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The Strike Commitee of Samara. Stachkom. The Party of Proletarian Dictatorship. I also went against the new feudalism created by the CPSU. The party of the proletariat should not be the ruling party! PROLETARISM
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The Second Communist Manifesto (A.B. Razlatzki)
Introduction for Western and World Readers
Introduction (1999)
Part I: Bourgeois and Proletarian
Part II: Proletariat - Boss
Part III: The Crisis of the Workers Movement
Part IV: Proletarian Dictatorship & Proletarian Democracy
Part V: Classes and the Struggle for Socialism
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USA, Socialism, Us...
State Imperialism Should be Distinguished from Economic Imperialism
Notes in the Margins of History
Turbulence in Social Development and the Stratification of the Superstructure

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Who Must Answer?
The Nature of Property A Scheme for Investigation
The Lowest Phase of Communism
Tendencies of the Current Moment
What our Intelligentsia does not Want to Know
Revolution Arises Amongst the Masses
What our Intelligentsia does not Want to Know

A.B. RazlatskyWhat our Intelligentsia does not Want to Know

A.B. Razlatsky


1. On the Perpendicular

Our intelligentsia is exceptionally curious. This is its hallmark. It wants to know everything. What is happening in Iran and what's up with Sadat. Who's behind the UFO's and how to become telepathic? Who became champion, and what's the most fashionable knot in a tie? What is revealed by quarks and where they sent the last space ship? Our intelligentsia has the very broadest interests. And that is not all.

There is another sphere of absolutely essential knowledge. What's the quickest way to win an award? Where can you get a French wall-cabinet? Who should look after your car? How can you arrange to get a copies of Versaev[1] What's the best way to keep up a casual friendship with someone who does market research for a shoe factory? How can you convert a child into a figure skating star? These, it must be said, are more fundamental questions, since, in contrast to the first series, they are connected to action. But all of them, taken together, constitute the rich spiritual life of our intelligentsia, this is their exalted spiritual world.

With such a wealth of interests, can it really be suggested that there is something else which our precious, people's intelligentsia neither knows, nor wants to know, anything about?

Well here's what I have noticed. My companion, an intellectual, and I bought copies of the same newspaper. I began to read the production statistics, my companion poked me in the ribs;

"Just look! Some young kid, a schoolboy; his parents plonked down 112 roubles for a pair of jeans. And then they stole them from him in the street."

So, I said to him;

"Well, here's something even better; cement production is only at 94% compared with last year. Goods traffic on the railways is down to 96% too. Perhaps its because freight cars are at just 96%? And diesel locos too? "

And he replied;

"Well, why are you wasting your time with that? Chaos - there's chaos out there. I was stuck in a train for six hours myself in April. Chaos; and nobody does anything about it."

That's what I have noticed. Often enough. Continuously, you could say. And I want you to notice it too.

The word chaos[2] has, in recent years, become not just popular but habitual, continuous, commonplace. It has naturally come to signify, as a virtual synonym, such concepts as the economic life of the country and the endless legal proceedings. Volumes are revealed with this one word.

To one kid, when he too insistently pressed his questions, they said "Because it's on the perpendicular." And that shut his mouth. Now the intelligentsia itself is repeating the universal phrase "because there's chaos." And somehow, it shuts them up too. They don't alarm themselves, no, things never quite reach the level of alarm, and they only make the very slightest effort to reflect.

Chaos then is chaos, true enough, but there are two sides to this word. On the one side there is all the confusion, bungling and irresponsibility, together with the cheating that flourishes in this broth. The intelligentsia still relates to such affairs with interest, although they are easily bored. On the other hand, there are the causes of all this, for nothing in society happens without a cause. And here the intelligentsia has no interest whatever, this is where they raise their own "perpendicular," as a boundary post, which they have no wish to look beyond.

"How can this happen?!" asks the intelligentsia when confronted with abuse, when it stumbles into insults and humiliation. And immediately answers itself; "Because there is chaos, that's all there is to it. Chaos. The perpendicular. The boundary post. Further is alien territory."

Each cultivates around himself a fence of reliable boundary posts. He hermetically fences himself in. On the inside, my chaos is my strength. On the outside; nobody wants the general chaos, so let's hold an investigation.

