0:00 Klim Zhukov Hello everyone, comrades. And our guest is the publicist Remi Meisner, well known in “tight circles of limited people”. Hello.
0:07 Remi Meisner It's me. Hello comrades!
0:09 Klim Zhukov We will continue to increase your publicity in tight circles.
0:12 Remi Meisner Yes! …and continue to expand the circles of it.
0:14 Klim Zhukov As for the circles, that's for sure! And multiply these very circles.
We have a topic that we haven't covered enough. Well, almost entirely. Of course, we touched it somehow, but superficially. This is completely wrong. We need to dive deeper, up to our shoulders, into this, namely into opportunism. Just because we constantly accuse someone of being opportunist, we are regularly accused of being opportunist. So, we need to figure out what these opportunists are in general, and give the most illustrative example – a good one, you know.
Firstly, it is massive, large, very widely represented and, most importantly, finished. That is, we can look at the phenomenon in its formation and transition - from beginning to end.
Therefore, I propose to consider the phenomenon of opportunism using the example of the events of the First World War.
01:00 Remi Meisner Yes. Oh, the opportunists did it great then! Right, Comrade Zhukov? I have a list of what those filthy opportunists said at the time.
01:11 Klim Zhukov First, it must be said what the opportunist is. This is related to the English word opportunity.
01:15 Remi Meisner Yes. The opportunist is a compromiser. This is a person who sacrifices the fundamental principles of the movement for the sake of some momentary benefit. During the First World War, as always, they were represented very widely, all over the world.
01:36 Klim Zhukov Well, they had so many chances for that! Wow, that was impressive!
01:39 Remi Meisner Vladimir Ilyich Lenin says that one of the most important lessons for the world communist movement in general is this opportunist movement at the beginning of the war. One of the most important lessons is that opportunism is intolerant. Lenin says, just look at them. They sat quietly everywhere, did not enter into heated discussions, all the time they smoothed down rough edges. As soon as the crisis came, they immediately defected to the side of the bourgeoisie, and a bunch of people immediately ran with them, who were not opportunists, but simply unstable. They saw that the crowd ran: "everyone ran, and I ran."
02:24 Klim Zhukov On the one hand, perhaps, they were unstable, on the other hand, weak in theory. Well, they just don't understand, so why bother?
02:26 Remi Meisner Moreover, just imagine: there is such an authoritative man as Kautsky, for example. Please run after him!
02:35 Klim Zhukov. He wrote so many books!
02:37 Remi Meisner So, run, for God's sake! Unfortunately, not all of us love and know how to understand words.
02:45 Klim Zhukov By the way, I have Kautsky's book Ireland, here somewhere.
02:50 Remi Meisner Basically, Kautsky was a normal guy until he screwed up.
02:54 Klim Zhukov By the way, Lenin also repeatedly said in such cases, "the entire advanced proletariat of the world will consider comrade such and such and all his life as an example to follow, except for the moment when he sold out." That's when we don't take him positively anymore.
03:10 Remi Meisner So. Well, let's go straight to our theses, Comrade Zhukov, what those opportunists of ours who were "not ours" were talking about at that time.
03:20 Klim Zhukov Let's figure it out. Well, why do you think they are "not ours"? They are ours! We live with them on the same planet, and we belong to the same human nature, so they are ours. You can’t wriggle away from this, Comrade Meisner!
03:31 Remi Meisner The situation then briefly was such that year after year communists from all over the world come together and meet.
03:39 Klim Zhukov Probably, wider: social democrats, not only communists.
03:40 Remi Meisner Well, yes. They talk to each other, and at several conferences in a row they come to the same conclusions: our governments, bourgeois and feudal-bourgeois ones, want to start a worldwide slaughter. It is even approximately clear where they will start, it is already approximately even clear what they will say at the same time. What will we do in this case, if they still start such a slaughter? Well, both in Stuttgart and Basel they adopted a resolution (in Basel they did it unanimously): we, as communists, socialists, believe that the proletariat is the elite of the nation. We believe that the bourgeois want to kill our elite, and we should not allow this. Therefore, in the event of a war, we are all as one, no matter what our position is (well, maybe your communists are underground, and you are also with them, whereas we can already have communists in parliament, and I am in parliament, too) - despite this, we will agitate against the war. No loans, no new weapons - we do not vote for anything in any case. Essentially, we had come to an agreement in advance: after the bourgeois started this slaughter, the civil war against our own governments became our agenda. Since the governments did it to our electorate, and since we represent this electorate in reality, and not in words, we have only one answer: you are no longer legitimate for us, guys! That’s all, you can only be killed.
Well, they agreed on something good, but as the war began, something all of a sudden somehow rushed to support it.
05:41 Klim Zhukov Almost everyone except Jean Jaurès and Liebknecht.
05:45 Remi Meisner Still, even Karl Liebknecht and Luxembourg also fell into a trap at first: it seemed to them that the unity of the party must be observed. The majority decided to vote in favor - so what to do? Afterwards, they realized, and everything was OK. They just said: “All who are real communists, follow us,” and everyone left after them.
Well, the opportunists couldn't simply say: "We give up our convictions, we are all traitors to the working class, we want to serve the bourgeoisie, because the bourgeoisie has given us such a choice." That is, either you are declared enemies of the people right now, and you are going to prison, or you will be good boys and girls, vote as required, and then you will not only not go to prison: “choose any ministerial portfolio you like – here, take it, it’s yours!”
