V. I.   Lenin

The Dissolution of the Duma and the Tasks of the Proletariat


It remains for us to consider the question of the moment to be chosen for an uprising. The tender affection of the Right-wing Social-Democrats for the Cadet Duma caused them to demand immediate action. This idea ended in a complete fiasco. The attitude adopted by the mass of the working class and of the urban population in general has shown that the gravity of the situation is appreciated or apprehended. A real fight is expected, not for the Duma, of course, but for the overthrow of the old regime. The delay is due to the general mood prevailing, to the desire to prepare for a really decisive and desperate struggle, the desire to achieve co-ordinated action.

It is possible, and perhaps most probable, that the new struggle will break out just as spontaneously and unexpectedly as the previous ones did, as a result of a rise in temper and of one of the inevitable explosions. If things take that turn, if such a course of development proves inevitable, we shall not have to decide the question of the time for action; our task then will consist in greatly intensifying our work of agitation and organisation on the lines already indicated.

It is possible, however, that events may require that we, the leaders, appoint the time for action. In that case, we should advise that an all-Russian action, strike and uprising, be timed for the end of summer or the beginning of autumn, towards the middle or end of August. The important thing would be to take advantage of the building season in the towns and the end of summer work in the fields. If we could secure agreement among all the influential revolutionary organisations and unions as to the time for action, there would be a real possibility of carrying it out at the time fixed. The simultaneous beginning of the struggle over the whole of Russia would be a great advantage. Even if the government got wind of the time fixed for the strike,   that would in all probability not be fatal; a strike is not a plot, or a military attack that depends upon surprise. The troops all over Russia would probably be most of all demoralised if they were kept week after week with the thought of the inevitable outbreak of the struggle preying on their minds, if they were kept under arms, and if agitation were carried on with increasing vigour by all organisations side by side with the mass of “non-party” revolutionaries. Influential members of the Duma among the Social-Democrats and Trudoviks could also help to make simultaneous action successful.

Isolated and absolutely useless outbreaks, like “revolts” of soldiers and hopeless peasant risings could, perhaps, be restrained if the whole of revolutionary Russia were convinced that this great universal fight is inevitable.

We repeat, however, that this is possible only if complete agreement is reached among all the influential organisations. Otherwise, only the old way of the spontaneous rise of temper will be left open.


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