2. The Otherworldly Truth

Materialism has always been alien to the intelligentsia. Spinning in their own little world, where the fundamental essence is human relations, where material objects are not created, but obtained, bestowed, exchanged and inherited, the intelligentsia and its representatives always proceed from what they have observed. "I give money, and I get butter." This is understandable. When the butter is all eaten, then it is time to buy more; and it appears. But how the money paid produces new butter, how it gives rise to human labour, this is a mystery, it lies outside the boundaries of their little world, their universe.

The intelligentsia has created religion. Once upon a time there was the peasant; he had to plow in order to feed the livestock. For him butter was not a question of "I give - I receive," rather the cow had to be fed and milked, the cream separated and churned. But the intelligentsia sells its creative, spiritual, ideal labour. Whatever will feed it, that it creates. If they will pay for religion, then religion is created.

Chaos is also a religion. It is the contemporary name of God, omniscient and omnipotent. Everything comes from chaos; the good with the bad. Chaos giveth and Chaos taketh away. May Chaos be at your side! Even though the path be chaotic and inscrutable, does not Chaos surround you with its favours?

Once religion has arisen, that means that someone is paying for it. Once it has been strengthened, that means the payment is significant. Who? But what's the difference! As long as butter can be obtained.

But you can't get butter. True, this is already past the perpendicular, where there is feeding-milking-churning. And they get none of that. For it is all in that mystical realm where steel is smelted, grain is cultivated, diesel locomotives and toothbrushes are built, where there is chiselling, sawing and planing. This it is impossible to get hold of. But, in any event, there is a vague, though quite believable conjecture; the workers and peasants work badly, and in general don't want to work at all.

There is one completely otherworldly, absolutely transcendental truth; society can not exist without production. And all the human relations are not worth a brass farthing[3] unless they lead to the movement of the workers hands, and are embodied in labour. In order to produce, society requires the productive forces. And, while everyone wants to eat, though only some want to produce, then relations, which we call production relations remain unavoidable. The intelligentsia, naturally, has heard of all this, and can even manage to repeat chunks of it, like an incantation learned by rote. But they don't believe it. There is only one god - Chaos, and all the rest is sent by the Devil.

In general, the otherworldly world imagines itself as the devil. For example, the member of the intelligentsia supposes that the productivity of labour depends on which cubicle he is placed in; on whether he is placed in the cubicle for the intellectual-boss, or projected into the cubicle of the intellectual-designer, or works in the cubicle for the factory intellectual-planner. And if somehow the cubicle becomes obsolete, then the productivity will not appear there and production will not occur.

It must be said! What bullshit! Nonsense and obscurantism. We have, apparently, got to the point where production output depends on the cubicle that the designer drew. Do we really have to think about this! And suppose that your intelligentsia could construct a cubicle that was ten time more perfect, then they would get ten times more out of you? For the love of heaven, don't polish this garbage! Chaos owns everything and in Him any construct can rot and leave no trace.

And they also say, from the far side, that each works according to what conditions dictate. As though, were we to create conditions for each man such that the more he gave to society the more he would receive for himself, then that man would work more keenly and diligently. Atheists! Who knows how to create such conditions; since all conditions are the work of God, of Chaos?

And still the heretics chatter; for the mark of Chaos is not upon them! As if this tremendous chaos could be produced by man. Worse yet, as if man could struggle with it and possibly even overcome it. This is the most extreme heresy! For are we not all the lambs of Chaos. Chaos created us and promised us the rule of Chaos.

No, you can't win over our people's intelligentsia. They are the true believers.

3. Blessed is He who Believes

Belief is blinding. Belief in Chaos, as in all other religions, while not even allowing any thought about transforming the world, assists in survival through the sanctioned building of a personal life.

The self-blinded intelligentsia categorically does not want to see what is going on around it.

In the country, there is a crisis; a general economic crisis. The beginning of the final phase, which fore-ordained its development into complete economic catastrophe, took shape in 1977 with the complete disruption of planned industrial development. In the following years, the disruption of the tenth five year plan and the continuing fall in the output of goods left no hope of a successful exit from this crisis. The catastrophe was unavoidable because it was not a partial crisis, like the crisis of 1963, which the country overcame, but a general crisis. This was the first time such a thing had happened in the USSR. The first, in the seventh decade of its history.

