MARXIST INTERNET ARCHIVE | History of CP Bolshevik

H I S T O R Y O F  T H E C O M M U N I S T   P A R T Y

O F  T H E

S O V I E T  U N I O N

(B O L S H E V I K S)

    TACTICAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BOLSHEVIKS AND MEN-
    SHEVIKS. THIRD PARTY CONGRESS. LENIN'S "TWO TACTICS
    OF SOCIAL-DEMOCRACY IN THE DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION."
    TACTICAL FOUNDATIONS OF THE MARXIST PARTY
     

        The revolution had set in motion all classes of society. The turn in the political life of the country caused by the revolution dislodged them from their old wonted positions and compelled them to regroup themselves in conformity with the new situation. Each class and each party endeavoured to work out its tactics, its line of conduct, its attitude towards other classes, and its attitude towards the government. Even the tsarist government found itself compelled to devise new and unaccustomed tactics, as instanced by the promise to convene a "representative institution" -- the Bulygin Duma.

        The Social-Democratic Party, too, had to work out its tactics. This was dictated by the growing tide of the revolution. It was dictated by the practical questions that faced the proletariat and brooked no delay: organization of armed uprising, overthrow of the tsarist government, creation of a provisional revolutionary government, participation of the

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    Social-Democrats in this government, attitude towards the peasantry and towards the liberal bourgeoisie, etc. The Social-Democrats had to work out for themselves carefully considered and uniform Marxist tactics.

        But owing to the opportunism of the Mensheviks and their splitting activities, the Russian Social-Democratic Party was at that time divided into two groups. The split could not yet be considered complete, and formally the two groups were not yet two separate parties; but in reality they very much resembled two separate parties, each with its own leading centre and its own press.

        What helped to widen the split was the fact that to their old differences with the majority of the Party over organizational questions the Mensheviks added new differences, differences over tactical questions.

        The absence of a united party resulted in the absence of uniform party tactics.

        A way out of the situation may have been found by immediately summoning another congress, the Third Congress of the Party, establishing common tactics and binding the minority to carry out in good faith the decisions of the congress, the decisions of the majority. This was what the Bolsheviks proposed to the Mensheviks. But the Mensheviks would not hear of summoning the Third Congress. Considering it a crime to leave the Party any longer without tactics endorsed by the Party and binding upon all Party members, the Bolsheviks decided to take the initiative of convening the Third Congress into their own hands.

        All the Party organizations, both Bolshevik and Menshevik, were invited to the congress. But the Mensheviks refused to take part in the Third Congress and decided to hold one of their own. As the number of delegates at their congress proved to be small, they called it a conference, but actually it was a congress, a Menshevik party congress, whose decisions were considered binding on all Mensheviks.

        The Third Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Party met in London in April 1905. It was attended by 24 delegates representing 20 Bolshevik Committees. All the large organizations of the Party were represented.

        The congress condemned the Mensheviks as "a section that had split away from the Party" and passed on to the business on hand, the working out of the tactics of the Party.

        At the same time that this congress was held, the Mensheviks held their conference in Geneva.

        "Two congresses -- two parties," was the way Lenin summed up the situation.

     

        Both the congress and the conference virtually discussed the same tactical questions, but the decisions they arrived at were diametrically opposite. The two sets of resolutions adopted by the congress and the conference respectively revealed the whole depth of the tactical difference between the Third Party Congress and the Menshevik conference, between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks.

        Here are the main points of these differences.

        Tactical line of the Third Party Congress. The congress held that despite the bourgeois-democratic character of the revolution in progress, despite the fact that it could not at the given moment go beyond the limits of what was possible within the framework of capitalism, it was primarily the proletariat that was interested in its complete victory, for the victory of this revolution would enable the proletariat to organize itself, to grow politically, to acquire experience and competence in political leadership of the toiling masses, and to proceed from the bourgeois revolution to the Socialist revolution.

        Tactics of the proletariat designed to achieve the complete victory of the bourgeois-democratic revolution could find support only in the peasantry, for the latter could not settle scores with the landlords and obtain possession of their lands without the complete victory of the revolution. The peasantry was therefore the natural ally of the proletariat.

        The liberal bourgeoisie was not interested in the complete victory of this revolution, for it needed the tsarist regime as a whip against the workers and peasants, whom it feared more than anything else, and it would strive to preserve the tsarist regime, only somewhat restricting its powers. The liberal bourgeoisie would therefore attempt to end matters by coming to terms with the tsar on the basis of a constitutional monarchy.

