Witnesses to Permanent Revolution: The Documentary Record (Historical Materialism Book Series)
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compelled to make leaps. From the universal law of unevenness thus derives another law which, for the lack of a better name, we may call the law of combined development – by which we mean a drawing together of the different stages of the journey, a combining of the separate steps, an amalgam of archaic with more contemporary forms. Without this law, to be taken of course, in its whole material content, it is impossible to understand the history of Russia, and indeed of any country of the second,
pp. 59–60.] 32 33 Iskra and the Tasks of Russian Social Democrats • 79 workers united by capital’, and that ‘the worker who is capable of exercising a class dictatorship hardly even exists’. How did the theorists of Russian Social Democracy respond? . . . [T]hey appealed to the ‘dynamic of our social life’ and to the incontestable growth of the working class. This statement of fact was far more important to them than belabouring the question of the number of workers at any given moment.35 [. .
revolutionary parties are more concerned with overthrowing the autocracy than with anything else, Social Democracy, representing the interests of the social class that is most opposed to the autocracy, must never forget that ‘the more clearly the working class sees the connection between its economic needs and its political rights, the more profit it will derive from its political struggle’.90 And for this purpose, all that is necessary is that Russian Social Democrats thoroughly absorb the
basis of corveé labour, then there would be no need for us now to be demanding a radical review of the conditions of the peasants’ emancipation. But we have to ask ourselves whether ‘popular production’ really could create conditions in which the abolition of serfdom would become a real economic necessity. Not a single reader with a head on his shoulders will hesitate to answer: No, over the course of time this ‘production’ itself came to be the most solid basis for our serfdom in all its forms
is shown by the example of England, but it cannot exist without capitalist industries and the corresponding means of transportation. [The proletariat also grows along with large-scale industry and the means of mass transportation. It is already the strongest stratum of the population in purely numerical terms. In German industry, the wage-workers were in 1882 for the first time 66 per cent, i.e. two thirds, of the gainfully occupied persons; in 1895, they were already three fourths of the