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Lunacharsky Articles and speeches on international politics
This pamphlet is a revised transcript of Comrade Lunacharsky's report read by him. in Leningrad 18/XI 1926
We have come close to the issues of life
It was not by chance that I chose the theme of everyday life. I chose this topic because many times in Moscow and in a number of cities of the RSFSR, the most diverse public demanded that I report on this very topic. The great interest in this topic is, from my point of view, completely understandable and even natural. It can be predicted in advance that by the time we begin to more or less arrange our social life, the questions of everyday life will begin to come to the fore. A year or two will pass, and these questions will become in the very first place of our entire construction, because the real goal of the revolution is precisely the complete re-creation of life.
A revolution is a single complex phenomenon that includes several very significant individual moments.
The political revolution is the most conspicuous. It is connected with the military struggle, which ends with such an unusually spectacular phenomenon as the transfer of power from the hands of one class to the hands of another class; but it is only the prerequisite for the true revolution that is being fought for. Political revolution - the seizure of power - is not our goal. We Communists generally do not consider the establishment of this or that state form the goal of the social revolution, because the ultimate goal of our revolution is the complete destruction of the state, the destruction of all power of some people over other people.
We imagine the communist system as a stateless system. From this it is quite clear that political aims cannot be our final aims. The new dictator class, the proletariat, relying on the peasantry, takes power not for the sake of power itself. On the contrary, he takes it in order to get it out of his hands as soon as possible, in order, as Engels said, to use it as a tool, as an instrument of production, and to quickly “send the entire state machine to where it will then belong, next to spinning wheel and a bronze axe. The working class takes power into its own hands in order to carry out the social revolution with its help.
Communism aims to change the order of production and distribution of goods. He wants to snatch the now gigantic and ever-growing instruments of production from the hands of the ruling exploiting classes, to establish a planned, i.e., on the foundations of science, economy, regular, regulated production of goods and their fair distribution among all members of human society.
But this goal, this grandiose economic task, the solution of which we are still far from having achieved, while we have already fulfilled our political tasks, and it is not final, for a person does not live in order to manage, does not exist in order to to work; on the contrary, he manages, he works in order to exist.
When Karl Marx defined the criterion, that is, the measure of the height of a given social system, he said that "such a measure is the extent to which a given social system ensures the maximum development of all the possibilities inherent in man." Therefore, the economy itself - how humanity produces the necessary material goods for its existence and how it distributes them - makes sense only from the point of view of how it allows you to organize a happy, orderly brotherly life for people, gives an opportunity to all the talents dormant in a person. , unfold widely into a creative, solemn, brilliant life. But this very life, this life, as an end in itself, is life.
Consequently, politics is a tool for making an economic revolution, the economy is the basis for a revolution in everyday life, for changing the daily existence of each person.
To a large extent, we have already fulfilled our political tasks. We have already proved that we are masters in our country. We no longer allow anyone to dispute that the workers and peasants within the USSR are masters. But, having won this right to manage, we must also implement it, that is, we must learn how to organize the economy and actually carry out this planned economy.
And Lenin taught us: a political revolution can take place in a few days if it is well prepared by history—it is a matter of war, a matter of the victory of some forces over others, but an economic revolution—the reorganization of all property relations, a new order of production, a new order of distribution of goods—requires many, many years. Vladimir Ilyich said: if for 10 to 20 years we can maintain our bond with the peasantry and, relying on the support of the peasantry, follow the path of our construction, then we will undoubtedly ensure the realization of socialism.
Almost 10 years have passed, we see that 5-10 years of the same struggle must still be endured. But if we are far from fulfilling our economic tasks, it is still obvious that we did not waste the previous years in vain, that we have good prospects for the future, and this gives us the right to speak of a revolution in everyday life; we have come close to carefully examining life and consciously intervening in this life in order to gradually give a socialist character to the life of workers, the life of peasants and life, in the broad sense of the word, philistine life.
What is life?
What do we mean by life? We single out from all areas of our existence state life and economic life; minus these two spheres, we get life.
The exercise of the right to vote, work as elected agents of society, of our state - all this belongs to public life. Of course, this is also related to everyday life, but indirectly.
Insofar as the worker works at the machine tool, the peasant at the plow, insofar as this or that intellectual teaches, heals, or sits in some office, etc., this refers to his economic work, to the performance of professional, social duties.
Since he is in his apartment, because he is a father, a husband, a member of the family structure, because he uses the salary he receives for his existence, because he organizes his rest, his self-education, his advancement - all this already applies to his life.
What has hitherto been called private life cannot escape us. It is precisely in the translation of what is called private life — life-being, as Leonid Andreev put it, onto a bright rational track — that is the last goal of the revolution, its main, highest achievement. But here we also face the greatest difficulties.
We are sometimes told that these living conditions are spontaneous. “If it is possible to change the state order,” they object to us, “if it is possible to influence the economy through commanding heights, then it is extremely difficult to influence everyday life,” and they add: “state orders can be changed by decrees, economic orders by the organization of labor and distribution, and everyday orders are deeply rooted in the history of instincts and prejudices, are so deeply rooted that it is almost impossible to influence them.
But we answer this: it is precisely our revolution, which represents the maximum intervention of consciousness in the elements, which, like all of Marxism, is a highly sensitive and organized activity based on the most profound analysis and understanding of reality, precisely this revolution does not allow us to brush aside anything, as something spontaneous, occurring by itself, but it obliges us to intervene in this area with the maximum of consciousness.
Therefore, in these current years - in the 9th and 10th years after the October Revolution - we are faced with the task of understanding the most important processes taking place in our everyday life, and trying to influence them expediently and consciously.
The inquiries that are addressed to us from all sides - to me and other comrades working in the field of culture, requests to express our opinion on this issue, the colossal attention paid to it, and the huge number of public listening to these reports, show that we dealt with this issue closely.
Of these issues, undoubtedly, the most basic, the most capital, the most urgent is the question of the family.
Of all the questions that do not enter into public life, do not enter into socio-economic life, are part of private life, the question of the family is the most important. Why? Because while it does not apply to political life, does not apply to state life, to socio-economic life, to the economy, at the same time, if it is not resolved correctly, it nullifies all political and economic gains. For the question of the family is at the same time the question of the continuation of the human race, the question of the coming generation.
Imagine that a revolution would raise the consciousness of citizens to an extremely high level, that it would satisfactorily solve a whole series of questions, but that it would hurt the reproduction of life, the birth of a new generation, that it would hurt the birth of children; imagine that the birth rate would decrease, that children would be born frail, would receive malnutrition from the very first days of their existence, that they would be crippled, would remain homeless. Shouldn't we curse such a revolution? Should we not say that it is all a mistake? After all, our revolution was made not so much for us as for our children. And their birth, their normal upbringing are provided? How did the revolution answer the central question of the continuation of the life of our peoples?
We know how the bourgeoisie answered this question. She responded by creating a rather stable bourgeois pair family - father, mother, children - a pair family, which is disintegrating before our eyes. In further evolution, bourgeois society came to such an increase in the egoistic feeling of adults, to such a desire to protect itself from sacrifices in the name of children, that it really hurt the further continuation of the human race. The most advanced and typical bourgeois country in this respect, France, especially now, after the war, is experiencing demographic shrinkage. The population of France has already begun to decline catastrophically and is replenished by the immigration of Negroes, Slavs and other foreigners.
How do we solve this issue? Is it assured that the coming generations will follow us, that they are healthy, strong and will take our banner from our hands, that they will continue the building for which we have made such sacrifices?
The censuses that we have carried out so far allow us to assume that the all-Union census that we have carried out will give consoling results in the development of materials.
You know that as a result of the imperialist and civil wars, the birth rate has dropped, the infant mortality rate has risen, and that this year we are witnessing a decline of almost 50% of children of eight years of age who go to school. But now this is already leveling out, the birth rate is rising, the death rate is dropping, and we have already fallen into a birth rate band that is equal or approximately equal to the birth rate of 1913.
