Tony Cliff

Lenin 2

Chapter 8
Lenin, the Party and the Proletariat

“Patiently Explain”

Once Lenin had won the Bolshevik Party to his April Theses, he set out to analyze how the party could win the majority of the proletariat, the poor, and the soldiers to its side, so as to be able to carry the proletarian revolution to a victorious conclusion. He did this in a pamphlet he wrote at the beginning of April, entitled The Tasks of the Proletariat in Our Revolution.

The pamphlet was typed in several copies and handed out to party members before and during the April Conference of the Bolsheviks (April 24-29). It appeared in print for the first time in September. It makes it clear that while the program of the party must define the basic relations between the proletariat and other classes, party tactics must dictate the concrete and temporary class relations. The state of mind of the masses must influence the immediate tactics at any moment of time.

The main practical work must be propaganda among the masses.

Only by overcoming [the] unreasoning trust (and we can and should overcome it only ideologically, by comradely persuasion, by pointing to the lessons of experience) can we set ourselves free from the prevailing orgy of revolutionary phrase-mongering and really stimulate the consciousness both of the proletariat and of the mass in general, as well as their bold and determined initiative in the localities – the independent realization, development, and consolidation of liberties, democracy, and the principle of people’s ownership of all the land.

The bourgeoisie and landlords were at that moment keeping the people in subjection, Lenin argued, not by violent oppression but by

deception, flattery, fine phrases, promises by the millions, petty sops, and concessions of the unessential while retaining the essential.

The peculiar feature of the present situation in Russia is the transition at a dizzy speed from ... violent oppression of the people to flattering and deceiving the people by promises.

The greater deception was associated with the war effort – with so-called revolutionary defensism.

The bourgeoisie deceives the people by working on their noble pride in the revolution and by pretending that the social and political character of the war, as far as Russia is concerned, underwent a change because of this stage of the revolution, because of the substitution of the near-republic of Guchkov and Miliukov for the Tsarist monarchy.

There were no shortcuts by which to overcome revolutionary defensism.

What is required of us is the ability to explain to the masses that the social and political character of the war is determined not by the “good will” of individuals or groups, or even of nations, but by the position of the class which conducts the war, by the class policy of which the war is a continuation, by the ties of capital, which is the dominant economic force in modern society, by the imperialist character of modern capitalism, by Russia’s dependence in finance, banking, and diplomacy upon Britain, France, and so on. To explain this skilfully in a way the people would understand is not easy; none of us would be able to do it at once without committing errors. [1]

In arguing against revolutionary defensism one must be very sensitive to the real psychological motives that stir the masses.

The slogan “Down with the War!” is, of course, correct. But it fails to take into account the specific nature of the tasks of the present moment and the necessity of approaching the broad mass of the people in a different way. It reminds me of the slogan “Down with the Tsar!” with which the inexperienced agitator of the “good old days” went simply and directly to the countryside – and got a beating for his pains. The mass believers in revolutionary defensism are honest, not in the personal, but in the class sense, i.e., they belong to classes (workers and the peasant poor) which in actual fact have nothing to gain from annexations and the subjugation of other peoples. This is nothing like the bourgeois and the “intellectual” fraternity, who know very well that you cannot renounce annexations without renouncing the rule of capital, and who unscrupulously deceive the people with fine phrases, with unlimited promises, and endless assurances.

The rank-and-file believer in defensism regards the matter in the simple way of the men in the street: “I don’t want annexations, but the Germans are ‘going for’ me, therefore I’m defending a just cause and not any kind of imperialist interests at all.” To a man like this it must be explained again and again that it is not a question of his personal wishes, but of mass, class, political relations and conditions, of the connection between the war and the interests of capital and the international network of banks, and so forth. Only such a struggle against defensism will be serious and will promise success – perhaps not a very rapid success, but one that will be real and enduring. [2]

What sensitivity Lenin showed towards the real feelings of the masses, even when they followed the reactionary policies of defensism!

Being adaptable does not mean being unprincipled. On the contrary, one must on no account make any concessions to the moods of the masses. “The slightest concession to revolutionary defensism is a betrayal of socialism, a complete renunciation of internationalism, no matter by what phrases and ‘practical’ considerations it may be justified.” [3]

One form of concession to revolutionary defensism is that of demanding of the provisional government that it should carry out a peace policy:

To go on demanding that it should proclaim the will of the peoples of Russia for peace, that it should renounce annexations, and so on and so forth, is in practice merely to deceive the people, to inspire them with false hopes and so retard the clarification of their minds. It is indirectly to reconcile them to the continuation of a war the true social character of which is determined not by pious wishes, but by the class character of the government that wages the war, by the connection between the class represented by this government and the imperialist finance capital of Russia, Britain, France, etc., by the real and actual policy which that class is pursuing. [4]

In fighting against revolutionary defensism one must give a clear answer to the question: How can the war be ended?

It is impossible to slip out of the imperialist war and achieve a democratic, non-coercive peace without overthrowing the power of capital and transferring state power to another class, the proletariat.

The Russian revolution of February-March 1917 was the beginning of the transformation of the imperialist war into a civil war. This revolution took the first step towards ending the war; but it requires a second step, namely, the transfer of state power to the proletariat, to make the end of the war a certainty. This will be the beginning of a “break-through” on a world-wide scale, a breakthrough in the front of capitalist interests; and only by breaking through this front can the proletariat save mankind from the horrors of war and endow it with the blessings of peace. [5]

There is no possibility of this war ending in a democratic, non-coercive peace or of the people being relieved of the burden of billions paid in interest to the capitalists, who have made fortunes out of the war, except through a revolution of the proletariat.

The most varied reforms can and must be demanded of the bourgeois governments, but one cannot, without sinking to Manilovism and reformism, demand that people and classes entangled by the thousands of threads of imperialist capital should tear those threads. And unless they are torn, all talk of a war against war is idle and deceitful prattle. [6]

The Russian proletariat has an especially great responsibility in the fight against the imperialist war.

Much is given to the Russian proletariat; nowhere in the world has the working class yet succeeded in developing so much revolutionary energy as in Russia. But to whom much is given, of him much is required ... No other country in the world is as free as Russia is now. Let us make use of this freedom, not to advocate support for the bourgeoisie, or bourgeois “revolutionary defensism,” but in a bold, honest, proletarian, Liebknecht way to found the Third International ... [7]

There is one, and only one, kind of real internationalism, and that is – working wholeheartedly for the development of the revolutionary movement and the revolutionary struggle in one’s own country, and supporting (by propaganda, sympathy, and material aid) this struggle, this, and only this, line in every country without exception. [8]

The Spur and the Rein

It is easy to talk about the need to “patiently explain,” but how could one do this and yet avoid spreading passivity among the masses? How could the party both restrain the mass movement from premature assault on the provisional government without weakening it, and at the same time spur the movement on? After all, strength is accumulated in struggle, and not in a passive evasion of it.

Political upheavals have never happened without “excesses.” Long ago, Chernyshevsky, whom Lenin so admired, put it: “The pathway of history does not resemble the pavements of the Nevskii Prospect: it cuts now across dusty, dirty fields, now across swamps, now across wilds.”

