V. I. Lenin



Written between July 17 (30) and
August 20 (September 2), 1912,
the postscript September 2
(September 15), 1912
Published as a pamphlet
in German, Leipzig, 1912

First published in Russian
in 1924 in Volume XII, Part
One of the Collected Works
of N. Lenin (V. Ulyanov)

From V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th English Edition,
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1968

First printing 1963
Second printing 1968

Vol. 18, pp. 203-20.

Translated from the Russian by Stepan Apresyan
Edited by Clemens Dutt

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

THE PRESENT SITUATION IN THE R.S.D.L.P.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .


  To the Executive Committee of the German Social-Demo-
    cratic Party .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .



The Situation in the R.S.D.L.P. since January 1912 .  .  .


What Is the Relation of the Hitherto Neutral Russian
Social-Democrats to the So-called Organising Com-
mittee? .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .


The Social-Democratic Group in the Third Duma  .  .  .


Officially Verifiable Data on the Influence of the
Liquidators Compared with That of the Party.  .  .  .  .


Open and Verifiable Data on the Links of the Liquida-
tors Compared and the Party with the Mass of the
Workers in Russia .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .


Conclusion .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .


Postscript .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .



page 625


  [105] The pamphlet The Present Situation in the R.S.D.L.P., written by Lenin in Cracow, was first published in the German language in Leipzig in September 1912. Its main point is the letter of the C.C. of the R.S.D.L.P. written on July 16-17 (29-30). The letter was a reply to the appeal of the Executive of the German Social-Democratic Party on the convening of the R.S.D.L.P. "centres" and "groups" abroad to distribute the funds which the leadership of the German Social-Democratic Party had allotted for the Fourth Duma election campaign. The C.C. of the R.S.D.L.P. refused to participate in the meeting, and the meeting did not take place. The Executive of the German Social-Democrats assigned part of the funds to the liquidators' Organising Committee and Caucasian Regional Committee, to the Bund and to the Central Committee of the Lettish Social-Democratic Party, thereby backing the liquidators against the Bolsheviks. The pamphlet Concerning the Present Situation in the R.S.D.L.P. was circulated by the editors of Sotsial-Demokrat to the regional and district centres of the German Social-Democratic Party, the delegates of the Party Congress held in Chemnitz in September 1912, and the editors of the major Social-Democratic newspapers of Germany.    [p. 203]

  [106] The phrase "Potemkin villages " was coined in the first quarter of the nineteenth century to denote a sham facade of prosperity. During Catherine II's journey to the South in 1878 G. A. Potemkin, Governor-General of the Yekaterinoslav Vicegerency, created an impression of exceptional prosperity by having decorative villages, arches, etc., built and parks laid out along the route of the Empress.    [p. 206]

  [107] The Spilka (Ukrainian Social-Democratic Union ) arose late in 1904 having broken away from the petty-bourgeois, nationalist Revolutionary-Ukrainian Party. It entered the R.S.D.L.P. as an autonomous regional organisation. In the inner-Party struggle of the R.S.D.L.P. it sided with the Mensheviks. It broke up in the period of reaction. In 1912 there were only small disconnected groups of the Spilka and by then most of its members had become bourgeois nationalists. Trotsky's liquidationist Pravda (Vienna) was published as an organ of the Spilka only in October and December 1908 (the first two issues).    [p. 207]

  [108] The Ninth International Socialist Congress of the Second International was to meet in Vienna in the autumn of 1913, but the war which broke out in the Balkans in 1912 and the threat of a world war prompted the International Socialist Bureau to convene an extraordinary congress in Basle on November 24-25, 1912.    [p. 216]

  [109] This refers to the August conference of the liquidators, which met in Vienna in August 1912 and formed the anti-Party August bloc.

page 626

The bloc was organised by Trotsky. The conference was attended by delegates from the Bund, the Caucasian Regional Committee, the Social-Democratic Party of the Lettish Territory and small liquidationist groups abroad: the editors of Golos Sotsial-Demokrata, Trotsky's Vienna Pravda and the Vperyod group. Delegates from Russia were sent by the St. Petersburg and Moscow "initiating groups" of the liquidators and the editorial boards of the liquidationist Nasha Zarya and Nevsky Golos. A representative of the Spilka Committee Abroad was present too. The overwhelming majority of the delegates were people who lived abroad and were out of touch with the working class of Russia.
    The conference adopted anti-Party liquidationist decisions on all the questions of Social-Democratic tactics and declared against the existence of the illegal Party.
    Being composed of heterogeneous elements, the August bloc began to fall apart even while the conference was meeting. The liquidators were unable to elect a Central Committee and limited themselves to setting up an Organising Committee. The blows delivered by the Bolsheviks soon resulted in the final disintegration of the bloc.    [p. 217]