and most timely aid for the Hohenzollerns
and Hapsburgs...._ Milukov will now serve as a scare-crow in their
hands. The liberal imperialistic government of Russia has not yet
started reform in its own army, yet it is already helping the
Hohenzollerns to raise the patriotic spirit and to mend the shattered
"national unity" of the German people. Should the German proletariat be
given a right to think that all the Russian people and the main force of
the Russian Revolution, the proletariat, are behind the bourgeois
government of Russia, it would be a terrific blow to the men of our
trend of mind, the revolutionary Socialists of Germany. To turn the
Russian proletariat into patriotic cannon food in the service of the
Russian liberal bourgeoisie would mean _to throw the German working
masses into the camp of the chauvinists and for a long time to halt the
progress of a revolution in Germany_.

The prime duty of the revolutionary proletariat in Russia is to show
that there is _no power_ behind the evil imperialistic will of the
liberal bourgeoisie. The Russian Revolution has to show the entire world
its real face.

_The further progress of the revolutionary struggle in Russia and the
creation of a Revolutionary Labor Government supported by the people
will be a mortal blow to the Hohenzollerns because it will give a
powerful stimulus to the revolutionary movement of the German
proletariat and of the labor masses of all the other countries._ If the
first Russian Revolution of 1905 brought about revolutions in Asia--in
Persia, Turkey, China--the Second Russian Revolution will be the
beginning of a powerful social-revolutionary struggle in Europe. Only
this struggle will bring real peace to the blood-drenched world.

No, the Russian proletariat will not allow itself to be harnessed to the
chariot of Milukov imperialism. The banner of Russian Social-Democracy
is now, more than ever before, glowing with bright slogans of inflexible

Away with imperialistic robbers!

Long live a Revolutionary Labor Government!

Long live Peace and the Brotherhood of Nations!

(Published in New York, March 20, 1917.)


(From a Russian paper)

Trotzky, always Trotzky.

Since I had seen him the last time, he has been advanced in rank: he has
become the chairman of the Petrograd Soviet. He has succeeded
Tchcheidze, the wise, sober leader who has lost the confidence of the
revolutionary masses. He holds the place of Lenin, the recognized leader
of the left wing of Social-Democracy, whose absence from the capital is
due to external, accidental causes.

It seems to me that Trotzky has become more nervous, more gloomy, and
more restrained. Something like a freezing chill emanates from his deep
and restless eyes; a cool, determined, ironical smile plays around his
mobile Jewish lips, and there is a chill in his well-balanced, clear-cut
words which he throws into his audience with a peculiar calmness.

He seems almost lonesome on the platform. Only a small group of
followers applaud. The others protest against his words or cast angry,
restless glances at him. He is in a hostile gathering. He is a stranger.
Is he not also a stranger to those who applaud him and in whose name he
speaks from this platform?

Calm and composed he looks at his adversaries, and you feel it is a
peculiar joy for him to see the rage, the fear, the excitement his words
provoke. He is a Mephisto who throws words like bombs to create a war of
brothers at the bedside of their sick mother.

He knows in advance which words will have the greatest effect, which
would provoke the most bitter resentment. And the more extreme, the more
painful his words are, the firmer and stronger is his voice, the slower
his speech, the more challenging his tone. He speaks a sentence, then he
stops to wait till the storm is over, then he repeats his assertion,
with sharper intonation and with more disdain in his tone. Only his eyes
become more nervous, and a peculiar disquieting fire is blazing in them.

This time he does not speak; he reads a written declaration. He reads it
with pauses, sometimes accentuating the words, sometimes passing over
them quickly, but all the time he is aware of the effect and waits for a

His voice is the voice of a prophet, a preacher:

"Petrograd is in danger! The Revolution is in danger! The people are in
danger!" ...

He is a stranger on the platform, and yet--electric currents flow from
him to his surroundings, creating sincere though primitive enthusiasm on
one side, on the other anger and spite. He opens vast perspectives
before the naïve faithful masses:

"Long live an immediate, honest, democratic peace!"

"All power to the Workmen's Councils! All the land to the people!"


  Absolutism, rôle of, in outgrowing economic basis, 69;
    in promoting industry and science, 69, 70;
    as an end in itself, 70-71.

  Agrarian question, 132-136.

  Armament for the Revolution, 57-58.

  Army, 35, 36, 37.

  Bourgeoisie, imperialistic plans of, 189-191;
    afraid of peace, 194-5;
    reactionary, 203-4;
    responsible for the war, 209-211.

  Capitalism, preparing its own collapse, 138-9;
    and feudal reaction, 139-140.