        The revolution would win only if headed by the proletariat; if the proletariat, as the leader of the revolution, secured an alliance with the peasantry; if the liberal bourgeoisie were isolated; if the Social-Democratic Party took an active part in the organization of the uprising of the people against tsardom; if, as the result of a successful uprising, a provisional revolutionary government were set up that would be capable of destroying the counter-revolution root and branch and convening a Constituent Assembly representing the whole people; and if the Social-Democratic Party did not refuse, the circumstances being favourable, to take part in the provisional revolutionary government in order to carry the revolution to its conclusion.

        Tactical line of the Menshevik conference. Inasmuch as the revolution was a bourgeois revolution, only the liberal bourgeoisie could be its leader. The proletariat should not establish close relations with the peas-

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    antry, but with the liberal bourgeoisie. The chief thing was not to frighten off the liberal bourgeoisie by a display of revolutionary spirit and not to give it a pretext to recoil from the revolution, for if it were to recoil from the revolution, the revolution would be weakened.

        It was possible that the uprising would prove victorious; but after the triumph of the uprising the Social-Democratic Party should step aside so as not to frighten away the liberal bourgeoisie. It was possible that as a result of the uprising a provisional revolutionary government would be set up; but the Social-Democratic Party should under no circumstances take part in it, because this government would not be Socialist in character, and because -- and this was the chief thing -- by its participation in this government and by its revolutionary spirit, the Social-Democratic Party might frighten off the liberal bourgeoisie and thus undermine the revolution.

        It would be better for the prospects of the revolution if some sort of representative institution were convened, of the nature of a Zemsky Sobor or a State Duma, which could be subjected to the pressure of the working class from without so as to transform it into a Constituent Assembly or impel it to convene a Constituent Assembly.

        The proletariat had its own specific, purely wage-worker interests, and it should attend to these interests only and not try to become the leader of the bourgeois revolution, which, being a general political revolution, concerned all classes and not the proletariat alone.

        Such, in brief, were the two tactics of the two groups of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party.

        In his historic book, Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution, Lenin gave a classical criticism of the tactics of the Mensheviks and a brilliant substantiation of the Bolshevik tactics.

        This book appeared in July 1905, that is, two months after the Third Party Congress. One might assume from its title that Lenin dealt in it only with tactical questions relating to the period of the bourgeois-democratic revolution and had only the Russian Mensheviks in mind. But as a matter of fact when he criticized the tactics of the Mensheviks he at the same time exposed the tactics of international opportunism; and when he substantiated the Marxist tactics in the period of the bourgeois revolution and drew the distinction between the bourgeois revolution and the Socialist revolution, he at the same time formulated the fundamental principles of the Marxist tactics in the period of transition from the bourgeois revolution to the Socialist revolution.

        The fundamental tactical principles expounded by Lenin in his pam-

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    phlet, Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution, were as follows:

        1) The main tactical principle, one that runs through Lenin's whole book, is that the proletariat can and must be the leader of the bourgeois democratic revolution, the guiding force of the bourgeois-democratic revolution in Russia.

        Lenin admitted the bourgeois character of this revolution, for, as he said, "it is incapable of directly overstepping the bounds of a mere democratic revolution." However, he held that it was not a revolution of the upper strata, but a people's revolution, one that would set in motion the whole people, the whole working class, the whole peasantry. Hence the attempts of the Mensheviks to belittle the significance of the bourgeois revolution for the proletariat, to depreciate the role of the proletariat in it, and to keep the proletariat away from it were in Lenin's opinion a betrayal of the interests of the proletariat.

        "Marxism," Lenin said, "teaches the proletarian not to keep aloof from the bourgeois revolution, not to be indifferent to it, not to allow the leadership of the revolution to be assumed by the bourgeoisie, but, on the contrary, to take a most energetic part in it, to fight most resolutely for consistent proletarian democracy, for carrying the revolution to its conclusion." (Lenin, Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 77 )
        "We must not forget," Lenin says further, "that there is not, nor can there be, at the present time, any other means of bringing Socialism nearer, than complete political liberty, than a democratic republic." (Ibid., p. 122.)

        Lenin foresaw two possible outcomes of the revolution:

        a) Either it would end in a decisive victory over tsardom, in the overthrow of tsardom and the establishment of a democratic republic;

        b) Or, if the forces were inadequate, it might end in a deal between the tsar and the bourgeoisie at the expense of the people, in some sort of curtailed constitution, or, most likely, in some caricature of a constitution.

