V. I.   Lenin

The Polish Social-Democratic Opposition at the Parting of the Ways

Written: Written after July 7 (20), 1914
Published: First published in 1937 in the Lenin Miscellany XXX. Published according to the manuscript.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1972, Moscow, Volume 20, pages 556-557.
Translated: Bernard Isaacs and The Late Joe Fineberg
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2004). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
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The fact that the Polish Social-Democratic opposition at the Brussels Conference sided with the liquidators came as a surprise to many Party people and as a shock to all of them. The Polish Social-Democratic opposition was believed to be as close to the Pravdists as the Letts were. And suddenly we find the Letts at their post against the liquidators, while the Polish Social-Democrats played us false!

What is the reason?

The reason is that there are two trends among the Polish Social-Democrats: some of them want to remove Tyszka and Rosa Luxemburg in order to continue Tyszka’s policy themselves. This is a policy of unprincipled diplomacy and “playing” between Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, between the Party and its liquidators. Voting for one side today, for another tomorrow. Under the guise of “impartiality”, betrayal of all in turn, driving a bargain and securing “advantages and privileges” for oneself. The clauses of a federative character in the Stockholm (1906) agreement between the Polish and Russian Social-Democrats[1] were a useful weapon for this nasty policy, which Tyszka and Rosa Luxemburg were conducting with such consummate skill.

The other trend stands for a complete breakaway from the liquidators, from federalism, from “playing” the role, of “pendulum” between the two conflicting sides: it stands for a sincere and close alliance with the Pravdists, with the Party.

In Brussels the former trend among the Polish Social-Democrats won the day. As a result, there can obviously be nothing but absolute mistrust on our part towards the Polish Social-Democrats, The future will show whether the other   trend will succeed in rallying itself and in raising a clear, precise and definite banner of a consistent, high-principled policy, a policy aimed, not only against the group of Tyszka but against the essence of Tyszka’s methods. Needless to say, the unity of the Polish Social-Democratic proletariat is possible only on the basis of such a policy.

The forthcoming steps towards such unity will definitely reveal the true state of affairs among the Polish social Democrats and will thereby determine our own attitude to wards them.


[1] This refers to the conditions for the amalgamation of the Social-Democrats of Poland and Lithuania with the R.S.D.L.P. adopted at the Fourth (Unity) Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. in 1906 in Stockholm.

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