But we must remember that this increase in the birth rate is due to the peasantry. The peasantry has not yet been affected to such an extent by pseudo-revolutionary ideas as to reflect them in their family life. It marries and breeds just as before.
Probably even now in our peasant life there is a huge infant mortality, which is shown by the statistics of the rural population; but there is also a colossal birth rate that covers this enormous infant mortality and produces a significant offspring.
Communism and free love
But if we ask ourselves, what ideas come from us to the village? How do we, the workers and the laboring intelligentsia, infect the countryside, how will our ideas, when they reach there, be reflected in the life of the village?
We must say that there is a certain cause for alarm here.
If we take into account separately - and we will probably be able to do this by means of an all-Union census - the demographic line in our proletariat and in our working intelligentsia, then I am afraid that we will have to state a declining line of births; we will have to state here the painful desire of parents to protect themselves from the birth of children, which would ensure a truly proportional continuation of the life of our peoples. This must be treated with the greatest care.
We see that the breakup of the old way of life, which inevitably occurs after the revolution, has evoked in us a new look at the family. It is often considered allegedly orthodox - Marxist - but we must recognize it as dangerous, and the party must express its protest against it.
This point of view, which bluntly blames the long-term paired family, reads as follows: husband, wife, children - a husband, a wife who give birth and raise children, this is a bourgeois thing. A self-respecting communist, a Soviet person, an advanced intellectual, a genuine proletarian, must warn himself against this bourgeois thing. “Socialism,” such “Marxists” say, “brings behind it new forms of communication between men and women—namely, free love. A man and a woman converge among themselves, they live while they like each other, when they dislike each other, they disperse; converge for a relatively short period of time without creating a stable economic structure; both men and women are free in this respect.
This is a transition to that general public that replaces small philistine corners, this philistine apartment, this hearth, this hardened family unit that distinguishes itself from society. - "A true communist, a Soviet person," they say, "should beware of pair marriage and strive to satisfy his needs through" changez vos dames ", as they say in the old quadrille, known for change, freedom of relationships between husbands, wives, fathers, children, so that You can't tell who is who and how exactly. This is community building." Let's figure it out, let's get closer to it.
What do we retain from bourgeois pair marriage and what do we consider specifically bourgeois in this pair marriage?
Bourgeois, negative, absolutely unacceptable for us in this pair marriage is the inequality of a man and a woman. This is the basis of the bourgeois family, which we strike directly. The bourgeoisie has its own legislation, its own political system, etc., and whether it be the family of a banker, a professor, a petty official or a proletarian, the family structure is based on bourgeois legislation, and this bourgeois legislation in European countries is even worse than the old tsarist legislation in Russia.
This is what the tsarist legislation said about what I call the political side of the family: the wife is obliged to obey her husband, as the head of the family, to remain in unlimited obedience to him, to render him every pleasing, she is obliged to predominantly obey his will. When a husband moves somewhere, the wife must follow him. She cannot be employed in any work without the express permission of her husband. As you can see, in the literal sense of the word - slavery.
When we come to a closer analysis of what a husband can do with his wife under royal law, we see that he, considering her his property, could apply to her in the case when he considered her guilty, all sorts of measures of repression: beat his wife, keep her starving, lock her up, etc. The wife had no right to complain about this in any way. If he broke her arm or crushed her skull, the wife would have the right to complain - this already concerned the prosecutor. Until that happens, nothing can be done until then. If the investigation stated that the husband's beatings took on the character of torture, the court had the right to intervene. If this is not torture, but the husband simply “taught” his wife with a whip, then this, so to speak, is in the order of morals and is quite acceptable.
If a wife wants to leave her husband, to settle in another place, she cannot - the husband orders, the wife cannot choose her place of residence where she wants. The wife wants to work, study, the husband can forbid her. Western European legislation - say, the French bourgeois republic - goes even further, it adds one more paragraph: if the husband is internally convinced that his wife is cheating on him, he can kill her. Many lawyers have asked: well, if a wife is internally convinced that her husband is cheating on her, can she kill him? No. For this, the wife is sent to hard labor, etc., and the husband is justified, he defended his property rights. His wife dared to go against his property right; he can kill her, that is his power in the house.
This political order of the family, that there is a head in the family, that the family is not an agreement, not a labor union—we consider this to be the bourgeois feature of the family.
How was the bourgeois family organized economically?
The husband had a public job - whether it was political activity, whether it was service, work in a factory, and the wife was engaged in housework, i.e. she was placed in a terribly narrow, idiotically narrow circle of interests: she was overwhelmed with dirty laundry, cooking in a soot-filled kitchen, caring for small children, etc. She was so busy with all this that she was thinking about her development, thinking about social activities, she did not have to. It is remarkable that even the nobility, which relied on serf labor and where a woman, having a sufficient number of serf servants, just like a man, could be freed from a narrow circle of housekeeping, and it came to such, one might say, "peasant" conclusion that - "as long as the girl - there is light in her eyes, but she became a woman - it's over, slave!" Even Tolstoy, who portrayed the marvelous image of a free noble girl, Natasha Rostova, says that when she got married, the diapers hung the light, dirty baby diapers - and there was nothing more to ask of her.
Against this way of life, in which cultured, progressive labor falls to the lot of the man, and split, uneconomical, dull labor falls to the lot of the woman, we protest as against the bourgeois.
But do we protest against a paired family, when a husband and wife say: we love each other, we respect, we enter into a long-term alliance for many, many years, until something special destroys it, we want to live together, share all joys and sorrows, help to each other, to give birth to children, to raise them - is this bourgeois or not bourgeois? I believe that both now and in the socialist system there can be such a family structure, there can be such couples connected for many years.
But there may be other conditions - people can converge and diverge; it depends on the occasion and temperament. One found a girlfriend, a friend for life, and the other did not; one has such a temperament, such a way of character, that he receives especially great happiness from a serious life construction in a deep, specially cultivated union with another person, while the other prefers a brilliant, fleeting transition from one to another.
In a socialist society, both are possible, but in our society of a transitional period? - No. In our society, the only correct form of family is the long-term twin family.
We must say that stripped of its bourgeois traits - the command of a man and the burial of a woman under the burden of a household - deprived of these traits, a paired family, a long-term alliance in the name of the common construction of life, the birth and upbringing of children, is the only form that we need. And those who want to fulfill their duty to the end - both political, worker, and human - must found just such a family.
Why? Under the socialist system, we can say: society does not care how you love each other - love as you like, and the children who are born from this will be provided for by society itself. That is the peculiarity of the socialist system, that is what he will be able to tell us. It doesn't matter how fathers and mothers behave. A child is born, society takes him, those who do not have parental feelings may not care about him. But we can't say that right now. We cannot say: citizens and women, come together, multiply, we will take care of your children. Can not. This year we are spending 46 million - a significant part of our budget for the RSFSR, which is extremely burdensome and is reflected in the whole matter of public education - we are spending on the maintenance of state orphans. Our orphanages are still economically and pedagogically unsatisfactory,
Can we say under these conditions: be fruitful and multiply, we will take care of the children? - Can not.
What is the meaning, what purpose can a revolution have if it hurts childbearing, if it reduces it, if the human flow becomes impoverished, if fewer and fewer children are born, if children are not fed, if abortion becomes more and more widespread, if homelessness becomes like scab to eat away at our children? Why the whole revolution? Who will mainly bear the burden of raising children in the coming years? - On the parents.
The Soviet government is obliged to tell literally everyone: ninety-nine hundredths of the responsibility to bring up children, the rising generation, lies with the parents. What follows from this? Let us recall what Vladimir Ilyich called the notorious "glass of water" theory. Some advanced comrades (there were also communists among them) said: everything is not bourgeois in our country. For the bourgeoisie, love is courtship, all kinds of romance, all this domestic vulgarity of the family, loyalty to each other, children. We are taking a new point of view. We deny the romantic value of love, we deny these heavy fetters. Love is a simple thing, a physiological thing dictated by nature, and it is as easy for us to satisfy our love desires as it is to drink a glass of water. This is what the “glass of water” theory means, a deeply exploitative theory, a theory of male meanness.
