‘FORWARD’ (Вперед) Online Newspaper of the Communist Party of Donetsk

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‘FORWARD’ (Вперед) Online Newspaper of the Communist Party of Donetsk

ARTICLES IN ENGLISH

(Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)

“Forward” (Вперед) is the oline newspaper of the Communist Party of the Donetsk People’s Republic, which is currently represented by an electronic version. The website wpered.su began work in February 2016. Its creation was caused by the need to intensify agitation and propaganda activities among the population of the Republic, to get feedback from readers and create a discussion platform for expressing opinions by Communist Party Members and its Supporters.

The choice of the name has several reasons:

  1. We emphasize the ideological continuity with the first Bolshevik weekly newspaper Vperyod, which was published in Geneva from January 4 to May 18, 1905. The name was proposed directly by Vladimir Lenin. Vperyod was created immediately after the Mensheviks seized the Iskra newspaper of the Central Organ of the RSDLP and played an outstanding role in the struggle against opportunism and in the creation of a new type of party.
  2. We emphasize the historical continuity with local Bolsheviks led by the legendary Artem. In January 1905, the future chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Donetsk-Krivoy Rog Republic arrived in Kharkov and organized the revolutionary group Vperyod. He worked at the locomotive plant, headed the Bolshevik organization and prepared an armed uprising.
  3. In his work “A Threatening Catastrophe and How to Fight It,” Lenin wrote that “one can not go forward without heading toward Socialism.” It is this principle that guides the CO-PRD in its practical activities. The main goals of the Communists has always been and still is the conquest of power by the working people, and the building of a Socialist Republic, the restoration of the Union of fraternal peoples, and their Unification into a single Socialist Union of States.

Sobre nosotros (

Lenin and the Fox

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Buddhist-Marxism Alliance (UK)

The Buddhist-Marxism Alliance (UK), being an expression of the leftwing intellectualism that permeates Oxford, pursues a Marxist-Leninist and anti-Trotskyite political agenda. As a supporter of Communist China, Maoism is viewed as an application of Marxist-Engelsism and Marxist-Leninism to the unique cultural and historical conditions of China. As for the Buddhist input, Buddhist philosophy is viewed as secular and non-religious, and useful for the ordinary people of the world to discipline their minds and develop a progressive attitude and functionality in the world. There is a definite support for vegetarianism and veganism, and the supporting of the development of a Socialist society that nolonger eats meat or participates in the mass slaughter and abuse of animals (a direct influence from within traditional Chinese Buddhism). Although Friedrich Engels, as a member of the middle class, did participate in fox-hunting, Karl Marx had quite another attitude toward animals:

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Lenin used to hunt (particularly during his exile in Siberia), but never for sport and always for food. However, within her book the ‘Reminiscences of Lenin’ – Nadezhda Krupskaya (Lenin’s partner) states that during his later life in Moscow, Lenin was out hunting oneday, when a fox ran-out and looked at him – Lenin did not fire. From that moment on, Lenin never went hunting again with the same zeal. When asked why he never shot the fox – Lenin said he realised at that moment just how beautiful the fox was. The actual quote reads:

‘The beaters drove the fox straight towards him, bu he seized his gun when it was too late. the fox stopped and looked at him, then slipped away into the woods. “Why didn’t you shoot?” I asked him. “The fox was so beautiful,” he said.’

‘Reminiscences of Lenin’ – Nadezhda Krupskaya – Kindle Edition (Loc 514) Originally Published in 1933

How the Communist Party Founded the Principle of the NHS

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Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the Soviet Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics: Part II – The State and the Individual – Articles 42 – 43:

‘Citizen of the USSR have the right to health provision. This right is ensured by free, qualified medical care provided by State Health Institutions: by extension of the network of therapeutic and health-building institutions: by the development and improvement of safety and hygiene in industry: by carrying out broad prophylactic measures: by measures to improve the environment: by special care for the health of the rising generation, including prohibition of child labour, excluding the work done by children as part of the school curriculum: and by developing research to prevent and reduce the incidence of disease and ensure citizens a long and active life. (Article 42)

Citizens of the USSR have the right to maintenance in old age, in sickness, and in the event of complete or partial disability or loss of the breadwinner. This right is guaranteed by social insurance of workers and other employees and collective farmers: by allowances for temporary disability: by the provision by the State or collective farms of retirement pensions, disability pensions, and pensions for loss of the breadwinner: by providing employment for the partially disabled: by care for the elderly and the disabled: and by other forms of social security.’ (Article 43)

(Novosti Press Agency Publishing House, Moscow, 1985) – Pages 30-31.

Although the British Labour Party instigated the National Health Service in the UK in 1948, it was not the Labour Party that first ‘invented’ or ‘developed’ this idea. The Labour Government of 1945-1950 undertook a radical redistribution of wealth based primarily upon the 1942 Beveridge Report, which suggested that it might be in the best interests of the Bourgeois British State if it took measures to make the lives better for the hundreds of thousands of returning working class men who had been trained in the military and hardened in battle. No doubt this was a shrewd move designed to prevent a Socialist Revolution initiated by a disgruntled population. Of course, Winston Churchill was opposed to any ‘Socialist’ reform that would help the working class achieve a better life, and actively campaigned against it – the main reason he lost the 1945 election. Where did the Labour Party get the idea for a fully comprehensive healthcare system delivered ‘free’ at the point of use, but which was collectively paid for through taxation?

The idea that everyone contributes to the health of the nation was had by VI Lenin as part of the 1917 October Revolution. In fact, during the Soviet period, Russia achieved significant success in creating an effective healthcare system, which – in conjunction with the overall increase (in comparison with the pre-revolutionary State) of the standard of living, literacy and socio-hygienic culture of the population – had a significant and positive impact on the dynamics of mortality. In this process, the Soviet concept of public health development was of particular importance, as it was focused upon mass prevention of infectious and epidemic diseases, through the vaccination and immunization of the entire population. As a result, a country that had experienced many shocks throughout the 20th century, successfully reached the average European level of life expectancy (about 70 years old) by the 1960’s. The Soviet idea of a NHS system unfolded logically over decades, and permeated every aspect of Soviet life. Even by the late 1930’s and early 1940’s it was clear that this service delivered ‘free’ at the point of use was highly effective for the entirety of society. Although between 27 – 40 million men, women and children were either killed or wounded during the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945), and considering the material destruction caused by the invading Nazi German war machine, the Soviet NHS, with its focus of particular resources to specific areas of the population and the country, the USSR recovered remarkably quickly.

In the old days, before the rise of Blairite ‘New’ Labour, many Labour members held Socialist viewpoints and were impressed by what the Soviet Union had achieved. It is obvious that the Labour Government of 1945 copied the Soviet healthcare system and tailored it to function throughout the British isles.  Therefore, it must be historically acknowledged that it was the Communist Party of the Soviet Union that devised and applied the principles through which the British NHS functions. It is a remarkable achievement that the British Labour Party managed to apply a Communist healthcare system to a bourgeois, capitalist State, and that the NHS has lasted as long as it has. It may be also stated with truth that the Tory (and LibDems) policy of getting rid of the NHS is inevitable within a bourgeois, capitalist State. The Communist Party of Britain (CPB) fully supports the NHS because the NHS is a ‘Socialist’ healthcare system that benefits the and empowers the collective population. The NHS may well function within a bourgeois, capitalist society, but the fact remains that its idea is entirely ‘Communist’ in origin. This does not mean that everyone who works in the NHS is a Socialist or Communist, far from it, but whatever their political views, up until fairly lately their interaction with the general public has been one of preserving the general health and relieving suffering. Lifting up the people and relieving their suffering are two foundational points of Communist thinking.

London ‘Save the NHS’ March (3.2.2018)

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In 2012, the Tory-LibDems Coalition ‘privatised’ the NHS through the Health and Social Care Act. This legislation was opposed by the Labour Party, but voted through by the Tory and LibDems Members of Parliament. This act effectively abolished the Socialist principle of comprehensive healthcare delivered free at the point of use to everyone (collectively paid for through taxation). All safeguards that ensured that GPs and hospital administration adhered to the Socialist principle were removed and the pathway was cleared for private healthcare firms to purchase large parts of the NHS and transition it to a dramatically reduced, cynical and dangerous ‘paid for’ medical service. The Tories have been pursuing this policy of privatising the NHS whilst denying the reality of their actions. This deceptive Tory procedure has been described as ‘privatisation through stealth’. As GPs refuse to diagnose illnesses, and hospital provision diminishes, people are dying in their thousands across the UK due to medical neglect. Today, the Communist Party of Britain (CPB) and the Young Communist League (YCL) joined tens of thousands around the UK in Marching to ‘Save the NHS’. The NHS was created in 1948 by the Labour Government and was premised upon the ‘free’ medical system established by Lenin in the Soviet Union. My family marched through London with many Comrades – including Dr Martin Graham – the Branch Secretary of the Croydon Branch. He and I discussed a remarkable array of subjects as the rain poured and the Red Flags fluttered in the cold wind. Mei-An – who is now 5 years old, has been marching since about 7 months old – but today she carried a Red Flag of her own and marched the entire route for the first time! We must fight for the NHS and all the people who rely upon it for survival now and in the future!

