V. I.   Lenin

A Weak Defence of a Weak Case

Published: Za Pravdu No. 12, October 17, 1913. Signed: V. Ilyin. Published according to the Za Pravdu text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 19, pages 443-445.
Translated: The Late George Hanna
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.README

A certain G. Golosov is mortally offended over the fact that I, in Prosveshcheniye, referred to Chkheidze as a “near Party Social-Democrat”.[1]

G. Golosov is in a towering rage; he hurls invectives right and left and burdens his lines with exclamation marks and marks of interrogation. But the greater the anger he displays the more evident it becomes that his angry outcries are merely a screen to cover up his lack of proof.

I did refer to Chkheidze as a near-Party Social-Democrat. It should not be difficult for Golosov to realise that he could refute me if he proved that Chkheidze is a Party Social-Democrat.

I mentioned the fact that at the most critical moment in the history of the Social-Democratic group (and in the history of the regeneration of the Party) Chkheidze “avoided the issue”. When the liquidator and anti-liquidator press came into being (1911 and beginning of 1912) Chkheidze was neither on one side nor on the other.

Does my angry opponent disprove this precisely indicated fact?

He does not. Angry G. Golosov does not disprove this fact, nor can he do so. Poor Golosov; he is wrathful, but he is weak! He timidly evades the fact that proves that Chkheidze’s behaviour (notwithstanding his oratorical talent and parliamentary experience) was the behaviour of a near-Party man.

If irate G. Golosov were able to think, he would realise that a man proves his party allegiance by taking a most   energetic, direct, and open part in the affairs of his party (and not only of its group in the Duma). The rise of a liquidator and anti-liquidator press marked an extremely important moment in the modern history of the Marxist organisation. Hence, I proved up to the hilt that Chkheidze is a near-Party man.

In a fit of hysterical rage G. Golosov exclaims: “The Party is supposed to be where V. Ilyin and G. Zinoviev are.”

Thus, good Golosov adds to his troubles by raising the extremely interesting and important question as to where the Party is. If G. Golosov cannot think, the workers can, and they have all thought and are thinking about this question.

The Party is where the majority of the class-conscious worker Marxists who take an active part in political life are to be found.

G. Golosov’s anger rises to the pitch of hysteria simply because he realises he is unable to disprove this plain truth.

The elections to the Fourth Duma, the history of the inception and growth of Pravda, the election to the Executive Committee of the Metalworkers’ Union, the insurance campaign and the resolutions passed by the workers in sup port of the six worker deputies—all proved that the Party is on the side of the six, that it supports their line. Their slogans have been adopted and tested by the mass actions of workers in all branches of the working-class movement.

Irate Golosov is angry simply because he is unable to disprove the precise, obvious and indisputable fact that the Marxists beat the liquidators in the elections, in the trade unions, in the effort to establish daily newspapers and in the insurance campaign.

Those against whom all the facts speak have no alternative but to “get angry” and go into hysterics.

The Party is where the majority of the workers have rallied around the Party’s decisions which provide complete, systematic and accurate answers to the most important problems. The Party is where the majority of class-conscious workers are united by the singleness of these decisions and by a single will to implement them conscientiously.

In defending the “right” of Chkheidze (and of the seven) to flout these decisions and the will of the working class,   G. Golosov, like all the liquidators, is trying to break up the Marxist organisation in the interests of non-partisanship.

There can be no doubt that the workers will continue to back the position of their six deputies as against the near Party position of the seven.


[1] See p. 413 of this volume.—Ed.

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