Take any bourgeois-radical party— in France, let us say. It will unfailingly call itself a socialist party—“Radical Socialist,” “Independent Socialist,” etc., etc. Before the electors, the masses, the “lower orders,” these parties always scatter “Left” phrases, particularly on the eve of elections, and particularly when they are being hard pressed by a competitor, a genuine socialist party. But “at the top,” the “Radical Socialist” and “Independent Socialist” government ministers calmly carry on with their bourgeois work, totally regardless of the socialist aspirations of their electors.

This was written in 1917 (Collected Works, vol. 3, pp. 264-65), but it sounds pretty much like any social-democratic or even ‘socialist’ party in Europe today.

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