V. I.   Lenin

The Stages, the Trend, and the Prospects of the Revolution

Written: Written late in 1905 or early in 1906
Published: First published in 1926 in Lenin Miscellany V. Published according to the manuscript.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1965, Moscow, Volume 10, pages 89-92.
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2004). 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.
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1. The working-class movement rouses the proletariat from the beginning under the leadership of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party and awakens the liberal bourgeoisie: 1895 to 1901-02.

2. The working-class movement passes to open political struggle and enlists the politically awakened strata of the liberal and radical bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie: 1901-02 to 1905.

3. The working-class movement flares up into a direct revolution, while the liberal bourgeoisie has already formed itself into the Constitutional-Democratic Party and thinks of stopping the revolution by compromising with tsarism; but the radical elements of the bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie are inclined to enter into an alliance with the proletariat for the continuation of the revolution: 1905 (especially the end of that year).

4. The working-class movement achieves victory in the democratic revolution, the liberals passively waiting to see how things go and the peasants actively assisting. Plus the radical, republican intelligentsia and the corresponding strata of the petty bourgeoisie in the towns. The rising of the peasants is victorious, the power of the landlords is broken.

(“The revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry.”)

5. The liberal bourgeoisie, temporising in the third period, passive in the fourth, becomes downright counter revolutionary, and organises itself in order to take away from the proletariat the gains of the revolution. Among the peasantry, the whole of the well-to-do section, and a fairly large part of the middle peasantry, also grow “wiser”,   quieten down and turn to the side of the counter-revolution in order to wrest power from the proletariat and the rural poor, who sympathise with the proletariat.

6. On the basis of the relations established during the fifth period, a new crisis and a new struggle develop and blaze forth, with the proletariat now fighting to preserve its democratic gains for the sake of a socialist revolution. This struggle would have been almost hopeless for the Russian proletariat alone and its defeat would have been as inevitable as the defeat of the German revolutionary party in 1849-50, or of the French proletariat in 1871, had the European socialist proletariat not come to the assistance of the Russian proletariat.

Thus, at this stage, the liberal bourgeoisie and the well-to-do peasantry (plus partly the middle peasantry) organise counter-revolution. The Russian proletariat pins the European proletariat organise revolution.

In such conditions the Russian proletariat can win a second victory. The cause is no longer hopeless. The second victory will be the socialist revolution in Europe.

The European workers will show us “how to do it”, and then together with them we shall bring about the socialist revolution.


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