Plekhanov, Georgi Valentinovich (1856-1918) -- an outstanding leader of the Russian and international labour movement, the first propagandist of Marxism in Russia, founder of the first Russian Marxist group, the Emancipation of Labour group (Geneva 1883). At the beginning of the twentieth century Plekhanov, together with Lenin, edited the newspaper Iskra and the journal Zarya, took part in drafting the Party Programme and preparing the Second Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. After this Congress he stood for a conciliatory attitude towards opportunism and eventually joined the Mensheviks. In 1908-12 Plekhanov came out against the liquidators and headed the pro-Party Mensheviks. During the First World War (1914-18) he adopted a social-chauvinist stand. His attitude to the October Socialist Revolution was hostile, but he took no part in anti-Soviet activities.
Lenin thought highly of Plekhanov's philosophical works and his role in disseminating Marxism in Russia; at the same time
he sharply criticised Plekhanov for his deviations from Marxism and the serious mistakes in his political activities.
This refers to the negotiations between the editorial board of Iskra and the liberals concerning the publication of a supplement Sovremennoye Obozreniye to the journal Zarya. The talks, in which Lenin, Zasulich, Potresov, and Struve took part, started on December 29, 1900, and continued through January 1901. Struve rejected Point 7 of the draft agreement proposed by the Iskra and Zarya group concerning full freedom for the editors of Iskra to use all the political material received by Sovremennoye Obozreniye. Statements concerning the issue of Sovremennoye Obozreniye were written by Plekhanov on behalf of Iskra and Zarya and by Struve on behalf of the "democratic opposition" group. The publication, however, did not materialise in view of Dietz's refusal to publish the statements, which did not fulfil censorship requirements. The talks between Iskra representatives and Struve were broken off and not resumed.
Zarya (Dawn) -- a Marxist scientific and political journal, published in Stuttgart in 1901-02 by the Iskra editorial board. Only four numbers (three books) were issued. Zarya criticised international and Russian revisionism, came out in defence of the theoret- ical premises of Marxism; it published the following writings of Lenin dealing with this question: The Persecutors of the Zemstvo and the Hannibals of Liberalism" (see Vol. 5, pp. 31-80, of this edition), the first four chapters of "The Agrarian Question and the 'Critics of Marx'" (see Vol. 5 of this edition) and "The Agrarian Programme of Russian Social-Democracy" (see present edition, Vol. 6, pp. 107-50), as well as Plekhanov's "Criticism of Our Critics. Part 1. Mr. Struve as Critic of Marx's Theory of Social Development", "Cant versus Kant, or Herr Bernstein's Spiritual Testament" and others.