Letter to the Central Committee of the RSDLP, January 22, 1911

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Concerning our declaration[1] there are in existence lying rumours which are deliberately being circulated by the Golosist liquidators and which we consider it our duty to counter by a short account of the essentials of the matter and our views.

The formal aspect of the matter is that an agreement between the faction and the Party was concluded at the plenum of January 1910. According to the agreement, our faction undertook to dissolve itself if the other factions dissolved themselves. The condition was not observed. We resume our freedom of struggle against the liberals and anarchists, who are being encouraged by the leader of the “conciliators”, Trotsky. The question of the money is for us a secondary matter, although of course we do not intend to hand over the money of the faction to the bloc of liquidators+anarchists+Trotsky, while in no way renouncing our right to expose before the international Social-Democratic movement this bloc, its financial “basis” (the notorious Vperyodist “funds” safeguarded from exposure by Trotsky and the Golosists), etc.[2]

The essential fact is that we divest ourselves of responsibility for the assistance in demoralising the Party rendered by the “conciliatory” policy (i. e., the policy indulgent to the Golosist liberals and Vperyodist anarchists). We warned the Party officially and openly even before No. 12 of the Central Organ by making a statement about the Conspiracy against the Party in the leaflet “Golos (Voice) of the Liquidators Against the Party.”[3]

If these words may have seemed to anyone an exaggeration, events have completely and literally confirmed what we said. The liberal liquidators have consolidated themselves outside the Party, they have created a faction altogether hostile (Nasha Zarya, Vozrozhdeniye, Dyelo Zhizni) to Social-Democracy and ready to disrupt the Party’s cause in the elections to the Fourth Duma. The Golosists have helped Potresov and Co. to demoralise the Party, spoiling and hindering its work from within the central bodies. The Central Committee Bureau Abroad—the only permanent organ in practice—has fallen into the hands of the liquidators, thanks in part to the impotence of the Bund and the Letts, and in part to the direct help the Golosists have been given by the liquidationist elements of these national organisations. The CC Bureau Abroad not only did nothing to unite the pro-Party elements abroad, and not only gave no help to the fight against the Golosists and Vperyodists, but it concealed the anti-Party “funds” of the anarchists and the steps taken by the liberals.

The Vperyodists, thanks to the “conciliatory” support of Trotsky and Golos, have consolidated themselves as a faction with its own transport, its own agency, and have grown many times stronger since the plenum of January 1910.

There has been a full development of what was already outlined quite clearly at the plenum (for instance, the defence of the anarchist school, by Trotsky + the Golosists). The bloc of the liberals and anarchists with the aid of the conciliators is shamelessly destroying the remnants of the Party from outside and helping to demoralise it from within. The formalistic game of “inviting” the Golosists and Trotskyists on to the central bodies is finally reducing to impotence the already weakened pro-Party elements.

Divesting ourselves of responsibility for this game, we shall, while keeping aloof from it, pursue our pro-Party policy of rapprochement with the Plekhanovites and ruthless struggle against the bloc. It stands to reason that we shall in every way support all steps of the Central Committee if it succeeds in meeting in Russia, restoring the Central apparatus there, establishing a Party organisational base abroad (instead of the liquidationist CC Bureau Abroad) and beginning work against the liberals and anarchists.

Finally, a few words about the split with which the “conciliators” are trying to frighten us. At present the split de facto is already complete, for the Potresovites and Vperyodists have completely split off and no one will bring them back to the Party line. If the Central Committee emphatically condemns them as liberals and anarchists, there will be no split de jure, for they cannot defend their line. If the central bodies cease to play at “inviting” the liberals who are servants of Potresov (the Golosists) and the Vperyodists, there will be no split de jure, and the workers will definitely abandon both the Vperyodists and the Potresovites. Any other policy will prolong the split by encouraging the Potresovites and Vperyodists. As far as we are concerned, we shall keep entirely aloof from any such “other” policy, as authorised representatives of the Bolshevik trend, whose guiding significance was recognised by the plenum of January 1910.

The representatives of the Bolshevik trend who signed the agreement with the Central Committee at the plenum and who are authorised (by Meshkovsky’s power of attorney) to cancel it.

  1. This refers to the declaration of the Bolsheviks in the Central Committee Bureau Abroad on November 22 (December 5), 1910, demanding the immediate convocation of the Central Committee to decide the question of the return of the funds of the Bolshevik faction. The declaration was signed by Lenin and other participants of the January plenary session of the Central Committee in 1910.
  2. The right to represent the faction was given to our sextet at the plenum. Of the six votes we have four: three in Paris and one by Meshkovsky’s (written) power of attorney. If Meshkovsky were to take it into his head to back out, we should interrogate the remaining Bolshevik members of the Central Committee and candidate members elected in London, and also interrogate the Bolsheviks who have declared themselves by influential work. —Lenin
  3. See pp. 156–64 of this volume.—Ed.