V. I.   Lenin

The Liquidators and Malinovsky’s Biography

Published: Rabochy No. 2, May 22, 1914. Signed: Pravdist. Published according to the text in Rabochy.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1972, Moscow, Volume 20, pages 302-305.
Translated: Bernard Isaacs and The Late Joe Fineberg
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

In their numerous articles concerning Malinovsky’s resignation,[1] the liquidators assert, among other slanderous things, that Malinovsky was brought into prominence only by the “splitting activities” of the Pravdists, that Malinovsky was a political “weathercock”, and so on and so forth.

Below we quote, word for word, an editorial article in the liquidationist newspaper Luch, which the liquidators published the day after Malinovsky was elected to the Duma, i.e., at a time when the liquidators did not yet have to stoop to foul lies in their struggle against their opponents.

The following is the full text of the article (Luch, October 28, 1912, No. 37):


(Deputy representing the Moscow workers)

The deputy elected by the workers of the Moscow Gubernia is Roman Malinovsky, former secretary of the St. Petersburg Metalworkers’ Union. In his person the Social-Democratic group in the Duma acquires for the first time a prominent practical worker in the trade union movement, who in the grim years of reaction played an active part in the legal working-class organisations.

Malinovsky has been a member of the Union since its foundation on May 1, 1906. At the beginning of 1907 he was elected Secretary of the Union and held that responsible post continuously until November 1909, when lie was arrested at a preliminary meeting of the first workers’ delegation to the Temperance Congress. Deportation from St. Petersburg interrupted his activities in the Union, but he continued to maintain ideological contact with the organisation.

The years of Malinovsky’s secretaryship was a period in the life of the Union in which it had to contend, not only with severe external conditions, but also with the apathy of the workers themselves. Malinovsky’s personal example served as an effective weapon against this “internal enemy”.

His energy seemed inexhaustible. He undertook the responsible task of leading a strike with the same ardour as he carried out the painstaking work of organisation.

And, what is most, important, Malinovsky always strove to link up this day-by-day work with the general tasks of the working-class movement in the struggle around the problems of the day, never losing sight of the ultimate aim.

Trade union work took up a great deal of Malinovsky’s time and energies, but his activities did not end there. In one degree or another he has participated in all the workers’ actions of the past few years. He represented the St. Petersburg workers at the Co-operative Congress in Moscow in 1908. At Easter 1909, he represented the St. Petersburg metalworkers at the First Congress of Factory Panel Doctors, where he read a paper on old age and disability insurance. The metalworkers also elected him their delegate to the Temperance Congress, but his arrest prevented him from attending.

In Moscow Malinovsky’s activities have of necessity been more restricted. But here, too, he has not been idle; he took an active part in the preparations for the Second Congress of Factory Panel Doctors, and at one time was closely associated with the workers’ co-operative movement, etc

The new Moscow deputy has always shown a lively interest in the political working-class movement too.

In his convictions he is a Bolshevik. But this did not prevent him in 1908, when, after the London Congress, the Bolsheviks tried to secure Party representation on the executives of the trade unions, from opposing his political friends for the sake of unity of the trade union movement. It did not prevent him at the First Congress of Factory Panel Doctors from protesting against the disruptive conduct of the Moscow Bolsheviks in the interests of unity of the workers’ delegation.

There is every reason to believe that the activities of the new workers’ deputy will be as fruitful in the political field as they have been in the trade union movement.

Such were the complimentary terms in which the liquidators themselves wrote about the Bolshevik Malinovsky two years ago. Could they have written otherwise, considering the work that Malinovsky was doing in the sight of all the workers? Even the liquidators, who at that time were already his political opponents, could not but treat him with pro found respect. They spoke of his preceding activities, which had already brought him to the fore, in terms that were most flattering to Malinovsky. They held him up as an example to others, There was not a word about his being a “weathercock”. Nor was the fairy-tale yet invented that ho had been returned to the Duma as a candidate of liquidationist “unity”.

A fortnight later the first meeting of the united Social-Democratic group in the Duma was held. The liquidators themselves unanimously elected Malinovsky as the vice-chairman of the group, in exactly the same way as they had previously supported his candidacy as chairman of workers’ delegations to public congresses (the Congress of Factory Panel Doctors, for example), and so forth. After the Duma elections, the most prominent member of the August bloc (the pillar of today’s journal Borba) wrote letters to Malinovsky couched in the most flattering terms, in which he all but called him a future Bebel.

But when it was discovered that Malinovsky sharply opposed liquidationism, when he took a step which he him self shortly afterwards had to admit was a profoundly erroneous one, the liquidators poured upon the ex-deputy, upon whom they had previously showered their praise, the filthiest slander they could collect in the garbage heaps of the Black-Hundred newspapers.

Everybody knows that with his political background and talents Malinovsky could have played an important role in any political group, and that the liquidators would have honoured him had he associated himself with them. But the liquidators are not ashamed to say that Malinovsky was pushed into the forefront by the “split”.

It makes one blush with shame to see people using a man’s private misfortune in their struggle against a hostile political trend. We have no desire to compare Malinovsky with Khrustalev[2] but what would the liquidators have said, after what happened to Khrustalev, had their political opponents made the fate of this one man an excuse for discrediting Menshevism, and “used” the Khrustalev case against the entire Menshevik trend? And yet it is common knowledge that Khrustalev was a Menshevik, that he was their prominent representative at the London Congress, in the press, and so forth. It is common knowledge that at one time the Mensheviks were proud of Khrustalev.

The Pravdists have no lack of political opponents; but not a single hostile newspaper—with the exception, perhaps, of the Dubrovinites and Purishkevich’s paper—has sunk so low as the liquidationist newspaper has sunk these days. Even the liberals have behaved far more decently.

To hurl the most incredible insults at an opponent and then to end up with a long-winded appeal for ... unity with this very slandered opponent—such are the mean, canting and despicable tactics of all these Martovs and Dans.

Their disgusting conduct in connection with Malinovsky’s resignation should open the eyes even of the blind.


[1] A reference to the wilful resignation of R. Malinovsky, a member of the R.S.D.L.P. Duma group, from the Fourth Duma. For this act of disorganisation and for deserting his post, Malinovsky was expelled from the Party. Eventually, it was discovered that Malinovsky was an agent provocateur. He was tried by the Supreme Tribunal of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee in 1918 and sentenced to be shot.

[2] Khrustalev-Nosar, G. S. (1877–1018)—a Menshevik lawyer. During the years of reaction and the mounting revolutionary movement he was a liquidator, and contributed to the Menshevik news paper Golos Sotsial-Demokrata. He resigned from the Party in 1909, and engaged in shady financial operations.

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