Fall of Eagles: Absolute Beginners (Episode 06)

Fall of Eagles: Absolute Beginners (Episode 06)


Tsar Nicholas Il, sentimental, petulant, practises the divine right fo rule at his palace outside St Petersburg, and frowns at a changing world. Minister of the Interior, Von Plehve, more vigorous by nature,
organises repression with system, if not subtlety. Both in Russia and beyond her frontiers, the question is no longer whether revolution,
but how, and led by whom? Majesty, the state has no business
organising workers to present economic demands to employers. There are plenty of revolutionists around
to do that, God knows. The state’s job is containment. We put out fires, we eliminate fire-raisers… Jews, anarchists, revolutionists. Fortunately, the same size in a gun sight. 69 rioters killed, 143 wounded,
over 200 arrests made. Two dozen already hanged. It’s all there in the file. We can win if we have the will, Majesty. But we must make them understand
that we are serious. And if we are serious, we must be coherent. We must be ruthless and, above all, we must be intelligent. (Sighs) I ordered a Grenadier regiment
up from Orenburg to… ..burn a few houses and restore order. I shot seven crows this morning. (Laughs gently) Are they all my enemies? Potentially, as they are all your loyal
and devoted friends and subjects. The people are merely the stakes, Your Majesty. And whom do we play for them? They’re all here. Socialist Revolutionaries, liberals, anarchists, Social Democrats. Jew, Jew. – Aren’t there any Russians?
– One or two, Your Majesty. Look at them. Who are these? Social Democrats. Dreamers, mostly. Marxists, they call themselves. Plekhanov, the leading figure. NICHOLAS: This one. Jew, yes?
– Martov. Born Tsederbaum. NICHOLAS: And this?
– Ulyanov. Agitator. 14 months in the Marinka awaiting trial. Sentenced to three years’ exile, ’97. Minusinsk. Last known report has him in Munich. Married to this one here. Maybe she’ll give him some babies,
make him settle down in Germany. (Chuckles) VON PLEHVE: Of course, my political police
abroad are monitoring their every movement. The landlady wanted to know
if Doctor and Mrs Richter were married. She wanted a marriage certificate. It was no problem. I showed her the ring. I didn’t know you still had it. I thought it might be of use. Now, you must have breakfast
and then you must go to the printer’s. And you have to contact Zasulich and Martov. Wrong again, friend. There will be no revolution
in Russia based upon the peasant. Read some Marx, man. The peasant is a petty bourgeois reactionary
element and an arch-opponent of progress, as will be demonstrated
when the proletarian revolution takes place. It’s ridiculous calling yourselves socialists.
You’re anarchists. Why don’t you admit it? Volodya! Comrade! Oh, comrade! Good to have you with us. Let me look. You know, we expected you Wednesday. That’s what Zasulich said.
She told me I’d find you here. Yes, well, you know me. I need an argument. I need dialectic. Today is Wednesday, Julius. You know, I think you’re right, comrade.
Shall we drink to that? Your arrival has forced me to dest…
defer my destruction of the anarchists’ position. It’s a great place for anarchists is London,
Volodya. – Let’s talk, eh?
– Yes, of course. LENIN: A year. Not less. MARTOV: Can we do it in a year?
LENIN: Yes, with work. What does Plekhanov think? Does it matter? Plekhanov couldn’t organise
a trip to the theatre and, God knows, he’s had enough practice. In any case, he’s a theoretician.
Organisation isn’t abstract enough for Georges. But has he approved the broad strategy? Plekhanov and Axelrod have agreed
to leave it to my judgment. That is to say, they support my view that we should not undertake
a full Party Congress until our tendency has been strengthened
at the expense of all other tendencies. When the Iskra men have a strong position
within the Party on the ground, then we can convene a congress
which will recognise us as the leading element. And that won’t happen until Iskra has won
the minds of the Party workers. Oh, how we have missed you, comrade. LENIN: Face it. What we have now
is a fragile chain of agents and contacts spread thin across Europe and Russia. It’s we who are weak. We’re émigrés.
Dilettante, intellectual, unreliable. We must change that.
