already know, as Russia entered the twentieth century, there were
fundamental socio-economic changes taking place within the empire. Some
Russian statesmen such as Count Sergei Witte, minister of finance
and later Prime Minister, Prince Dmitrii Sviatopolk-Mirskii,
minister of the interior, Aleksandr Bulygin, minister of the interior,
and Petr Stolypin, prime minister, all made proposals to
accomplish some substantial political and economic reform to
modernize the empire.
intellectuals also became alarmed over Russia's prospects for the
future. In 1909 Mikhail Gershenzon (1869-1925) published a collection of
seven articles by some of the leading intellectuals of the day. Vekhi:
A Collection of Articles about th Russian Intelligentsia
contributions by Nikolai Berdiaev, Sergei Bulgakov, Aleksandr Izgoev,
Bogdan Kistiakovskii, Petr Struve, Semen Frank and Gershenzon
The collection was a scorching assessment of the role of the
intelligentsia in Russian society, and, as a result, it generated a
comments. The contributors all tended to say that the
intelligentsia had failed
in its task to lead Russia, especially in light of the failures of the
1905 Revolution. The time had now come to rethink the purpose of
the intelligentsia and the future of Russia.
formulated his vision of a future, Marxist Russia. In the
fall of 1901 Lenin set to work writing down his blueprint, which ended
up being published as What Is To Be
Done? (1902) The title was an exact copy of Nikolai
Chernyshevskii's (1828-1889) novel of the same name, What Is To Be
which had inspired the Russian populists of the 1860s.
foresaw a tightly-organized, Marxist, vanguard of professional
revolutionaries who would be able to lead the Russian workers (and
maybe the peasants too) to overthrow the tsar and then begin to
implement a future Marxist state.