“I have lately been glancing through Sukhanov’s notes on the revolution. What strikes one most is the pedantry of all our petty-bourgeois Democrats and of all heroes of the Second International. Apart from the fact that they are all extremely fainthearted, that when it comes to the minutest deviation from the German model [of Socialism] even the best of them fortified themselves with reservations — apart from this characteristic, which is common to all petty-bourgeois Democrats and has been abundantly manifested by them throughout the revolution, what strikes one is their slavish imitation of the past.
They all call themselves Marxists, but their conception of Marxism is impossibly pedantic. They have completely failed to understand what is decisive in Marxism, namely, its revolutionary dialectics. They have even absolutely failed to understand Marx’s plain statements that in times of revolution the utmost flexibility is demanded, and have even failed to notice, for instance, the statements Marx made in his letters — I think it was in 1856 — expressing the hope of combining the peasant war in Germany, which might create a revolutionary situation, with the working-class movement — they avoid even this plain statement and walk around and about it like a cat around a bowl of hot porridge.”
– Vladimir Lenin, “Our Revolution” 1923