Constitutional Illusions Shattered
Published for the first time. Published according to the manuscript.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1975, Moscow, Volume 18, pages 549-550.
“We have a constitution, thank God!” exclaimed Mr. Milyukov after June 3, 1907. The leader of the liberal bourgeoisie sought comfort in amusing assertions of this kind, while concealing its distrust of the people and its reluctance, its fear, to depart from the “constitutional” path.
Most characteristically, it is just now, when the same Mr. Milyukov or his prim, official-minded liberal Rech acknowledges the “beginning of a social upswing” (No. 26), that the collapse of these constitutional illusions is becoming obvious. Underlying these illusions is the desire to dismiss an unpleasant reality (and the unpleasant necessity of taking a path that does not resemble the “constitutional” one), the desire to lull oneself and others with “constitutional” catchwords.
And now look what the liberals have to say of the present situation!
“It is dull in the Duma because there is no struggle going on” (No. 25).
Well, gentlemen, it was you who said we had a constitution!
“All the words have been spoken. What is needed now is deeds, but there is no faith in them. Hence the apathy” (ibid.).
You lulled yourselves with faith in words, which you addressed chiefly to the Octobrists. Now you admit that you spoke those words to cover up lack of faith in deeds. You have condemned yourselves, liberal gentlemen. Democrats in general, and workers in particular, have had no faith in words (about the constitution)—
- Part of the MS. has been lost.—Ed.