Reliance on the omnipotence of Chaos then lost all meaning. Yes, Chaos had always found resources within it to stop up the holes in past, partial crises; some thread had always been found to mend the holes in His robe. But now it has turned out that the Emperor (Chaos) had no clothes.

What does this prove? It proves that the crisis had reached the stage of falling productivity of labour. This was not hard to recognize from looking at any of the published results. The conversation about the railways, presented at the beginning, was not accidental. In the case of a disruption of the extractive industries, some loss of productivity might be explained by the exploitation of new, less accessible natural resources, then the railways should be affected least of all. But if transport can not manage to achieve last years volume of traffic, it means there is collapse.

And the timber and forestry industry? Yes, of course, we have concerns about the disappearing forest. But what regime, other than a socialist one, has such possibilities for their renewal?

And the four divisions[4] of metallurgy? And the cement industry and reinforced concrete production? Isn't this the bread of all industry and construction? Won't it die of starvation?

4. Head in the Sand

Putting their faith in the will of Chaos, our religious intelligentsia does not experience the slightest inclination to look at the world materialistically. The frightened ostrich buries its head in the sand, for him it is easy to simply forget that his ass is still hanging out for general observation. Our intelligentsia also prefers to fill its eyes with the sand of trifling, chaotic wonders.

Our intelligentsia rapidly and completely forgets all the materialist theory they were taught at university. Or rather, they paid little attention to it even then. The hopeless muddle of the classic ideas of Marxism with tabloid gossip and Christmas decorations of which the textbooks are composed led our intelligentsia, always ready to avoid intellectual overload, not to try to understand anything in it. So of course, our honoured intelligentsia, continued to short change the evergreen tree of Marxism with their articles and trinkets; finally they curtained it off so effectively that the tree was no longer even visible.

But invisible does not mean non-existent. Thank God, (or perhaps Chaos?) no one has concealed the entrance to Marxism from us; Lenin's work "State and Revolution" lies on the shop counters next to the "Constitution and Programme" plainly refuting the hypothesis of annihilation.

In translation intelligentsia means "thinkers." If it reflected at all on this literary juxtaposition, its hair would stand on end. However, our intelligentsia wears it hair in a very conservative style, thus averting all suspicions and slanders about its ability to think. Our "thinkers" do not want to think, and especially not materialistically.

And if life doesn't strike it, doesn't twist or whip its wet tail, our intelligentsia does not want to think about events. It does not want to see the causes of events. It does not want to investigate these causes. It does not want to get to their source. Perhaps because this would destroy the myth of Chaos which is so dear to its heart? Or perhaps it's because this would mean condemning themselves to personal irrelevance? The devil only knows what is going through the ostriches mind before the hunter puts a round into that big ass-end which is sticking out. You can't ask the stuffed animal.

Our believing intelligentsia believes only in chance, in the inscrutability of Chaos. It has erased from its memory all the laws of social development, revealed by its predecessors, and prefers to return to the superstitions of the cave men. It is not that the dialectic is too complicated for it, but rather it is completely intolerable. It hands out stone age explanations to everyone and does not try to understand the real causes but rather to prove that everything must be according to its wooden way of thinking. And if this is not the way things are, then this, in no way, means that they must not be that way; and in any case it makes no difference since all is Chaos, and there is no point in arguing with Chaos, for his will is higher than all law and all knowledge.

Somehow, earlier, it was thought that the intelligentsia is that part of society which, above all, strives for enlightenment, for knowledge of the world. Our intelligentsia wants nothing to be illuminated. It is ready to grind up a granite scale into fine sand for the sake of covering its own eyes. And it grinds away. It chops off little fragments of quotations from the integrated teachings of the giants of the past; but it is unimportant whether it is from Marx or Seneca, Spinoza or Hegel, Lenin or the Archangel Gabriel, so long as there is something to fill our heads with, so we won't see, won't think and won't know. And so the intelligentsia chops its day to day problems off from our social problems and buries itself in them up to the eyeballs. Why should it bother to worry about how to make butter available to the whole country; it is so much easier to go have a drink with Sergei Petrovitch, whose wife is a shop-assistant, and get butter that way.

But who will investigate the business of the country if not the intelligentsia? Well it doesn't want to. Doesn't want to, and thats that.

