Report of the Iskra Editorial Board, which was written by Lenin, was intended for the conference of committees and organisations of the R.S.D.L.P. held on March 23-28 (April 5-10), 1902, in Belostok. Represented at the conference were: the St. Petersburg and Ekaterinoslav committees of the R.S.D.L.P., the League of Southern Committees and Organisations of the R.S.D.L.P., the Central Committee of the Bund and its Foreign Committee, the Union of Russian Social-Democrats Abroad, and the Iskra Editorial Board (whose representative, F. I. Dan, had a mandate from the League of Russian Revolutionary Social-Democracy Abroad). Through the fault of the conference organisers, who were "economists," the delegate of the Iskra Editorial Board arrived late, after the conference had begun, while F. V. Lengnik, the representative of the Russian Iskra organisation, did not get to the conference at all, although he arrived in Belostok in good time. The representative of the Nizhni-Novgorod Committee (Iskra trend), A. I. Piskunov, who arrived in Belostok before Dan, protested at the absence of representatives of organisations of the Iskra trend, and soon left. The "economists" and the Bundists, who supported them, had intended to convert the conference into the Second Congress of the R.S.D.L.P., reckoning thereby to strengthen their own
position in the ranks of Russian Social-Democracy and paralyse Iskra's growing influence. Their attempt, however, failed, both because of the conference's comparatively limited composition (only four of the R.S.D.L.P. organisations operating in Russia were represented) and the deep disagreements on matters of principle, which were revealed at the conference; in particular, the Iskra delegate, who raised strong objection to the conference being converted into a Party congress, stated that the conference had not been properly prepared and authorised.
The Belostok Conference adopted a constituting resolution and a theoretical resolution, proposed by the delegate of the Bund Central Committee, with amendments made by the representative of the League of Southern Committees and Organisations of the R.S.D.L.P. (the Iskra delegate, who had advanced his own draft of the theoretical resolution, voted against). The conference also approved the text of a May Day leaflet, which was based on a draft drawn up by the Iskra Editorial Board. The conference elected an Organising Committee to prepare the Second Party Congress, consisting of representatives of Iskra (F. I. Dan), the League of Southern Committees and Organisations of the R.S.D.L.P. (O. A. Yermansky), and the Central Committee of the Bund (K. Portnoi). Soon after the conference, most of its delegates including two members of the Organising Committee, were arrested by the police. A new Organising Committee to prepare the Second Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. was formed in November 1902 in Pskov at a conference of representatives of the R.S.D.L.P.'s St. Petersburg Committee, the Russian organisation of Iskra, and the Yuzhny Rabochy (Southern Worker) group.
"Economism" -- an opportunist trend in Russian Social-Democracy at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries, a Russian variety of international opportunism. The newspaper Rabochaya Mysl (Workers' Thought) (1897-1902) and the magazine Rabocheye Dyelo (Workers' Cause) (1899-1902) were organs of the "economists."
In 1899 there appeared Credo, a manifesto of the "economists," which was drawn up by E. D. Kuskova. When Lenin, then in exile, received a copy of Credo, he wrote A Protest by Russian Social-Democrats, in which he sharply criticised the programme of the "economists." This protest was discussed and unanimously adopted at a conference of 17 Marxists serving terms of political exile, held in the village of Yermakovskoye, in Minusinsk Region. The "economists" limited the tasks of the working class to an economic struggle for higher wages and better working conditions, etc., asserting that the political struggle was the business of the liberal bourgeoisie. They denied the leading role of the party of the working class, considering that the party should merely observe the spontaneous process of the movement and register events. In their deference to spontaneity in the working-class movement, the "economists" belittled the significance of revolutionary theory and class-consciousness, asserted that socialist ideology could arise
out of the spontaneous movement, denied the need to instill socialist consciousness into the working-class movement, and thereby cleared the way for bourgeois ideology. The "economists," who opposed the need to create a centralised working-class party, stood for the sporadic and amateurish character of individual circles and fostered confusion and wavering in the Social-Democratic movement. "Economism" threatened to divert the working class from the class revolutionary path and turn it into a political appendage of the bourgeoisie.