How can one lead a mass movement with all its excesses, without falling into adventurism on the one hand, or overcautiousness on the other? These were central problems that Lenin faced again and again between the February Revolution and the October insurrection.

Then again, how can one deal with the question of whether the active minority should be encouraged to go ahead and by its struggle inspire and encourage the majority, or whether this would put it in danger of isolation?

Again and again, when Lenin talked about the fighting masses that the party had to lead, he stated that this did not necessarily mean the majority of the working class. A revolutionary party had to be based in the working class, but not necessarily in the whole class. For a long time it might be established only among a minority of the class – its vanguard. As he wrote on August 22, 1907:

Not to support a movement of the avowedly revolutionary minority – means, in effect, rejecting all revolutionary methods of struggle. For it is absolutely indisputable that those who participated in the revolutionary movement throughout 1905 were the avowedly revolutionary minority: it was because the masses who were fighting were in a minority – they were nonetheless masses for being in a minority – that they did not achieve full success in their struggle. But all the successes which the emancipation movement in Russia did achieve, all the gains it did make, were wholly and without exception the result of this struggle of the masses alone, who were in a minority. [9]

If majorities are won in struggle, how can one avoid falling into the trap of passive adaptation to present moods of the majority, while not giving way to adventurism? If the party encourages the active minority, how can it avoid the danger of tying its hands by minor gains, of being led astray and forgetting to fight for total victory? How can one be firm in keeping the ultimate goal clearly in sight, while adapting oneself to the immediately achievable?

Then again how can the party fight for the overthrow of the regime without being trapped in skirmishes that may turn into a generalized battle? In 1906, Lenin wrote: “Do you think that a serious test of the regime is possible in a broad, heterogeneous, complex, popular movement without a preliminary series of local strikes; that a general uprising is possible without a series of sporadic, minor, non-general uprisings?” [10] In the electric atmosphere of 1917, Lenin’s ability to relate the smaller struggles to the overall one were to be put to the severest test.

The unevenness in the development of different sections of the working class in different places is such that while encouraging the advanced centers, one must keep in mind the total picture, so as to prevent the advanced centers from becoming completely isolated from the rest of the country.


Let us take the case of Kronstadt. On this island, the people, above all the sailors, were very impatient indeed, and became far more radical than the rest of the country in the first few weeks after the February Revolution. On April 18, when the news spread that Foreign Minister Miliukov had sent a note to the Allies supporting “war till victory,” the Kronstadt Soviet, which rejected a Bolshevik resolution condemning the government, found itself quite isolated in the town. Large crowds gathered outside the Bolshevik headquarters, at mass meetings in factories and barracks, and passed a Bolshevik resolution that called for “the overthrow of the provisional government and the transfer of all power to the Soviets.” [11] One of the large street meetings, numbering some twenty thousand people, was addressed by a Bolshevik member of the Soviet Executive Committee, S.C. Roshal, who called for the overthrow of the government. [12] The Executive Committee of the Soviet of Kronstadt then expelled Roshal for indiscipline. Immediately the Bolsheviks began a campaign for the reelection of the Soviet, a campaign which proved to be extremely successful. Elections were held, and the Bolsheviks, who had been the smallest party in the Soviet, became the largest.

Unfortunately the Kronstadt Bolsheviks’ campaign for the overthrow of the provisional government was contrary to the policy of the Central Committee, and was condemned in a Central Committee resolution on April 22. [13] This resolution was not aimed only at the Kronstadt Committee. The Helsingfors Committee and even some Petrograd Bolsheviks had also put forward the same slogan.

However, the Kronstadt Committee of the Bolsheviks rejected the Central Committee reprimand. On May 5, the new Kronstadt Soviet assembled. On May 13, the new Executive Committee of the Soviet decided to formalize the fact that the Soviet was the sole power on the island and issued a draft resolution to this effect. On May 16, the Kronstadt Soviet decided that it would break off all relations with the provisional government and would recognize only the Petrograd Soviet. [14] On May 18, a member of the Central Committee came to Kronstadt demanding to know what was going on. Raskolnikov and Roshal were summoned to Petrograd where they were reprimanded by Lenin. [15]

The events in Kronstadt threatened the Bolshevik Party’s whole strategy of “patiently explaining.” The Kronstadt Soviet continued to refuse to back down, despite a demand on May 26 from the Executive of the Petrograd Soviet that they do so. [16] It looked as if the provisional government might risk an armed intervention against Kronstadt and the suppression of the Bolshevik Party. The Central Committee of the party felt the situation to be extremely dangerous. On May 27, however, Trotsky managed to persuade the Kronstadt Soviet to accept a compromise offered by the Petrograd Soviet, which allowed it to retreat without losing too much face.

The firebrands of Kronstadt had to be restrained in order to keep the general revolutionary front united.

Unevenness Between Different Places

Again and again Lenin had to intervene to restrain the hotheads of Petrograd, Kronstadt, and Helsingfors – during the April Days, the June Days, and the July Days.

It was a problem to know how to act as the fireman without dampening enthusiasm, without pushing the workers towards despondency; how to prevent a rash move while encouraging the workers to active struggle, and how to do so when differences in levels of consciousness between sections of the proletariat and between centers were very great.

The unevenness between different places did not disappear with the march of the revolution. A sample of replies from local party committees in twenty-five towns during the Sixth Congress shows that the percentage of organized Bolsheviks among the factory workers in the towns varied from 1 percent to 12 percent – the average for the twenty-five towns being 5.4 percent. [17]

Again, variations in the political level between different localities are shown very clearly from an analysis of elections to town Dumas in the summer of 1917. Thus the Bolshevik share of the seats [18] was




Over 100,000 people (27 towns)


50,000-100,000 people (35 towns)


Under 50,000 people (68 towns)


In Petrograd and Moscow, the share of the Bolsheviks was considerably larger:



Petrograd District (May 27-29)


Moscow City (June 25)


Petrograd City (August 20)


Moscow District (September 24)


Formally, of course, the two million people in Petrograd, constituting nearly 1.5 percent of the total population of Russia, should have neither more nor less importance than any other two million people. However, the revolution does not stick to the rules of formal democracy. All revolutions are highly centralistic. In the English Revolution of the seventeenth century, the French of the eighteenth, and the Russian of the twentieth, the role of the capital city was decisive. As we have seen, the vanguard of the Russian proletariat, even before the war, was in Petrograd. St Petersburg played a dominant role in the development of the Bolshevik Party and the proletariat in the years 1912-14. In organizational terms, the Bolsheviks in St. Petersburg were far ahead of their comrades elsewhere. The specific weight of the Petrograd proletariat was accentuated in 1917, both absolutely and relatively, compared with the rest of the country. [19]

It would be stupidly formalistic to assume that every thousand Bolsheviks had equal weight, wherever they lived, worked, and struggled. Compare the Bolshevik membership of Vyborg District with, let us say, that of the Ukrainian cities Kiev, Odessa, Nikolaev, and Eka-terinoslav [20]:


of March























(9 Sept.)



4 Ukrainian
cities together





The Vyborg Bolsheviks, fewer in number than those of the four Ukrainian towns, were in fact far more important historically.