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Photographs of Everyday Life in the Soviet Union

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Anti-Soviet US Cold War propaganda sought to ‘de-humanise’ the Soviet people, their political and economic model, their culture, and of course, their predominantly ‘Slavic’ ethnicity. In this regard, US Cold War rhetoric maybe convincingly conceived of as a continue of the anti-Communist and racist ideology of Nazi Germany. During the time before the instant communication afforded by the internet, Western people were ‘cut-off’ from the everyday reality of life in the Soviet Union, and had no means to counter the continuous stream of disinformation emanating from the bourgeois-democratic governments they ‘elected’. As a consequence, the capitalist West was kept in a perpetual state of fear, ensuring that the youth of each new generation joined the military to fight the Soviet threat, rather than spend their collective time fermenting a Socialist Revolution. Of course, in this assessment the good work of the Communist Party in the West must not be forgotten or diminished. The Communist Party continued to function despite the worst forms of oppression, repression and violence the capitalist system good muster, but many ordinary Westerners had no links with it. The Western media, whilst courting the far-right, routinely side-lined the Communist Party or continued a brutal disinformation against it. This was because the Communist Party had direct links with Moscow, and consequently ‘knew’ the everyday reality of Soviet life. The Soviet people were just that – people. They ate and drank, they fell in love, had children, went to bed and got up. They went to work, and they continuously worked for the common welfare of the International working Class. They were proud of their Communist System, proud of their past victory over fascism, and sought to create a ‘new’ world free of the greed, hatred and delusion that underlies the capitalist system and its continuous warmongering, abuse and deception. The Soviet people were ordinary human-beings who had thrown-off the inverted mind-set of the bourgeoisie, and firmly embarked upon the path of Scientific Socialism. As Socialism is for the ordinary people, these photographs convey the ‘ordinariness’ of the Soviet people!

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Russian Language References:

http://daypic.ru/history/174595

http://kykyryzo.ru/советский-союз-30-х-годов-глазами-очевид/

http://kykyryzo.ru/советский-союз-30-х-годов-глазами-очевид/

USSR: Photographs of Lee Harvey Oswald in Minsk (BSSR) – 1959-1962

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Lee Harvey Oswald and Fellow Minsk Workers

(Research and Translation by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)

Translator’s Note: The Warren Commission made much of Oswald’s sojourn to the USSR just prior to the murder of JFK. The US Authorities tried to amass as much information about this stage in Oswald’s short life, as a means to fabricate ‘probable cause’. Bear in mind that Oswald never stood trial, and his guilt was never ascertained in a court of law. The reason the US Authorities were pursuing this line was because of the ‘witch-hunt’ pogrom initiated against all ‘Socialists’ and ‘Communists’ living in the US since the end of WWII. This pogrom had existed in a less intense form prior to WWII, but following the Soviet victory over fascism during the Second World War, the US Authorities embarked upon a fully comprehensive ‘disinformation’ campaign that re-wrote Soviet history to give the false impression that Soviet Communism was no different to German National Socialism, and that everyone who adhered to Marxist-Leninist ideology were morally repugnant and pursuing a political path of utmost ‘evil’. Rather illogically, and in no way acting inaccordance with established legal practice, the US Authorities declared that Oswald’s association with ‘Communism’ proved that he had the ‘motive’ to pull the trigger and incentive to murder President John F Kennedy. In fact, this approach means nothing from a legal perspective, and is defined as ‘hearsay’. In short, the assumption that Oswald killed Kennedy because he was a ‘Communist’ is inadmissible as evidence in Court, and yet it is this assumption that is used to ‘judge’ Oswald and a priori suggest that he is guilty. As a consequence, anyone who ‘questions’ this assumption is falsely presented as ‘supporting’ the murder of JFK, rather than questioning a faulty legal procedure. Although the recent release of a number of previously ‘secret’ JFK Files strongly deny Oswald’s involvement, there are still elements of the US Establishment who are keeping to script and trying to ‘sell’ the old and tired idea that ‘absence of evidence’ is indeed ‘proof of culpability’. The article below gives a different side to Oswald, and highlights his time in the Soviet Union. Interestingly, he did not partake in any shooting clubs, did not visit any firing ranges, and appears never to have owned a fire-arm of any sort whilst living in Minsk. There is no evidence within Russian language sources that Oswald was being ‘trained’ to assassinate JFK whilst visiting the USSR. This is important as the Warren Commission suggests that whilst acting alone and aiming from the Book Depository Building, Oswald managed to fire three of the best rifle-shots ever recorded at a moving vehicle that was not entirely clear in his sights. In summary, being a Communist does not imply ‘Criminal intent’. ACW (11.1.2018)

The recent release of the JFK Assassination Files in the US not only shed doubt on whether President John F Kennedy was shot by a lone gunman – but question whether Lee Harvey Oswald was involved at all. He was ‘set-up’ as a ‘patsy’ or fall-guy’ because he was known to be a Communist (this was true even when serving in the US Marine Corp). There is no logical reason why a Socialist like Oswald would murder one of the most progressive and potentially leftwing Presidents the US has ever known. It appears that the US Intelligence Services co-opted Oswald’s name in the fabrication of a cover-story to divert public attention away from the fact that the US Political System had conspired to kill its own democratically elected leader. Nptice also how Lee Harvey Oswald was treated for his visit to the USSR between 1959-1962 – compared to Bill Clinton who spent a week in the Soviet Union in 1969. The former was oppressed and murdered for his political views, whilst the latter became the ‘elected’ 42nd President of the United States!

Lee Harvey Oswald described his political views as being ‘Marxist-Leninist’, and stated on live US TV that he was being framed for the murder of President John F Kennedy, because he had lived in the Soviet Union. When only 19 years old, Oswald was discharged from the US Marine Corp, and travelled to the UK, and then on to Helsinki, where he obtained a five-day tourist visa from the Embassy of the USSR. The motivation for this journey was to develop his understanding further about Socialism, an interest he possessed even before joining the US Marines. He arrived in Moscow on October the 16th, 1959, and informed the tourist agent assigned to assist him, that he wanted to defect. Following an initial refusal, Oswald is said to have suffered a ‘breakdown’ and was briefly hospitalised in the USSR. Following this episode, the Soviet Authorities relented and he was granted Soviet Citizenship. It was made clear to him that as an ex-member of the US Military, he could not stay in Moscow or Leningrad for security reasons, but must relocate to ‘Minsk’. Russian language records state that Oswald did not know where Minsk was, and thought that it might be in Siberia (the Soviet Officials laughed).

On January 5th, 1960, Oswald received the relatively large amount of 5000 rubles from the Red Cross as a means to relieve hardship during his re-settlement. As a Soviet Citizen, Oswald arrived on January 7th, 1960, in Minsk (Belarus Soviet Socialist Republic – BSSR), and stayed for two months at the fashionable ‘Minsk’ Hotel (Room 453 – 4th Floor). Following this, Oswald would spend most of the next two and half years living in a flat in the vicinity Minsk Victory Square. On January 11th, 1960, Oswald visited the ‘Minks Lenin Radio Plant’ where he would be employed for the rest of his time in Minsk. He was paid 700 rubles a month, and on the 5th of every month, he received a further 700 rubles from the Red Cross. Oswald mentions that the factory floor was dominated by a large picture of Lenin which all employees had to stand and appraise from 11am – 11:10 am – a procedure Oswald did not favour. Two points of oddity exist here, which originate from within Oswald’s diary.

Firstly, there was no need for the Red Cross to grant sums of money to Oswald when the USSR possessed one of the most comprehensive Welfare Systems in the world. The Constitution of the USSR guaranteed all people living within the USSSR – whether ‘foreigner’ or ‘Citizen’, the right of full access to the Welfare System. Oswald received ‘free’ medical care and was given benefit payments whilst being re-settled. He was allocated a ‘flat’ in a modern (post-WWII reconstructed) part of Minsk, for which he was charged a nominal rent only after he started working full-time. Furthermore, the USSR had full employment and everyone was given a job suited to their abilities and needs. There was no competition for jobs as is the case in the capitalist West. Secondly, as a Marxist-Leninist, who had presumably read at least some work related to Marx and Lenin, Oswald would have appreciated the need for political education amongst the people. Standing to attention for ten minutes during a mid-morning break is the minimum a Soviet Citizen could do as a means to ‘appreciate’ and ‘remember’ where all the material benefits they enjoyed, had historically originated. Prior to the rise of revisionist Khrushchev, Lenin’s portrait may well have rested alongside that of Joseph Stalin. Whatever the case, Imbuing a sense of innate respect for the Soviet State was an important part of Soviet identity. Oswald was young, of course, and there is no guarantee that his diary was not ‘altered’ or ‘adjusted’ to give a negative impression of the USSR – the very country Oswald had given-up his US Citizenship to enter.

