* The liquidator Oskarov admits this indisputable fact in an amusing manner, saying that the Bolsheviks "had their way : they split the group at the critical moment, in fact if not in form" (Nasha Zarya, op. cit., p. 3) -- meaning the Third Duma group. What he calls a "split" is either the liquidator Belousov's flight, or the fact that two members of the group were on a liquidationist newspaper and eight on an anti-liquidationist one, while the rest were neutral.
** The liquidators most readily raise a hullaballoo about St. Petersburg, bypassing the results of the elections for the worker curia, as if to say, "For shame!" It is a shame, of course, gentlemen! The shame is on those against whom a mandate was adopted that had been printed beforehand, i.e., approved by the organisation. It is disgraceful to back a person against a mandate. And it was still more disgraceful to refuse to cast lots when the result turned out to be 3 : 3. P., a Pravda man well known in St. Petersburg, plainly suggested casting lots to the liquidator M., but the latter rejected it!! Shame on the liquidators for the St. Petersburg elections!
being what it is, there is not, and cannot be, an objective measure of the strength and influence of a particular trend among the mass of the workers other than the working class press and the worker curia of the Duma.
Therefore, liquidator gentlemen, the more you clamour and rail in Nasha Zarya and Luch, the more calmly we shall ask the workers to point out an objective criterion of connection with the masses other than the working-class press and the worker curia in the Duma.
Let the readers who are being deafened with cries about the "sectarian" "Lenin circle" and so on ponder calmly these objective data on the working-class press and the worker curia in the Duma. These objective data show that the liquidators are shouting to cover up their complete defeat.
But it is particularly instructive to compare the coming into being of Luch, which appeared on the day of elections owing to private initiative, and the coming into being of Pravda. The April surge of the working-class movement was one of the greatest historic surges of the workers' mass movement in Russia. Even according to estimates made by factory-owners, hundreds of thousands of workers joined in the movement. And that movement itself created "Pravda " as its by-product -- first by strengthening Zvezda and converting it from a weekly into a newspaper appearing every two days, and then by increasing workers' money collections for Pravda to 76 in March and 227 in April (taking into account only group contributions by workers).
We have here a classical example of how a movement that has absolutely nothing to do with reformism, brings as a by-product either reforms or concessions, or an extension of bounds, and so on.
The reformists are betraying the working-class movement when they restrict its great scope by reformist slogans (as do our liquidators). The opponents of reformism, however, not only prove loyal to the uncurtailed slogans of the proletariat, but also turn out to be the better "practical workers", for it is precisely broad scope and uncurtailed slogans that ensure the strength which yields, as a by-product, either a concession or a reform, or an extension of bounds, or at least a temporary necessity for the upper ranks to tolerate a disagreeable increase in the activity of the lower ranks.
In 1908-12, while the liquidators were busy reviling the "underground", justifying "flight" from it and chattering about an "open party", the entire worker curia left them, and they were unable to use the first, and great, upsurge of the April-May tide!
Mr. Martov in Nasha Zarya admits this circumstance which is so sad for him, couching his admission in particularly amusing terms. He reviles and describes as nonentities the Plekhanov and Vperyod groups, which the liquidators themselves were depicting only yesterday as "centres" and trends, in defiance of our demand that only Russian organisations should be taken into account. And Martov admits bitterly and angrily, amid a torrent of venomous (venomous in a Burenin style) words, that "Lenin's" "sectarian circle" "stood its ground" and "is even taking the offensive", "having entrenched itself in fields that have nothing in common with the underground" (Nasha Zarya, op. cit., p. 74).
But this whole admission of Martov's evokes a smile. It is human nature that when the enemy makes a mistake we rejoice maliciously, but when he takes the right step we sometimes get into a childish temper.
Thank you for the compliment you were forced to pay us, liberal liquidator! Since the end of 1908 we have been insisting on the use of open forms of the movement, and in the spring of 1909 we broke with a number of friends over it. And if in these "fields" we proved to be a force, it was only because we did not sacrifice content for form. To use the form in good time, to seize hold of the April upsurge, and to win the sympathy, so precious to a Marxist, of the worker curia, it was essential not to renounce the old, not to treat it in a renegade fashion, but firmly to uphold its ideas, its traditions, its material substrata. It was those ideas that imbued the April upsurge, it was they that predominated in the worker curia in 1912, and only those who were loyal to them in all fields and all forms could advance in step both with that upsurge and with that curia.