And we must begin with ourselves, if we are to create an organisation
of professional revolutionaries, whose duty is to devote
not only their free evenings but their whole life to working for the Revolution. In a year, we must have built
the embryo of a party, each cell working implicitly from the nucleus, the centre, the source of power. What does Georges say? Plekhanov agrees. Ilyich is right. We have to establish
an entirely new relationship between centre and periphery. Now, I think I’d probably want a wider
membership than he appears to envisage. And I’d want more power
in the hands of local committees. But on the whole, I agree with your perspective. I still think it’s a pity about the peasants. LENIN: What is? They have revolutionary potential, too.
They need organising, too. They won’t make the Revolution. The problem of the peasant arises
after the Revolution, when they have to bow
to the dictatorship of the proletariat. Then we’ll see how revolutionary they are. It seems a bit late leaving it till then, comrade. What do you propose to do about it then,
may I ask? Shoot them all? There are millions of them! I’l discuss that at length with you
some other time, Comrade Zasulich. Now, I’d prefer if we stayed with the agenda. That becomes policy, then. Look, comrades, we have a newspaper, we have an organisation. Now, we must find the will. Then we will be fit to lead. Until tomorrow. – Goodbye, comrades.
– Good night. Comrade Robespierre. You’re too soft with him, Julius! Do you want me? No. Do you want to talk? Perhaps we’re the wrong people. No. They’re turning into fossils, Nadya. Emigrés. (Knock on door) – Yes?
– Mrs Richter? – Who wants to know?
– Trotsky. (Car running in street) Bronstein. The Pen. Welcome, comrade. I’m M. Never forget the forms. We heard you were on your way but I can’t
pretend we were expecting you exactly. Comrade, would you be so good
as to pay the cabbie for me? He seems to be having difficulty
making himself understood. On the next floor, first door on the right. Comrade Lenin? Trotsky. The Pen. Trotsky? I thought you were Bronstein? Bronstein, I got tired of. Trotsky I borrowed from a jailer
just before I escaped. You think it suits? You have a letter? Something? Of course. Welcome to London, comrade. It’s an honour to be here, Comrade Lenin. I’m entirely in your hands. Tell me what I can do. – Are you tired?
– No. Why do you ask? It doesn’t matter. Come. First, you must tell me what you know. People, friends, organisation. The centre cannot hold without intelligence. – Coffee?
– Tea! You’ve met our new comrade? “The young eagle”,
wasn’t it, Zaporozhets called him? Something to do with the way I hold my nose,
I think. (Laughs) We need all the eagles we can get. Tell me. Do you mind if I remove my shoes? Not at all, please. These belong to Trotsky, too. You’d think the least they could do
is provide warders with sensible feet. (Lenin laughs) (Reads) If I were one of the celestial bodies, I would look with complete detachment
upon this miserable ball of dirt and dust. I would shine upon the good and the evil alike. Butlam a man. World history, which, to you, dispassionate gobbler of science, to you, book-keeper of eternity, seems only a negligible moment
in the balance of time, is to me everything. As long as I breathe, I shall fight for the future. That radiant future, in which Man, strong and beautiful, will become the master
of the drifting stream of his history, and direct it towards the boundless horizon
of beauty, joy and happiness. Itseems as if… the new century, this gigantic newcomer, were bent,
at the very moment of its appearance, on driving the optimist into total pessimism and civil nirvana. “Surrender, you pathetic dreamer. Here I am, your long-awaited 20th century,
your future.” “No!” replies the unbowed optimist. “You are only the present.” Have you shown it to Plekhanov? No. – He’s seen other things of mine.
– And? He thinks my style is florid and rhetorical. What do you think? He’s right. But Georges always puts style first.
He’s a great European. He once said, not long ago,
that I had no style at all. In the French sense, of course. No, it’s not the style which bothers me.
1 think it’s too soft. I don’t understand. All right. How do we achieve this future that you talk of? – By struggle. How else?
