V. I. Lenin

How the Liquidators Are Cheating the Workers

Published: Proletarskaya Pravda No. 3, December 10, 1913. Printed from the Proletarskaya Pravda text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 41, pages 305.2-307.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) © 2004 Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.
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The International Socialist Bureau has decided to take steps to clarify the differences between Russian socialists and to offer its good offices to unite their forces.

What have the liquidators made of this decision?

They have right away made use of it to cheat the Russian workers.

A solemn editorial article in No. 97 of Novaya Rabochaya Gazeta{1} says:

“By rejecting the demand of the ‘Six’ for special representation in the interparliamentary section, the International Bureau not only unequivocally condemned their break-away from the Social-Democratic group, but also gave a proper assessment of one of the main demands, whose rejection the six deputies tried to use as an explanation and justification of their walk-out.”

That is not true from start to finish.

We noted this in No. 1 of our newspaper.{2}

The liquidators, caught red-handed, are trying to mislead the workers by continuing their lies.

We repeat that the International Bureau did not reject the demand of the Six. It did not condemn their “break away”. It did not even go into an examination of the dispute between the six and the seven deputies.

This is nothing but a liquidationist trick.

The liquidator gentlemen resorted to the same criminal method last year after the sitting of the International Bureau, when Mr. Martov attributed to the German Social-Democrat Haase words he had never said against the Bolsheviks, for which he was subsequently exposed in Haase’s published statement.

Here is how the question of deputy representation stood in the Bureau. The representative of the Marxists merely said that the delegate of the Seven was elected only by the Seven and that the Russian Social-Democratic Labour group does not recognise him as its delegate. Comrade Huysmans, Secretary of the International Bureau, gave the following explanation. There are special rules on the interparliamentary section. According to the rules, where there are several separate socialist groups in a given parliament, representation is given only to the group which has more deputies; the rules take no account of which party the given parliamentary group belongs to and how many workers there are behind it. The point to note is that parties have their own special representation.

Under these rules, if there were, say, two groups in the Duma, six Social-Democrats and seven Narodniks, only the Narodniks would be given the vote in the interparliamentary representation.

Here is another example: Bulgaria. There, 19 Shiroki Socialists (opportunists) and 18 Marxists were elected to Parliament. The two constitute separate parties and have two separate groups in Parliament. Both parties also have separate representatives on the Bureau. But according to the rules, the parliamentary representation can go only to the Shiroki group of 19. That does not mean, in any sense, that the Bureau “condemned” the 18 Marxist deputies.

That was the formal side of the matter. Any view can be taken of the rules. But just now that’s what they are. In these conditions, the Russian Social-Democratic Labour group could not even present its demand.

What should the Seven have done if they wished to be honest? They should have waived the formalities themselves. It has now been proved and recognised by everyone that several times more organised Social-Democratic workers are backing the Russian Social-Democratic Labour group than the Seven. The implication is clear. Those who wish to reckon with the voice of the workers, those who talk so much about unity, should in that case have done more than take the strictly formal approach.

However, the Seven capitalised on their “luck” under the rules. They have once again issued a challenge to the Russian workers. What is more, the liquidator gentlemen also began to tell lies about the International allegedly “condemning” the Six, etc.

That was the first response on the part of the liquidator gentlemen to the resolution of the International Socialist Bureau.

Marxist workers will respond to this liquidator fraud by publicly branding these gentlemen.

Comrades, you must continue your serious and thorough discussion of the Bureau’s decision, voice your opinion and give the liquidators the response they deserve for their attempts to cheat the Russian workers.


{1} Novaya Rabochaya Gazeta (New Workers’ Newspaper)—a daily of the Menshevik liquidators published in St. Petersburg in place of Zhivaya Zhizn (Living Life) from August 8 (21), 1913, to January 23 (February 5), 1914. Lenin repeatedly called it “New Liquidators’ Newspaper”. p. 306

{2} A reference to the article by I. Vetrov (M. A. Savelyev), “The International and the Question of Unity”, published in No. 1 of the newspaper Proletarskaya Pravda (Proletarian Truth) of December 7 (20), 1913, which said: “In conclusion, we feel bound to point out the lie of the liquidators, who insist that in denying the Six special representation, the Bureau allegedly condemned the principle of ‘federation’, put forward by the six workers deputies in the Social-Democratic group. The demand for special representation for the Six was not at all presented to the Bureau for purely formal reasons; this shows that N.R.G.’s statements to the effect that, the Bureau had issued a condemnation of the Six is part of the dishonest lying of the liquidators in their continued efforts to dim the consciousness of the working class.” p. 306

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