5. The Limits of Heresy

Our Chaos-fearing intelligentsia guards the dogma of its beliefs religiously. There is an objective cause for this; the inquisition never sleeps. Its secret agents are scattered in the midst of the intelligentsia like seeds in soil. And as at the time of any inquisition, doubt corrodes belief. Chaos is good, the individual member of the intelligentsia thinks to himself, but perhaps it could be even better. And from such ideas, heresy arises.

There are three such heresies; one small and two large;

"The intelligentsia needs to be better paid. And not drawn back into agriculture. Intellectual labour is a subtle thing, so this must be taken into account in creating the conditions..." this is the little heresy.

"If only the leadership (department boss, director, or even higher; this can be anyone who has seized the imagination) would think just a little, they would never permit this," this a more powerful heresy.

"If a younger patriarchy got ahold of the leadership, they would bring order," this is the greatest heresy. But still not too great, because it has in mind, not replacing chaos with order, but the building of order within Chaos itself, the replacement of simple chaos with ordered chaos.

The inquisition does not prosecute any of these heresies. But in any case, the intelligentsia would always be timidly looking off to the side and entertaining heretical ideas. It is essential for the intelligentsia's spiritual health to feel itself to be somewhat subversive, even if nobody notices the subversion.

The Lutherans protest against the Catholic beliefs. The Calvinists protest in their own fashion. But against belief in general, against religion as such they don't come forward; they don't even dare to think about it. They just want to repaint it a little on one side or the other...

But would Chaos be better than before if it were retouched in this way. Of course, yes! Every intellectual thinks this way. For how could he think otherwise if the correctness of each adjustment, its truth and and rectitude, could be seen in improvement in his, yes, precisely, his own, personal situation; and to hell with the rest, this would be the most excellent Chaos.

The more they spit at one another, the more Chaos is beautified by a grand exchange of spittle, an All-Union spitoon. From the side, perhaps it is even beautiful, it is certainly shiny.

That nothing else can be expected from their heretical wishes for the common good, this the intelligentsia does not want to see.

Frightened not so much by the inquisition as by their religious presentation of it, our intelligentsia tries to stand firm on its errors, frequently completely conscious that they are errors and nothing more.

Our intelligentsia always tries to feather its own little nest, with all its limitations, and does not want to look out from inside it. Our intelligentsia is happy to get an unexpected slap in the face now and again, so long as it does not have to see where the next danger is coming from. You take the slap that's all, you just have to flinch a little. And the sooner you seen misfortune coming, the sooner you can clean out the nest.

Our intelligentsia does not want to think of tomorrow.

And for nothing.

It would be able to see much of interest. Though hoping that tomorrow will be the same as today, or at least that it will be only a little worse, it would see that tomorrow its hopes will be smashed to smithereens. While counting on Chaos not to have given only to take away, it would see how its honoured deity will turn against it. It might understand just how near change is and what the threats to it are in the developing crisis.

But for this it would have to throw off religion and occupy itself with theory. For this it would have to understand that Chaos is not an omnipotent deity, but a huge social mechanism functioning according to definite laws. It would have to investigate these laws and understand where this mechanism is going. It would have to understand its place in this mechanism and project what it will turn out to be when the machine collapses into a heap.

For this it would have to think. And analyze reality.

The intelligentsia doesn't want this. It tries to remain afloat, neither better nor worse than the others. It uses the simplest of logic; everyone can't perish so, if I am like everyone else, I won't perish. Or, which comes to the same thing; Chaos won't abandon us to misfortune (drop us in the drink).

And yet is does. Chaos does not offer mercy to all. So the blind, senseless logic become stronger; not everyone will perish, but many will, so why should I drown with them? Then Chaos becomes terrible; for clearly it will dictate who shall sink and who shall swim, this it will dictate without considering your desires or how dear your ordinary life is to you.

In order to understand this, the intelligentsia would have to be reduced to the mass level, and it does not even want a hint of this. It does not see the crisis, does not draw the conclusions; it neither wants to search for the solutions nor to act deliberately.

Well then, we will swim as we can. And may Chaos grant us one hundred feet of water under the keel.

6. On that Side Lies Catastrophe

All crises reveal that the reality is no longer well-founded, that it remains only as a form out of which new content bursts forth to freedom, that it must inevitably burst, collapse and explode.

