Among Newspapers and Periodicals (July 2, 1906)

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Those gentlemen, the Cadets, continue innocently to “fail to understand”. And perhaps the one who most stubbornly of all persists in “failing to understand” is Mr. Izgoyev. In a tone of injured innocence he expresses his indignation at “Messrs. the Bolsheviks” on account of their attacks against the Cadets.

“The party of ’people’s freedom’ will never deceive anybody. Nobody has a right to demand of it more than is indicated in the programme and tactics that have been approved by party congresses. The programme and tactics contain no mention of an armed uprising or the overthrow of the monarchy. The Bolsheviks must reckon with the party that actually exists; and it is somewhat strange that they should be angry with people who tell them the truth, and who refuse to act as they dictate.”

But, Mr. Izgoyev, we are “reckoning with the party that actually exists”. Do you continue to “fail to understand”? But the matter is so simple: for a bourgeois party, the programme of the “party of people’s freedom” is not at all bad. Please note that we are saying this quite seriously.

There (in the programme, Mr. Izgoyev!) one finds, for example, the demand for free speech, freedom of assembly, and quite a number of good things. But this has not prevented the Cadets from drafting repressive Bills against free speech, against freedom of assembly, and against the other good things.

Well, now about tactics....

True, party congresses have approved of the tactics of “with a shield, or on a shield”; “death with glory, or death with shame”. But outside of congresses, in actual politics, the Cadets’ tactics smack of something entirely different. You are opposed to an armed uprising? You have a perfect right to be, gentlemen. But you claim that you are in favour of inflexible, relentless opposition; you claim that you want power to be transferred to the people under a monarch who will reign, but not govern. Why then are you haggling for ministerial portfolios? So you see, Mr. Izgoyev; we are “reckoning with the party that actually exists”, and not with one that merely exists on paper. If you were really fighting on the lines laid down by your programme and tactics, which have been “approved by party congresses”, we would talk to you in entirely different terms.

Mr. Izgoyev’s article contains many other curiosities. But speaking generally, it is the literary property of Comrade A. L—y[1] and we do not intend to encroach upon it.

  1. ↑ A. L—y is A. V. Lunacharsky, who in Ekho, No. 8, wrote a reply to the article by Izgoyev directed against Lenin’s article “Yes Men of the Cadets”.