The Bolsheviks quite rightly put their emphasis on the key areas of the industrial centers and the garrison towns – Petrograd, Finland, the fleet, the northern armies, the Moscow industrial area, and the Urals.

The Class and the Party

The sailors of Kronstadt, the soldiers of Minsk, the workers of Petrograd, Moscow, and Saratov, the peasants ransacking the landlords’ mansions all over Russia were in thousands upon thousands of different groups. Even if they were pushing in the same direction, they still had very different levels of consciousness. If it had not been for this unevenness in consciousness there would not have been a need for a revolutionary party.

The party exists in order to hasten the elimination of this unevenness by raising consciousness to the highest possible level. The party aims to spread the actions of the masses, to unite the actions of the masses from one end of the country to the other, to coordinate the different efforts, to select the most favorable moments for action, to be the proletariat’s general staff. But, unfortunately, if unevenness in the class makes the party necessary, the same unevenness affects the party, making the question of its guidance very complicated indeed.

As the Bolshevik Party was a mass party with deep roots in the working class, naturally the unevenness in the class must have had a decisive influence on local party organization.

With the Petrograd workers impatient for a showdown with the provisional government, it is no wonder that, as we shall see later, in April, June, and July, the leading local Bolsheviks were “ultra-left,” far to the left of the Central Committee, and straining at the leash. At the same time party leaders elsewhere, practically throughout the provinces, were dragging behind the Central Committee and belonged overwhelmingly to the right wing of the party.

How could both the militant Vyborg and Narva district organizations of the party and the extreme right-wing organizations of Kiev and Odessa be kept in tandem?

While the Vyborg comrades were striving as early as February for the overthrow of the provisional government, the Bolsheviks in many cities were refusing even to split from the Mensheviks. In many workers’ centers, such as Ekaterinburg, Ferm, Tula, Orel, Baku, Kolomna, Yaroslav, Kiev, and Voronezh, the Bolsheviks did not break away from the Mensheviks until the end of May. [21]

In Minsk, Tiflis, Nizhni-Novgorod, Omsk, Tomsk, Odessa, Nikolaev, Zlatoust, Kostroma, Sevastopol, and Vitebsk, the Bolsheviks split from the Mensheviks only in June. [22] In many other centers they did so only in August or September. [23] three hundred fifty-one party organizations remained joint Bolshevik-Menshevik organizations, in many cases until as late as September. [24] In fact, in some centers, the Bolsheviks separated from the Mensheviks only after the October Revolution.

On the whole, the further from Petrograd, the stronger the conciliatory tendencies prevailing among the Bolsheviks. They persisted longest in the Ukraine, Siberia, and Central Asia. Of fifteen city committees in Siberia, eight did not split from the Mensheviks until after the Sixth Party Congress (July 26-August 3), and five until October or even later.

Unevenness between party organizations existed not only between different cities, but even within one and the same city, between different factories. Thus in Petrograd the number of Bolsheviks in different factories [25] was

Putilov (March 2)



Aivaz (September)


Metallist (July)


Skorokhod (September)



The Party Explosion

To add to the difficulties, what Lenin had to rely on was not a smooth-running party organization with a large cadre of well established local leaders, but one that was in a tremendous turmoil of growth.

To get an idea of this growth, let us look at the changes in the membership of the party in a number of centers over the weeks and months following the February Revolution. [26]



of March


(April 24-29


(July 26-
August 3




































How could one expect stable leadership in Ivanovo-Voznesensk, where membership grew from 10 to 5,440 over five months; in Ekaterinburg, where membership grew from 40 to 2,800; or in Saratov, where it grew from 60 to 3,000?

The Administrative Weakness of the Party Center

And what was the central party apparatus that had to deal with this exploding party membership, with the numerous city committees scattered over enormous distances, with very few local cadres, many still hesitant even about breaking organizationally with the Mensheviks?

A group of five or six women party workers made up the secretariat. [27] Their offices were two rooms plus a toilet in Ksheshinskaia Palace, the headquarters of the Bolsheviks in Petrograd. One room served as an office, the other as a reception room. The toilet was a storeroom for the party records. After the July Days the secretariat moved to the apartment of one of its senior members, Elana Stasova, and a short time later to a boys’ school. [28]

Heading the secretariat between April and October was Iakov Mikhailovich Sverdlov, a man of amazing energy and organizational ability, a Bolshevik since the beginning of Bolshevism, who had experienced many years of imprisonment and exile in Siberia.

Sverdlov was so small and so frail [Trotsky writes] that one would have thought he was ill; yet there was something in him which gave the impression of authority and quiet strength. He presided over the discussion without raising his voice, without interrupting the speakers; he worked evenly and smoothly like a well-oiled engine. The secret of his success lay not in his talent for conducting the debate, but in the fact that he was extremely well acquainted with those present in the hall and also that he knew exactly what he was trying to achieve. Before each conference he would meet every delegate individually, would question him and sometimes also brief him. Even before he opened the conference, he already had a more or less clear general idea of what turn the discussion would take. But even without the preliminary conversations he knew better than anybody else in what way this or that party worker would react to every particular problem. The number of our comrades with whose political personalities Sverdlov was well acquainted was quite considerable, if one applies the standards of that time. He was a born organizer and planner. He saw every political problem first of all in the light of its intrinsic meaning for the party organization: he saw immediately how particular people and particular groups would react to it and how the alignments inside the organization would shape themselves and what consequently the relationship between the party and the masses outside the organization would be. Almost automatically, he was translating algebraic formulae into arithmetical realities. He was able to check the worth of important political slogans against revolutionary actuality. [29]

Sverdlov fitted the “no red-tape, no bureaucracy” method of work of the Central Committee.

The Central Committee, having barely emerged from its underground existence, was still in organization and methods far from the all-powerful, all-embracing chancellery of recent years. The main part of the equipment of the Central Committee was carried by Sverdlov in his side-pocket. [30]

The financial resources of the center were extremely small. The income of the Russian Bureau between December 2, 1916, and February 1, 1917, amounted to 1,117 rubles, 50 kopeks. [31] When the February Revolution broke out, the Russian Bureau had in hand oniy 100 rubles. [32] At that time, a ruble was equivalent to two shillings. Taking into account the rate of inflation since then one can assume that a ruble of 1917 would have the purchasing power of a pound sterling today. So we must imagine that the Bolshevik headquarters in 1917 had the equivalent of £100 (approximately $180 in current US dollars.)

