Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Maxim Gorky to Russian Comrades

Among the pictures of Soviet champions that used to hang in all Russian school and library, the one of Maxim Gorky was almost at all times given pride of place with Lenin. Gorky was a symbol of the Soviet literary enterprise. He was celebrated as the first Great Russian author to surface from the working class, as a life-long comrade of the Bolsheviks, and as the creator of Socialist Realism, the arty principle of the Stalinist rule. Following letter was written on the eve of the crushing of the first revolution attempt by the Socialists.

January 1, 1906


The conflict against the mean oppression of poverty is a conflict for the liberation of the world from that net of coarse contradictions in which all men are fiercely and impotently struggling. You are manfully trying to break this net: your enemies are making determined efforts to entangle you till more securely in its meshes, your weapon is the sharp sword of truth, that of your enemies the crooked needle of falsehood. Dazzled by the glitter of gold, they slavishly trust in its might, and do not perceive with what steadily increasing brightness burns the great ideal of the union of all men in one comrade-family of free workers. Socialism, the religion of liberty, equality and fraternity, is as unintelligible to them as is music to a man who is deaf and dumb, or poetry to an idiot. When they see the mighty march of the masses of the people toward freedom and light, dreading a disturbance of their peace, trembling for their position as lords of life, they hide the truth even from one another and console themselves with the spectral hope of defeating justice. They slanderously describe the proletariat as a dark mass of hungry beasts whose one desire is to gorge large quantities of food and who are ready for the sake of a good hunk of bread to destroy everything with which they cannot fill their maw.

Religion and science they employ as instruments for holding you in servitude; they have invented Nationalism and Anti-semitism, venom with which they would poison your faith in the brotherhood of all men; even God exists for the bourgeois merely as a guardian of property. In Russia a revolution is bursting into flame, and they slander utterly the Russian proletariat, representing the workman as a mere unconscious elemental force, a barbarous horde, ready to destroy, to wipe out completely all that exists, and incapable of creating anything but anarchy.

The man who addresses you now is a man of the people, one who knows the people, and who has not broken his connection with the people until this day, one who is an open-minded spectator of the struggle of the Russian proletariat, and this man declares to you:

The Russian proletariat is struggling consciously for the political freedom it urgently needs, and that it wrung the Manifesto of October 30 from the Government by its own strength. They tell you this Manifesto was an act of the Emperor's free will; his truth is, it was a trophy of the people's victory.

If the interests of the nation had really been dear to the Government it would assuredly have seen to it that the Manifesto of October 30 would secure in every corner of the Empire the force of unalterable law. But our Government is stamped with the habit of arbitrary rule; it denies all laws and is filled with the one great care of securing its own position, which, finding most profitable, it has naturally no desire to abandon.

The Russian Government has, as a result of its tactlessness, gained a Pyrrhic victory; by its impotence and forced brutality it has driven moderate elements towards the left, and will, I am confident, drive them still further in that direction. The Russian proletariat is marching towards certain victory, for in Russia it alone is spiritually strong, it alone has faith in itself, to it alone belongs the future.

Long live, then, the proletariat as it goes forth to renew the whole world. Long live the working men of all lands who by the strength of their hands have built up the wealth of nations and are now labouring to create it new life! Long live Socialism, the religion of the future.

Greetings to the fighters, greetings to the workers of all lands, and may they ever have faith in the victory of truth, the victory of justice! Long live humanity fraternally united in the great ideals of equality and freedom!

M. Gorky

For Complete IIPM Article, Click on IIPM Article

Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2009

An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative

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