        The proletariat was interested in the better outcome of the two, that is, in a decisive victory over tsardom. But such an outcome was possible only if the proletariat succeeded in becoming the leader and guide of the revolution.

        "The outcome of the revolution," Lenin said, "depends on whether the working class will play the part of a subsidiary to the bourgeoisie, a subsidiary that is powerful in the force of its onslaught

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    against the autocracy but impotent politically, or whether it will play the part of leader of the people's revolution." (Ibid., p. 41.)

        Lenin maintained that the proletariat had every possibility of escaping the fate of a subsidiary to the bourgeoisie, and of becoming the leader of the bourgeois-democratic revolution. This possibility, according to Lenin, arises from the following.

        First, "the proletariat, being, by virtue of its very position, the most advanced and the only consistently revolutionary class, is for that very reason called upon to play the leading part in the general democratic revolutionary movement in Russia." (Lenin, Collected Works, Russ. ed., Vol. VIII, p. 75.)

        Secondly, the proletariat has its own political party, which is independent of the bourgeoisie and which enables the proletariat to weld itself "into a united and independent political force." (Ibid., p. 75.)

        Thirdly, the proletariat is more interested than the bourgeoisie in a decisive victory of the revolution, in view of which "in a certain sense the bourgeois revolution is more advantageous to the proletariat than to the bourgeoisie." (Ibid., p. 57.)

        "It is to the advantage of the bourgeoisie," Lenin wrote, "to rely on certain remnants of the past as against the proletariat, for instance, on the monarchy, the standing army, etc. It is to the advantage of the bourgeoisie if the bourgeois revolution does not too resolutely sweep away all the remnants of the past, but leaves some of them, i.e., if this revolution is not fully consistent, if it is not complete and if it is not determined and relentless. . . . It is of greater advantage to the bourgeoisie if the necessary changes in the direction of bourgeois democracy take place more slowly, more gradually, more cautiously, less resolutely, by means of reforms and not by means of revolution . . . if these changes develop as little as possible the independent revolutionary activity, initiative and energy of the common people, i.e., the peasantry and especially the workers, for otherwise it will be easier for the workers, as the French say, 'to hitch the rifle from one shoulder to the other,' i.e., to turn against the bourgeoisie the guns which the bourgeois revolution will place in their hands, the liberty which the revolution will bring, the democratic institutions which will spring up on the ground that is cleared of serfdom. On the other hand, it is more advantageous for the working class if the necessary changes in the direction of bourgeois democracy take place by way of revolution and not by way of reform; for the way of reform is the way of delay, of procrastina-

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    tion, of the painfully slow decomposition of the putrid parts of the national organism. It is the proletariat and the peasantry that suffer first of all and most of all from their putrefaction. The revolutionary way is the way of quick amputation, which is the least painful to the proletariat, the way of the direct removal of the decomposing parts, the way of fewest concessions to and least consideration for the monarchy and the disgusting, vile, rotten and contaminating institutions which go with it." (Lenin, Selected Works, Vol. III, pp. 75-6.)
        "That," Lenin continues, "is why the proletariat fights in the front ranks for a republic and contemptuously rejects silly and unworthy advice to take care not to frighten away the bourgeoisie." (Ibid., p. 108.)

        In order to convert the possibility of the proletarian leadership of the revolution into a reality, in order that the proletariat might actually become the leader, the guiding force of the bourgeois revolution, at least two conditions were needed, according to Lenin.

        First, it was necessary for the proletariat to have an ally who was interested in a decisive victory over tsardom and who might be disposed to accept the leadership of the proletariat. This was dictated by the very idea of leadership, for a leader ceases to be a leader if there is nobody to lead, a guide ceases to be a guide if there is nobody to guide. Lenin considered that the peasantry was such an ally.

        Secondly, it was necessary that the class, which was fighting the proletariat for the leadership of the revolution and striving to become its sole leader, should be forced out of the arena of leadership and isolated. This too was dictated by the very idea of leadership, which precluded the possibility of there being two leaders of the revolution. Lenin considered that the liberal bourgeoisie was such a class.

        "Only the proletariat can be a consistent fighter for democracy," Lenin said. "It may become a victorious fighter for democracy only if the peasant masses join its revolutionary struggle." (Ibid., p. 86.)

