J. V. Stalin
Source : Works, Vol.
2, 1907 - 1913
Publisher : Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1954
Transcription/Markup : Salil Sen for MIA, 2008
Public Domain : Marxists Internet Archive (2008). 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.
"The petitions which the workers sent demanding freedom . . . of association did not improve their conditions in the least. On the contrary, in answer to these demands the workers were shot down." . . .
Excerpt from the speech delivered by Deputy Kuznetsov
It was not so long ago, only a year back, that Messrs. the Liquidators, the zealous advocates of a "legal party," launched with a lot of noise and clamour the so-called petition campaign.
The well-known Delo Zhizni, 1 the "publicist" organ of the Liquidators, wrote that the immediate task of the labour movement was to fight for the right of association by means of petitions.
Nasha Zarya, 2 the "scientific" organ of the Liquidators, "substantiating" this task, assured the workers that petitions would organise around them the "broad masses."
But then the bloody tragedy in the Lena goldfields was enacted, real life with its implacable antagonisms came upon the scene and the Liquidators' petition tactics were scattered to the winds like dust. Lawful strikes, petitions, requests, were all simply swept overboard. The "renovated" system revealed its true features. And Minister Makarov, the representative of this system, stated, as if to introduce more clarity into the matter, that the shooting of 500 workers was not the end but only the beginning, and that, with God's help, the same thing would be repeated in future. . . .
That was a perfect bull's-eye! The petition tactics, so noisily proclaimed, were shattered by life! The petition policy proved to be impotent!
It is evident, therefore, that it is not petitions that are destined to settle the age-long contest between the old and the new Russia. . . .
And do not the innumerable meetings and strikes of the workers which have taken place throughout Russia in connection with the Lena massacre prove once again that the workers will not take the path of petitions?
Listen to the workers' deputy Kuznetsov :
"Actually, the petitions which the workers sent demanding freedom of association did not improve their conditions in the least. On the contrary, in answer to these demands the workers were shot down." . . .
That is what Deputy Kuznetsov says.
A workers' deputy who heeds the voice of the workers, from whose ranks he comes, could not say anything else.
No, the Liquidators are out of luck! . . .
Well, what about the petition tactics? Where are they to be put?
As far away from the workers as possible, of course. . . .
Yes, indeed, the lessons of life are evidently not being wasted, even on the Liquidators. It seems that the petition intoxication is beginning to pass off. Well, we congratulate them on becoming sober, congratulate them from the bottom of our hearts!
We have been saying for a long time: life is all-powerful, and it always triumphs. . . .
The St. Petersburg Zvezda, No. 30, April 15, 1912
1. Delo Zhizni (Life's Cause) — a legal liquidationist Menshevik magazine published in St. Petersburg from January 22 to October 31, 1911.
2. Nasha Zarya (Our Dawn) — a legal monthly magazine, the organ of the liquidationist Mensheviks, published in St. Petersburg from 1910 to 1914.