V. I. Lenin


Written October 6-8
(19-21), 1917
Published in October 1917
in the journal Prosveshcheniye No.1-2
Signed: N. Lenin

Published according
to the Prosveshcheniye text,

From V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th English Edition,
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1964

Vol. 26, pp. 149-78.

Translated from the Russian
by Yuri Sdobnikov and George Hanna
Edited by George Hanna

Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo, (July 1999)

REVISION OF THE PARTY PROGRAMME .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .



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    page 545


      [67] The reference is to the Seventh (April) All-Russia Conference of the R.S.D.L.P.(B.), held in Petrograd on April 24-29 (May 7-12), 1917.    [p. 151]

      [68] Spartak (Spartacus) -- a theoretical journal of the Moscow Regional Bureau, of the Moscow Committee and (from No. 2) of the Moscow District Committee of the R.S.D.L.P.(B.); published in Moscow from May 20 (June 2) to October 29 (November 11), 1917.    [p. 151]

      [69] Rodbertus-Jagetzow, Johann Karl (1805-1875) -- a German vulgar economist, politician and champion of Prussian Junker development along bourgeois lines.
        He believed that the contradictions between labour and capital could be resolved through reforms carried out by the Prussian Junker state. He did not understand the origin of surplus value and the essence of the basic contradictions of capitalism and maintained economic crises all came from low national consumption. He said the fact that agriculture did without expenditure on raw materials gave rise to ground rent.    [p. 158]

      [70] See Frederick Engels, Contribution to the Critique of the Draft Social-Democratic Programme, 1891.    [p. 160]

      [71] Spartacus Group (International ) -- a revolutionary organisation of German Left-wing Social-Democrats formed at the beginning of the First World War by Karl Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg, Franz Mehring, Clara Zetkin, Julian Marchlewski, Leo Joguiches (Tyszka) and Wilhelm Pieck.
        The Theses on the Tasks of International Social-Democracy were written by Rosa Luxemburg, with the participation of Karl Liebknecht, Franz Mehring and Clara Zetkin, and were adopted by the all-Germany Conference of Left-wing Social-Democrats in January 1916, where the group set up a formal organisation and adopted the name of International.
        From 1916, the International group, apart from political leaflets published in 1915, began the illegal publication and circulation of Political Letters, which were signed "Spartacus" (they were issued regularly until October 1918). In view of this the International group, too, assumed the name of Spartacus. They carried on revolutionary propaganda in the masses, organised massive anti-war manifestations, directed strikes, and exposed the imperialist character of the world war and the treachery of the opportunist leaders of Social-Democracy. But the Spartacus group made some grave errors on important questions of theory and policy: they denied the possibility of national-liberation wars in the epoch of

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    imperialism, they were inconsistent on the slogan of turning the imperialist war into a civil war; they underrated the role of the proletarian party as the vanguard of the working class, and were afraid of breaking with the opportunists. Lenin repeatedly criticised their mistakes and helped them to take a correct attitude (see The Junius Pamphlet, The Military Programme of the Proletarian Revolution, etc., in Vols. 22 and 23 of the present edition).
        In April 1917, the Spartacus group were affiliated to the Centrist Independent Social-Democratic Party of Germany, but remained organisationally independent. During the November 1918 revolution in Germany they broke with the Independents and formed the Spartacusbund, issuing their own programme on December 14, 1918. At their Constituent Congress, December 30, 1918-January 1, 1919, they set up the Communist Party of Germany.    [p. 161]

      [72] Tribunists -- members of the Social-Democratic Party of Holland, whose organ was the newspaper Tribune. They were led by Wijnkoop, Gorter, Pannekoek and Roland-Holst. They were not a consistently revolutionary party but were on the Left wing of the working-class movement in Holland, and on the whole took an internationalist attitude during the First World War.
        In 1918, they formed the Communist Party of Holland.    [p. 175]

      [73] The Socialist Propaganda League was formed in Boston, U.S.A., in 1915, as an independent group within the Socialist Party. It adopted the platform of the Zimmerwald Left, and rallied the revolutionary elements of the Socialist Party. After the October Revolution the League set up a Committee for Bolshevik Information, which exposed the lies and slander of bourgeois and reformist periodicals about the Soviet Republic. During the Allied armed intervention against Russia the League campaigned under the slogan of "Hands Off Soviet Russia!".    [p. 175]

      [74] Socialist Labour Party of America -- set up in Philadelphia in 1876 at the unifying congress of the American sections of the First International and other Socialist organisations. The overwhelming majority of the party consisted of foreign-born Americans who had few ties with native workers. In its first few years, it was led by the Lassalleans, who made sectarian and dogmatic errors. Some of the party's leaders believed it should concentrate on parliamentary activity and underestimated the importance of leading the massive economic struggle; others slid down to trade-unionism and anarchism. These ideological and tactical mistakes on the part of the leadership weakened the party and led to splits. Marx and Engels sharply criticised the sectarian tactics of the U.S. Socialists.

        By the nineties, the Left wing led by Daniel de Leon, assumed leadership of the party. But they, too, made mistakes of an anarchist and syndicalist nature. They refused to fight for the partial demands of the working class, and shied away from activity in

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    reformist trade unions, and this lost them what ties they had with the mass labour movement. During the First World War, the Socialist Labour Party inclined to internationalism. Under the influence of the Great October Socialist Revolution, its more revolutionary members took part in setting up the Communist Party of the United States. At present, the Socialist Labour Party is a small group without any influence on the U.S. labour movement.    [p. 175]