Even a cursory glance at the scanty figures provided by the factory owners' statistics must reveal the following.
Strike statistics that are complete, accurate, intelligently processed and published in good time have tremendous importance, both theoretical and practical, for the workers. They provide valuable information that illuminates every step of the great road the working class is travelling towards its world-wide goals, and also the closer, current tasks of the struggle.
In countries that are to some extent democratic and free, tolerable government statistics are possible. This is out of the question in Russia. Our government statistics are poor, they are absurdly split up among "departments", they are unreliable and their publication is delayed. The factory owners' statistics are little better and still less complete, although sometimes they are published somewhat earlier than those of the sleepy Russian civil servant.
The workers must consider producing their own, workers' strike statistics. The difficulties involved in compiling such
statistics are, of course, exceedingly great in view of the persecution of workers' associations and the working-class press in Russia. It is impossible to overcome these difficulties at once. Workers, however, are not accustomed to showing fear of persecution or retreating in face of difficulties.
Even partial strike statistics by workers, i.e., those that cover separate areas, separate branches of industries and relatively short periods, will be of great value. Such statistics will teach the workers how to compile something fuller and better and will at times enable them to compare the factory owners' or civil servants' picture with their own.
We therefore permit ourselves to conclude this analysis of factory owners' statistics with the wish that workers should, despite all the obstacles, again and again attempt to compile their own, workers' strike statistics. Two or three class-conscious workers could compile an accurate description of each strike, the time it begins and ends, the number of participants (with distribution according to sex and age wherever possible), the causes and the results of the strike. Such a description should be sent in one copy to the headquarters of the workers' association concerned (trade union or other body, or the office of the trade union newspaper); a second copy should be sent to the central workers' newspaper; lastly, a third copy should be sent to a working-class deputy of the State Duma for his information.
Both factory owners' and government statistics will always contain not only gaps but also distortions. Even in the press that sympathises with the workers we often come across monstrously false, absurd appraisals of strikes as manifestations of "a craze", etc., appraisals permeated with the bourgeois spirit.
Only by getting down to business themselves will the workers -- in time, after stubborn work and persistent effort -- be able to help towards a better understanding of their own movement and thus ensure bigger successes for that movement.