* This is what Soznatelnaya Rossiya  called the Popular Socialists. Incidentally, the first and second issues of this publication have given us great satisfaction. Chernov, Vadimov and others brilliantly criticise both Peshekhonov and Tag-in. Particularly good is the refutation of Tag-in's arguments from the point of view of the theory of commodity production, developing through capitalism into socialism.
This brings us to the question of the significance of this election arithmetic from the point of view of political principle. Our duty here is to oppose seat-hunting and to put forward an absolutely firm and consistent defence of the standpoint of the socialist proletariat and of the interests of the complete victory of our bourgeois-democratic revolution. Under no circumstances, and in no way, should our Social-Democratic delegates and electors keep silent about our socialist aims, our strictly class position as a proletarian party. But a mere repetition of the word "class" is not sufficient to indicate the role of the proletariat as the vanguard in the present revolution. Expounding our socialist doctrine and the general theory of Marxism is not sufficient to prove the leading role of the proletariat. This requires, in addition, the ability to show in practice, in analysing the burning questions of the present revolution, that the members of the workers' party are more consistent, more unerring, more determined and more skilful than all others in defending the interests of this revolution, the cause of its complete victory. This is no easy task, and the fundamental and chief duty of every Social-Democrat who is entering the election campaign is to prepare for it.
To determine the differences between the parties and shades of parties at the assemblies of delegates and of electors (as well as throughout the election campaign -- that goes without saying) will be a small, but useful practical task. In this matter, incidentally, the course of events will settle many controversial questions which are agitating the members of the Social-Democratic Labour Party. The Right wing of the Party, from the extreme opportunists of Nashe Dyelo to the moderate opportunists of Sotsial-Demokrat, are doing their utmost to obliterate and distort the difference between the Trudoviks and the Cadets, evidently failing to notice a new and very important phenomenon, namely, the division of the Trudoviks into Popular Socialists, Socialist-Revolutionaries, and those who are gravitating to the one or the other. Of course, the history of the First Duma and its dissolution already provided documentary evidence making the drawing of a distinction between the Cadets and the Trudoviks absolutely imperative and proving that the latter are more consistently and staunchly democratic than the
former. The election campaign to the Second Duma must prove and show this even more graphically, more exactly, more fully, and more widely. As we have tried to show by examples, the election campaign itself will teach the Social-Democrats to distinguish correctly between the various bourgeois-democratic parties and will refute, or, more correctly, sweep aside, the deeply mistaken opinion that the Cadets are the chief or, at any rate, important representatives of our bourgeois democracy in general.
Let us point out, too, that in the election campaign in general, and in concluding electoral agreements at the higher stages, the Social-Democrats must speak simply and clearly, in a language comprehensible to the masses, absolutely discarding the heavy artillery of erudite terms, foreign words and stock slogans, definitions and conclusion which are as yet unfamiliar and unintelligible to the masses. Without flamboyant phrases, without rhetoric, but with facts and figures, they must be able to explain the questions of socialism and of the present Russian revolution.
Two fundamental questions of this revolution, the questions of freedom and of land, will inevitably arise here. Upon these fundamental questions which are agitating the vast mass of the people we must concentrate both purely socialist propaganda -- the difference between the standpoint of the small proprietor and that of the proletariat -- and the distinction between the parties fighting for influence over the people. The Black Hundreds, right up to the Octobrists inclusively, are against freedom, against giving the land to the people. They want to stop the revolution by force, bribery and deceit. The liberal-monarchist bourgeoisie, the Cadets, are also striving to stop the revolution, but by means of a number of concessions. They do not want to give the people either complete freedom, or all the land. They want to preserve landlordism by means of redemption payments and local land committees not elected on the basis of universal, direct and equal suffrage by secret ballot. The Trudoviks, i.e., the petty bourgeoisie, especially the rural petty bourgeoisie, are striving to secure all the land and complete freedom, but are pursuing this aim hesitatingly, not consciously, timidly, vacillating between the opportunism of the Social-Cadets (the Popular Socialists) -- who justify the he-
gemony of the liberal bourgeoisie over the peasantry and elevate it to a theory -- and utopian equality, alleged to be possible under commodity production. Social-Democracy must consistently uphold the standpoint of the proletariat and purge the revolutionary consciousness of the peasantry of Popular-Socialist opportunism and of utopianism, which obscure the really urgent tasks of the present revolution. Only when its complete victory is attained can the working class, and the whole people, really, quickly, boldly, freely and widely set to work to solve the fundamental problem of the whole of civilised mankind: the emancipation of labour from the yoke of capital.