If our intelligentsia had mastered the methods of Marxist analysis, it would understand that the root cause of these events is the loss of proletarian dictatorship. It would be able to investigate the causes which have led to this point.

The intelligentsia does not want to tire itself out with reflection.

Let us save the intelligentsia from sinking into these depths which are so terrifying for it. Let it just look under the very first layer of the growing crisis, let it not see the roots but merely the immediate causes. This will be perfectly sufficient for it to see its future.

The coming crisis is expressed in the fall in the productivity of labour. No great effort is required to understand that this is the direct consequence of the activities of our intelligentsia, or rather its stupendous inactivity, its absolute unwillingness to take account of the production requirements, in order to satisfy all sorts of considerations of a completely different order.

This intelligentsia isn't worried about the timely replacement of obsolescent equipment or the broader application of progressive technologies and methods. This intelligentsia designs stuff that is obsolete before the factory is even built, it sends the most valuable equipment wherever it will find no application. Yes, this is our intelligentsia.

Even the supporters of the idea that "the workers work badly" ought to understand that it is precisely the intelligentsia which creates the conditions in which the workers loose interest in the results of their work.

And it is only in the heads of brainless dilettantes that the idea can remain that all production problems can be resolved by loud appeals for the raising of the quality of work, of the type that fill our newspapers.

All people, whether workers or intellectuals, always do that which is dictated to them by circumstances, they seek better methods for the satisfaction of their interests in the circumstances in which they find themselves. And if the intelligentsia should accidentally harm the requirements for production, that is not its fault. This was simply more advantageous for the intelligentsia, it was forced to this by circumstances.

But we are discussing this, not in order to indict some intellectual, or on the contrary exonerate him. The crisis is not interested in who should take the blame. It grows and demands a solution, that is, unavoidable social change.

If the intelligentsia did not refuse to look, it would see that, under the cover of general chaos, concealed by the economic collapse, another world was hiding and maturing, the world of the completely organized criminal economy, the world of "the bosses life,[5]" the world of theft and 'honey-gathering,' of shortages and corruption, a world where everything is done purposefully and in accordance with expediency.

How hard is it to guess, that in the event of catastrophe, it is precisely this world which will swim to the surface and dictate to society its rules and laws.

In the midst of the intelligentsia there are proponents of the following point of view; better good capitalism than bad chaos.

Ouch! Perhaps, comrade intellectual, it is true; but only for you!

Don't forget, that for any system rising from the rubble of our chaotic economy there will be one principle task; compelling you, our dear intelligentsia, to work. For the sake of which, they will throw two thirds of the intelligentsia out of their cushy jobs and give their wages to the rest, and will compel them to work under threat, just as it is on the street.

You may personally hope to fall into the latter third, necessary to the bosses. You can hope to hang on there. You can hope. However, somebody has to fall into the two thirds that are cast off. There, of course, we don't need the theory of probability to calculate, but, all the same ...

So, you simply don't want to believe this prediction at all?

You don't have to want to. Just remember. Later it will come in handy.

My role is to deliver the warning. And then, perhaps, you will think it over yourself, and come to understand what's what. Perhaps you will remember that we are not given a head just to hold the hat up.

You don't want to? Well, whatever you like.

7. The Face behind the Mask

This is for those who, all the same, want to investigate, who feel that Chaos is not eternal.

Could it really be that, having thrust out its head and drawn itself up to its full height, capitalism would say, "I am now the boss of everything." We wouldn't permit it!

Well, it doesn't thrust out, doesn't even crawl out, doesn't stop to mock you. It and its name go together quite nicely; highly developed chaos. Or, the next stage in the creation of the material-technical basis, super-extra-modern chaos.

Having its own proper name is not necessary, it can get along quite well under pseudonyms. But it does require two things;

maximal extension of the economic rights of the director of an enterprise, and the legal protection of the right of the director to retain his post.

Other than that, for capitalism, nothing else is needed. All the rest can be built on this basis.

It will, of course, occupy itself with production. Because it is on the output of goods that the current account of the director depends, and on the appropriation of surplus value.

Of course, he will compel the intelligentsia to work. Because, no director (that is to say, capitalist) needs the useless hundred rouble intellectual, but he does need the intelligentsia that can increase his profits, his current account balance. How will the surplus intelligentsia, those he does not require, get along? Let them worry about that.