The bulk of the leaders of the Second International then, as they say, screwed up. They almost unanimously chose the ministerial chair.
Still, not all of them! Lenin dwelled on this in detail - there were the Serbs, everything was more or less good with the Italians, well, the Russian social democracy also showed itself. As for the rest, unfortunately, Lenin had to make a diagnosis of the Second International: that's all, this international is broken, bring another one! Or rather, do not bring it - where could they get it from? We ourselves will have to build it on the wreckage of the Second International. And, characteristically, he did! Tellingly, he overcame all these opportunists in discussions. In short, after a little more than a year of discussions, it became clear that the opportunists had nothing to say about this. They have nothing but stupidity, impudence and sophisms, as Comrade Lenin said. There is nothing they can do to support their position.
Let us, comrades, plunge, so to speak, plunge into the life of the opportunists. Then I will briefly tell what normal communists answered them (in particular, Lenin). Besides, for your enlightenment, so to speak, we can give you a detailed quote, or one or two, or even three - depending on how interesting they will be.
08:38 Klim Zhukov We will not read them out loud, because they are very detailed, so we will display the captions on the screen, and send a link later so that you can see and check the text.
08:50 Remi Meisner Yes. I have read these opportunists. My brain almost boiled. Well, I wrote down eight of their main arguments why, after all, a communist, a socialist, should support the ongoing war. Why is it so? Well, the first, most beloved thesis is to start poking your opponent in the face with the fact that your nation, your country, is more progressive than the country with which there is a war. For example, the German opportunists (former communists, now opportunists) insisted that “although it may seem to you that you have Tsar Nicholas, and we have the Kaiser, and they seem to be even close relatives, but look, just compare how Czechs live in Austria-Hungary! You can object - yes, not everything is perfect, but nevertheless, compare it with how the Buryats or Bashkirs live in Russia, and wow! Then you will immediately see that there is more freedom. Or let's talk about the parliament - look what it is like in Russia! What on earth is that?
10:15 Klim Zhukov It was almost non-existent!
10:19 Remi Meisner That's it! But in Germany it exists. And a very good one!
10:21 Klim Zhukov Moreover, what antiquity, it has existed since the 13th century!
10:25 Remi Meisner In short, “we are progressive”. The French, of course, also use the same pattern: we have a republic, while in Germany the Kaiser still rules! So how can a communist say that we Republicans should not fight the Kaiser! Has he forgotten all communism? Have you forgotten that feudalism must be destroyed, or what? This is exactly what we are going to do.
Well, as if the Russian opportunists have nothing special to say about this, but they got out that “look, France is the freest country in Europe, and we are allies!” Plekhanov very often concluded like this: yes, of course, our Nicholas II is just terrible, but nevertheless we must save France - the republic - from German barbarism. And that it is necessary to save it from barbarism - this, in fact, was said by the French bourgeois, well, of course, we will believe them/ Why should they lie?
Well, what did normal communists with Lenin at the head say to these arguments? Two points. The first point is that war will change everything. For example, now, at the beginning of the war, is freer in Germany than in Russia. However , after half a year of this war, all this will change, so you will not distinguish. Indeed, Lenin said: look, yes, everything that is really communist is already being done underground in Germany. Besides, they had to be careful that the opportunists do not bust and snitch on them.
12:14 Klim Zhukov Moreover, if you look at the standard of living of a Buryat with his sheep by 1917, he lived much better than a German burgher. Well, because he always has sheep, he doesn't care. And the German burgher? As it was called, “the Turnip Winter”, because the bread ran out, the potatoes ran out, and there was only turnip left.
12:37 Remi Meisner This is what it is ... Again, many prophesied what prosperity would come as a result of the war! But in fact, back in the 1880s, Engels predicted everything that would happen. He predicted approximate groupings, that would butt head there, and the results. The result will be that the whole of Europe will look like a lunar landscape.
13:03 Klim Zhukov And the crowns will lie on the road.
13:07 Remi Meisner Not only will they lie, people will pass by, and they won’t even pick them up. There will be famines. Then all sorts of epidemics will come back.
13:19 Klim Zhukov Then the embittered veterans will come back.
3:24 Remi Meisner This will be a separate item. As for the fact that France is now freer than Germany... "You don't see," said Lenin, "that on the occasion of war all these democratic frills are being cut off." Look now, what happened after Jaurès spoke out against the war? The right sector, as it turned out, is also on the alert. And in general, it has already begun: for agitation not to join the army you're gonna go to jail, for agitation against the war, too.
All they said was "freedom, freedom, freedom!" Here it is, your freedom. Well, then, guys, it turns out to be a vicious circle. Look: here, we have this very barbaric regime of Tsar Nicholas, which is the worst in all of Europe, no objections. And it seems like Germans are really freer.
14:23 Klim Zhukov Richer and freer. And in general, the standard of living is higher, and life expectancy is higher. And the level of literacy cannot be compared with that of the Russian Empire at all! That's how they care about the population!
14:34 Remi Meisner Yeah, but do you seriously think that the foreigners were going to raise the standard of living in the Russian Empire? I think that there will be no idiots who could say: yes, it will be so. They came here to rob.
Let’s take for example the French. The French seem to be freer, they could bend the Kaiser to their will. But they have Nicholas II the Bloodstained as their allies!
And so it is everywhere: as for Serbia, yes, the Austrians want to enslave it. Well, if the Entente wins, then Nicholas the Bloodstained will get it.
