Such is the resolution. As the reader will see, its gist is that recognition of the old Marxist body is made an essential condition of unity. With those who do not recognise the Programme, Rules, and decisions of 1907, 1908 and 1910, unity is impossible. That is what the Lettish workers said. And that is what makes the Lettish resolution so important.
Conciliatory trends were undoubtedly very strong at the Lettish Congress. The Letts did not want to tell the liquidationist group in the Duma plainly and bluntly that it was a group of splitters, who were flouting the will of the workers, and that they ought to resign from the Duma. They did not want to do that, evidently because the Lettish minority does not go to the same lengths as the Russian liquidators, and also because the Letts still have hopes of a possible reconciliation with the Chkheidze group.
At all events, the Lettish workers formulated precise and clear conditions of unity.
How are the issues that split the group in the Duma resolved from the point of view of the Lettish resolution?
The Letts demand, firstly, acceptance of the Programme. This means that they condemn advocacy of the famous "cultural-national autonomy" from the Duma rostrum. For the Programme officially rejected this demand, and even liquidator L. Martov has admitted that "cultural-national autonomy" is scarcely in keeping with the Programme. If unity is to become possible, the liquidators must renounce cultural-national autonomy. Such is the meaning of the Lettish reply to the first point at issue.
Next comes the dispute about admitting deputy Jagiello into the group. How do the Lettish workers settle this dispute? They say: see the decision of December 1908. We take up this document, look and read:
"On amalgamation with the P.S.P. Left-wing.
"After hearing the proposal of our Menshevik comrades concerning amalgamation with the P.S.P. Left-wing, the all-Russia representative body of the Marxists proceeds without debate to the order of the day." (See Report, p. 46.)
The thing is clear. The all-Russia decision of 1908 flatly rejected the proposal to amalgamate with Jagiello's party in any shape or form. The liquidators violated this decision. Consequently, they must reverse their splitting decision concerning Jagiello.
Further, the Letts demand acceptance of all decisions on points of principle adopted in December 1908 and January 1910. What are these decisions? And how do they appraise
liquidationism? We take the documents concerned and read:
"Whereas in a number of areas attempts have been observed on the part of some of the Party intelligentsia to liquidate the 'underground' and to substitute for it an amorphous federation acting at all costs within the limits of legality, even at the cost of openly abandoning the programme, tactics and traditions of the Marxist body . . . holds that it is necessary to wage a relentless struggle against the liquidators' attempts, and calls upon all truly Marxist workers, irrespective of group or trend, to offer the most strenuous resistance to these attempts."
This is how the 1908 decisions condemned liquidationism (see p. 38 of the Report). The Letts demanded acceptance of these decisions.
Next come the decisions of January 1910. Here we read: "The historical situation in the Social-Democratic movement in the period of bourgeois counter-revolution inevitably gives rise -- as a manifestation of the bourgeois influence on the proletariat -- to . . . repudiation of the illegal Party, belittling of its role and importance, and attempts to whittle down the programmatic and tactical tasks and the slogans of the entire body of Marxists."
Thus did the decisions of 1910 condemn liquidationism. And it was the Letts again who demanded recognition of these decisions by the liquidators.
The Lettish resolution was adopted unanimously. Even the Lettish liquidators who were present dared not vote against it. They had received a sufficiently severe lesson from the Lettish workers, who respect the "underground" and recognise the decisions of the old body of Marxists. To vote against this resolution would have meant defying the whole Lettish proletariat and losing their last supporters among the workers.
Such were the decisions of the Lettish workers (over three thousand organised workers being represented).
In a very polite form, without using a single harsh word, but nonetheless firmly and emphatically, the Lettish workers said to the Chkheidze group:
"Do you want unity? Then recognise the extremely important decisions of the old body of Marxists, retract your
violations of the Programme and decisions of 1908-10, repudiate those who have repudiated the 'underground'; in short, take your stand on the basis of Marxism."
The last really workers' organisation, in whose name the Chkheidze group tried to speak, turned its back on that group. As was to be expected, only a handful of liquidators now support the seven deputies who are inclining towards liquidationism. The proletarian element is abandoning or has already abandoned them.
A group without workers -- such is the liquidationist group in the Duma.
After the Letts' decision, this is now absolutely indisputable.