Material on the Conflict Within the Social-Democratic Duma Group
|Written||29 October 1913|
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 19, pages 458-474
In sending this “Material” to the newspaper Za Pravdu, Lenin proposed that the Sunday issue of the paper contain a separate leaflet dealing exclusively with the campaign to support the Bolshevik “six”. When Lenin heard that the issue containing the article had been confiscated he proposed that the editors reprint it in the following issues. The article was not, however, published again in the paper. It was reprinted in 1914 in the symposium Marxism and Liquidationism under the heading “Material on the History of the Formation of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers’ Group in the Duma”, and added to it was a section entitled “Workers’ Comment on the Formation of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers’ Group in the State Duma”.
A conflict has broken out between the six Social-Democratic deputies from the worker curia in the State Duma—Badayev, Malinovsky, Muranov, Petrovsky, Samoilov and Shagov, on the one side, and the other seven members of the Social-Democratic group in the State Duma, on the other. Both the six and the seven have appealed to the workers to discuss the question and to express their opinions.
The discussion is already under way among the St. Petersburg workers, and to enable it to proceed successfully, we publish the following summary of material and considerations, which will interest all workers who have the fate of their Marxist organisation at heart.
Whose Will?[edit source]
The main question that confronts the workers in connection with the split in the Social-Democratic group in the Duma is the relation between the Duma group and the Marxist body as a whole. Whose will should determine the decisions, tactics and conduct of the Social-Democratic group in the Duma?
The experience of all Social-Democratic parliamentary groups throughout the world provides a clear and absolutely indisputable answer to this question. Social-Democrat parliamentary deputies are the vehicles of the will of the class-conscious and organised proletariat of the country in question. The decisions adopted by the advanced proletariat, and which it carries out in all its economic and political struggle, are binding for Social-Democrat representatives in parliament. Parliamentary deputies who disagree with the will of the class-conscious, organised and advanced proletariat, resign, i.e., surrender their title of deputy.
These general and fundamental principles, to which all Marxists all over the globe subscribe, must first of all be clearly understood and thoroughly assimilated so that no unscrupulous persons may confuse and obscure the point at issue.
Anyone who attempts to defend the conception that Social-Democrat parliamentary deputies should be independent of the will of the majority of the organised and class-conscious workers at once exposes himself as an enemy of the Marxist organisation and a disruptor of all unity, of all united action on the part of worker Social-Democrats.
The question now is, how can we Russian workers deter mine what are the will and decisions of the majority of the class-conscious and united worker Social-Democrats of Russia?
What Is the Will of the Majority of the Class-Conscious Workers of Russia?[edit source]
In all countries in the world the following criteria determine the will of the politically organised proletariat.
First, the workers’ newspapers. The support which the proletariat renders the different workers’ newspapers reveals its political will and indicates the trend it stands for.
Second, parliamentary elections. Election laws in different countries vary, but it is often possible to determine without error which deputies the working class elects. The trend to which the deputies elected by the workers belong indicates the will of the proletariat.
Third, various workers’ associations and societies, especially the trade unions, which wage a struggle against capital, give an indication of the will of the proletariat.
Fourth, in Western Europe, the most precise index of the will of the proletariat is the decisions of the socialist par ties, which conduct their activities openly, and whose membership is known.
It is common knowledge that there is no open Social-Democratic Party in Russia. In this country even the Constitutional-Democratic Party is presumed to be banned. In Russia, those who attack or renounce the “underground”, or justify renouncing it, are therefore called liquidators, i.e., renegades, disruptors of the workers’ organisation.
Let us now examine facts concerning the will of the advanced workers of Russia.
What Did the Elections to the Second, Third and Fourth Dumas Reveal Concerning the Will of the Proletariat?[edit source]
For the reactionary purpose of separating the workers from the peasants, the Russian election law provides for the establishment of worker curias, i.e., the separate election of workers’ deputies. But this enables us all the more easily to ascertain the will of the workers, who return to the Duma men who agree with their views and trend.
