«Сибирские марксисты» об экзамене революцией 1905 года (продолжение)
Мы продолжаем публикацию одного из тех документов времен Великой Российской революции 1917 года, которые призваны ликвидировать существенный пробел в представлениях о том, как российские социал-демократы пытались в годы, последующие за первой русской революцией, осмыслить, пусть еще невеликий, но свой собственный исторический опыт. Определить и сформулировать специфику экономического и политического развития страны, ее общественных групп, их политической культуры, объяснить неизбежность пересмотра и уточнения ряда программных представлений РСДРП.
«Сибирские марксисты» об экзамене революцией 1905 года
Данная публикация вводит в научный оборот неизвестную ранее рукопись Ираклия Григорьевича Церетели – одного из лидеров российской социал-демократии в начале ХХ века, видного общественного и государственного деятеля общероссийского масштаба, а в 1918–1931 члена Исполкома Рабочего Социалистического Интернационала, в котором он многие годы достойно представлял социал-демократию Грузии. Рукопись была обнаружена доктором исторических наук, профессором И.П.Якобашвили, возглавляющим Парламентский архив Грузии, и подготовлена к публикации им и сотрудниками Российского государственного архива социально-политической истории (РГАСПИ) Р.М.Гайнуллиной и П.Ю.Савельевым.
«Сибирские марксисты» об экзамене революцией 1905 года (окончание)
Эта рецензия должна была стать дебютом Церетели на страницах «Русского Богатства» – одного из самых популярных и влиятельных ежемесячных российских журналов народнического, а затем либерального толка. Для него выступление в столь престижном журнале являлось желанной пробой сил на недоступной ранее стезе русскоязычной публицистики. Однако оно не состоялось. Великая российская революция 1917 года, как говорил сам Церетели, открыла возможность реального перехода от слов к делу на пути реализации уроков 1905 года и объединения всех демократических сил страны для общей борьбы за ее счастье и процветание. Но это только казалось. Впереди ожидали новые разногласия, политическая глухота соперников и противников, новые расколы и братоубийственная гражданская война, по размахам и последствиям не уступающая той мировой бойне, которая изменила мир и ожесточила людские сердца.
A Walk along Paths of the Past. Fragments from Moshe Levin’s Attachments
Moshe Lewin is one of the major foreign explorers of Soviet Russia’s social and political history. His works «Lenin's Last Struggle» and «Russian Peasants and Soviet Power» (both books were published in 1968) occupy as of right the place among those fundamental writings that, according to prominent Steven Cohen’s words, «superceded single-mindedness and axioms of Soviet studies with scientific pluralism and broad vision». As it turned out, the only book by Lewin translated into Russian is his last book, «Soviet Age». Publisher Gleb Pavlovski in his foreword to the book titled «Textbook of caution for heroes» has justly remarked: «…It is the book on the Soviet school of politics, on the Soviet type of domination that emerged spontaneously (as result of acceptance of responsibility for the sinking country) and succeeded in entrenching itself in history though at a heavy cost». The keen and impartial vision and of Lewin’s expressions are in many ways determined by Lewin’s own life experience. In particular, these experiences are reflected in Lewin’s Attachments (that are published for the first time) and narrate about years of the Great Patriotic War Lewin spent in the USSR: about Sovietization of Lithuania, Jewish youth organization Gashomer Gozeir, work in a collective farm and in shops of Serov steelworks, about service in construction units and training in Podolsk military school.
Published but not Assimilated
Materials of six commissions (on general political issues, foreign policy, elaboration of legislative drafts, agrarian issues, national economy and labor regulation issues, and national issues) of the Social Democrat fraction of the Constituent Assembly are stored in the Russian State archive of social-political history. Though these documents were for the first time published more than 10 years ago, they still are not duly involved in the scientific turnover. Meanwhile these documents illustrate how the principal points of the Russian Social Democratic Workers (unified) Party’s Declaration were elaborated and discussed. I.G.Tsereteli's speech and the Declaration he read off were the brightest event of that extraordinary short but shattering day which predetermined the future of Russia. Having dispersed the Constituent Assembly the Bolsheviks transgressed the point of no return. The first step towards establishment of the single party system was made.