– But against whom? The state and the classes
whose interest it protects. The duty of the revolutionary is to fight
those forces and personalities which impede or obstruct the socialist revolution. That’s what I said. No, it isn’t what you said,
and you must see the difference. The future is less than six months away. We make the future with every theory we evolve, every organisational change we set in progress. There will be no revolution, millions will not be mobilised
against the Tsarist state, unless we make it possible. We are Marxists. We understand,
as the anarchists and liberals cannot, the nature of power, of the state and so on. But it is not enough to know the world. We must learn how to change it. And in order to do that,
we must first and foremost… ..build an organisation, a party, to develop
the theory and lead the revolutionary struggle. You see what I mean? Objectively, the enemy can be your best friend, your lover, your party colleague, chairman
of your local branch, editor of your journal. The enemy is he who impedes
the course of the Revolution. The battle for now, Comrade Trotsky,
is not with the Tsar. It’s with ourselves. If Comrade Trotsky doesn’t leave soon,
he’ll miss Vera Ivanovna’s mutton stew. All right. Think about it. I want you to stay for a while, work with Iskra, find yourself. Oh, and a word of advice. Don’t become…an émigré. These capital cities… Fat, bourgeois, they suck you in, if you let them. Live only for the Revolution in Russia. Do you understand? Yes. I saw a fair bit of it in Paris on my way here. You’ll see it here, too. Tell me about Paris. Paris…is like Odessa. Only, Odessa is better. (Laughs) I’m sorry, comrade,
I mustn’t miss my mutton stew. (Everyone speaks at once)
– Let’s keep calm! Comrades, comrades! These are honest differences
and it’s right we should talk them out. I see no need for personalities
and name-calling. Surely we’re beyond that sort of thing? I beg you, comrades. Do you have further criticisms of my programme,
Vera lvanovna? I say as a programme for the Second Congress
of the Russian Social Democratic Party… Vera lvanovna has made her point, Ilyich.
It’s quite simple. She prefers Plekhanov’s draft to yours. As do Axelrod and Georges himself. You, Potresov and I prefer yours. Now, if you press for a vote, you give Comrade Plekhanov the opportunity,
as chairman of the Iskra Board, to cast the deciding vote in his own favour. May I make a suggestion? Please do. Give me the two drafts. Let me see if I can’t find something in them
to please everybody. What do you think, Comrade Trotsky? As a comrade, I mean. I think it’s probably possible to safeguard
your salient points within Plekhanov’s text. Personally, I think Plekhanov’s draft
is better suited to a textbook of Economics – than a party programme.
– Look, young man, Georges was running a revolutionary movement
when your parents were still holding hands! Yes, I know, he told me. All right, I accept what you say, Julius. But I think it’s important to preserve the notion
of an all-out attack on Tsarist absolutism. And it must be clearly understood, through the programme we eventually agree, that the dictatorship of the proletariat
means just that. It does not mean the dictatorship of the
proletariat in conjunction with the peasants. With those two conditions, I concede the need
to prepare a new Congress programme based on both drafts. It looks like July, comrades, in Brussels. Questions? Good. (Clears throat)
Would you mind waiting a little longer, Ilyich? A comrade has asked
if he might address the meeting. He’s upstairs now. Upstairs? Why was this not on the agenda? Comrade Miliutin arrived only this afternoon
from Orlov. I bring the matter up only now because I didn’t want the main body
of the meeting to be disrupted. I see. What does Comrade Miliutin want? I think he should be allowed
to tell us that himself. Nevertheless? Comrade Miliutin has laid grave charges
against one of our own agents. – Who?
– NE Bauman. What charges? Bauman got Miliutin’s wife with child
during his exile in Orlov. After his escape, he began to slander her,
labelled her the “Whore of Orlov”, and even used our own underground networks
to revile her. It wasn’t long, naturally, before Party workers
in Orlov picked up the stories. To defend her honour, as she put it, she hanged herself. This is her suicide note. It’s addressed to the Party. Vera lvanovna has already seen it. So? Will you see him? No. By Christ, you will, though! You what? You won’t see a comrade who has travelled
4,000 miles to ask for justice from the party of… What does it say? ” the party of the struggle for the freedom,
the dignity and the happiness of Man.” I’ll fetch him in myself. You’re a disgrace to the Party.
You’re a scourge and a monster! Vera lvanovnal – Vera lvanovnal!