On January 8th, Oswald recorded in his diary about a meeting he had with the ‘Mayor of the City’ Sharapov (Шараповым), who promised him a free apartment and separately warned of ‘uncultured people who sometimes offend foreigners.’ Lee did not have any special conflicts, however, with local residents, but he was given the promised apartment quite quickly. Already by March 16th, 1960, Oswald recorded in the ‘Diary’:

‘I’m getting a small one-room apartment with a kitchen and a bathroom. Near the Plant (8 minutes walk). Beautiful view from two balconies to the river. Almost free of charge (60 rubles per month). This is a dream for Russians.’

A separate, albeit ‘small’ apartment was considered very highly by most of the Minsk citizens, who appreciated everything the Soviet State provided. In addition, the American guest was placed in an excellent post-war home, almost on the main avenue of the city, with a view not only of the river, but also of the headquarters of the Red Banner Belarusian Military District. Oswald’s new address was – Ul. Kalinin, 4, ap. 24. A year later, ‘ul. Kalinin’ is renamed the ‘Communist’ (Коммунистическую), under this name it continues to exist today. The photo of this apartment house, apparently made by Oswald, is contained in the materials of the Warren Commission. During his ime i Minsk, Oswald would marry ‘Marina’ and have a child before decding to return to the USA during May, 1962.

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Oswald and his New Apartment

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Oswald (far-left) and Alexander Sieger [Александр Зигер] (far-right)

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Oswald and his Wife (Russian) Marina

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Marina Oswald (nee: Prusakova) [ Марина Николаевна Прусакова]

Russian Language Source:

https://realt.onliner.by/2013/05/15/oswald

Lenin Dialectically Crushes Trotsky: Disruption of Unity Under Cover of Outcries for Unity

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Vladimir Ilyich Lenin Disruption of Unity Under Cover of Outcries for Unity

Published: Published in May 1914 in the journal Prosveshcheniye No. 5.  Signed: V. Ilyin. Published according to the text in the journal.
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1972, Moscow, Volume 20, pp. 325-347.
Translated: Bernard Isaacs and The Late Joe Fineberg
Transcription: C. Kavanagh
HTML Markup: B. Baggins and D. Walters
Re-Markup: K. Goins (2008)
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (1996). 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 questions of the present-day working-class movement are in many respects vexed questions, particularly for representatives of that movement’s recent past (i. e., of the stage which historically has just drawn to a close). This applies primarily to the questions of so-called factionalism, splits, and so forth. One often hears intellectuals in the working-class movement making nervous, feverish and almost hysterical appeals not to raise these vexed questions. Those who have experienced the long years of struggle between the various trends among Marxists since 1900—01, for example, may naturally think it superfluous to repeat many of the arguments on the subject of these vexed questions.

But there are not many people left today who took part in the fourteen-year-old conflict among Marxists (not to speak of the eighteen- or nineteen-year-old conflict, counting from the moment the first symptoms of Economism appeared). The vast majority of the workers who now make up the ranks of the Marxists either do not remember the old conflict, or have never heard of it. To the overwhelming majority (as, incidentally, was shown by the opinion poll held by our journal[5]), these vexed questions are a matter of exception ally great interest. We therefore intend to deal with these questions, which have been raised as it were anew (and for the younger generation of the workers they are really new) by Trotsky’s “non-factional workers’ journal”, Borba.

I. “FACTIONALISM”

Trotsky calls his new journal “non-factional”. He puts this word in the top line in his advertisements; this word is stressed by him in every key, in the editorial articles of Borba itself, as well as in the liquidationist Severnaya Rabochaya Gazeta, which carried an article on Borba by Trotsky before the latter began publication.

What is this “non-factionalism”?

Trotsky’s “workers’ journal” is Trotsky’s journal for workers, as there is not a trace in it of either workers’ initiative, or any connection with working-class organisations. Desiring to write in a popular style, Trotsky, in his journal for workers, explains for the benefit of his readers the meaning of such foreign words as “territory”, “factor”, and so forth.

Very good. But why not also explain to the workers the meaning of the word “non-factionalism”? Is that word more intelligible than the words “territory” and “factor”?

No, that is not the reason. The reason is that the label “non-factionalism” is used by the worst representatives of the worst remnants of factionalism to mislead the younger generation of workers. It is worth while devoting a little time to explaining this.

Group-division was the main distinguishing feature of the Social-Democratic Party during a definite historical period. Which period? From 1903 to 1911.

To explain the nature of this group-division more clearly we must recall the concrete conditions that existed in, say, 1906—07. At that time the Party was united, there was no split, but group-division existed, i. e., in the united Party there were virtually twogroups, two virtually separate organisations. The local workers’ organisations were united, but on every important issue the two groups devised two sets of tactics. The advocates of the respective tactics disputed among themselves in the united workers’ organisations (as was the case, for example, during the discussion of the slogan: a Duma, or Cadet, Ministry, in 1906, or during the elections of delegates to the London Congress in 1907), and questions were decided by a majority vote. One group was defeated at the Stockholm Unity Congress (1906), the other was defeated at the London Unity Congress (1907).

These are commonly known facts in the history of organised Marxism in Russia.

It is sufficient to recall these commonly known facts to realise what glaring falsehoods Trotsky is spreading.

For over two years, since 1912, there has been no factionalism among the organised Marxists in Russia, no disputes over tactics in united organisations, at united conferences and congresses. There is a complete break between the Party, which in January 1912 formally announced that the liquidators do not belong to it, and the liquidators. Trotsky often calls this state of affairs a “split”, and we shall deal with this appellation separately later on. But it remains an undoubted fact that the term “factionalism” deviates from the truth.

As we have said, this term is a repetition, an uncritical, unreasonable, senseless repetition of what was true yesterday, i. e., in the period that has already passed. When Trotsky talks to us about the “chaos of factional strife” (see No. 1, pp. 5, 6, and many others) we realise at once which period of the past his words echo.

Consider the present state of affairs from the viewpoint of the young Russian workers who now constitute nine-tenths of the organised Marxists in Russia. They see three mass expressions of the different views, or trends in the working-class movement: the Pravdists, gathered around a newspaper with a circulation of 40,000; the liquidators (15,000 circulation) and the Left Narodniks (10,000 circulation). The circulation figures tell the reader about the mass character of a given tenet.

The question arises; what has “chaos” got to do with it? Everybody knows that Trotsky is fond of high-sounding and empty phrases. But the catchword “chaos” is not only phrase-mongering; it signifies also the transplanting, or rather, a vain attempt to transplant, to Russian soil, in the present period, the relations that existed abroad in a bygone period. That is the whole point.

There is no “chaos” whatever in the struggle between the Marxists and the Narodniks. That, we hope, not even Trotsky will dare to deny. The struggle between the Marxists and the Narodniks has been going on for over thirty years, ever since Marxism came into being. The cause of this struggle is the radical divergence of interests and viewpoints of two different classes, the proletariat and the peasantry. If there is any “chaos” anywhere, it is only in the heads of cranks who fail to understand this.

What, then, remains? “Chaos” in the struggle between the Marxists and the liquidators? That, too, is wrong, for a struggle against a trend, which the entire Party recognised as a trend and condemned as far back as 1908, cannot be called chaos. And everybody who has the least concern for the history of Marxism in Russia knows that liquidationism is most closely and inseverably connected, even as regards its leaders and supporters, with Menshevism (1903—08) and Economism (1894—1903). Consequently, here, too, we have a history extending over nearly twenty years. To regard the history of one’s own Party as “chaos” reveals an unpardonable empty-headedness.

Now let us examine the present situation from the point of view of Paris or Vienna. At once the whole picture changes. Besidesthe Pravdists and liquidators, we see no less than five Russian groups claiming membership of one and the same Social-Democratic Party: Trotsky’s group, two Vperyod groups, the “pro-Party Bolsheviks” and the “pro-Party Mensheviks”.[6] All Marxists in Paris and in Vienna (for the purpose of illustration I take two of the largest centres) are perfectly well aware of this.

Here Trotsky is right in a certain sense; this is indeed group-division, chaos indeed!

Groups within the Party, i. e., nominal unity (all claim to belong to one Party) and actual disunity (for, in fact, all the groups are independent of one another and enter into negotiations and agreements with each other as sovereign powers).

“Chaos”, i. e., the absence of (1) objective and verifiable proof that these groups are linked with the working-class movement in Russia and (2) absence of any data to enable us to judge the actual ideological and political physiognomy of these groups. Take a period of two full years—1912 and 1913. As everybody knows, this was a period of the revival and upswing of the working-class movement, when every trend or tendency of a more or less mass character (and in politics this mass character alone counts) could not but exercise some influence on the Fourth Duma elections, the strike movement, the legal newspapers, the trade unions, the insurance election campaign, and so on. Throughout those two years, not one of these five groups abroad asserted itself in the slightest degree in any of the activities of the mass working-class movement in Russia just enumerated!