That is why all the candidates elected by the worker curias at the elections to the Second, Third and Fourth Dumas were Social-Democrats. All informed people (except the politically unscrupulous) were therefore compelled to draw the conclusion that it was the will of the workers of Russia to march solidly in step with the Social-Democrats.
But which trend inside the Social-Democratic movement did the workers support?
A clear-cut reply to this question is provided by the re turns which show to which trends the candidates elected by the worker curias belonged. In the Second Duma there were 23 deputies elected by the worker curia; of these 11(i.e., 47 per cent) were Bolsheviks. It is common knowledge that at that very time, the spring of 1907, a certified majority in the workers’ party supported the Bolsheviks.
To the Third Duma, after the election reform, the worker curia elected only eight deputies. Of these, four (i.e., 50 per cent) were Bolsheviks. To the Fourth Duma the worker curia elected nine deputies, of whom six (i.e., 67 per cent) were Bolsheviks.
Thus, over a period of six years, from 1907 to 1912, when the intelligentsia deserted Social-Democracy, the workers in increasing numbers came over to the side of the Bolsheviks.
Over two-thirds of the workers of Russia support the views and line of the six deputies from the worker curia in the Fourth Duma—Badayev, Malinovsky, Muranov, Petrovsky, Samoilov and Shagov. These deputies are backed by the overwhelming majority of the class-conscious workers who take an active part in politics.
The intellectuals deserted the Marxist organisation; they tried to liquidate it. The workers deserted the liquidators. Only unscrupulous people can deny the truth of this.
Who Are the Deputies?[edit source]
On the very day that the declaration of the six deputies appeared in the newspapers, the liquidators’ newspaper (issue No. 60) hastened to the defence of the seven deputies and argued that the latter had received no fewer workers’ votes than the six.
At that time our paper (issue No. 13) published figures which completely shattered the liquidators’ position and knocked the bottom out of the “argument” they advanced.
These figures showed the number of workers in the gubernias which returned Social-Democratic deputies to the Duma; they also gave a perfectly clear idea of which section of the Social-Democratic group in the Duma received the highest number of workers’ votes, and even how much higher.
Here are the figures:
|Gubernia||Name of deputy||Thousands|
workers according to factory inspectors’ reports
|Moscow . . . .||Malinovsky . . .||348||3||351|
|Vladimir . . . .||Samoilov . . . .||202||3||205|
|St. Petersburg||Badayev . . . .||170||27||197|
|Ekaterinoslav . .||Petrovsky . . .||33||85||118|
|Kostroma . . .||Shagov . . . . .||91||—||91|
|Kharkov . . . .||Muranov . . . .||45||1||46|
|Totals . . .||889||119||1,008|
|Warsaw . . . .||Jagiello . . . .||78||—||78|
|Don Region . . .||Tulyakov . . .||18||41||59|
|Ufa . . . . . . .||Khaustov . . .||6||31||37|
|Taurida . . . .||Buryanov . . .||10||10||20|
|Irkutsk . . . .||Mankov . . . . .||2||11||13|
|Tiflis . . . . .||Chkheidze . . .||5||—||5|
|Kars and Batum Region . . . .||Chkhenkeli . . .||1||1||2|
|Totals . . .||120||94||214|
Since deputy Jagiello is not really a member of the group of seven deputies, for he does not belong to the Social-Democratic Party and has no voice in the relations between the six and the seven deputies, and furthermore, since he was elected to the Duma contrary to the wishes of the majority of the worker electors of the city of Warsaw, the number of workers in the Warsaw Gubernia cannot be counted as having voted in favour of the seven deputies.
The upshot is that out of 1,144,000, the seven deputies can claim only 136,000, or 11.8 per cent, or about one-tenth, whereas the six deputies can claim 1,008,000, or 88.2 per cent, or about nine-tenths.
The liquidators’ emphatic statement that the workers’ vote was equal is utterly refuted.
What do they say in answer to that?
Their answer is worth repeating in full, and it can be explained only by the hopelessness of their case.