In the months that followed, the party center continued to be in very great straits. The secretariat was responsible for collecting the contributions from the provinces. In the secretariat correspondence [33], not much appears on this topic until the late summer or early autumn, but by that time serious attention was devoted to collecting 10 percent of each local organization’s regular income, and 40 percent of special collections; however, there is repeated evidence that the center obtained very little money from the local committees. Thus on September 27, Stasova, in the name of the secretariat, wrote a letter to 333 local committees complaining that only 24 of them had paid the 10 percent dues owed to the center. And the amounts paid since the April Conference were puny. Thus the Reval Committee paid 1,068 rubles for July and August; the Moscow Committee 574.56 for May, June, and July; the Tiflis Committee 50, etc. Altogether only 3,643.70 rubles were paid by all the local committees: “As you see comrades, the amount is so small that one may think that the Russian Social Democratic Workers’ Party has only hundreds of members.” [34]

As against subscriptions, the funds raised by general collections among workers and soldiers were far more substantial. Thus, for instance, on April 13, Pravda made an appeal for funds to equip a printshop for itself. By April 22, 75,334.45 rubles had been collected [35], and by the time of the Sixth Congress, workers and soldiers had donated 140,000 rubles towards the party printing press. [36] The standard donation for workers was one day’s wages. In addition workers collected money to pay for the supply of party literature to the troops. Thus on May 19, the workers in the Novyi Lessner factory in Petrograd collected 33,781 rubles just for this purpose alone. [37] On May 27, 4,545.11 rubles were donated for the same purpose by the Provodnik factory in Moscow. [38]

These collections explain how the secretariat was able to hand out considerable amounts to different party bodies and papers. Thus between May 30 and June 7, Bakinski Rabochii got 2,116 rubles; between June 27 and September 18, 2,700 rubles were given to the Minsk and North Western Committee of the party; on May 17, Okopnoi Pravda (the army paper) received 1,000 rubles; on September 6 the Ekaterinburg Committee received 600; on May 30, the Polish paper of the Petrograd Committee, Tribuna, received 1,500 rubles. [39] But the Bolshevik Party was still in financial straits throughout 1917.

Twenty days before the October Revolution, the minutes of the Central Committee record:

1. Sverdlov reports on the request which has come from the Petrograd Area Committee to be given a subsidy on the scale of 2,500-3,000 rubles needed to start work in the province.

After a discussion, Sverdlov’s proposal to give 1,000 rubles, indicating that it is hoped that it will be returned, is adopted.

2. Sverdlov reports that a regional bureau of our party’s Military Organization has been formed on the southwest front and that the bureau requests that several thousands be given to publish a front newspaper.

It is decided to give between 2,000 and 3,000 rubles. [40]

A thousand rubles for the Petrograd organization!

Not only was the party secretariat poor in financial resources; its human resources were also so limited as to restrict even correspondence with the local committees. Between March and October, the secretariat sent about 1,740 letters to local organizations, of which about 1,000 went out between March and August (an average of 165 per month), and 740 in September and October (370 per month). Since the number of city committees on the eve of the October Revolution was 288 [41], these figures are not very impressive – there was less than one letter per city committee per month!

In addition a number of telegrams were sent by the secretariat: in March to 34 organizations; April, 12; May, 14; June, 46; July, 28; August, 7; September, 66; October, 75. [42] The Secretariat interviewed a number of visitors from local organizations: in April (excluding delegates to the Seventh Congress), 17; in May, 130 (including many Bolsheviks returning from emigration and now directed to the localities); in June and July, 30; in August, 86; in September, 37, in October, more than 100. [43]

The most common complaint in letters from local committees to the secretariat was that no speakers and lecturers were supplied. [44] The scarcity of experienced cadres is reflected in the complaint from Helsingfors that in a party with 4,500 to 4,600 members there were only three experienced people: one managed the paper, the other was an agitator, and the third a lecturer. [45]

It was very common for provincial committees to complain about neglect by the Central Committee, charging it with being no more than the “Petrograd Committee,” on account of its apparent unconcern for the remainder of Russia. During the Sixth Congress, the complaints rained down thick and fast. Thus, for instance, RN. Milonov (from Samara): “The Central Committee as the leading organ of the whole party should direct the activities of the various local organizations, which await its directives. But the CC, the so to say leading organ of the whole party, took into account only the conditions in Petrograd.” [46]

V.R. Nogin, the CC member from Moscow: “We must admit that in the activities of all party organizations and the CC in particular, there were many mistakes and blunders. We must admit first of all, what stares us in the face, that the CC spends most of its time on work in Petrograd,” [47]

B.Z. Shumiatskii, the delegate from Central Siberia: “It seems to us that the CC acts as a subsidiary department of the Petrograd organization.” [48]

I.T. Smilga stated that complaints were increasingly being heard that Pravda was not a national paper but only a Petrograd paper. [49]

In reply Sverdlov rebuked the delegates for this attitude, declaring that the complaining comrades, when asked to explain themselves, usually replied that neither Lenin nor Zinoviev had come to speak in their town or village. Such answers, he concluded, betrayed a lack of understanding of the vast demands made upon the Central Committee. [50]

Stalin referred to complaints that “the Central Committee had not formed contacts in the provinces and that its activities had been confined chiefly to Petrograd.” And he said:

The reproach of isolation from the provinces is not without foundation. But it was utterly impossible to cover the entire provinces. The reproach that the Central Committee virtually became a Petrograd Committee is to some extent justified. This is a fact. But it is here, in Petrograd, that the policy of Russia is being hammered out. It is here that the directing forces of the revolution are located.

The apparatus of the Central Committee ... is, of course, a weak apparatus. To demand, therefore, that the Central Committee take no steps without first consulting the provinces is tantamount to demanding that the Central Committee should not march ahead of events but trail behind them. But then it would not be a Central Committee. [51]

The minutes of the Central Committee on the whole confirm the charge brought by the provincial Bolsheviks. They deal with hardly any locality other than Petrograd. Even when they do, they provide indirect confirmation of the accusation of neglect of the provinces. Thus the minutes of August 31 state:

[I]t was pointed out that the work of the CC must be widened to cover the whole of Russia because up to now the CC’s work, for purely technical reasons, has been concentrated chiefly in Petersburg. To further this policy, a group of travelling agents must be formed and this is especially necessary in order to organize the northwest and southern regions and the Volga area where solidarity is weak. [52]

The editors of the minutes (published in 1958) added: “No materials have been found on the group of travelling CC agents.” [53] The lack of any actual centrally integrated party organization shows itself clearly in the preparations for the October insurrection.

Many local committees were not adequately informed about the impending insurrection in Petrograd and as a consequence were ill prepared to take similar action themselves. Even in the central industrial region, which was in fairly close contact with the Moscow Regional Bureau, the machinery creaked badly. On 15-16 October, a member of the bureau addressed a congress of Soviets at Ivanovo, urged the need to “adopt a course for a rising,” and secured an appropriate resolution; yet a local committee man, F. Samoilov, relates that he and his colleagues were waiting daily for directives from the center. At nearby Kineshma, the Bolshevik chairman of the Soviet brought back the news of the revolutionary plan early in October and a revkom (revolutionary committee) was elected; “but it must be said that this troika did not do much in practice” and its attention was monopolized by more peaceful activities. A committeeman in Voronezh complains, “we received absolutely no information from our party centers ... [and] were left completely in the dark,” whereas the local Socialist Revolutionaries were well informed of events in the capital. Equally outspoken is Antonov of Saratov: “Our party committee, which was closely following the approaching denouément, impatiently awaited the guiding instructions promised by the Central Committee. Alas! None came.” It was the same plaintive cry at Kazan: “We received no instructions of any kind [and] were left to our own devices ... “

Of course, a good deal of improvisation was only to be expected, and information will have been frequently transmitted informally through nonparty channels. Yet the prevailing impression given by the sources is that the provinces were expected to fend for themselves, and that “organized preparations” for the rising, where they were made, took a surprisingly casual form. In most cases the impulse to action was given by the news that the Bolsheviks had struck in the two capital cities. [54]

To weaken even further the actual administrative centralization of the party, there was substantial resistance in the localities to the idea of forming regional organizations. In the southwest, in April, a regional committee was created embracing seven provinces, with the radical revolutionary Evgeniia Bosh as secretary. However, it was opposed by the Kiev Party Committee members Iurii and Leonid Piatakov, both on the right wing of Bolshevism. The Kievans were supported by the committees of three other major Ukrainian cities: Odessa, Nikolaev, and Ekaterinoslav.

