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In July 1912 the Third State Duma was formally dissolved, and the elections for the Fourth State Duma took place in the autumn.

The Bolsheviks and the Menshevik dominated "August Bloc" put forward rival candidates for the Duma. The Bolshevik candidates went to the working people on a revolutionary platform:
"The Social-Democratic Party needs a platform for the elections to the Fourth Duma in order once more to explain to the masses . . the need for, the urgency, the inevitability of the revolution. . . . 
The Social-Democratic Party wishes to utilise the elections in order, over and over again, to stimulate the masses to see the need for revolution; to see precisely the revolutionary revival which has begun. Therefore the Social-Democratic Party, in its platform, says briefly and plainly to the electors to the Fourth Duma : not constitutional reforms, but a republic, not reformism, but revolution."
(V. I. Lenin: "The Platform of the Reformists and the Platform of the Revolutionary Social-Democrats", in: "Selected Works", Volume 4; London; 1943; p. l84-5).
The "August Bloc", on the other hand, put forward a platform based on the demand for democratic reforms, falsely implying that these could be obtained without revolution through mass pressure of the working people upon the tsarist regime:
"Look at the platform of the liquidators. Its liquidationist essence is artfully concealed by Trotsky's revolutionary phrases.  
Our answer is - criticism of the utopia of constitutional reforms, explanation of the falsity of hopes placed in them, all possible assistance to the revolutionary upsurge, utilisation of the election campaign for that purpose. . .  
They, the liquidators, need a platform ‘for’ the elections, i.e., in order politely to push back the consideration of' a revolution as an indefinite contingency and to declare as 'real’ the election campaign for a list of constitutional reforms. . .  
The liquidators are using the elections to the Fourth Duma in order to preach constitutional reforms and to weaken the idea of revolution".
(V.I. Lenin: ibid.; p. 180, l84, 185).
Of the nine deputies elected from the workers’ curiae, six were Bolsheviks; they were elected from the larger industrial centres, where four-fifths of the working class was concentrated. Seven liquidator Mensheviks were elected, the majority from non-working class curiae. 

These deputies -- the Bolshevik "Six" and the Menshevik "Seven" -- at first formed a single "Social-Democratic" fraction in the Duma, which opened in November 1912. The fraction elected Nikolai Chkheidze, -the Georgian Menshevik leader, as its Chairman.

The "Vperyod" Group Cooperate with the Bolsheviks

In November 1912 the "Vperyod" group severed their connection with the "August Bloc" and offered their cooperation to the Bolsheviks.

Lenin accepted the offer of cooperation gladly – but dubiously:
"I am ready to share with all my heart in your joy at the return of the 'Vperyod' group, if . . if your supposition is justified that 'Machism, god-building and all that nonsense has been dumped for ever', as you write. . . I underline -'if' because this, so far, is still a hope rather than a fact. . . .
I don’t know whether Bogdanov, Bazanov, Volsky (a semi-anarchist), Lunacharsky, Alexinsky, are capable of learning from the painful experience of 1908-11. Have they learned that Marxism is a more serious and more profound thing than it seemed to them, that one cannot scoff at it. . If they have understood this -- a –thousand greetings to them. . . But if they haven't understood it, then . against attempts to abuse Marxism or to confuse the policy of the workers' party we shall fight without sparing our lives".
(V. I. Lenin: Letter to Maxim Gorky, January 1913, in: "Collected Works", Volume 35; Moscow; 1966; p. 70, 71).
1913: The January 1913 Conference

In January 1913 a conference of the Central Committee of the RSDLP with leading Party workers was held in Cracow (Poland).

One resolution adopted by the conference noted the revolutionary revival that had marked the year 1912 and declared that one of the immediate tasks of the Party was:
"The organisation of revolutionary street demonstrations, both in conjunction with political strikes and as independent manifestations".
(Resolution of January 1913 Conference, cited in: N. Popov: "Outline History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union"; London; n.d: p. 282).
The conference once again condemned liquidationism, placing on record that, following the "August Bloc" conference, the liquidator Mensheviks were advocating with still greater energy:
"a) an open party;
b) their opposition to the illegal organisations;
c) their opposition to the Party programme (as expressed in their defence of national-cultural autonomy, the demand for the revision of the agrarian laws of the Third Duma, the slurring over of the demand for a republic, etc.;
d) their opposition to revolutionary mass strikes; and
e) their approval of reformist and exclusively legal tactics.
Accordingly, one of the tasks of the Party is, as formerly, to wage determined warfare against the liquidationist groups 'Nasha Zarya' and 'Luch', and to explain to the working class masses the sinister character of their teachings".
(Resolution of January I913 Conference, cited in N. P.Popov: ibid.; p. 282-3).
The conference advocated the unification from below of the existing illegal working class organisations, in contrast to the unity from above proposed by the conciliators.

