About the text:
From: V.I. Lenin: On Imperialism and Opportunism, Futura 1974, 103 p., pp. 80-81.
Hold on June 27 – July 2, 1918.
Full report published in 1918.
2. Reply to the Debate on the Current Situation June 28, 1918.
A question has been sent to me in writing; it reads as follows: “Why are counter-revolutionary newspapers still published?” One of the reasons is that there are elements among the printers who are bribed by the bourgeoisie. (Commotion, shouts: “It’s not true.”) You can shout as much as you like, but you will not prevent me from telling the truth, which all the workers know and which I have just begun to explain. When a worker attaches great importance to the wages he gets for working for the bourgeois press, when he says: “I want to keep my high wages by helping the bourgeoisie to sell poison, to poison the minds of the people,” then I say it is as if these workers were bribed by the bourgeoisie (applause), not in the sense that any individual person was hired, but in the sense in which all Marxists have spoken about the British workers who ally themselves with their capitalists. All of you who have read trade union literature know that there are not only trade unions in Britain, but also alliances between the workers and capitalists in a particular industry for the purpose of raising prices and of robbing everybody else. All Marxists, all socialists of all countries point the finger of scorn at these cases and, beginning with Marx and Engels, say that there are workers who, owing to their ignorance and pursuit of their craft interests, allow themselves to be bribed by the bourgeoisie. They have sold their birthright, their right to the socialist revolution, by entering into an alliance with their capitalists against the overwhelming majority of the workers and the oppressed toilers in their own country, against their own class. The same thing, is happening here. When certain groups of workers say, the fact that the stuff we print is opium, poison, spreads lies and provocation, has nothing to do with us, we get high wages and we don’t care a hang for anybody else – we will denounce such workers. In our literature we have always said openly: “Such workers are abandoning the working class and deserting to the side of the bourgeoisie.” (Applause.)
LCW Vol. 27, p. 484-485.
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