par Eric Vilain
If the Bolsheviki had been representative of the working class of Russia, they would have tried by all means to overcome the low degree of class self-consciousness of the Russian workers. They would have tried to develop this force into a real worker party, having this party crystallize in the process of the class struggle, as a result of the increased class-consciousness of the Russian proletariat. Capitalism teaches the workers to labor its way. It also teaches them to think politically. The workers’ party can only arise out of this political thinking of the workers. The fighting organization of the proletariat finds its form not at the historic beginning of the class but late in its development.
Not representing the class interests of the Russian proletariat, the Bolsheviki turned its very primitiveness into a theory justifying their own Jacobinical pretensions to leadership. They refused to recognize that the cultural backwardness of the Russian laboring masses was the product of a retarded, half-feudal, half-capitalist social situation, which had to be overcome by the rising class. They preferred to see the cultural backwardness of the Russian proletariat as an immutable fact that could only be removed “from outside.” This outlook determined the stand they took toward the working class.