V. I. Lenin

Plan for a Lecture on “Two Internationals”{16}

Written: Written between January 30 and February 4 (February 12 and 17), 1916
Published: First published in 1962 in Vol. 27 of the Fifth Russian edition of the Collected Works. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 41, pages 358-366.1.
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.
Other Formats:   Text


Two Internationals


  1. 1.  
    Subject: not an assessment of the war (>1 year ago and outdated), but (two) basic lines in the develop ment of the working-class movement and socialism.
    A l i a s:
    not an assessment of the war or tactical p r i n c i p l e s,
    || but an assessment of the course the working-class movement has taken. ||
    Accordingly, the main thing: facts (on a broad scale) of the working-class movement and socialism, and comparison of various countries.
    [BOX ENDS:]
    [[ You might say the world working-class and socialist movement as the touchstone of theory. ]]
  2. 2.
    Introduction. Huysmans in Arnhem and in Rotterdam vs. Wijnkoop et Henriette Roland-Hoist in B e r n e r T a g w a c h t.{17}

    [BOX ENDS:]
    [[ ?+cf. Avanti! (February 12, 1916)?{18}
    [BOX:] Vorw\"arts{1} ]]
    In the 0. C.:
    (1) blaming the workers;
    (2) forgetting the ties with the liquidators.
  3. 2a. Etwa:    
    1. Russia: Patriots (Plekhanov & Co.) __ O.C. and Trotsky __
    Nashe Slovo)
    2. Germany: Majority —K. Kautsky & Co.— —minority. I.S.D. {2} —(R\"uhle)—Winnig
    3. France: Majority —Longuet & Co.—
    —Bourderon & Co. || Bourderon’s resolution || Reports in “Labour Leader{19}
    4. Britain: Majority (Fabian Society, Labour Party,{20} Hyndman) — Askew (?) — Forward.{21}
    [BOX:] [[ NB: “Merthyr”{22} NB ]]
    {{ Ornatsky in Nashe Slovo{24} }}
    (( break with the Labour Party ))
    [BOX ENDS:]
    [[ L e t t e r s in L a b o u r L e a d e r ]]
    __ __ __ __ __ __
    5. Italy: Minority (Bissolati)— Italian official party. (Avanti! Feb. 12, 1916)
    6. Austria: Majority (Pernerstorfer) — Adler — minority.
    (( report in Berner Tagwacht{25} ))
    7. America: Russel — (Hillquit) — — — Debs (D e b s’ s articles{26})
    (( “bombs and )) _ _ _ _ _ _
    8. Australia. Majority (government party) —?— — socialists.
  4. 3.
    Russia. Elections to War Industries Committees.
    First elections to C. C. (+the vacillating) +defencist b l o c (Larin). Indignation of the bourgeoisie and the government. Gvozdev’s denunciation. Second elections. Victory of chauvinists.
    [BOX ENDS:]
    [[ “... Not for defence, but for organisation....” ]]
    [BOX ENDS:]
    [[ Nashe Dyelo{27} + Nash Golos{28} + Rabocheye Utro{29}
    O.C. ]]
    Trotsky and Nashe Slovo (Chkheidze group?)
    [BOX ENDS:]
    [[ Martov’s evolution: from “Vorw\"arts is dead” and “we will not go into the International”—t o defence of alliance with N a s h e D y e l o (Boretsky). ]]
    Social-chauvinist mockery of Martov (Boretsky in Nashe Slovo).
    This may well be brilliant “diplomacy”, but there is n o t a b i t of s o c i a l i s m in it. N B:
    Khvostov labour party{30}
    two lines in the working-class movement in Russia.
    Only two (the rest has passed away).
    Their class basis:
    (α) in alliance with domestic bourgeoisie == = for strengthening “domestic” bourgeoisie (=f o r war)
    (β) in alliance with international proletariat == = for international proletarian revolution.
    Their ideas:
    for “defence” (“defence of country”);, (“defencists”);
    against “defence of country”... (cf. Zimmerwald Manifesto){3}
    [BOX END:] [ “Europa und die Revolution” in here?{31}
  5. 4. Germany.    
    Struggle within group: Liebknecht und R\"uhle 2 and 20 (their inconsistency).{32} {{ Fall Liebknecht{4} pamphlet
    “national-liberal party”. }}
    Borchardt and Lichtstrahlen{33}
    R\"uhle and reply of Vorw\"arts (Analysis).{34}
    (&alpha) Circulation of illegal literature and illegal organisation.
    (β) Helping the government. }}
    Demonstration in Brunswick.{35}
    (Strike in Hannover.)
  6. 5. France.
    (1) Vaillant in L’Humanité (letters?){36}
    (“stopped their ears with blood-soaked cotton wool”, “doctrinaires”, etc., etc.)
    Saumoneau’s leaflet.{37}
    (2) Merrheim’s words at Zimmerwald: “le parti, le gouvernement et los Jouhaux ne sont que trois t&ehat;tes sous un bonnet”.{5} }}
    (Brizon & Co. at Kienthal).{6}
    (3) Bourderon’s resolution ((analysis of its text)).
    (4) Report in Labour Leader on the split.
  7. 6. Britain.
    Majority (participation in ministry)
    The New Statesman{38} (and its attitude)
    (Labour Party + Fabian Society). Lloyd George in Glasgow and workers’ reply.
    [BOX ENDS:]
    [[ contra—B. S. P., where 3/7 are internationalists ]]
    Glasgow Socialist ((statement at Zimmerwald{39})) British Socialist Party
    (Hyndman’s walk-out{40}){7} .
    Letters in Labour Leader.
    Article on betrayal.
  8. 7. Italy.
    (Treves and his speech{41})
    I t a l y: Bissolati and the labour party
    B u l g a r i a: Tesnyaki{42} and Shiroki
    Sweden: Branting and H\"oglund
    Holland: Troelstra and Tribune.{43} }}{8}
  10. 8. Austria. Pernerstorfer in N e u e Z e i t{44}
    —V. Adler—internationalists...
    {{ idem:
    resolution of V. Adler and “15”.{9}
  11. 9. United States of North America. (“Wait and see”. . .)
    Russel (V. Berger &&Co.) for “preparedness”. “Jingo”
    D e b s and his articles.
  12. 10. Australia. Report in Berner Tagwacht.{45}
    Article in New Statesman
    (I. K.{46}).{11}
  13. 11. Results.  
    {{ K. Kautsky in a letter to Bukvoyed....
    {{ “There are˜˜ no two directions” }}
    id. in Neue Zeit many times.
    Falsehood and lies. I rr
    K. Kautsky in Breitscheid report (“either the old International or half a dozen”).
    Two and only two.
    Throughout the world.

