The liquidators are parasites on the Social-Democratic organism. To "Europe" (the Organising Committee's German pamphlet and Mr. Semkovsky in Kampf ) they boast of strikes, but in Russia they write disgusting articles in Luch
* See present edition, Vol. 16, pp. 238-51. --Ed. [Transcriber's Note: See Lenin's "Notes of a Publicist". -- DJR]
against strikes, about the "strike craze" and about the "syndicalism" of revolutionary strikes. To Europe (and to naïve An, also) they claim to be in favour of the underground. Actually, there are none of them in the underground. Powerless in the working class, they are strong in the moral (and, of course, not only moral) support they receive from the bourgeoisie. One has to be as naïve as An, whom the Luch editors laugh at as they would at a little child (No. 95), to recognise the slogan of an "open party" while defending the underground! That means surrendering the content to the liquidators and fighting them over the form ! Let An ponder over whether the complete acceptance of the "open party" slogan by a bourgeoisie hostile to the underground is fortuitous!
The "open party" slogan is the slogan of reformism, a slogan that means -- given the present alignment of class and political forces in Russia -- rejection of the revolution. The slogan of the underground is the slogan of revolution.
The bourgeoisie cannot influence the workers directly in contemporary Russia. As a result of 1905 the workers jeer at the bourgeoisie and its liberalism. The word "Cadet" has become an expletive. And so the role of the bourgeoisie among the workers is played by the liquidators. Their objective significance is that they are the vehicle of bourgeois influence, bourgeois reformism and bourgeois opportunism.
All F. D.'s articles in Luch, all the tactical premises of the liquidators are based on reformism, on rejection of the revolution. You have not proved the inevitability of revolution -- such is the liquidator's usual answer. Your "forecast" of the revolution is one-sided -- trills Mr. Semkovsky, playing up to the liquidators.
That can be answered in a few words. The onset of the revolution, Messrs. Liberals, can be demonstrated only by the onset of the revolution. And when the revolution begins, both cowardly liberals and even purely casual people and adventurists are capable of becoming "revolutionaries". October and November 1905 proved this to the hilt.
A revolutionary is not one who becomes revolutionary with the onset of the revolution, but one who defends the principles and slogans of the revolution when reaction is most violent and when liberals and democrats vacillate to
the greatest degree. A revolutionary is one who teaches the masses to struggle in a revolutionary manner and nobody can possibly foresee (make a "forecast" of) the results of that "teaching".
The situation in Russia is a revolutionary one. The proletariat, with whom only anti-liquidators co-operate and march in step, is training the masses for revolution, is preparing the revolution, and is using any and every legal possibility for it. In the matter of preparing the revolution, or, which is the same thing, in the matter of the consistent democratic education of the masses, in the matter of fulfilment of our socialist duty (since outside of democracy there is no socialism), the revolutionary Social-Democrats are making a positive contribution, while the liquidators' contribution is negative.
True Social-Democratic work is possible in Russia only when conducted against reformism, against the liquidators.