        And further:

        "The peasantry includes a great number of semi-proletarian as well as petty-bourgeois elements. This causes it also to be unstable and compels the proletariat to unite in a strictly class party. But the instability of the peasantry differs radically from the instability of the bourgeoisie, for at the present time the peasantry is interested not so much in the absolute preservation of private property as in the confiscation of the landed estates, one of the principal forms of private property. While this does not cause the peasantry to become Socialist or cease to be petty-bourgeois, the peasantry is capable of becoming a whole-hearted and most radical adherent of the democratic revolution. The peasantry will inevitably become such if only the progress of revolutionary events, which is enlightening it, is not interrupted too soon by the treachery of the bourgeoisie and the defeat of the proletariat. Subject to this condition, the peasantry will inevitably become a bulwark of the revolution and the republic, for only a completely victorious revolution can give the peasantry everything in the sphere of agrarian reforms -- everything that the peasants desire, of which they dream, and of which they truly stand in need." (Ibid., pp. 108-09.)

        Analysing the objections of the Mensheviks, who asserted that these Bolshevik tactics "will compel the bourgeois classes to recoil from the cause of the revolution and thus curtail its scope," and characterizing these objections as "tactics of betrayal of the revolution," as "tactics which would convert the proletariat into a wretched appendage of the bourgeois classes," Lenin wrote:

        "Those who really understand the role of the peasantry in the victorious Russian revolution would not dream of saying that the sweep of the revolution would be diminished if the bourgeoisie recoiled from it. For, as a matter of fact, the Russian revolution will begin to assume its real sweep, will really assume the widest revolutionary sweep possible in the epoch of bourgeois-democratic revolution, only when the bourgeoisie recoils from it and when the masses of the peasantry come out as active revolutionaries side by side with the proletariat. In order that it may be consistently carried to its conclusion, our democratic revolution must rely on such forces as are capable of paralysing the inevitable inconsistency of the bourgeoisie, i.e., capable precisely of 'causing it to recoil from the revolution.'" (Ibid., p. 110.)

        Such is the main tactical principle regarding the proletariat as the leader of the bourgeois revolution, the fundamental tactical principle regarding the hegemony (leading role) of the proletariat in the bourgeois revolution, expounded by Lenin in his book, Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution.

        This was a new line of the Marxist party on questions of tactics in the bourgeois-democratic revolution, a line fundamentally different from the tactical lines hitherto existing in the arsenal of Marxism. The situation before had been that in the bourgeois revolution -- in Western Europe, for instance -- it was the bourgeoisie that played the leading part, the proletariat willy-nilly playing the part of its subsidiary, while the peasantry was a reserve of the bourgeoisie. The Marxists considered such a combination more or less inevitable, at the same time stipulating that the proletariat must as far as possible fight for its own immediate class demands and have its own political party. Now, under the new historical conditions, according to Lenin, the situation was changing in such a way that the proletariat was becoming the guiding force of the bourgeois revolution, the bourgeoisie was being edged out of the leadership of the revolution, while the peasantry was becoming a reserve of the proletariat.

        The claim that Plekhanov "also stood" for the hegemony of the proletariat is based upon a misunderstanding. Plekhanov flirted with the idea of the hegemony of the proletariat and was not averse to recognizing it in words -- that is true. But in reality he was opposed to this idea in its essence. The hegemony of the proletariat implies the leading role of the proletariat in the bourgeois revolution, accompanied by a policy of alliance between the proletariat and the peasantry and a policy of isolation of the liberal bourgeoisie; whereas Plekhanov, as we know, was opposed to the policy of isolating the liberal bourgeoisie, favoured a policy of agreement with the liberal bourgeoisie, and was opposed to a policy of alliance between the proletariat and the peasantry. As a matter of fact, Plekhanov's tactical line was the Menshevik line which rejected the hegemony of the proletariat.

        2) Lenin considered that the most effective means of overthrowing tsardom and achieving a democratic republic was a victorious armed uprising of the people. Contrary to the Mensheviks, Lenin held that "the general democratic revolutionary movement has already brought about the necessity for an armed uprising," that "the organization of the proletariat for uprising" had already "been placed on the order of the day as one of the essential, principal and indispensable tasks of the Party," and that it was necessary "to adopt the most energetic measures to arm the proletariat and to ensure the possibility of directly leading the uprising." (Lenin, Collected Works, Russ. ed., Vol. VIII, p. 75.)

