We Are Thankful For Such Frankness
V. I. Lenin
"The inane idea of the necessity of forming an International of 'internationalist Social-Democrats' ... [of] opposition elements picked at random from all the socialist parties.... The International can be restored only from the same elements it has consisted of till now .... A restored International will not be the 'third' in succession, as is desired by a handful of sectarians and experts in the business of arranging splits, but the selfsame Second International, which has not died, but has been temporarily paralysed by a world disaster...."
This is what Mr. V. Kosovsky writes in issue No. 8 of the Bund's Information Bulletin. We are deeply thankful for the frankness shown by this Bundist, who is not the brightest of the lot. This is not the first time he has de-fended opportunism with an outspokenness that must be displeasing to the Bund's diplomatists. This time again, he will be helping the struggle against opportunism, by revealing to the workers how hopelessly far the Bund stands from proletarian socialism. Mr. V. Kosovsky does not see the link between opportunism and social-chauvinism. To discern that link, one must be able to ask oneself the follow-ing questions: what are the fundamental ideas in the two currents? How has opportunism developed in Europe during the last few decades? What is the attitude towards social-chauvinism revealed by the opportunist and the revolutionary wing in,a number of European countries, as, for instance, in Russia, Germany, Belgium, France, Britain, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, Holland, and Bulgaria?
Has Mr. V. Kosovsky given thought to this? If he attempted to reply to at least the first question, he would soon see his mistake.
Incidentally, in issue No. 7 of the Information Bulletin Mr. V. Kosovsky has displayed a Germanophile chauvinism, for, while accusing the French Social-Democrats, he defends the German Social-Democrats' voting for war credits. A certain W. (writing in issue No. 8, pp. 11-12) defends Mr. V. Kosovsky against the accusation of chauvinism, asserting that there can be no Gerrnanophile chauvinism in an organisation that operates in Russia. Perhaps Mr. V. Kosovsky will explain to Mr. W. why it is that a Ukrainian or a Polish bourgeois in Russia, a Danish or an Alsatian bourgeois in France, or an Irish bourgeois in Britain often reveals a chauvinism hostile to the nations that oppress them.
Written: Written in the summer of 1915|
Published: First published in 1931 in Lenin Miscellany XVII.
Published according to the manuscript.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [197], Moscow, Volume 21, pages 370-371.
eSource: Marxists.org - Marxists Internet Archive