Published November 23, 1906 in leaflet form as a supplement to Proletary, No. 8.
Published according to the leaflet text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1965, Moscow, Volume 11, pages 326-331.
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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|What Are the Three Chief Parties?|
|The Black Hundreds||The Cadets||The Social-Democrats|
|They are—the Union of the Russian People, the monarchists, the Party of Law and Order, the Union of October Seventeenth,the Commercial and Industrial Party, the Party of Peaceful Renovation.||They are—the party of “people’s” freedom or Constitutional-“Democratic” (in reality liberal-monarchist) Party, the Party of “Democratic” Reforms, the radicals, etc.||The Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party. It is the party of the class-conscious-workers of all the nationalities of Russia, of Russians, Letts, Poles, Jews, Ukrainians, Armenians, Georgians, Tatars, etc.|
|Whose Interests Do the Three Chief Parties Defend?|
|The Black Hundreds defend the present tsarist government, they stand for the landlords, for the government officials, for the power of the police, for military courts, for pogroms.||The Cadets defend the interests of the liberal bourgeois, the liberal landlords, merchants and capitalists. The Cadets are a party of bourgeois lawyers, journalists, professors and such like.||The Social-Democrats are the party of the working class, defending the interests of all the working and exploited people.|
|What Do the Three Chief Parties Strive For?|
|The Black Hundreds strive for the preservation of the old autocracy, the lack of rights of the people, the unlimited rule over it of the landlords, officials and police.||The Cadets strive for the transfer of power into the hands of the liberal bourgeoisie. The monarchy; by preserving the police and military regime, is to safeguard the capitalists’ right to rob the workers and peasants.||The Social-Democrats strive for the transfer of all power into the hands of the people, i.e., a democratic republic. The Social-Democrats need complete freedom in order to fight for socialism, for the emancipation of labour from the yoke of capital.|
|What Kind of Freedom do the Three Chief Parties Want to Give the People?|
|The Black Hundreds do not give the people any freedom, any power. All power is for the tsarist government. The rights of the people are: to pay taxes, to toil for the rich, to rot in gaol.||The Cadets want the kind of “people’s freedom” which will be subordinated, firstly, to the Upper Chamber, i.e., to the landlords and capitalists; secondly, to the monarchy, i. e., the tsar with the irresponsible police and armed forces. One-third of t.he power to the people, one-third to the capitalists and one-third to the tsar.||The Social-Democrats want complete freedom and all power for the people, all officials to be elected, the soldiers to be freed from barrack servitude, and the organisation of a free, people’s militia.|
|How Do the Three Chief Parties Regard the Peasants’ Demand for Land?|
|The Black Hundreds defend the interests of the feudal landlords. No land for the peasants. Only the rich to be allowed to buy land from the landlords by voluntary agreement.||The Cadets want to preserve the landlord system of agriculture by means of concessions. They propose redemption payments by the peasants which already once before in 1861 ruined the peasants. The Cadets do not agree that the land question should be settled by local committees elected by universal, direct and equal suffrage by secret ballot.||The Social-Democrats want to abolish our landlord system of agriculture. All land must be transferred to the peasants absolutely, with out redemption payments. The land question must be settled by local committees elected by universal, direct and equal suffrage by secret ballot.|
|What Can the Three Chief Parties Achieve if Their Whole Struggle is Successful?|
|The Black Hundreds, using every possible means of struggle, can cause the people to be finally ruined and all Russia subjected to the savagery of military courts and pogroms.||The Cadets, using only “peaceful” means of struggle, can cause the pogrom-mongers’ government to buy off the big bourgeoisie and the rich in the countryside at the cost of petty concessions, while it will chase out the liberal chatter-boxes for insufficiently servile speeches about the beloved, blameless, inviolable, constitutional monarch.||The Social-Democrats, using every possible means of struggle, including an uprising, can, with the aid of the politically conscious peasantry and urban poor, win complete freedom and all the land for the peasants. And with freedom, and with the help of the class-conscious workers of all Europe, the Russian Social-Democrats can advance with rapid strides to socialism.|
Citizens! Anyone who wants to take an intelligent part in the elections to the State Duma must first of all clearly understand the difference between the three main parties. The Black Hundreds stand for pogroms and the violence of the tsarist government. The Cadets stand for the interests of the liberal landlords and capitalists. The Social-Democrats stand for the interests of the working class and all the working and exploited people.
