V. I. Lenin



Written not later than August 24
(September 6), 1914
The introduction The Russian
Social-Democrats on the European War

is published for the first time
The theses (resolution) were
first published in full in 1929
in the second and third editions
of the works
of V. I. Lenin, Volume 18

The introduction is published
according to the manuscript;
the theses (resolution)
according to a copy made by
N. K. Krupskaya

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

Vol. 21 pp. 15-19.

Translated from the Russian
Edited by Bernard Isaacs

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

EUROPEAN WAR   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .


  The Russian Social-Democrats on the European War .   .   .
  Resolution of a Group of Social-Democrats .  .   .   .   .   .



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      [1] These theses on the war were drawn up by Lenin not later than August 24 (September 6), 1914 after he had come to Berne from Poronin (Galicia). They were discussed at a meeting of the Bolshevik group in Berne on August 24-26 (September 6-8). Approved by the group, the theses were circulated among Bolshevik groups abroad. To throw the police off the scent, the copy of the theses made out by N. K. Krupskaya, carried the inscription: "Copy of the manifesto issued in Denmark."
        The theses were smuggled into Russia for discussion by the Russian section of the Central Committee, Party organisations and the Bolshevik Duma group.
        Through Swiss Social-Democrats the theses were submitted to the conference of the Swiss and Italian Socialists held in Lugano on September 27, 1914. Many of the ideas contained in the theses were incorporated in the conference's resolution.
        On learning of the approval of the theses in Russia, Lenin used them as a basis for writing the manifesto of the R.S.D.L.P. Central Committee "The War and Russian Social-Democracy" (see this volume, pp. 25-34).
        The introduction to the theses ("The Russian Social-Democrats on the European War", which was written on a separate sheet) was discovered only later, and was first published in the 4th Russian edition of Lenin's Collected Works.    [p. 15]

      [2] Among those who joined the bourgeois government of Belgium was Vandervelde, and in France Jules Guesde, Marcel Sembat and Albert Thomas.    [p. 16]

      [3] Sozialistische Monatshefte (Socialist Monthly ) -- the principal organ of the German opportunists, and one of the organs of international opportunism. It was published in Berlin from 1897 to 1933. During the First World War it took a social-chauvinist stand.    [p. 17]

      [4] The Black Hundreds -- monarchist gangs formed by the tsarist police to fight the revolutionary movement. They murdered revolutionaries, assaulted progressive intellectuals and organised pogroms.    [p. 17]

      [5] Cadets -- members of the Constitutional-Democratic Party, the leading party of the liberal-monarchist bourgeoisie in Russia. Founded in 1905, the party represented the bourgeoisie, Zemstvo

    page 458

    landowner leaders and bourgeois intellectuals. Prominent among its members were Milyukov, Muromtsev, Maklakov, Shingaryov, Struve, and Rodichev.
        The Cadets were active in Russia's war preparations. They stood solidly behind the tsarist government's predatory designs, hoping to batten on war contracts, strengthen the bourgeoisie's positions, and suppress the revolutionary movement in the country.
        With the outbreak of the war the Cadets advanced the slogan of "War to the victorious end!" When, in 1915, the tsarist forces suffered a defeat at the front, which led to the aggravation of the revolutionary crisis, the Cadet members of the State Duma, headed by Milyukov, and the other representatives of the bourgeoisie and the landowners formed a "Progressist" bloc aimed at checking the revolution, preserving the monarchy and bringing the war to a "victorious end". The Cadets actively helped to set up war-industries committees.    [p. 18]

      [6] See Lenin's articles "On the Slogan for a United States of Europe" and "On the Slogan for a United States of Europe. Editorial Comment by Sotsial-Demokrat on the Manifesto on War Issued by the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P." (see this volume, pp. 339-43, 344).    [p. 18]