of the programme of the R.S.D.L.P., which are printed in the Reports of the Duma proceedings and in the supplement to Rossiya  -- and of which not one-hundredth has been used as yet by us in our mass agitation. Needless to say, one should criticise the group, it is dishonest to hush up its mistakes. But all of us have also to strengthen our organisations in the local areas, and develop the agitation to make use of every act by the
Duma group. Only the combination of the two forms of work is activity really worthy of consistent revolutionary Social-Democrats, and only this combination will help us to overcome "the moment of stagnation" and hasten the arrival of a new upsurge.
To proceed. In emphasising "the absence of striking acts", the writer says that "the impression has been created [on whom? on some Mitläufers who don't understand the ABC of Marxism?] that the Social-Democrats have accepted the existing situation, and are thinking of peaceable cultural work. The existence of the group has become a demonstration, as it were, that the revolution has been buried -- if not in words then . . . in practice. Wrong though that opinion may be, we can refute it not by arguments but by facts." And the only "fact" which the writer proposed as a means of "reconstructing" all the tactics of "emphasising" the Social-Democratic attitude to the Duma in the eyes of the masses, is recall of the group! It would appear that to recall the group from the Duma is regarded as a "fact" which refutes the "burial of the revolution", and as a "striking act" which emphasises the new tactics!
Our reply is that the writer misunderstands the general significance of "striking acts" and "striking" slogans. When we Bolsheviks were carrying on a boycott of the Bulygin Duma in 1905, the slogan was right not because it was "striking" but because it accurately expressed the objective situation: the existence of an upsurge, which tsarism was trying to divert by promising a consultative Duma. When in the summer of 1906 we released the slogan of "an executive committee of the Left to support insurrection and no support to the demand of a Cadet Ministry", this slogan was right not because it was "striking", but because it accurately expressed the objective situation; events proved that the Cadets were hindering the struggle, that their secret negotiations with Trepov in June 1906 expressed the manoeuvres of the government, that the real fight took place, and was bound to take place, on a different field, after the Duma had been dissolved, namely, on the field of armed struggle (Sveaborg and Kronstadt, as the culmination of the soldiers' and peasants' mutinies). When in 1907 we were fighting for the slogan of no bloc with the Cadets, but a bloc against
the Cadets, this slogan was correct not because it was "striking", but because it accurately expressed the objective conditions of the moment. The elections in St. Petersburg, and the sum total of voting and debate) in the Second Duma, proved that the "Black-Hundred menace" was a fiction, and that in reality the struggle was against the Cadets and the reactionaries together, not together with the Cadets against the reactionaries.
Undoubtedly some people joined us during the revolution not because they understood the Marxist criterion of the correctness of Social-Democratic slogans and tactics, but only because they were "striking". That today, when the wave has ebbed, there remain and will remain only real Marxists, does not frighten us but rejoices us. And we invite the otzovist comrade to think carefully over his argument that the burial of the revolution must be disproved not by words but by facts -- and therefore let us recall the Duma group! His argument is absolutely wrong. To recall the group by way of emphasising the fact that the revolution has not been buried, means the burial of those "revolutionaries" who are capable of applying such a policy. For that kind of "revolutionariness" expresses confusion and impotence in that painful, difficult and slow work which is dictated "at present" by objective conditions, and which cannot be simply dismissed or passed over in silence.
In conclusion we would point out that the otzovist comrade himself, at the end of his letter, proposes a five-point plan of immediate work which correctly expresses the tasks of the moment and refutes his own wrong tactics. We say again: the practice of the otzovist comrade is better than his theory. He is unquestionably right when he says that a strong illegal organisation is necessary. He will not insist, probably, on the utterly impracticable "appointment" of local Committee-men by the Central Committee. We should not forget that the professional revolutionary from among the Social-Democratic workers is coming to take the place or rather coming to the aid of the professional revolutionary from among the intellectuals (furious though this makes the Mensheviks, it is a fact); consequently the new illegal organisation will not entirely resemble, and must not entirely resemble, the old one. We think likewise
that the expression "to break the Party cells away from each other" in the last sentence of the first point is an awkward phrase which has slipped in by accident, and which it would be quite wrong to find fault with. After all, a Social-Democratic illegal organisation will not break away but bring together the local Party cells which at present are separated from each other. The otzovist comrade is quite right when he emphasises the special importance of socialist propaganda and the opinion poll method of agitation. "Everyday links between the masses and the Party", "drawing the masses into discussion of our agitation slogans" -- these are the real topics of the day. Recognition of such topical questions shows better than any argument, and in spite of all "invented" slogans (as M. Tomsky aptly puts it) that the course of events confronts all of us, both anti-otzovists and otzovists, with one essential practical task, one "slogan" of revolutionary Social-Democracy. This is the ideological strengthening of socialism, the organisational strengthening of the illegal workers' party with leaders from among the workers themselves, the development of many-sided Social-Democratic agitation among the masses. This work, when tackled more and more energetically, will unite us all. It will pull together, discipline, correct our Duma group better than dozens of mere ultimatums. It will vitalise our work. It will resurrect the atmosphere of vigorous revolutionary activity. It will teach us to gauge exactly the rise of the tide and to determine its symptoms. It will scatter like the dust all the dead, thought-up, "invented" slogans of otzovism!