“Leaving aside the question as to whether these figures are correct or significant, we assert...” says Mr. F., in No. 61 of Novaya Rabochaya Gazeta.
Gentlemen, you raised the question of the number of workers’ votes. The figures are presented to you, but you leave them aside.
Barely had he finished saying this, when another statement appeared in the next issue (No. 62), at which one can only wonder.
“Our newspaper yesterday expressed its opinion on the arithmetical side of this assertion.”
Leaving aside means “expressing an opinion”. Who are the simpletons that the liquidators count on fooling?
In quoting these figures, which the liquidators have not been able to refute, we have not said a word about the particularly important place in our electoral system occupied by the gubernias which elected the six workers’ deputies. Discouraged by the facts, the liquidators are now talking about the special privileges provided for the six deputies by the law of June 3, about our being supposed to stand in awe of Stolypin’s curias, about our regarding only the six deputies as Social-Democrats, etc.
Assertions of this kind have a very definite “if unflattering” name.... We will not soil our lips!...
The numbers of workers in the various gubernias remain unchanged. They can and must be compared.
The German Social-Democrats count their election gains in spite of the fact that women there are deprived of the franchise.
All this is so clear and simple that one can only wonder whom the liquidators expect to mislead with their “arguments”.
What Is the Will of the Workers as Shown by Workers' Newspapers in Russia?[edit source]
It is common knowledge that workers’ newspapers began to appear in Russia after the 1908–10 period of despondency and collapse, i.e., in 1911; and they became firmly established in 1912.
Take the year 1912. The first to appear and become firmly established was the weekly Zvezda, which later began to appear twice a week and paved the way for the daily Pravda. Pravda appeared thanks to the extraordinarily strong support of the workers in April 1912. This newspaper rallied around itself the majority of the class-conscious workers. Its line was the line of the majority of the united and class-conscious proletarians.
By 1913 there were two all-Russian newspapers of the same trend. A tremendous wave of working-class support brought into being Nash Put, a Moscow newspaper of the same trend.
The other trend, the liquidators, started a daily newspaper, Luch, only in the autumn of 1912, after publishing very feeble weeklies.
Thus, the facts prove beyond doubt that the majority of the workers rallied around Pravda very much earlier. The liquidator newspaper was launched later, and it opposed the will of the majority, tried to effect a split, i.e., it demonstrated the refusal of the minority to submit to the majority.
Every worker will understand that workers’ unity of action is thwarted if a second newspaper is published in the same city with the object of undermining the first. Not a single Social-Democratic Party anywhere in Europe would tolerate anything of the sort.
What Is the Will of the Workers as Shown by Collections for Workers' Newspapers?[edit source]
Bourgeois newspapers are maintained by large sums of capital. Workers’ newspapers are maintained by funds collected by the workers themselves.
In making contribution to a publication or a newspaper of any particular trend the workers very clearly express their will.
The funds that the workers have contributed to the workers’ press in Russia are therefore a most important index of the workers’ will. Only absolute ignoramuses or unscrupulous people (like the Cadets and the liquidators) can attempt to brush this aside.
The following figures show how many collections were made by workers’ groups; they have been published more than once, and are open to verification by anyone who can read.
|Number of collections made by workers’
|1912 . . . . . . . . . . . . .||620||5||625||89|
|1913 to April 1 . . . . . . .||309||129||438||139|
|1913, from April 1 to October||1,252||261||1,513||328|
|Totals for the two years . .||2,181||395||2,576||556|
These figures cover a long period of time. They cover the whole of 1912 and nine months of 1913. They cover the whole of = Russia.
What do they show? They undoubtedly show that sup porters of Za Pravdu, supporters of the six workers’ deputies, opponents of liquidationism clearly predominate among the class-conscious workers.
All those who refuse to recognise the decisions of this overwhelming majority are schismatics, disruptors, violators of the will of the workers.
What Is the Will of the Workers as Shown by the St. Petersburg Trade Unions?[edit source]
It is common knowledge that the metalworkers are the most developed and most advanced section of the working class not only in St. Petersburg, but throughout Russia, and not only Russia, but throughout the world.
