But dzhughashvili had made his choice the bolshevik

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But Dzhughashvili had made his choice: the Bolshevik strategy seemed the most commendable tohim. What struck his acquaintances about him was his extraordinary polemical crudity. He had little inthe way of wit. His speeches, such as he gave, were dry and aggressive. He aligned himself stronglywith Bolshevism and deeply detested the Mensheviks he encountered. ‘Against them,’ he declared,‘any methods are good!’4He distinguished himself in his practical capacities; and, with the exceptionof Lev Trotski who led the Petersburg Soviet from autumn 1905, he had a much more influential role
in the events of that turbulent year than any other member of the first Party Politburo formed after theOctober Revolution. Dzhughashvili debated frequently with the Georgian Mensheviks. He talked atworkers’ meetings. He was one of the most productive writers forProletarians Brdzola. Always heurged Marxists to oppose outbreaks of inter-national violence. He vigorously promoted Bolshevikpolicies and called for the monarchy’s overthrow by an uprising which would bring a provisionalrevolutionary government to power. Marxists should unite workers and peasants in a politicalalliance. Compromise with the middle class on the Menshevik model was to be rejected.Yet the prospects for Bolshevism in the south Caucasus had never been bleaker. Dzhughashviliwrote dispiritedly to Lenin in May:5I’m overdue with my letter, comrade. There’s been neither the time nor the will to write. For thewhole period it’s been necessary to travel around the Caucasus, speak in debates, encouragecomrades, etc. Everywhere the Mensheviks have been on the offensive and we’ve needed torepulse them. We’ve hardly had any personnel (and now there are very few of them, two or threetimes fewer than the Mensheviks have), and so I’ve needed to do the work of three individuals . . .Our situation is as follows. Tiflis is almost completely in the hands of the Mensheviks. Half ofBaku and Batumi is also with the Mensheviks . . . Guria is in the hands of the Conciliators, whohave decided to go over to the Mensheviks.Evidently he thought the comrade in Geneva ought to know the bitter truth about the factional balanceamong Marxists in the south Caucasus. Throughout the year Menshevism under Zhordania’s aegisthrust itself forward as the leading agency of Georgia’s rebellion against the Imperial monarchy.Bolshevism was in a small minority among the Georgian revolutionaries. Thus Dzhughashvili hadchosen a factional allegiance which seemed to doom him to obscurity. The peasantry across Georgiafollowed the Mensheviks; and although he continued to argue that their strategy diverted attentionfrom propaganda and organisation among the working class, he was a voice crying in the wilderness.

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