Throughout 1910 the leading bodies set up by the Plenum to carry out its decisions, for example, the Editorial Board of the Central Organ, repeatedly and at great length pointed out in the columns of their publications that the Vperyodists, like the liquidators, were violating the decisions of the Plenum, and that, like the liquidators, they were in fact vehicles of bourgeois influence on the proletariat.
Since, in Trotsky's journal, the Vperyodists now refer to the "first and second Vperyod schools", we feel bound to recall the facts. Half the workers left the first school because experience had convinced them of its anti-Marxist and disruptive character. As regards the second school, the Central Organ, in pursuance of the decisions of the Plenum,
made a point of warning the workers against it and explained that it bore the character just mentioned.
But who helped this second school?
Only the liquidators and Trotsky, notwithstanding the official warning given by the Party's official organ.
In this second school we plainly see a bloc, an alliance, between the liquidators, the Vperyodists and Trotsky's group exactly like the one we now see in the columns of the St. Petersburg liquidationist newspaper and in Trotsky's Borba.
This is an alliance of anti-Marxist and disruptive groups, which detest Pravda's Marxism and the comradely Party discipline which rallies the vast majority of the class-conscious workers of Russia around Pravda.
We cannot but call "adventurism" this alliance, like the Vperyod group itself, and Vperyodism as a whole, for nothing can come of Vperyodism and of its "bloc" with Trotsky and the liquidators except disregard of principles, the encouragement of anti-Marxist ideas (without openly preaching them), and the disruption of the working-class movement.
But while being basically and unswervingly opposed to Vperyod and Vperyodism, we have never, and never shall, shut the door against those Vperyodists who (like the majority of the founders of Vperyod ) are leaving that group and intend to help the majority of Russia's class-conscious workers, organised and united by Pravdism. No leniency whatever must be shown towards the defence of Machism (from which, unfortunately, Bogdanov won't budge), or of Vperyodism; but no obstacles should be put in the way of comrades who have conscientiously recognised Vperyod 's mistake and are turning from Vperyod back to the Party.
As regards the attacks and abuse to which "those writers Ilyin, Zinoviev and Kamenev" are subjected by Bogdanov in the liquidators' newspaper and by the Vperyodists in Trotsky's journal, we shall state briefly that these writers have always carried out the decisions of the organised Marxist workers, who have demonstrated to all the world by their solidarity with Pravdism or by their votes in the election of the Metropolitan and All-Russia Insurance Boards, that they constitute the overwhelming majority of the organised and class-conscious workers of Russia.
Acting in accordance with these decisions and in keeping with their spirit, these writers have every reason to consider that their activities are in harmony with the will of the majority of the Marxist workers, and they will not of course be deterred from their activities by abuse coming from the Vperyodists, Trotsky and the liquidators.
The history of the Vperyod group, of its break-up, and its repeated blocs with Trotsky and the liquidators, is a matter of some general interest to the workers, and even of some public interest, for it represents a typical case of isolated groups of intellectuals being formed in the period of break-down and disintegration. Anybody is at liberty to form a separate ideological group and to point out a different road to the proletariat, but much will be expected of any founder of a new group. It goes without saying that nobody can be blamed for making mistakes, but to persist in mistakes that have been explained both by the theory and the practice of a movement of over five years is tantamount to waging war against Marxism, against the organised and united majority of the workers.
The vacillations and deviations of the liquidators and Vperyodists are no accident; they have been engendered by the period of break-down and disintegration. We see these bourgeois deviations on both sides of the road of the class struggle of the Marxist workers, and these serve as a warning to every class-conscious worker.
P. S. The above lines were already written when we received a copy of Trotsky's Borba containing another letter from "the Geneva, Paris and Tiflis Vperyod Marxist circles and from St. Petersburg fellow-thinkers".
From the signatures to this letter we see that during these four and a half years the Vperyodists, who issued "their own " platform at the very end of 1909, have acquired in Russia one "Tiflis circle" and probably two "St. Petersburg fellow thinkers" (three would no doubt have constituted a St. Petersburg, or metropolitan, or all-Russia, Marxist ideological circle!). To anyone more or less seriously interested in politics, this result of Vperyod 's four years of "activity" should suffice to serve as a criterion of this group. Let
Trotsky amuse himself by uniting with it in the columns of his "own " sheet; let the Vperyodists and Trotskyists play at being "powers", "trends", and contracting parties. This is simply the childish make-believe of people who, by uttering pompous phrases, want to conceal the fact that their "groups" are mere bubbles.
It is amusing to read how these groups vociferate about unity and splits! Don't you understand, gentlemen, that there can only be a question of the unity of the mass working-class movement, the unity of the workers party; as for unity with groups of intellectuals, who in the course of four years have found no support among the workers of Russia, you and Trotsky can chatter to your heart's content about that! That is not worth arguing about.