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V. I. Lenin

SECOND CONGRESS OF THE LEAGUE
OF RUSSIAN REVOLUTIONARY
SOCIAL-DEMOCRACY ABROAD


 

Published in January 1904
in the Minutes of the Second
Regular Congress of the League
of Russian Revolutionary
Social-Democracy Abroad.
Geneva

Published according to 
the text of the Minutes 
 
 
 


From V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th English Edition,
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965,

Second Edition

Vol. 7, pp. 69-85.

Translated by Abraham Fineberg and by Naomi Jochel
Edited by Clemens Dutt


Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo,
djr@marx2mao.org
 (February 2002)

SECOND CONGRESS OF THE LEAGUE OF RUSSIAN REVOLUTION-
ARY SOCIAL-DEMOCRACY ABROAD. October 13-18 (26-31), 1903
 .


69

  1.
 

PREFATORY REMARKS TO THE REPORT ON THE SECOND
CONGRESS OF THE R.S.D.L.P., OCTOBER 13 (26) .  .  .  .  .


71


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II
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IV

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71
71
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72

2.
 

REPORT ON THE SECOND CONGRESS OF THE R.S.D.L.P.,
OCTOBER 14 (27) .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .


73

3.
 

STATEMENT CONCERNING MARTOV'S REPORT. OCTOBER 15
(28) .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .


84

4.

SPEECH ON THE RULES OF THE LEAGUE, OCTOBER 17 (30) .

85


NOTES




 
page 69

SECOND CONGRESS OF THE LEAGUE
OF RUSSIAN REVOLUTIONARY
  SOCIAL-DEMOCRACY ABROAD
[37]
 
OCTOBER 13-18 (26-31), 1903












Published in January 1904
in the Minutes of the Second
Regular Congress of the League
of Russian Revolutionary
Social-Democracy Abroad.
Geneva


Published according to
the text of the Minutes
 
 
 


page 555


NOTES

  [37] The Second Congress of the League of Russian Revolutionary Social-Democracy Abroad was held in Geneva on October 13-18 (26-31) 1903; it was called at the insistence of the Mensheviks. Fifteen of the delegates (with 18 votes) were majority adherents, headed by Lenin; 18 delegates (22 votes) were minority adherents; and one delegate (with two votes) belonged to neither majority nor minority.
    The main item on the agenda was the report by Lenin, who had been the League's delegate at the Second Party Congress. A co-report was then made by Martov, who defended the opportunism of the Mensheviks and indulged in calumnious attacks upon the Bolsheviks. Lenin and his supporters thereupon withdrew from the Congress. For refusal to submit to the decisions of the Second Party Congress, the Central Committee and the Party Council pronounced the League Congress unlawful.    [p. 69]

  [38] This paper on the national question Lenin later worked up into an article for Iskra, under the title "The National Question in Our Programme" (present edition, Vol. 6, pp. 454-63).    [p. 74]

  [39] The Polish Socialist Party (P.S.P.), founded in 1892, was a petty-bourgeois nationalist party.    [p. 74]

 
page 556

  [40] The "Iskra" organisation in Russia served to unite the Iskra supporters working within the country. Even before the paper began publication and during the first year of its existence (December 1900-December 1901), a network of Iskra "agents" (P. N. and O. B. Lepeshinsky, P. A. Krasikov, A. M. Stopani, G. M. and Z. P. Krzhizhanovsky, S. I. and L. N. Radchenko, A. D. Tsurupa, N. E. Bauman, I. V. Babushkin, and others) was set up in various parts of the country, and in a number of towns (St. Petersburg, Pskov, Samara, Poltava, and others), groups for assistance to Iskra were formed. These groups and agents collected funds for the paper, acted as its correspondents, arranged for its transport and distribution, and set up facilities for reprinting it in Russia. During this period, however, they had little contact with each other and for the most part communicated directly with the editorial board.
    But as the revolutionary movement mounted and the volume of practical work increased, it became essential to concert their efforts, to work on planned and organised lines to counter the parochial amateurishness which the Economists were fostering and win the Social-Democratic committees to Iskra 's side. Lenin accordingly put forward a plan for an all-Russia Iskra organisation, which was to pave the way for uniting Russia's scattered Social-Democratic organisations into a single centralised Marxist party. This plan he originally outlined in his article "Where To Begin?" (May 1901), and subsequently elaborated in detail in What Is To Be Done? (autumn 1901-February 1902).
    In carrying out this plan Lenin and his associates had to combat parochial tendencies among some of the Iskra practical workers. "We must say," Lenin wrote in a letter to S. O. Zederbaum in July 1901 (present edition, Vol. 34), "that we in general regard any plan for the publication of any district or local organ by the Iskra organisation in Russia as absolutely incorrect and harmful. The Iskra organisation exists in order to support and build up Iskra and to unite the Party thereby, not to cause a dispersion of forces, of which there is quite enough without it."
    In January 1902 a conference of Iskra-ists was held in Samara, with G. M. and Z. P. Krzhizhanovsky, F. V. Lengnik, M. A. Silvin, V. P. Artsybushev, and D. I. and M. I. Ulyanov taking part. This conference set up a Bureau of the Iskra organisation in Russia, established regular arrangements for contacts among members of the organisation and with the editorial board and for the collection and allocation of funds, and mapped out the line in relation to the committees and local publications. It was further decided, with a view to the cardinal objective of securing the committees' adherence to Iskra and recognition of it as the general Party organ, to send members out to various parts of the country. "Your initiative," Lenin wrote to the organisers of the conference, "has heartened us tremendously. Hurrah! That's the right way! Reach out wider! And operate more independently, with greater initiative -- you are the first to have begun in such a broad way, and that means the continuation, too, will be successful" (Lenin Miscellany VIII, p. 221).

 
page 557

    Although the arrest of a number of Iskra-ists in February 1902 put added difficulties in the way of carrying out the conference decisions, the Iskra organisation, with What Is To Be Done? to guide it, launched a vigorous drive to propagate and practically execute Lenin's plan for building a real party. It achieved far-reaching results in effecting actual unity of the Social-Democratic organisations on the principles of revolutionary Marxism. By the end of 1902 nearly all the leading committees had proclaimed their solidarity with Iskra.
    The Iskra-ists were the leading spirits in setting up, at the Pskov conference of November 2-3 (15-16), 1902, the Organising Committee for convening the Second Party Congress, and to this committee they handed over all their contacts. The Iskra organisation, which remained in existence until the Second Party Congress played a vital part in preparing and arranging that Congress which brought into being a revolutionary Marxist party in Russia.    [p. 74]

  [41] The Statement Concerning Martov's Report was read by Lenin at the third sitting of the League Congress and handed in to the Congress Bureau. No court of arbitration to examine Martov's slanderous accusations was ever held, as Martov was obliged to admit, in a letter of November 16 (29), 1903, that he had no doubts of Lenin's sincerity and good faith.    [p. 84]