Lenin's Iskra played a major part in the struggle against "economism." By his book, What Is to Be Done?, which appeared in March 1902, V. I. Lenin brought about the final ideological rout of "economism."
Nakanune (On the Eve) -- a monthly magazine of the Narodnik trend, published in Russian in London from January 1899 to February 1902 under the editorship of W. A. Serebryakov; 37 numbers were issued. Grouped round the magazine, which advocated general democratic views, were representatives of various petty-bourgeois parties and trends; a hostile attitude to Marxism in general and to Russian revolutionary Social-Democracy in particular was characteristic of Nakanune.
Svoboda (Freedom) -- a magazine published in Switzerland by the "revolutionary-socialist" group Svoboda, founded by E. O. Zelensky (Nadezhdin) in May 1901. Only two numbers of the magazine appeared: No. 1 in 1901 and No. 2 in 1902. V. I. Lenin considered that the Svoboda group belonged to those "rootless groupings" which had "neither settled serious views, programmes, tactics, and organisations, nor roots in the masses" (see present edition, Vol. 20, "On Adventurism"). In its publications (besides Svoboda, the group published The Eve of Revolution. An Irregular Review of Problems of Theory and Tactics, No. 1; the newspaper-magazine Otkliki [Responses], No. 1; Nadezhdin's programmatic pamphlet, The Rebirth of Revolutionism in Russia, and others) the Svoboda group advocated the ideas of terrorism and "economism." In a bloc with the St. Petersburg "economists," it came out against Iskra and the St. Petersburg Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. The group ceased to exist in 1903.
The Bund -- the General Jewish Workers' Union of Lithuania, Poland, and Russia -- was organised in 1897 at an inaugural congress of Jewish Social-Democratic groups in Vilno; in the main, it united semi-proletarian elements of the Jewish artisans in the Western regions of Russia. At the First Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. (1898), the Bund joined the Party "as an autonomous organisation, independent only in regard to questions specially concerning the Jewish proletariat."
The Bund brought nationalism and separatism into the Russian working-class movement and took an opportunist stand on the most important questions of the Social-Democratic movement.
In April 1901, the Bund's Fourth Congress voted for abolition of the organisational relations established by the First Congress of the R.S.D.L.P., stating in its resolution that it regarded the R.S.D.L.P. as a federative association of national organisations which the Bund should join as a federative unit.
At the Second Congress of the R.S.D.L.P., which rejected the Bund's demand that it should be recognised as the sole representative of the Jewish proletariat, the Bund left the Party rejoining it in 1906, on the basis of a decision of the Fourth (Unity) Congress.
Within the R.S.D.L.P., the Bundists constantly supported its opportunist wing (the "economists," Mensheviks, and liquidators) and waged a struggle against the Bolsheviks and Bolshevism. To the Bolshevik programme's demand for the right of nations to self-determination the Bund opposed the demand for cultural and national autonomy. During the years of the Stolypin reaction, the Bund adopted a liquidators' stand and took an active part in forming the anti-Party August bloc. During the First World War, the Bundists took a social-chauvinist stand. In 1917 the Bund supported the counter-revolutionary Provisional Government and fought on the side of the enemies of the October Socialist Revolution, its leadership joining the forces of counter-revolution during the years of foreign military intervention and civil war. At the same time a swing towards co-operation with Soviet power was to be observed among the Bund rank and file. In March 1921 the Bund dissolved itself, part of its members joining the R.C.P. (B.) on a general basis.
The reference is to the Baku and Kishinev print-shops of Iskra. The Kishinev print-shop was organised by L. I. Goldman in April 1901 and existed until March 12 (25), 1902. It printed G. V. Plekhanov's article, "What Next?" (reprinted from No. 2-3 of Zarya), N. K. Krupskaya's pamphlet, The Working Woman, The Indictment in the Case of the May Disturbances at the Obukhou Factory (reprinted from Iskra, No. 9, with V. I. Lenin's article, "The New Battle," as a supplement), V. I. Lenin's articles, "The Struggle Against Starvation" (reprinted from No. 2-3 of Zarya) and "The Beginning of Demonstrations" (reprinted from Iskra No. 13), and also a number of manifestos and leaflets. No. 10 of Iskra was reprinted at this print-shop.