    It is not the word that matters.
    Axelrod and Martov [...] in Russia
    Kautsky and Haase in [...] in Germany
    Longuet et [...] in France
    P r e s s e m a n e
    Hiliquit in America
    Askew and others in Britain
    ΣΣ= Huysmans.{12}
    one type }}
    (( Montagne and Gironde (Plekhanov in Iskra No. 2, 1901, “On the Threshold of the 20th Century”).
    (( “Boys with $2” and with capitalist “brains” in Appeal to Reason.{47}
    Not diplomatic cover-up (“St. Petersburg slush”—
    Kautskian Vaut mieux dire{13} ),
    but explanation to the masses.
    Inevitability of split.
Revolution ((
cf. L’information
+Europa und die Revolution )){14}
Iskra No. 2 (1901): Montague and Gironde.
Struggle against opportunism {{
Millerandism and Jaurèsism.
British liberal labour policy.
Split in a number of Countries. }}
The war has accelerated
the development— —of the
break-up both ways.
Quid est Kienthal ? {15}


{1} The word Vorw\"arts appears to have been pencilled in later—Ed.

Internationale Sozialisten Deutschlands.—Ed.

{3} Points 2 and 3 are crossed out in pencil in the MS.—Ed.

The Liebknecht Case.—Ed.

{5} “The party, the government and the Jouhaux are nothing but three heads under one cap.”—Ed.

The text from the word “regeneration” to the words “(Brizon & Co. at Kienthal)” is in pencil and appears to have been written later.—Ed.

The text was apparently pencilled in later.—Ed.

{8} Point 7 is crossed out in pencil in the MS.—Ed.

{9} Apparently pencilled in later.—Ed.

{10} The text from the word “Jingo” to the word “diplomat” is crossed out in pencil.—Ed.

{11} The text from the ward “article” to "(T.K.)” was apparently pencilled in later.—Ed.

The text from the word “diplomacy” to the word “Huysmans” is crossed out in pencil.—Ed.

