Socialist-Revolutionary Party -- a petty-bourgeois party in Russia, which arose at the end of 1901 and beginning of 1902 as a result of the union of various Narodnik groups and circles. The newspaper Revolutsionnaya Rossiya (Revolutionary Russia ) (1900-05) and the magazine Vestnik Russkoi Revolutsii (Herald of the Russian Revolution ) (1901-05) became its official organs. The Socialist-Revolutionaries did not recognise the class differences between the proletariat and petty proprietors, glossed over the class differentiation
and contradictions within the peasantry and rejected the leading role of the proletariat in the revolution. The views of the Socialist-Revolutionaries were an eclectic mixture of the ideas of Narodism and revisionism, and they tried, as Lenin expressed it, to patch up "the rents in the Narodnik ideas with bits of fashionable opportunist 'criticism' of Marxism" (see present edition, Vol. 9, p. 310 [Transcriber's Note: See Lenin's "Socialism and the Peasantry". -- DJR]). The tactics of individual terrorism advocated by the Socialist-Revolutionaries as the main form of struggle against the autocracy, did great harm to the revolutionary movement and hampered the organisation of the masses for revolutionary struggle.
The agrarian programme of the Socialist-Revolutionaries envisaged the abolition of private ownership of the land and its transfer to the village communes on the basis of the "labour principle" and equalitarian land tenure (i.e., as much land to be given to each peasant household as it could farm without employing hired labour), and also the development of co-operatives. This programme which the Socialist-Revolutionaries called the "socialisation of the land", in reality bore no resemblance whatsoever to socialism. In analysing the programme of the Socialist-Revolutionaries, Lenin showed that the preservation of commodity production and private farming on commonly-owned land does not eliminate the domination of capital, does not relieve the working peasants of exploitation and ruin. Co-operatives cannot be the means of salvation for the small peasants under capitalist conditions since they serve to enrich the village bourgeoisie. At the same time, Lenin pointed out that the demand for equalitarian land tenure, although not socialist, was of an historically progressive revolutionary-democratic character, inasmuch as it was directed against reactionary landed proprietorship.
The Bolshevik Party exposed the attempts of the Socialist-Revolutionaries to masquerade as socialists, carried out a determined struggle against the Socialist-Revolutionaries for influence over the peasantry, and showed the danger to the working-class movement of their tactics of individual terrorism. At the same time the Bolsheviks were prepared, on definite conditions, to enter into temporary agreements with the Socialist-Revolutionaries in the struggle against tsarism.
The fact that the peasantry is not a homogeneous class determined the political and ideological instability and organisational disunity of the Socialist-Revolutionaries and their constant waverings between the liberal bourgeoisie and the proletariat. As early as the first Russian revolution the Right wing of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party broke away and formed the legal Popular Socialist Party, whose outlook was close to that of the Cadets, and the Left wing formed the semi-anarchist league of Maximalists. During the Stolypin reaction the Socialist-Revolutionary Party experienced a complete ideological and organisational breakdown. The majority of its members adopted a social-chauvinist position during the First World War.
After the victory of the February bourgeois-democratic revolution in 1917, the Socialist-Revolutionaries together with the Men-
sheviks and Cadets were the mainstay of the counter-revolutionary bourgeois-landlord Provisional Government of which the Party leaders (Kerensky, Avksentyev, Chernov) were members. The Socialist-Revolutionaries refused to support the demands of the peasants for the abolition of landlordism, supporting its preservation, and the Socialist-Revolutionary ministers of the Provisional-Government sent punitive detachments against those peasants who had seized the landlords' estates.
At the end of November 1917, Left-wing Socialist-Revolutionaries founded the independent party of Left Socialist-Revolutionaries. Striving to preserve their influence over the peasant masses, the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries formally recognised Soviet power and entered into an agreement with the Bolsheviks, but very soon began to struggle against Soviet power.
During the years of foreign military intervention and civil war, the Socialist-Revolutionaries engaged in counter-revolutionary subversive activities, actively supported the interventionists and the whiteguard elements, took part in counter-revolutionary plots, organised terrorist acts against leaders of the Soviet state and the Communist Party. After the civil war, the Socialist-Revolutionaries continued their hostile activities against the Soviet state both within the country and abroad among whiteguard émigrés.
L'Humanité -- a daily newspaper founded in 1904 by Jean Jaurès as the organ of the French Socialist Party. Soon after the split in the Socialist Party at the Tours Congress (December 1920) and the formation of the Communist Party, the paper became the latter's organ. It is now published in Paris as the central organ of the French Communist Party.
Narodnaya Volya (People's Will) -- the secret political organisation of Narodnik-terrorists, formed in August 1879 following the split in the Narodnik organisation Zemlya i Volya (Land and Freedom ). Narodnaya Volya was headed by an Executive Committee which included A. I. Zhelyabov, A. A. Kvyatkovsky, A. D. Mikhailov, N. A. Morozov, Sophia Perovskaya, Vera Figner, M. F. Frolenko, and others. While still adhering to Narodnik utopian-socialist ideas, Narodnaya Volya took up the political struggle, regarding the overthrow of the autocracy and the achievement of political freedom as a major aim. Its programme envisaged a "permanent popular representative body" elected by universal suffrage, the proclamation of democratic liberties, the transfer of the land to the people, and measures to put the factories in the hands of the workers. "The Narodnaya Volya members," wrote Lenin, "made a step forward when they took up the political struggle, but they failed to connect it with socialism" (see present edition, Vol. 8, p. 72 [Transcriber's Note: See Lenin's "Working-Class and Bourgeois Democracy". -- DJR]).
Narodnaya Volya fought heroically against the tsarist autocracy; guided by their erroneous theory of "active" heroes and a "passive" mass, they planned to remould society without the participation of
the people, by their own efforts, through individual terrorism that would intimidate and disorganise the government. After the assassination of Alexander II on March 1, 1881, the government was able, by savage reprisals, death sentences, and acts of provocation, to crush it out of existence. Repeated attempts to revive the organisation during the eighties ended in failure. Thus, in 1886 a group in the Narodnaya Volya tradition was formed by A. I. Ulyanov (elder brother of Lenin) and P. Y. Shevyryov; but after an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Alexander III in 1887, the group was uncovered and its active members executed.
While criticising Narodnaya Volya's erroneous utopian programme, Lenin expressed great respect for its members' selfless struggle against tsarism and valued highly the technique of its underground activities and strictly centralised organisation.
Vestnik Narodnoi Voli (Messenger of the People's Will ) was published in Geneva from 1883 to 1886, as the organ of the Narodnaya Volya Party. It was edited by P. L. Lavrov and L. A. Tikhomirov; in all there were five issues.
Birzheviye Vedomosti or Birzhevka (Stock-Exchange Recorder) -- a daily bourgeois newspaper published in St. Petersburg from 1880. The name Birzhevka was commonly used to indicate the lack of principle and corruption of the bourgeois press. The newspaper was closed down at the end of October 1917.