Nobody can deny—and on the day the metalworkers assembled the liquidators themselves admitted it—that the metalworkers are the vanguard of the entire Russian proletariat.
What did the metalworkers’ meeting in St. Petersburg prove?
The occasion was the election of the Executive Committee. There were two lists of candidates.
One list, published in the liquidators’ newspaper and backed by the latter, contained the names of a number of well-known liquidators.
The other list, published in Pravda, was anti-liquidationist.
The liquidators fraudulently gave out their list as the decision of the union, but their fraud did not help them.
The metalworkers’ meeting was attended by about 3,000 people. Of these, only some 150 cast their votes for the liquidators’ list of candidates.
Obviously, this quite clearly revealed the will of the class-conscious and advanced workers. The workers will not allow any mention of liquidationism.
Of all the trade unions in St. Petersburg, the Printers’ Union alone still supports the liquidators, thereby isolating itself from the rest of the St. Petersburg proletariat. But even there, it must be observed, not everything is “favourable” for the liquidators. Are there many admirers of the liquidators to be found among the shop assistants, woodworkers, gold- and silversmiths, tailors, bakers, builders, tavern employees, and so forth? How many are there, and where are they? Are many of these admirers to be found in the cultural and educational institutions? There is little evidence of them! And yet the liquidators, in denouncing the “underground” and the “strike craze”, in pleading for legality in the shelter of Stolypin reforms, assert that every thing legal supports them! Whom are the working-class intelligentsia supporting? In our last issue 106 working-class students expressed their greetings to the six and denounced the liquidators!
In following the lead of the liquidators the seven deputies are flouting the will of the majority of the workers. This has been proved by the Duma elections, by the collections for the newspapers, by the meeting of the metalworkers, by all the activities in the legal movement, and by the present insurance campaign (the support rendered the insurance weekly in response to the appeal of the six workers’ deputies).
The seven deputies who are flouting the will of the majority of the workers must bear in mind the inevitable consequences if they insist on pursuing their own will in opposition to the majority of the workers.
Ideological Unity[edit source]
The liquidator newspaper writes:
“Social-Democracy constitutes a definite ideologically united body and those who do not subscribe to its ideas do not belong to it.”
That is the truth, but not the whole truth, for Social-Democracy is not only an ideologically but also an organisationally united body. This can be forgotten only by liquidators, i.e., by those who refuse to recognise precisely the organised body, who ignore its will, flout its decisions, etc.
Our liquidators, those who wrote for Luch and are now writing for Novaya Rabochaya Gazeta, exposed themselves most vividly to the masses of the workers by opposing and strongly combating the Russian Marxist organisation.
The liquidators have been strongly condemned in a number of decisions adopted by this, the only existing political organisation of the workers of Russia. They have been condemned for their intolerable, disruptive and schismatic attitude towards this organisation. These decisions were passed in 1908, in 1910 and in 1912. Russian workers who take an interest in the affairs of their class are familiar with them. But the liquidators not only did not consider it necessary to abide by these decisions, they have unceremoniously flouted them by all their actions and their propaganda.
That explains why the liquidationist newspaper, in discussing the question of organisation, concealed from its readers the fact that Social-Democracy represents not only an ideologically but also an organisationally united body. Operating in complete isolation from the organisation, flouting its decisions, making its very existence the subject of derision, the liquidators, naturally, prefer not to remind the workers of this.
But although the liquidator writer conceals this circumstance from his readers, he has nevertheless had to admit that those who do not subscribe to the ideas of the Social-Democratic organisation cannot possibly be regarded as belonging to it. But the liquidators are the very people who come under this category. Their ideas are not Social-Democratic but liberal-labour ideas. The ideas of opportunists and legalists, the ideas of those who trim down consistent Marxist slogans and advocate the destruction of the old organisation and the formation of an open party under the June Third regime, can nowhere ever be regarded as Social-Democratic by anybody.
Both in their organisational activities and in their propaganda of non-Marxist ideas, the liquidators have gone beyond the bounds of Social-Democracy.