{13} Better to say.—Ed.

{14} The text from the word “boys” to the word “revolution” is crossed out in pencil.—Ed.

{15} What is Kienthal? The text from the words “Iskra No. 2” to the end appears to have been pencilled in later.—Ed.

{16} Lenin gave a lecture on the subject of “Two Internationals” in Zurich on February 4 (17), 1916. He gave the same lecture under a slightly changed name, “Two Trends in the International Working-Class Movement”, in Lausanne between May 19 and 21 (June 1 and 3) and in Geneva on May 20 (June 2).

The manuscript of the plan for the lecture, which is at the Central Party Archives of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the C.P.S.U. Central Committee, also reflects Lenin’s preparation for the second lecture in Lausanne and Geneva. In connection with the new data available after the Second International Socialist Conference at Kienthal, Lenin made additions, crossed out some points and changed their numeration. All the changes made by Lenin in the plan are indicated in the footnotes. p. 359

{17} A reference to the report by Henriette Roland-Holst in “Beilage zur Berner Tagwacht” (Supplement to the Berne Sentinel) No. 18 of January 22, 1916, concerning the speech by the Secretary of the International Socialist Bureau, C. Huysmans, at the Extraordinary Congress of the Social-Democratic Party of Holland on January 8-9; Huysmans also spoke at Rotterdam on February 2. He was opposed by the Left internationalist D. Wijnkoop, who said that since Huysmans had voted, for the war credits, socialists could no longer regard him as Secretary of the International Socialist Bureau. “We shall set up another International,” said Wijnkoop.

At the Central Party Archives of the Institute of Marxism–Leninism of the C.P.S.U. Central Committee there is a cutting from “Beilage zur Berner Tagwacht” No. 18 of January 22, 1916, with Lenin’s markings; on Huysmans’s speech at Rotterdam, Lenin made an extract from L’Humanité of February 9, 1916. Both documents were published in 1931 in Lenin Miscellany XVII.

Berner Tagwacht (Berne Sentinel)—an organ of the Social-Democratic Party of Switzerland, published in Berne since 1893. From 1909 to 1918, it was edited by R. Grimm. At the beginning of the First World War, it carried articles by K. Liebknecht, F. Mehring and other Left-wing Social-Democrats. From 1917 on, the newspaper openly supported the social-chauvinists. At the present time, the paper takes the same stand on the main domestic and foreign policy issues as the bourgeois press. p. 358

{18} A reference to the editorial article in No. 43 of Avanti! of February 12, 1916, “Intorno all’organizzazione socialista internazionale” (Around the Socialist International). The Central Party Archives of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the C.P.S.U. Central Committee has Lenin’s extracts from this article with his remarks.

Avanti! (Forward!)—a daily, the Central Organ of the Italian Socialist Party, founded in Rome in December 1896. During the First World War, the paper took an inconsistent internationalist stand without breaking up with the reformists. In 1926, it was closed down by Mussolini’s fascist government, but continued irregular publications abroad; resumed publication in Italy in 1943. p. 358

{19} A possible reference to reports from Paris about the Congress of the French Socialist Party of December 25-29, 1915, published in No. 52 of The Labour Leader on December 30, 1915, and in Nos. 2 and 4 on January 13 and 27, 1916.

The Labour Leader—a weekly published since 1891. From 1893, organ of the Independent Labour Party of Britain. From 1922, it was published under the name of New Leader; and since 1946, carries the name of Socialist Leader. p. 359

{20} The Labour Party of Britain was founded in 1900 as an association of trade unions, socialist organisations and groups to seat labour representatives in Parliament (the Labour Representation Committee). In 1906, the Committee took the name of Labour Party. Trade union members are automatically members of the Labour Party provided they pay party dues. The Labour Party is headed by an Executive Committee which together with the General Trades Union Council and the Executive of the Co-operative Party makes up the National Labour Council. Closely allied to the Labour Party are the Co-operative Party, which is a collective member, and the Independent Labour Party.

The Labour Party, which was initially a party of workers (many members of the petty bourgeoisie joined the party later), is opportunist in ideology and tactics. During the First World War its leaders took a social-chauvinist stand.