        To guide the masses to an uprising and to turn it into an uprising of the whole people, Lenin deemed it necessary to issue such slogans, such appeals to the masses as would set free their revolutionary initiative, organize them for insurrection and disorganize the machinery of power of tsardom. He considered that these slogans were furnished by the tactical decisions of the Third Party Congress, to the defence of which his book Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution was devoted.

        The following, he considered, were these slogans:

        a) "Mass political strikes, which may be of great importance at the beginning and in the very process of the insurrection" (ibid., p. 75);

        b) "Immediate realization, in a revolutionary way, of the 8-hour working day and of the other immediate demands of the working class" (ibid., p. 47);

        c) "Immediate organization of revolutionary peasant committees in order to carry out" in a revolutionary way "all the democratic changes," including the confiscation of the landed estates (ibid., p. 88);

        d) Arming of the workers.

        Here two points are of particular interest:

        First, the tactics of realizing in a revolutionary way the 8-hour day in the towns, and the democratic changes in the countryside, that is, a way which disregards the authorities, disregards the law, which ignores both the authorities and the law, breaks the existing laws and establishes a new order by unauthorized action, as an accomplished fact. This was a new tactical method, the use of which paralysed the machinery of power of tsardom and set free the activity and creative initiative of the masses. These tactics gave rise to the revolutionary strike committees in the towns and the revolutionary peasant committees in the countryside, the former of which later developed into the Soviets of Workers' Deputies and the latter into the Soviets of Peasants' Deputies.

        Secondly, the use of mass political strikes, the use of general political strikes, which later, in the course of the revolution, were of prime importance in the revolutionary mobilization of the masses. This was a new and very important weapon in the hands of the proletariat, a weapon hitherto unknown in the practice of the Marxist parties and one that subsequently gained recognition.

        Lenin held that following the victorious uprising of the people the tsarist government should be replaced by a provisional revolutionary government. It would be the task of the provisional revolutionary government to consolidate the conquests of the revolution, to crush the resistance of the counter-revolution and to give effect to the minimum program of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party. Lenin maintained that unless these tasks were accomplished a decisive victory over tsardom would be impossible. And in order to accomplish these tasks and achieve a decisive victory over tsardom, the provisional revolutionary government would have to be not an ordinary kind of government, but a government of the dictatorship of the victorious classes, of the workers and peasants; it would have to be a revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry. Citing Marx's well-known thesis that "after a revolution every provisional organization of the state requires a dictatorship, and an energetic dictatorship at that," Lenin came to the conclusion that if the provisional revolutionary government was to ensure a decisive victory over tsardom, it could be nothing else but a dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry.

        "A decisive victory of the revolution over tsardom is the revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry," Lenin said. ". . . And such a victory will be precisely a dictatorship, i.e., it must inevitably rely on military force, on the arming of the masses, on an uprising and not on institutions of one kind or an other, established in a 'lawful' or 'peaceful' way. It can be only a dictatorship, for the realization of the changes which are urgently and absolutely indispensable for the proletariat and the peasantry will call forth the desperate resistance of the landlords, of the big bourgeoisie, and of tsardom. Without a dictatorship it is impossible to break down that resistance and to repel the counter-revolutionary attempts. But of course it will be a democratic, not a Socialist dictatorship. It will not be able (without a series of intermediary stages of revolutionary development) to affect the foundations of capitalism. At best it may bring about a radical redistribution of landed property in favour of the peasantry, establish consistent and full democracy, including the formation of a republic, eradicate all the oppressive features of Asiatic bondage, not only in village but also in factory life, lay the foundation for a thorough improvement in the position of the workers and for a rise in their standard of living, and -- last but not least -- carry the revolutionary conflagration into Europe. Such a victory will by no means as yet transform our bourgeois revolution into a Socialist revolution; the democratic revolution will not directly overstep the bounds of bourgeois social and economic relationships; nevertheless, the significance of such a victory for the future development of Russia and of the whole world will be immense. Nothing will raise the revolutionary energy of the world proletariat so much, nothing will shorten the path leading to its complete victory to such an extent, as this decisive victory of the revolution that has now started in Russia." (Lenin, Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 82-3.)

