In Tovarishch, L. Martov has refuted Cherevanin, who spoke of an agreement with the Cadets. In the same Tovarishch, Cherevanin now explains the “misunderstanding”. According to these explanations, Cherevanin did not really say definitely in No. 1 of Nashe Dyelo whether he advocates agreements at the lowest or the highest stages. In substance, however, he declares in favour of permitting agreements also at the lowest stages in the rural districts as well as in the towns. Cherevanin does not say with which parties agreements may be made. He (and apparently Martov, too) sees no difference between the revolutionary and the opportunist bourgeoisie, between the Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Cadets, between the Trudoviks of the type of the "33" in the Duma and the Trudoviks of the “Popular-Socialist” type, etc. Moreover, Cherevanin would even allow voting, without an agreement, for bourgeois candidates at the lowest stages of the elections!
Thus, Cherevanin’s position becomes perfectly clear. This not only prominent (as attested by the bourgeois press) but also highly responsible Menshevik, who, moreover, is the head of the weekly Nashe Dyelo, approves of all kinds of blocs and is even in favour of Social-Democrats voting for bourgeois candidates. Hence, the Bolsheviks were absolutely right when they said that the Mensheviks are trying to convert the working class into an appendage of the liberal-monarchist bourgeoisie and to degrade the role of the Social-Democrats to that of yes-men of the Cadets.
Let no one be mistaken now about the true meaning of the usual Menshevik slogan: for the Duma, as an organ, or lever, or instrument, etc., of the revolution. In order to support the revolution, the Mensheviks are supporting the “Duma” as such. And in order to support the Duma as such, they are prepared to vote, even without an agreement, for the candidates of the Cadet Party, which wants to put a stop to the revolution!
Remember the French Socialists like Millerand, Viviani and Briand, who are now, under Clemenceau’s leadership, serenely governing arch-bourgeois France, sending troops against strikers, etc. In order to support socialism, they called for support of the republic in general, the republic as such. In order to support the republic, they voted, with and without agreements, for commonplace bourgeois politicians, for the opportunists. Thus, slowly but surely, they themselves were converted into commonplace supporters of bourgeois oppression.
Cherevanin and his like have now come out on the main road, the beaten track!
What about Martov? He is opposed to agreements at the lowest stages. He has repudiated Cherevanin. This is very gratifying. Only ... only just see how he did it. Every sensible politician subordinates his electoral tactics to his general political tactics. Thanks to the kind services of the Cadet papers, Cherevanin’s tactics are now manifest to all. “It would be an absurdity and folly for the proletariat to try, as some propose, to fight in league with the peasantry against the government and the bourgeoisie for a national constituent assembly with full power.” This famous dictum of Cherevanin’s was cited in the same number of Tovarishch which evoked L. Martov’s “reply”. Yet, while repudiating Cherevanin’s electoral tactics, Martov said not a word against this underlying principle of Cherevanin’s political tactics as a whole.
Who is the more consistent of these two? Whose is the firmer stand? For the Duma or for the revolution? For the Duma as such means: for the Cadets, which means: against the constituent assembly. For the revolution means: only for a certain part of the Duma on certain conditions, which means: against the Cadets, which means: at the present time it would be an absurdity and folly to abandon, or even to tone down, the demand for a constituent assembly.