Social-Democracy is a definite organisationally united body and those who refuse to submit to the discipline of this organisation, who ignore it and flout its decisions, do not belong to it. Such is the basic rule.
But the liquidator who let the cat out of the bag is also right. He is right when he says that those who do not subscribe to Social-Democratic ideas do not belong to Social-Democracy. Precisely, Mr. Liquidator. Only you fail to see that these words apply primarily and most aptly to yourself and your liquidator ideas.
The Liquidators and the Bourgeoisie[edit source]
If anybody has any doubts about this let him watch the attitude of the bourgeois politicians and the bourgeois press towards liquidationism, its ideas and the struggle it is waging against the Marxist working-class organisation. Anybody who does this will very soon become convinced that the bourgeoisie greets every pronouncement by the liquidators against the Marxists with paeans of praise and admiration. It welcomed the liquidators’ pronouncements against the old organisation; gleefully it took up their campaign against the workers on strike and their denunciation of the “strike craze”.
But while admiring and praising the liquidators, the bourgeois press could not close its eyes to a very sad circumstance. It was obliged to admit that liquidationism, which is so pleasing to the bourgeois liberals (birds of a feather flock together!), is only an intellectualist trend and meets with no success among the masses of the workers. The liberals deplore this very much, but every class-conscious worker should rejoice at it!
See how Rech, the leading organ of the bourgeois liberals, appraised what happened in the Social-Democratic group in the Duma.
It stated plainly that the seven are the “parliamentary elements of Social-Democracy”, that they belong to the “party of parliamentary activity”, that “the position of the intellectualist deputies is more thoughtful”. To put it briefly, the position of the liquidators and of Novaya Rabochaya Gazeta suits the liberal gentlemen more than that of the six workers’ deputies.
“All of them were elected directly by the workers”, say the liberals in respect of the workers’ deputies; they constitute a group of “irreconcilables”, and their slogans are much more “intelligible” to the masses of the workers.
Now it is precisely this “irreconcilability” of the workers’ deputies and their direct contact with the masses that the liberal gentlemen do not like. And they tearfully declare that “there is reason to anticipate that the parliamentary majority of the Social-Democratic intellectuals will be compelled to yield to the non-parliamentary workers’ majority”.
In this controversy the liberal gentlemen desire from the bottom of their hearts to see the victory of the “moderates”, the liquidators, the advocates of “parliamentary” tactics; and they would like to see the irreconcilable workers’ deputies with their “straightforward” slogans tied hand and foot!
But even the liberals have an inkling that the working class and its devotion to the uncurtailed slogans will prevent the realisation of the liquidator and liberal dream of a victory of the opportunists in the ranks of Social-Democracy.
Decision of the United Marxists[edit source]
The seven deputies, who oppose the will of the majority of the proletariat, furtively evade the fact that the six are acting in harmony with that will.
The following is an already published decision of the Marxists:
“This Conference is of the opinion that united action on the part of the Social-Democratic group in the Duma is possible and essential.
“This Conference affirms, however, that the conduct of the seven deputies gravely jeopardises the unity of the group.
“Taking advantage of their accidental majority of one, the seven deputies encroach on the elementary rights of the six workers’ deputies who represent the overwhelming majority of the workers of Russia.
“The seven deputies, guided by narrow factional interests, deprive the six deputies of the opportunity to speak in the Duma on very important questions affecting the lives of the workers. In several cases, when the Social-Democratic group put up two or more speakers, the six deputies were not given an opportunity in spite of repeated demands to put up even one of theirs.
“Similarly, in appointing representatives to various Duma committees (for example, the Budget Committee) the seven deputies refuse to allow the six to have one of the two places.
“When the group elects representatives to bodies that are of importance to the working-class movement, the seven deputies, by a majority of one, deprive the six of all representation. The staff that serves the group is always elected in a biased manner (for example, the demand for a second secretary was rejected).
“This Conference is of the opinion that such conduct on the part of the seven deputies inevitably gives rise to friction in the group, which hinders united action and threatens to split the group.