15:19 Klim Zhukov ... And it will immediately begin to flourish.
15:21 Remi Meisner Six of one, half a dozen of the other. Plekhanov also tells how the economy will flourish in our country as a result of the war, when Germany will no longer interfere with Russia. And somehow he forgot that Tsar Nicholas on the throne is the main brake on the development of the economy and science, and everything in general! And what will happen to Russia? Will it become stronger or weaker as a result of this war? Just think about it!
15:50 Klim Zhukov Well, firstly, it must be said here that there is a point that Plekhanov did not take into account. Which, to be honest, is very strange to me, because the man was a) smart, b) terribly knowledgeable and c) his knowledge was practical. After all, we are discussing now, after more than a hundred years, whereas he lived at that time. How could our economy flourish when, before the war, we took so many loans from the French (to a lesser extent from the British and Belgians), so we were up to our eyeballs in debt.! It is clear that the war would further increase the debt burden, which means that we will not have any prosperity. We would only have to pay interest for a hundred years.
16:26 Remi Meisner I am sure we would, because Our Father the Tsar was the world champion in collecting money in debt to cover the budget deficit.
16:35 Klim Zhukov Well, of course, not a world champion, but if we talk about large countries, yes, of course. There are also Portuguese...
16:40 Remi Meisner He was the best client, a wonderful one (it’s just to remind you how “all those British spies wanted to overthrow him”).
16:48 Klim Zhukov Well, of course, now some could note that Portugal, Brazil also took loans no less than Russia did, but we mean a country of a huge size and promising economic growth, because we are still a little larger than Portugal.
17:03 Remi Meisner Okay, let's move on to the second argument. This is what the German opportunists were very fond of. Suddenly, they remembered that communists are banned in Russia. In Russia, there are practically none (they are banned), while in Germany they are in parliament. So what to do? Of course, we need to fight to save the Russian communists. Oh, yes! They remembered the communists, and to this is my favorite answer from Lenin: guys, don't save us like that. You seem to have no doubt that we are Russian communists, right? We meet all the time, and it has never happened that we said: “we are the Russian communists”, and you replied to us: “you are lying”, right? That is, you recognize us as the Russian communists. We, as the Russian communists, say: please don't save us from Tsar Nicholas by unleashing a world war. Why? We, the Russian communists, affirm and subscribe as many times as you like: Nicholas and his regime are a disgrace not only for Russia, but for all mankind! No sacrifice can be considered too great to get rid of him.
But at the same time, guys, if something helps him again (and he has already gone bankrupt 50 times in his career), if something helps him effectively stay in power, then this is exactly the war you started! Because now, under plausible pretexts, he will crush the entire revolutionary movement, close all legal newspapers, and most importantly, now the British and French have opened an indefinite loan for him. So what? What makes you think that you can help us somehow?
Now to the third point.
19:02 Klim Zhukov There, of course, it was great at that moment with the flourishing of the economy, when we ordered spades (spades!) in America and shovels in Japan.
19:13 Remi Meisner and besides, scythes... And it was a great agrarian country! Well, because it turned out that we can make them, but they will all be different, and they will be much more expensive.
19:23 Klim Zhukov That is, it turned out that getting shovels from our ally Japan is much cheaper than doing it here. First, they didn’t handle it. Then there was the great favor of the invisible hand of the market and private initiative. The head of the Main Artillery Directorate, General Manikovsky, when they wrote to him: “Where are the guns, shells and everything else?” - said: “So you yourself scattered orders among private enterprises! Look, we have private enterprises (he gives specific figures) they cannot make bayonets by contract. You are now talking about a machine gun, which, in fact, is a complex product. They cannot even make bayonets, not to mention a machine gun. And until the end of the war, they could not establish their own production of helmets for soldiers.
20:20 Remi Meisner That's how it bloomed! And as you know, by 1916 in the Volga region, even half of the sown area was overgrown with weeds, so then, by 1921, it backfired as it should, for real. Well, okay, let's get back to the arguments of the opportunists. They have a third argument - the salvation of all small nationalities. In general, the opportunists are not just bourgeois propagandists who say that this war is very necessary, and that's it. The very essence of opportunists is that they are in the labor movement. This means that they should at least try to somehow justify in a Marxist way why war is good. In the writings of Marx, the opportunists dug out found that it seems like a national liberation movement is good, and, it seems, when we have a national liberation war, then ... However, he didn’t say “I support any national liberation war ”, but in specific situations, for example, during the unification of Germany, he said it was good, and if, for example Napoleon and the Russian Tsar had invaded, then it would’ve been nice to beat them black and blue. They clung to this.
21:42 Klim Zhukov You mean Napoleon III.
21:45 Remi Meisner. Yes, of course. There is another similar story: should Prussia interfere in Italian affairs? Marx seems to have said something similar there as well.
21:55 Klim Zhukov I really like it when people start treating Marx or Lenin as gospel. I really love it! “Let's find a quote right now! “
22:00 Remi Meisner Moreover, the coolest thing is, when someone tries to quote something from Marx that they do not like, the same people resent it right away: “You are just a dogmatist! It was written a hundred years ago! Why are you clinging to that quote?” Meanwhile, that’s just how they act, the same way as the Mensheviks with their thesis about the inevitable period of bourgeois democracy. They intentionally took one sentence from some letter, cut it off from the beginning and from the end, and here it is on their banner, just like that!
