V. I.   Lenin

The Liquidators and “Unity”[2]

Published: Pravda No. 99, August 24, 1912. Published according to the Pravda text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1975], Moscow, Volume 18, pages 290-291.
Translated: Stepan Apresyan
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2004). 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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The seventh issue of Nevsky Golos, which appeared a few days ago, can only be described as hysterical. Instead of a labour chronicle, nearly two pages of it contain choice abuse against Pravda and Nevskaya Zvezda. Curiously enough, this abuse is offered under the slogan of “unity” of the working class, of “unity” in the election campaign.

Gentlemen—we shall reply to the liquidators—unity of the working class is a great principle. But, really, you make yourselves ridiculous if, while shouting about “unity”, you try to impose on the working class the platform and the candidates of a group of liberal liquidationist intellectuals.

Pravda has proved by means of accurate figures that “liquidationism is nothing in the working-class movement, and that it is strong only among the liberal intelligentsia” (Pravda No. 80, August 1, 1912[1] ). Nevsky Golos No. 7, of August 17, now reviles those articles of Pravda, calling them “feuilleton-like”, “Khlestakovian”, and so on. And yet it does not even try to question the simple fact that in the course of six months Pravda drew 504 contributions from groups of workers, while the liquidationist papers drew only 15.

What is the conclusion to be drawn from this but that all the shouting and noise and abuse and clamour about unity are merely intended to cover up the extreme and total impotence of the liquidators within the working class?

No matter how much Nevsky Golos may abuse us, we shall calmly point out the incontrovertible facts to the workers. Look at the collections listed in Nevsky Golos No. 7, and at those made in July and August “to replenish the funds   of the newspaper” (i.e., in plain language, to restore the liquidationist paper suspended for lack of support from the mass of the workers). The report on those collections lists 52 contributions totalling 827.11 rubles. Of these, only two were group collections: one by “the Moscow initiating group”, amounting to 35 rubles, and the other by a “group of friends in Paris”—8.54 rubles. Of the remaining 50 individual contributions, 35 added up to 708 rubles, i.e., over 20 rubles per contribution on the average.

Nevsky Golos may fume and abuse—the facts will be no less true for that. It is common knowledge that the “initiating groups” are groups of liquidators who have broken away from the working-class party. Even Plekhanov admitted this openly and plainly as long ago as April 1912.

A group of break-away liquidators has resumed—with the donations of bourgeois liberal intellectuals—the publication of its newspaper to fight the working-class press! And yet this group is shouting about “unity”. Now how can anyone help laughing at that?


[1] See pp. 196–200 of this volume.—Ed.

[2] Pravda appended to the article “The Liquidators and ‘Unity’\thinspace” a critical survey of the charges made against the newspaper by the liquidators. This section of the article was written by M.S. Olminsky.

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