The most common view that one hears expressed in competent circles is that Russian history of the last ten years marks the death of another utopia, the bursting of a giant social bubble in contact with economic reality. In Western Europe Socialism has been sobered by the contact of its leaders with the facts of political office. English Socialism took shape in the ‘eighties of last century primarily as a reaction against laissez-faire, with the six different milkmen in six separate milk-carts going daily down the same street as the favourite illustration of its street-corner evangelists. Lenin's view stood sharply separated from this. To him the economic backwardness of Russia was largely irrelevant to the political question of the seizure of power, The former certainly affected the problem of subsequent economic policy and economic reorganisation; but the latter was a political question with which the balance of class forces was primarily concerned.