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V. I. Lenin

THE TASKS OF THE PROLETARIAT
IN THE PRESENT REVOLUTION

Published April 7, 1917        in Pravda No. 26,        
Signed: N. Lenin        

Published according
to the newspaper text

 

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

Vol. 24, pp. 21-29.

Translated from the Russian
Edited by Bernard Isaacs


Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo, djr@cruzio.com (June 1997)


THE TASKS OF THE PROLETARIAT IN THE PRESENT
  REVOLUTION


     Theses

.  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .

21

NOTES




    page 577


    NOTES

      [1] Published in Pravda No. 26, for April 7, 1917, over the signature N. Lenin, this article contains Lenin's famous April Theses read by him at two meetings held at the Taurida Palace on April 4 (17), 1917 (at a meeting of Bolsheviks and at a joint meeting of Bolshevik and Menshevik delegates to the All-Russia Conference of Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies). The article was reprinted in the Bolshevik newspapers Sotsial-Demokrat (Moscow), Proletary (Kharkov), Krasnoyarsky Rabochy (Krasnoyarsk), Vperyod (Ufa), Bakinsky Rabochy (Baku), Kavkazsky Rabochy (Tinis) and others.    [p.19]

      [2] Socialist-Revolutionaries (S.R.s) -- a petty-bourgeois party formed in Russia at the end of 1901 and beginning of 1902 through the amalgamation of various Narodnik groups and circles (the Union of Socialist-Revolutionaries, the Party of Socialist-Revolutionaries, and others). The views of the S.R.s were an eclectic medley of Narodism and revisionism- they tried, as Lenin put it, to "patch up the rents in the Narodnik ideas with bits of fashionable opportunist 'criticism' of Marxism" (see present edition, Vol. 9, p. 310). The First World War found most of the S R.s taking a social-chauvinist stand.
        After the victory of the bourgeois-democratic revolution of February 1917, the S.R.s, together with the Mensheviks and Cadets, were the mainstay of the counter-revolutionary Provisional Government of the bourgeoisie and landowners, and the leaders of the party (Kerensky, Avksentyev, Chernov) were members of that government. The S.R. Party refused to support the peasants' demand for the abolition of the landed estates and in effect stood for private property in land; the S.R; ministers in the Provisional Government sent punitive expeditions against the peasants who had seized landed estates. On the eve of the October armed uprising this party openly sided with the counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie in defence of the capitalist system and found itself isolated from the mass of the revolutionary people.
        At the end of November 1917 the Left wing of the party founded a separate Left Socialist-Revolutionary Party. In an endeavour to maintain their influence among the peasant masses, the Left S.R.s formally recognised the Soviet Government and entered into an agreement with the Bolsheviks, but very soon turned against the Soviet power.

    page 578

        During the years of foreign military intervention and civil war the S.R.s engaged in counter-revolutionary subversive activities zealously supported the interventionists and whiteguard generals, took part in counter-revolutionary plots, and organised terrorist acts against leaders of the Soviet state and Communist Party. After the Civil War they continued their anti-Soviet activities within the country and as whiteguard émigrés abroad.

        Popular Socialists -- members of the petty-bourgeois Labour Popular Socialist Party, which separated from the Right wing of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party in 1906. The P.S.s stood for a bloc with the Cadets. Lenin called them "Social-Cadets", "petty-bourgeois opportunists", and "Socialist-Revolutionary Mensheviks" who vacillated between the Cadets and the S.R.s, and he emphasised that this party "differs very little from the Cadets for it deletes from its programme both the republicanism and the demand for all the land" (see present edition, Vol. 11, p. 228). The party's leaders were A. V. Peshekhonov, N. F. Annensky, V. A. Myakotin, and others. During the First World War the P.S.s took a social-chauvinist stand. After the bourgeois-democratic revolution of February 1917 the Popular Socialist Party merged with the Trudoviks and actively supported the bourgeois Provisional Government, in which it was represented. After the October Socialist Revolution the P.S.s participated in plots and armed acts against the Soviet government. The party went out of existence during the period of foreign military intervention and civil war.

        The Organising Committee (O.C.) was set up in 1912 at the August conference of the liquidators. During the First World War the O.C. justified the war on the part of tsarism and advocated the ideas of nationalism and chauvinism. The O.C. published the journal Nasha Zarya, and when this was closed down, Nashe Dyelo, then Dyelo, and the newspapers Rabocheye Utro, then Utro. The O.C. functioned up to the time of the election of the Central Committee of the Menshevik party in August 1917.    [p.22]

      [3] Yedinstvo (Unity ) -- a daily published in Petrograd from March to November 1917, and then under another name from December 1917 to January 1918. Edited by G. V. Plekhanov. United the extreme Right of the Menshevik defencists and gave unqualified support to the bourgeois Provisional Government. Carried on a fierce struggle against the Bolshevik Party.    [p.24]

      [4] Russkaya Volya (Russian Freedom ) -- a bourgeois daily founded and run by the big banks. Carried on a riot-provoking campaign against the Bolsheviks. Lenin called it one of the most disreputable bourgeois newspapers. Appeared in Petrograd from December 1916 to October 1917.    [p.25]

      [5] See Marx and Engels, Selected Works, Vol. I, Moscow, 1962, pp. 21-22, 516-30, Vol. II, Moscow, 1962, pp. 42, 463-64.    [p.26]

    page 579

      [6] On August 4, 1914, the Social-Democrats in the Reichstag voted together with the bourgeois M.P.s in favour of a 5,000 million war loan for the Kaiser government, thereby approving the imperialist policy of Wilhelm II. As it afterwards emerged, the Left Social-Democrats, during the discussion of this question by the Social-Democratic group previous to the Reichstag session, were against granting the government war loans, but they bowed to the decision of the opportunist majority and voted in favour.    [p.26]