V. I.   Lenin

Note to M. Borisov’s Article “On the Trade Union Movement and the Tasks of Social-Democracy”[1]

Published: Proletary, No. 21. October 17 (4), 1905. Published according to the text in Proletary.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1972, Moscow, Volume 9, page 374.
Translated: The Late Abraham Fineberg and Julius Katzer
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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It is with pleasure that we publish this article by a comrade engaged in practical work in Russia, since an all- round discussion of the trade union question is now on the order of the day. Only the experience of the whole Party, constantly illuminated by the theory of Marxism, can help work out the forms of Social-Democratic trade unions most suited to Russian conditions. It is likewise necessary to learn from the lessons given us by our enemies. The bourgeoisie of the whole world was jubilant over the “craft union” tendencies of the Cologne Congress, hoping to divert the workers from socialism to “pure”, i.e., bourgeois, trade- unionism. In Russia, even Moskovskiye Vedomosti has learned to sing this tune. And once the bourgeoisie begins to praise any one of us for having “seen the light” or for “zeal” in respect of a “rational” trade union movement, it is a sure sign that there are shortcomings in our work. This is just how Comrade M. Borisov puts the question, namely, that we should fulfil our socialist duty in every respect, and by no means allow such shortcomings.


[1] The article signed M. Borisov was first published in Proletary, and then republished in the St. Petersburg Bolshevik newspaper Novaya Zhizn (New Life), No. 7 of November 8 (21), 1905.

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