V. I. Lenin

Plan for a Lecture “The International Socialist Congress in Copenhagen and Its Importance”

Written: Written before September 13 (26), 1910
Published: First published in 1933 in Lenin Miscellany XXV. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 41, pages 230.2-231.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
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.
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  1. 1. International capital, its international organisation, international character of the working-class movement.
    [BOX ENDS:]
    [ “Proletarians of all countries, unite” ]
  3. 2. First International
  4. 3. Second International
    1889—First Congress in Paris
    1910—Eighth Congress in Copenhagen{2}
    [BOX ENDS:]
    [33 nations; almost 1,000 delegates].
  5. 4. Importance of international congresses in rallying the working class and determining its line: Amsterdam.
  6. 5. The Copenhagen Congress: Czechs and Austrians [[ nationalism and internationalism, bourgeois and proletarian policy. ]]
  7. 6. C o- o p e r a t i v e s
    (Weapon in the proletarian struggle: standpoint
    1. (A) proletarian and bourgeois
    2. (B) importance of co-operatives in implementing socialism: expropriation
    3. (C) behaviour of socialists in co-operatives).
  8. 7. S u p p o r t o f t h e r e v o l u t i o n a r y a movement in P e r s i a—protest against the F i n n i s h campaign.


{1} The First World Socialist Congress of the Second International was held in Paris in July 1889. Ideological guidance was provided by Frederick Engels. There was acute political struggle between the Marxists and the anarchists, who repudiated political struggle. The Congress decided on the need to strengthen the mass working-class movement and set up socialist parties for political struggle and the winning of power by the proletariat. The Congress said that the ultimate aim of the labour movement was socialism and, despite anarchist protests, resolved to struggle for an eight hour working day, higher wages, abolition of payments in kind, etc. It also adopted the historic decision of celebrating May Day by staging demonstrations as a mark of proletarian solidarity. p. 231

{2} The International Socialist Congress In Copenhagen (Eighth Congress of the Second International) was held from August 28 to September 3, 1910. It was attended by 896 delegates representing countries in Europe, North and South America, South Africa and Australia. Russia, like Austria, Britain, France and Germany, had 20 votes, of which the Social-Democrats (including the Lithuanian and Armenian Social-Democrats) had 10; the S.R.s—7; the trade unions—3. Among those who represented the R.S.D.L.P. were V. I. Lenin, G. V. Plekhanov, A. M. Kollontai and A. V. Lunacharsky.

Five committees were set up for preliminary discussion and drafting of resolutions on various questions: co-operatives, trade unions, international solidarity, and unity of the trade union movement in Austria; the struggle against war; labour legislation and unemployment; miscellaneous, including socialist unity, capital punishment, Finland, Argentina, Persia, etc.

Lenin was on the co-operative committee, one of the most important ones.

The resolution on the struggle against war—“Arbitration Courts and Disarmament”—confirmed the resolution of the Stuttgart Congress of 1907 on “Militarism and International Conflicts”, which included the amendments motioned by Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg, calling on the socialists of all countries to make use of the economic and political crisis caused by war to overthrow the bourgeoisie. The resolution of the Copenhagen Congress also bound the socialist parties and their representatives in parliaments to demand that their governments reduce armaments, and settle conflicts between states through arbitration courts, and urged the workers of all countries to stage protests against the threat of war.

Lenin held a conference of Left-wing Social-Democrats attending the Congress to rally the revolutionary Marxists in the inter national arena. p. 231

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