«Not every Shining Piece is made of Gold»: On some Aspects of the Present Day Studies of the Post-October Menshevism
New documentary material introduced in scientific turn in recent 20 years, recovery of the theoretic legacy of the Russian Social-Democrars' leaders, expansion of the range of research problems and directions, transformation of key definitions that characterize ideological development of Menshevism for the first time allowed revealing to the full extent the essence of the strong criticism P.B.Akselrod, A.N.Potresov, I.G.Zereteli et al. raised against position the RSDP new leadership under by Yu.O.Matrov occupied toward Bolshevism after October, 1917. According to N.V.Volsky, only after loss of the party the Russian Social-Democrats repudiated what Dan and his followers tried to present as the so called «Martov's line» and retained «some positive profession of the higher human values and brought them into foundation of their programmatic notions».
Heritage of the Russian Social Democracy
The author undertakes a systemic holistic analysis of opinions and theoretical notions of the Russian Social Democracy. The author focuses on the key propositions of the world and Russian labor movement’s doctrine elaborated by Mensheviks after 1917, investigates reasons of divisions amongst Social Democratic leaders who took different views on the most important issues of international and domestic life. Divergence of opinion amongst Menshevik leaders on prospects of possible forms of struggle against the Bolshevik experiment worsened further and further. At the same time the author examines also the fundamental aspects of Weltanschauung that dovetailed Bolsheviks and Mensheviks. In spite of obvious community of some political slogans, antagonists interpreted the meaning of social revolution, role of proletariat dictatorship, essence of democracy as people’s power differently. The author pays a peculiar attention to specific directives and political statements the Social Democrats addressed to the international labor movement on the eve of the war between the USSR and Hitler’s Germany and to views of some representatives of the movement after the WWII.
V.S.Voitinski to Harvey and his Offsprings. Letters, 1933–1939: on the Time, Events and Politicians (the end)
Doctrianiarism can kill Weltanschauung, even the most developed and wholistic one. V.S.Voitinski's letters published in the issue are, inter alia, about that. They are about those objective and subjective circumstances that inexorably led to wreck opinions held by the Overseas Delegation of RSDWP leaders. A.N.Potresov justly characterized these opinions as «creation of revolutionary fiction». However let’s not forget that those leaders were not just politicians but also people of their own time, of that phantasmagoric world which had been created by WWI, Russian revolution of 1917, fratricidal civil war and emigration. These people experienced terror of the Bolshevist dictatorship, emergence and success of fascism, bitterness of Munich surrender and beginning of WWII. Their assessments were wrong. They overestimated their own potential and forces, they believed in triumph of socialism even in circumstances that were inappropriate for such expectations. Let us respect them with all their weaknesses and shortcomings.
V.S.Voitinski to Harvey and his Offsprings. Letters, 1933–1939: on the Time, Events and Politicians
Vladimir Savelievich Voitinski’s letters to Petr Abramovich Harvey are surprising examples of warmth toward the addressee, comprehensiveness of the most important world events coverage and depth of their analysis, of impartial characterization of known political figures (Russian as well as American ones), exactitude of everyday sketches, of lambent humor and of doubtless literary gift of their author. The selection includes just a small part of collection. Letters written by Harvey, his wife Sophia Samoilovna and their children, daughter Sylvia and son Yuri in response are unavailable. However the selection is quite self-sufficient. All consistent topics (economic, political, personal ones) are complete and provide no only panorama of the most important world events of that watershed period in the 20th century which was exceptionally saturated with all kinds of disasters but also assessment of these events by one of the most wise and bright Russian politicians and scientists who unfortunately is poorly known in his motherland (See publication «Economic opinions of V.S.Voitinski» in our magazine No. 6, 2005.).
Voitinski’s Economic Opinions
It is a publication of «Paths of struggle against the world crisis», the report delivered by V.S.Voitinski, a famous Russian Social-Democrat and economist, at the meeting of the Berlin club of the Russian Social Democrats in November, 1931. The world economic crisis of 1929−1933 made the Social Democrats to ponder the issue of new tasks that new conditions set for the Social Democrats. In particular, it was the moment to decide whether the Russian Social Democrats had to battle against the crisis or not and whether they had to consider the crisis as the crisis of the capitalism. Theoretical propositions, conclusions and suggestions Voitinski expressed, inter alia, in the report published here remain to be of current concern.