That is a fact that anybody can easily verify.

And that fact proves that we were right in calling Trotsky a representative of the “worst remnants of factionalism”.

Although he claims to be non-factional, Trotsky is known to everybody who is in the least familiar with the working-class movement in Russia as the representative of “Trotsky’s faction”. Here we have group-division, for we see two essential symptoms of it: (1) nominal recognition of unity and (2) group segregation in fact. Here there are remnants of group-division, for there is no evidence whatever of any real connection with the mass working-class movement in Russia.

And lastly, it is the worst form of group-division, for there is no ideological and political definiteness. It cannot be denied that this definiteness is characteristic of both the Pravdists (even our determined opponent L. Martov admits that we stand “solid and disciplined” around universally known formal decisions on all questions) and the liquidators (they, or at all events the most prominent of them, have very definite features, namely, liberal, not Marxist).

It cannot be denied that some of the groups which, like Trotsky’s, really exist exclusively from the Vienna-Paris, but by no means from the Russian, point of view, possess a degree of definiteness. For example, the Machist theories of the Machist Vperyod group are definite; the emphatic repudiation of these theories and defence of Marxism, in addition to the theoretical condemnation of liquidationism, by the “pro-Party Mensheviks”, are definite.

Trotsky, however, possesses no ideological and political definiteness, for his patent for “non-factionalism”, as we shall soon see in greater detail, is merely a patent to flit freely to and fro, from one group to another.

To sum up:

1) Trotsky does not explain, nor does he understand, the historical significance of the ideological disagreements among the various Marxist trends and groups, although these disagreements run through the twenty years’ history of Social Democracy and concern the fundamental questions of the present day (as we shall show later on);

2) Trotsky fails to understand that the main specific features of group-division are nominal recognition of unity and actual disunity;

3) Under cover of “non-factionalism” Trotsky is championing the interests of a group abroad which particularly lacks definite principles, and has no basis in the working-class movement in Russia.

All that glitters is not gold. There is much glitter and sound in Trotsky’s phrases, but they are meaningless.

II. THE SPLIT

“Although there is no group-division, i. e., nominal recognition of unity, but actual disunity, among you, Pravdists, there is something worse, namely, splitting tactics,” we are told. This is exactly what Trotsky says. Unable to think out his ideas or to get his arguments to hang together, he rants against group-division at one moment, and at the next shouts: “Splitting tactics are winning one suicidal victory after another”. (No. 1, p. 6.)

This statement can have only one mending: “The Pravdists are winning one victory after another” (this is an objective, verifiable fact, established by a study of the mass working-class movement in Russia during, say, 1912 and 1913), but I, Trotsky, denounce the Pravdists (1) as splitters, and (2) as suicidal politicians.

Let us examine this.

First of all we must express our thanks to Trotsky. Not long ago (from August 1912 to February 1914) he was at one with F. Dan, who, as is well known, threatened to “kill” anti-liquidationism, and called upon others to do so. At present Trotsky does not threaten to “kill” our trend (and our Party—don’t be angry, Citizen Trotsky, this is true!), he only prophesies that it will kill itself!

This is much milder, isn’t it? It is almost “non-factional”, isn’t it?

But joking apart (although joking is the only way of retorting mildly to Trotsky’s insufferable phrase-mongering).

“Suicide” is a mere empty phrase, mere “Trotskyism”.

Splitting tactics are a grave political accusation. This accusation is repeated against us in a thousand different keys by the liquidators and by all the groups enumerated above, who, from the point of view of Paris and Vienna, actually exist.

And all of them repeat this grave political accusation in an amazingly frivolous way. Look at Trotsky. He admitted that “splitting tactics are winning [read: the Pravdists are winning] one suicidal victory after another”. To this he adds:

Numerouss advanced workers, in a state of utter political bewilderment, themselves often become active agents of a split.” (No. 1, p. 6.)

Are not these words a glaring example of irresponsibility on this question?

You accuse us of being splitters when all that we see in front of us in the arena of the working-class movement in Russia is liquidationism. So you think that our attitude towards liquidationism is wrong? Indeed, all the groups abroad that we enumerated above, no matter how much they may differ from each other, are agreed that our attitude towards liquidationism is wrong, that it is the attitude of “splitters”. This, too, reveals the similarity (and fairly close political kinship) between all these groups and the liquidators.

If our attitude towards liquidationism is wrong in theory, in principle, then Trotsky should say so straightforwardly, and statedefinitely, without equivocation, why he thinks it is wrong. But Trotsky has been evading this extremely important point for years.

If our attitude towards liquidationism has been proved wrong in practice, by the experience of the movement, then this experience should be analysed; but Trotsky fails to do this either. “Numerous advanced workers,” he admits, “become active agents of a split” (read: active agents of the Pravdist line, tactics, system and organisation).

What is the cause of the deplorable fact, which, as Trotsky admits, is confirmed by experience, that the advanced workers, thenumerous advanced workers at that, stand for Pravda?

It is the “utter political bewilderment” of these advanced workers, answers Trotsky.

Needless to say, this explanation is highly flattering to Trotsky, to all five groups abroad, and to the liquidators. Trotsky is very fond of using, with the learned air of the expert, pompous and high-sounding phrases to explain historical phenomena in a way that is flattering to Trotsky. Since “numerous advanced workers” become “active agents” of a political and Party line which does not conform to Trotsky’s line, Trotsky settles the question unhesitatingly, out of hand: these advanced workers are “in a state of utter political bewilderment”, whereas he, Trotsky, is evidently “in a state” of political firmness and clarity, and keeps to the right line!… And this very same Trotsky, beating his breast, fulminates against factionalism, parochialism, and the efforts of intellectuals to impose their will on the workers!

Reading things like these, one cannot help asking oneself: is it from a lunatic asylum that such voices come?

The Party put the question of liquidationism, and of condemning it, before the “advanced workers” as far back as 1908, while the question of “splitting” away from a very definite group of liquidators (namely, the Nasha Zarya group), i. e., that the only way to build up the Party was without this group and in opposition to it—this question was raised in January 1912, over two years ago. The overwhelming majority of the advanced workers declared in favour of supporting the “January (1912) line”. Trotsky himself admits this fact when he talks about “victories” and about “numerous advanced workers”. But Trotsky wriggles out of this simply by hurling abuse at these advanced workers and calling them “splitters” and “politically bewildered”!

From these facts sane people will draw a different conclusion. Where the majority of the class-conscious workers have rallied around precise and definite decisions, there we shall find unity of opinion and action, there we shall find the Party spirit, and the Party.

Where we see liquidators who have been “removed from office” by the workers, or half a dozen groups outside Russia, who for two years have produced no proof that they are connected with the mass working-class movement in Russia, there, indeed, we shall find bewilderment and splits. In now trying to persuade the workers not to carry out the decisions of that “united whole”, which the Marxist Pravdists recognise, Trotsky is trying to disrupt the movement and cause a split.

These efforts are futile, but we must expose the arrogantly conceited leaders of intellectualist groups, who, while causing splits themselves, are shouting about others causing splits; who, after sustaining utter defeat at the hands of the “advanced workers” for the past two years or more, are with incredible insolence flouting the decisions and the will of these advanced workers and saying that they are “politically bewildered”. These are entirely the methods of Nozdrev,[7] or of “Judas” Golovlyov.[8]

In reply to these repeated outcries about a split and in fulfilment of my duty as a publicist, I will not tire of repeating precise, unrefuted and irrefutable figures. In the Second Duma, 47 per cent of the deputies elected by the worker curia were Bolsheviks, in the Third Duma 50 per cent were Bolsheviks, and in the Fourth Duma 67 per cent.

There you have the majority of the “advanced workers”, there you have the Party; there you have unity of opinion and action of the majority of the class-conscious workers.

To this the liquidators say (see Bulkin, L. M., in Nasha Zarya No. 3) that we base our arguments on the Stolypin curias. This is a foolish and unscrupulous argument. The Germans measure their successes by the results of elections conducted under the Bismarckian electoral law, which excludes women. Only people bereft of their senses would reproach the German Marxists for measuring their successes under the existing electoral law, without in the least justifying its reactionary restrictions.

And we, too, without justifying curias, or the curia system, measured our successes under the existing electoral law. There were curias in all three (Second, Third and Fourth) Duma elections; and within the worker curia, within the ranks of Social-Democracy, there was a complete swing against the liquidators. Those who do not wish to deceive themselves and others must admit this objective fact, namely, the victory of working-class unity over the liquidators.