        As to the attitude of the Social-Democrats towards the provisional revolutionary government and as to whether it would be permissible for them to take part in it, Lenin fully upheld the resolution of the Third Party Congress on the subject, which reads:

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        "Subject to the relation of forces, and other factors which cannot be exactly determined beforehand, representatives of our Party may participate in the provisional revolutionary government for the purpose of relentless struggle against all counter-revolutionary attempts and of the defence of the independent interests of the working class; an indispensable condition for such participation is that the Party should exercise strict control over its representatives and that the independence of the Social-Democratic Party, which is striving for a complete Socialist revolution and, consequently, is irreconcilably hostile to all the bourgeois parties, should be strictly maintained; whether the participation of Social-Democrats in the provisional revolutionary government prove possible or not, we must propagate among the broadest masses of the proletariat the necessity for permanent pressure to be brought to bear upon the provisional government by the armed proletariat, led by the Social-Democratic Party, for the purpose of defending, consolidating and extending the gains of the revolution." (Ibid., pp. 46-7.)

        As to the Mensheviks' objection that the provisional government would still be a bourgeois government, that the Social-Democrats could not be permitted to take part in such a government unless one wanted to commit the same mistake as the French Socialist Millerand when he joined the French bourgeois government, Lenin parried this objection by pointing out that the Mensheviks were here mixing up two different things and were betraying their inability to treat the question as Marxists should. In France it was a question of Socialists taking part in a reactionary bourgeois government at a time when there was no revolutionary situation in the country, which made it incumbent upon the Socialists not to join such a government; in Russia, on the other hand, it was a question of Socialists taking part in a revolutionary bourgeois government fighting for the victory of the revolution at a time when the revolution was in full swing, a circumstance which would make it permissible for, and, under favourable circumstances, incumbent upon the Social-Democrats to take part in such a government in order to strike at the counter-revolution not only "from below," from without, but also "from above," from within the government.

        3) While advocating the victory of the bourgeois revolution and the achievement of a democratic republic, Lenin had not the least intention of coming to a halt in the democratic stage and confining the scope of the revolutionary movement to the accomplishment of bourgeois-democratic tasks. On the contrary, Lenin maintained that following upon the accomplishment of the democratic tasks, the proletariat and the other

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    exploited masses would have to begin a struggle, this time for the Socialist revolution. Lenin knew this and regarded it as the duty of Social-Democrats to do everything to make the bourgeois-democratic revolution pass into the Socialist revolution. Lenin held that the dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry was necessary not in order to end the revolution at the point of consummation of its victory over tsardom, but in order to prolong the state of revolution as much as possible, to destroy the last remnants of counter-revolution, to make the flame of revolution spread to Europe, and, having in the meantime given the proletariat the opportunity of educating itself politically and organizing itself into a great army, to begin the direct transition to the Socialist revolution.

        Dealing with the scope of the bourgeois revolution, and with the character the Marxist party should lend it, Lenin wrote:

        "The proletariat must carry to completion the democratic revolution, by allying to itself the mass of the peasantry in order to crush by force the resistance of the autocracy and to paralyse the instability of the bourgeoisie. The proletariat must accomplish the Socialist revolution by allying to itself the mass of the semi-proletarian elements of the population in order to crush by force the resistance of the bourgeoisie and to paralyse the instability of the peasantry and the petty bourgeoisie. Such are the tasks of the proletariat, which the new Iskra -ists (that is, Mensheviks --Ed.) always present so narrowly in their arguments and resolutions about the scope of the revolution." (Ibid., pp. 110-11.)

        And further:

        "At the head of the whole of the people, and particularly of the peasantry -- for complete freedom, for a consistent democratic revolution, for a republic! At the head of all the toilers and the exploited -- for Socialism! Such must in practice be the policy of the revolutionary proletariat, such is the class slogan which must permeate and determine the solution of every tactical problem, of every practical step of the workers' party during the revolution." (Ibid., p. 124.)

        In order to leave nothing unclear, two months after the appearance of the Two Tactics Lenin wrote an article entitled "Attitude of Social-Democrats to the Peasant Movement," in which he explained:

        "From the democratic revolution we shall at once, and just in accordance with the measure of our strength, the strength of the class-conscious and organized proletariat, begin to pass to the Socialist revolution. We stand for uninterrupted revolution. We shall not stop half way." (Ibid., p. 145.)

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        This was a new line in the question of the relation between the bourgeois revolution and the Socialist revolution, a new theory of a regrouping of forces around the proletariat, towards the end of the bourgeois revolution, for a direct transition to the Socialist revolution -- the theory of the bourgeois-democratic revolution passing into the Socialist revolution.