How the Russian Social Democrats Celebrated the 25th Anniversary of Their Party
When the Russian Social Democrats celebrated their first 25th anniversary 80 years ago they made the first step along the path of making myths of not only their own history but the whole Russian history of the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries. As they took definite shapes both radical wings of the party, Bolshevists and Mensheviks, that in the old days stood at the origins of the single Russian Social Democratic Party tried, first of all, to purge centrists and rightists from their ranks. Having accused each other in betrayal of the working class and the world revolution’s interests both wings tried to credit to themselves the exceptional role in the struggle for the socialist future of Russia. However none of them succeeded in this undertaking: neither the RCP (b) though at the moment it was the ruling party which controlled the state propaganda and punitive structures, nor the RSDWP which went underground and continued its struggle not only against extremities of Bolshevism but also against apostasy in its own ranks. Thereby the RSDWP finally denied and rejected the chance to unite all those currents in the Russian Social Democracy that stepped forward for realization of broadly understood democratic transformations in Russia that, as they thought, would be possible after overthrow of the Bolshevist dictatorship. In a word, the silver jubilee of the Russian Social Democracy failed. It demonstrated that only an objective approach to understanding of the party’s history as well as of history of the country had not claim the decisive role for one group at the expense of all other groups and would not re-write its own inconvenient pages to please notions that temporarily gained the dominance.
Two Post Cards, Three Years of Silence and Letters Preserved for the Whole Life
The article is based on the authentic archive documents and is supplied with a commentary which demonstrates the exceptionally cautious and friendly attitude towards the letters' authors: Tseterteli, Bourghina and Nikolaevski. Anna Mikhailovna Bourghina left the Bolshevist Russia in 1922 and then served as the assistant of Boris Ivanovich Nikolaevski, a prominent member of the Russian Social Democratic movement, the researcher of the Russian and European political history. Nikolaevski was the founder of the Russian Social Democratic Party’s archive, an expert in and gatherer and publisher of archive documents. In the end of 1923 Nikolaevski sent Bourghina to Paris because he was afraid that the members of the Central Committee Bureau members' illegal letters delivered to her address in Berlin might somehow affect her relatives' fate. At Nikolaevski’s request Irali Georghievich Tsereteli, a prominent Russian politician and public figure, hired Bourghina as his secretary. Since the end of 1930s Bourghina was permanent assistant of Nikolaevski. It happened so that their archive heritage is dispersed all over many Russian and foreign archives in Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Tbilisi, Paris, Amsterdam, Wien, New York, Stanford, Jerusalem. And only now, when the opportunity to gather them in a single place has appeared, we may discover previously unknown pages of their lives.
«Letters are the Historical Documents; …They are to be Published as Works of Independent Value»
Overcoming of established stereotypes and notions related to evaluation of the past events is a very complicated undertaking. It requires the same sensitivity and creative effort as the work of restoration master. Only by removing all attempts to the past smooth and depositions in characterization of actual and chronological sequence of events and their actors one may escape that impersonal «resultant» against which Boris Nikolaevski, one of the leading investigators of the Russian political history, protested so vigorously.
In the commemoration tribute to Irakli G. Tsereteli who was born 120 years ago the author points out that Tsereteli, the Social Democrat, a prominent public activist and statesman of Russia, a founding father and a leader of the first independent Democratic Republic of Georgia, is one of those figures whose deeds and achievements are still judged in terms of the previous epoch official historiography stereotypes and myths. Because of the current political needs not insignificant part of the present day political scientists and historians prefer rather to rely upon these stereotypes and myths than to repudiate them. Tsereteli’s fate is amazing. He was adamant in his belief that all «alive forces of the nation» might consolidate at the moment of a social revolution and made this belief the guiding principle of his activities from the time when he formulated his position as the leader of the Social-Democrats fraction in the Second State Duma to his consistent attempts to implement the politics of consolidation after the February revolution, 1917. Tsereteli appealed to reason even at moments when passions were reigning supreme around him. Though everything Tsereteli strove to build proved to be a «a construction based on sands» his own experience of revolutionary activities let him as early as in 1946 proclaim «the protection of personal rights and the free development of personality» as the principal value of Socialism.