V. I.   Lenin

The Sixth (Prague) All-Russia Conference of the R.S.D.L.P.

JANUARY 5–17 (18–30), 1912



Draft Resolution on the Tasks of Social-Democrats in the Struggle Against the Famine[1]


(1) The famine affecting 20 million peasants in Russia once again shows the absolutely unbearable conditions of the peasant masses, crushed and oppressed by tsarism and the class of feudal landowners, conditions unimaginable in any civilised country of the world;

(2) The present famine once again confirms the failure of the government’s agrarian policy and the impossibility of ensuring anything like normal bourgeois development in Russia so long as its policy in general, and its agrarian policy in particular, are directed by the class of feudal landowners who, through the parties of the Right, dominate the Third Duma, the Council of State, and circles at the Court of Nicholas II;

(3) The Black-Hundred parties (with the Markovs and similar people at the head), by their statements in the Duma and their attempts to lay the blame on the “loafing peasants” have so flaunted the shamelessness of the tsarist-landowner gang that is plundering Russia that the eyes of even the most ignorant are being opened, and indignation of even the most indifferent is being aroused;

(4) The actions of the government in hindering relief for the famine-stricken, the police interference with the Zemstvos, with the collectors of funds and the organisers of kitchen committees, etc., give rise to widespread dissatisfaction even among the bourgeoisie, and voices of protest are raised even among such backward and counter-revolutionary bourgeoisie as the Octobrists;

(5) The liberal-monarchist bourgeoisie, while helping in its press to inform the public of the famine and of the   behaviour of the government, nevertheless, in the person of the Constitutional-Democrat Kutler in the Third Duma, adopted such a moderate-oppositional position that can, under no circumstances, satisfy democrats, any more than it is possible to accept the presentation of the question of relief for the famine-stricken as philanthropy, which is the way the majority of the liberals present it;

(6) Among the working class, despite the worsening of its economic position arising from the increasing numbers of starving and unemployed, a spontaneous desire is to be observed to collect funds to aid the starving and to help them in other ways. This desire natural to every democrat, to say nothing of a socialist, must be supported and furthered by all Social-Democrats in the spirit of class struggle;

The Conference resolves that it is essential:

(a) To bend all efforts to extending propaganda and agitation among the broad masses of the population, and in particular among the peasantry, explaining the connection between the famine and tsarism and its entire policy; to distribute in the villages for agitational purposes the Duma speeches, not only of the Social-Democrats and Trudoviks, but even of such friends of the tsar as Markov the Second, and to popularise the political demands of Social-Democracy—in the first instance the overthrow of tsarist monarchy and the establishment of a democratic republic, followed by the confiscation of landed estates;

(b) To support the desire of the workers to aid the famine—stricken as far as possible, advising them to send their donations only to the Social-Democratic group in the Duma, to the workers’ press, or to workers’ cultural-educational and other associations, etc., and forming special nuclei of Social-Democrats and democrats upon their joining groups, committees or commissions for aid to the famine-stricken;

(c) To endeavour to give expression to the anger of the democratic masses aroused by the famine in demonstrations, mass meetings, and other forms that constitute the beginning of a revolutionary mass struggle against tsarism.

Written early in January 1912
First published on January 18, 1937, in Pravda, No. 18
Published according to the manuscript


[1] The heading to the document has been provided by the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the Central Committee of the C.P.S.U.

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