22:36 Klim Zhukov I have been reading a lot of different things about the church schism in 1054, and then everyone also accused each other of opportunism: ours accused the Westerners, the Westerners accused ours. Italians don't care about everyone at all. Literally the same thing: they take the gospel, powerful scissors: “Here we are! And this is what I have! What do you say to that, comrade? And I have got Augustine the Blessed, haha!”
23:08 Remi Meisner It was the same with the opportunists. In short, everyone without exception was saved by small nationalities, someone from someone else. It is clear that the Entente was saving poor Serbia. They felt so sorry for the poor Serbs! On no account should they be allowed to be captured by the evil Austrians. And it was also necessary to punish Germany, which attacked Belgium -a small, defenseless country - and trampled on its neutrality. They had to save it. Germany was concerned that the Ukrainians, for example, had a bad life under Tsar Nicholas. Why don’t they have the right to self-determination?
23:55 Klim Zhukov Listen, almost everyone there was in this position, because, look at the independent and neutral Belgians, they did horrors in the Congo. It was necessary to take the Congo away.
24:05 Remi Meisner Lenin said on this occasion: “Guys, if you yearn for the salvation of unfortunate Belgium, here is the Belgian Congo, pay attention!” And by the way, France, which is the savior: maybe if you are so worried about the oppressed, you will stop oppressing the peoples in North Africa? The same goes for Germany. You are concerned that Ukraine is deprived of the right to self-determination.
24:33 Klim Zhukov To begin with, grant the right of self-determination to Tanganyika.
24:37 Remi Meisner And how are things going with you in Alsace and Lorraine? How about the self-determination of the local French? Again, there are questions regarding Africa. And most importantly, your ally is now strangling Serbia. You are such supporters of self-determination, maybe intercede? Lenin generally said: only Serbia has the right to talk about self-determination.
25:01 Klim Zhukov And even limitedly, because inside Serbia there were enough of their "Austrian artists".
25:06 Remi Meisner This is clear! Most importantly, it doesn't change anything. Well, yes, in this situation, Serbia is right, and Austria is wrong. But we understand that the war did not start because of this particular incident with some ten times unnecessary archduke and other things. We already say that they want war. They are just looking for a reason. So they found the reason. Why are we all clinging to this? Everyone immediately began to find out: who hit first? It doesn't matter who hit first. Who cares? What is important is that you all strive for this. That is, Germany cannot be relieved of responsibility for being the first to declare war on everyone. Is it possible to remove responsibility from neighbors? It cannot be said that Germany suddenly began to declare war out of the blue. Like, the neighbors were not armed with all their might? Like, didn’t they make all sorts of militant statements every day, about the fact that we will defeat everyone, beat everyone?
26:11 Klim Zhukov And what's more, even a little bit already smashed. Everyone took part in a little bit: Russia, Japan, Germany, Austria - everyone has already tried a little bit, a little bit everywhere, how great it can be.
26:31 Remi Meisner So everyone needs to be saved from all of you, that's the point! At the same time, we are not going to say that the Germans had no choice but to declare war, since we know that Germany declared war exactly at that moment, because Germany had an advantage in armaments then, so they decided: let's start quickly, before our neighbors managed to do the same cool thing for themselves, as we can do. "Yes, no one saves anyone," Lenin summed up. He wrote somewhere: basically, if it were necessary to avenge Belgium — well, okay. If it had been the real reason, we could have thought about whether to support it ... But why did they decide that this is so? Just because the news said it was all about Belgium, they also started shouting: “Oh, yes, poor Belgium!” And since when does a communist believe in bourgeois news? Are you out of your mind? Well, then, there will be quotes, and we move on to the next paragraph. Another interesting point was the national interest, or, let us say, the legal capacity of the state. Everyone fought, of course, not because the bourgeoisie needed profits, or because the feudal lords had some dynastic interests there - to stir up some new duchies somewhere on the territory of a neighbor. Of course not! Everyone's vital interests were simply trampled on: Austria, for example, could not tolerate such lawlessness right at its borders! Such impudent provocations! Some rightists shot the real archduke there! What is this? Who would put up with that? No, Austria must have shown that it is a “subject” in geopolitics. Well, of course, it had to be done with the hands of the Austrian proletarians, such as the good soldier Švejk with his rheumatism: "Come on!"
28:37 Klim Zhukov However, as for the good soldier Švejk, he volunteered, because, as the author said on this occasion, oberleutnant Lukáš “considered the Czech people to be a kind of secret organization, from which it is best to stay away.” “We are all Czechs.”
29:00 Remi Meisner “Let's keep this quiet, after all, I, too, am a Czech” In general, everyone has national interests, everyone has the legal capacity of the state. Russia also cannot tolerate the fact that our Slavic brethren are being humiliated somewhere. So it's okay for our brother Slav in St. Petersburg to walk barefoot in the cold. It is also okay for in our army that almost half of the recruits suffered from dystrophy, and 40% said that they had never tried meat before the army.
29:39 Klim Zhukov Yes, and approximately 70% were found to have traces of corporal punishments on their backs. It turned out unexpectedly during medical examinations. “Oh, my god, what did they do to you?” “Our landowner decided that I was a hooligan, so they flogged me… 15 times.”
29:56 Remi Meisner Or, our village gathered and decided that I owed them two buckets of vodka. And I didn’t have enough for two buckets, so it turned out like that.
30:04 Klim Zhukov So it's okay for our Slavic brethren not to eat meat and to be regularly beaten.
30:11 Remi Meisner Most importantly, we had to save the Serbs.