We shall also deal carefully with the question of the means of struggle in the election campaign and in the conclusion of partial agreements with other parties. We shall explain what a constituent assembly is, and why the Cadets fear it. We shall ask the liberal bourgeoisie, the Cadets, what measures they intend to advocate and put into practice independently to make it impossible for anyone to treat the people's representatives in the way the deputies of the "first enrolment" were "treated". We shall remind the Cadets of their vile and treacherous attitude towards the October-December forms of struggle last year, and make it known to the widest possible sections of the people. We shall ask every candidate whether he intends to subordinate all his activities in the Duma entirely to the interests of the struggle outside the Duma and the interests of wide popular movement for land and freedom. We must take advantage of the election campaign to organise the revolution, i.e., to organise the proletariat and the really revolutionary elements of bourgeois democracy.
Such is the positive content which we must try to impart to the whole election campaign and, in particular, to the matter of entering into partial agreements with other par ties.
To sum up.
In their general election tactics the Social-Democrats must take as their starting-point the complete independence of the class party of the revolutionary proletariat.
This general principle may be departed from only in cases of extreme necessity and under specially limited conditions.
The specific features of the Russian electoral system and the political groupings among the overwhelming mass of the population, the peasantry, do not give rise to this extreme necessity at the lower stages of the election campaign, i.e., during the election of electors in the big cities and of the one-per-ten-household representatives and delegates in the countryside. It does not arise in the big cities because here the importance of the elections is not at all determined by the number of deputies to be sent into the Duma, but by the opportunities for the Social-Democrats to address the widest and most concentrated sections of the population, which are the "most Social-Democratic" in virtue of their whole position.
In the countryside, the fact that the masses are politically undeveloped and amorphous, the sparse and scattered nature of the population, and the external conditions of the elections especially provoke the development of non-party (and non-party revolutionary) organisations, associations, circles, assemblies, opinions and strivings. Under these circumstances, blocs are quite unnecessary at the lower stages. Strict adherence to Party principle in all respects is the most correct and most expedient policy for Social-Democrats.
Thus, the general proposition that an alliance between the proletariat and the revolutionary peasantry is necessary leads us to the conclusion that the only agreements that are necessary are partial agreements (such as agreements with the Trudoviks against the Cadets) at the higher stages of the electoral system, i.e., in the assemblies of delegates and electors. The special features of the political divisions among the Trudoviks also recommend this solution of the problem.
In all these partial agreements the Social-Democrats must strictly distinguish between the different bourgeois-democratic parties and the various shades among them according to the degree of consistency and steadfastness of their democratic convictions.
The ideological and political content of the election campaign and of the partial agreements will lie in explaining
the theory of socialism and the independent slogans of the Social-Democrats in the present revolution, both in regard to the aims of this revolution and the ways and means of achieving them.
This pamphlet was written before Sotsial-Demokrat, No. 5, had appeared. Prior to the issue of this number our Party had every reason to hope that the Central Committee of our Party would absolutely disapprove of first-stage agreements with bourgeois parties, agreements which should be impermissible for socialists. We could not help thinking so, for such an influential Menshevik as Comrade L. Martov had emphatically expressed his opposition to all agreements at the first stage, writing not only in Tovarishch, but also in a letter sent out from the Central Committee to the organisations (written by Martov) on the question of preparing for the election campaign.
It now turns out that our Central Committee has gone over to Cherevanin or, at least, has wavered. The leading article in Sotsial-Demokrat, No. 5, sanctions blocs at the first stage, without even indicating precisely with which bourgeois parties. Today's (October 31) letter from Plekhanov, who for the purpose of defending a bloc with the Cadets has migrated to the Cadet newspaper Tovarishch, makes it clear to all whose influence it was that caused the Central Committee to waver. And Plekhanov, as usual, with the air of an oracle, delivers the most banal platitudes, entirely evading the class aims of the socialist proletariat (perhaps out of politeness to the bourgeois newspaper which has given him shelter), and does not even attempt to touch on concrete facts and arguments.
Will this "peremptory command" from Geneva be sufficient to cause the Central Committee to slip from Martov . . . to Cherevanin?
Will the decision of the Unity Congress, which prohibited all agreements with bourgeois parties, be nullified by the Central Committee that was elected at that Congress?
The united election campaign of the Social-Democrats is threatened with serious danger.
The socialist workers' party is threatened with the danger of first-stage agreements with the bourgeois parties, which will demoralise the Party and prove fatal to the class independence of the proletariat.
Let all revolutionary Social-Democrats rally and declare relentless war upon opportunist confusion and vacillation!