It goes without saying that the revolution cannot tolerate any meanness, including male meanness. A man does not suffer from sexual intercourse, for him it is the same as "drinking a glass of water." A woman, having drunk a glass of water, will not tolerate anything from this, and she has children from sexual intercourse. It is the children that are at the center of the whole question.
From the point of view of a male, crude exploitative, vulgar male point of view, a man “drank a glass of water” and is waiting for him to get thirsty again, and a woman should bring up all the children of the Republic. Can we take the view that all children who cannot be brought up by the state should be brought up by their mothers? It strikes everyone that this is absurd. A woman is physically weaker, it is more difficult for her to find a job; pregnancy, feeding cut her off in this respect, bruise her. And, therefore, if we hung the whole future of our revolution and our peoples around the neck of a woman, then, of course, we would be scoundrels and fools. We would call into question all our gains, since the state cannot provide for children.
Who should take care of the children? On mother and father. It takes at least 15 years to raise children and put them on their feet. So the marriage must be a long pair marriage. It was written in the Moscow Vechernyaya Gazeta that my report was broadcast on the radio, where I spoke about the same, and some worker correspondent did not understand - what kind of pair marriage? Of course, marriage should be two: as if it is impossible for one to do it, and there is nothing to do together with the three of them either. I am surprised that the journalist did not hasten to clarify such a ridiculous misunderstanding. Of course, there is a marriage of three, polygamy and polyandry, promiscuous sexual intercourse, etc. We know what a long pair marriage is when a man and a woman shake hands with each other and say: we pledge in the name of the fact that we love each other, make a lasting alliance to raise our children. For the near future, this is the only form of marriage that guarantees the flourishing of our peoples. You can't get away from this.
But if we have to say that a bad communist, a bad Soviet citizen, a bad builder is someone who “flutters from flower to flower”, does not care about the future generation, then he has not gone very far from him who, using this rule, which I am now speaking on behalf of the Party, is turning towards a bourgeois marriage.
You sometimes meet such a Soviet person and a communist who says: I did not fall for this bait; I have a wife, children, I can say that I am fulfilling my duty in this regard. “But if you take a closer look at his economic and domestic way of life, it turns out that he leads a social life, and his wife dies in the household. This is by no means the correct form of the family.
A man should respect his wife, take care to bring up a social person in her. Therefore, our family must be organized in such a way that social and family responsibilities are distributed more or less equally. In such cases, they gave me notes: what, rock the cradle? Of course. If I came to a friend's apartment and saw that a man with a waist-length beard was rocking a cradle because his wife had gone to a meeting or to study, what could I say? Just shake his hand like an honest Leninist. Such marriages, in which no distinction is made between a man and a woman, in which responsibilities are equally distributed, we must recognize as corresponding to our ideal. I will have to return to this when I speak specifically about the everyday situation of women, and then I will once again emphasize with quotes from Lenin that this is the only Leninist, true-communist solution of the family problem. I must now move on to some other family-related issues.
New Marriage and Divorce Law
You will tell me: you care about the stability of the family, but meanwhile, didn’t you yourself, at that session of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, where legislation on this issue was passed not without debate, finally establish the law on actual marriage, on the right to divorce? Wouldn't your right to a free divorce be an ax blow to your family? You contradict yourself.
The most witty, most effective criticism of the People's Commissariat of Justice, and at the same time the policy of our government, our government, was expressed by Demyan Bedny in the magnificent pamphlet Seriously and ... not for long, or Soviet marriage. I will quote this excerpt (this is not boring, since Demyan Bedny writes well). This is the most poignant thing that has been said on the subject:
And our People's Commissariat of Justice pushed forward,
Bake a pie from unripe dough,
Could not resist the extreme left gesture,
I forgot how thorny our path is
And that above some place
You can't jump.
There is a limit to every possibility.
Don't wear rose colored glasses.
Don't look at what you're sitting on
You will get into trouble.
New marriage, family and guardianship law
Useful - I do not know in what century.
His main sin
That he's too heady
That its creators are completely forgotten
The age-old stability of rural life:
You can't move this life
In two sittings.
Rip your guts -
It's not laughs.
You can’t look for bonds with the village,
Waving a hand at the village habits.
In the cities - Soviet rites,
In the cities - red parades,
In the cities - high stages,
In cities - legislative hubbub,
In the cities - the brightness of life is patterned.
And what about the village? —
A homeless orphan?
Stupid fool incoherent,
Can't count how many days there are in a week?
Oh, is it really so?
We'll be fools, fools
If we look through the village life
All its rites and its beauty,
And the severity of the way that was forged for centuries:
Shatter it in an instant
Without putting it on the basis
What books are these from?
Is it possible to read such heresy?
All peasant life is an uninterrupted ritual.
The peasant is unlikely to survive the loose furrows,
Sows, reaps, threshes bread in a barn,
Does it knock with an ax on a frozen aspen,
Sohu gets along well, whether he feeds the cattle,
Is it wiser with a twisted head over misfortune,
Does he marry his son, does his daughter give in marriage, -
Everything in it breathes with ceremonial ritual!
No, friends from the People's Commissariat of Justice,
A man is not a wild cabbage,
Not nettles, whose destiny is wastelands:
Whatever you want with her, do it.
We should not get burned by this nettle.
Don't lose perspective!
The man for the barn castle orders:
The thief will come “under lock and key”, so he will answer for
And the man ties up all his affairs
A real, strong, peasant knot.
He marries a son - a daughter-in-law so that she is not icy
And so that the wedding, of course, was “real”,
So that the guests all dignified and drank and ate,
Because the devil did not crown around the spruce.
And not a witch sprinkled with a broom in the bath.
If the pop cannot "twist" like a wound,
Let the Council turn around.
Is there a joke in them - in the lectern, in the icon!
The important thing is that there is no doubt
The important thing is that the kid is “in the law”.
And the law should tighten the family tightly,
Like an iron hoop to a wooden barrel.
“For this, let’s say, I’m marrying off my daughter.
So that she sleeps with her hubby one night,
And in the morning, taking away his pillow,
The path back to dad is free!“
For a man, leapfrog is our divorce
Not quite on the inside.
“Family in the wind.
Fell apart from the first bad weather.
The devil would take them, these divorces are easy!
We would add strength to the law,
Well, we obviously thought of more absurdity:
Tied for a woman's tail -
Get married under any bush.
Citizen frog with citizen cancer
Congratulations on the "actual marriage!"
A man will not bear such lawlessness:
“I will legalize the children of Father Anthony!”
It turns out that we will turn the man to the church. But thinking about it, we will see that with all his talent and intelligence, Demyan Bedny did not hit the target. He says that the peasant wants the wedding to be real, he wants to be married to "father" Anthony. Do me a favor! No one forbids getting married at Fr. Anthony. If you want to sing observant songs, if you want to undo the bride’s hair, if you want the bridesmaids to cry, if you want the groom to strike a symbolic blow on the shoulder of the bride - please, this is not forbidden, although, to tell the truth, I don’t know why Veresaev so admires this wedding, which is entirely is a symbol of the transfer of a girl into slavery in a strange family, and there is nothing beautiful in her.
What is the difference between the new law and the old one?
The fact that earlier, if a girl came to the judge and told him: I have a child from such and such a guy, but he doesn’t want to raise him, and would demand help in raising this child, then the people’s judge should have asked : Have you registered in the registry office, do you have a piece of paper? - If the girl answered: no, I don’t have, - he would have to say in response: since there is no registration paper, we do not recognize this marriage, go wherever you want.
Now the judge will only ask: “can you prove that this guy entered into an actual marriage with you? And if she says: yes, the whole village knows, I live with him, then it's over - pay alimony.
