V. I.   Lenin

Questionnaire For the Third Congress of the Party

Written: Written in February 1905
Published: First published in 1926 in Lenin Miscellany, V. Published according to the manuscript.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1962, Moscow, Volume 8, pages 200-201.
Translated: Bernard Isaacs and The Late Isidor Lasker
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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.
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In view of the convocation of the Third Congress of the Party some comrades, practical workers, have asked us to publish the following statement. It would be most desirable at the forthcoming debate on the organisational question at the Congress if the counsels and opinions of the greatest possible number of comrades who have been working in Russia were most carefully considered and discussed. Therefore, let every such person express his opinion and submit his answers to the following questions. The Editorial Board of Vperyod will collect them and refer them to the Congress, so that every delegate will be able to benefit from the collective experience of the mass of his comrades. The main questions requiring to be clarified with a view to the redrafting of the Rules and the formulation of the resolutions of the Congress are approximately as follows: (1) Place, time and duration of work? (2) Worked as member of a committee, or committee body, if so, of which? Of factory circle, etc.? (3) What was the membership of each of the committees or committee branches, organising groups, etc., as far as you know it? How many workers and how many intellectuals were there in each? (4) What was the normal practice of co-optation to the committee from the periphery? Could you give the average duration of work in the periphery? Are there any instances of dissatisfaction arising from co-optation, etc.? In your answers a clear line should be drawn between the periods before and after the Second Congress. Detailed information on the period before the Second Congress is particularly desirable. (5) How many Party organisations,   groups, circles, etc., were there altogether in the area where you worked? List each group, the number of members, functions, etc. (6) Were there any groups (organisations, circles, etc.) that were not considered Party groups, but were close to the Party? (7) How did the periphery (and the various kinds of periphery circles) and the committee maintain contact? Did these forms of contact satisfy the members? (8) Do you consider it possible and desirable to intro duce the elective principle? If not, why not? If you do, then in what manner? Please state explicitly to what groups the right of election ought to be applied. (9) Do you consider the separation of the committees (groups, circles, organisations, etc.) into committees of intellectuals and committees of workers to be advisable? If not, why not? If you do, please indicate what form of separation is desirable. (10) Did the committee elect a central, directing group? If it did, how? How often was it controlled? Were you satisfied with its inauguration? (11) Do you consider it useful and possible for the local organisations to have written Rules? (12) Do you consider it useful to include any regulations concerning the local organisations (committees and others) in the Party Rules? If you do, please mention what regulations. (13) Do you consider it desirable for the Party Rules to define the exact rights of the Central Committee in the matter of including (and excluding) members from the committees and other organisations? What should be the precise rights of the Central Committee? (114) Is it desirable to protect the autonomy of the local committees by introducing special regulations, and if so, what regulations? (15) How often did the committee, or the group, circle, etc., of which you were a member meet? If possible, list all the meetings held during the period of your work. If not, give a rough estimate. Were there any inconveniences in the holding of frequent meetings? What, in your experience, is the average number of possible and necessary meetings per month and how large should the number of participants be?


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