V. I. Lenin

Essay on the Party Split{1}

Written: Written not earlier than May 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 168.2-169.1.
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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Economism and the old Iskra 1) Economism and the old Iskra. (1901 Congress resolutions.){2}
Second Party Congress. 2) Second Congress. 51= =8+10+9+24.{3} (= =Economists and the old Iskra.)
July 1903.
Struggle for co-optation or “a state of siege” 3) August 26, 1903-November 26, 1903.{4}
(Never with Martynov!{5}
Letter of October 8, 1903{6}).
August-November 1903.
to 5.
{{ Clanishness and the Party!
Peace with the Economists!
Lenin’s “heresies”.
4) November 26, 1903–January 7, 1904.
[Secret organisation.]
November 1903-January 1904. }}
Efforts at reconciliation
old and newIskra” (“gulf”).
January-July 1904.
5) January 7, 1904-? July 9, 1904.
[[ Russian committees and the I s k r a Editorial Board. “22” and “19”{7}. Struggle for congress. Denunciatory “document”. ]]
Struggle for congress.
July 1904–May 1905. 6) July 1904–May 1905.
[DOUBLE BIG BRACKETS:] [[ Majority Committee’ Bureau=3 conferences.
Vperyod. ]]
“Plan for Zemstvo campaign.”
Third Party Congress. 7) May 1905. Congress and conference.
May 1905.
After Third Congress.
June 1905— 8) Après le III Congress.{8}


{1} This sets out the milestones in the struggle between the revolutionary and the opportunist trends in Russian Social-Democracy. There is no article written to this plan.

Lenin characterised the stages of the internal Party struggle prior to the Third R.S.D.L.P. Congress in his “A Brief Outline of the Split in the R.S.D.L.P. A Letter to Greulich”, which he wrote in February 1905 (see present edition, Vol. 8, pp. 125–31). Roughly the same stages as in the present article are given in his plan written in August 1905 and entitled “Plekhanov and the new Iskra” (see Lenin Miscellany V, 1926, pp. 360–66). p. 168

{2} A reference to the resolutions of the “Unity” Congress of R.S.D.L.P. Organisations Abroad, held in September 1901. It was attended by six members of the Iskra and Zarya organisation abroad (among them V. I. Lenin, N. K. Krupskaya and L. Martov), eight members of the Sotsial-Demokrat organisation (including three members of the Emancipation of Labour group: G. V. Plekhanov, P. B. Axelrod and V. I. Zasulich), 16 members of the Union of Russian Social-Democrats (including five members of the Bund Committee Abroad) and three members of the Borba group. At the Congress Lenin, who attended under the name of Frey, spoke about the Union’s opportunist actions. When the Union tabled its opportunist amendments and addenda to a resolution condemning opportunism and recognising the need for the unity of all Social-Democratic forces in Russia on the basis of Iskra’s revolutionary principles, the revolutionary section of the Congress (members of the Iskra and Zarya and the Sotsial-Demokrat organisations) issued a statement on the impossibility of unification and left the Congress. On Lenin’s initiative, these organisations in October 1901 united into the League of Russian Revolutionary Social-Democracy Abroad. p. 168

{3} A reference to the grouping of votes at the Second R.S.D.L.P. Congress, which was held from July 17 (30) to August 10 (23), 1903. The Congress was attended by 43 delegates with 51 votes. Of them 24 votes belonged to the Iskra majority, 9 to the Iskra minority, 10 to the “Marsh”, and 8 to the anti-Iskra group (3 Rabocheye Dyelo members and 5 Bundists). For details of the struggle at the Congress see present edition, Vol. 7, pp. 335–49. p. 168

{4} The Second Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. ended on August 10 (23), 1903, and on August 15 (28) Iskra’s No. 46, in the editing of which Lenin and Plekhanov took part, was issued. The exact meaning of Lenin’s reference to August 13 (26) has not been established. On November 13 (26) Plekhanov co-opted the Mensheviks Axelrod, Martov, Zasulich and Potresov to the Iskra Editorial Board p. 168

{5} A reference to Martov’s words at the Second Congress of the League of Russian Revolutionary Social-Democracy Abroad, which took place from October 13 (26) to 15 (31), 1903, to the effect that he, Martov, would refuse to work with Martynov on the same Editorial Board. p. 168

{6} A possible reference to the letter sent on September 25–26 (October 8–9), 1903, by Iskra’s former editors to Lenin and Plekhanov, in which they refused to collaborate on Iskra (see present edition, Vol. 7, pp. 354–55). p. 168

{7} A reference to the conference of 22 Bolsheviks and the Declaration of 19 Bolsheviks. The conference was held in the first half of August 1904.

Declaration of the Twenty-Two—an appeal “To the Party” written by Lenin and adopted at the Bolshevik conference in Geneva, in the first half of August 1904 (see present edition, Vol. 7, pp. 454–61). The conference was attended by 19 persons, among them V. I. Lenin, N. K. Krupskaya, M. S. Olminsky, M. N. Lyadov and P. N. Lepeshinsky. Three other Bolsheviks soon adhered to their decisions and the appeal “To the Party” was issued on behalf of the 22. This was published in a special leaflet in August 1904 and became the Bolshevik programme in the struggle for convening the Third Party Congress.

The Declaration of the nineteen was issued by the Moscow Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. in October 1904 under the title “Appeal to Members of the R.S.D.L.P.” (see Sbornik dokumentov i materialov “Trety syezd R.S.D.R.P.” [Collection of Documents and Material “Third Congress of the R.S.D.L.P.”], Moscow, 1955, pp. 99–106). p. 169

{8} These dates denote the period from the conference of 22 Bolsheviks (first half of August 1904) to the Third Congress of the R.S.D.L.P., which was held from April 12 (25) to April 27 (May 10), 1905. p. 169

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