“This Conference protests most emphatically against this conduct on the part of the seven deputies.
“The six deputies represent the overwhelming majority of the workers of Russia and act in complete harmony with the political line of the organised vanguard of the working class. This Conference is therefore of the opinion that united action on the part of the Social-Democratic group in the Duma is possible only if the two sections of the group enjoy equal rights, and if the seven deputies abandon their steam-roller tactics.
“Notwithstanding irreconcilable disagreements in spheres of activity outside as well as inside the Duma, this Conference demands that the group should maintain unity on the basis of the aforesaid equality of rights of its two sections.
“This Conference invites class-conscious workers to express their opinion on this important question and to exert all efforts to help preserve the unity of the group on the only possible basis, that of equal rights for the six workers’ deputies.”
This decision clearly and precisely expressed through the medium of workers’ representatives the will of the majority that we discussed in detail above.
Only non-Party Social-Democrats can act contrary to this will. Only liquidators can advise the seven to act as they think fit, as schismatics and disruptors of the workers’ organisation.
Our Work Within the Duma Group[edit source]
The six deputies submitted to the judgement of the workers the question of their being suppressed in the Duma group by the accidental majority within the group.
They quoted astonishing facts about the group. What have the seven deputies said in reply?
Instead of making a clear and straightforward statement refuting the cases of their being restricted in the Duma activities, enumerated by the six, the seven deputies quoted a number of cases when there was no restriction or suppression.
No doubt there were cases in the activities of the group when the rights of the six deputies were respected; if this were not so it would have been nothing short of an insult to the proletariat, and such a situation in the Duma group would be intolerable even for a single day.
That the unity of the group is possible and that agreement is essential is proved by the experience of the year the group has been in existence.
But this experience also shows that within the group the six deputies were tied band and foot by the seven who inclined towards liquidationism and ignored the majority of the workers.
The facts which are quoted by the six deputies, and which clearly depict the state of affairs in the group, have not been refuted.
The seven deputies: 1) attempted to change the Programme of the Social-Democratic Party. In the Duma, for example, they advocated the cultural-national autonomy rejected by all Marxists in 1903.
2) Accepted deputy Jagiello into the group with the right to vote on Duma affairs and wanted to grant him a vote on Party affairs although he belongs to another organisation and does not belong to the Social-Democrats.
3) Refused to allow the six deputies to have their own secretary in spite of their repeated demands for one.
4) Restricted the six deputies in every way as regards speaking in the Duma.
5) Refused to allow the six deputies representation on a certain important body.
6) Restricted the right of the six deputies to be represented on Duma committees, including the Budget Committee.
To all these charges the seven deputies have but one reply—for the benefit of the cause.
Obviously, the suppression and restriction of the activities of the six deputies, who represent the overwhelming majority of the workers of Russia, cannot be shown to benefit the workers’ cause and the cause of Social-Democracy.
The following facts and figures on Social-Democrat representation on Duma committees, show convincingly how the six deputies were suppressed in the Duma group.
Of the 26 committees on which the Social-Democrats are represented:
the six deputies are represented on seven; the other seven deputies are represented on thirteen—nearly twice as many.
Of the 20 committees on which there is one Social-Democratic representative:
the six deputies are represented on seven; the other seven are represented on thirteen—nearly twice as many.
Of the committees on which there are two Social-Democratic representatives:
the six deputies are represented on three; the other seven are represented on six—twice as many.
On each of three of these committees the seven had two representatives.
Not one of the six deputies sits on more than two committees. Of the seven, Chkhenkeli sits on six committees; Skobelev sits on six, and Mankov sits on four.
What Do the Six Demand?[edit source]
The six demanded the right to have their own secretary, one of the two seats on the Budget Committee, and the election of two representatives instead of one to a certain important body.
The seven have admitted that they have not conceded these demands to this day, and have even rejected them.
Every worker will agree that these demands are quite fair.
The seven will forfeit all confidence if they refuse to yield to these fair demands.
The seven are in duty bound to grant equal rights, complete equality to the six workers’ deputies who act in conformity with the will of the majority.