The other argument is just as “clever”: “Mensheviks and liquidators voted for (or took part in the election of) such and-such a Bolshevik.” Splendid! But does not the same thing apply to the 53 per cent non-Bolshevik deputies re turned to the Second Duma, and to the 50 per cent returned to the Third Duma, and to the 33 per cent returned to the Fourth Duma?

If, instead of the figures on the deputies elected, we could obtain the figures on the electors, or workers’ delegates, etc., we would gladly quote them. But these more detailed figures are not available, and consequently the “disputants” are simply throwing dust in people’s eyes.

But what about the figures of the workers’ groups that assisted the newspapers of the different trends? During two years (1912 and 1913), 2,801 groups assisted Pravda, and 750 assisted Luch.[1] These figures are verifiable and nobody has attempted to disprove them.

Where is the unity of action and will of the majority of the “advanced workers”, and where is the flouting of the will of the majority?

Trotsky’s “non-factionalism” is, actually, splitting tactics, in that it shamelessly flouts the will of the majority of the workers.

III. THE BREAK-UP OF THE AUGUST BLOC

But there is still another method, and a very important one, of verifying the correctness and truthfulness of Trotsky’s accusations about splitting tactics.

You consider that it is the “Leninists” who are splitters? Very well, let us assume that you are right.

But if you are, why have not all the other sections and groups proved that unity is possible with the liquidators without the “Leninists”, and against the “splitters”?… If we are splitters, why have not you, uniters, united among yourselves, and with the liquidators? Had you done that you would have proved to the workers by deeds that unity is possible and beneficial!…

Let us go over the chronology of events.

In January 1912, the “Leninist” “splitters” declared that they were a Party without and against the liquidators.

In March 1912, all the groups and “factions”: liquidators, Trotskyists, Vperyodists, “pro-Party Bolsheviks” and “pro-PartyMensheviks”, in their Russian news sheets and in the columns of the German Social-Democratic newspaper Vorw\”arts, unitedagainst these “splitters”. All of them unanimously, in chorus, in unison and in one voice vilified us and called us “usurpers”, “mystifiers”, and other no less affectionate and tender names.

Very well, gentlemen! But what could have been easier for you than to unite against the “usurpers” and to set the “advanced workers” an example of unity? Do you mean to say that if the advanced workers had seen, on the one hand, the unity of all against the usurpers, the unity of liquidators and non-liquidators, and on the other, isolated “usurpers”, “splitters”, and so forth; they would not have supported the former?

If disagreements are only invented, or exaggerated, and so forth, by the “Leninists”, and if unity between the liquidators, Plekhanovites, Vperyodists, Trotskyists, and so forth, is really possible, why have you not proved this during the past two years by your own example?

In August 1912, a conference of “uniters” was convened. Disunity started at once: the Plekhanovites refused to attend at all; the Vperyodists attended, but walked out after protesting and exposing the fictitious character of the whole business.

The liquidators, the Letts, the Trotskyists (Trotsky and Semkovsky), the Caucasians, and the Seven “united”. But did they? We stated at the time that they did not, that this was merely a screen to cover up liquidationism. Have the events disproved our statement?

Exactly eighteen months later, in February 1914, we found:

1. that the Seven was breaking up. Buryanov had left them.

2. that in the remaining new “Six”, Chkheidze and Tulyakov, or somebody else, could not see eye to eye on the reply to be made to Plekhanov. They stated in the press that they would reply to him, but they could not.

3. that Trotsky, who for many months had practically vanished from the columns of Luck, had broken away, and had started “his own” journal, Borba. By calling this journal “non-factional”, Trotsky clearly (clearly to those who are at all familiar with the subject) intimates that in his, Trotsky’s, opinion, Nasha Zarya and Luch had proved to be “factional”, i. e., poor uniters.

If you are a uniter, my dear Trotsky, if you say that it is possible to unite with the liquidators, if you and they stand by the “fundamental ideas formulated in August 1912” (Borba No. 1, p. 43, Editorial Note), why did not you yourself unite with the liquidators in Nasha Zarya and Luch?

When, before Trotsky’s journal appeared, Severnaya Rabochaya Gazeta published some scathing comment stating that the physiognomy of this journal was “unclear” and that there had been “quite a good deal of talk in Marxist circles” about this journal, Put Pravdy (No. 37)[2] was naturally obliged to expose this falsehood. It said: “There has been talk in Marxist circles” about a secret memorandum written by Trotsky against the Luch group; Trotsky’s physiognomy and his breakaway from the August bloc were perfectly “clear”.

4. An, the well-known leader of the Caucasian liquidators, who had attacked L. Sedov (for which he was given a public wigging by F. Dan and Co.), now appeared in Borba. It remains “unclear” whether the Caucasians now desire to go with Trotsky or with Dan.

5. The Lettish Marxists, who were the only real organisation in the “August bloc”, had formally withdrawn from it, stating (in 1914) in the resolution of their last Congress that:

the attempt on the part of the conciliators to unite at all costs with the liquidators (the August Conference of 1912) proved fruitless, and the uniters themselves became ideologically and politically dependent upon the liquidators.”

This statement was made,after eighteen months’ experience, by an organisation which had itself been neutral and had notdesired to establish connection with either of the two centres. This decision of neutrals should carry all the more weight with Trotsky!

Enough, is it not?

Those who accused us of being splitters, of being unwilling or unable to get on with the liquidators, were themselves unable to get on with them. The August bloc proved to be a fiction and broke up.

By concealing this break-up from his readers, Trotsky is deceiving them.

The experience of our opponents has proved that we are right, has proved that the liquidators cannot be co-operated with.

IV. A CONCILIATOR’S ADVICE TO THE “SEVEN”

The editorial article in issue No. 1 of Borba entitled “The Split in the Duma Group” contains advice from a conciliator to the seven pro-liquidator (or inclining towards liquidationism) members of the Duma. The gist of this advice is contained in the following words:

“first of all consult the Six whenever it is necessary to reach an agreement with other groups….” (P. 29.)

This is the wise counsel which, among other things, is evidently the cause of Trotsky’s disagreement with the liquidators of Luch. This is the opinion the Pravdists have held ever since the outbreak of the conflict between the two groups in the Duma, ever since the resolution of the Summer (1913) Conference was adopted. The Russian Social-Democratic Labour group in the Duma has reiterated in the press, even after the split, that it continues to adhere to this position, in spite of the repeated refusals of the Seven.

From the very outset, since the time the resolution of the Summer Conference was adopted, we have been, and still are, of the opinion that agreements on questions concerning activities in the Duma are desirable and possible; if such agreements have been repeatedly arrived at with the petty-bourgeois peasant democrats (Trudoviks), they are all the more possible and necessary with the petty-bourgeois, liberal-labour politicians.

We must not exaggerate disagreements, but we must face the facts: the Seven are men, leaning towards liquidationism, who yesterday entirely followed the lead of Dan, and whose eyes today are travelling longingly from Dan to Trotsky and back again. The liquidators are a group of legalists who have broken away from the Party and are pursuing a liberal- labour policy. Since they repudiate the “underground”, there can be no question of unity with them in matters concerning Party organisation and the working-class movement. Who ever thinks differently is badly mistaken and fails to take into account the profound nature of the changes that have taken place since 1908.

But agreements on certain questions with this group, which stands outside or on the fringe of the Party, are, of course, permissible: we must always compel this group, too, like the Trudoviks, to choose between the workers’ (Pravdist) policy and the liberal policy. For example, on the question of fighting for freedom of the press the liquidators clearly revealed, vacillation between the liberal formulation of the question, which repudiated, or overlooked, the illegal press, and the opposite policy, that of the workers.

Within the scope of a Duma policy in which the most important extra-Duma issues are not directly raised, agreements with the seven liberal-labour deputies are possible and desirable. On this point Trotsky has shifted his ground from that of the liquidatorsto that of the Party Summer (1913) Conference.

It should not be forgotten, however, that to a group standing outside the Party, agreement means something entirely different from what Party people usually understand by the term. By “agreement” in the Duma, non-Party people mean “drawing up a tactical resolution, or line”. To Party people agreement is an attempt to enlist others in the work of carrying out the Party line.

For example, the Trudoviks have no party. By agreement they understand the “voluntary”, so to speak, “drawing up” of a line, today with the Cadets, tomorrow with the Social-Democrats. We, however, understand something entirely different by agreement with the Trudoviks. We have Party decisions on all the important questions of tactics, and we shall never depart from these decisions; by agreement with the Trudoviks we mean winning them over to our side, convincing them that we are right, and not rejecting joint action against the Black Hundreds and against the liberals.

How far Trotsky has forgotten (not for nothing has he associated with the liquidators) this elementary difference between the Party and non-Party point of view on agreements, is shown by the following argument of his:

“The representatives of the International must bring together the two sections of our divided parliamentary group and jointly with them ascertain the points of agreement and points of disagreement…. A detailed tactical resolution formulating the principles of parliamentary tactics may he drawn up….” (No. 1, pp. 29—30.)