This means that the new law does not affect the ceremonial, no matter what and what kind of weddings and marriages. We don't care about more or less ceremonial. We say: even though you got married without a “fortress”, but if you have a child, support him, do not dare to throw him to a deceived mother. We say: whatever the forms of marriage, but if a girl has a child, then the one who is his father must support him. I am surprised that Demyan Bedny did not understand this. And if we didn’t adopt this law, it would mean that a child who was born, not guilty of anything and equal in everything to other children, but not “obzagsennaya”, would hang only on the mother’s neck, and if he “obzagsen”, then also on the father’s neck.
Privileged "legitimate" children and non-privileged "illegitimate" children - can working thought reconcile with this? Can we go for it? Never. Therefore, whatever the debate in the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, it will certainly decide that children from actual marriage also have every right to the care of both mother and father. That's just what the law says.
Demyan Bedny, unfortunately, goes further - "we should add a fortress to this law." What fortress? It looks like serfdom. Since you're hooked up with a woman or a woman got married, be patient. You are disgusted with each other, you cannot establish a life together, it has become hell for you - no, still go together in one team. This is Christian asceticism, this is patience beyond all measure, this is unreasonable humility, we cannot agree to this. We believe that both a man and a woman should be free in their destiny. If you entered into an unsuccessful marriage, if you no longer like this marriage, whether you are a man or a woman, it is your duty to dissolve it, to revive those living forces that perish in this marriage, are exhausted in it, are wounded in it.
If a man or woman who has entered into a marriage had to meet another man or woman who captured the thoughts of this person, about whom he can say: with him (or with her) I can build real, great happiness, a real working family, but I I am hindered by the fact that I made a mistake before - can you stand across the road? It would be imprudent. It would be a disposition of grief, a waste of living human strength.
We say: a man and a woman have the right to divorce. But if dirty tricks use this right to divorce, then public opinion, in addition to the law, must fight against it. For it is quite clear that such a case in which a labor marriage union must be dissolved is a rare case - maybe once in a lifetime, maybe twice, if you are already so unhappy.
It may happen that you met a person with whom you cannot keep pace, but later you met a person with whom you can arrange your life much better. But when such a guy (or such a girl) appears in front of you, who declares with pride that he is getting divorced for the fourth time this year, what can I say? It must be strictly condemned in public order. This is a kind of crime, a crime that cannot be prosecuted according to the law, but which is a desecration of the law, deception of one's neighbor, debauchery, indulgence of one's own lust. This is the greatest disgrace, and public opinion should look at it that way. Let any responsible worker do it, all the same, we must despise him publicly: if he does this, he departs from that normal, healthy line,
A person who divorces or marries or marries twice must have exhaustive justifications before his conscience, must be able to prove to his conscience at any moment that I could not do otherwise. Anyone who makes trickery, juggling out of this, is a destroyer, not a creator, and, so to speak, not a political counter-revolutionary, not an economic, but an everyday counter-revolutionary. He himself is a corrosive element and sets an example of parasitic life to others.
This should be the common yardstick in condemning such acts. The law cannot set a limit, for example: you can get divorced twice, but not three times - such a measure cannot be set. This is a matter of conscience of each person. But children should not suffer from this. If you are divorced and have a child, you must support him. We are doing everything we can legislatively to at least paralyze the reflection of such easy divorces on the fate of children.
The domestic situation of a woman
After a brief analysis of our family relations, I turn specifically to the question of the domestic situation of women. These questions are related to each other. But it is necessary to repeat and repeat what Lenin said about this, because we have not yet sufficiently introduced these rules into our personal lives. Here is what Lenin said:
“Not a single democratic party in the world, in any of the most advanced bourgeois republics, has done in decades what we did in the very first years of our power (this was said back in 1919). We left no stone unturned in the full sense of the word from those vile laws on the inequality of women, on the restriction of divorce, on the vile formalities surrounding it, on the non-recognition of illegitimate children, on the search for their fathers, etc., laws, the remnants of which are numerous in all "civilized" countries, to the shame of the bourgeoisie and capitalism. We have a thousand times the right to be proud of what we have done in this area. But the purer we cleared the soil of the rubbish of old bourgeois laws and institutions, the clearer it became for us that this is only the clearing of land for construction, but not yet the construction itself.
What does it mean? Is Lenin right? Right. Our legislation is the most favorable for women in the whole world, and we have nothing more to add to this legislation to put a woman - our sister, our friend - on an equal footing with us. We gave her all political rights on an equal footing with a man; we gave her the right to divorce, the right to jointly acquire property, we gave her the right to choose a family name, choose a home, choose a job; we have given the woman absolutely equal rights with the man.
But is this all? is that enough? No, because these rights are proclaimed only in the political sphere, but, as I have already said, the family is not only a political institution, interpreted by the bourgeoisie as the power of the husband, it is also an economic institution. Lenin knows this and says:
“A woman continues to be a domestic slave, despite all the laws of emancipation, because she is crushed, strangled, stupefied, belittled by a small household, chaining her to the kitchen, to the nursery, plundering her labor with work that is wildly unproductive, petty, unnerving, stupefying, tormenting” .
So our task is to kill the household. How can you kill a household? How to liberate millions and millions of housewives, slaves of the hearth, home pot of cabbage soup?
Real, complete, ultimate liberation is the socialization of everyday life, the path that we are embarking on slowly, gradually, within the limits of our ability, organizing public laundries, public catering, public education of children. If we say: couple, educate your children! - then at the same time we say: the state, as its resources grow, will meet you halfway and help you more and more.
We know what a waste of time washing clothes at home is compared to washing clothes in steam laundries! Mankind spends whole cascades of mind-numbing, hard labor when all that could be done by a small amount of organized labor.
Of course, while we can publicly organize "domestic" work only in some places, in big cities, we cannot immediately spread all this to the whole hack Russia, but gradually we will come to this. We cannot reconcile ourselves with a small smokehouse kitchen for 5–6 family members, because we know very well that it is possible for the same money, with the same amount of labor, through public kitchens and canteens, to provide excellent, healthy, tasty food in an atmosphere a bright dining room, with good music, newspapers, chess, in a good atmosphere, giving joy and rest during dinner; all this can be given for the same money that is spent on dreary homemade borscht, which the vast majority of us now eat without choking, and with every spoon of which we devour women's liberty, women's dignity, women's future.
We cannot change this all at once, but we must follow the line of transition to public canteens. The same applies to raising children.
We do not deny the rights and obligations of the mother to feed and raise children, but we must go to her aid as soon as possible, because the teacher is a skilled person who has special knowledge in raising children, can and should do this. Being a father and mother is easier than raising a child - upbringing is a complex matter, and instead of family handicrafts, we must organize a well-placed baby's home, a correctly-placed kindergarten, a correctly-placed public education. But we will only gradually come to this, but for now we will have to proceed from the resources that we have at our disposal.
What can be done now to at least slightly free a woman from this domestic slavery? To achieve a conscientious attitude towards her man, the desire of a man not to sit on a woman’s neck, not to crush her homework in order to be free himself, but to work with her in commonwealth, by agreement, and respect the rights and future of a woman.
Youth and hooliganism
Now I will turn to the question of youth, their position and way of life. This is a matter of tremendous importance. This is the human phalanx that is going directly to replace us, and we need to know in what living conditions it has been placed. I will not touch upon the problems of teaching, pedagogical problems, not because I consider them unimportant, not because I think that they are not interesting, not because I am little aware of them; on the contrary, precisely because they are very important, very interesting, because I am very knowledgeable about them, and I think that in such a general presentation of the questions of everyday life it is impossible to briefly touch upon the question of our education. This is a special issue and requires special discussion.
