To the Russian Collegium of the CC
Published: First published in 1931 in Lenin Miscellany XVIII. Published according to the manuscript.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 17, pages 106-109.
In view of the possibility and likelihood of the Central Committee being convened in Russia, we consider it our duty to outline our views on several important questions affecting our position as people responsible to the Party.
(1) At the January 1910 Plenary Meeting, we, responsible representatives of the Bolshevik trend, concluded an agreement with the Central Committee, published in the Central Organ, No. 11. Our application, submitted by three officials, with power of attorney from Meshkovsky, is a formal cancellation of this agreement owing to the non-fulfilment of its clearly-defined conditions by the Golos and Vperyod groups. Naturally, it is understood that we, although compelled to submit this application because no functioning Central Committee actually exists and there is the beginning of a split abroad, will willingly withdraw it, or agree to a review of the agreement, if the Central Committee succeeds in meeting and in re-establishing Party work and the Party line violated by the afore-mentioned factions.
(2) The Party line was clearly defined by the Plenary Meeting, and it is useless for the Golos group and Trotsky and Co. to try to confuse the issue. The line consists in recognising that both liquidationism and otzovism are bourgeois theories having a fatal influence on the proletariat. After the Plenary Meeting, in violation of its decisions, these two trends have developed and taken shape in anti-Party factions—the Potresov and Golos groups on the one hand, and the Vperyod group on the other. Among the Mensheviks, support for the Party line laid down by the Meeting was forthcoming from only the so-called pro-Party or Plekhanov group, those who have been and still are resolutely conducting a struggle against the Potresov and Golos trends.
(3) For this reason, as representatives of the Bolshevik trend, we emphatically protest against the Golos group’s attack on Innokenty for having refused, in the summer of 1910, to recognise as candidates for co-option those Mensheviks who remained true to Golos or whose actions were not fully indicative of their Party affiliation. In doing so, Innokenty , the chief representative of a trend in Bolshevism differing from ours, acted correctly, and we have written proof that precisely as its representative he defined the Party principle uniting all Bolsheviks, before witnesses from the P.S.D., in the manner shown.
(4) The attempt of the Golos group, in the name of the splitting faction of émigrés, to propose from abroad “their own” candidates for co-option to the CC cannot be regarded as anything but an unheard-of affront. While at the Plenary Meeting there may have been people who sincerely believed the pledges of the Mensheviks to struggle against the liquidators, now, a year later, it is quite clear that the Golos people cannot be trusted on this question. We protest resolutely against candidates being put forward for election by the émigré faction of liquidators, and demand that Plekhanov’s followers in Russia be circularised, they can undoubtedly provide canididates from among the pro-Party Mensheviks.
(5) The splitting moves of the Golos and Vperyod groups and of Trotsky are now fully recognised, not only by the Bolsheviks and the Poles (in the Central Organ), but also by Plekhanov’s group (see the Paris resolution of Plekhanov’s group). We assert that the first decisive step towards a split was the announcement made by Trotsky on November 27, 1910, without the knowledge of the CC, of the convening of a conference and of the “fund” for it. Our application (December 5, 1910) was the reply we were forced to make to that announcement. The Vperyod school has become one of the centres of this split; Trotsky took part in it in defiance of the clear decision of the Party School Commission. We were blamed in print by Golos for “disorganising” this school. Considering it our duty to disorganise anti-Party émigré factions, we demand the appointment of a commission to investigate the “funds” of this school and the help given it by Trotsky and Golos. By shouting about expropriation, which we put an end to once and for all at the Plenary Meeting, the Golos group are not only blackmailing, but are covering up their moral (and not only moral) support of the violators of the resolution of the Meeting.
(6) Olgin, a follower of Plekhanov, has disclosed that Dan frankly explained the desire of the Golos group to transfer the CC to Russia as being due to the probability (or inevitability) of its failure. The Party tribunal will have to make a pronouncement on this. Anyone who has followed the Golos group’s policy over the past year will have no doubt that in actual fact they have been splitting the CC and hampering its work. The London candidates of Golos are not only alive, but carry out political work in an anti-Party spirit both in the workers’ unions and in the press. By absenting themselves from the CC meeting, they con firm their liquidationism. For this reason we are in duty bound to warn the comrades on the CC in Russia, who are working under desperately difficult conditions (since they are all known to the police), that they are also threatened by an internal enemy inside the Party. We cannot manage without some sort of base abroad unless we are prepared to run the risk of a single failure on our part freeing the hands of the disruptive Potresovs. The Central Committee Bureau Abroad, which is now carrying out a policy of aid to the Vperyod and Golos groups and to Trotsky, cannot be allowed to remain abroad. We cannot rely on the pledged word or the “signing” of a resolution. We must, if we wish to be realistic politicians who are not deluded by mere formalities, study the ideological-political trends emanating from the working-class movement and from the counter revolutionary influence on it.
These trends have grown and developed since 1908. They have brought Plekhanov’s group and the Bolsheviks closer together, and have created a bloc between the Golos and Vperyod groups and Trotsky, who support the split while endeavouring to hide its existence. The immediate future of our Party (and it is useless closing our eyes to this) will inevitably be determined by the struggle along these lines; not the desires of individuals or groups, but the objective conditions of the epoch, as shown in the resolution of the Plenary Meeting, give rise to the struggle.
The representatives of the Bolshevik trend, signatories to the agreement with the CC in January 1910 (three, and on the authority of the fourth, Meshkovsky).
- Meshkovsky (I. P. Goldenberg)—member of the Central Committee of the RSDLP, a Bolshevik-conciliator.
- Innokenty (Innokentiev, Inok)—I. F. Dubrovinsky, member of the Central Committee of the RSDLP, a Bolshevik; in 1910-11 he became a conciliator.
- Polish Social-Democrats.—Ed.
- Olgin—V. P. Fomin, a pro-Party Menshevik.
- Lenin’s signature and those of two other members of the Central Committee follow.