V. I.   Lenin

A Tactical Platform for the Unity Congress of the R.S.D.L.P.

Draft Resolutions for the Unity Congress of the R.S.D.L.P.


Attitude Towards the Bourgeois Parties


(1) the Social-Democratic Party has always recognised the necessity of supporting every opposition and revolutionary movement against the existing social and political system in Russia;

(2) at the present time, when the revolution is bringing various classes into open action, thus stimulating the formation of political parties, it is the urgent duty of the Social-Democratic Party to ascertain the class character of these parties, to appraise the present relations between the classes, and to determine its own attitude to the various parties accordingly;

(3) the main task of the working class at the present stage of the democratic revolution is to carry it to its completion and therefore, in determining its attitude towards the other parties, the Social-Democratic Party must particularly take into account the extent to which each party is capable of actively promoting this object;

(4) from this point of view, all existing non-Social-Democratic parties in Russia (bar the reactionary parties) may be   divided into two main groups: liberal-monarchist parties and revolutionary-democratic parties;

We are of the opinion, and propose that the Congress should agree:

(1) that the Right liberal-monarchist parties (the Union of October Seventeenth, the Party of Law and Order, the Commercial and Industrial Party,[1] etc.) represent the class organisations of the landlords and the big commercial and industrial bourgeoisie and are openly counter-revolutionary, but have not yet made a final deal with the autocratic bureaucracy on sharing power; that the party of the proletariat, while taking advantage of this conflict which is still in progress, must at the same time wage a relentless struggle against these parties;

(2) that the Left liberal-monarchist parties (the Party of Democratic Reforms,[2] the Constitutional-Democratic Party, etc.), not being definitely class organisations, are constantly vacillating between the democratic petty bourgeoisie and the counter-revolutionary elements of the big bourgeoisie, between the desire to lean on the people and fear of its independent revolutionary activity, and aim at nothing that goes beyond the limits of a well-ordered bourgeois society protected from the encroachments of the proletariat by a monarchy and a two-chamber system; and that the Social-Democratic Party must utilise the activities of these parties for the political education of the people, counteract their hypocritical democratic phrase-mongering by the consistent democracy of the proletariat, and ruthlessly expose the constitutional illusions they spread;

(3) that the revolutionary-democratic parties and organisations (the Socialist-Revolutionary Party, the Peasant Union, some of the semi-trade union and semi-political organisations, etc.) most closely express the interests and point of view of the broad masses of the peasantry and petty bourgeoisie, strongly opposing landlordism and the semi-feudal state, consistently striving for democracy and clothing their virtually bourgeois-democratic aims in a more or less nebulous socialist ideology; and that the Social-Democratic Party deems it possible and necessary to enter into fighting agreements with these parties, while at the same time systematically exposing their pseudo-socialist character and   combating their attempts to obscure the class antithesis between the proletarian and the small proprietor;

(4) that the immediate political object of such temporary fighting agreements between the Social-Democratic Party and the revolutionary democrats is to secure the convocation by revolutionary means of a constituent assembly of the whole people with full powers, on the basis of universal, direct and equal suffrage by secret ballot;

(5) that temporary fighting agreements are possible and advisable at the present time only with those elements which recognise armed uprising as a means of struggle and are actually assisting to bring it about.


[1] The Commercial and Industrial Party— a counter-revolutionary party of big capitalists, founded in Moscow after the publication of the Manifesto of October 17 (30), 1905. Its founders were G. A. Krestovnikov, V. P. Ryabushinsky and other big capitalists. The party, which proclaimed itself a supporter of the October Manifesto, insisted on the establishment of a strong government authority to put down the revolutionary movement. It opposed the convocation of a constituent assembly, nationalisation of the land, the introduction of an eight-hour working day, and freedom to strike. It formed a bloc with the Octobrists in the elections to the First Duma. It disintegrated at the close of 1906, most of its members joining the Union of October Seventeenth.

[2] The Party of Democratic Reforms—a party of the liberal-monarchist bourgeoisie founded early in 1906, during the elections to the First Duma, by elements who considered the Cadet programme too leftist. Among its more prominent leaders were K. K. Arsenyev, I. I. Ivanyukov, M. M. Kovalevsky, V. D. Kuzmin-Karavayev and A. S. Posnikov. Lacking a solid basis as it did, the Party had gone out of existence by the end of 1907.

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