Julius Martov 1904

Short Constitution of the All-Russian Social Democratic Workers’ Party

(Maximum Constitution of the ‘Hards’)


First Published: Iskra, No 58, 25 January 1904;
Source: Martov: A political Biography of a Russian Social Democrat by Israel Getzler, Melbourne University Press, 1967.


1. The Party is divided into those who sit and those who are sat upon.

Note: Groups and individuals who cannot sit nor wish to be sat upon are completely abolished.

2. In general, sitters are to sit. As for those who are sat upon, their main function is to be sat upon.

3. In the interests of centralism, the sitters shall enjoy varying degrees of trust. As for those who are sat upon, they are all equal in their rights.

4. To reward those who have sat, a Council is set up. The latter, though, can also sit independently.

5. This hierarchy is crowned by a Fifth, whose rights of sitting are limited only by the laws of nature.

6. The sitting of the Central Organ is maintained by measures of spiritual reasoning. In any case of resistance by those who have thus been brought to reason, they are handed over to the Central Committee.

7. Then the Central Committee takes action.

8. Those who are sat upon make contributions to the party treasury both for the expense of sitting and likewise for the purpose of propaganda.

9. In the fullness of time all party members, sitters and sat upon, will make a revolution.

Note: From which obligation those who have been sufficiently and completely sat upon are exempt.

And they still say Russians are unable to express their thoughts succinctly. Parlez-moi de ša !

L. Martov