Naturally, he will steal both from the workers and from the intelligentsia; he wouldn't be a capitalist otherwise.

And you can be sure that economic power will fall completely to him. Otherwise, there will be no getting out of the crisis; no half-measures can help here. So long as the director is not the proprietor, the boss, the plenipotentiary master, so long will he continue to disorganize and mess up production, acting on the basis of existing orders and instructions. Because he too is human and will select the most advantageous path in the prevailing circumstances.

Those who think that the director could compel work with other methods, should think over for whom this compulsion is necessary. For whom is it advantageous? Clearly, there must also be a person to be compelled.

Those who doubt that we are going this way should think over the succeeding stages.

Now they are extolling the principles of material self-interests and self-finance (khozraschot - full cost accounting).

The work-unit contract, the piece-work rate, the 'Shchekinski' method[6] the touching concern for the personal agriculture in the kitchen garden, these are all just the introduction, the story comes later. Why does the completely capitalist form of the work-unit contract, so effective in individual cases, not give results on the scale of the entire country? Well, because to obtain such results, the capitalist forms of distribution of output, materials and production branches would be required. Only "A" is spoken of, but "B" also naturally suggests itself.

And the calls for "B" get louder and louder.

Articles 57 and 58 of our new constitution guarantee legal defence, including against the actions of state and social organizations. Well, why should the directors not avail themselves of this defence? And we have "Literaturnaya Gazeta" drawing the most responsible organs into the discussion; how to defend one boss against the encroachments of others at a higher level. The corresponding laws are already maturing.

The director is defended from the minister by such laws, but not the foreman on the line from the director. The director can settle accounts with any of his economic subordinates without giving the slightest basis for court interference. The force of this law serves only those who have money in their hands.

"The decision was taken, giving production unions (enterprises) the right to pay out against economies in the wage fund which was received against established norms, that is planned wages, increases in rates and salaries for workers and technical-engineering staff. In the case of worsening labour indices, the established rates will change" This statement appeared in a newspaper account entitled "On the improvement of planning, the strengthening of the activities of the management mechanism for the heightening of the effectiveness of production and quality of work" (July 1979)

And here is what chief arbitrator E. Anisimov said, in an interview after the adoption of the law on state arbitration, ("Socialist Industry" December 6th 1979) "Now, arbitration is fully justified in posing the question of rescinding those actions of the organs of administration which infringe the law and the rights of enterprises." The rights of enterprises; this is only the outward appearance, the real point is the right of the director to be subordinate to nobody, on that basis that they can go to court (look at the articles of the constitution) to defend their right to occupy the directors chair and to defend their directorial (even if quite capitalist) honour and dignity.

And why shouldn't the chief arbitrator speak about this when L.I. Brezhnev himself, in November (1979), had said the same thing at a plenum? "It is important that the higher level organs do not infringe on the rights which enterprises, unions and work collectives have been given."

There you are, it is under such slogans that we are marching to the future.

This is how, under the cover of "developed" chaos, the new order is ripening. Crumb by crumb, particle by particle, the foundations for the new bourgeoisie are settling out.

Time passes, and the crisis shows the bankruptcy of many hopes, decisions, directives and declarations, which fall like dead leaves off a tree proving that, already standing quite solidly on these crumbs, is something quite unexpected for us.

Developed chaos is a mask. Behind the mask lies a face.

8. The Intelligentsia that Understands

"There is no alternative to this course ...;" this was said at the very same November Plenum. And it is true in the sense that however we scramble out of the crisis it all comes to the same thing.

Everything which happens, which comes about, leads us out along this path. But is it really unique?

For the profoundly revered patriarchs of Chaos, it is. Because, the force on which they base themselves is these directors. And this force supports them steadfastly and inexorably, it can flounder, but it never opposes them.

But it is not just of directors that humanity is composed. There is another force, the proletariat.

Now it is the weaker. Because it is badly organized, even unorganized. It is unorganized because its organizations have been stolen from it, they have converted, by deceit, into manipulators for the "bosses life."

But this is not eternal.

The crisis awakens consciousness. It forces the workers to directly experience the unity of their own interests. Shortages, accompanying the crisis, push it into united action.

The proletariat mobilizes itself, but it needs a weapon; such a weapon can only be a Marxist world outlook, a materialist analysis of reality, precise and specific goals and direction for the struggle. And in this it needs the help of the intelligentsia, that intelligentsia which has not lost the ability to see the world in a Marxist fashion.

