MARXIST INTERNET ARCHIVE |  V. I. Lenin


V. I. Lenin

THE FACTION OF SUPPORTERS OF
OTZOVISM AND GOD-BUILDING

Supplement to Proletary
No.47-48
September 11 (24), 1909

Published according to
the Supplement to Proletary
 

From V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th English Edition,
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1967

First published 1963
Second printing 1967

Vol. 16, pp. 29-61.

Translated from the Russian
Edited by Clemens Dutt


Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo, djr@marx2mao.org (November 2001)

THE FACTION OF SUPPORTERS OF OTZOVISM AND GOD-BUILDING
 

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NOTES



page 454


NOTES

  [24] The Meeting of the Enlarged Editorial Board of "Proletary" was held in Paris on June 8-17 (21-30), 1909. Nine members of the Bolshevik Centre (elected by the Bolshevik group of the Fifth [London] Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. in 1907) were present at it, headed by Lenin, and representatives of the organisations of St. Petersburg, Moscow Region and the Urals. The meeting was convened to discuss the anti-Party stand of the otzovists and ultimatumists and took place under Lenin's leadership. Lenin spoke on all the main questions on the agenda. Otzovism and ultimatumism were defended at the meeting by A. Bogdanov (Maximov) and V. Shantser (Marat). Kamenev, Zinoviev, Rykov and Tomsky adopted a double-dealing position. The meeting condemned otzovism and ultimatumism as "Left liquidationism". It also condemned god-building and adopted a decision for a vigorous struggle against it, exposing its anti-Marxist character. Bogdanov, the inspirer of otzovism and ultimatumism, was expelled from the ranks of the Bolsheviks.    [p. 29]

  [24a] Boyeviks -- members of the revolutionary fighting squads, who, during the revolutionary struggle, used the tactics of armed action, helped political prisoners to escape, expropriated state owned funds for the needs of the revolution, removed spies and agent provocateurs, etc.    [p. 30]

 
page 455

  [25] The Anti-Socialist Law was promulgated in Germany in 1878. The law suppressed all organisations of the Social-Democratic Party, mass working-class organisations, and the labour press; socialist literature was confiscated. The law was annulled in 1890 under pressure of the mass working-class movement.    [p. 30]

  [26] The July Conference of 1907 was the Third (Second All-Russian) Conference of the R.S.D.L.P. It was held on July 21-23 (August 3-5), 1907, in Finland (-), and was attended by 26 delegates: 9 Bolsheviks, 5 Mensheviks, 5 Polish and 2 Lettish Social-Democrats and 5 Bundists. The Conference was convened to determine the tactics of Social-Democracy in connection with the coup d'état of June 3 and the convocation of the Third Duma. At the Conference Lenin spoke against the boycott of the Duma. A. Bogdanov (Maximov) delivered a report on behalf of the supporters of boycott. Lenin's resolution was adopted by a majority of votes.    [p. 38]

  [27] Economists, Economism -- an opportunist trend in Russian Social-Democracy at the turn of the century, a Russian variety of international opportunism; its organs were the newspaper Rabochaya Mysl (Workers' Thought ) (1897-1902), published in Russia, and the journal Rabocheye Dyelo (Workers' Cause ) (1899-1902), published abroad. The programme of the Economists, whom Lenin called Russian Bernsteinians, was the so-called "Credo", written in 1899 by Y. D. Kuskova.
    The Economists restricted the tasks of the working-class movement to the economic struggle for higher wages, better working conditions, etc., asserting that the political struggle was the business of the liberal bourgeoisie, and denied the leading role of the workers' party, which, they considered, should merely observe the spontaneous development of the movement and follow in its wake. In their worshipping "spontaneity" they belittled the importance of revolutionary theory and consciousness, declaring that the socialist ideology could grow out of the spontaneous working-class movement; by denying the need for a Marxist party to imbue the workers' movement with socialist consciousness, they cleared the way for bourgeois ideology. They defended disunity, confusion and parochial amateurish approach which existed in the Social-Democratic ranks and opposed the creation of a centralised working-class party. Economism threatened to divert the working class from the revolutionary class path and reduce it to a political appendage of the bourgeoisie.