  Cities, as scene of revolutionary battles, 41;
    social structure of, 71-72.

  Class consciousness, of proletariat, as prerequisite to Socialism,

  Constituent Assembly, as a revolutionary slogan, 43-44.

  Demonstrations, in the streets, 41-42;
    to become of nation-wide magnitude, 57.

  French Revolution, 73-77.

  Gapon, 59, 62; 172-3.

  Intelligentzia, 145.

  January Ninth, 49; 59-60; 171-173.

  June Third, 198.

  Labor Dictatorship, 94-97;
    crushing absolutism, abandoning its remnants, 103-104;
    introducing class politics, 103;
    introducing class struggle in the village, 104-105;
    introducing Collectivism and Internationalism, 105;
    abandoning distinction between minimum and maximum program, 106;
    and eight hour workday, 106-108;
    and unemployment, 108-9;
    and agriculture, 109;
    and Collectivism, 109-110;
    and class consciousness, 124-128;
    incompatible with economic slavery, 132;
    and agrarian question, 132-136.

  Liberalism, denying the existence of revolutionary masses, 52-53;
    defeated by events of January 9th, 54;
    trying to "tame" revolutionary people, 55;
    not reliable as partner in Revolution, 173-174; 176-7.

  Manoeuvers, revolutionary, 29-30.

  Masses, drawn into the Revolution, 37-39;
    as a political reality, 51-52;
    stirred by world-war, 183-4.

  Middle-class (_see_ Bourgeoisie), weakness of, in Russia, 71, 72.

  Militia, 81-82.

  "Osvoboshdenie," 52, 53, 62.

  Peasantry, as of no significance in Revolution, 175-7.

  Poland, as possible revolutionary link between Russia and Europe,

  Prerequisites to Socialism, in relation to each other, 113-117.

  Proletariat, as a vanguard of the Revolution, 33-35;
    rôle of, in events of January 9th, 56-57;
    stronger than bourgeoisie in Russia, 72;
    growing with capitalism, 84;
    may sooner reach political supremacy in a backward country, 84-85;
    as liberator of peasants, 98-100;
    as a class objectively opposed to capitalism, 119-124;
    to revolutionize European proletariat, 142-4.

  Revolution, in Europe, as aid to Socialism in Russia, 136-7;
    may be result of shattered European equilibrium, 141-42;
    as result of Russian Revolution, 142-4.

  Revolution, in general, 83;
    of bourgeois character, 92-93.

  Revolution, of _1848_, 77-80.

  Revolution, of _1917_, its causes, 181-5;
    social forces in, 191-192;
    to stir up revolution in Germany, 212.

  Social-Democracy, foresaw revolution, 55-6;
    natural leader of the Revolution, 60-61.

  Soviet, distinguishing Russian Revolution from that of _1848_, 80;
    short history of, 145;
    general survey of the rôle of, 151-4;
    as class-organization, 154-156;
    as organ of political authority, 158-9;
    an imminent form of Russian Revolution, 160;
    program of (outlined by Trotzky for the future), 160-1;
    to fight against Provisional Government, 203.

  "Spring," 24-25; 32; 54.

  Strike, political, as beginning of Revolution, 35-36; 42, 43.

  Struve, 62.

  Technique, industrial, as prerequisite to Socialism, 113; 117-119.

  "Underground," and the revolutionist, 165-8.

  War, Russo-Japanese, 25;
    of the world, as influencing masses, 183-4.

  Witte, 62, 145.

  Zemstvo, movement of, in _1904_, 24-25; 33; 62.


Obvious typesetting errors have been corrected. Questionable or vintage
spelling has been left as printed in the original publication.
Variations in spelling have been left as printed, unless otherwise noted
in the following.

In the original publication, each chapter listed in the Contents section
was preceded by a "title page" containing only the chapter title as
listed in the Contents, followed by a blank page. The chapter title was
repeated on the first page in each chapter. The chapter title pages have
not been reproduced in this transcription.

Page 90: The following phrase, beginning a quotation, has no closing
quotation mark in the original publication: "the struggle for the
interests of Russia as a whole...."

Page 145: Transcribed "on" as "of" to match the quoted phrase on p. 106:
"private ownership of the means of production". Originally printed as:
"'private ownership on the means of production'".

Page 174: Transcribed "Caucasas" as "Caucasus". As originally printed:
"the insurrection on the Caucasas and in the Lettish provinces."

Page 193: Supplied "to" in the following phrase, shown in brackets: "Yet
he had to speak [to] them...."

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