V. I.   Lenin

Our Tartuffes

Published: Vperyod, No. 3, January 24 (11), 1905. Published according to the text in Vperyod.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1962, Moscow, Volume 8, pages 94-96.
Translated: Bernard Isaacs and The Late Isidor Lasker
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2003). 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.
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Issue No. 83 of Iskra, which we have just received, contains a declaration by the Mensheviks and the Central Committee concerning “the complete cessation of the Minority’s organisational separateness”. “The Minority,” we are assured, “ceases to consider itself a camp, and there can be no further question of either boycotting the Central Committee or presenting ultimatums to it.” This statement comes just a wee bit late! The Party now knows from Lenin’s pamphlet (Statement and Documents on the Break of the Central Institutions with the Party[1] ) that the “ultimatums” to co-opt Popov, Fisher, and Fomin have already been enforced, to be sure, on the quiet, by deception of the Party. The ultimatum to sabotage the Third Congress through similar deceptions has also been enforced. The disorganisation of local work is continuing, and the so-called Central Committee has approved the setting-up in St. Petersburg (by the report in Iskra) of “a special organisation” or group, in view of the fact that its numerous [?] members are obviously unable to work under the leadership of the local committee”.

And so, what the “Majority” said and predicted, beginning with Lenin’s “Letter” (“Why I Resigned from the Iskra Editorial Board”, December 1903[2] ) and ending with Orlovsky’s pamphlet The Council Against the Party, has now been wholly and unquestionably confirmed by events. The actual object of the eighteen months’ struggle was the co-optation of four to the Central Organ and three to   the Central Committee. For the sake of co-optation the organisation-as-process theory and a heap of differences “on points of principle” were concocted. For the sake of this co-optation our centres have now broken completely with the Party and are breaking with the local committees piecemeal. The correctness of our slogan that “the Majority must break off all relations with the disorganisers” (Vperyod, No. 1, “Time to Call a Halt!”[3] ) is now fully confirmed.

Extremely interesting, too, is the following passage from the Iskra statement: “The decision of the delegates [of the Minority] was submitted for discussion to all the adherents of the Minority working in the Kiev, Kharkov, Don, Kuban, St. Petersburg, and Odessa committees, the Donets and Crimean leagues, and other Party organisations.” Thus, after a furious campaign of nearly eighteen months, the circle abroad, with the aid of the Central Organ, the Council, and (since May) the Central Committee, won to its side only five Russian committees out of the twenty attending the Second Congress![4] Outside the committees, sizable groups considered worthy of being listed in Iskra were set up in only two cities, in St. Petersburg and in Odessa. The Kuban Committee, apparently, was only recently knocked together for the sake of an extra pair of votes.

Consequently, Iskra, the organ of the Minority, now, in January, confirms the correctness of the analysis of the Party situation which another Menshevik gave in September. It was the agent of the Central Committee, sympathising with the Minority and now co-opted to the C.C., who wrote in September to Glebov,[5] a member of the C.C.,   that “in Russia the Minority is powerless”, that it is backed by only four committees. It was this powerlessness of the circle abroad that made it engineer the Bonapartist coup in the C.C. and side-track, by deceit, the Third Congress.


[1] See present edition, Vol. 7, pp. 529-39.—Ed.

[2] Ibid., pp. 119-25.—Ed.

[3] See pp. 35-39 of this volume. —Ed.

[4] Of the committees attending the Congress only the Kiev Committee went over from the Majority to the Minority, i.e., at the Congress both its delegates were Bolsheviks, but now in the committee the Mensheviks predominate. In the Nikolayev and Siberian committees, on the contrary, both delegates to the Congress were Mensheviks, but after the Congress these committees sided with the Majority. The Odessa, Don, Ufa, and Moscow committees were divided at the Congress between the Majority and the Minority (one delegate in each). Of these only the Don Committee is now Menshevist.—Lenin

[5] See Note 77.—Ed.

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