V. I.   Lenin

The Fifth Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party

April 30-May 19 (May 13-June 1), 1907



Remarks During the Discussion on the Re-Voting on Those Elected to the C.C.
May 19 (June 1)


We must vote again. Lieber is wrong. His entire line of argument is ridiculous sophistry. After all, who is to decide on this lottery? We are to! We constitute the final session of the Congress. There can be no compromise. This is a congress, not a meeting of factions. You say that we have been empowered to decide only technical and formal questions, yet we have only just adopted a political resolution on a loan.


It was intended to intimidate you with terrifying words about the seizure of power. But after all we are empowered to elect candidates to the C.C. at this meeting. (Stir.) Keep calm, comrades; anyway, you won’t shout me down! We are accused of wanting to take advantage of a single vote. I am of the opinion that this can and should be done. What we are deciding here is a political question, a matter of principle. To let this question be decided by lottery—by blind chance—would be nothing but gambling. We cannot condemn the Party to a year of gambling. I warn you that if—given an equal vote—our Party decides this question by drawing lots, the responsibility will rest with you. That is why this assembly must vote again.


[1] It was decided at the Congress to elect a Central Committee of 15 members—12 at the Congress and 3 to be delegated by national organisations after the Congress. The counting of the votes in the elections to the Central Committee was made at a meeting with a curtailed number of delegates—one representative to every four delegates. Seventy-five delegates attended this meeting—22 Bolsheviks, 21 Mensheviks, 14 Bund members, 11 Poles and 7 Latvians. In the voting for the candidates, 9 obtained a majority of votes and 5 obtained an equal number of votes each. The Bolsheviks proposed taking a new vote, but the Mensheviks proposed that the 5 candidates draw lots. The Bolshevik proposal was adopted.

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