V. I.   Lenin

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

January 15-17 (28-30), 1904


Speeches On Measures to Restore Peace In the Party, January 15 (28)


I have raised the question of measures to restore peace and normal relations in the Party because the amount of misunderstandings among Party workers has reached threatening proportions. I do not think fruitful Party work is possible unless there is some common basis which Party members who become involved for any reason in mutual misunderstandings could adhere to in their activities. It is nobody’s secret that the relations between individual members and sections of the Party have become so abnormal that it would be difficult to speak now of a united Social- Democratic workers’ party and mean it. I could, of course, if necessary, furnish detailed proof of this (recall, for in stance, many of the episodes in the business correspondence between the Central Committee and the Central Organ); but perhaps, since everybody knows it to be so, it would be better not to resort just now to such ticklish illustrations. And so, we must try to adopt more vigorous measures to remove the basic evil. Otherwise we shall have a position where the simplest, most routine Party acts will give rise to highly undesirable exchanges with systematic indulgence in very strong language and in the choicest—how shall I put it miIdly? compliments shall we say.... It may seem that I am disposed to encroach in some way on “freedom of speech”; but after all, the trouble is that in the sphere of action all is not well either. As members of the Council, whose chief function is to work for unity in the Party,   against tendencies towards disunity, we must make an effort to remove the friction that is hindering the Party’s work; and given the desire, this would not be impossible. And so, I ask whether some sort of measures could not be adopted against certain methods of struggle within the Party which reduce the latter to the condition of a disorganised group and turn it into a sheer fiction. Perhaps the Council could, in the interests of the common work, pass a resolution which I have drafted and will read to you in a moment. I consider it important in principle to have a Council decision that would aim at eliminating and condemning impermissible forms of struggle between individuals or groups in the Party who are at variance on any point. I repeat, the position now is much too abnormal and needs to be corrected. (Axelrod: “We all agree on that.") I ask the secretaries to enter Comrade Axelrod’s remark in the minutes.

I shall now read the draft of the resolution I am submitting.[1]

That is the resolution which I am moving on behalf of the Central Committee, over the signatures of both its representatives, and which could serve, not to settle any specific issues or differences between Party members, but to create a common basis for Russian Social-Democrats, who are working in the interests of one common cause.


[1] See pp. 147-49 of this volume.—Ed.

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