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Socialist Consciousness

Bolshevism and the Russian Peasants

 In the early days of the Bolshevik regime, when we were giving Bolsheviks full credit for the magnificent efforts they were making on behalf of the working class, we met with violent abuse from many 100 per cent. revolutionaries, who, fresh from supporting the war, had just discovered that Kerensky whom they hailed was no better than President Wilson whom they hailed before him.

 They were unable to understand that it is not wise, nor even helpful, to credit men with actions which are in the nature of the case impossible. We said then that, with the best will in the world, the Bolsheviks could not establish Socialism in Russia; certain other things they could do and did do. In particular we said that the peasants, the great majority, did not understand Socialism, and did not want it. It was also quite apparent that nothing fundamental could be done without their consent.

What D' ye Lack

 It was the cry of the ’prentice of three and four hundred years ago, selling his master’s wares from the shop doorway. I am reminded of it when I pass you, fellow worker, mornings and evenings. In my thoughts I echo the question, and answer it in your name. What do you lack ?

 Food, plentiful and pure; yet it is you who grow, carry and prepare the delicate meal for the rich man’s table. Clothing, adequate and beautiful: though by your toil your master’s person is protected and adorned. A dwelling fair and well provided: yet your hands raise palaces and fill them with comfort. Leisure you have not, though your service makes other lives one holiday. Nor travel, though you build planes and ships. Nor peace for your mind to roam and your limbs to rest.

Editorial: A Question of Policy

 Several correspondents having recently asked questions with regard to the future revolutionary economic organisation, an attempt is made to deal generally with the matter in the following article.

 In the first place the position of this party has always been, no matter whether it is the economic organisation or the Socialist Commonwealth that is in question, that all matters of detail most be left to those upon whom the necessity to consider and arrange them is imposed by social development. Social development does not impose this task upon the Socialist Party at the present day. In every walk of life the broad scheme comes first. No organiser ever proceeds from the particular to the general—from the detail to the whole.

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