Here you have a characteristic and typical example of the liquidationist presentation of the question! Trotsky’s journal forgets about the Party; such a trifle is hardly worth remembering!

When different parties in Europe (Trotsky is fond of inappropriately talking about Europeanism) come to an agreement or unite, what they do is this: their respective representatives meet and first of all ascertain the points of disagreement (precisely what the International proposed in relation to Russia, without including in the resolution Kautsky’s ill-considered statement that “the old Party no longer exists”[9]). Having ascertained the points of disagreement, the representatives decide what decisions (resolutions, conditions, etc.) on questions of tactics, organisation, etc., should be submitted to the congresses of the two parties. If they succeed in drafting unanimous decisions, the congresses decide whether to adopt them or not. If differing proposals are made, they too are submitted for final decision to the congresses of the two parties.

What appeals to the liquidators and Trotsky is only the European models of opportunism, but certainly not the models of European partisanship.

“A detailed tactical resolution” will be drawn up by the members of the Duma! This example should serve the Russian “advanced workers”, with whom Trotsky has good reason to be so displeased, as a striking illustration of the lengths to which the groups in Vienna and Paris—who persuaded even Kautsky that there was “no Party” in Russia—go in their ludicrous project-mongering. But if it is some times possible to fool foreigners on this score, the Russian “advanced workers” (at the risk of provoking the terrible Trotsky to another outburst of displeasure) will laugh in the faces of these project-mongers.

“Detailed tactical resolutions,” they will tell them, “are drawn up among us (we do not know how it is done among you lion-Party people) by Party congresses and conferences, for example, those of 1907, 1908, 1910, 1912 and 1913. We shall gladly acquaint uninformed foreigners, as well as forgetful Russians, with our Party decisions, and still more gladly ask the representatives of the Seven, or the August bloc members, or Left-wingers or anybody else, to acquaint us with the resolutions of their congresses, or conferences, and to bring up at their next congress the definite question of the attitude they should adopt towards our resolutions, or towards the resolution of the neutral Lettish Congress of 1914, etc.”

This is what the “advanced workers” of Russia will say to the various project-mongers, and this has already been said iii the Marxist press, for example, by the organised Marxists of St. Petersburg. Trotsky chooses to ignore these published terms for the liquidators? So much the worse for Trotsky. It is our duty to warn our readers how ridiculous that “unity” (the August type of “unity”?) project-mongering is which refuses to reckon with the will of the majority of the class-conscious workers of Russia.

V. TROTSKY’S LIQUIDATIONIST VIEWS

As to the substance of his own views, Trotsky contrived to say as little as possible in his new journal. Put Pravdy (No. 37) has already commented on the fact that Trotsky has not said a word either on the question of the “underground” or on the slogan of working for a legal party, etc.[3] That, among other things, is why we say that when attempts are made to form a separate organisation which is to have no ideological and political physiognomy, it is the worst form of factionalism.

Although Trotsky has refrained from openly expounding his views, quite a number of passages in his journal show what kind of ideas he has been trying to smuggle in.

In the very first editorial article in the first issue of his journal, we read the following:

“The pre-revolutionary Social-Democratic Party in our country was a workers’ party only in ideas and aims. Actually, it was an organisation of the Marxist intelligentsia, which led the awakening working class.” (5.)

This is the old liberal and liquidationist tune, which is really the prelude to the repudiation of the Party. It is based on a distortion of the historical facts. The strikes of 1895—96 had already given rise to a mass working-class movement, which both in ideas and organisation was linked with the Social-Democratic movement. And in these strikes, in this economic and non-economic agitation, the “intelligentsia led the working class”!?

Or take the following exact statistics of political offences in the period 1901—03 compared with the preceding period.

Occupations of participants in the emancipation movement prosecuted for political offences (per cent)
Period Agriculture Industry and
commerce
Liberal
professions
and students
No definite
occupation, and
no occupation
1884—90 7.1 15.1 53.3 19.9
1901—03 9.0 46.1 28.7 8.0

We see that in the eighties, when there was as yet no Social-Democratic Party in Russia, and when the movement was “Narodnik”, the intelligentsia predominated, accounting for over half the participants.

But the picture underwent a complete change in 1901—03, when a Social-Democratic Party already existed, and when the old Iskra was conducting its work. The intelligentsia were now a minority among the participants of the movement; the workers(“industry and commerce”) were far more numerous than the intelligentsia, and the workers and peasants together constituted more than half the total.

It was precisely in the conflict of trends within the Marxist movement that the petty-bourgeois intellectualist wing of the Social-Democracy made itself felt, beginning with Economism (1895—1903) and continuing with Menshevism (1903—1908) and liquidationism (1908—1914). Trotsky repeats the liquidationist slander against the Party and is afraid to mention the history of the twenty years’ conflict of trends within the Party.

Here is another example.

“In its attitude towards parliamentarism, Russian Social-Democracy passed through the same three stages … [as in other countries] … first ‘boycottism’ … then the acceptance in principle of parliamentary tactics, but … [that magnificent “but”, the “but” which Shchedrin translated as: The ears never grow higher than the forehead, never![4]]… for purely agitational purposes … and lastly, the presentation from the Duma rostrum … of current demands….” (No. 1, p. 34.)

This, too, is a liquidationist distortion of history. The distinction between the second and third stages was invent ed in order to smuggle in a defence of reformism and opportunism. Boycottism as a stage in “the attitude of Social-Democracy towards parliamentarism” never existed either in Europe (where anarchism has existed and continues to exist) or in Russia, where the boycott of the Bulygin Duma, for example, applied only to a definite institution, was never linked with “parliamentarism”, and was engendered by the peculiar nature of the struggle between liberalism and Marxism for the continuation of the onslaught. Trotsky does not breathe a word, about the way this struggle affected the conflict between the two trends in Marxism!

When dealing with history, one must explain concrete questions and the class roots of the different trends; anybody who wants to make a Marxist study of the struggle of classes and trends over the question of participation in the Bulygin Duma, will see therein the roots of the liberal-labour policy. But Trotsky “deals with” history only in order to evade concrete questions and to invent a justification, or a semblance of justification, for the present-day opportunists!

“Actually, all trends,” he writes, “employ the same methods of struggle and organisation.” “The outcries about the liberal danger in our working-class movement are simply a crude and sectarian travesty of reality.” (No. 1, pp. 5 and 35.)

This is a very clear and very vehement, defence of the liquidators. But we will take the liberty of quoting at least one small fact, one of the very latest. Trotsky merely slings words about; we should like the workers themselves to ponder over the facts.

It is a fact that Severnaya Rabochaya Gazeta for March 13 wrote the following:

Instead of emphasising the definite and concrete task that confronts the working class, viz., to compel the Duma to throw out the bill [on the press], a vague formula is proposed of fighting for the ‘uncurtailed slogans’, and at the same time the illegal press is widely advertised, which can only lead to the relaxation of the workers’ struggle for their legal press.”

This is a clear, precise and documentary defence of the liquidationist policy and a criticism of the Pravda policy. Well, will any literate person say that both trends employ “the same methods of struggle and organisation” on this question? Will any literate person say that the liquidators are not pursuing a liberal-labour policy on this question, that the liberal menace to the working-class movement is purely imaginary?

The reason why Trotsky avoids facts and concrete references is because they relentlessly refute all his angry outcries and pompous phrases. It is very easy, of course, to strike an attitude and say: “a crude and sectarian travesty”. Or to add a still more stinging and pompous catch-phrase, such as “emancipation from conservative factionalism”.

But is this not very cheap? Is not this weapon borrowed from the arsenal of the period when Trotsky posed in all his splendour before audiences of high-school boys?

Nevertheless, the “advanced workers”, with whom Trotsky is so angry, would like to be told plainly and clearly: Do you or do you not approve of the “method of struggle and organisation” that is definitely expressed in the above-quoted appraisal of a definite political campaign? If you do, then you are pursuing a liberal-labour policy, betraying Marxism and the Party; to talk of “peace” or of “unity” with such a policy, with groups which pursue such a policy, means deceiving yourself and others.

If not, then say so plainly. Phrases will not astonish, satisfy or intimidate the present-day workers.

Incidentally, the policy advocated by the liquidators in the above-quoted passage is a foolish one even from the liberal point of view, for the passage of a bill in the Duma depends on “Zemstvo-Octobrists” of the type of Bennigsen, who has already shown his hand in the committee.

The old participants in the Marxist movement in Russia know Trotsky very well, and there is no need to discuss him for their benefit. But the younger generation of workers do not know him, and it is therefore necessary to discuss him, for he is typical of all the five groups abroad, which, in fact, are also vacillating between the liquidators and the Party.

In the days of the old Iskra (1901—03), these waverers, who flitted from the Economists to the Iskrists and back again, were dubbed “Tushino turncoats” (the name given in the Troublous Times in Rus to fighting men who went over from one camp to another[10]).

