The Duma Group and the Majority Outside
|29 December 1913
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 41, pages 311.2-313.1.
Lomtatidze’s letter on the struggle between the Six and the Seven in the Duma group was curiously run in the liquidators’ newspaper alongside the calculation that 3,701 persons came out in favour of the liquidators (No. 75, p. 2). We leave the verification of this figure for another article, merely noting that three days earlier Za Pravdu (No. 26) reported the figure of 5,000, which has not been refuted by our opponents.
The Seven have been clearly shown again and again to represent a minority of the workers.
That is why Lomtatidze’s “tough words” make an especially awkward impression. It is a sign of extreme weakness and impotent irritation to call names, to give a reminder of various episodes of the old and most embittered struggle, and to shout: “This is impudent, absurd, cynical”, etc., etc.
It remains an unrefuted and incontrovertible fact that 1) the majority of class-conscious workers are backing the Six; and that 2) the Seven refuse to recognise the will and the decisions of the majority, and also refuse to recognise the governing institution accepted by the majority.
One feels a sense of embarrassment and shame for the irritated Lomtatidze, when he says:
“Have they (the Six) indicated a single instance in which the political actions in the Duma have run counter to the interests of our cause, our slogans and our traditions?”
Lomtatidze’s lofty tone makes a false impression, once we are aware that not only the Six, but the highest governing institution, which they recognise, have long since indicated officially and in formal terms the violation of the programme by the Seven, to cite an instance!
With his clumsy irritation and his irrelevant questions, Lomtatidze merely underscores the really profound essence of the entire conflict—the fight of non-Party men against the Party principle. That is the essence. Nor is it a joke or a trifle but the most serious and painful question.
Not everyone who says: “Lord! Lord!” will enter the kingdom of heaven! Not everyone who beats his breast and shouts “unity, unity” is actually working for unity.
What is working-class unity?
It is above all and chiefly unity of its political organisation, of its entity. That is the only kind of unity that can ensure real unity of the Duma group and of all the action and struggle of the working class in general.
That is the unity the liquidationist trend has violated, as the Party’s official resolutions have repeatedly recognised since 1908. That is the crux of the matter. In evading it, Lomtatidze merely reveals his error.
The Seven are entirely to blame for the split, because they have violated the programme, they have come out in defence of the liquidators, who were destroying the Party, they have ignored the formal decisions of the majority, and they have been violating the will of the organised workers. There is no other way out for them but to recognise their fault, accept the Six as representatives of the majority and start systematically moving closer to them through an agreement.