By John Spargo
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There were only 28 avowed supporters of the government . Finally, despite the Socialist boycott of the elections, there were almost as many Socialists elected as there were supporters of the government . Once more Russia had spoken for democracy in no uncertain voice . And once more Czarism committed the incredible folly of attempting to stem the tide of democracy by erecting further measures of autocracy as a dam . Shortly before the time came for the assembling of the FROM REVOLUTION TO REVOLUTION 45 newly elected Duma, the Czar's government announced new fundamental laws which limited the powers of the Duma and practically reduced it to a farce.
It may be said, in explanation and extenuation of Lenine's course, that the boycotting of the elections was the logical outcome of the class antagonism and separatism, and that the bourgeois leaders were just as much responsible for the separatism as the leaders of the proletariat were. All this is true . It is quite true to say that wiser leadership of the manufacturing class in the critical days of 1905 would have made concessions and granted many of the demands of the striking workmen . By so doing they might have maintained unity in the political struggle .
In the appeal issued at the time of the dissolution of tht First Duma they had called upon the army and navy to rise in armed revolt . But the betrayal of their plans was a matter of some consequence . Azev himself had been loudest and most persistent in urging the work on . Stolypin demanded that all the Social 5 $6 BOLSHEVISM Democrats be excluded permanently from the Duma and that sixteen of them be handed over to the government for imprisonment. The demand was a challenge to the whole Duma, since it called into question the right of the Duma to determine its own membership .