14 THE CLASS STRUGGLE THE CLASS STRUGGLE 15 Our strategic power is great. Our course of action will influence profoundly the action of the whole international movement.
May we meet this task in a spirit worthy of the revolutionary character of Socialism!
Herein lies our task: to bring the needed light and do away with confusion in our ranks, thereby doing our share for the reestablishment of peace upon secure foundations, to the reconstruction of the International and rejuvenation of the Socialist Party of America.
The Russian Revolution and Its Significance By BUCHARIN The first Russian revolution of 1905 was the expression of a gigantic conflict between the growing forces of production on the one hand and reactionary, industrial and political conditions in Russia on the other. rapidly growing capitalism demanded the freedom of the inner market, the failure of the Russian Japanese war having made the extension of foreign markets impossible.
But the home market was equally unresponsive. The predominating element among the Russian people is its peasantry, whose demands and whose buying power represented the basis for all further capitalistic development. They were equal, it is true, but equal in misery. pauperized, not a proletarian nation of farmers, peasants who remained on their farms, did not go into the cities, and paid enormous sums for their little rent farms to the semi feudal gentry landlords. Nobility landlordism on one hand, hungry pauper tenantry on the other such were the conditions in the agrarian sections of Russia. Capitalistic farm production had taken root only on the extreme outskirts of the nation, in the Baltic provinces and in southern Russia. But its extent was comparatively unimportant.
So the objective purpose of the Revolution was the creation of a home market, and the abolition of unbearable political conditions. The downfall of the Revolution meant only the postponement of the great social catastrophe and the possibility of a higher ultimate stage of development.
Nevertheless the proletarian blood that flowed in 1905 was by no means shed in vain. The old autocracy gave place to a new pseudo constitutional regime, presenting a certain (though very limited) opportunity to conduct the broader work of revolutionary education among the proletariat.
But even from a purely economical point of view, the first Revolution had consequences that are not unimportant. It was followed by fundamental changes in the national industrial structure, and by a consequent readjustment of class relations.
The large landlords, terrorized by the revolting farmers, sold their possessions, either directly to their tenants or through the agency of so called farmers banks (Krestjansky Bank. the government institution that, as a rule, functioned as the business agency of the nobility. In this way a small part of the possessions of the great landed nobility passed into the hands of the wealthier farmers. By his so called agrarian reform programme, Stolypin, the Czarist minister, dissolved the old Mir (peasant communities. and divided the community lands in such a way that the best portions everywhere fell into the hands of a thin strata of agricultural bourgeoisie. The result was a visible strengthening of this new class, whose members organized everywhere on a co operative basis.
But the status of the great landholders, too, had changed.
The modern capitalist wing giew stronger, a phenomena that may be attributed mainly to altered conditions in the world market. The price of wheat and rye were advancing almost hourly.
It became more profitable to produce by modern capitalistic methods; the old primitive system went into discard. So agrarian capitalism gained a firm foothold in Russia.
All these changes kept step with the changes that were taking place on the industrial field. Our industries before the Revolu