What Is To Be Done?
Indeed, no one, we think, has until now doubted that the strength of the present-day movement lies in the awakening of the masses principally, the industrial proletariat and that its weakness lies in the lack of consciousness and initiative among the revolutionary leaders.
However, of late a staggering discovery has been made, which threatens to disestablish all hitherto prevailing views on this question. For this reason the question of the relation between consciousness and spontaneity is of such enormous general interest, and for this reason the question must be dealt with in great detail.
The Beginning of the Spontaneous Upsurge In the previous chapter we pointed out how universally absorbed the educated youth of Russia was in the theories of Marxism in the middle of the nineties.
In the same period the strikes that followed the famous St. Petersburg industrial war of assumed a similar general character. But there is spontaneity and spontaneity. Even the primitive revolts expressed the awakening of consciousness to a certain extent.
The workers were losing their age-long faith in the permanence of the system which oppressed them and began… I shall not say to understand, but to sense the necessity for collective resistance, definitely abandoning their slavish submission to the authorities.
But this was, nevertheless, more in the nature of outbursts of desperation and vengeance than of struggle. The strikes of the nineties revealed far greater flashes of consciousness; definite demands were advanced, the strike was carefully timed, known cases and instances in other places were discussed, etc.
The revolts were simply the resistance of the oppressed, whereas the systematic strikes represented the class struggle in embryo, but only in embryo. Taken by themselves, these strikes were simply trade union struggles, not yet Social Democratic struggles. They marked the awakening antagonisms between workers and employers; but the workers, were not, and could not be, conscious of the irreconcilable antagonism of their interests to the whole of the modern political and social system, i.
We have said that there could not have been Social-Democratic consciousness among the workers. It would have to be brought to them from without.
The history of all countries shows that the working class, exclusively by its own effort, is able to develop only trade union consciousness, i. By their social status the founders of modern scientific socialism, Marx and Engels, themselves belonged to the bourgeois intelligentsia.
In the very same way, in Russia, the theoretical doctrine of Social-Democracy arose altogether independently of the spontaneous growth of the working-class movement; it arose as a natural and inevitable outcome of the development of thought among the revolutionary socialist intelligentsia.
In the period under discussion, the middle nineties, this doctrine not only represented the completely formulated programme of the Emancipation of Labour group, but had already won over to its side the majority of the revolutionary youth in Russia.
But what was only part misfortune became full misfortune when this consciousness began to grow dim it was very much alive among the members of the groups mentionedwhen there appeared people—and even Social -Democratic organs—that were prepared to regard shortcomings as virtues, that even tried to invent a theoretical basis for their slavish cringing before spontaneity.
It is time to draw conclusions from this trend, the content of which is incorrectly and too narrowly characterised as Economism. Political Agitation And Its Restriction By the Economists The overwhelming majority of Russian Social-Democrats have of late been almost entirely absorbed by this work of organising the exposure of factory conditions.
Suffice it to recall Rabochaya Mysl to see the extent to which they have been absorbed by it — so much so, indeed, that they have lost sight of the fact that this, taken by itself, is in essence still not Social-Democratic work, but merely trade union work.
Social-Democracy leads the struggle of the working class, not only for better terms for the sale of labour-power, but for the abolition of the social system that compels the propertyless to sell themselves to the rich. Social-Democracy represents the working class, not in its relation to a given group of employers alone, but in its relation to all classes of modern society and to the state as an organised political force.
Hence, it follows that not only must Social-Democrats not confine themselves exclusively to the economic struggle, but that they must not allow the organisation of economic exposures to become the predominant part of their activities.
We must take up actively the political education of the working class and the development of its political consciousness.The soviet communist party, or the Bolsheviks, always new that strong propaganda was essential to increase the consciousness of the masses.
As stated in the Encyclopedia of Propaganda, " propaganda was central to Marxist-Leninist ideology long before the Bolshevik revolution of "() The power.
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-Recruited individuals that didn't have strong political ties to the cause - must have at least some element of indiscrimination or else it will become predictable, lose its broad character and no longer be.
masses from anti-patriotic rhetoric. Many of these activities were challenged as the democratic system searched for a balance informed discourse could result in the eventual triumph of truth and a strong democratic government.
1; using mass communications as an element of power to increase its strength and erode the democratic political.
Distracting the masses with a whole new world of digital propaganda utilizing spam bots, algorithms and artificial intelligence. These can be intended for the weaponization of information that is used more specifically for psychological manipulation and to shape false narratives.
Propaganda must be aimed at the masses. Its object is not to make people weigh and discriminate, but to champion one particular idea. To succeed, it must appeal to the emotions rather than to reason. II The Spontaneity of the Masses and the Consciousness of the Social-Democrats We have said that our movement, much more extensive and deep than the movement of the seventies, must be inspired with the same devoted determination and energy that inspired the movement at that time.