V. I.   Lenin

The Third Congress of the R.S.D.L.P.

April 12 (25)-April 27 (May 10), 1905



Speech on the Question of the Armed Uprising

April 15 (28)

It has been said here that the question is clear enough in principle. Nevertheless, statements have been made in Social-Democratic literature (see Iskra, No. 62, and Comrade Axelrod’s foreword to the pamphlet by “A Worker”) which go to show that the question is not so clear after all. Iskra and Axelrod talked about conspiracy and expressed the fear that too much thought would be given to the up rising. The facts show, however, that there has been too little thought on the subject.... In his foreword to the pamphlet by “A Worker”, Comrade Axelrod maintains that it can only be a question of an uprising of the “uncivilised masses”. Events have shown that we are dealing, not with an uprising of the “uncivilised masses”, but with an uprising of politically conscious masses capable of carrying on an organised struggle. The entire history of the past year proved that we underestimated the significance and the inevitability of the uprising. Attention must be paid to the practical aspect of the matter. In this respect the experience of those engaged in practical work and of the workers of St. Petersburg, Riga, and the Caucasus is of exceptional importance. I would suggest, therefore, that the comrades tell us of their experience; that will make our discussion practical instead of academic. We must ascertain the mood of the proletariat—whether the workers consider themselves fit to struggle and to lead the struggle. We must sum up this collective experience, from which no generalised conclusions have as yet been drawn.



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