30:14 Klim Zhukov Because the Serbs suffered.
30:16 Remi Meisner Yes. By the way, Lenin often held up the Serbian organization as an example, despite the fact that it was much easier for them to get confused in their situation. When your national identity is really threatened, you can really get confused. And they were almost the only ones who did not get confused, almost the only ones who in their entirety refused to vote for loans and weapons, and began to conduct anti-war propaganda. Lenin often dwelled on this: when you say that the whole International screwed up, you're wrong! Remember the Serbs, us, so there are also normal guys. And most importantly, Lenin said: what do you mean by national interests? If it is bourgeois propaganda, it is understandable, they always say: “We stand for all of you! We don't care about profits. We care about national interests etc. ” We, Marxists, are supposed to be aware that the nation is big. It is divided into classes, and the classes have different interests. And what is interesting to the bourgeoisie is usually not interesting to the proletarians. Especially in the case when, for bourgeois profit, the proletarian must rush to attack with a rifle against the machine-guns. Why have you forgotten the basics of Marxism? Have you forgotten the most important thing: the proletarian has no fatherland! And we all seemed to agree when we gathered at the conference. As soon as the war began, it turned out that we have a fatherland. Everyone: the Germans have it, the French have it…
31:56 Klim Zhukov Characteristically, the capitalists also have no fatherland. Even more than the proletariat.
32:00 Remi Meisner No, well, you know, that depends... Fatherland is our home, where we can be sure that we will always be cared for and get help if we find ourselves in a difficult situation.
32:13 Klim Zhukov Americans will help you very well if you have money. And you will have a new homeland!
32:16 Remi Meisner That's just what I mean: in capitalist countries, for the rich, the fatherland is everywhere, and for the poor, it's nowhere, which is typical. Because we know how the poor are treated in any country. So, Lenin reproached those opportunists who had already gone so far as to start talking about defending the fatherland. Well guys, it's OK, it's all right. Why do you still call yourself Marxists? I'm just curious.
32:53 Klim Zhukov By inertia.
32:54 Remi Meisner Yes, apparently, by inertia.
32:56 Klim Zhukov This is, in fact, one of the most difficult issues, because our biological or rather our socio-biological nature contributes much to this. Because the protection of our species was just evolutionarily built into us since the Stone Age, and even long before the Stone Age. Because when a jaguar attacks baboons (and a jaguar is a terrible animal), the baboons all at once forget who quarreled with whom (and they, as highly developed primates, are terribly fond of quarrels among themselves), who arranged quarrels. All males immediately hurl at the jaguar and try to bite him to death. More than that, they cope, and at times they are spectacularly successful at it!
32:39 Remi Meisner Respect!
32:40 Klim Zhukov And, since we are very close relatives of the baboons, at first, some eukaryotes, then all sorts of various - whatever they are called, my God! - proconsuls and every other tailed rabble always did the same thing. As for the transferring of the idea of the big family to the whole country - this can be done as fast as you might snap your fingers. We speak the same language, the shape of the muzzle is about the same.
34:08 Remi Meisner Lenin also notes: the era of the creation of national states has just passed, when everyone, in a single rush, rose to kick the stuffing out of aristocrats. Indeed, the bourgeois, peasants, and workers were there together. And it was so good and well that the memory of this remains to this day. And it is precisely this memory that the bourgeois propagandists and their opportunist friends are trying to use.
34:42 Klim Zhukov Yes, and by the way, the first wave of national liberation wars swept nearby, as, for example, in Italy: they sought to free themselves from the Austrians, who from the 16th century trampled them just as they liked. Garibaldi, workers, peasants, bourgeois and, by the way, maybe even some Italian aristocrats are rising against the Austrians (well, of course, we are primarily referring to the Austrian Habsburg monarch).
35:06 Remi Meisner By the way, Lenin also mentioned this separately: where is such a situation now? Where are those to be saved? Where do we have such a national liberation war? Where did you see this? Why do you think so?
35:22 Klim Zhukov Maybe only, with reservations, in Serbia.
35:24 Remi Meisner Yes. The Serbs themselves declare (well done, by the way): it doesn’t matter, guys: if the Kaiser wins now, then we will be under the Austrians, if the Entente wins, we will be under Tsar Nicholas. That is, with us, wherever you spit ...
35:41 Klim Zhukov So now some are looking towards China. I won't say who.
35:47 Remi Meisner In general, there are so many coincidences with what is now.
35:51 Klim Zhukov Of course, this is purely coincidental!
35:53 Remi Meisner Well, yes, naturally. After all, everything has changed! Relationships are different, right?
35:53 Klim Zhukov Besides, a hundred years have already passed!
35:57 Remi Meisner Imperialism is no more, right? And there are no imperialist wars, respectively.
So, it means that with national interests and subjectivity, it seems clear.
36:09 Klim Zhukov This must now be summed up, because we have said a lot. Maybe someone got away with something.
36:18 Remi Meisner Summary: there are no national interests. There are interests of various classes that make up any nation. The proletarian has no fatherland. He does not have a home where he will be taken care of, and if he gets sick he can be treated for half a year until he becomes well, and no one will throw him out of the house and say: “You didn’t pay the mortgage.” He doesn't have that. When he has something like the Soviet Union, then it will immediately be another matter. The lay of the land will change immediately. And so far it hasn't happened.