In the lower Volga area no regional committee could be created, owing to the rivalry between the Saratov Committee, led by V.P. Antonov Saratovski, and the Samara Committee led by Kuibishev. In Moscow, the conflict was between the City Committee led by the right-wing Bolsheviks Nogin and Rykov, on the one hand, and the group of left Bolsheviks – Bukharin, Ossinsky, Vladimir Smirnov, and Lomo – on the other hand, who controlled the Regional Bureau. [55]

What an incredible gulf between Lenin’s concept of a centralized party and the actual situation among the Bolsheviks in 1917!

In fact, as a result of comparing the minutes of the Central Committee with those of the Petersburg Committee, and also reading the correspondence of the secretariat and memoirs of Bolshevik activists from different localities, one reaches an inescapable conclusion: the party organization was administratively far more efficient at the lower levels than at the top.

The Informality of the Central Committee

Given the Stalinist myths about Bolshevism, one would imagine the workings of the Central Committee to have been bound by red tape and bureaucracy. But there was nothing of the sort.

First of all, attendance at Central Committee meetings shows how far this body was from bureaucratic formalism. The Sixth Congress elected twenty-one members to the Central Committee. However, the numbers of members present at various sessions when records were kept ranged between six and sixteen, with an average of ten per session. [56] At the October 10 session which took the historic decision about the insurrection only eleven members were present! [57]

The Central Committee again and again reached decisions that its members forgot all about immediately afterwards. To give one or two examples: The minutes of the Central Committee session of October 10 state:

Comrade Dzerzhinsky suggests that a Political Bureau be created from members of the CC to provide political leadership in the days ahead.

After an exchange of views, the suggestion is approved. A Political Bureau of 7 people is created ...: Lenin, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Trotsky, Stalin, Sokolnikov, Bubnov. [58]

However, this Political Bureau, whose task was to guide the insurrection, did not meet once. The comrades forgot about the resolution!

Then again, the minutes of October 16 state:

The CC organizes a Military Revolutionary Center consisting of the following: Sverdlov, Stalin, Bubnov, Uritsky, and Dzerzhinsky. This center is included in the Soviet Revolutionary Committee. [59]

Again, this “center” never met.

Sverdlov ... worked before and after the resolution of 16 October in close contact with the Chairman of the Military Revolutionary Committee. Three other members of the “center,” Uritsky, Dzerzhinsky, and Bubnov, were drawn into work for the Military Revolutionary Committee, each of them individually, as late as 24 October as if the resolution of 16 October had never been passed. As for Stalin ... he stubbornly kept from joining either the Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet or the Military Revolutionary Committee and did not appear at any of its sessions. [60]

The center is not once mentioned in the CC minutes after October 16.

In reporting on party membership, Sverdlov also showed a great lack of concern about pedantic exactness. Thus at the October 16 session he reported that membership had reached “no fewer than 400,000. “ [61] This figure must have been a huge exaggeration, since Sverdlov claimed only 240,000 members in August 1917 [62], and in the spring of 1918 he reported to the Seventh Party Congress that membership had increased to 300,000. [63]

As a matter of fact, this lack of formalism was absolutely vital for the effective working of the party as a revolutionary body.

An overformal party structure inevitably clashes with two basic features of the revolutionary movement: (1) the unevenness in consciousness, militancy, and dedication of different parts of the revolutionary organization; and (2) the fact that members who play a positive vanguard role at a certain stage of the struggle fall behind at another. [64]

Above all, the state of the Bolshevik Party in 1917 demonstrated that a revolutionary party is not born ready-made for revolution. It does not arise like Minerva from the head of Zeus. It is moulded, transformed in the process of the revolutionary struggle, and above all in the revolution itself. For, as Marx said in his Thesis on Feuerbach: “The materialist doctrine concerning the changing of circumstances and education forgets that circumstances are changed by men and that the educator must himself be educated.” It is true that the situation among the Bolsheviks in 1917 was far removed from Lenin’s concept of a centralized party. However, the party did exist. It had twenty-four thousand members in February 1917. The ideas of Bolshevism were not disembodied ideas, but were represented in thousands upon thousands of proletarian cadres who had been forged during years of struggle. Only because of this was it possible for Bolshevism to translate words into deeds in time and to lead a successful revolution.

The Cadres of Bolshevism

To quote something that I wrote elsewhere:

The fact that, despite all the factors encouraging instability, the party survived with all the vigor it did, was due to its deep roots in the class, to its being a real mass workers’ party. Of course all magnitudes are relative. A 1922 Bolshevik Party census covering 22 guberniias and oblasts showed that 1,085 members had joined the party before 1905. [65]

A rough estimate puts the number at about double for areas excluded from the census. Allowing for the fact that a large number of party members must have lost their lives during the revolution and the civil war, we see a considerable continuity of membership between 1905 and 1922. These were the cadres who gave the party its stability. For a party working under illegal conditions, in a country where the industrial proletariat numbered only some two and a half million, a cadre organization of several thousands surviving for many years is a remarkable achievement. [66]

The official estimate of the membership of the party in January 1917, before its emergence into the open and the return of exiled members, is 23,600. [67] This was a broad enough base for further expansion during the months of the revolution: from 79,204 at the end of April to 240,000 at the end of July.

The party was very proletarian in composition. Over the years the number of working people present at party congresses rose steadily, as can be seen from the following table [68]:

Social Composition of Congress Delegates




White-collar and other


II (1903)

           3   (5.9%)


         40 (78.4%)

           8 (15.7%)

III (1905)

           1   (3.3%)


         28 (93.4%)

           1 (3.3%)

IV (1906)

         36 (24.8%)

           1 (0.8%)

       108 (74.4%)


V (1907)

       116 (34.5%)

           2 (0.6%)



VI (1917)

         70 (40.9%)


       101 (59.1%)


Workers made up a very large proportion of party members. In January 1917 the social composition of the party was [69]:



















No figures are available for changes in the composition of the party after the February Revolution, but there is no doubt that an overwhelming majority of the people who joined the party in this period were workers and soldiers. Figures published for individual regions show that it was almost entirely proletarian in composition. Thus in Reval on August 13, there were 3,182 members, of whom 2,926 were workers, 209 military, and 47 intellectuals. [70]

Replies to questionnaires addressed to delegates to the Sixth Congress answered the question about the role of intellectuals, teachers, and students in local party work with monotonous similarity. Kronstadt: “[L]ocal students and teachers do not undertake local work”; Finland: “Intellectuals (besides officers) – none”; Moscow: “New forces of intelligentsia – practically absent”; Ivanovo-Voronezh: “No local intelligentsia”; Kuznetsov: “No intellectuals”; Riga: “Practically no intellectuals,” and so on and so on. [71] As Trotsky summed it up:

