V. I.   Lenin

Speech at a Public Meeting Held in Countess Panina’s Palace, May 9 (22), 1906[1]

Published: Volna, No. 14, May 11, 1906. Published according to the Volna text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1965, Moscow, Volume 10, pages 407-408.
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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I. Brief Report In Nevskaya Gazeta

Comrade Karpov expressed the opinion that the Duma will not be dissolved, because the Cadets will do everything possible to prevent it. This is already obvious from their activities in the Duma. The Cadets are trying to combine the people’s freedom with the old regime. The speaker then went on to deal with the tactics of the R.S.D.L.P. The Congress, in his opinion, adopted a resolution on the Duma that was “far from complete and far from correct. We must carry out the decisions of the united R.S.D.L.P., but we shall supplement them in our activities”.

In the speaker’s opinion, the boycott was not a mistake. The proletariat had told them that it must sweep away this Duma. It failed to do this, but what of that? Of course, the people will only derive benefit from the Duma. The peasants’ and workers’ deputies will do a lot of good if they act consistently. But pressure on the Duma will be fruit less. When the government stands opposed to the people, we must remember that only the combatant sides can settle the conflict.

We will say to the peasants: learn, comrades, so that you, too, may be ready to support the revolutionary movement when the time comes.

Nevskaya Gazeta, No. 8, May 11 (24), 1906

Published according to the text in Nevskaya Gazeta


II. Brief Report in Volna

Comrade Karpov replied to him and to citizen Myakotin. He explained to citizen Myakotin that a deal is the practical outcome of negotiations, and negotiations are preparations for a deal. Therefore, citizen Myakotin was quite wrong in what he said about the Cadet Party. Fully recognising that the decisions of the Unity Congress were binding on the whole Party, the speaker, however, stated that some of these resolutions were mistaken, and that this was the cause of the wrong tone taken by Comrade Bartenyev with regard to the Cadet Party. Exposing the Cadet Party, said the speaker, was not merely a matter of abusing it, but the necessary and most advisable means of drawing the broad masses of the people away from the liberal bourgeoisie—which was half-hearted and timid, and was striving to make a deal with the old regime—to the revolutionary-democratic bourgeoisie, which was preparing for a decisive struggle for power. To discredit a party like the Cadet Party meant giving a powerful impetus to the political develop ment of the masses of the people. Of course, the time when the conflict will set in does not depend on our will but on the behaviour of the government, and on the degree of the political consciousness and the temper of the masses of the people. Our task is to do all in our power to enable the organised proletariat to be the leader of the victorious revolutionary army both in the present upsurge and in the inevitable decisive struggle ahead.


[1] The public meeting was arranged by the Socio-Political Club in Countess Panina’s St. Petersburg palace on May 9 (22), 1906, in connection with the Duma’s reply to the address from the throne. Attended by some 3,000 people, over half of whom were workers, it was the first mass meeting in Russia to be openly addressed by Lenin, who was introduced as “Karpov”. His speech was an answer to two speakers—the “Popular Socialist” Myakotin and the Menshevik Dan (Bartenyev), both of whom advocated a bloc with the Cadets. In conclusion Lenin proposed a resolution that was carried almost unanimously.

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