V. I. Lenin

The Vperyod Group{1}

A Conspectus

Written: Written at the end of December 1909 (the first half of January 1910)
Published: First published in 1933 in Lenin Miscellany XXV. Published according to the manuscript.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1974], Moscow, Volume 16, pages 145-146.
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) © 2004 Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.  

After a series of lectures to the comrades of the Vperyod group and after a final conversation with them on Party tasks and the position of the Vperyod group in the Party, I find it necessary to set out in written form my attitude to the questions in dispute in order to avoid misunderstandings and misinterpretations.

I consider that the platform of the Vperyod group is permeated through and through by views which are incompatible with Party decisions (the resolutions of the December Conference in 1908) and are contrary to those decisions.

The Vperyod platform takes a wrong view of the present period, for this view leaves out of account the economic and political changes in Russia which are finding expression in the autocracy’s new step along the path to conversion into a bourgeois monarchy. Hence in actual fact otzovist tactical conclusions follow from the view adopted by the Vperyod platform.

Consequently, the Vperyod platform is wholly permeated by views that deny the absolute necessity of the Social-Democratic Party’s participation in the Third Duma and the absolute necessity of building a new type of illegal Party organisation surrounded by a network of legal organisations and necessarily utilising every legal opportunity.

By putting forward in its platform the task of elaborating a so-called “proletarian philosophy”, “proletarian culture”, etc., the Vperyod group in fact comes to the defence of the group of literati who are putting forward anti-Marxist views in this field.

By declaring otzovism “a legitimate shade of opinion”, the platform of the Vperyod group shields and defends otzovism, which is doing great harm to the Party.

In view of all this, the personal declarations of the majority of comrades of the Vperyod group that they will carry on a sincere correspondence with the Central Organ, that they will fight against the otzovists in a principled and comradely way, that they will co-operate sincerely in utilising legal opportunities, that they will combat all attempts to disrupt the legal workers’ organisations and enterprises—these declarations do not inspire confidence and make one fear that the Vperyod group will wage a struggle against the Party line in local work and in the work of preparing for a conference.

My attitude to, the local functionaries of the Vperyod group will depend on their activities in Russia and how they put their declarations into effect.



{1} The Vperyod group—an anti-Party group of otzovists, ultimatumists, god-builders and empirio-monists (adherents of the reactionary idealist philosophy of Mach and Avenarius), organised in December 1909 on the initiative of A. Bogdanov and G. Alexinsky. Its press organ bore his name. In 1912 the Vperyodists, together with the Menshevik liquidators, united against the Bolsheviks in a general anti-Party bloc (the August bloc) organised by Trotsky.

Since it did not have the support of the workers, the group virtually broke up as early as in 1913. Its final and formal disintegration occurred in 1917 after the February Revolution.

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