The Baku print-shop (called "Nina" in secret correspondence) was organised in September 1901 by a group of Baku Iskra-ists (V. Z. Ketskhoveli, L. B. Krasin, L. I. Galperin, N. P. Kozerenko, V. Sturua, and others) with the assistance of the Tiflis Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. Prior to March 1902, when the "Nina" print-shop temporarily discontinued its work, it had printed the pamphlets, Spiders and Flies, by W. Liebknecht, The Ways People Live, by S. Dikstein, The Speech of Pyotr Alexeyev, The Tenth Anniversary of the Morozov Strike, and proclamations and leaflets in Russian and Georgian. The Baku print-shop reprinted No. 11 of Iskra and printed the Georgian illegal Marxist newspaper Brdzola (The Struggle). After the Second Congress of the R.S.D.LP.,
the Baku print-shop became the central Party print-shop and carried out tasks set by the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. In December 1905, the print-shop was closed down by decision of the Central Committee of the Party.
The Emancipation of Labour group -- the first Russian Marxist group -- was founded by G. V. Plekhanov in Switzerland in 1883. Besides Plekhanov, the group included P. B. Axelrod, L. G. Deutsch, V. I. Zasulich, and V. N. Ignatov.
The Emancipation of Labour group did much to propagate Marxism in Russia. It translated into the Russian language works by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, such as The Manifesto of the Communist Party, Wage Labour and Capital, Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, publishing them abroad and distributing them in Russia, and also popularised Marxism through its publications. The Emancipation of Labour group dealt a severe blow at Narodism, which was the chief ideological obstacle to the spread of Marxism and the development of the Social-Democratic movement in Russia. In his works, Socialism and the Political Struggle (1883), Our Differences (1885), and others, G. V. Plekhanov gave a Marxist criticism of the Narodnik theories of Russia's non-capitalist path of development, the Narodniks' subjective-idealist view of the role of the individual in history, the denial of the proletariat's leading role in the revolutionary movement, etc. Written by Plekhanov and published by the Emancipation of Labour group, the two draft programmes of the Russian Social-Democrats (1883 and 1885) were an important step in preparing for and creating the Social-Democratic Party in Russia. Of special importance in spreading Marxist views and in substantiating and defending dialectical and historical materialism was Plekhanov's (N. Beltov's) book, The Development of the Monist View of History (1895), on which "an entire generation of Russian Marxists were trained" (see present edition, Vol. 16, "On the Vperyod Group"). The group published and distributed in Russia four issues of the magazine Sotsial-Demokrat, as well as a series of popular pamphlets for workers.
Engels welcomed the appearance of the Emancipation of Labour group, "which frankly and without equivocation accepted the great economic and historical theories of Marx" (see Frederick Engels' Letter to V. I. Zasulich, April 23, 1885. Marx and Engels, Selected Correspondence, Moscow, p. 459). G. V. Plekhanov and V. I. Zasulich were personal friends of Engels and corresponded with him for many years. The Emancipation of Labour group established contacts with the international working-class movement and, beginning with the First Congress of the Second International in 1889 (Paris) and throughout the whole of its existence represented Russian Social-Democracy at all congresses of the International. But the views of the Emancipation of Labour group also contained serious errors: over-estimation of the liberal bourgeoisie's role and under-estimation of the revolutionary nature of peasantry as the reserve force of the proletarian revolution. These were the germ of the future Menshevik views held by Plekhanov and other
members of the group. V. I. Lenin pointed out that the Emancipation of Labour group "provided only the theoretical foundations of Social-Democracy and took the first step towards the working-class movement" (see present edition, Vol. 20, "The Ideological Struggle in the Working-Class Movement").
