V. I. Lenin



Published in the newspaper
Proletary, No. 26,
March 19 (April 1), 1908

Published according
to the text in the newspaper

From V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th English Edition,
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1963

Vol. 15, pp. 17-21.

Translated from the Russian
Edited by Andrew Rothstein and Bernard Isaacs

Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo,
 (January 2002)

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      [1] The article "On to the Straight Road " was published as an editorial in the newspaper Proletary, No. 26.
        Proletary (The Proletarian ) -- an illegal newspaper founded by the Bolsheviks after the Fourth (Unity) Congress of the Party; it was published from August 21 (September 3), 1906 to November 28 (December 11), 1909 under the editorship of Lenin. Proletary was published as the organ of the Moscow and St. Petersburg committees of the R.S.D.L.P., and, for a time, as that of the Moscow Area, the Perm, Kursk and Kazan committees. The paper was virtually the Central Organ of the Bolsheviks. Altogether fifty issues were put out -- the first twenty in Finland, the rest abroad, in Geneva and Paris. The newspaper published over a hundred articles and other items by Lenin.
        During the Stolypin reaction Proletary played an important role in preserving and strengthening the Bolshevik organisations.
        At the plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. in January 1910 the conciliators succeeded in obtaining a decision to close down the newspaper.    [p. 15]

      [2] The Duma -- a representative body, which the tsarist government was compelled to convene as a result of the revolutionary events of 1905. Formally the Duma was a legislative body, but actually it had no real power. Elections to the Duma were non-direct, unequal and non-universal. The electoral system was rigged against the working classes and the non-Russian nationalities inhabiting Russia, while considerable numbers of workers and peasants had no vote at all. Under the electoral law of December 11 (24), 1905, the vote of a landlord was equivalent to 3 votes of representatives of the town bourgeoisie, to 15 votes of the peasants, and to 45 votes of the workers. The First Duma (April-July 1906) and the Second Duma (February-June 1907) were dissolved by the tsarist government. After carrying out the coup d'état of June 3, 1907, the government issued a new electoral law which still further curtailed the rights of the workers, peasants and petty bourgeoisie of the towns and ensured the complete domination of the reactionary bloc of the landlords and big capitalists in the Third (1907-12) and Fourth (1912-17) Dumas.    [p. 17]

      [3] Coup d'état of June 3 (16), 1907 -- a reactionary act by which the government dissolved the Second Duma and altered the electoral

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    law. The new law greatly increased representation of the landlords and the commercial and industrial bourgeoisie in the Duma and considerably reduced the already meagre representation of the workers and peasants. The law deprived most of the indigenous population of Asian Russia of the franchise and reduced by half the number of deputies returned by Poland and the Caucasus. The Third Duma, which was elected on the basis of this law and which assembled on November 1, 1907, was a Duma of Black-Hundreds and Cadets.
        The coup d'état of June 3 ushered in the Stolypin reaction, which became known as "the Third-of-June regime".    [p. 17]

      [4] Central Organ of the R.S.D.L.P. -- the illegal newspaper Sotsial-Demokrat, published from February 1908 to January 1917, Fifty-eight issues appeared. Issue No. 1 came out in Russia, but thereafter the paper was published abroad, first in Paris, then in Geneva. The editorial board of the Central Organ, in accordance with a decision of the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P., was made up of representatives of the Bolsheviks, Mensheviks and Polish Social-Democrats. Over eighty articles and other items by Lenin were published in Sotsial-Demokrat. On the editorial board Lenin carried on a struggle for a consistent Bolshevik policy. Some of the board members (Kamenev and Zinoviev) adopted a conciliatory attitude towards the liquidators and tried to side-track Lenin's line. The Menshevik editors, Martov and Dan, sabotaged the work of the editorial board while at the same time openly defending the liquidators in Golos Sotsial-Demokrata. Lenin's uncompromising fight against the liquidators led to Martov and Dan retiring from Sotsial-Demokrat in June 1911. From December 191l onwards Sotsial-Demokrat was edited by Lenin.    [p. 17]

      [5] Bezzsaglavtsi -- from the title of the journal Bes Zaglaviya (Without a Title ) -- were organisers of, and contributors to, the journal published in St. Petersburg in 1906 by S. N. Prokopovich, Y. D. Kuskova, V. Y. Bogucharsky, and others. The journal openly advocated revisionism, supported the Mensheviks and liberals, and opposed an independent proletarian policy. Lenin called the group "pro-Menshevik Cadets or pro-Cadet Mensheviks".    [p. 19]

      [6] Zemstvo -- the name given to the local government bodies formed in the central provinces of tsarist Russia in 1864. They were dominated by the nobility and their powers were limited to purely local economic problems (hospital and road building, statistics, insurance etc.). Their activities were controlled by the Provincial Governors and by the Ministry of the Interior, which could rescind any decisions of which the government disapproved.    [p. 20]

      [7] Rabocheye Znamya (Worker's Banner ) -- an illegal Bolshevik newspaper, organ of the Regional Bureau of the Central Industrial Region, of the Moscow and Moscow Area Committees of the R.S.D.L.P. Appeared in Moscow from March to December 1908. Seven issues were published.    [p. 20]

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      [8] Anti-Socialist Law was introduced in Germany in 1878. Under this law all organisations of the Social-Democratic Party, the mass labour organisations and the labour press were banned, socialist literature was confiscated and the Social-Democrats were persecuted. Under pressure of the mass labour movement this law was repealed in 1890.    [p. 21]

      [9] The Black Hundreds -- monarchist gangs formed by the tsarist police to fight against the revolutionary movement. They assassinated revolutionaries, organised attacks on progressive intellectuals, and carried out anti-Jewish pogroms.    [p. 21]