– I’m sorry. I will not stay with that man. I’m going to fetch Miliutin now and he shall
see him! How can he say he won’t see him? (Martov and lvanovna argue) I’ve written to Plekhanov urging
that you be co-opted onto the board. That is, if you still want it. More than ever. She won’t come back. But she won’t bring in Miliutin
unless we send for him. Anything else? Yes. I haven’t finished. I want to know
what you intend doing about Bauman. Nothing. I think there should be an inquiry. Nadya, tell Comrade Martov Bauman’s role… I know his role, comrade! Don’t play
the grandfather with me. It doesn’t wear! Then don’t be so childish!
Bauman is an outstanding agent. Not average, not good, outstanding. In Party matters,
I would trust him above anyone else. Now, you’re asking that he be disciplined? – How? Expelled?
– Yes. Yes, certainly. If it’s true. For personal misdemeanours? Let me tell you, comrade,
I rule an inquiry as being out of order, as outside the competence of Iskra
and detrimental to Party interests. If you want my private views on the matter,
you can have them. You… You can’t separate private from public
like that. Can’t you see that, man? We are what we do. You, me, Bauman, all of us. Party morality isn’t simply loyalty to the Party. It’s the highest level of ethical consciousness
yet afforded the human species! Oh, metaphysics, Julius! Another time, we may speculate. Right now,
we’re trying to make the Revolution possible. So… You’ll do nothing? I will do my duty. That is to say,
I will protect Comrade Bauman from any move on your or anybody else’s part
to expel or discipline him. Now, be warned. I think we should go. You go. I want to speak with Vera lvanovna. I’l follow. It’s simple, see? I am the Party. Right? Party organ… Hmm? Hmm? Central Committee… Right? Central organ, Central Committee. See? I’m the Party. Hmm? I’m the Party. No, I’m… Hmm? (Groans) Julius, you’re not listening. Martov! (Yells in pain) You can’t go on like this, Volodya. Let me get a doctor, please. I want you to pack the trunks… and prepare to leave. We can’t leave. You’re ill, man. Doi! Dott.=Try…
– (Groans weakly) .to take a little bread and milk. Listen… tell Julius I want to see him. Julius is in Paris en route for Geneva.
There’s a meeting of the Organising Committee. Did he call? It blew up very suddenly.
He left as soon as he heard of the meeting. He’s still hurt and bitter. Did he say who called the meeting
of the Organising Committee? No, he didn’t. – Try to rest, love.
– Rest? I’ll rest when they rest. No… I must go to Geneva. I have to see Plekhanov. It looks as if Julius… ..Is making his bid for power. No. No. I say the Party must be built like a fist. Like a brain balled. He wants a party like a saucerful
of calves’ hearts put down for the cat. I must show him he’s wrong. Thank you, comrade. Ilyich. We meet again. How are you? We’ve been worried about you. Oh, recovered, thank you. Sit down, sit down. Well, we’re almost there. You’ve worked hard. The operative word is almost, Georges. I’ve dreamed of this Congress
for over a quarter of a century. Do you know that?
The Congress that will unify the party. With Iskra as its theoretical
and organisational centre. Exactly, comrade. But will it? How do you mean? We of Iskra have 41 votes out of a total of 51, our principal opposition being the Jewish Bund
with five votes and the Workers’ Cause and Southern
Workers’ faction with two votes each. Theoretically, we of the Iskra group
cannot fail to dominate the Congress, push through our own resolutions,
elect our own people to the Central Committee. The question remaining is, who will control Iskra? – Doesn’t Iskra speak with one voice?
