Inserts to V. Kalinin’s Article “The Peasant Congress”

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This insert was written by Lenin while he was editing the article, “The Peasant Congress” by V. Kalinin (pseudonym of V. Karpinsky), which was published in No. 25 of Proletary, November 16(3), 1905.

1[edit source]

We see, consequently, that consistent socialists must unequivocally support the revolutionary struggle of any section of the peasantry, even the well-to-do, against the bureaucracy and the landlords; however, consistent socialists must make it clearly understood that the “general redistribution” desired by the peasants is still not socialism. Socialism demands the abolition of the power of the money-bag, the power of capital, the abolition of all private ownership of the means of production, the abolition of commodity economy. Socialism demands that the land and the factories should pass into the hands of all the working people, who, following an all-over plan, will organise large-scale— and not scattered and small-scale—production.

The peasants’ struggle for land and freedom is a big step towards socialism, but one that is very, very far from socialism.

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The resolution on tactics as adopted by the Congress is amazing in its feebleness. We are inclined to think that here one of the peasantry’s well-wishers (the liberals) has again been giving some kind of “explanation”.

Here is the resolution:

"The activities of the Peasant Union may be public or secret (underground), this depending on local conditions. All members of the Union must propagate their views and give effect to their demands, making use of all available methods, and disregarding opposition from Rural Superintendents, the police, or other authorities. It is also insistently advised that use be made of the right to draw up public resolutions at village and volost gatherings and private conferences, regarding improvements in the organisation of the State, and in the welfare of the people.”

A resolution like this is most unsatisfactory. Instead of the organisation of a revolutionary party, the resolution organises merely an extension to the liberal party. The course of the movement itself must of necessity and inevitably bring about a split between the liberal landowners and the revolutionary peasants, and we, Social-Democrats, will try to accelerate that split.