Observing Komsomol life, studying it from our press, from Komsomolskaya Pravda, which very well reflects the life of our youth, from such works as the collection Life and Youth, which can be recommended in every possible way, I saw great shortcomings in the life of our youth. I saw there, especially among the organized youth, in our one and a half million members of the Komsomol, which not only is the vanguard of the youth, but also colossally influences their whole life, I saw major defects there. I have repeatedly pointed out, together with Comrade Bukharin, that among us in the Komsomol and among all young people there is noticeable romantic sloppiness, there is such an opinion that the work of training, factory, which every day confronts us, is unworthy of a "real revolutionary"; noticeable extreme disregard for the cleanliness of the home, costume, in relations with people and replacing all this with a somewhat tramp approach: it is inappropriate for us, revolutionaries, in this respect to be like the bourgeois youths of the West. After all, we can’t even put on a cap directly, but on the ear. And in this regard, all of our gestures are disregarding.
I pointed out, together with Comrade Bukharin, that this was a grave mistake, that it was still acceptable at the time when we were destroying, but completely unacceptable at the time when we are building, when we need colossal accuracy, colossal accuracy. But such a tramp-romantic does not like accuracy, he is sickened by "German precision." “Our revolutionary-Slavic gut does not like this.” And we demand accuracy, we demand thrift in relation to health, in relation to time, in relation to others.
Dimension, discipline, practicality are in the foreground. This is the steady demand of the revolution in the period of construction. I paid special attention to this, but I also paid attention to something else - to pedantry, to bureaucracy, to portfolioism, which sometimes develops among Komsomol members, to those pursed lips, a serious gray face. In front of such a young man, to say something funny, merry, about dancing, youthful joy, etc., is even somehow ashamed. Such a Komsomol member will look at you in such a way that your soul will go to your heels. He is terribly serious, does everything according to the program. Sleep according to the program. In any case, until he falls asleep, he has everything according to the party program. He is terribly serious, from him everything cheerful, alive hides underground, he and the Komsomol itself, as comrade Slepkov, an outstanding observer of the Komsomol, testifies, began to freeze. And there were facts when peasant or factory guys and girls said: they would go to the Komsomol, but it’s very boring, you can’t warm up, they set up a continuous school, the bureaucratic office is there.
But all this is relatively trifling. I will not dwell on this, beyond what I have already said on this subject, because now, in a more menacing form, a related fact of hooliganism among young people, connected with this, has bulged out.
T. Tomsky was right when he said in his report: do not exaggerate the issue of hooliganism, do not say that the working youth is mainly to blame for this. This is true - no need to exaggerate; but do not underestimate.
Statistical figures say that hooligans are mainly young people from 16 to 25 years old. The figures show that hooliganism is developing precisely among the worker-peasant youth, and that it is here, into this abyss of hooliganism, that Komsomol members are partly sliding down.
What is hooliganism by its external definition? It is mischief that disrupts the normal course of life, which comes from just an unpleasant prank to a crime, in cases where they are hooligans in a crowd, pushing each other and driving each other to crime. From some sharp, not entirely decent word said to a girl, to rape in a crowd, a more or less straight line. When I and other researchers peered into this phenomenon and tried to find a more general cause in the phenomenon of youth hooliganism, we saw that despondency and mischief go together; hence the line, gradually moving to more unpleasant performances, up to crime, and in the other direction, despondency, ever-increasing pessimism, up to suicide.
The phenomenon of despondency, which culminates in suicide, the phenomenon of mischief, which culminates in crime, these are phenomena that should neither be exaggerated nor underestimated. Of course, this does not capture the majority, or even a large minority, but, in any case, it captures a noticeable minority of our young workers and peasants. This is enough to get our undivided attention. Where these lines intersect - mischief and crime, despondency and suicide - there is a bottle of vodka in the center.
Imagine two types of young people - Ivan and Stepan. Ivan is an active nature by nature; when he is sober, you will not consider any features in him, except that he is active, noisy, energetic, likes to speak frankly about what he sees. He drank vodka - and his restraining centers, considerations about his dignity, about what people will say, whether this will bring him under punishment, etc., are eaten up by vodka, devoured by vodka. Only one thing remains: some kind of deep inner discontent, annoyance, a desire to prove something to someone about this discontent, a great desire to bring some kind of feat into this gray life, an adventure - “swing your arm, itch your shoulder” - when he leaves the tavern, you want to do something extraordinary. And he does mischief. And when others praise this mischief and say: ah yes Ivan, what a thing he did and he was not afraid of a policeman! - next time he twists an even more significant monogram - after all, he will be praised for this even more! A company is going to deal with this business; he becomes a god, performs more and more "significant" deeds, and in the end comes to a brutality. Here is one way, and here is the role played by the inhibition centers weakened by alcohol, which make one slide into the abyss without delay.
And Stepan is a dull man: he walks with his hands in his pockets, his eyes on the ground, he does not express himself in any way, but rather grumbles against fate. But at the usual time, until he drinks, he is nothing remarkable - just some inconspicuous young man. He also has his own hopes: now it’s bad, I’m unemployed, everyone offends, but maybe tomorrow will be better; maybe I'll get a job tomorrow; I'm lucky - the girls will pay attention to me. Today is bad, tomorrow will be better. And after drinking N - th number of glasses of vodka, he begins to cry with drunken tears, sings a sad song: “Oh, you, life is forgotten! Lose my head! There is nothing ahead; nobody likes; I am the last, the extra person! There are always sing-alongs and begin together, in chorus, to incite each other in terms of pessimism. Further-more, from one moment to another, up to the thought: wouldn't it be better to end a bitter, unfortunate life in a noose? Here, too, vodka breaks the restraining centers and directs a young being, who often does not know how to change his mind, who is too hasty in his decisions, to such a sometimes sad end.
But is vodka alone to blame for this, or is the youth itself to blame? Not only vodka alone is to blame for this, and not only young people, but the reason is common - the circumstances of the transition period, a historical moment. This needs to be sorted out.
The fight against the decadent moods of youth
Hooliganism, reaching the point of crime, destruction, up to murder, exists in all countries: France, England, America - anywhere. What explains it there? The fact that the activities for young people are gray and dull does not satisfy the youth. They are created by the bourgeois system, sometimes perpetuating this position of the youth forever. The bourgeois system, by its very essence, dooms dozens of people to the role of superfluous, thrown out of life, therefore, in bourgeois countries, hooligan protest is often even sympathetic - depending on the conditions, it sometimes turns into anarchism. And when the proletariat raises the red banner, some hooligans join it because they are dissatisfied with the system, offended by it. They are active natures, they act outrageously as long as there is no revolution, and when there is a revolution, then a stream of outrageous people flows into the revolutionary mass, is partly processed by it, assimilates, and partly decomposes it, fights with it. This is the fate of the active. And for those who are weak, whom life has moved across, what else is left for them, how not to protest by the fact that they either cry or kill themselves? In bourgeois countries this is understandable.
Is this acceptable in our life? Of course, we can directly and immediately say: no, it is not permissible. But why, despite the fact that the power of the bourgeoisie has been overthrown, are such phenomena observed recently in our Union? In what sense do I say that this is unacceptable in our country? Yes, in the sense that we have these shortcomings - unemployment and the fact that many of us are busy with work they hate - this is a temporary phenomenon. The bourgeois principle itself is the principle of inequality, the principle of exploitation. But life is gradually getting better in our country, it is moving towards abolishing all inequality, to systematically organize the economy, in order to give everyone bright work and their share of joy.
But why then can we have such phenomena? Because this path to resolving contradictions in social life has not yet been recognized by many elements of both the working and peasant youth; he is not even fully realized by the Komsomol.
When we lived through the era of war communism, hooliganism disappeared, just as puddles disappear in Leningrad during a flood. What puddles are there when the second floors are flooded! When the whole nation rushed to destruction, the youth was captured by such feelings: destroy, avenge, plunder the loot. Along with the most conscious and advanced elements, such elements as Blok described in his poem "The Twelve" were drawn into the revolution. It is difficult to endure a hunger strike on the fronts under shrapnel, but here is one more effort, here you take this rampart and a smooth road to happiness will lay before you. One more blow with the shoulder, although it is in your blood, and the wound is so deep that the bones are visible, but one more blow and the gates will swing open and you will find yourself in a socialist paradise. That's how events felt then.