Anyone who wants to uphold intelligently the interests of the working class and all working people must know which party is really able most consistently and resolutely to defend these interests.
|Which Parties Claim to Defend the Interests of the Working Class and all Working People?|
|The party of the working class, the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party, based on the standpoint of the class struggle of the proletariat.||Trudovik parties, i.e., parties based on the standpoint of the small proprietor:|
|The Socialist-Revolutionary Party.||The Trudovik (Popular Socialist) Party and the non-party Trudoviks.|
|Whose Interests do these Parties Actually Defend?|
|The interests of the proletarians, whose conditions of life deprive them of all hope of becoming proprietors and cause them to strive for completely changing the whole basis of the capitalist social system.||The interests of the petty proprietors, who struggle against capitalist oppression, but who, owing to the very conditions of their life, strive to become proprietors, to strengthen their petty economy and to enrich themselves by means of trade and hiring labour.|
|How Steadfast are These Parties in the Great World-Wide Struggle of Labour Against Capital?|
|The Social-Democrats cannot allow of any reconciliation of labour and capital. They organise the wage-workers for a ruthless struggle against capital, for the abolition of private ownership of the means of production and for the building of socialist society.||The toilers’ parties dream of abolishing the rule of capital but, owing to the conditions of life of the petty proprietor, they inevitably waver between fighting jointly with the wage-workers against capital and striving to reconcile workers and capitalists by the conversion of all the working people into petty proprietors, with equal division of land, or guaranteed credit, and so on.|
|What Can These Parties Achieve by Completely Fulfilling Their Ultimate Aims?|
|The conquest of political power by the proletariat and the conversion of capitalist into social, large-scale, socialist production.||The equal distribution of land among petty proprietors and small peasants, in which case there will inevitably be a struggle between them again, giving rise to a division into rich and poor, workers and capitalists.|
|What Kind of Freedom for the People are These Parties Trying to Achieve in the Present Revolution?|
|Complete freedom and full power for the people, i. e., a democratic republic, officials to be subject to election, the replacement of the standing army by universal arming of the people.||Complete freedom and full power for the people, i. e., a democratic republic, officials to be subject to election, the replacement of the standing army by universal arming of the people.||A combination of democracy, i.e., full power of the people, with the monarchy, i.e., with the power of the tsar, police and officials. This is just as senseless a desire and just as treacherous a policy as that of the liberal landlords, the Cadets.|
|What Is the Attitude of These Parties to the Peasants’ Demand For Land?|
|The Social-Democrats demand the transfer of all the landlords’ land to the peasants with out any redemption payments.||The Socialist-Revolutionaries demand the transfer of all the landlords’ land to the peasants without any redemption payments.||The Trudoviks demand the transfer of all the landlords’ land to the peasants, but they allow redemption payments, which will ruin the peasants, so that this is just as treacherous a policy as that of the liberal landlords, the Cadets.|
 The leaflet “Whom to Elect to the State Duma” was written prior to the elections to the Second Duma. In the article “The Government’s Falsification of the Duma and the Tasks of the Social Democrats”, Lenin called this leaflet a poster “about the three chief parties” which took part in the Duma elections. The leaflet was printed in Vyborg by the editorial hoard of Proletary as a supplement to No. 5; it appeared in three editions (one in full and two abridged) in St. Petersburg in 1906. In the abridged form it was also published by the Ivanovo-Voznesensk, Kostroma and Kharkov committees of the R.S.D.L.P., by the Ob group of the R.S.D.L.P., the Central Committee of the Social-Democrats of the Lettish Territory and the Central Committee of the Latvian Social-Democrats.