* As you see, in Lenin's opinion, organisations may be
accepted into the Party not only by the Central Committee, but also by local
Fourth lie. The author says that the passage quoted on page 12 of my
pamphlet: "the working class spontaneously gravitates towards socialism," etc.
-- is "entirely a fabrication" (p. 6). As a matter of fact, I simply took and
translated this passage from What Is To Be Done? This is what we read in
that book, on page 29: "The working class spontaneously gravitates towards
socialism, but the more widespread (and continuously revived in the most diverse
forms) bourgeois ideology nevertheless spontaneously imposes itself upon the
working class still more." This is the passage that is translated on page 12 of
my pamphlet. This is what our "critic" called a fabrication! I do not know
whether to ascribe this to the author's absent-mindedness or chicanery.
Fifth lie. In the author's opinion, "Lenin does not say anywhere
that the workers strive towards socialism of 'natural necessity'" (p. 7). But
Lenin says that the "working class spontaneously gravitates towards socialism" (What
Is To Be Done?, p. 29).
Sixth lie. The author ascribes to me the idea that "socialism is
introduced into the working class from without by the intelligentsia" (p. 7),
whereas I say that Social-Democracy (and not only Social-Democratic
intellectuals) introduces socialist consciousness into the movement (p. 18).
Seventh lie. In the author's opinion, Lenin says that socialist
ideology arose "quite independently of the working-class movement" (p. 9). But
such an idea certainly never entered Lenin's head. He says that socialist
ideology arose "quite independently of the spontaneous growth of the
working-class movement" (What Is To Be Done?, p. 21).
Eighth lie. The author says that my statement: "Plekhanov is
quitting the 'minority,' is tittle-tattle." As a matter of fact, what I
said has been confirmed. Plekhanov has already quit the "minority.".
I shall not deal with the petty lies with which the author
has so plentifully spiced his pamphlet.
It must be admitted, however, that the author did say one
thing that was true. He tells us that "when any organisation begins to engage in
tittle-tattle -- its days are numbered" (p. 15). This is the downright truth, of
course. The only question is: Who is engaging in tittle tattle -- the
Social-Democrat and its queer knight, or the Union Committee? We leave that
to the reader to decide.
One more question and we have finished. The author says
with an air of great importance: "The Union Committee reproaches us for
repeating Plekhanov's ideas. We regard it as a virtue to repeat the ideas of
Plekhanov, Kautsky and other equally well-known Marxists"(p. 15). So you regard
it as a virtue to repeat the ideas of Plekhanov and Kautsky? Splendid,
gentlemen! Well, then, listen:
Kautsky says that "socialist consciousness is something
introduced into the proletarian class struggle from without and
not something that arose out of it spontaneously" (see passage quoted from
Kautsky in What Is To Be Done?, p. 27). The same Kautsky says that "the
task of Social-Democracy is to imbue the proletariat with the consciousness of
its position and the consciousness of
* And yet the author has the audacity to accuse us, in No. 5
of the Social-Democrat, of having distorted the facts concerning the
its task" (ibid.). We hope that you, Mr. Menshevik, will repeat these
words of Kautsky's and dispel our doubts. Let us pass to Plekhanov. Plekhanov
says: ". . . Nor do I understand why it is thought that Lenin's draft,[*]
if adopted, would close the doors of our Party to numerous workers. Workers who
wish to join the Party will not be afraid to join an organisation. They are not
afraid of discipline. But many intellectuals, thoroughly imbued with bourgeois
individualism, will be afraid to join. Now that is exactly the good side about
it. These bourgeois individualists are, usually, also representatives of
opportunism of every sort. We must keep them at a distance. Lenin's draft may
serve as a barrier against their invasion of the Party, and for that reason
alone all opponents of opportunism should vote for it" (see Minutes, p.
We hope that you, Mr. "Critic," will throw off your mask
and with proletarian straightforwardness repeat these words of Plekhanov's.
If you fail to do this, it will show that your statements
in the press are thoughtless and irresponsible.
* Plekhanov is discussing Lenin's and Martov's formulations
of § 1 of the Rules of the Party.