Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back


Written: Written in February-May 1904
Published: Published in book form in Geneva, May 1904. Published according to the book text after collation with the manuscript and with the text in the collection: Vl. Ilyin, Twelve Years, 1907.
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1964, Moscow, Volume 7, pp. 203-425.
Translated: Abraham Fineberg and Naomi Jochel
Transcription\Markup: D. Walters & K. Goins (2008)
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2003).You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

Lenin devoted several months to the writing of One Step Forward Two Steps Back (The Crisis in Our Party), making a careful study of the minutes and resolutions of the Second Party Congress, of the speeches of each of the delegates and the political groupings at the Congress, and of the Central Committee and Party Council documents.

The book evoked fury among the Mensheviks. Plekhanov demanded that the Central Committee disavow it. The conciliators on the Central Committee tried to prevent its publication and circulation.

Though published abroad, One Step Forward, Two Steps Back had a wide circulation among advanced workers in Russia. Copies of the book were found during arrests and house-searches in Moscow St. Petersburg, Riga, Saratov, Tula, Orel, Ufa, Perm, Kostroma Shchigri, Shavli (Kovno Gubernia), and elsewhere. Lenin included the book in the Twelvee Years collection published in 1907 (the date on the title-page is 1908), omitting sections J, K, L, M, O, and P making abridgements in other sections, and adding a few explanatory notes.

The present edition contains the full text as originally published in 1904 and all the additions made by the author in 1907.


A. The Preparations For The Congress
B. Significance of the Various Groupings at the Congress
C. Beginning of the Congress. The Organising Committee Incident
D. Dissolution of the Yuzhny Rabochy Group
E. The Equality of Languages Incident
F. The Agrarian Programme
G. The Party Rules. Comrade Martov’s Draft
H. Discussion on Centralism Prior to the Split Among the Iskra-ists
I. Paragraph One of the Rules
J. Innocent Victims of a False Accusation of Opportunism
K. Continuation of the Debate on the Rules. Composition of the Council.
L. Conclusion of the Debate On The Rules. Co-Optation To The Central Bodies. Withdrawal of the Rabocheye Dyelo Delegates
M. The Elections. End of the Congress
N. General Picture of the Struggle at the Congress. The Revolutionary and Opportunist Wings of the Party
O. After the Congress. Two Methods of Struggle
P. Little Annoyances Should Not Stand in the Way of a Big Pleasure
Q. The New Iskra. Opportunism In Questions Of Organisation
R. A Few Words On Dialectics. Two Revolutions
Appendix. The Incident of Comrade Gusev and Comrade Deutsch


Works Index   |   Volume 7 | Collected Works   |   L.I.A. Index
< backward   forward >