The following essay is adapted from Clive James' Cultural Amnesia, a re-examination of intellectuals, artists, and thinkers who helped shape the 20th century. Over the coming weeks, Slate will run an exclusive selection of these essays, going roughly from A to Z, abbreviated for these pages. (Note: There is no "I" in the Clive's Lives series.)
The masses do not believe in the Opposition. They greet its every statement with laughter. Does the Opposition think that the masses have such a short memory? If there are shortcomings in the Party and its political line, who else besides these prominent members of the Opposition were responsible for them?
—Alexandra Kollontai, "The Opposition and the Party Rank and File," Selected Writings
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