From the Editors

Convinced that for intelligent Georgian readers the publication of a free periodical is an urgent question; convinced that this question must be settled today and that further delay can only damage the common cause; convinced that every intelligent reader will welcome such a publication and will render it every assistance, we, a group of Georgian revolutionary Social-Democrats, are meeting this want in the endeavour to satisfy the readers' wishes as far as it lies in our power. We are issuing the first number of the first Georgian free newspaper Brdzola.[1]

To enable the reader to form a definite opinion about our publication and, in particular, about ourselves, we shall say a few words.

The Social-Democratic movement has not left untouched a single corner of the country. It has not avoided that corner of Russia which we call the Caucasus, and with the Caucasus, it has not avoided our Georgia. The Social-Democratic movement in Georgia is a recent phenomenon, it is only a few years old; to be more precise, the foundations of that movement were laid only in 1896. Here, as everywhere else, our activities at first did not extend beyond the bounds of secrecy. Agitation and wide propaganda in the form that we have been witnessing lately were impossible and, willy-nilly, all efforts were concentrated in a few circles.

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  1. Brdzola (The Struggle)—the first illegal Georgian newspaper issued by the Leninist-Iskra group of the Tiflis Social-Democratic organisation. It was founded on the initiative of J. V. Stalin. The newspaper was launched as a result of the struggle that had been waged since 1898 by the revolutionary minority in the first Georgian Social-Democratic organisation known as the Messameh Dassy (J. V. Stalin, V. Z. Ketskhoveli and A. G. Tsulukidze) against the opportunist majority (Jordania and others) on the question of instituting an underground revolutionary Marxist press. Brdzola was printed in Baku at an underground printing plant that had been organised by V. Z. Ketskhoveli, J. V. Stalin's closest colleague, on the instructions of the revolutionary wing of the Tiflis Social-Democratic organisation. He was also responsible for the practical work of issuing the newspaper. The leading articles in Brdzola, on questions concerning the programme and tactics of the revolutionary Marxist party were written by J. V. Stalin. Four members of Brdzola, were issued: No. 1, in September 1901; No. 2-3 in November-December 1901; and No. 4, in December 1902. The best Marxist newspaper in Russia next to Iskra, Brdzola urged that there was an inseverable connection between the revolutionary struggle that was being waged by the Transcaucasian proletariat and the revolutionary struggle waged by the working class all over Russia. Propagating the theoretical principles of revolutionary Marxism, Brdzola, like Lenin's Iskra, urged that the Social-Democratic organisations must proceed to take up mass political agitation and the political struggle against the autocracy, and advocated the Leninist idea of the hegemony of the proletariat in the bourgeois-democratic revolution. In its fight against the "Economists," Brdzola urged the necessity of creating a united revolutionary party of the working class and exposed the liberal bourgeoisie, nationalists and opportunists of all shades. Commenting on the appearance of No. 1 of Brdzola, Lenin's Iskra stated that it was an event of extreme importance.

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