When we speak of liquidationism we speak of a definite ideological trend, which grew up in the course of many years, stems from Menshevism and Economism in the twenty years’ history of Marxism, and is connected with the policy and ideology of a definite class—the liberal bourgeoisie.

The only ground the “Tushino turncoats” have for claiming that they stand above groups is that they “borrow” their ideas from one group one day and from another the next day. Trotsky was an ardent Iskrist in 1901—03, and Ryazanov described his role at the Congress of 1903 as “Lenin’s cudgel”. At the end of 1903, Trotsky was an ardent Menshevik, i. e., he deserted from the Iskrists to the Economists. He said that “between the old Iskra and the new lies a gulf”. In 1904—05, he deserted the Mensheviks and occupied a vacillating position, now co-operating with Martynov (the Economist), now proclaiming his absurdly Left “permanent revolution” theory. In 1906—07, he approached the Bolsheviks, and in the spring of 1907 he declared that he was in agreement with Rosa Luxemburg.

In the period of disintegration, after long “non-factional” vacillation, he again went to the right, and in August 1912, he entered into a bloc with the liquidators. He has now deserted them again, although in substance he reiterates their shoddy ideas.

Such types are characteristic of the flotsam of past historical formations, of the time when the mass, working-class movement in Russia was still dormant, and when every group had “ample room” in which to pose as a trend, group or faction, in short, as a “power”, negotiating amalgamation with others.

The younger generation of workers should know exactly whom they are dealing with, when individuals come before them with incredibly pretentious claims, unwilling absolutely to reckon with either the Party decisions, which since 1908 have defined and established our attitude towards liquidationism, or with the experience of the present-day working-class movement in Russia, which has actually brought about the unity of the majority on the basis of full recognition of the aforesaid decisions.

Notes

 A preliminary calculation made up to April 1, 1914, showed 4,000 groups for Pravda (commencing with January 1,1912) and 1,000 for the liquidators and all their allies taken together. —Lenin

[2] See pp. 158—81 of this volume.—Ed.

[3] See pp. 158—61 of this volume.—Ed.

[4] Meaning the impossible.—Ed.

[5] This refers to Prosveshcheniye.

[6] Pro-Party Bolsheviks—conciliators with leanings towards the liquidators. (For further details see Lenin’s article “Adventurism”, pp. 350—59 of this volume.)

Pro-Party Mensheviks—headed by Plekhanov, came out against the liquidators during the period of reaction. While taking a Menshevik stand, the Plekhanovites at the same time stood for the preservation and strengthening of the illegal Party organisation and therefore stood for a bloc with the Bolsheviks. Plekhanov broke the bloc with the Bolsheviks at the end of 1911. Under the guise of fighting “factionalism” and the split in the R.S.D.L.P. be attempted to reconcile the Bolsheviks with the opportunists. In 1912 the Plekhanovites, together with the Trotskyists, Bundists and liquidators, came out against the decisions of the Prague Conference of the R.S.D.L.P.

[7] Nozdrev—a character in Gogol’s Dead Souls typifying a self-assured, impudent, and mendacious person.

[8] “Judas” Golovlyov—a character in Saltykov-Shchedrin’s book The Golovlyov Family typifying the spiritual and physicaldisintegration of the historically doomed class of feudalist landlords, social parasites, treacherous hypocrites.

[9] At the December meeting of the International Socialist Bureau (held in London on December 13—14, 1913) a resolution was adopt ed instructing the Executive of the International Socialist Bureau to call a meeting of representatives of “all factions of the labour movement in Russia, including Russian Poland, who recognise the Party Programme or whose programme corresponds with that of the Social-Democrats, for a mutual exchange o opinions (Aussprache) on points of disagreement”. In seconding this resolution, Kautsky, in his speech of December 14, stated that the old Social-Democratic Party in Russia was dead. It had to be re-established on the basis of the Russian workers’ urge for unity. In his article “A Good Resolution and a Bad Speech”, Lenin examined this resolution and called Kautsky’s speech monstrous. (See present edition, Vol. 19, pp. 528—30.)

[10] The Troublous Times—a term used in pre-revolutionary Russian historiography to denote the period of the peasant war and the struggle of the Russian people against the Polish and Swedish intervention in the early seventeenth century.

In 1608 the Polish troops under Pseudo-Dmitry II, a henchman of the Polish landed gentry who posed as the younger son of the Russian tsar Ivan the Terrible, invaded Russia, and reached the outskirts of Moscow, where they encamped in Tushino. A government headed by Pseudo-Dmitry was formed in Tushino in opposition to the government of Moscow. Some of the Russian nobles and boyar aristocracy deserted one camp for another in an effort to keep in with the winning side. These deserters were called “Tushino turncoats”.

The Origins of Trotsky’s Ill-Discipline

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Trotskyite followers tend to perpetuate the ‘myth’ that somehow Leon Trotsky was Lenin’s successor in-waiting, and that the nasty Joseph Stalin ‘stole’ that role. However, even a cursory examination of Bolshevik history reveals how Lenin was continuously criticising Trotsky, and did not view him as a ‘reliable’ candidate. This stems from the 1903 ‘split’ between the Bolsheviks (under Lenin) and the Mensheviks – with Leon Trotsky never losing his support for the latter, or his resistance to the former. Trotsky would never submit to Bolshevik Party Discipline – and it was this failure to behave in ‘solidarity’ with the workers that Lenin saw as the basis for Trotsky’s ill-disciplined production of thought. As there was no self-imposed discipline at the beginning, there was no production of disciplined thought at the end. Lenin stated:

‘It is impossible to argue with Trotsky on any point of substance since he has no opinions. He is always creeping through the crack of this or that controversy and running from one side to the other.’

Lenin also said that Trotsky deployed ‘resounding but hollow phrases’ to deliver his ‘incredible bombast’! As Trotsky would not conform to the pristine order of Bolshevik Party Discipline, his opinions were highly unstable, and bourgeois in nature. This is why Lenin did not trust Trotsky with the leadership of the Bolshevik Movement. The Mensheviks – being a party of bourgeois tolerance – lacked the ability to lead any revolution due to their collective siding with capitalism and opposition to any genuine workers’ movement.

Reference:

The Bolshevik Revolution (Vol, I), by EH Carr, Macmillan, (1950), Page 63

Mariya Oktyabrskaya (1905-1944) – Stalin’s Soviet Tank Commander!

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(Research and translation by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)

Translator’s Note. The US (Engish) Wikipedia page is deficient when relating the true story of Mariya Oktyabrskaya, and has many facts either missing or just wrong. For instance, Wikipedia states that in 1941, Mariya was ’38’ years old, when the same article gives her birthdate as 1905 (which would make Mariya around ’36’ years old in 1941). Interestingly, whereas the US, Russian and Ukrainian Wikipedia pages all give her birthdate as ‘1905’, a number of other historical Russian language sources give Mariya’s birthdate as being ‘1902’. An ‘official’ Monument to Mariya states ‘1905’, whilst another states ‘1902’. The narratives I have read appear to favour a ‘1905’ birthdate:

 

Furthermore, as US Wikipedia supports the neo-Nazi ‘Maidan’ Movement currently committing atrocities in Western Ukraine, it incorrectly gives Mariya’s name in the modified Cyrillic script preferred by the Ukrainian neo-Nazis, instead of her actual name, which is historically always written in standard Russian Cyrilic (i.e. ‘Мария Васильевна Октябрьская ‘ as opposed to the incorrect Ukrainian ‘Марія Василівна Октябрська ‘). Mariya was born in the Russian area of the Crimea, but even Ukrainians are ‘Russian’ as they are descendents of the Slavic (i.e. Viking) King Rurik I. Nikita Khruschev, for reasons known only to himself, transferred the Crimea to be administered as part of the Ukraine whilst both areas existed as psrt of the Soviet Union. There had been a terrible problem with a minority of Western Ukrainians during the ‘Great Patriotic War’ (1941-1945), which had seen Ukrainians joining the Nazi German extermination squads, and assisting in the murders of millions of people in the area. The special forces of the NKVD eventually put-down this fascist insurgency in 1947 – but many of the Ukrainian Neo-Nazis today state that they are proudly descended from these fascist collaborators and War Criminals. The point to remember here, is that Mariya Oktyabrskaya had already lived and died nearly a decade before Crimea and Ukraine were administratively linked, and along with her husband, was proud to be a ‘Soviet’ citizen and a ‘Russian’ patriot. Furthermore, the Ukrainian neo-Nazis have started a separate ‘modified’ ‘cyrillic’ Wikipedia page that misrepresents the life of Mariya Oktyabrskaya, claiming that she was ‘Ukrainian’, and it is this fascistic page that the US (English) Wikipedia page has decided to emulate. This demonstrates the ‘rightwing’ agenda of the US Wikipedia franchise. Following the ‘Maidan’ neo-Nazi rise to power in Western Ukraine in 2014, the people of Crimea democratically voted to return to non-fascist Russia. Predictably, the US (English) wikipedia page covering the history of Crimea, trumpets the Ukrainian neo-Nazi distortion of history. Despite all this racism and misrepresentation, however, I have accessed Russian language sources and convey here the ‘real’ story of Mariya Oktyabrskaya as part of the commemoration of the 100th Anniversary of the Great October Russian Revolution! ACW (28.12.2017)

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Mariya Vasilyevna Oktyabrskaya (Мария Васильевна Октябрьская) [1905-1944] was born ‘Mariya Garagulya’ (Мария Гарагуля) in the Crimean region of the Soviet Union. She was of ‘Russian’ (i.e, ‘Slavic’) ethnicity, and was a very loyal citizen of the USSR and committed Communist. Mariya married Ilya Ryadnenko (Илью Рядненко) in 1925. Ilya Ryadnenko was a Cadet training at the highly regarded Soviet Cavalry School, and was also a committed Communist, both he and Mariya decided that they would create a progressive and fully ‘Socialist’ family in the USSR, and as such, changed their surname to ‘October’ (Октябрьская – Oktyabrskaya) out of respect for the 1917 October Revolution (led by Lenin), which had given them every possible help, support and advantage in life.