Only in this way can the seven—who act contrary to the will of the majority—take a step towards unity, at least in Duma activities.
The workers must compel the seven to respect the will of the majority!
Unity Inside and Outside the Duma[edit source]
There is only one way of ensuring unity outside the Duma, and that is, by maintaining the unity of the workers’ cells, by bringing into these cells all those who sincerely and honestly desire to work for the benefit of the working class under the leadership of its political organisation. Entry is open to all. All those who desire to work in harmony with the organisation can and should join. Only in this way can we ensure unity in the working-class movement; unity from below, unity in practical activities, in the struggle, under mutual control.
Our newspaper issued this slogan long ago, and has at ways championed it. There is no evidence, however, that the liquidators are following the same road, which is always open to them if they really want Social-Democratic activity and unity.
But what about unity in Duma activities?
Everywhere unity in parliamentary activities is always achieved in one way only: by the parliamentary representatives submitting to the majority of the organised workers. But the seven deputies who are inclining towards liquidationism refuse to respect the will of this majority. They refuse to respect the clear-cut decisions of the organised workers. They prefer to use their accidental majority of one vote to suppress the six deputies who express the will of the overwhelming majority of the workers and are operating in complete ideological harmony with the Marxist organisation.
The only proper thing for those who refuse to respect the Marxist body as a whole to do is to say so openly.
But they prefer to stick tight to their position of alleged non-responsibility. Not only do they refuse to respect the decisions of the organised workers, but they want to use their majority in the Duma to violate the decisions that express the will of the proletariat outside the Duma.
Unity in the Duma will be possible only if the seven deputies abandon this line of conduct.
The six deputies demand no more than that.
Our comrades say: unity of action will be possible in the Duma if the seven deputies, who do not feel bound by the decisions of the Marxists, abandon their tactics of suppressing us, who desire to keep in step with these ideological decisions.
On this basis unity is possible.
But only on this basis. The seven deputies’ refusal to accede to these demands indicates that they are deliberately and openly heading for a split. The overwhelming majority of the organised workers, who, as the above-quoted figures show, support the six, offer to work with the seven deputies on the basis of agreement. That the latter reject this offer, shows that they have completely and definitely broken away from the Marxist workers’ organisation. It shows that the seven vacillating deputies have entirely gone over to schismatic liquidationism.
- See pp. 446–48 of this volume—Ed.
- Zvezda (The Star)—a Bolshevik legal newspaper, the immediate predecessor of Pravda; it was published in St. Petersburg from December 16 (29), 1910 to April 22 (May 5), 1912 (it was at first a weekly but from January 1912 it appeared twice a week and from March three times a week). On February 26 (March 10), 1912, Nevskaya Zvezda (The Neva Star) No. 1 appeared simultaneously with Zvezda and when the latter was suppressed became its successor. The last, twenty-seventh issue of Nevskaya Zvezda appeared on October 5 (18), 1912.
Up to the autumn of 1911 the pro-Party Mensheviks (Plekhanov’s group) contributed to Zvezda. Lenin guided the work of the paper (from abroad) ideologically, about fifty of his articles being published in Zvezda and Nevskaya Zvezda.
Zvezda contained an extensive section “Correspondence from Workers” and maintained regular contact with workers. The circulation of some issues reached 50,000–60,000 copies.
The newspaper was constantly subjected to government persecution; of 96 issues (Zvezda and Nevskaya Zvezda) 39 were confiscated and fines were imposed on ten others. Zvezda prepared the way for 4he publication of the Bolshevik daily Pravda; Pravda No. 1 appeared on the day Zvezda was suppressed by the government.
- In the symposium Marxism and Liquidationism there is a footnote to this passage: “By May 1914 Pravda had in round figures 6,000 workers’ groups. The liquidators had about 1,500.”—Ed.
- In the symposium Marxism and Liquidationism there is a foot note to this passage: “Evidently even this union is now beginning to shift away from the liquidators.”—Ed.
- See pp. 425–26 of this volume.—Ed.