Lenin, who attended the Conference, considered that it was:
"Very successful and will play its part".
(V. I. Lenin: Letter to Maxim Gorky, January 1913, in: "Collected Works", Volume 35; Moscow; 1966; p. 77).
Trotsky's Letter to Chkheidze

In "April 1913 Trotsky wrote a letter to Nikolai Chkheidze, Chairman of the Duma Menshevik fraction, in which he said:
"And what a senseless obsession is the wretched squabbling systematically provoked by the master squabbler, Lenin . . , that professional exploiter of the backwardness of the Russian, working class movement. . . The whole edifice of Leninism at the present time is built up on lies and falsifications and bears within it the poisoned seed of its own disintegration".
(L. Trotsky: Letter to Nikolai Chkheidze, April 1913, cited in: N.Popov,:, "Outline History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union"; Volume 1; London; n.d.; p. 289).
Sixteen years later Trotsky did not challenge the authenticity of the letter:
"My letter to Chkheidze against Lenin was published during this period (i.e., l924- Ed.). This episode, dating back to April 1913, grew out of the fact that the 'official Bolshevik newspaper then published in St. Petersburg had appropriated the title of my Viennese publication, 'The Pravda -- a Labour Paper'. This led to one of those sharp conflicts so frequent in the lives of the foreign exiles. In a letter written to Chkheidze, I gave vent to my indignation at the Bolshevik centre and at Lenin. Two or three weeks later, I would undoubtedly have subjected my letter to a strict censor's revision; a year or two later still, it would have seemed a curiosity in my own eyes. But that letter was to have a peculiar destiny. It was intercepted on its way by the Police Department. It rested in the police archives until the October revolution, when it went to the Institute of History of the Communist Party".
(L. Trotsky: "My Life"; New York; 1970: p. 5l4-5),.
but described its use by the leadership of the, CPSU in the campaign to expose the role of Trotsky as : "One of the 'greatest frauds in the world’s history": 
"In 1924, the epigones disinterred the letter from archives and flung it at the party. . The people read Trotsky's hostile remarks about Lenin and were stunned. . . The use "that the epigones made of my letter to Chkheidze is one of the greatest frauds in the world's history. The forged documents of the French reactionaries in Dreyfus case are as nothing compared to the political forgery perpetrated by Stalin and his associates".
(L. Trotsky: ibid.; p. 5l6)
The "Summer Conference"1913

In October 1913 another conference of the Central Committee of the Party with leading Party workers, attended by 22 persons, was held at Poropino (Polarid) -- a conference referred to in Party literature as the"Summer" Conference of 1913.

One of the principal resolutions adopted by the Conference dealt with the position of the Party's Duma fraction. Since the seven Menshevik deputies had a majority in the fraction over the six Bolshevik deputies, the latter were constantly being pressed, in the name of "democracy", to adopt the rightist viewpoints of the majority. The conference protested at the conduct of the seven Menshevik deputies and decided that the bloc of six Bolshevik deputies, who were following the political line of the Party's Central Committee, should have equal rights with the bloc of Mensheviks.

The seven Menshevik deputies refused to accept this resolution, and the Bolshevik "six" formed an independent "Russian Social-Democratic Workers’ Fraction".

Another important resolution dealt with the national question, and clarified the meaning of "the self-determination of nations", as the right of an oppressed nation to secede and form an independent state:
"As regards the right of the nations oppressed by the tsarist monarchy to self-determination, i.e., the right to secede and form independent states, the Social-Democratic Party must unquestionably champion this right".
(Resolution on the National Question, "Summer Conference", 1913, cited in: V. I. Lenin: "Collected Works", Volume 19; Moscow; 1963; p. 428)
The delegation of the Social Democratic Party of Poland and Lithuania at the "Summer Conference" refrained from voting on the question of the right of nations to self-determination,
"Declaring themselves opposed to any such right in general"'.
(V. I. Lenin: "On the Right of Nations to Self-Determination", in: "Selected Works", Volume 4; London; l943; p.286).
The Polish delegation to the Second Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party in 1903 had similarly opposed recognition of this right in the Programme Commission of the congress, but, receiving no support, did not raise their objections in the full congress but withdrew from it.
The Polish Party based their attitude on the ideas put forward by Rosa Luxemburg in her article "The National Question and Autonomy"; published in "Przeglad Socjal-Demokratyczny" (Social-Democratic Review) in 1908-09).