The intelligentsia hardly came into the Bolshevik Party at all. A broad layer of so-called “old Bolsheviks,” from among the students who had associated themselves with the revolution of 1905, had since turned into extraordinarily successful engineers, physicians, government officials, and they now unceremoniously showed the party the hostile aspect of their backs. [1*] Even in Petrograd there was felt at every step a lack of journalists, speakers, agitators; and the provinces were wholly deprived of what few they had had. “There are no leaders; there are no politically literate people who can explain to the masses what the Bolsheviks want!” – this cry came from hundreds of remote corners, and especially from the front. [73]

Lenin was delighted that his party was made up largely of young people – they were the ones with energy and real revolutionary spirit. [74] On February 27 he wrote to Inessa Armand: “The young are the only people worth working on!” [75] In 1917 the party members were younger than ever. At the Sixth Congress the ages of the delegates were:

















The average age was 29. The minimum age was 18 and the maximum 47. [76]

On the whole the delegates had been members of the Bolshevik Party for quite a long time:






Less than 1


Less than 9


Less than 2


Less than 10


Less than 3


Less than 11


Less than 4


Less than 12


Less than 5


Less than 13


Less than 6


Less than 14


Less than 7


Less than 15


Less than 8



The average length of membership was eight years, three months. [77]

How had these delegates been hardened in the struggle? The questionnaire already referred to showed their legal status at the time of the February Revolution:




In prison


In exile


Hard labor


In emigration


On the run


On military service


Each delegate had been arrested an average of three or four times; had been in prison for an average of eighteen months; in exile eight months; deported for five months; sentenced to hard labor for three months. [78]

During the long and testing years of the 1905 Revolution and the years of illegality, prison, and exile that followed, the cadres lived with the masses and were part of them. The sharing of long, hard battles created strong party discipline and deep party loyalty, which explains why, despite all the trials of the months February-October 1917 – the abrupt changes in party tactics, the errors committed by many party leaders and members – the number of people who left the party was minimal. The Bolshevik Party was a revolutionary party through and through.

It was the mass proletarian character of the Bolshevik Party, its youth, and its steeling over the years that made it the spearhead that could lead revolution to victory.

The Central Role of the Press

The fact that the center supplied the local committees with very few speakers and lecturers and that there was very little systematic communication at all between them did not mean to say that the local committees were left to work out their policies and tactics as well as they could on their own. On the contrary, a central role in guiding the local committees was played by the party press.

At the beginning of July, forty-one newspapers and journals were published by the Bolshevik Party, twenty-seven in Russian and the remainder in the languages of various minorities (five Latvian, two Lithuanian, two Armenian, two Estonian, one Polish, one Georgian, one Azerbaidzhan). Of these seventeen were daily papers (fourteen in the Russian language), eight appeared three times a week, five twice weekly, seven weekly, three fortnightly, and one monthly. The total number of copies printed was about 320,000 a day. More than half were printed in Petrograd (Pravda, 90,000 daily; Soldatskaia pravda, 50,000). [79]

As the total circulation of the Bolshevik press was only about a third larger than the membership of the party, it is clear, firstly, that the main function of the papers was to organize and direct the party members, and secondly, that the periphery of the party was largely attracted to it and incorporated into it through the press.

The fact that the circulation was not much greater than the membership cannot be explained by illiteracy among the Russian industrial proletariat: the overwhelming majority were literate. Among industrial workers (in 1918), the rate of literacy was 80.3 percent for men and 48.2 percent for women, while among the population as a whole between the ages of sixteen and fifty (in 1920) the rate of literacy was men 53.73 percent, women 36 percent. [80]

It is interesting to compare the circulation of the Bolshevik press under conditions of freedom and legality with its circulation before the war – under the harshest conditions of persecution. At the beginning of July 1917, as we said, Pravda’s circulation was ninety thousand daily; in January-February 1914, the average circulation was some twenty-five thousand. [81] Thus the circulation rose three and a half times, while Bolshevik membership in Petrograd had increased more than tenfold.

The press also played a central role in directing party committees and party members. It seems there was not a party city committee that did not receive a bundle of copies of Pravda: Minsk, 600 copies daily; Lugansk, 200; Odessa, 200; and so on. [82]

The Bolshevik Party Forged for the Victory of the Revolution

The ideas of revolutionary socialism were not disembodied ideas, but were represented in a fine body of men and women, trained and tested over many years of struggle so as to be able to show both revolutionary relentlessness and the utmost tactical flexibility. With complete justification, Lenin could write a few years after October:

Bolshevism ... went through fifteen years of practical history (1903-17) unequalled anywhere in the world in its wealth of experience. During those fifteen years, no other country knew anything even approximating to that revolutionary experience, that rapid and varied succession of different forms of the movement – legal and illegal, peaceful and stormy, underground and open, local circles and mass movements, and parliamentary and terrorist forms. In no other country has there been concentrated, in so brief a period, such a wealth of forms, shades, and methods of struggle of all classes of modern society, a struggle which, owing to the backwardness of the country and the severity of the Tsarist yoke, matured with exceptional rapidity, and assimilated most eagerly and successfully the appropriate “last word” of American and European political experience. [83]

The party was highly disciplined. This discipline was not an accidental, mechanical, or artificial product of some regulation or other, but the result of struggle:

Only the history of Bolshevism during the entire period of its existence can satisfactorily explain why it has been able to build up and maintain, under most difficult conditions, the iron discipline needed for the victory of the proletariat.

The first questions to arise are: how is the discipline of the proletariat’s revolutionary party maintained? How is it tested? How is it reinforced? First, by the class-consciousness of the proletarian vanguard and by its devotion to the revolution, by its tenacity, self-sacrifice, and heroism. Second, by its ability to link up, maintain the closest contact, and – if you wish – merge, in certain measure, with the broadest masses of the working people – primarily with the proletariat, but also with the non-proletarian masses of working people. Third, by the correctness of the political leadership exercized by this vanguard, by the correctness of its political strategy and tactics, provided the broad masses have seen, from their own experience, that they are correct. Without these conditions, discipline in a revolutionary party really capable of being the party of the advanced class, whose mission it is to overthrow the bourgeoisie and transform the whole of society, cannot be achieved. Without these conditions, all attempts to establish discipline inevitably fall flat and end up in phrase mongering and clowning. On the other hand, these conditions cannot emerge at once.

They are created only by prolonged and hard-won experience. [84]

The Bolshevik Party was a magnificent school of tactics and strategy. As I have written elsewhere:

A clear scientific understanding of the general contours of historical development of the class struggle is essential for a revolutionary leader. He will not be able to keep his bearings and his confidence through the twists and turns of the struggle unless he has a general knowledge of economics and politics. Therefore Lenin repeated many times that strategy and tactics must be based “on an exact appraisal of the objective situation,” while at the same time being “shaped after analyzing class relations in their entirety.” In other words they must be based on a clear, confident, theoretical analysis – on science. [85]

It is, in fact [Lenin wrote], one of the functions of a party organization and of party leaders worthy of the name, to acquire, through the prolonged, persistent, variegated, and comprehensive efforts of all thinking representatives of a given class, the knowledge, experience, and – in addition to knowledge and experience – the political flair necessary for the speedy and correct solution of complex political problems. [86]

And there is no situation more complex or that changes more quickly than that of revolution, as the days between February and October 1917 amply demonstrate.

