[Marxism] Re: treacherous and bourgeois regime

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Mon Jan 30 14:09:14 MST 2006

Fred Feldman:
>The big difference in the socialist movement was not over whether the
>socialist revolution was on the agenda in 1905 -- Trotsky had a very
>valuable insight on the socialist potentialities, while Lenin was much
>more cautious about how things would proceed, but at the time Trotsky's
>estimate had a speculative character and could not have formed the basis
>of a sharp division, despite his attempts retrospectively to see things
>otherwise in Three Concepts of the Russian Revolution.

This is the second time I have heard this interpretation--the first time 
from Joaquin. To the contrary, the differences were very sharply defined at 
least between Lenin and Trotsky. Within the Bolsheviks, there was complete 
agreement that the revolution would be bourgeois in character. In fact, 
there was agreement with the Mensheviks as well on this. They only differed 
on who would lead it. The Mensheviks believed that the bourgeoisie would 
lead it, while Lenin thought the workers would.

It should be remembered that Trotsky's ideas on this question owed a lot to 
Parvus. Parvus' real name was Dr. Israel Lazarevich Helphand, a Jew from 
Belarus (with a name like that, no surprise!).

Here's Lenin bawling out Trotsky and Parvus in 1905 for not understanding 
that the Russian Revolution would be capitalist:

If that windbag Trotsky now writes (unfortunately, side by side with 
Parvus) that "a Father Gapon could appear only once", that "there is no 
room for a second Gapon", he does so simply because he is a windbag. If 
there were no room in Russia for a second Gapon, there would be no room for 
a truly "great", consummated democratic revolution. To become great, to 
evoke 1789-93, not 1848-50, and to surpass those years, it must rouse the 
vast masses to active life, to heroic efforts, to "fundamental historic 
creativeness"; it must raise them out of frightful ignorance, unparalleled 
oppression, incredible backwardness, and abysmal dullness. The revolution 
is already raising them and will raise them completely; the government 
itself is facilitating   the process by its desperate resistance. But, of 
course, there can be no question of a mature political consciousness, of a 
Social-Democratic consciousness of these masses or their numerous "native" 
popular leaders or even "muzhik" leaders. They cannot become 
Social-Democrats at once without first passing a number of revolutionary 
tests, not only because of their ignorance (revolution, we repeat, 
enlightens with marvellous speed), but because their class position is not 
proletarian, because the objective logic of historical development 
confronts them at the present time with the tasks, not of a socialist, but 
of a democratic revolution.

full: http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1905/sdprg/iv.htm



More information about the Marxism mailing list