Although the Polish Party rejoined the RSDLP in 1906, its leaders continued to opposethe principle of the right of nations to self-determination, and in March 1914, Trotsky used this opposition to attack the Bolsheviks:
"The Polish Marxists consider that 'the right to national self-determination’ is entirely devoid of political content and should be deleted from the programme".
(L. Trotsky: "Borba", No. 2, l914, p. 25).
Lenin replied to these attacks in his article "On the Right of Nations to Self-Determination":
"Unless we in our agitation advance and carry out the slogan of the right to secession we shall play into the hands, not only of the bourgeoisie, but also of the feudal landlords and of the absolutism of the oppressing nation. . . In her anxiety not to 'assist' nationalistic bourgeoisie of Poland, Rosa Luxemburg by her denial of the right to secession in the programme of the Russian Marxists, is in fact assisting the Great Russian Black Hundreds".
(V. I. Lenin: ibid.; p. 266).
And Lenin commented again on Trotsky's role in such controversies:
"Trotsky has never yet held a firm opinion on any serious question relating to Marxism; he always manages to creep into the chinks of this or that difference of opinion, and desert one sided for the other".
(V. I. Lenin: ibid.; p. 286).

1914: The Collapse of the "August Bloc"

In February 1914 the Fourth Congress of the Social-Democratic Party of the Latvian Region held in Brussels and attended by Lenin, resolved to withdraw from the "August Bloc".

With the withdrawal of the Latvian Party, described by Lenin as
"The only genuine organisation in the 'August Bloc".
(V. I. Lenin: "Vio1ation of Unity under Cover of Cries for Unity", in: "Selected Works", Volume 4; London; 1943; p.; l99),
The "August Bloc" collapsed.
"The August bloc turned out to be a fiction and collapsed".
(V. I. Lenin: ibid.; p. 199).
Shortly afterwards the "Caucasian Regional Committee of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party" -- in the shape of Noah Jordania -- considered it expedient to dissociate itself from the liquidator Mensheviks on a number of questions. 

Trotsky’s "Borba"

With the collapse of the "August Bloc", in February 1914, Trotsky withdrew from the editorial board of the Menshevik paper "Luch" (The Torch) and, together with some of his Viennese supporters, began to publish a legal journal called "Borba" (The Struggle), which continued to come out until July 1914. In this paper, as Lenin noted, he put forward liquidationist ideas in a disguised form.
"In his magazine Trotsky has tried to say as little as possible about the essence of his views, but "Pravda" (No . 37) has already pointed out that Trotsky has not uttered a word either on the question of illegal work, or on the slogan of the struggle for an open party, etc. .  
But although Trotsky has avoided expounding his views directly, a whole series of passages in his magazine -indicate the 'kind of ideas he is stealthily introducing and concealing. 
Trotsky repeats the liquidationist libels upon the Party . . repeating . . what in essence are their pet ideas".
(V. I. Lenin: 'Violation of Unity under Cover of Cries for Unity", in: "Selected Works", Volume 4; London; l943; p. 203, 204, 208)
The appearance of "Borba" stimulated Lenin to write one of his fullest analyses of the disruptive role of Trotsky and his supporters, the article "Violation of Unity under Cover of' Cries for Unity", written in May l914: 
"Trotsky calls his new magazine ‘non-factional’. He puts this word in the forefront in his advertisements, he stresses it in every way in the editorials of ‘Borba’. . . Trotsky's 'workers' magazine' is Trotsky's magazine for the workers, for it bears no trace either of workers' initiative or of contact with the workers' organisations.. . . . By this label of 'non-factionalism' the worst representatives of the worst remnants of factionalism mislead the young generation of workers. . . .  
Since 1912, for more than two years, there has been no factionalism in Russia among the organised Marxists. There is a complete break between the Party and the liquidators . . . The word 'factionalism' is a misnomer.  
Trotsky talks to us about the 'chaos of factional struggle’ . . . . . 
Trotsky is fond of sonorous and empty phrases --this is known, but the catchword ‘chaos’ is not only a phrase; in addition to that it is . . .a vain attempt to transplant to Russian soil in the present epoch the émigré relationships of the epoch of yesterday.
It is impossible to describe as chaos a struggle against a tendency which has been recognised by the entire Party as a tendency, and has been condemned since 1908. . . . To treat the history of one’s own party as 'chaos' means that one is suffering from unpardonable empty-headedness. . . . . 
Apart from the ‘Pravda’-ists and the liquidators, there are no fewer than five Russian factions, i.e., separate groups, which claim to belong to the same Social-Democratic Party: Trotsky's group, the two 'Vperyod' groups, the 'Party Bolsheviks', the ‘Party Mensheviks’.  
And here Trotsky is to a certain extent correct! This is real factionalism, this is real chaos. . . .

