V. I.   Lenin

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

JANUARY 5–17 (18–30), 1912




This Conference recognises the undoubted necessity for participation by the R.S.D.L. Party in the forthcoming election campaign to the Fourth State Duma, the nomination of independent candidates of our Party and the formation in the Fourth Duma of a Social-Democratic group, which as a section of the Party is subordinated to the Party as a whole.

The main tasks of our Party in the elections, and equally of the future Social-Democratic group in the Duma itself—a task to which all else must be subordinated—is socialist, class propaganda and the organisation of the working class.

The main election slogans of our Party in the forthcoming elections must be:

(1) A democratic republic.

(2) The eight-hour working day.

(3) Confiscation of all landed estates.

In all our election agitation it is essential to give the clearest possible explanation of these demands, based on the experience of the Third Duma and all the activities of the government in the sphere of central as well as local administration.

All propaganda on the remaining demands of the Social-Democratic minimum programme, namely: universal franchise, freedom of association, election of judges and officials by the people, state insurance for workers, replacement of the standing army by the arming of the people, and so on, must be inseparably linked with the above-mentioned three demands.



The general tactical line of the R.S.D.L.P. in the elections should be the following: the Party must conduct a merciless struggle against the tsarist monarchy and the par ties of landowners and capitalists supporting it, at the same time steadfastly exposing the counter-revolutionary views of the bourgeois liberals (headed by the Cadet Party) and their sham democracy.

Particular attention in the election campaign must be paid to dissociating the position of the proletarian party from that of all non-proletarian parties and explaining the petty-bourgeois essence of the sham socialism of the democratic (chiefly Trudovik, Narodnik and Socialist-Revolutionary) groups, as well as the harm done to democracy by their waverings on the question of consistent and mass revolutionary struggle.

As far as electoral agreements are concerned, the Party, adhering to the decisions of the London Congress, must:

(1) Put forward its candidates in all worker curias and forbid any agreement whatsoever with other parties or groups (liquidators);

(2) In view of the great agitational significance of the mere fact of nomination of independent Social-Democratic candidates, it is necessary to ensure that in the second assemblies of urban voters, and as far as possible in the peas ant curias, the Party puts forward its own candidates;

(3) In cases of a second ballot (Article 106 of the Election Regulations) in the election of electors at the second assemblies of urban voters it is permissible to conclude agreements with bourgeois democrats against the liberals, and then with the liberals against all the government parties. One form of agreement can be the compilation of a general list of electors for one or several towns in proportion to the number of votes registered at the first elections;

(4) In those five cities (St. Petersburg, Moscow, Riga, Odessa, Kiev) where there are direct elections with a second ballot, it is essential in the first elections to put forward independent Social-Democratic candidates for the second urban curia voters. In the event of a second ballot here, and since there is obviously no danger from the Black   Hundreds, it is permissible to come to an agreement only with the democratic groups against the liberals;

(5) There can be no electoral agreements providing for a common platform, and Social-Democratic candidates must not be bound by any kind of political commitment, nor must Social-Democrats be prevented from resolutely criticising the counter-revolutionary nature of the liberals and the half-heartedness and inconsistency of the bourgeois democrats;

(6) At the second stage of the elections (in the uyezd assemblies of delegates, in the gubernia assemblies of voters, etc.), wherever it proves essential to ensure the defeat of an Octobrist-Black Hundred or a government list in general, an agreement must be concluded to share the seats, primarily with bourgeois democrats (Trudoviks, Popular Socialists, etc.), and then with the liberals (Cadets), independents, Progressists, etc.


All Social-Democrats must immediately commence preparation for the election campaign, and should pay special attention to the following:

(1) It is urgently necessary everywhere to form illegal Social-Democratic nuclei in order that they may without delay prepare for the Social-Democratic election campaign;

(2) To pay the necessary attention to the strengthening and broadening of the legally existing workers’ press;

(3) The entire election campaign must be carried out in close alliance with workers’ trades unions and all other associations of workers, and the form in which these societies participate must be chosen with due consideration paid to their legal status;

(4) Special attention must be paid to the organisational and agitation preparation of the elections in the worker curias of those six gubernias in which the election of deputies to the Duma from the worker curias is guaranteed (St. Petersburg, Moscow, Vladimir, Kostroma, Kharkov and Ekaterinoslav). Every single worker elector—here and in the other gubernias—must be a Social-Democratic Party member;

(5) Assemblies of workers’ delegates, guided by the decision of the illegal Party organisations, must decide who precisely is to be elected to the Duma from the workers, and bind all electors, under threat of boycott and being branded as traitors, to withdraw their candidature in favour of the Party candidate;

(6) In view of persecution by the government, the arrest of Social-Democrat candidates, etc., it is necessary to carry out particularly restrained, systematic and careful work, using every means to react quickly to all police tactics and nullify all the tricks and coercion of the tsarist government, and to elect Social-Democrats to the Fourth State Duma, and then in general to strengthen the group of democratic deputies in the Duma;

(7) The candidates of the Social-Democratic Party are endorsed, and instructions concerning the elections are given by the local illegal organisations and groups of the Party, under the general supervision and guidance of the Central Committee of the Party;

(8) If, despite all efforts, it proves impossible to convene a Party congress or a new conference before the elections to the Fourth Duma, the Conference empowers the Central Committee, or an institution appointed for the purpose by the latter, to issue concrete instructions on questions concerning the conduct of the election campaign in the various localities, or to meet special circumstances arising, etc.



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