V. I.   Lenin


Written: Written not later than September 18 (October 1), 1912
Published: First published in 1954 in the journal Kommunist No. 6. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, pages 191-192.
Translated: Andrew Rothstein
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive.   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.README

The issue of Luck, the liquidators’ newspaper, put out (as a Pravda correspondent rightly points out) on polling day to disrupt unity, is filled to overflowing with talk of “unity”.

The decisive moment in the elections to the workers’ curia[1] in St. Petersburg Gubernia will arrive in a few days, on Friday, October 5. On that day, the representatives of the workers will elect 6 electors.[2] It is these elections that are of decisive importance, because unless all the electors are steadfast, consistent working-class democrats and opponents of liquidationism, there will be no serious guarantee that the deputy elected to the Duma will be one the majority of class-conscious workers want.

In order not to fail at the crucial moment, one must have a clear understanding of the tasks of working-class democrats and the situation in which the representatives are acting.

The essence of the problem today is that under cover of shouts about unity, the liquidators are flouting the will of the majority of class-conscious workers in St. Petersburg, and are foisting on the majority of the workers the splinter candidates of the minority intelligentsia, namely, the liquidationist intelligentsia.

All elections in a bourgeois country are accompanied by rampant phrase-mongering and licentious promises. The main principle of Social-Democrats is not to trust words but go to the heart of the matter.

The liquidators’ phrases about unity in their newspaper Luck are a pack of lies. In reality, unity has already been brought about in St. Petersburg by the majority of class-conscious workers against the liquidators; it was established   by the May Day demonstration, and by the support given to Pravda by 550 groups of workers against the 16 groups of liquidators.

Now that is action, not talk. When 550 groups unite against 16, it is unity. When 16 foist “their” candidate on 550, it is a split.

The liquidators are carrying out a split, while shouting about unity on the “Stop thief!” principle.

Class-conscious workers should not let themselves be deceived by empty shouts and phrases.

Don’t trust words, take a sober look at the state of affairs. The vast majority of Marxist workers are opponents of liquidationism. An insignificant minority of workers favour the liquidators, and the “strength” of the liquidators lies in the bourgeois intelligentsia, which is in a position to put out a journal, found a new paper on polling day, get hold of “contacts”, people for intellectuals’ election committees, and so forth.

Every Social-Democrat in St. Petersburg knows these facts.

This clarifies the significance of the liquidators’ shouts about unity. Under cover of these shouts, the bourgeois intelligentsia, which sympathises with the liquidators, wants to destroy the unity of the workers by foisting on them the liquidators’ candidate.

That is the heart of the matter. That is the “crafty design” of the liquidator Luch.

Whoever wants the genuine unity of Marxist workers must help to elect all the anti-liquidator electors.

Whoever wants genuine unity will help to give effect to the will of the majority of the class-conscious workers.

Whoever helps the minority to flout their will is a most malicious disrupter, however loud his shouts of unity!


[1] Curias—in Russia, divisions of voters classified by estate and property qualifications for elections to the Duma, which were designed to pack the Duma with members of the ruling classes.

There were four curias in the elections to the First and Second Dumas: worker, urban, landowner and peasant.

[2] Elections to the Duma were held in several stages: workers, peasant delegates, landowners and the urban bourgeoisie, at their congresses, elected representatives who, at their uyezd meetings, chose electors to the gubernia meetings where the deputies were finally elected.

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