During the whole of those two years (i.e., 1912 and 1913-- Ed.) not one, not a single one of those five factions abroad made the slightest impression on any of the manifestations of the mass labour movement in Russia. . . .  
This fact proves that we were right in referring to Trotsky as the representative of the 'worst remnants of factionalism'. . . .

Although Trotsky professes to be non-factional, he is known to all who are in the slightest degree acquainted with the labour movement in Russia as the representative of 'Trotsky's faction’. . . This is a remnant of factionalism for it is impossible to discover in it anything serious in the way of contacts with the mass labour movement of' Russia.

Finally, it is the worst kind of factionalism, for there is nothing ideologically and politically definite about it. . . . 

It cannot be denied that sections of the factions which, like Trotsky's faction, really exist only from the Vienna-Paris, and not at all from the Russian, point of view are definite.
But Trotsky completely lacks a definite ideology; and policy, for having the patent for 'non-factionalism' only means . . having a patent granting complete freedom to flit to and fro from one faction to another . . . . .

Under the flag of 'non-factionalism' Trotsky is upholding one of the factions abroad which is particularly devoid of ideas and has no basis in the labour movement in Russia. . . .
Not all is gold that glitters. Trotsky's phrases are full of glitter and noise, but they lack content..... 
Recently (between August 1912 and February 1914) he followed in the footsteps of F. Dan, who, as is known, threatened and called for the ‘killing’ of anti-liquidationism. Now Trotsky does not threaten to 'kill' our tendency (and our Party --); he only prophesies that it will kill itself . . .. 
'Suicide' is merely a phrase, an empty phrase, it is just ‘Trotskyism’ . . .  
If our attitude towards liquidationism is wrong in theory and principle then Trotsky should have said plainly . . . . wherein he found it to be wrong. Trotsky, however, has for years avoided that essential point.

If our attitude towards liquidationism is refuted in practice by the experience of the movement, this experience should be analysed, and this again Trotsky fails to do. He admits: ‘advanced workers become the active agents of ‘schism' (read -- active agents of the 'Pravda'-ist line, tactics, system, organisation).

Why is this regrettable development taking place that. . . .the advanced workers, and numerous workers at that, are supporting; 'Pravda'?

Trotsky answers --- owing to the state of ‘utter political perplexity' of these advanced workers.

This explanation is no doubt extremely flattering to Trotsky, to all the five factions abroad, and to the liquidators. Trotsky is very fond of explaining historical events 'with the learned mien of an expert’ in pompous and sonorous phrases, in a manner flattering to Trotsky. If 'numerous advanced workers’ become ‘active agents' of the political and Party line, which does not harmonise with the line of Trotsky, then Trotsky settles the question unceremoniously, directly and immediately: these advanced workers are ‘in a state of utter political perplexity, and he, Trotsky, is obviously in a ‘state’ of political firmness, clarity and correctness regarding the line! And this very same Trotsky, beating his chest, thunders against factionalism, against narrow circles, and against the intelligentsia foisting their will on the workers! . . . .

Trotsky is trying to disrupt the movement and cause a split. . . . 
Trotsky's 'non-factionalism' is schism, in the sense that it is a most impudent violation of the will of the majority of the workers. . . . .  
You believe it is precisely the ‘Leninists’ who are the splitters? . . 
But if you are right, why did not all the factions and groups prove that unity with the liquidators was possible without the 'Leninists' and against the 'splitters'?

