V. I. Lenin


Plan for an Article “1895 and 1905 (Short Parallel)”{4}

Written: Written before January 9 (22), 1905
Published: First published in 1926 in Lenin Miscellany V. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 41, pages 137-138.1.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) © 2004 Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.
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1895 and 1905
(Short Parallel)

There are here eigentlich{1} two topics:
1) the parallel of growing work; 2) present day organisational tasks. They should be dealt with in two separate articles.

  1. 1. Compare the scope, proportions and forms of Social-Democratic work then and now.
  2. 2. Scope: only circles then. Scarcely the first beginnings of mass agitation. Propaganda very heavy and academic. The Social-Democrats making their way among the Narodnaya Volya movement, the Narodnoye Pravo{5} movement, etc.
  3. 3. Today. The Party. Ordinary mass agitation. Open political action in the street. Revolutionary epoch.
  4. 4. Forms. 10–16 persons (committee). 20–30 workers’ circles. Maximum, 100–150 ties. “Readings.” Self-education—the crux.
  5. 5. Today. The organisation has grown to many “storeys” St. Petersburg and Odessa [committee—districts—organisers’ meetings (central circles)—groups, and then “the centre” and the bureau. Something like five new storeys.]
  6. 6. “A Letter to a Comrade”{2} was written at a time when the new storeys were being put together and the Economists slowed down their growth. The ideas advocated in “A Letter to a Comrade” have now virtually been translated into life.
  • 7. New tasks: γ) Abundance of storeys has brought up a new section of Party workers, Party members. Their participation should be formalised. (1) Information—resolutions—polls—direct ties with the Central Organ. (2) Elective principle? (3) Indication or selection of candidates for co-optation?
  • 8. Another and perhaps even more important task: the work of adding new horizontal storeys should be supplemented by the work of new “vertical”, you might say, ways of influence. That is: the growth of the movement makes it necessary and possible to supplement this current work on the storeys by the upper storeys addressing the mass in new forms of massive meetings. “Short meetings” and “mass rallies”, as a natural product of work on many “storeys”, of themselves lead up to that higher form which prevails abroad and will triumph here le lendemain de la révolution,{3} namely: to the “mass rallies” as the principal means of political influence on the proletariat and its Social-Democratic education.
  • 9. Of course, this makes the “storeys” equally necessary. They will (always?) be necessary. The thing is to “supplement” and not to “substitute”....

  • Notes

    {1} Strictly speaking.—Ed.

    {2} See present edition, Vol. 6, pp. 231-52.—Ed.

    {3} The day after the revolution.—Ed.

    {4} The article was not written. p. 137

    {5} Narodnoye Pravo (People’s Right)—an illegal party of Russian democratic-minded intellectuals, founded in the summer of 1893 with the participation of former members of the Narodnaya Volya, 0. V. Aptekman, A. I. Bogdanovich, A. V. Gedeonovsky, M. A. Natanson, N. S. Tyutchev and others. Members of the Narodnoye Pravo Party set themselves the task of uniting all opposition forces to fight for political reform. The party put out two programme documents: “Manifesto” and “Vital Question”. In the spring of 1894 it was broken up by the tsarist government. Lenin gave an assessment of the Narodnoye Pravo Party as a political organisation in his What the “Friends of the People” Are and How They Fight the Social-Democrats and The Tasks of the Russian Social-Democrats (see present edition, Vol. 1, pp. 129–332 and Vol. 2, pp. 323–51). Most of the members of the Narodnoye Pravo Party subsequently joined the Socialist-Revolutionaries. p. 137

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