Whom Are They Trying to Fool?
|Written||15 March 1905|
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1962, Moscow, Volume 8, pages 225-227.
In issue No. 89 of Iskra, just arrived, we find a decision of the “Party Council” dated March 8, 1905. As was to be expected, the “Council” abroad frets and fumes against the Party Congress which is being convened by the Party commit tees in Russia, declaring that “in acting the way they do, its participants place themselves outside the Party”. We quite understand the resentment of the group abroad, from whom the Party working in Russia has long since moved away in actual fact and is now moving away also formally. We also understand that only under the spur of resentment and despair can people argue so illogically and “deviate from the truth” as maladroitly as does the Council. “According to the Party Rules,” we are told, “the Congress can be convened only by the Council.” Yes, except in those cases when the Council breaks these Rules and, instead of convening the Congress, as it is in duty bound to do, fraudulently evades the issue. Precisely such a “case” was proved long ago by the Party against the Council (see Orlovsky’s The Council Against the Party, where he shows, among other things, that according to the “Council’s” arithmetic, 16x4=61!). We are told further that on January 1, 1905, according to the unanimous decision of the Council (including Lenin’s vote) there were 33 qualified organisations besides the centres. That is not true. The Party has long known, from that pamphlet, that on January 1, 1905, the number of such organisations was only 29. The Kuban and Kazan committees mentioned by Iskra were never approved by the Council, while the Polesyc and North-Western committees were approved only as of April 1, 1905. This leaves 29 organisations (the committees of St. Petersburg, Moscow, Tver, the North, Tula, Nizhni-Novgorod, Saratov, Ural-Ufa, Siberia, Don, Kharkov, Kiev, Odessa, Ekaterinoslav, Riga, Orel-Bryansk, Smolensk, Samara, Voronezh, the Caucasian Federation=4 committees, Kursk, Astrakhan, Nikolayev, Crimea, the Mining and Metal District, and the League). The “Bureau of Committees of the Majority” maintains that it has been authorised by ten organisations, the Council further states. That is a lie. The Bureau was elected, as everyone knows, before January 1, 1905, at three conferences, by 13 committees (6 Northern, 3 Southern, and 4 Caucasian). After the Bureau announced the convening of the Congress, the Voronezh and Tula committees aligned themselves with it. So that up to January 1, 1905, out of the 28 qualified organisations in Russia, 15 declared for the Congress, in defiance of the Bonapartist centres. This does not include the qualified organisations (the Saratov, Siberian, and other committees) which long ago declared themselves generally in favour of the Congress (see Shakhov’s pamphlet The Struggle for the Congress). How ludicrous and clumsy are the Council’s attempts to deceive the uninformed public, which learns of what is happening, not from documents, but from gossip abroad, is strikingly illustrated in the following two reports. In the very interesting pamphlet Report of the Geneva Meeting on September 2, 1904, issued by the Minority, Dan admits that the majority of the Party committees broke off all comradely relations with Iskra, while Plekhanov, a bitter opponent of the Majority, was compelled to declare that the forces of the warring camps were approximately equal! (This is the opinion of a resident abroad, mark you.) In Lenin’s Statement –which, far from being refuted by the Minority, was openly acknowledged by Popov—no less a person than an agent of the Central Committee admits that the Minority has only four committees in Russia, and that at a real Party congress the Editorial Board and the Council are certain to be removed from office. Once more: whom are you trying to fool, you heroes of co-optation? You are mortally afraid of the only real Party solution—the Congress—while at the same time you claim that your opponents are backed by a negligible fraction of the total number of organisations, only about a quarter at the most! In your fury you fail to see that you are castigating no one but yourselves. Is Nicholas II, then, afraid of a Constituent Assembly because the enemies of tsarism constitute only a negligible fraction of the people?
- See present edition, Vol. 7, p. 537.—Ed.