The Tsarist Peace

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Author(s) Lenin
Written 19 January 1908


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First published in 1931 in Lenin Miscellany XVI. Published according to the manuscript.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1962, Moscow, Volume 8, page 124.

The foreign press reported that at recent conferences in Tsarskoye Selo (after the victory of January 9), with or without the tsar attending, the question of the desirability of peace with Japan was animatedly discussed. In principle, all who surround the adored monarch stand for peace now. The number of state dignitaries who ten days ago were emphatically for continuing the war has now dwindled considerably, and many of them have now become convinced advocates of peace.

We mention this for the information of the simple Social-Democrats of the so-called Central Organ of our Party, who failed to understand that the phrases about “peace at any price”, while remaining empty phrases (for no one asked the opinion of the Social-Democrats, and their opinion counted for nought), actually, in the present situation, have merely played into the hands of the frightened adherents of the autocracy. Our new-Iskrists missed the change of mood on the part of the whole European bourgeoisie (which began with sympathy towards Japan and has long since started to shift in favour of Russia through fear of the revolution—cf. Frankfurter Zeitung and others). Now they miss the fact that the empty, hackneyed phrases about peace at any price are beginning to be utilised also by the St. Petersburg Ugryum-Burcheyevs[1] for their own purpose.

  1. Ugryum-Burcheyev—a type of dull and narrow-minded dignitary depicted by Saltykov-Shchedrin in his story History of a Town.
    By the St. Petersburg Ugryum-Burcheyevs Lenin meant members of the palace clique of Tsar Nicholas II.