We crossed this rampart, the gates were thrown open and we received a gigantic right to build socialism, but we did not get a built socialism. We still need to build it. We have received a devastated land, watered with blood, and our happiness must be built on it. Building is not the same as destroying. That young man who said: give me a rifle, I will immediately shoot all the enemies, to the proposal: would you like to go to the factory and do mechanical engineering, answered: I did not study this; I can shoot, but I can't mount the car. A colossal number of our fellow citizens, including young fellow citizens, are not trained in construction, and therefore we are forced to give them boring, menial work or involve them in difficult studies in terribly difficult conditions. This is what disappoints them.
Moreover, we told them: we need a new economic policy. And that means calling the bourgeoisie into that gap that we cannot fill ourselves. We cannot immediately organize state trade, we must call on private traders. We cannot start up all the small and medium-sized factories at once; we must lease them out.
Why would this private trader take the job? In order to profit. And since he has a profit, he wants to spend this profit in accordance with his tastes and needs, and, therefore, he must have comfort items, luxury items - otherwise the Nepman will not engage in this business. At the same time, we cannot yet give a more or less satisfactory life to our communist youth, who shed their blood for the revolution. She has to wait.
Specialists. We need specialists to the extreme. Specialist, as Vladimir Ilyich said, must be created a comradely atmosphere for his work and paid for in the way that the bourgeoisie pays, so that he is satisfied with his position. We must feed him, we must tame him, we must create conditions for a more or less comfortable life for him, otherwise he will go to England, he will not want to mess with us. But to our own communist, who shed blood, we cannot give this. And he says: you peace the specialist, and why did we shed blood? He is disappointed. Hence his annoyance. An active, but unorganized nature with the help of vodka comes to mischief. With the passive, with the help of vodka, this turns into drunken crying, into despondency.
A remarkable indicator of how, having fallen into this crevice, in this difficult situation, our youth in everyday life did not cope with their task, is the so-called "Yeseninism". Who is Yesenin? A talented writer, a peasant poet, his whole fate is clear at a glance sociologically so that it can be absorbed into a couple of formulas. And the result of his life and death turned out to be unexpected, testifying to the well-known diseases of some part of our youth.
Recall the biography of Yesenin. A peasant guy (not quite, of course, a peasant. When he arrived in a sleeveless jacket and a pink shirt, it was a masquerade: Yesenin graduated from a teacher's seminary and was a peasant intellectual), he came here during Rasputin's time, when the peasant smell was pleasant even at court. Yesenin was familiar with Rasputin and with the court, he was invited there. And he wrote, with all the freshness of his talent, peasant chants reeking of incense, with ecclesiastical aspiration. This is the first Yesenin, sincere, but spoiled, spoiled by the church, etc.
When he arrived in the city, they began to carry him in their arms - that's what the village gave us. What did he see in the city? Did he see labor in the city, science, did he see the city of revolution? No. He saw a tavern town. He was picked up by the Futuro-Imagist intelligentsia, the tavern bohemia clung to him, made a sign out of him and at the same time taught him to sniff cocaine, drink vodka, and debauchery.
The revolution has come. The first time of the revolution brought with it some colossal thunder. Yesenin felt that somewhere something was pouring - glass, stones, iron. Why? The devil knows why. But the tavern remained, although it grimaced, Yesenin remained in the tavern. Here began the third period, when he began to think primarily because the thunder of the revolution hit his ears. Secondly, he became afraid of cocaine, vodka, depravity, which devoured his body, soul and talent. He rushed then to a new life, to the revolution; and in one remarkable poem he writes: “I would like to run after the Komsomol with my pants up.” That's what he wanted then. Drop everything and run after the Komsomol to escape. He turned to all of us, including me, and asked: save me - I am dying in this hooliganism, in this anguish of nerves that crave cocaine. Give me your hand!
We sent him to a sanatorium, tried to help, tame him. He sat down to Marx's volumes and re-read it all with touching incompetence, tried to adapt himself to the Soviet public, sometimes wrote good poetry, mostly cold, because, firstly, to delve into the revolution, to understand, to love this gigantic cause for a person who not born in her fire, no joke; secondly, because the forces were undermined. He said: whatever you want, my hands are trembling and my teeth are chattering, and I think of one thing: I need to drink again in order to put myself in order. That's the position this man was in.
And when he saw that all his strength was draining away, that he was becoming his own tombstone, when he saw that he could not find his own new life in the new life, that he gutted his seething, now devastated, in hooliganism drowning life, he decided that it was better to deal with himself than to live a dull, worthless life.
What is it? This is a great lesson for young people, which shows that even a person like Yesenin, when he begins to succumb to hooliganism and despondency, prepares himself for an untimely death, a premature noose.
And how did some of the youth take it? Hero! His death is a reproach to Soviet reality, it shows that even talented people commit suicide. If I broke my face yesterday, or if I'm drunk, I don't know what to do with myself, what to do with myself, then this is because I'm talented, because I'm the chosen one, because I'm a Yesenin, and if I get caught in a noose, then bow at my feet! This is how it was received by some of the youth.
Instead of saying: a talented person ruined himself because he did not find - thanks to temptation, a fatal passion for cocaine and wine, hooliganism, despondency - the path to revolution, they began to say: and our revolutionary time justifies such a thing as suicide - look at such a talented person as Yesenin. Such a false refraction of Yeseninism showed the morbid mood of some of the youth.
I must say that a decline in mood in general should not be entirely blamed on the youth - it was experienced not only by the young, but also by adults, not only by unconscious, semi-conscious, little-conscious, but also very conscious people, right down to some leaders of the Communist Party.
Last year, when the crisis occurred, and the foundation, the base of our revolutionary successes, our bond with the peasantry, our exchange of goods was to some extent undermined, many of the well-known communists entered a period of doubt. What could these doubts lead to, these statements that socialism cannot be built in our country unless the proletariat of the West comes to the rescue, these statements that the growing fist will break our ties with the peasantry and provoke a civil war, these allusions that the Party itself is going through a certain degeneration under the influence of the kulak elements—what could this lead to our nervous, sympathetic, incapable of understanding all questions so clearly, young people?
The more conscious part of this led to doubt. They began to say: maybe we really are on the wrong path, maybe we need to change the Central Committee personally, and its entire line, to reconsider all positions? Maybe we wandered into the forest, maybe we are in a swamp, will we fail? This mood was reflected further, in wider circles. But they did not clearly realize this there, they did not associate this mood with the point of view of our leaders, but simply said: as if the revolution had not come out, had not led to victory, we were confused, no one supported us in the West, and the current was taking us lower and lower. below! Such a mood, such a consciousness, could not but unwind and demagnetize the people who made many sacrifices for the revolution, could not but lead to contradictions, to despondency. It could and should have led to this.
But in the struggle against this painful phenomenon, against this decadent mood, we have a tremendous ally who inflicts a mortal blow on unbelief and despondency among the youth. This ally in the matter of rehabilitating our public from these shortcomings is the mood of our Party itself.
The 15th Party Conference proved that the Party, with all its millions, except for literally a few, took the standpoint of unconditional faith in its victory, absolute confidence that we are really building socialism. All doubts were completely victorious, completely shattered. And now, when we have overcome the opposition, when we have overcome the crisis, when we are throwing a billion and fifty million rubles this year on new construction, when we are no longer restoring old factories and plants, but are building new ones, when we are moving ahead in industry by 21% , while America in its happiest times moved at 6% a year, it is clear to everyone that we are well armed. And we can say: let those who interfere with us be called to order, to the ranks. It is not permissible to interfere at a time when we, under the radiance of the rising sun, are building our happiness.
We must support the discouraged. Let them just open their eyes and see that we are in a wonderful position, that victory is assured. In this consciousness is our colossal strength, which we felt at the conference a few months ago.