        In working out this new line, Lenin based himself, first, on the well-known thesis of uninterrupted revolution advanced by Marx at the end of the forties of the last century in the Address to the Communist League , and, secondly, on the well-known idea of the necessity of combining the peasant revolutionary movement with the proletarian revolution which Marx expressed in a letter to Engels in 1856, saying that: "the whole thing in Germany will depend on the possibility of backing the proletarian revolution by some second edition of the Peasants' War." However, these brilliant ideas of Marx were not developed subsequently in the works of Marx and Engels, while the theoreticians of the Second International did their utmost to bury them and consign them to oblivion. To Lenin fell the task of bringing these forgotten ideas of Marx to light and restoring them to their full rights. But in restoring these Marxian ideas, Lenin did not -- and could not -- confine himself to merely repeating them, but developed them further and moulded them into a harmonious theory of Socialist revolution by introducing a new factor, an indispensable factor of the Socialist revolution, namely, an alliance of the proletariat with the semi-proletarian elements of town and country as a condition for the victory of the proletarian revolution.

        This line confuted the tactical position of the West-European Social-Democratic parties who took it for granted that after the bourgeois revolution the peasant masses, including the poor peasants, would necessarily desert the revolution, as a result of which the bourgeois revolution would be followed by a prolonged interval, a long "lull" lasting fifty or a hundred years, if not longer, during which the proletariat would be "peacefully" exploited and the bourgeoisie would "lawfully" enrich itself until the time came round for a new revolution, a Socialist revolution.

        This was a new theory which held that the Socialist revolution would be accomplished not by the proletariat in isolation as against the whole bourgeoisie, but by the proletariat as the leading class which would have as allies the semi-proletarian elements of the population, the "toiling and exploited millions."

        According to this theory the hegemony of the proletariat in the bourgeois revolution, the proletariat being in alliance with the peasantry,

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    would grow into the hegemony of the proletariat in the Socialist revolution, the proletariat now being in alliance with the other labouring and exploited masses, while the democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry would prepare the ground for the Socialist dictatorship of the proletariat.

        It refuted the theory current among the West-European Social-Democrats who denied the revolutionary potentialities of the semi-proletarian masses of town and country and took for granted that "apart from the bourgeoisie and the proletariat we perceive no social forces in our country in which oppositional or revolutionary combinations might find support" (these were Plekhanov's words, typical of the West-European Social-Democrats).

        The West-European Social-Democrats held that in the Socialist revolution the proletariat would stand alone, against the whole bourgeoisie, without allies, against all the non-proletarian classes and strata. They would not take account of the fact that capital exploits not only the proletarians but also the semi-proletarian millions of town and country, who are crushed by capitalism and who may become allies of the proletariat in the struggle for the emancipation of society from the capitalist yoke. The West-European Social-Democrats therefore held that conditions were not yet ripe for a Socialist revolution in Europe, that the conditions could be considered ripe only when the proletariat became the majority of the nation, the majority of society, as a result of the further economic development of society.

        This spurious anti-proletarian standpoint of the West-European Social-Democrats was completely upset by Lenin's theory of the Socialist revolution.

        Lenin's theory did not yet contain any direct conclusion regarding the possibility of a victory of Socialism in one country, taken singly. But it did contain all, or nearly all, the fundamental elements necessary for the drawing of such a conclusion sooner or later.

        As we know, Lenin arrived at this conclusion ten years later, in 1915.

        Such are the fundamental tactical principles expounded by Lenin in his historic book, Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution.

        The historic significance of this book consists above all in the fact that in it Lenin ideologically shattered the petty-bourgeois tactical line of the Mensheviks, armed the working class of Russia for the further development of the bourgeois-democratic revolution, for a new onslaught on tsardom, and put before the Russian Social-Democrats a clear perspec- tive of the necessity of the bourgeois revolution passing into the Socialist revolution.

        But this does not exhaust the significance of Lenin's book. Its in valuable significance consists in that it enriched Marxism with a new theory of revolution and laid the foundation for the revolutionary tactics of the Bolshevik Party with the help of which in 1917 the proletariat of our country achieved the victory over capitalism.

FURTHER RISE OF THE REVOLUTION. ALL-RUSSIAN POLITICAL STRIKE OF OCTOBER 1905. RETREAT OF TSARDOM. THE TSAR'S MANIFESTO. RISE OF THE SOVIETS OF WORKERS' DEPUTIES