Revolutionary Theory In Russian Politics

Submitted By Willum-Willum
Words: 1318
Pages: 6

Without revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement. This idea cannot be insisted upon too strongly.... Yet, for Russian
Social-Democrats the importance of theory is enhanced by three other circumstances, which are often forgotten: first, by the fact that our
Parry is only in process of furmation, its fea­ tures are only just becoming defined, and it has as yet far from setded accounts with the other trends of revolutionary thought that threaten to divert the movement from the cor­ rect path ....
Secondly, the Social-Democratic movement is in its very essence an international move­ ment. This means, not only that we must com­ bat national chauvinism, but that an incipient movement in a young country can be success­ ful only if it makes use of the experiences of orher countries. In order to make use of these experiences it is not enough merely to be ac­ quainted with them, or simply to copy out the latest resolutions. What is requ.ired is the abil­ ity to treat these experiences critically and to test them independently. He who realises how enormously the modern working-class move­ ment has grown and branched out will under­ stand what a reserve of theoretical forces and political (as well as revolutionary) experience is required to carry out this task.
{T]he national tasks of Russian Social­
Democracy are such as have never confronted any other socialist party in the world. We shall have occasion further on to deal with the polit­ ical and organisational duties which the task of emancipating the whole people from the yoke of autocracy imposes upon us. At this point, we wish to state only that the role of va1lguard fighter ca1l be fulfilled only by a party that ;! guided by the mO!1 advanced theory. ...
We have said that there could 1Iot have been
Social-Democratic consciousness among the workers. It would have to be brought to them from without. The history of all countries shows that the working class, exclusively by its own effort, is able to develop only rrade-union consciousness, i.e. the conviction that it is nec­ essary to combine in unions, fight the employ­ ers, and strive to compel the government to pass necessary labour legislation, etc. The the­ ory of socialism, however, grew out of the

philosophic, historical, and economic theories elaborated by educated representatives of the' propertied classes, by intellectuals. By their social status, the founders of modern scien­ tific socialism, Marx and Engels, themselves belonged to the bourgeois intelligentsia. In the very same way, in Russia, the theoretical doctrine of Social-Democracy arose altogether in its relation to a given group of e~pl~yers alone, but in1ts relation to all classes of mod­ ern society and to the state as an organised po­ litical force. Hence, it follows that not only must Social-Democrats not confine themselves exclusively to the economic struggle, but that they must not allow {investigating misman­
. agement of the economy] to become the pre­ dominant part of rheir activities. We must take up actively the political education of the working class and the development of its polit­ ical consciousness.

lenin did not think there was a danger that the secret, tightly centralized revolutionary organization would establish a dictatorship over the proletariat. He trusted that close comradeship and a sense of responsibil­ ity would lead to a superior revolutionary
"democratism." He looked to the Russian revolutionaries as the vanguard of the inter­ national revolutionary movement.

... We can never give a mass organisation that degree of secrecy without which there can be no question of persistent and continuous struggle against the government. To concen­ trate all secret functions in the hands of as small a number of professional revolutionaries. as possible does not mean that the latter will
"do the thinking for all" and that the rank and file will not take an active part in the m01lCmcnt.
On the contrary, the membership will promote