In general, what methods and methods of struggle against domestic curvature of our youth can be recommended? There are three main ones. The first is the political education of our youth.
Now it is very important for our entire way of life - this applies to both young people and adults - that we do not have a single provincial inhabitant, such a forgotten peasant, to whom our propaganda for the construction of socialism has not reached and who would not understand our path. And among the youth there should be a gigantic agitation in this sense. It is necessary to explain to the unemployed and those who have received bad jobs, to the half-educated and to people who find it difficult to study, that we are now going through a transitional period, that they are victims of a partial disorder, but that the whole mass is moving forward together and is moving towards getting rid of the bad conditions that click. Understanding this will save them.
The second way is a general cultural upsurge. The youth should be given cultural entertainment. These include the following measures: to make the theater truly ideological and bring it closer to the masses; to give the masses of young people an artistic and meaningful film; to make the club accessible and attractive to young people; young people the possibility of excursions, expeditions, the possibility of displaying special energy in the field of developing gigantic wealth located in the depths of our still unexplored homeland. This second method was indicated by the Council of People's Commissars in its decree on combating hooliganism.
The third method is caring mutual control, mutual support of young people. I often met very good Komsomol members who said: such and such is discouraged, drinks vodka, well, to hell with him! If this leads to suicide in the end, so what? So heavy mlat, crushing glass, forges damask steel. The unfit are broken. - That's wisdom! And here is another one: he started to hooligan, yesterday there was a scandal, today there is a scandal. Get him out, black sheep out of the flock. Is that how it should be treated? No way. It is often not the worst who lose heart, but those who are the most demanding in life. Those who have more energy are mischievous. And the good boy Komsomol member with a briefcase, who does not lose heart, does not play pranks, is often a layman who even has a stake on his head - all is fine; he has a briefcase under his arm, and he is happy with everything. He is obedient, disciplined, but it often makes little sense. The living spirit protests, and this is important. Protest is sometimes expressed in the fact that a person is discouraged because it is bad around, or in the fact that he throws out some kind of protests - maybe mischievous, because he is dissatisfied. Often this mischief indicates a reserve of energy. We need to go help these people. Often in a narrow place you will support a young person, and he will continue to walk better and better and turn out to be the most valuable person in the group. Natorp, the famous Social-Democratic teacher, even before the war said that the city was destroying a gigantic number of youth, adolescents, pushing them to debauchery, to venereal diseases, to all sorts of crimes, etc. “And,” Natorp said, “from I see one salvation from this: organization. When asked: what organization? He said: s.-d. organization, for it gives the youth an ideal and creates a spirit of corporate honor.
If Natorp was waiting for salvation from the old pre-war Social-Democrats, then what can be said about our Komsomol, which is in the very crucible of the world forge, which makes world history?
Our Komsomol has a very complex and responsible task. We are now experiencing revolutionary everyday life. And the task of the Komsomol is to teach the working youth to realize the importance of maintaining vigor precisely in these days, which seem ordinary in comparison with the days of the civil war, the days of painstaking, but at the same time great and heroic construction of a new life. Under the present circumstances, the Komsomol, if it stands at the right height, will pull up the rest.
This is how we can and must resolve the tangled everyday deviations of the youth.
Youth and the "glass of water" theory
Ihave to return once again to the sexual question, for I have analyzed it from the point of view of the family, and now I will analyze it from the point of view of the youth.
We are well aware that we cannot say to young people: get married, arrange a pair family, give birth to children, raise them at the expense of the labor and care of the father and mother. They will say: what are you, are you out of your mind? Indeed, at the age of 16–17–20 it is too early to do these things, this applies to later ages. Meanwhile, sexual need, they say, torments us, does not allow us to work, study, pushes us to actions, because of which misfortunes and tragedies are then played out, in which young people and, most often, young girls die. How to be, they say, advise.
The youth themselves came up with an answer, the most unattractive, the most wrong one.
I don't mean to say that all the youth made this up or that all the youth went down this path. I believe that Comrade Semashko was right when he said that our youth is much more moral than the bourgeois youth, many observers testify to this. But what is this simple solution to the problem?
The simple, nihilistic, pseudo-scientific solution of the issue consisted in the fact that the youth went along the line of least resistance and declared: well, it doesn’t matter, it’s not worth thinking about it too much. This is the same notorious glass of water. Very impatient sexual need, you need to satisfy it. Tell stories about love, marriage - a bourgeois thing. One must learn from nature, from the truth of life; she knows neither novels nor complications.
The youth says: sex, the satisfaction of sex is a naked, simple thing, we must unlearn to think about it. And if the girl had doubts, if she said: maybe this is right, maybe this is scientific, but still, how will it be: if you leave me, and I have a child, then what should I do ? - "He" answered her: what petty-bourgeois reasoning! What philistine foresight! To what extent do you sit in bourgeois prejudices! You can't be considered a friend! And the frightened girl thought that she was acting according to Marxism, according to Lenin, if she did not refuse anyone. From this occurred the most real tragedies, the most real troubles, the most real death of female youth.
A letter from a Komsomol member appeared in the Komsomol press. He wrote a circular on his organization, which resolved all questions; incidentally, the question of love was dealt with in paragraph 4 of the circular, which said:
“At this point, we have an influence on some members of the union of various poems and other rubbish that poets and other paper-scribblers composed that love is an adornment of personal life, and not bare reproduction, that it should be like a bright bouquet of good flowers and so on” bald, meanwhile there is no love, but there is a physiological phenomenon of nature, and veal tenderness has absolutely nothing to do with it.
In the words of this Komsomol member, the “wisdom” of many of our Komsomol members from the recent past was vividly expressed, and, perhaps, some of them even now are hurt by this. You need to argue with this Komsomol. Why does he think that a calf can have tenderness, but a Komsomol member cannot? If he wants to learn from nature, then why does he say "veal tenderness?". Has the bourgeoisie taught the calf tenderness? It turns out not. He talks about "naked reproduction." If he were not an uneducated member of the Komsomol (I do not reproach him for being uneducated, but I reproach him for the fact that, being uneducated himself, he wants to teach others), if he knew the natural sciences, then he would know that if there is something not “naked”, but “dressed”, then this is precisely reproduction, for all the flowers of the world that adorn the earth and are fragrant, have bright colors and aroma for the same reproduction. All the songs of the birds that resound in the groves and gardens refer to the act of reproduction. The most beautiful forms of animals, the most beautiful movements of animals belong here - that's how it really is with this question. Anyone who observes the love life of animals can verify this.
Why is it so? Because nature is a bourgeois poetess? Is she stupid or remarkably smart? It does not even exist at all, this deliberately acting nature. There is a natural course of things and nothing more. But what does it say? Only those breeds that have managed to surround the act in which the whole future of their species is surrounded by the greatest joy, the greatest flowering of life, the greatest exertion of strength, to make it the focus of their life, only those species have survived. We know the facts when a gray bird or an unprepossessing fish is removed as if with precious stones by the time of marriage, and since this magnificent dress harms them from the point of view of danger from a predatory enemy, after marriage this dress is removed by nature. This says in all letters that love is the highest expression of life, because only those breeds in which it was most expressed, which do not spare personal life,
So it was with people, and therefore the peoples surrounded love with marriage songs, marriage dances and dresses. Almost all arts revolve around love. Mankind provided for its life, despite the terrible misfortunes, despite the enormous poverty, ignorance, strife, and diseases with which nature fell upon humanity. And the people who say, like our Komsomol members, that love is naked reproduction, that people is condemned. He has no life force. He is an old man who has lost the real feeling of love, its solemnity, its beauty, its strength. And such a teacher who will push our youth in this direction, saying that this nihilistic wisdom is scientific, is a corrupter of youth.
If we admit that love is such a trifle, then, on the one hand, asceticism appears, illegal neglect of it, and on the other hand, this attitude turns out: why not fool around? The attitude towards love is lost as a solemn act, as a thing of extraordinary importance and extraordinary joy.
