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V. I. Lenin THE "AUGUST" FICTION EXPOSED

V. I. Lenin THE "AUGUST" FICTION EXPOSED

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V. I. Lenin
THE "AUGUST" FICTION EXPOSED
Put Pravdy No. 50,
March 30, 1914
Published according to
the text in Put Pravdy
From V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th English Edition,
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1964
Vol. 20, pp. 182-85.

Translated from the Russian
by Bernard Isaacs
and Joe Fineberg
Edited by Julius Katzer

Prepared \u00a9 for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo,d jr@ma rx2 ma o .o rg (December 2001)
page 182
THE "AUGUST" FICTION EXPOSED

Over eighteen months ago, in August 1912, there occurred an event of fairly great
importance in the history of the working-class movement in Russia, On the eve of the
elections to the Fourth Duma, the liquidators "united" with, as they put it, the
representatives of different trends at the August Conference, thereby attempting to prove
that they were not liquidators at all, that they had not liquidated anything, and had no
intention of doing so, and that "unity" between them and the really serious, non-fictitious
workers' Marxist organisations was quite possible.

The August Conference shifted the dispute between the liquidators and their opponents
to a different plane: it became, not only a question of whether the liquidators' theory and

tactics were correct, but also of whether the liquidators' utterances were confirmed or
refuted by their own deeds. Wastheir August Conference a fiction, make-believe, a fraud
and a bubble, or was it a serious affair, a sincere step, something real that showed the

possibility of the liquidators rectifying their errors?
That is how the matter stood.
The liquidators' deeds, the results of their August Conference, had to provide an
answer to this question.

This answer has now been given by the only Marxist body, namely, the Lettish
Marxists, recognised byall trends and groups without exception as Marxists who have
not violated Party decisions, and havethe mselves gone through the famous August
experience. We learn from well-informed sources that the meeting of the highest
representatives of the organised Lettish Marxists in Russia has drawn to a close. The
supremely authoritative character of this assembly of representatives of the Lettish
organised Marx-

page 183

ists has not been challenged by anyone, not by a single trend or by a single group; on the contrary, it was attended by representatives and authorised delegates, not only from the majority of the workers of Russia (anti-liquidators), but also from the liquidators, from their leading, August body, as well as from the Bund and the P.S.P. Left wing.

The eighteen months' experience of August blocs and institutions was discussed from every angle and appraised by those who had themselves gone through this experience in an endeavour to help the liquidators rid themselves of liquidationism.

What was the upshot of this discussion and appraisal?

"The attempt on the part of the conciliators," the decision of the Lettish organised
Marxists reads, "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 is the official decision of an unbiased body of Marxists, which fully and
conclusively exposes the August fiction!

What we have been saying for two years, and what the liquidators -- while calling God
to witness, and heaping abuse upon us -- have been denying, has now been proved and
officially declared by those who themselves participated in the August Conference, in the
August bloc, and in the leading August body.

The Lettish organised Marxists have officially admitted that the "focal point of the
inner-Party struggle during the past five years has been the question of the liquidationist
trend" long ago condemned by the entire Party, and that their, the Lettish, representative
was being recalled from the August leading body because that body (so runs the decision
of the Lettish Marxists) "has not dissociated itself from the liquidators ".

Thus, events have fully proved that we were right, and have once again exposed the liquidators. We were right when we said that the August Conference was a fiction, an imposture, a customary (in petty-bourgeois parties and groups) pre-election fraud. The liquidators dared not go to the elections with their banner and honestly stand by their

page 184
convictions; they hid behind the August bloc, calling God to witness that they were not
liquidating-anything.
The Letts have exposed this fraud.

Mind you, these Letts were and remainneutral, so neutral that they decided not to
enter into any organisational relations with any section of the Russian organised
Marxists! The exposure of the August fiction and of the liquidators' election masquerade
is the more significant for its coming fromn eutral organisations.

We shall have more than one occasion to revert to the decisions of the Lettish
Marxists, which prove once again how right we were when we said that the unity of the
Marxist workers in Russia was possible only in opposition to the liquidators. In
conclusion, we would mention only one particularly important decision on the national
principle in the Marxist organisation.

The Lettish Marxists themselves represent the workers of a disfranchised and
oppressed nation, and conduct their activities in centres with very mixed populations. In
Riga, for example, they have to deal with German, Russian, Lettish, Jewish and
Lithuanian proletarians. Long years of experience have firmly convinced the Lettish
Marxists of the correctness of the principle of international unity in the local
organisations of the working class.

"In every city," the Lettish Marxists' decision reads, "there must be one united

organisation of Marxist proletarians, which must operate on the lines recognised by the
Stockholm Congress, and in conformity with the commentaries of the All-Russia
Conference of 1908. "

These commentaries, as we know,defi nit ely condemned the principle of federation. Not the federation of national workers' organisations, but international unity, a single organisation that conducts activities inall the languages spoken by the proletariat in every local area.

That is the only correct principle of Marxism. That is the only socialist form of
resistance to the nationalist philistines, who are trying to split the proletariat into national

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