In 1894 the Union of Russian Social-Democrats Abroad was formed on the initiative of the Emancipation of Labour group. The members of the Emancipation of Labour group and their adherents left the Union in 1900 and founded the Sotsial-Demokrat revolutionary organisation. G. V. Plekhanov, P. B. Axelrod, and V. I. Zasulich, who were members of the group, were on the Editorial Board of Iskra and Zarya. At the Second Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. in August 1903, the Emancipation of Labour group announced that it had ceased to exist.
Bernsteinism -- a trend hostile to Marxism in the German and international Social-Democratic movement, which originated at the end of the nineteenth century and was named after Eduard Bernstein, the most outspoken representative of revisionism.
In 1896-98 Bernstein wrote a series of articles entitled "Problems of Socialism" for the magazine Die Neue Zeit, the theoretical organ of German Social-Democracy. In these articles, he tried under the guise of "freedom of criticism" to revise (hence the word "revisionism") the philosophical, economic, and political foundations of revolutionary Marxism and to substitute for them bourgeois theories of reconciliation of class contradictions, and of class collaboration. He attacked Marx's doctrine of the impoverishment of the working class, the growth of class contradictions, crises the inevitable collapse of capitalism, socialist revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat, and brought forward a programme of social-reformism expressed in the formula: "the movement is everything, the final goal -- nothing." In 1899 Bernstein's articles appeared in a book entitled The Premises of Socialism and the Tasks of Social-Democracy. The book had the support of German Social-Democracy's Right wing, and of opportunist elements in other parties of the Second International, including the Russian "economists."
Bernsteinism was condemned at the congresses of the German Social-Democratic Party in Stuttgart (October 1898), Hanover (October 1899), and Lubeck (September 1901). However, the Party leadership did not show sufficient determination in opposing Bernstein and his adherents, but adopted a conciliatory attitude. The Bernsteinites continued their open propaganda of revisionist ideas in the magazine Socialistische Monatshefte (Socialist Monthly) and in the Party organisations.
Headed by V. I. Lenin, the Bolshevik Party alone waged a consistent and resolute struggle against Bernsteinism and its adherents and followers in Russia. As early as 1899, Lenin came out against the Bernsteinites in his "A Protest by Russian Social-Democrats" and in his article, "Our Programme" (see present edition, Vol. 4, pp. 167-82 and 210-14). His writings, "Marxism and
Revisionism" (see present edition, Vol. 15), "Differences in the European Labour Movement" (see present edition, Vol. 16), and others, were also devoted to an exposure of Bernsteinism.
The reference is to the Manifesto of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party, issued in 1898 by the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. on the instructions and in the name of the Party's First Congress. The Manifesto put forward the struggle for political liberty and the overthrow of the autocracy as the chief task of Russian Social-Democracy, and linked the political struggle with the general tasks of the working-class movement.
Rabocheye Dyelo (Workers' Cause) -- a magazine that was the organ of the Union of Russian Social-Democrats Abroad. It was published in Geneva from April 1899 to February 1902 under the editorship of B. N. Krichevsky, P. F. Teplov (Sibiryak), V. P. Ivanshin, and later also A. S. Martynov. Twelve numbers (9 books) were issued in all. The Editorial Board of Rabocheye Dyelo was the "economists'" centre abroad. The magazine supported Bernstein's slogan of "freedom of criticism" of Marxism, took an opportunist stand on questions of Russian Social-Democracy's tactics and organisational tasks, denied the revolutionary possibilities of the peasantry, and so on. Its supporters propagated opportunist ideas of subordinating the proletariat's political struggle to the economic, exalted spontaneity in the working-class movement and denied the Party's leading role. V. P. Ivanshin, one of the editors of Rabocheye Dyelo, also took part in editing Rabochaya Mysl (Workers' Thought), organ of the outspoken "economists," which Rabocheye Dyelo supported. At the Second Congress of the R.S.D.L.P., the Rabocheye Dyelo supporters represented the extreme Right, opportunist wing of the Party.