And that means that our opportunists, speaking about the fatherland, national interests, simply renounced Marxism. Lenin quite rightly wrote: just say “to hell with that Marx”. Look, such and such and someone else has already written about that. How good it would be: probably, they would experience some relief. And we would know what they are.
Let's move on to the next argument. "The proletarian supports the war," said the opportunists. Look: the proletarians are signing up as volunteers, they are pouring crowds to these rallies for the war, they have tied all the ribbons on themselves.
37:42 Klim Zhukov They bought war bonds with their last money.
37:46 Remi Meisner Well, if the proletarian supports this, and even to the point that even in St. Petersburg and Moscow the German shops were smashed (such fierce hatred!) so how can the proletarian party be against the war when the proletarians are for it? Well, here, of course, Lenin reminded these opportunists: guys, our task is to lead the proletariat, not to drag behind.
38:20 Klim Zhukov This is called "tailism".
38:21 Remi Meisner Yes, this is called, in fact, “tailism”. Tellingly, they are practically the same people who said that we don’t need a single party, that, firstly, the proletariat itself should ripen to the party, that we don’t need to launch a trade union and political movement, like, so as not to scare them all away, – those very people got to this point. Well, as always, in their spirit. You just mentioned pogroms. Maybe you will say that since the proletarian went to smash, it means that the communist should run after him with a red flag and shout “hurrah, hurrah”. Excellent! We must guide the proletariat. The fact of the matter is that now they are running to military rallies - well, yes, because they are not yet fed up with it. Wait half a year, there will be death notices, price increases, and then the mood will immediately be different, guys. And where will you be, I wonder? - Lenin said, - Will you be in the camp that supports this chauvinistic frenzy, or in the one that nevertheless explains how it really is?
39:41 Klim Zhukov Here, of course, it must be clarified that the proletarian, especially at that time, was totally uneducated or poorly educated. Accordingly, it was much easier to tell him what to do than if he were educated. And it seems that the Marxists, all of whom were learned people, had to explain the correct position of the proletariat to the proletariat, which they undertook to represent, and not vice versa.
40:08 Remi Meisner But it turned out, how it turned out, therefore Lenin said that it was necessary to break with the opportunists even before any crises. At the time of the crisis, when you really need all the proletarians to listen to you, half of them listen to that guy who they just know (he walked with a red flag, hung out with them). Now they are listening to him. And most importantly: look how willingly the bourgeoisie began to work with the opportunists. You see, as soon as Plekhanov writes something like: “Long live the war for the fatherland!” immediately in all the bourgeois newspapers appears: "Hurrah, hurrah!". Monarchist and ultra-right newspapers are beginning to set an example: look, there are good socialists, like, not all of them are equally harmful. See, what a fine man!
Essentially, this thesis is understandable: the communists must lead the proletariat, not follow it. Moreover, in this case the proletariat will go not just anywhere, but where the bourgeoisie leads it. Because if you are not leading it, then the bourgeoisie is leading it, and there are no other options. If you trail behind the proletarian, and the bourgeois leads him, then it turns out that he leads you too.
41:39 Klim Zhukov Moreover, in the course of movement, this mass, which is organized by itself, can run away to different places, for example, begin riots. That is, we need to start smashing too?
41:52 Remi Meisner And especially if they are beggars, then they are most likely to do this, in fact.
So, the next point, number 6. Some opportunists tried to present things in such a way that the main socialist task now is volunteering. This means that you need to sign up as a volunteer, or help people there to do something, the main thing is not to stand aside from the historical process. To this, Lenin reasonably remarked that to agitate against the war, in fact, also means taking part in the historical process, only taking part on the right side. It's all about which side you want to be on. For example, you, gentlemen, opportunists, take part in the historical process on the bourgeois side. And what will the proletarian tell you later when the bourgeois lies are revealed? And it will open up sooner or later. It doesn't happen that it remains a secret. That is, sooner or later it will become clear that the bourgeoisie was lying, and then it will become clear that you, gentlemen, opportunists, helped the bourgeoisie to lie. And what will happen then? How will you explain this to the proletarians? No idea. In general, the main thing is to be a communist. Comrade Lenin explained: do not stand aside; if you cannot conduct anti-war propaganda, leave for another country. Rather than support the bourgeois, it is better to leave for a neutral country and from there explain to people how it really is. This will be better and nobler than what some people are doing, who have reached the point where they go to work in bourgeois ministries.
The next point, the penultimate one, is just fine: like, this war is good, because this is the last war. Yes, very insightful guys said: this is the last war, because right now the bourgeoisie will solve all problems with each other. Well, that is, you and I will beat each other bloody, but we will divide everything further: these tablets, books, mugs, and that’s it. And we won't have any more reasons.
44:16 Klim Zhukov That is, you will rob Africa, and I will rob China.
44:19 Remi Meisner This means that in the future there will be only peace, freedom and universal prosperity. Well, yes, it is very naive. Here Lenin showed himself perfectly, by the way: while a bunch of people were yelling about the last war, he, no worse than Engels, just casually predicted the Second World War. “Guys, we can expect nothing else but a revenge. Even though this is only a start, but it's already more than clear that they foment this chauvinism. They’ll keep fomenting it. As for the neighbors, not only do they have enough of their chauvinists: looking at their counterparts who have become chauvinists too, they will begin to bring this up in themselves with a vengeance.”
45:07 Klim Zhukov “But look at these: why do they say such things among themselves?”
45:12 Remi Meisner Plus, everyone is arming, because more and more new weapons factories are being built on the occasion of the war, which means that what will we have in the future? A crowd of angry people and a bunch of weapons.
