V. I.   Lenin

How the Armavir Social-Democrats are Conducting Their Election Campaign

Published: Proletary, No. 5, November 23, 1906. Published according to the Proletary text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1965, Moscow, Volume 11, pages 324-325.
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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At the elections to the First Duma the Armavir Social-Democrats formed blocs with the Cadets. Volna[1] commented on this at the time and severely criticised them. The Central Committee of our Party also wrote to Armavir, admonishing the local comrades for acting contrary to the instructions of the Unity Congress.

Our Armavir comrades must now have gained some practical experience of what blocs with the Cadets mean. At all events, in their latest party literature, they not only refrain from advocating blocs with the Cadets, but speak the whole plain truth about the Cadets. We will not quarrel with the literary style of the Armavir publications—that would be mean and petty. We shall only quote the most striking pas sages which indicate the tactics of the Armavirians.

We have before us No. 1 of Armavirsky Proletary, published by the Armavir Committee of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party, dated October 1906, and issued in 5,000 copies.

In the leading article we read the following:

“Let the Cadets, merchants, government officials, landlords and liberals dance to the tune of the government, the proletariat will not take the line of submission and reconciliation.”

The next article, a special appeal to get ready for the elections, states:

“Close your ranks, vote, capture the Duma! Too long have the lordly Cadets sat in the plush seats of the Taurida Palace. It is high time the toil-hardened hands of the workers drove out these chatterers and parasites!

“Make haste to secure your poletarian place in the Duma, to convert it from a Cadet talking-shop into a revolutionary field of battle against the slayer of the people, the accursed autocracy.”

In a leaflet: “To the Electors”, dated November 1906 and issued in 3,000 copies, the Armavir Committee writes:

“The people have realised that only by force and power can they take that which the dying autocracy will not yield voluntarily and which the impotent Cadet Duma failed to give them.... Let us make this Duma an instrument of our revolution, let us, through our deputies, install the power of the people in the Taurida Palace, let us kindle in the new Duma, by the hands of our deputies, the blazing fire of revolution and fan it with the stormy breath of the whole of proletarian and revolutionary Russia. Into the new Duma, into the new Duma!!

“...Comrades and citizens! Our future Duma will not be a Black Hundred Duma, nor will it be a Cadet Duma—it will be a proletarian and peasant Duma—our Duma, with full power.”

I repeat that it would be petty to quarrel with the style or the details of these appeals.

The important thing is their spirit. The important thing is the independent policy of the Armavir Social-Democrats, who have been through the purgatory of blocs with wind-bags and parasites.

So much for your hopes in the Social-Democrats, gentlemen of Rech, Tovarishch, Vek and Russkiye Vedomosti[2] So much for the “danger from the Left” mentioned in Rech the other day!

Into the struggle then, all revolutionary Social-Democrats! Into the struggle against blocs with the Cadets! The Menshevik comrades will, like the Armavirians, go through the purgatory of blocs with the bourgeois opportunists and return to revolutionary Social-Democracy.


[1] Volna (The Wave)—a legal Bolshevik daily newspaper published in St. Petersburg from April 26 (May 9) to May 24 (June 6), 1906; 25 issues appeared. Beginning with No. 9 of May 5 (18), 1906 (after the Fourth Congress had ended and Lenin had arrived from Stockholm), the newspaper was in fact edited by Lenin. More than 20 articles by Lenin were printed in it. V. V. Vorovsky and M. S. Olminsky took part in the work of the editorial board. Volna was subjected to police persecution on numerous occasions. It was closed down by the tsarist government and the legal Bolshevik paper Vperyod began to appear in its place.

[2] Russkiye Vedomosti (Russian Recorder)—a daily newspaper published in Moscow from 1863 onwards by liberal professors of Moscow University and Zemstvo leaders; it expressed the interests of the liberal landlords and bourgeoisie. From 1905 it was the organ of the Right-wing Cadets; it was closed down after the 1917 October Revolution.

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