In August 1912 the conference of the 'uniters' met. Discord set in at once. 
The August Bloc turned out to be a fiction and collapsed. 
In concealing this collapse, from his readers, Trotsky is deceiving them.
The experience of our opponents has proved we were right; it has proved that it is impossible to work with the liquidators. . .

In his magazine Trotsky has tried to say as little as possible about the essence of his views. Trotsky has not uttered a word either on the question of illegal work, or on the slogan of the struggle for an open party, etc. Incidentally, that is why we say in this case, in which a segregated organisation wants to set itself up without having an ideological-political complexion, that it is the worst sort of factionalism . . .

Trotsky has avoided expounding his views directly.  
Trotsky avoids facts and concrete indications just because they mercilessly refute all his angry exclamations and pompous phrases. It is of course very easy to assume a proud pose and say: ‘coarse sectarian caricature’. It is equally easy to add more slashing and pompous catchwords about ‘emancipation from conservative factionalism’.  
But is this not too cheap? Is this not a weapon taken from the arsenal of the period when Trotsky was dazzling the schoolboys? 
 The old participants in the Marxian movement in Russia know Trotsky’s personality very well, and it is not worth while talking to them about it. But the young generation of workers do not know him and we must speak of him, for he is typical of all the five grouplets abroad which in fact are also vacillating between the liquidators and the Party. . 
Trotsky was an ardent 'Iskra'-ist in 1901-03. .
 At the end of 1903 Trotsky was an ardent Menshevik, i.e., one who deserted the 'Iskra'-ists for the 'Economists'; he proclaimed that 'there is a deep gulf between the old and the new "Iskra". In l904-5, he left the Mensheviks and began to vacillate, at one moment collaborating with Martynov (the 'Economist'), and at another proclaiming the absurdly 'Left' theory of 'permanent revolution'. In 1906-07 he drew nearer to the Bolsheviks, and in the spring of 1907 he declared his solidarity with Rosa Luxemburg. 
During the period of disintegration, after long 'non-factional' vacillations, he again shifted to the Right, and in August 1912 entered into a 'bloc' with the liquidators. How he is again abandoning them, repeating, however, what in essence are their pet ideas.

Such types are characteristic as fragments of the historical factions of yesterday, when the mass labour movement of Russia was still dormant and every grouplet was 'free’ to represent itself as . . a 'great power’ talking of uniting with others. The young generation of workers must know very well with whom it has to deal".
(V. I. Lenin: "Violation of Unity Under Cover of Cries for Unity", in: "Selected Works", Volume 4; London; l943; p. 187-88, 189, 190; 191, l94, l95, 197, 198, 203, 206-08).

The Brussels Conference, 1914

In July 1914 the Executive Committee of the International Socialist Bureau (ISB) took up Trotsky's concilationist mantle by convening a conference in Brussels of all the groups connected with the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party. Apart from representatives of the ISB (who included Karl Kautsky, and Emile Vandervelde), the conference was attended by delegates from:

1. the (Bolshevik) Central Committee of the RSDLP;

2. the (now Bolshevik) Social-Democratic Party of the Latvian Region;

3. the "Vperyod" Group;

4. the (now purely Menshevik) "Organisation Committee";

5. the "Bund";

6. Plekhanov's "Yedinstvo"(Unity) Menshevik group;

7. the Social-Democratic Party of Poland and Lithuania;

8. the Polish Socia1-Democratic Opposition;

9. the Polish Socialist Party; and

10. Trotsky's "Borba" group.

The leader of the Central Committee delegation, Inessa Armand, delivered a statement, (drafted by Lenin) setting out fourteen conditions under which the Central Conmittee considered unification possible. These conditions included: the renunciation of views condemned by the Party, the recognition of the necessity of illegal as well as legal work, submission to the Central Committee and dissolution of factions.

Although, under the terms of reference under which it had been convened, the conference was for the purpose of an exchange of opinions only, Kautsky moved a resolution declaring that there were "no substantial disagreements" between the various groups to justify a continuation of "the split" in the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party. The resolution was adopted by a majority of the delegates present, with the delegates of the Central Committee of the RSDLP and the Latvian Party abstaining.

The question of actual unification was to have been taken up at the next congress of the Second International, due to be held in Vienna in August l9l4, but the outbreak of the First World War prevented this congress from taking place.

After the conference, the anti-Bolshevik groups continued to collaborate for a time in what came to be called the "Brussels Bloc".

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