Mensheviks in Russia. We read that in Ekaterinoslav (see Proletary, No. 13) an agreement was concluded between the Bolsheviks, the Mensheviks, and the Bund,in anticipation of violence (a pogrom by the Black Hundreds was expected! Is there a city or village in Russia today that is not expecting something of that kind?). "Joint collection of money for the purchase of arms, a joint plan of action, etc." What kind of plan this was is evidenced by the fact that at the Bryansk Works, for instance, the Social-Democrats, at a meeting of five hundred workers, called for the organisation of resistance. "Then in the evening the organised workers of the Bryansk Works were quartered in various houses; patrols were stationed, a headquarters was appointed, etc. -- in short, we were in complete fighting trim" (incidentally, they let each other know the "location of the headquarters of each organisation" of the three mentioned above).
It is at their own comrades, who are engaged in practical work, that the new-Iskra journalists are sneering.
However much you may turn up your noses, gentlemen, at the question of night attacks and similar purely tactical military questions, however much you may pull wry faces about the "plan" of assigning secretaries of organisations, or their members in general, to stand on duty to provide for any military exigency -- life goes its own way, revolution teaches, taking in hand and shaking up the most inveterate pedants. During civil war military questions must of necessity be studied down to the last detail, and the interest the workers show in these questions is a most legitimate and healthy phenomenon. Headquarters (or members of the organisations on duty) must of necessity be organised. The stationing of patrols and the billeting of squads are all purely military functions; they are all initial operations of a revolutionary army and constitute the organisation of an insurrection, the organisation of revolutionary rule, which matures and becomes stronger through these small preparations, through these minor clashes, testing its own strength, learning to fight, training itself for victory -- a victory that will come the sooner and the more probably, the more profound the general political crisis becomes, the stronger the discontent, disaffection, and vacillation within the ranks of the tsarist army.
Social-Democratic comrades all over Russia must and will follow on an ever wider scale the example set by the comrades of Ekaterinoslav and Borisoglebsk. The appeal for aid in money and arms is most timely. There are ever increasing numbers of people to whom all "plans" and even revolutionary ideas of any sort are quite alien, but who nevertheless see and feel the necessity for an armed struggle when they witness the atrocities perpetrated by the police, the Cossacks, and the Black Hundreds against unarmed citizens. There is no choice, all other ways are blocked. One cannot help being agitated by what is taking place in Russia at the present time; one cannot help thinking of war and of revolution, and whoever is agitated, whoever thinks, whoever takes an interest, is obliged to join one armed camp or the other. You may be beaten up, maimed, or murdered no matter in what supremely peaceful and scrupulously lawful way you behave. Revolution does not recognise neutrals. The struggle has already flared up. It is a life-and-death struggle between the old Russia, the Russia of slavery, serfdom, and autocracy, and the new, young, people's Russia, the Russia of the toiling masses, who are reaching out towards light and freedom, in order afterwards to start once again a struggle for the complete emancipation of mankind from all oppression and all exploitation.
May the day of the insurrection of the people come soon!
Burenin, V. P., worked on the staff of the reactionary newspaper Novoye Vremya, engaged in libelling and besmearing representatives of all progressive public and political trends. Lenin uses this name as a synonym for dishonest methods of conducting polemics.
The Bund (The General Jewish Workers' Union of Lithuania, Poland, and Russia) came into being in 1897 at the founding Congress of Jewish Social-Democratic groups in Vilna. In the main, it comprised semi-proletarian Jewish artisans in the west of Russia. At the First Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. in 1898, the Bund joined the latter "as an autonomous organisation, independent only in respect of questions affecting the Jewish proletariat specifically". (The C.P.S.U. in Resolutions and Decisions of Its Congresses, Conferences and Plenary Meetings of the Central Committee, Russ. ed., Moscow 1954, Part 1, p. 14.)
The Bund was an expression of nationalism and separatism in the Russian working-class movement. In April 1901 the Bund's Fourth Congress decided to alter the organisational ties with the R.S.D.L.P., as established by the latter's First Congress. In its resolution, the Bund Congress declared that It regarded the R.S.D.L.P. as a federation of national organisations, and that the Bund should enter the R.S.D.L.P. as a federal section. After the Second Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. turned down the Bund's demand that it should be recognised the sole representative of the Jewish proletariat, the Bund left the Party, but rejoined it in 1906 on the basis of a decision of the Fourth (Unity) Congress.
Within the R.S.D.L.P. the Bund constantly supported the Party's opportunist wing (the Economists, Mensheviks, and Liquidators), and waged a struggle against Bolshevism and the Bolsheviks. To the latter's programmatic demand for the right of nations to self-determination the Bund contraposed the demand for autonomy of national culture. While the Stolypin reaction was raging, the Bund took a liquidationist stand, and was active in the formation of the August anti-Party bloc. During the First World War the Bundists held a social-chauvinist stand, and in 1917 they supported the counter-revolutionary Provisional Government and sided with the enemies of the Great October Socialist Revolution. During the foreign military intervention and the Civil War the Bund's leaders made common cause with the forces of counter-revolution. Meanwhile there was a turn among the Bund's a rank and file for collaboration with the Soviets. In March 1921 the Bund decided to dissolve itself, part of the membership joined the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks) on the basis of the general rules of admission.