At such a time, the need for rapid and sharp tactical changes is absolutely vital.

Capitalism would not be capitalism if the proletariat pur sang were not surrounded by a large number of exceedingly motley types intermediate between the proletarian and the semi-proletarian (who earns his livelihood in part by the sale of his labor-power), between the semi-proletarian and the small peasant (and petty artisan, handicraft worker, and small master in general), between the small peasant and the middle peasant, and so on, and if the proletariat itself were not divided into more developed and less developed strata, if it were not divided according to territorial origins, trade, sometimes according to religion, and so on. From all this follows the necessity, the absolute necessity, for the Communist Party, the vanguard of the proletariat, its class-conscious section, to resort to changes of tack, to conciliation and compromises with the various groups of proletarians, with the various parties of the workers and small masters. It is entirely a matter of knowing how to apply these tactics in order to raise – not lower – the general level of proletarian class-consciousness, revolutionary spirit, and ability to fight and win. [87]

A revolutionary leadership needs not only an understanding of the struggle as a whole, but the capacity to put forward the right slogans at every turning point. These do not derive simply from the party program, but must fit the circumstances, above all the moods and feelings of the masses, so that they can be used to lead the workers forward. Slogans must be appropriate not only to the general direction of the revolutionary movement, but also to the level of consciousness of the masses. Only through the application of the general line of the party does its real value become manifest. [88]

Revolutionary leaders can fall into the trap of limiting their horizon to that of the advanced elements of the class. Again and again that was what happened to the Bolshevik leadership of Petrograd and the Military Organization of the party (in the April Days, the June Days, and the July Days). Such a mistake is very dangerous. One “must soberly follow the actual state of the class-consciousness and preparedness of the entire class (not only of its communist vanguard) and of all the working people (not only of their advanced elements).” [89] “A vanguard performs its task as vanguard only when it is able to avoid being isolated from the mass of the people it leads and is able really to lead the whole mass forward.” [90]

If the party must avoid the danger of adventurism, it must also steer clear of the trap of “tailism” – of waiting for majority support before it acts.

The proletarian revolution is impossible without the sympathy and support of the overwhelming majority of the working people for their vanguard – the proletariat. But this sympathy and this support are not forthcoming immediately and are not decided by elections. They are won in the course of long, arduous, and stern class struggle. The class struggle waged by the proletariat for the sympathy and support of the majority of the working people does not end with the conquest of political power by the proletariat. After the conquest of power this struggle continues, but in other forms. [91]

What the party needs for victory is support on the decisive front:

Capitals, or, in general, big commercial and industrial centers (here in Russia the two coincided, but they do not everywhere coincide), to a considerable degree decide the political fate of a nation, provided, of course, the centers are supported by sufficient local, rural forces, even if that support does not come immediately. [92]

In October the Bolsheviks were able to take power, although they had the support of only a minority of the population, because they had

(1) an overwhelming majority among the proletariat; (2) almost half of the armed forces; (3) an overwhelming superiority of forces at the decisive moment at the decisive points, namely: in Petrograd and Moscow and on the war fronts near the center. [93]

It is not enough to be a revolutionary and an adherent of socialism or a communist in general. You must be able at each particular moment to find the particular link in the chain which you must grasp with all your might in order to hold the whole chain and to prepare firmly for the transition to the next link. [94]

To achieve such a victory the party had to hold on to the “key links” in the chain of events:

What was the central event in 1917? Withdrawal from the war. The entire nation demanded this, and it overshadowed everything. Revolutionary Russia accomplished this withdrawal from the war ... No matter how many outrageous and absurd things we may have done in other spheres, the fact that we realized what the main task was proved that everything was right. [95]

One should not, of course, assume that the Bolshevik Party did not commit mistakes, grave ones, and many of them. Of course not. But it rectified them both quickly and sincerely. This was characteristic of Bolshevism throughout its history and above all during the revolutionary months of 1917.

A political party’s attitude towards its own mistakes is one of the most important and surest ways of judging how earnest the party is and how it fulfils in practice its obligations towards its class and the working people. Frankly acknowledging a mistake, ascertaining the reasons for it, analyzing the conditions that have led up to it, and thrashing out the means of its rectification – that is the hallmark of a serious party; that is how it should perform its duties, and how it should educate and train its class and then the masses. [96] [2*]

Above all, Bolshevism knew how to learn from the experience of the masses in the struggle.

History as a whole [Lenin wrote], and the history of revolutions in particular, is always richer in content, more varied, more multiform, more lively and ingenious than is imagined by even the best parties, the most class-conscious vanguards of the most advanced classes. This can readily be understood, because even the finest of vanguards express the class-consciousness, will, passion, and imagination of tens of thousands, whereas at moments of great upsurge and the exertion of all human capacities, revolutions are made by the class-consciousness, will, passion, and imagination of tens of millions, spurred on by a most acute struggle of classes. Two very important practical conclusions follow from this: first, that in order to accomplish its task the revolutionary class must be able to master all forms or aspects of social activity without exception ... second, that the revolutionary class must be prepared for the most rapid and brusque replacement of one form by another. [98]

Lenin in the Preparations for October

Relations similar to those between the party and the proletariat existed between Lenin and the party. If the party was necessary to give the proletariat consciousness and confidence in its own potentialities, Lenin’s role in relation to the party was equally essential.

The rank-and-file revolutionary sees only a tiny part of the battlefield. The party leader has to grasp the totality of the situation. This task is very difficult indeed, because of the swiftness of changes and the enormous unevenness between different sections of the proletariat, the soldiers, and the peasantry; given a party organization that is both trying to influence the different sections of the population and at the same time being very much influenced by them; and with the problems created by the severe scarcity of party resources.

In the months from April to October, Lenin demonstrated his strategic and tactical genius. These months demanded the most difficult adjustments in party tactics, as the consciousness of the masses changed more rapidly than ever before, in a very complicated fashion that was full of contradictions. While adapting himself to the immediate situation, Lenin relentlessly subordinated everything to the final aim – the seizure of power by the proletariat. The combination of principled intransigence with tactical adaptation achieved its finest form.

Throughout all the zigzags in tactics, Lenin’s leitmotif was constant: to raise the level of consciousness and organization of the working class, to explain to the masses their own interests, to give clear political expression to the feelings and thoughts of the people. He knew how to express the program of the revolution in a few clear and simple slogans that fitted the dynamic of the struggle and meshed in with the experience and needs of the masses.

Lenin did not “talk down” to the workers as an expert in strategy and tactics, but learned his lessons alongside the advanced workers, shoulder to shoulder with them on the basis of the experience of the mass struggle. The proletariat made the party and made Lenin. And Lenin helped to shape the party and the proletariat.