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As a Red Army Officer’s wife, Mariya – born into a large family of peasants – was devoted, honest, selfless and tireless in her work, as she followed her Red Army husband from one Garrison appointment to another. She was particularly skilful in all aspects of needle-work, and was renowned for the quality of her work. However, although needle-work was a ‘traditional’ skill learned by women in Russia, as the Soviet Union legally treated women as being ‘equal’ to men in every respect, Mariya trained to be a Medic, drive a car and efficiently operate a machine-gun, as well as operate a military radio-set. In June, 1941, when the military forces of Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union, Mariya (and her husband) lived in Chisinau. with Ilya Oktyabrsky then serving in the 134th Howitzer Artillery Regiment.

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With the outbreak of war, Mariya (and other military families) were evacuated to Tomsk – whilst her husband remained at the front. As a Member of the Red Army (in a ‘reserve’ capacity), Mariya resumed her role as a radio-operator. However, in August, 1941, Mariya received notification that her husband – the Regimental Political Commissar – had died bravely leading a Soviet attack – when he was hit and killed by a machine-gun burst. Mariya immediately volunteered for front-line duty to serve the Soviet Union and wreak revenge upon the Nazi German invaders! However, even though she was qualified for front-line service, her request was denied because she was already 36 years old. This decision was premised upon the results of her medical examination, which revealed that she was suffering from tuberculosis of the cervical vertebrae. Mariya Oktyabrskaya then decided to personally purchase a ‘tank’ as a direct contribution to the anti-fascist war-effort. Although this sounds unusual today, there was nothing incredible about this idea, as the entire country was then collecting funds for military equipment and weapons. However, to purchase a tank was a very expensive under-taking! Even selling everything that she owned, Mariya could not afford anything near the price of a combat vehicle. This is where Mariya was very clever and made use of her embroidering skills. Arriving home from duty at the tele-communication station, Mariya would sit at the craft-frame, and embroider napkins, tablecloths, and towels. As her work was so valued, more and more orders arrived and she soon made a large amount of money which she gave to the anti-fascist war-effort. The right amount – 50 thousand rubles – was collected and sent to the State Bank by the spring of 1943.

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Mariya did not just want to purchase a Red Army tank for general purpose, she wanted to operate it herself as part of a direct contribution to the anti-fascist war-effort. To this end, Mariya took the unusual step of writing a telegram directly to Joseph Stalin which read:

«Дорогой Иосиф Виссарионович! В боях за Родину погиб мой муж — полковой комиссар Октябрьский Илья Федотович. За его смерть, за смерть всех советских людей, замученных фашистскими варварами, хочу отомстить фашистским собакам, для чего внесла в госбанк на построение танка все свои личные сбережения — 50 000 рублей. Танк прошу назвать «Боевая подруга» и направить меня на фронт в качестве водителя этого танка. Имею специальность шофера, отлично владею пулеметом, являюсь ворошиловским стрелком. Шлю Вам горячий привет и желаю здравствовать долгие, долгие годы на страх врагам и на славу нашей Родины. Октябрьская Мария Васильевна»

‘Dear Joseph Vissarionovich! In the battles for the Motherland my husband, the Regimental Commissar Oktyabrsky Ilya Fedotovich, was killed. For his death, for the death of all Soviet people tortured by fascist barbarians, I want revenge on these fascist dogs, a cause for which I contributed all my personal savings into the State Bank as a means to build a tank – 50,000 rubles. I request that the tank be named ‘Combat Girlfriend’, and that I be allowed to operate it during frontline operations. I can already drive and operate a machine-gun, and I have been trained as a ‘Voroshilov’ sharp-shooter. I send you my warmest greetings and wish you long, long years of life. May you strike fear into our enemies and for the eternal glory of our Socialist Motherland. Oktyabrskaya Maria Vasilyevna.’

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Joseph Stalin soon sent the following reply:
«Тов. Октябрьской Марии Васильевне. Благодарю Вас, Мария Васильевна, за Вашу заботу о бронетанковых силах Красной Армии. Ваше желание будет исполнено. Примите мой привет. И. Сталин»
‘Comrade. Oktyabrskaya Maria Vasilievna. Thank you, Maria Vasilievna, for your concern about the armoured forces of the Red Army. Your desire will be fulfilled. Please accept my greetings. J. Stalin.’
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Between September, 1943 and March 1944, Mariya served in the 26th Guards Tank Brigade, starting as a Mechanic and Driver, but soon rose up through the ranks (due to her bravery), eventually reaching rank of Guards Senior Sergeant. Mariya eventually commanded the T-34 she had paid for and named ‘Combat Girlfriend’. Mariya was very skilled at clearing Nazi German machine-gun nests, and seeking-out and destroying well-hidden Nazi German artillery emplacements and ammunition dumps in and around the Vitebsk area of Belarus. She was expert in the handling of the T-34 machine gun and was renowned for taking on and clearing Nazi German infantry. Mariya, as an expert mechanic, was also able to repair the T-34 tracks when damaged by Nazi German fire – even when still in the midst of battle. She would climb out of the tank and ignore the enemy fire whilst performing her tasks. In January, 1941, whilst fighting near Vitebsk, Mariya guided hr T-34 tank through the enemy defenses and destroyed a number of entrenched Nazi German positions. Whilst repairing the tracks of her T-34 tank, however, she was hit in the head and remaind in a coma for two months before dying. On August 2nd, 1944, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR awarded (by decree) the title of Hero of the Soviet Union (posthumously) for courage and heroism displayed in many battles – to Senior Guard Sergeant Mariya Vasilievna Oktyabrskaya . The tank, acquired by Mariya Vasilyevna, was destroyed by the Germans in one of the battles. However, a young Soviet tank man, in memory of their dead mother and Commander, wrote on the tower of one of the new tanks, the words ‘Combat Girlfriend’. After the fighting for Minsk, this tank was decommissioned, but the proud inscription appeared on the tower of another tank, and after this tank was hit, there was another tank with this writing on its turret, meaning the memory of the ‘Combat Girlfriend’ continued to fight the Nazi Germans right up to Koenigsberg, where this tank ended its career.

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Russian Language Sources:

http://aeslib.ru/istoriya-i-zhizn/velikie/geroj-sovetskogo-soyuza-oktyabrskaya-mariya-vasilevna.html

http://www.neveroyatno.info/news/boj_baby/2014-03-13-2218

http://russian7.ru/post/mariya-oktyabrskaya-zhenshhina-tank-pro/

https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Октябрьская,_Мария_Васильевна

US (English) Wikipedia Page:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariya_Oktyabrskaya

Fake Neo-Nazi Ukrainian Wikipedia Page:

https://uk.wikipedia.org/wiki/Октябрська_Марія_Василівна

Fake US (English) Wikpedia Page (Crimea):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimea

 

 

Lenin: Steptoe and Son

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A statue of ‘Lenin’ appears in the 1972 episode of the British comedy ‘Steptoe and Son’, entitled ‘Live Now – P.A.Y.E Later’. I also remember seeing a very large poster of Chairman Mao on the wall in one Steptoe and Son feature film. Things were very different for the British working class before Thatcher broke the Unions in the 1980’s. I remember growing-up in the 1970’s, and many people thought that there was going to be a ‘Socialist Revolution’ in the UK supported by Communist China and the USSR! There was greater working class cohesiveness that kept the ruling bourgeoisie in check – until Thatcher that is. Today, ordinary people hardly dare to express a leftwing viewpoint in fear of the rightwing British State, and the violence and death it is currently inflicting upon the poor, vulnerable and ordinary. At least in the 1970’s the British working class had the means to collectively protect itself – and call for help to the then existing Communist Bloc.

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