V. I.   Lenin

Resolution (II) of the St. Petersburg Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. on the Attitude Towards the State Duma[1]

Published: Published as a leaflet by the St. Petersburg Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. in May 1906. Published according to the leaflet text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1965, Moscow, Volume 10, pages 481-482.
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.README

The autocratic government is treating the representatives the people of Russia have sent to the State Duma with coarse mockery and scorn. It rejects every declaration of the Duma that in any way expresses the needs and demands of the people, and persists in its policy of murder and violence.

The Duma is powerless. It is powerless not only because it lacks the bayonets and machine-guns that the government has at its command, but also because, as a whole, it is not revolutionary, and is incapable of waging a resolute struggle. The liberal parties in the Duma only inadequately and timidly back the strivings of the people; they are more concerned to allay and weaken the revolutionary struggle now proceeding than to destroy the people’s enemy. Apart from the workers’ deputies, the Trudovik Group is the only group that shows any inclination openly and boldly to proclaim the demands of the people; but it too is still being handicapped by the influence of the liberal parties and by its lack of independence in relation to them.

We call upon the Trudovik Group to pursue a more resolute and consistent policy. We call upon it to demand that the Duma shall make a direct and public appeal to the people; and if the majority in the Duma refuses to make such an appeal independently, the Trudovik Group should tell the people the whole truth that the Duma is powerless, that land and freedom cannot be expected from it, that obviously the people must take these themselves, and that   events are marching towards a decisive struggle outside the Duma.

The Trudovik Group should declare that the old authorities can be overthrown only by joint militant actions of the workers and peasants, that they must prepare and organise for these actions pending the arrival of the decisive moment for a revolutionary uprising. Until that moment comes, the people must collect and husband their forces and not fritter them away in fruitless minor struggles; they must not allow the government to provoke them to untimely action.

If the Trudovik Group does all this, it will perform its duty to the people; and then only will it be able, side by side with the revolutionary organisation of the proletariat, to take its place at the head of the great people’s movement which will smash the old chains that are fettering the development of society.


[1] The “Resolution (II) of the St. Petersburg Committee of the R S.D.L.P.” and the article “The Slogan of a Duma Ministry”, which is printed next to it and which Lenin wrote as an afterword on be half of the editorial board of Vperyod, were expressive of the struggle between the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks over the Duma, a struggle which took the form of a conflict between the Central Committee and the St. Petersburg Committee of the R.S.D.L.P.

On May 13 (26), 1906, the government rejected the demands of the Cadet Duma stated in its Address. In reply the Duma passed a resolution expressing “no confidence” in the Ministry and insisting on its resignation. The Menshevik C.C. of the R.S.D.L.P. circulated to the Party organisations a resolution proposing to support the Cadet Duma’s demand for a Duma—that is a Cadet—Ministry. The resolution was opposed by the St. Petersburg Committee led by Lenin. At its meeting on May 23-24 (June 5-6), 1906, the Commit tee rejected the Menshevik resolution of the C.C. and carried the resolution proposed by Lenin. Nine Menshevik members of the Committee demanded that the Bolshevik resolution be suspended until the matter was dealt with by the C. C. or an inter-district city conference. This demand of the Mensheviks was likewise rejected by the St. Petersburg Committee. At the same time the Commit tee resolved to call an inter-district conference, acquaint the districts with the minutes and other records of the conference, and publish in the press Lenin’s resolution, which had been carried, and the statement of the nine Menshevik members of the Commit tee as material to be discussed prior to the forthcoming conference.

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