    The following works of Lenin are devoted to an extensive criticism of the views of the Economists: "A Protest by Russian Social-Democrats" (directed against Credo, written in Siberian exile in 1899 and signed by 17 exiled Marxists), "A Retrograde Trend in Russian Social-Democracy", "Apropos of the Profession de foi", "A Talk with Defenders of Economism" (see present edition, Vol. 4, pp. 167-82, 255-85, 286-96; Vol. 5, pp. 313-20). Lenin completed the ideological rout of Economism by his book What Is To Be

 
page 456

Done? (present edition, Vol. 5, pp. 347-529). Lenin's Iskra played a great part in combating Economism.    [p. 39]

  [28] Vsev (Vsevolod) -- a pseudonym of the otzovist V. P. Denisov.    [p. 40]

  [29] Stan (Stanislav) -- the otzovist A. V. Sokolov (Volsky), one of the organisers of the anti-Party schools in Capri and Bologna.    [p. 40]

  [30] Rabocheye Znamya (Workers' Banner ) -- an illegal Bolshevik newspaper, organ of the Regional Bureau of the Central Industrial Area, of the Moscow and Moscow District Committees of the R.S.D.L.P. It was published in Moscow from March to December 1908; 7 issues appeared. Beginning with No. 5, the newspaper opened its columns to a discussion on the attitude to the Duma and to the Social-Democratic group in the Duma. This issue printed an article by an otzovist entitled "Letter of a Worker (The Plan of Party Work in Connection with an Assessment of the Present Moment)". The article was edited by St. Volsky (A. V. Sokolov), leader of the Moscow otzovists, at that time member of the Regional Bureau of the Moscow Central Industrial Area. The article evoked sharp protests from the Party organisations of Central Russia, and a rejoinder in the columns of the newspaper Proletary. Lenin criticised the article in his work "Two Letters" (see present edition, Vol. 15, pp. 285-301).    [p. 42]

  [31] The First All-Russian Congress of Factory Doctors and Representatives of Factory Industry was held on April 1-6 (14-19), 1909, in Moscow. The delegates to the Congress included 52 workers chosen by trade unions, mainly of the big industrial centres. The speeches of the workers' delegates, who were predominantly Bolsheviks, were of great political importance and evoked a response through out the country. Two questions in particular gave rise to lively debates at the Congress, viz., the organisation of health supervision (a resolution proposed by the Bolsheviks was adopted), and election of factory inspectors by the workers.
    The Congress did not finish its work; it was closed down by the police.    [p. 42]

  [32] Krichevsky, B. N. and Martynov, A. S. were leaders of Economism.    [p. 42]

  [33] Lenin is referring to Talleyrand, French diplomat of the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth century.    [p. 43]

  [34] This refers to the Fifth Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. held in London, April 30-May 19 (May 13 June 1), 1907.    [p. 45]

  [35] Marat -- V. L. Shantser, a member of the enlarged editorial board of Proletary, an ultimatumist, later one of the members of the Vperyod anti-Party group.    [p. 45]

 
page 457

  [36] Tsarevokokshaisk -- one of the uyezd towns of tsarist Russia.    [p. 46]

  [37] "Er " -- A. V. Sokolov (Volsky).    [p. 47]

  [38] Vperyod (Forward ) -- a Bolshevik mass working-class newspaper, under Lenin's guidance. It was published illegally in Vyborg by the editors of the newspaper Proletary from September 10 (23), 1906 to January 19 (February 1), 1908; 20 issues appeared. Beginning with No. 2 the newspaper was issued as the organ of the local committees of the R.S.D.L.P.; No. 2 as the organ of the Moscow, St. Petersburg and Moscow District committees; Nos. 3-7 as the organ of the Moscow, St. Petersburg, Moscow District, Perm and Kursk committees; Nos. 8-19 -- as the previous issues with the addition of the Kazan Committee; in the last issue, No. 20, the Urals Regional Committee took the place of the Perm and Kazan committees.    [p. 56]