That intelligentsia which understands that it is not all-peoples chaos, but the dictatorship of the proletariat alone which can provide a crisis free movement of society to the future. Because the proletariat is the only class which is actually interested in the development of the peoples economy, which cannot satisfy its requirements at the expense of another since there is no one for it to steal from, which, in any case, cannot consume more than it has itself produced, and it is this which distinguishes it from all other classes.

That intelligentsia which understands that, in its own time, under the cover of loud phrases and solemn assurances, power was taken away from the proletariat, stealthily, by deceit.

The collapse of production is unavoidable, we can not avert it. The productivity of labour has one immutable characteristic; its fall gives rise only to a further fall. The smaller the volume of production, the less can be earmarked for the renewal and development of the technical basis, and the smaller such assignments, the smaller the volume of production will be tomorrow. There is no breaking out of this circle.

This is what the intelligentsia does not want to see, putting its trust in omnipotent Chaos. Yes, Chaos can work miracles. It can turn an elephant into a fly and an axe into nothing at all. But the reverse is impossible for Him; here is His limit. And to save Him a miracle is needed.

The intelligentsia does not want to see the crisis, but the crisis does not care to take this into account. It hits the intelligentsia with unbroken inflation, grinding its wages into dust, it hits it with goods shortages, with loss of its rights, reduces it to begging before the powerful of this world, and nudges it into petty scheming and simple theft.

The intelligentsia defends itself in its own way. While suffering, as the crisis tramples on it with its rough boots, the intelligentsia defends those who do not want to draw any conclusion from it. What can you do? May Chaos help you!

Even that part of the intelligentsia, which does draw some conclusions, remains within very narrow boundaries. Yes, it's all going to hell, but wouldn't it be nice to find a boss who would pay two months salary every month! Yes, Chaos is capable of such magical action, but clearly not for nothing, but for specific services. With what could Faust pay for the bonus of youth?

Those few in the intelligentsia, who do come to an understanding of the situation, as a rule, stop there. They gaze wisely on events, understanding everything, and can even foresee and predict the course of events. But they do not want to find the way out of the crisis, to find the solution. They prefer to swim with the flow, together with everyone, floundering in deep water, like the rest, and above all gloating about it.

Neither the one, nor the other, nor the third want to lift a finger to change it. Each thinks, "What is in my character?"

The proletariat needs the help of those of the intelligentsia who understand that the October revolution proved to the proletariat that it was not only capable of seizing power, but also of collecting the forces to recover it.

Such intellectuals that think of how to help the proletariat, who are ready to serve it, who will go into revolutionary battle with it, will, again, defend the proletarian socialist society.

But this is already another intelligentsia, altogether different than the one that does not want to know.


[1] Versaev was a Russian emigre and author of the late 19th and 20th centuries, who was and remains very popular with the intelligentsia.

[2] The word in the Russian text is "bardak" which also means brothel. So the connotation is probably earthier, less fractal, than the word chaos.

[3] This is the dictionary translation of the Russian phrase "not worth a broken half-kopeck piece." For the benefit of those not familiar with older English currency, a farthing was a quarter of an old English penny (240 pennies in one pound Sterling) and the genuine ones were made of copper. So probably a more comprehensible phrase in modern times would be "not worth a fiddler's fart."

[4] The reference here is to the 4 stages in steel making; smelting ore for cast iron, making steel, rolling and tempering.

[5] This phrase indicates those who consider themselves above other people, above the law and above the nation. For example, gangsters such as Al Capone, but also members of the ruling class like Leona Helmsley.

[6] The 'Shchekinski' method is so commonplace under developed capitalism that it does not even really have a special name. It is making workers redundant through the introduction of new technology. It was pioneered in the USSR in the late 1960s at the Chemical Plant in the city of Shchekino, where two thousand workers were made redundant by the introduction of new technologies and the modernization of existing equipment. It is strongly associated with the name of a cement worker, Travkina, who actively assisted in the use of this method. Travkina became a "workers' congressman" in the Supreme Soviet and later was a member of the first two Dumas. In 1997 he became the head of the administration in an important region near Moscow.

The interpreter on the English language - Perry Vodchik

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