By drawing ever broader masses of workers, soldiers, and peasants into the struggle under the banner of the revolution, by increasing the scope of the party’s influence, by raising the level of self-activity and consciousness of the masses, by constant self-education of the proletariat, the party, and the leadership, Bolshevism led the people to victory in October.




1*. The tiny influence the Bolsheviks had among students at the time is clear when one looks, for instance, at the Student Congress of Voronezh guberniia (June 14-17): of 250 delegates only 16 were Bolshevik. [72]

2*. The lack of pomposity in Lenin’s attitude towards his own mistakes is shown by his remark to Karl Radek when he found him one day reading a collection of his articles written in the year 1903. Lenin laughed heartily. “It is very interesting to read what fools we were then.” [97]




1. Lenin, Collected Works, vol.24, pp.63-65.

2. Lenin, Collected Works, vol.24, pp.65-66.

3. Lenin, Collected Works, vol.24, p.65.

4. Lenin, Collected Works, vol.24, p.59.

5. Lenin, Collected Works, vol.24, p.67.

6. Lenin, Collected Works, vol.24, p.80.

7. Lenin, Collected Works, vol.24, pp.82-84.

8. Lenin, Collected Works, vol.24, p.75.

9. Lenin, Collected Works, vol.13, p.65.

10. Lenin, Collected Works, vol.11, p.346.

11. Sedmala konferentsiia, p.355.

12. Kutuzov, vol.2, p.45.

13. KPSS v borba za pobedu sotsialisticheskoi revoliutsii v period dvo-evlastii, pp.62-63.

14. Kutuzov, vol.2, p.84.

15. Krasnaia Letopis, no.1 (10), 1924, p.47.

16. Kutuzov, vol.2, p.170.

17. Shestoi sezd, pp.317-90.

18. W.G. Rosenberg, The Russian municipal Duma elections of 1917, Soviet Studies, 1969.

19. Lenin, Collected Works, vol.24, p.543.

20. V.V. Anikeev, Data on the Bolshevik organizations from March to December 1917, Voprosy istorii KPSS, nos.2 and 3, 1958.

21. Kutuzov, vol.2, pp.111, 185, 189, 194, 219.

22. Kutuzov, vol.2, pp.225, 251, 256, 276, 301, 337, 358, 362, 383, 443-45, 462.

23. Kutuzov, vol.3, pp.15, 95, 179, 482, 489, 497, 509, 516.

24. Anikeev, in Voprosy istorii KPSS, nos.2 and 3, 1958.

25. Anikeev, in Voprosy istorii KPSS, nos.2 and 3, 1958.

26. Anikeev, in Voprosy istorii KPSS, nos.2 and 3, 1958.

27. K.T. Sverdlova, lakov Mikhailovich Sverdlov, Moscow 1960, p.252.

28. Sverdlova, p.253.

29. Trotsky, On Lenin, London 1971, pp.73-74.

30. Trotsky, History of the Russian Revolution, p.1212.

31. Shliapnikov, Kanun semnadtsatogo goda, vol.1, Moscow-Petrograd 1923, p.248.

32. B. Zaslavsky, I. Sazonov, and Kh. Astrakhan, Pravda 1917 goda, Moscow 1962, p.10.

33. Perepiska sekretariata TsK RSDRP(b) s mestnymi partiinymi organizatsiiami: Sbornik dokumentov, vol.1, Moscow 1957.

34. Perepiska sekretariata, p.50.

35. Zaslavsky et al., pp.54-55.

36. Shestoi sezd, p.40.

37. Kutuzov, vol.2, p.107.

38. Kutuzov, vol.2, p.181.

39. Anikeev, Some new data on the history of the October Revolution, Voprosy istorii KPSS, no.9, 1963.

40. Minutes of the Central Committee, p.77.

41. Anikeev, in Voprosy istorii KPSS, no.2, 1958.

42. Anikeev, in Voprosy istorii KPSS, no.9, 1963.

43. Anikeev, in Voprosy istorii KPSS, no.9, 1963.

44. See Perepiska sekretariata, vol.1.

45. Shestoi sezd, pp.74-75.

46. Shestoi sezd, pp.20-21.

47. Shestoi sezd, p.25.

48. Shestoi sezd, p.40.

49. Shestoi sezd, p.40.

50. Shestoi sezd, p.37.

51. Shestoi sezd, pp.26-27; Stalin, Collected Works, vol.3, pp.180-81.

52. Minutes of the Central Committee, pp.44-45.

53. Minutes of the Central Committee, p.272.

54. J. Keep, October in the provinces, in R. Pipes, ed., Revolutionary Russia, Cambridge, Mass., 1967, pp.188-90.

55. Cohen, pp.49-50.

56. Minutes of the Central Committee.

57. Minutes of the Central Committee, p.85.

58. Minutes of the Central Committee, pp.88-89.

59. Minutes of the Central Committee, p.109.

60. Trotsky, Stalin, p.232.

61. Minutes of the Central Committee, p.97.

62. Shestoi sezd, p.36.

63. Sedmoi Sezd RSDRP (bolshevikov): Protokoly, Moscow 1918, p.20.

64. Cliff, p.93.

65. D. Lane, The Roots of Russian Communism, Assen 1969, p.12.

66. Cliff, p.358.

67. Mints, p.319.

68. VKP(b), in Bolshaia Sovetskaia Entsiklopediia, 1930, vol.11, p.537.

69. E. Smitten, Sotsialnyi i natsionalnyi sostav VKP(b), Moscow-Leningrad 1928, p.13.

70. Kutuzov, vol.3, p.183.

71. Shestoi sezd, pp.319-90.

72. Kutuzov, vol.2, p.318.

73. Trotsky, History of the Russian Revolution, p.808.

74. See Cliff, pp.180-81.

75. Lenin, Collected Works, vol.43, p.613.

76. Shestoi sezd, p.295.

77. Shestoi sezd, pp.296-97.

78. Shestoi sezd, pp.298-300.

79. Shestoi sezd, pp.147-150.

80. A.M. Pankratova, Istoriia proletariata SSSR, Moscow 1935, p.168.

81. Krasnyi Arkhiv, no.64, 1934, p.140.

82. Perepiska sekretariata, vol.1, p.287.

83. Lenin, Collected Works, vol.31, p.26.

84. Lenin, Collected Works, vol.31, pp.24-25.

85. Cliff, pp.255-56.

86. Lenin, Collected Works, vol.31, pp.68-69.

87. Lenin, Collected Works, vol.31, p.74.

88. Cliff, pp.257-58.

89. Lenin, Collected Works, vol.31, p.58.

90. Lenin, Collected Works, vol.33, p.227.

91. Lenin, Collected Works, vol.30, p.60.

92. Lenin, Collected Works, vol.30, p.258.

93. Lenin, Collected Works, vol.30, p.262.

94. Lenin, Collected Works, vol.27, p.274.

95. Lenin, Collected Works, vol.33, p.302.

96. Lenin, Collected Works, vol.31, p.57.

97. K. Radek, V.I. Lenin, in Dvadtsat piat let RKP, Tver 1923, p.234.

98. Lenin, Collected Works, vol.31, pp.95-96.


Last updated on 13 February 2018