Let us hear what our great teacher said about this, for Comrade Lenin spoke about this and spoke with such expressiveness, to which nothing can be added. I ask you to pay attention to his words and to a few comments on them.
“Although,” Lenin said, “I am least of all a gloomy ascetic, but to me the so-called new sexual life of youth, and sometimes adults, quite often seems purely bourgeois, it seems like a kind of good bourgeois brothel.”
The bourgeois, the type we hate, has two attitudes towards a woman: as a wife, his domestic slave, and as a prostitute with whom he got along, and he has little grief, it doesn’t matter to him what happened to her next.
And when some of our Komsomol members or communists say: you know, I’m not a bourgeois, I won’t start a bourgeois family for you, I adhere to the theory of a glass of water, then he finds himself in a situation in which he treats all women on a purely bourgeois basis. light, treats like prostitutes. That is why Lenin says that this is a bourgeois point of view, a bare, depraved bourgeois point of view. All this has nothing to do with the freedom of love, as we communists understand it. Of course, you know the famous theory "that in a communist society, satisfying sexual desires, love needs will be as insignificant as drinking a glass of water." From this "theory of a glass" of water, our youth went berserk. And for many boys and girls, it became fatal. Its adherents claim that this is a Marxist theory. Thank you for such Marxism... I consider the famous theory of the glass of water to be anti-Marxist, anti-social. In sexual life, not only nature is manifested, but also the brought culture, whether it is sublime or low. Engels, in The Origin of the Family, pointed out that it is important that sexual love develop and refine itself.
It is important not only given by nature. We have seen that given by nature is very high, but no less high is given by culture. Culture has added much to the cult of love, both sublime and low. Bourgeois culture has added venality, merchant-property relations to the questions of love. This is the shame of bourgeois culture.
Lenin recalls the words of Engels that it is important for us that sexual love develop and become refined. What does it mean - "developed"? Maybe this means that you need to make more sexual love? You will see that Lenin most emphatically denies this. What does "thinned" mean? Perhaps it is necessary to borrow from the French bourgeois debauchees all sorts of sexual perversions? It's embarrassing to talk about it.
This means that love should not be everyday life, a "glass of water", but that it should be raised to its proper height, to something extremely significant. Such love is considered refined by Engels when he writes about it in his book on the family and the state; such love when a man says: I love this woman and no other, with her I can build my happiness, I will make the greatest sacrifices for her, only with her can I be happy. When a woman says: I love this man, this is my chosen one, then love is not everyday life, debauchery. It is stingy, this love, but in this way it becomes solemn and important. Lenin says that it never crossed his mind to preach asceticism, he says: communism should bring with it not asceticism, but cheerfulness and cheerfulness, also caused by the fullness of love life. Lenin directly says that communism is unthinkable without the fullness of love life, which gives real cheerfulness. “However,” says Lenin, “the now often ugly excess of sexual life does not bring with it cheerfulness and cheerfulness, on the contrary, it reduces them.”
Then Lenin proceeds to a positive recipe, he says that young people especially need this cheerfulness and vigor - healthy sports, gymnastics, swimming, excursions, research, etc., and all this, if possible, together.
What recipe can we give to young people in response to their question about how they should arrange their sex life?
The first and absolutely correct recipe is this: abstinence. Abstinence for young people is not harmful at all. The later a young man or girl enters married life, the fresher, stronger, more fully he is preserved for true marital happiness, for true true love and social activity. But we are not hypocrites. We say that in some cases an abortion is necessary, but we warn that it is harmful, that it is dangerous, that it is a risk: repeated abortions are almost always fatal, so before you decide on this, think it over, weigh it, seriously consider this issue.
You can help yourself in many ways, but it is best to devote yourself to social activities, science, sports, and wait, wait and choose - for a good long marriage is possible only when people love each other. Therefore, we should not deny falling in love, courtship, erotically colored communication between a man and a woman. Here, young men and women choose each other, are selected so that later, after a long acquaintance, they decide on a paired long marriage. But the decision must be taken seriously in order to avoid abortions if possible.
This is the kind of serious, deeply restrained, thoughtful, beautiful love we should have instead of the depravity of the bourgeoisie and the "nihilistic" view of the "bare" sexual need.
Religion, morality, law
Let me conclude by dwelling on three great phenomena that cannot be avoided when we talk about everyday life, namely, religion, morality, and law. All these three phenomena are of great relevance to the construction of everyday life.
Religion has a negative attitude to the construction of everyday life. Religion was born and rests on the weakness of man. A person is discouraged by his weakness in front of nature and society, a large number of storms, torments, shortcomings, failures that fall on his lot - hence the spontaneously expressed idea of \u200b\u200bthe other world, where it will be better, about the supreme truth that will overcome all the filth of the world and reward the victims in a different light. This is the basic idea of religion. If it were taken away prematurely, then, perhaps, a person would succumb to the forces of nature, which he cannot master. Imagine a seventy-year old peasant woman who has led a fasting life all her life, who believes that by humility and meekness she has amassed treasures in heaven. When her granddaughter, a Komsomol member, comes to her and says: grandmother, your bank is not strong - you have collected treasures, and there - the collapse, there is nothing - do you think she will thank you for this? After all, this destroys everything that she lived. And among the working masses themselves, this belief still remains. But if we allow the new world to hold on to this, we will commit a terrible crime, because we know that heaven is bankrupt, that there is nothing in the "other world". We know this for sure.
We know that hopes for the other world prevent a person from taking up with both hands the construction of his happiness on earth. And to build this happiness is difficult. There are many enemies, and you need to gather all your strength to fight for this happiness. That is why we fight against religion for the only correct world outlook, for the labor world outlook, for the militant world outlook—Marxism. Therefore, we will be able to actually build our new way of life correctly only to the extent that we pull the religious tares out of our fields by the roots.
Does it follow from this that we do not recognize morality? Not for a single minute. And Lenin tells us: we deny morality as religious morality, as metaphysical morality, but as those rules that are prescribed to each individual by the interests of mankind, we recognize it. There is a human right to his own happiness, there is a human right to build his own life, his personal existence, to develop a strong and wise personality out of himself, but only in those cases when it does not contradict the rights of others, the general rights of mankind.
The defense of one's enjoyment, the defense of one's right to life in a bourgeois society goes over the bones of others. Some tear from others. Only a socialist system will create harmony between the striving for personal well-being and between social construction.
It doesn't exist yet, this system. He must be conquered. And only he is worthy of being called a man who helps the proletariat to win in this respect.
And, finally, the last question is about the role of art in our construction. Art has a dual role. On the one hand, it creates joyful things around us. It creates buildings in which it is pleasant to live and gather, creates clothes, utensils, all the furnishings, at the same time recreating the surface of the globe, creating cities, gardens, canals, in a word conquers the environment for humanity and gives it deeply human and beautiful forms.
This is one task of art. It is clear that the construction of everyday life cannot proceed without it. We must recreate in joyful order everything around man.
In addition, art has an ideological task. It must organize our senses in such a way as to help us feel our tasks.
The proletariat, which is the center of the new world, loves and hates differently, it has other hopes and fears, it has other ideals. Art has always served to help the class, which is its customer, respect itself and mock others, expose its rightness and prove the falsity of the enemy. The same is true for the proletariat. The only difference is that all previous arts lied, but ours can be true, and hence the possibility of its gigantic development, and hence the enormous significance of the role of art in our everyday construction.
It is still very difficult for us to actively build a way of life in a country in which everything is individual, in which petty-bourgeois disunity prevails. It is very difficult for us to build it when we have few resources, when there are not enough of them.
But we must remember that this is a long-term construction, divided into stages, going on for decades. And even now we can have a hand in this, we have the opportunity to shed more light, at least on the most important aspects of the everyday processes that are taking place in our country, and thereby raise revolutionary consciousness, the ability to lead them.
This is the task of our communist thought in the field of everyday life.