V. I.   Lenin

Session of the Council of the R.S.D.L.P. (January 1904)

January 15-17 (28-30), 1904


Draft Resolution On Measures to Restore Peace In the Party, Moved On January 15 (28)

In view of the character and forms of manifestation of the divergence among the Party membership in connection with the Second Regular Congress, the Party Council deems it urgently necessary to call vigorously on all Party members to work together in harmony under the direction of both central institutions of the Party: the Central Organ and the Central Committee.

The historical juncture through which Russia is now passing—the tremendous intensification of revolutionary ferment within the country and the international complications, which may lead to war—imposes particularly serious duties on the party of the class-conscious proletarians, who are fighting in the front ranks for the emancipation of the entire people from the yoke of the autocracy. The need to work together in harmony, under the direction of both the central bodies of the Party, at strengthening our organisation and developing the class-consciousness and solidarity of the widest possible masses of the working class has never been so urgent as it is now.

Individual differences over all manner of questions have always arisen and inevitably will arise in a party which rests on a vast popular movement and sets out to be the conscious spokesman of that movement, emphatically rejecting all circle spirit and narrow sectarian views. But if our Party members are to be worthy representatives of the class conscious militant proletariat, worthy participants in the world working-class movement, they must do their   utmost to ensure that no individual differences over the interpretation and methods of realising the principles of our Party programme shall interfere, or be capable of interfering, with harmonious joint work under the direction of our central institutions. The deeper and broader our under standing of our programme and of the tasks of the inter national proletariat, the more we value positive work in developing propaganda, agitation, and organisation, and the farther removed we are from sectarianism, the petty circle spirit, and considerations of place and position, the more must we strive to have differences among Party members discussed calmly and on their merits and not to let these differences interfere with our work, disrupt our activities, impede the proper functioning of our central institutions.

The Party Council, as the supreme institution of the Party, vigorously condemns all disruptive moves, no matter on whose part, all refusals to work, all withdrawals of financial support for the central Party treasury, all boycotts, which are only calculated to lower a purely ideological struggle of opinions, views and shades to the level of methods of gross mechanical pressure, the level of an unseemly scuffle. The Party is worn out by the dissensions, which have already lasted nearly six months, and insistently demands peace. No differences among Party members, no dissatisfaction with the personal composition of one or other central body can justify boycotts or similar methods of struggle, which denote a lack of principles and ideals and show that the interests of the Party are being sacrificed to the interests of a circle, and the interests of the working- class movement to narrow considerations of place and position. Cases occur, of course, in our Party, as they always will in every big party, when some of the members are dissatisfied with some nuance in the activities of one or other of the central bodies, with some features of its line, or with its personal composition, etc. Such members can, and should, state the causes and nature of their dissatisfaction in a comradely exchange of opinions, or by a controversy in the columns of the Party press; but it would be absolutely impermissible and unworthy of revolutionaries to express their dissatisfaction by resorting to boycotts or refusing to support in every way they can all the positive work co-ordinated   and directed by both the central Party bodies. To support both central bodies and work together under their direct guidance is our common and plain duty as Party members.

Such unprincipled, grossly mechanical methods of struggle as have been mentioned above are deserving of unqualified condemnation, for they could completely wreck the whole Party, whose u iity depends solely and entirely on the free will of the revolutionaries. And the Party Council reminds all Party members that that free will was quite definitely expressed in our common decision—to which no protest was raised—to regard all the decisions of the Second Congress and all its elections as binding on all Party members. Already the Organising Committee in its time, which earned a general vote of thanks for its work in arranging the Congress, adopted in Point 18 of the Regulations for the Second Congress the following decision, which was approved by all the Party committees:

"All decisions of the Congress and all the elections it carries out are decisions of the Party and binding on all Party organisations. They cannot be challenged by any one on any pretext whatever and can be rescinded or amended only by the next Party Congress."

This decision, accepted by the entire Party before the Congress and reaffirmed several times at the Congress itself, was equivalent to a word of honour freely pledged by all Social-Democrats to each other. Let them not forget this word of honour! Let them at once abandon all petty mutual grievances! Let them once and for all confine the struggle of ideas within such bounds that it does not lead to breaches of the Rules or hamper practical activities and positive work!



  | Dissenting Opinion Recorded By the Representatives of the Central Committee, January 17 (30)  

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