V. I.   Lenin





Ant. Pannekoek, “State Expenditure and Imperialism” (Die Neue Zeit, 1913–14, 32, 1, No. 4, October 24, 1913, p. 110 et seq.).

(x) “In my opinion, the contradiction between principled and reformist tactics is that the latter ? || is  too strongly determined by immediate interests, by easily attainable and apparent results, and sacrifices to them the inner strength of the proletariat. Principled, Marxist tactics aim primarily at increasing the power of the proletariat, thereby securing the highest positive results; for these results, being concessions made by the ruling classes, depend primarily on the power of the proletariat” (p. 111).

And before the above passage:

(**) not the right word; not so ||2 “The essence of the socialist class struggle is inseparable unity of the struggle for socialism (**) and representation of all the immediate interests of the proletariat. Only the Party’s fight for the current interests of the working class makes it the party of the proletariat, true! ||2 the party of the masses, and enables it to win victory” (x).

[BOX:] [[ N.B. Pannekoek’s formulation of the question of reformism is wrong. ]]

N.B. [DOUBLE LEFT-TOP-RIGHT BOX END:] Pannekoek has here posed a question of prime importance, but has answered it badly—or, at least, inaccurately. “The unity of the struggle for socialism and for reforms” or “and for the immediate interests of the workers”? But what is the struggle for socialism? In Pannekoek’s formula, the distinction between the Left and the “Centre” is blurred, wiped out, has disappeared. Even Kautsky (who, incidentally, made no rejoinder to this article of Pannekoek’s) would subscribe to Pannekoek’s formula (the one given here). This formula is wrong.   || The struggle for socialism lies in the unity of the struggle for the immediate interests of the workers (including reforms) and the revolutionary struggle for power, for expropriation of the bourgeoisie, for the overthrow of the bourgeois government and the bourgeoisie.

What have to be combined are not the struggle for reforms + phrases about socialism, the struggle “for socialism”, but two forms of struggle.

For example:

1. Voting for reforms + revolutionary action by the masses....

2. Parliamentarism + demonstrations....

3. The demand for reforms + the (concrete) demand for revolution....

Economic struggle together with the unorganised, with the masses, and not only on behalf of the organised workers....

4. Literature for the advanced + free, mass literature for the more backward, for the unorganised, for the “lower masses”....

5. Legal literature + illegal....

{cf. same volume of Die Neue Zeit, p. 591, on “unskilled” workers in America}



Works Index   |   Volume 39 | Collected Works   |   L.I.A. Index
< backward   forward >