45:24 Klim Zhukov And inevitably, nations as losers, that are even more embittered.
45:30 Remi Meisner What can be here, except for revenge? What other options? It's forever! I will say this: if there are no series of revolutions in Europe, then the next war is basically a settled question, there is even nothing to ask. That's how Marxism-Leninism can help you, comrades.
45:53 Klim Zhukov Tellingly, it should have happened on a regular basis. That is, as before, small wars regularly took place, because there are a variety of groups (it doesn’t matter: the bourgeoisie, the feudal lords - exploiters, in short), for which all their wealth has simply stopped growing, and then it will only decrease. So, you need to increase it in some way. This can only be done in one way - by war. Well, in the global imperialist world, this can only be done by a world war.
46:25 Remi Meisner Because the whole world is one factory, and whoever you touch, the interests of a dozen players will be immediately affected.
46:34 Klim Zhukov And so, gradually, along with economic instability, economic crisis phenomena will grow, which will then develop into a crisis. And you will again try to somehow solve these problems in the way you know best, and then again, and again, and again. It will never end at all.
46:55 Remi Meisner ... Until the socialist revolution.
46:57 Klim Zhukov It turned out to be awkward that in 1917 we had a successful revolution, and the next attempt to use the best known method was undertaken after the Second World War, and that was all: for 70 years all was quiet, although it should not have happened at all.
47:11 Remi Meisner Yes. There should have been a second attempt, a third one... Because it would have been clear: there would be no unions.
47:17 Klim Zhukov It should have ended like this (according to all the most, I would say, even modest forecasts): the Russian Empire ceased to exist due to the First World War, that's all. This means that there is no revolution there, it remains quite an empire. Tsar Alexei II sits on the throne, but not on that of the former entire empire: one part was ceded to Japan, another one to Germany, to Austria-Hungary, a piece to England, a piece to France, and the next war will be for the only undivided market – for Russia.
48:10 Remi Meisner And by the moment it is divided, one of these dividers will weaken, and someone will get stronger, and will want to get a piece from a weakened colleague, and it'll start all over. ... Well, in short, everyone is having fun: the main industrial countries constantly waste each other, and all of this takes place on the faces of every one else. That’s how “the last war” would have looked like, approximately.
48:39 Klim Zhukov It is the last in the sense that war is considered a continuous process. That is, now we will always have the last war.
48:47 Remi Meisner ... With various exacerbations. Well, the last point is very good, it’s my favorite. Opportunists said: let's say we even agree that, indeed, a socialist should call for the defeat of his government and the transformation of the imperialist war into a civil one. But come on, guys, who can just go and turn the war into a civil one now? Can you? No. Can I? I can’t either.
So it’s like Kautsky suddenly backed out: they’ve just said, "Yes, yes, yes! Forward! Together, we are the International!" - and now: "Well, you know, the tactics of coordinating actions between parties in wartime have not yet been tested at all ... It’s a complicated matter! No one knows how to deal with this …"
Lenin replied: "How to deal with this? Just do it! Of course, if you start supporting your government, if you start shouting to the proletarians of another country: “You know, if you are killed, it will be okay. We are more progressive, so be understanding and die, please,” then, of course ", it won’t work out.
And, most likely, that can never work, because the communists are the only ones who are trying to prevent this strife with all their might, not to foment it. And if the communists also start doing this well, then all is lost! All the people are sharpening knives at each other. The essence of the opportunists' proposal is as follows: we have little strength, our parties are weak. This is only part of the problem: as we remember from paragraph 6, one cannot stand aside from the historical process! This means that you must choose a side for yourself, because we remember another point of the opportunists: Marx once wrote that one must choose a side, which means that 100 years later one must also choose a side and be sure to fit in with it. Otherwise, it will turn out that you are standing aside from the historical process. In the meantime, as long as we have little strength, as long as the uprising is a utopia, we will not agitate for it.
To which, again, Lenin said: if you do not agitate for an uprising, then it will forever remain a utopia, and in time there will be no utopia, so we will never even think about it. Your job is to remind people to rise up and overthrow, not to endure. And you don't remember. Well, where will it come from? “To begin with”, Lenin said, “you are lying about the fact that you have no strength.”
Who are you talking about, guys? Is it Kautsky who has no strength? Come on!! You’re doing great. In any case, even if we assume that you do not have the strength, the party is small, the newspaper is stunted, there is no connection with the masses, no one really listens to you - so even in this case you have the strength not to repeat this chauvinistic nonsense from the news ? Or do you not even have the strength to do so? Does your mouth open on its own? Can you at least shut up? Shut up, stay out of the company of these wonderful patriots if you are a communist. Do you have the strength to remain a communist? To express a socialist, communist, Marxist point of view? That's what you should be doing! “And if you do this, then your work will definitely not be lost,” Lenin also noted. Maybe not in this war, maybe in the next or after the next one, but these seeds are the right ones that you will sow, they will sprout. Well, if we go to the bourgeoisie, then everything is lost for our generation, and some descendants will remember us, scold us in every possible way and do everything on their own. Well, Comrade Zhukov, that's how the arguments of the opportunists ended.
53:39 Klim Zhukov I hope, firstly, it is clear what an opportunist is in its purest form, because, as I have said, this example is a) massive, very richly represented by different personalities, and b) finished ( it can be viewed entirely from the side).
