* The following "terrible" suspicion occurs to me: is it possible that Martov's whole article is to be explained by his not knowing that, according to the law, the second ballot represents new elections and not a contest between two candidates? If this is the case, it will be necessary, before "fighting reaction" in the elections, to fight ignorance of the electoral law!
less for the Social-Democrat and one vote more for the reactionary may decide the issue in favour of the Black Hundreds!
There are two lines of working-class policy: the liberal line -- fear above all the election of a reactionary, therefore surrender the leadership to the liberal without a fight! The Marxist line -- do not be dismayed by the liberal cries about the danger of a Black-Hundred victory, but boldly plunge into a "three-cornered" contest (to use the English expression). As a general rule there is no danger of the Black Hundreds gaining a victory. And if in exceptional cases a Black-Hundred candidate is elected, this will be compensated for by the fact that here and there democrats will be elected ! . . .
You cannot learn to swim unless you go into the water. There can be no contest in which all the chances are known beforehand. If the workers allow themselves to be frightened by the liberal cries about the danger of a Black-Hundred victory, they will never learn to fight in a "three-cornered" contest. Everywhere in the world the camp of reaction and the liberal camp rallied their forces earlier and were better organised (with the aid of reactionary laws, of course) than the workers. Everywhere in the world the liberals tell the workers the very same things that Martov is repeating.
Now, for one more, and final, step to show the "pondering" Martov what it means to ponder over matters.
At the second ballot in the five cities, agreements with the liberals are prohibited. In other cases of a second ballot such agreements are not prohibited. Does this mean that they will be concluded as a rule ? It seems not, doesn't it?
If there is no agreement, may it not happen that in each case of a second ballot the votes will be divided nearly equally among the three camps?
Apparently it may be, if one really "ponders" over it.
From this follows the conclusion that there are two lines of working-class policy.
The liberal labour policy: there is a swing to the left in the country; "therefore" . . . fear above all the danger of a Black-Hundred victory; the slogan is to dislodge reaction from its positions in the Duma; but only the liberals can dislodge it from its positions in the Duma; therefore, you must
not "threaten" the liberals, or "extort" seats from them -- surely it is unbecoming for "cultured" workers to extort anything from such nice people as the liberals! -- but be prepared to make every kind of concession in concluding agreements with the liberals, and steer clear of a "three-cornered" contest.
The Marxist working-class policy: there is a swing to the left in the country; therefore, do not believe the liberal fables about the danger of a Black-Hundred victory; when entering into agreements with the liberals, you must by all means threaten them and extort from them seats in the Duma; and in order to lend weight to your threats, worker comrades, don't fear a "three-cornered" contest; boldly engage in such a fight, and expose the counter-revolutionary liberals to the people; to be sure, wherever there is a fight, there is a possibility of defeat, here and there a reactionary may be elected, but, on the other hand, here and there democrats will be elected ; it is better for five additional democrats to get into the Duma than for fifty additional liberals; as a general rule, the Black Hundreds will not win in the elections, for the Purishkeviches are too well known, and the liberals are purposely trying to scare the people by magnifying the danger of a Black-Hundred victory in order to secure the leadership for themselves (although the Maklakovs are almost as black as the Black Hundreds) and ward off the danger threatening them from the "left".
To sum up: he made no reply to a single point of the six I brought up in dealing with the liberal labour policy. He ignored the question of prohibiting blocs with the liberals in the five cities. He gave no thought to three-cornered election fights at the second ballot, although he had promised to "ponder". On the other hand, there are two things he did accomplish: (1) he defended the liberals from "threats", and (2) accused Voiloshnikov's friends of plotting with Purishkevich to sell votes to him on condition that Purishkevich, in exchange, should help elect Voiloshnikovs to the Fourth Duma!!