J. V. Stalin
Source : Works, Vol.
2, 1907 - 1913
Publisher : Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1954
Transcription/Markup : Salil Sen for MIA, 2008
Public Domain : Marxists Internet Archive (2008). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit "Marxists Internet Archive" as your source.
The "publicists" of Lakhvari 1 are still unable to define their tactics. In their first issue they wrote: We are supporting only the "progressive steps" of the Cadets, but not the Cadets themselves. Commenting on this we said that it was amusing sophistry, since the Mensheviks voted for the Cadet candidates to the Duma and not only for their "steps"; they helped to get into the Duma Cadets as such and not only their "steps," and they helped to elect a Cadet as such as President of the Duma and not only his "steps"—and this clearly confirms the fact that the Mensheviks supported the Cadets. This is so obvious and the Mensheviks have talked so much about supporting the Cadets, that denial of the fact has only raised a laugh. . . .
Now, having "pondered" over the matter a little, they are talking differently: true, "during the elections we supported the Cadets" (see Lakhvari, No. 3), but this was only during the elections; in the Duma we are supporting not the Cadets but only their "steps"; you, they say, "do not distinguish between tactics in the Duma and tactics during elections." In the first place, "tactics" which safeguard you from doing stupid things only in the Duma but prompt you to do stupid things during elections are very funny tactics. Secondly, is it not true that the Mensheviks helped to elect a Cadet as President of the Duma? Under what category of tactics should we place helping to elect a Cadet as President—"tactics in the Duma" or tactics outside the Duma? We think that Golovin was elected President of the Duma in the Duma, and not president of the street in the street.
Clearly, the Mensheviks pursued the same tactics in the Duma as they pursued outside the Duma. These are the tactics of supporting the Cadets. If they deny it now, it is because they have fallen victims to muddle.
Supporting the Cadets does not mean creating a reputation for the Cadets; if it does, then you are creating a reputation for the Socialist-Revolutionaries by supporting them—says Lakhvari. What comical fellows those "Lakhvarists" are! Apparently it does not occur to them that any support that Social-Democracy lends a party creates a reputation for that party! That is why they have been so lavish in their promises of every kind of "support."... Yes, dear comrades, by supporting the Socialist-Revolutionaries, Social-Democracy creates a reputation for them in the eyes of the people, and this is exactly why such support is permissible only in exceptional cases, and as a means of defeating the Cadets. Supporting the Socialist-Revolutionaries is by no means ideal, it is an inevitable evil, resorted to in order to curb the Cadets. You, however, supported the very Cadets who are betraying the workers and peasants; the Socialist-Revolutionaries are superior to them because they side with the revolution....
"The Cadets, for example, demanded universal suffrage. It turns out that this demand is a great evil, because it is a Cadet demand" (ibid.).
Well, aren't they comical? You see, it turns out that universal suffrage is a "Cadet demand"! The Tiflis Men-sheviks, it turns out, do not know that universal suffrage is not a Cadet demand, but the demand of revolutionary democracy, which Social-Democracy advocates more consistently than anyone else! No, comrades, if you cannot even understand that the Cadets are not revolutionary democrats; if you cannot even understand that the fight against them in order to strengthen the hegemony of the proletariat is the question of the day for us; if you cannot even distinguish between what you said yesterday and what you are saying today—then you had better put your pens aside, get yourselves out of the muddle you are in, and only after that launch into "criticism." . . .
By the holy Duma, that would be better!
Dro (Time), No. 26, April 10, 1907
1. Lakhvari (The Spear)—a Georgian daily Menshevik newspaper published in Tiflis from April to June 1907.