– What do you think? You surprise me. Of course, there have been personal frictions,
the Bauman affair, for example. But there’s no evidence
of ideological division, is there? Georges, Martov has tabled his own draft rules
for Party membership. Yes, I’ve seen the agenda. I must say, I’ve read them side by side,
yours and his. And I’m damned if I can see
much to choose between them. Apart, of course,
from a certain stylistic difference. I’l tell you the difference in a sentence! His rules allow anyone, any opportunist, any windbag, any professor,
any high school student, to proclaim himself a Party member. Whereas my rules… our rules, Georges, confine membership to a narrow vanguard
of professional revolutionaries owing strict allegiance to the Party centre. I’m not sure that I accept the definition
of Martov’s formulation that you offer. Well, I think you should, Georges. Because Comrade Martov certainly does. Are you sure? Perfectly. Then I’d better speak to him. I think that might make matters worse. I think we should simply see to it
that his rules are defeated. How? Canvass, argue, persuade, make sure of our votes, secure them, keep them hard if they look like softening. I think we are the right people to lead
the Revolutionary Party, Comrade Plekhanov. Theory… ..and organisation drawn together. Like that. What do you think? Let us build the Party, comrade. I’ve always been fascinated by your hardness. It’s always seemed to me so…unrelative. I was a gentle enough child. One thing I must insist on, there should be no place for the man, Trotsky,
on the new editorial board. He’s too young and he’s too arrogant. All right. I withdraw my suggestion. Is it still London,
if the police stop us in Brussels? That’s right.
Although, I don’t anticipate any trouble. Autonomy amongst individual groups
cannot be tolerated. The Party must be supreme. So let me get this straight, comrade. If the Jewish Bund refuses to surrender
to Party control over its own organisation, this congress is prepared
to expel us from the Party? – Is that the meaning…?
– How many more times? Yes. Then I demand that this Procedures Committee
rule that the resolution be deferred. There must be a commission. LENIN: You know what
our collective view on the Bund is. MARTOV:
We are now the Procedures Committee… Six delegates have just been arrested
in their hotel… Comrades, comrades!
Six delegates have been arrested at their hotel. I’m informed that the Belgian police are
on their way to break up this meeting. Comrades, the contingency plan
is now operative. Congress will reconvene in London
in four days’ time. Go now. – Goon!
LENIN: Take care of Krupskaya. Ah, comrade. How fortunate. We’ll travel together. I’m sorry I couldn’t get Plekhanov to co-opt you
onto the Board. There was nothing I could do. No. Nothing, comrade. No, of course. Well, are you coming with me? No. I shall make my own way. Avoid personalities, comrade. They could prove your downfall. (Angry shouting) Order! Order! If we adopt… If we adopt Comrade Lenin’s formula, we shall be throwing overboard
a section of those who, even if they cannot be admitted
to an organisation, are nevertheless Party members. (Wave of applause) We are a party of a class, comrades. We must take care
that we do not leave outside the Party ranks those people who consciously,
though perhaps not very actively, associate themselves with our Party. Indeed, the more widespread
the title “Party Member”, the better. Comrade Marto is right. DELEGATE:
The Party is all those who support it. For me, a conspiratorial organisation only has meaning when it is enveloped by
a broad social democratic working class party. You’re confusing a party with a movement.
They’re not the same thing. No, comrade, it is you who are confused. You confuse the Party with a bunch of
professional thugs who will do your bidding. (Uproar) PLEKHANOV: Confine yourselves to argument. Reserve your abuse for the enemy. (Silence) I look forward to the day, comrades, when every striker, every demonstrator
against the Tsar and his regime, accounts for his actions by stating: “I am a member of the Social Democratic Party
of Russia.” If you support that hope,
you will support this motion. (Warm applause) PLEKHANOV: Comrade Lenin.
– Thank you, Comrade Chairman. Comrades, you’ve heard the arguments,
Martov’s and mine. What we’re arguing about
is both an image and a reality. If you support my motion,
you vote for coherence, organisation, discipline. Above all, for power at the centre. You will say, in effect, that it is important to distinguish between
those who belong to the Party and those who associate themselves with it. You will make the necessary distinction between an entire class shaped by capitalism
and its vanguard, the Party. The title “Party Member” is a fiction, if it cannot be made to correspond to the facts. Capitalism is bound to weigh down
wide sections of the working class with oppression, disunity, stultification. Social Democracy seeks to lift the worker
out of his present level of consciousness fo a genuinely revolutionary one. But if we fail to recognise the distinction, – there is no way we can achieve that end.
