50 Years Ago: On Socialism in Russia

When we are told that socialism has been obtained in Russia without the long, hard and tedious work of educating the mass of the workers in Socialism, we not only deny it, but refer our critics to Lenin’s own confessions. His statements prove that even though a vigorous and small minority may be able to seize power for a time, they can only hold it by modifying their plans to suit the ignorant majority.


The folly of adopting Bolshevik methods here is admitted by Lenin in his pamphlet ‘The Chief Task of Our Times’ (Page 10) ‘A backward country can revolt quickly, because its opponent is rotten to the core, its middle class is not organised; but in order to continue the revolution a backward country will require immediately more circumspection, prudence and endurance. In Western Europe it will be quite different: there it will be much more difficult to begin “but it will be much easier to go on. This cannot be otherwise because there the proletariat is better organised and more closely united”.


We have often stated that because of a large anti-socialist peasantry and vast untrained population, Russia was a long way from Socialism. Lenin has now to admit this by saying: –


  “Reality says that State Capitalism would be a step forward for us: if we were able to bring about State Capitalism in a short time it would be a victory for us”.


(From an article “A Socialist View of Bolshevist Policy” by Adolf Kohn in the Socialist Standard, July 1920.)