53:52 Remi Meisner Whatever point you take, here is the essence of opportunism: they compromise their basic principles, that is, internationalism, the principle “the proletarian has no fatherland,” and so on, and cross it all out. For what? Well, for the sake of the fact that at some particular moment, they can go out to the crowd with flags and ribbons, and the crowd will welcome them. In fact, there will be no more profit for them.
54:19 Klim Zhukov Well, maybe they'll get a ministerial portfolio. In this case, the profit can be really good …
54:25 Remi Meisner As for their personal profit, that's true, it really can be very good for their pockets.
54:33 Klim Zhukov Characteristically, afterwards, all these opportunists somehow sadly (although I would not say badly) . Nobody (except for a very tight circle of people like themselves) needed those of them who remained alive after the First World War.
54:52 Remi Meisner In fact, just as Lenin warned them. When workers understand how things really are, they will tell you, gentlemen, to hit the road, because they will understand that you deceived them. That's all, you can no longer go to them. As soon as the workers get rid of you, the bourgeois will also say: “Listen, we needed you to keep the workers under control, but they do not obey you. So, come on, hand over your portfolios and hand over your money too.”
55:21 Klim Zhukov All the opportunists without exception ended their careers very sadly. No one really succeeded along the bourgeois line ... If you have already become traitors and executioners, then, please, roll up your sleeves, put on a red cap, get a chic axe - but again, they failed!
55:42 Remi Meisner They didn’t even become outstanding executioners, but again, as Lenin warned, they just turned out to be of no use to anyone. Then they sat and told, wrote memoirs, how bad and stupid everyone around them was, how those around them did not understand anything, but "I understood everything …"
56:01 Klim Zhukov Again, there are two types of memoirs: that I (well, of course!) understood everything (because in memoirs they always write, "I understood everything" ), but I couldn't do anything. This is one type of memoir. But they, all these opportunists of ours, have type number two memoirs, which I like much more than type number one. Just remember: the first memoirs are “I understood everything, but I couldn't do anything”, and their memoirs are “I understood everything, but I could not say anything - that's the point!” Like a dog: I understand everything, I can't say anything.
56:38 M. This reminds me of Noske. Do you remember, when Liebknecht and Luxemburg were killed, he began: “Actually, the main victim in this story is me! Because, you know, I did it for my homeland, and now everyone calls me “executioner”, “filthy dog”! Any fool can sacrifice his life, but who can sacrifice his good name, like me! Someone had to become a bloody dog, so I did.” In short, do not be like that, fellow viewers.
57:26 Klim Zhukov Yes, I would say, this is an extremely lousy, very unpromising, even in one's own selfish sense, an extremely unpromising strategy in the long run. That is, the further you get into this swamp, the more difficult it is to get out, and sometimes it is already impossible at all.
57:44 Remi Meisner Let's take Comrade Plekhanov as an example. What did he come to with this opportunism of his? He nearly became Kolchak's minister. Just a little more, and if he had not died on time, then he would have become one, and would have taken part ... And as for Kolchak's government at that period, it was oh-so-peculiar, to put it mildly. I'm afraid that after that it would have already been impossible to name institutions after Plekhanov, even despite his former Marxist merits.
58:16 Klim Zhukov Well, yes, because it's the same as, for example, naming an art school after Hitler. Hitler was quite an artist.
58:27 Remi Meisner Yes, not a bad one, as they say, by the way.
58:30 Klim Zhukov Houses in his pictures were pretty well, but as for all sorts of landscapes, especially people, - by God, in my tenth grade, studying in the art studio, I already could have drawn better, that's for sure. But his urban landscapes were wonderful, therefore "the Academy of Landscape Painting named after Adolf Hitler". He was a good artist, wasn't he? But that won't work.
58:58 Remi Meisner This is how bad your life can get, comrades! Mussolini, as a matter of fact, i was a socialist at first, then he became an opportunist, and eventually - bang! - he is hanging upside down, and some people are shooting at him.
59:11 Klim Zhukov And at the same time, which is typical, again, it’s better to stick to your principles even being on the extreme right flank, but being honest, because conscientious, intelligent people switched from the extreme right flank to the left flank many times and not without success.
59:31 Remi Meisner And, in fact, no one had any problems. If we see that someone did not understand before, but now it has changed, like in the case of “General Yasha” [Yakov Alexandrovich Slashchev], that's our favorite example.
59:40 Klim Zhukov Or, in the case of a famous Soviet Marshal, who was an officer in the army of Kolchak . It is not even a tsarist general, but Kolchak's officer.
59:50 Remi Meisner It's okay, the man understood. But it’s worse for opportunists, they are demanded as if they understand. If they already know the laws of historical development, they can no longer say like Slashchev that “I thought that it was possible to create such a supra-class state so that it would follow ...“
1:00:08 Klim Zhukov “Actually, I’m a military man, I am out of politics!”
1:00:10 Remi Meisner Yes, I mean this very position! This is a political position, by the way. You say “out of politics” – this is also a political position!
1:00:17 Klim Zhukov Such a story. Thanks a lot!
1:00:19 Remi Meisner You're welcome, dear comrade!
1:00:20 Klim Zhukov We talked very well.
1:00:21 Remi Meisner Yes, okay, that was fun.
1:00:22 Klim Zhukov I hope at least something is clear. But remember, that was over a hundred years ago. Any similarities to real events are purely coincidental, the characters portrayed herein are entirely fictional. That's all for today.
1:00:32 Remi Meisner …All the numerous coincidences!