(Scattered applause) Vote for Martov’s proposal
and you create a tea party… (Laughter) ..not a party of revolutionaries
ready to lead a class into battle. Hear, hear, comrade! (Cheering continues) Well, those in favour of Comrade Lenin’s
proposals on Party membership? (Murmuring) 23. Those in favour
of Comrade Martov’s proposals? 28. Comrade Martov’s proposals are carried. (Applause) BAUMAN: Martov has infected the centre
with counter-revolutionary nonsense! The chair suggests a 15-minute adjournment. Good fun. Oh, yes. There’s nothing funnier than watching
a man commit political suicide. You think so? Today… ..you have entered into an opportunist alliance
with the centre and right-wing elements. You’ve surrendered your political credibility. I doubt it. In any case,
you left me little option in the matter. You forced me to beat you. You’ve won a battle, comrade. The war has only just begun. Full caucus meeting tonight to discuss our list
for Central Committee and Party Council. 7:30. – Questions?
– No. Good. Bauman, when will the commission
on the Bund report back? Next week, according to Tupuridze. I want the vote and the report
first thing tomorrow. You see Tupuridze, I’ll see Plekhanov.
Do it now! LENIN: Comrade Schoffmann…
– Let mein! It is expressly forbidden by Party rules to exclude members of the executive
from caucus meetings! ..Comrade Noskov. That concludes the list
for the central committees. I don’t have to remind you
that the voting will be solid. We have outlived the wavering days. The Bund. I’ve seen Plekhanov. The Bund problem will be taken
first thing tomorrow. – Tupuridze, is your report ready?
– It will be by morning. – No problems?
– No problems. Right, that’s all. Let Comrade Martov in
when the other comrades have left, will you? Do you want me? What is happening, Volodya? I don’t know what you mean. I was in caucus. You had me locked out! Why? Because you no longer belong to the caucus. Why? Because my motion won the majority
in Congress? No! Because your majority was based on an openly opportunist alliance
with the swamp, with those elements we as a tendency
have been fighting for the last year. There was no alliance. I haven’t spoken with the Bund since Brussels. Believe it. Volodya, comrade… There are no fundamental differences
between us. Can’t we simply sit down and talk it out? We share the same vision, comrade. We spent the night, talking.
The night before Siberia. Don’t you remember? On and on, building the vision. Tell me what I must do. I can’t do that. (Sighs) You must find that for yourself. The choices…are clear. If you’re not to be tainted
with the Bund for the rest of your days, you must make it clear tomorrow that your position is as it always was, that total authority over activities of members shall be exercised by the Party centre. Tomorrow? The Procedures Committee want to tackle
the question of the Bund now. – But the Bund Commission hasn’t reported yet.
– That’s been taken care of. If, on the other hand, you decide that you need
the votes of the Bund and centre elements to gain control of the Party, you will be exposed as an opportunist
and a counterfeit revolutionary. The choice is yours. There can be no question
of my cynically changing my position over national autonomy within the Party. My position is identical with yours,
as you very well know, comrade. The point is not that / know it. The point is that the whole Party, including the Bund, knows it. I wanted to talk to you about the composition
of the new Central Committees. There is a good argument for building
on the existing Organising Committee. There’s nothing to talk about.
We’ve decided our lists. I see. I see. Have you also made recommendations as to who should be elected
dictator of the Party? Hmm? Or will you be able to manage without that? I asked you a question, comrade! Vera Zasulich was right. Axelrod was right! Potresov was right! You think you’re Robespierre! That’s what they think! By God, they’re right! Now, the vote itself. Those against the Jewish Bund
being allowed to remain in the Party? MAN: Put your hands up.
(Murmuring) Out! Out! PLEKHANOV: 41.
(Cheering) – An overwhelming majority for expulsion.
– Expulsion! Expulsion! MAN: Withdraw! You should withdraw! There is no question of staying, comrades. The insult and humiliation you have dealt us
will live with us many a day. Like you, we dream of
and work for the socialist revolution. All we ask is that we be allowed to do it
in our own language, with our own people. You deny us this basic right
because of some Napoleon… (Jeering) before it’s too late! (Crowd falls silent)
– Well… We will continue to work for the Revolution, with or without the aid of the Party
we helped to form. Out! Out! The Workers’ Cause Group wish to demonstrate their solidarity
with the Bund against the dictatorial tendencies
that are emerging… (Jeering) We hereby withdraw from the Congress. (Derisive shouting) You see, comrade?
If history seeks an opportunist, it will not be in my direction that it looks. If it does not label you an opportunist,
it may well conclude you’re a fool. I believe it may very well call you both. Now, nominations
for the new editorial board of Iskra. Comrade Lenin. We have already, in an earlier vote,
affirmed the role of Iskra as the ideological centre of our Party. It is now our duty to elect its editorial board, whose role it will be to lay down Party guidelines for political action in the struggle
against the Russian state. I have, as you know, been associated with Iskra
since its foundation three years ago. I think I can say in all modesty that the work we have done on the Iskra front has been of decisive influence
in the shaping and development of our Party. (Applause)
– But it is the future, not the past, which calls us on. Times change, capacities change. Objective circumstances change. What our Party journal requires now is a small nucleus of trained ideologues
and organisers, capable of spreading the word far and wide
across the Russian Empire. It is for that reason that I propose… to decrease the number of seats
from six to three. (Murmuring) And furthermore, I nominate as Iskra editors myself, Comrade Plekhanov
and Comrade Martov. This is not possible, Comrade Chairman. Haven’t we already voted
for the continuance of the Iskra Board? You bastard! – Sit down!
– You dirty, stinking, dictatorial bastard! (Murmuring) Jesus God, if I had a pistol,
I’d blow your rotten brains out! You’re not a comrade, you’re a dictator!
You’re a bloody tsar! I see your game, Lenin. Hook or by crook, isn’t it? Any way so long as it’s your way.
You with all your hard men all around you. And what do you care about loyalty
and service and dedication? I’ve spent a lifetime,
and so has Axelrod and Potresov, of devotion to this party. And now what do you do? You cut us off just like that! To fall into the swamp. You’re no man to lead this great movement. And you. You, whom I’ve worshipped
as a great mind and comrade. One of these days, this man will eat you for breakfast. MAN: You’re too old, Zasulich.
– Beauty fades! Only the Revolution remains forever young! (Jeering) May I remind those comrades
who now revile Comrade Zasulich that they are reviling the comrade who shot the infamous Colonel Trepov
of the Moscow Secret Police, when he ordered the flogging of demonstrators
against the Tsar. I will not accept nomination under these arrangements. You’re not able to refuse, comrade. Under the laws you yourself voted in
only days ago. I will not serve with that man. That man is not a good man. (Jeering) Join the others! – Join the others!
– Traitor! If this is Comrade Lenin’s image of the Party, I want no part of it. What he has done today
shames and degrades all of us. Zasulich and Axelrod in particular have fought all their lives to build the Party. And now, here on the brink of success,
they are ruthlessly cut off, sent out into the wilderness, to satisfy the insatiable lust for power
of one individual. – You’re becoming emotional!
– Follow them out! Follow them out! Comrades, we are privileged to be listening
to the sound of Party debate…new style. (Shouting from the back) I so move, Comrade Chairman. We dedicate this great, unifying Congress… ..to the memory of the man who lies herein. PLEKHANOV: Well, goodbye, comrades. Good luck, wherever your work may take you. Goodbye, comrade. Goodbye. Goodbye… – I must speak with Vera lvanovna.
– Leave it. I must. I did what I had to do. But what you had to do
was not what had to be done. At least I didn’t destroy the Party. Yesterday, the Party was made, not destroyed. And what is more, history will prove it to be
the only party, the only sort of party, capable of capturing state power. You seem to think a party is an organisation for the deliberation
of complex moral choices, a sort of political sewing circle. Well, you will not find the Tsar and Von Plehve
and Trepov and Witte and the state apparatus sitting around deliberating moral choices. They are organising their defences. And there is only one slogan
that will defeat them. Salus populi lex suprema est. In revolutionary language, “The success of the Revolution
is the supreme law.” Now, until you can say that, comrade,
and meaniit… history will have no use for you. I suppose that will depend
on who writes the history. Zasulich wept. She cannot understand why you have done
what you have done. Remember Minusinsk? Remember the peasant
crouched over in the field, jerking his arms about inexplicably? We thought he was mad. But we walked across the field, reached him and
saw he was sharpening his scythe on a stone. From the path, it was impossible to say. She has nothing left, she said. There is nothing to be done about that.

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