The Labourites have repeatedly formed governments (1924, 1929, 1945 and 1950), which conducted the policy of British imperialism. The dissatisfaction of the British working people with the reactionary policy of the Labour Party leadership has resulted in the formation of a Left-wing trend in the party aimed against the official policy of its leadership. p. 358

{21} Forward—a newspaper published in Glasgow since 1906. During the First World War it supported the policy of the Independent Labour Party of Britain. It was banned by the authorities after it carried a report on the so-called 1915 “Christmas events” in Glasgow (the centre on the Clyde area and of the shop stewards’ movement), when Lloyd George, at the time Minister of Munitions, was shouted down by workers, who then staged an impressive demonstration in the heart of the city carrying anti-war and anti-government slogans.

They threatened to strike and the ban on the paper was lifted. p. 359

{22} Merthyr—a district in Southern Wales. Lenin apparently refers to the by-elections in the district, when the representative of the British Socialist Party mustered the votes of the Liberals and the Conservatives against the candidate of the Independent Labour Party. No. 46 of The Labour Leader of November 18, 1915, carried a report on the electoral struggle in Merthyr. p. 359

{23} An apparent reference to the newspaper The Socialist, the official organ of the Socialist Labour Party of Britain, published in Glasgow in 1904, 1909–10, 1916, 1918–23. p. 359

{24} Nashe Slovo (Our Word)—a Menshevik-Trotskyite newspaper published in Paris from January 1915 to September 1916, in place of Golos. p. 359

{25} A possible reference to the report in the form of an appeal, “Die Internationalen in Oesterreich an die Internationalen aller L\"ander” (The Internationalists of Austria to the Internationalists of All Countries), carried in “Beilage zur Darner Tagwacht” Nos. 283 and 284 on December 3 and 4, 1915. p. 361

{26} A reference to Eugene Debs’s articles “When I Shall Fight”, “\thinspace‘Preparedness’ I Favour”, “The Only War I Will Fight in” and “Never Be a Soldier”, published in the newspaper Appeal to Reason on August 25, September 11, December 11 and 25, 1915 (Nos. 1032, 1045 and 1047).

Cuttings from Appeal to Reason with Lenin’s markings are at the Central Party Archives of the institute of Marxism-Leninism of the C.P.S.U. Central Committee. p. 381

{27} Nashe Dyelo (Our Cause)—a Menshevik liquidator monthly, first published in January 1915 in place of Nasha Zarya, which was closed down in October 1914. Nashe Dyelo was the man organ of the social-chauvinists in Russia, and had contributions from Y. Mayevsky, P. P. Maslov, A. N. Potresov and N. Cherevanin, among others. There were six issues. p. 360

{28} Nash Golos (Our Voice)—a legal Menshevik newspaper published in Samara in 1915-16; it took a social-chauvinist stand. p. 360

{29} Rabocheye Utro (The Workers’ Morning)—a legal Menshevik paper published in Petrograd from October to December 1915 in succession to Utro which appeared in August 1915. The newspaper used internationalist phrases to cover up its social-chauvinism and defencism. p. 360

{30} Khvostov labour party”—named after A. N. Khvostov, Minister for the Interior and Chief of the special gendarme corps in 1915 and 1916. In the manuscript Lenin wrote the word “Stolypin” over the word “Khvostov”. p. 381

{31} Europa und die Revolution” (Europe and Revolution)—the title of an editorial item carried in No. 35 of Volksrecht en February 11, 1916, in connection with an article signed I. S. in the Lucerne chauvinist newspaper Vaterland, whose author said that the continuation of the war could cause revolution which was more dangerous “for the throne and the altar” than the war itself. An extract made by Lenin from Volksrecht with his remarks is at the Central Party Archives of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the C.P.S.U. Central Committee. p. 361

{32} Lenin is comparing the voting against the war credits by the 20 Social-Democratic deputies of the German Reichstag on December 21, 1915, and the voting on March 20, 1915, when only two (Karl Liebknecht and Otto R\"uhle) voted against the war credits. The voting of 20 deputies against the war credits testified to rowing pressure from the masses on the leadership of the Social-Democratic Party of Germany and its Reichstag group. However, the majority of the C.C. (Vorstand) and of the Reich stag group censured the December 21 vote as a breach of party discipline.

Speaking of the inconsistency of the 20, Lenin is referring to a statement made by F. Geyer on behalf of the members of the Social-Democratic group who had voted against the war credits on December 21, which gave no characteristic of the war as imperialist, made no mention of proletarian internationalism, and assumed that German plans of conquest were of a very recent development. p. 360

{33} Lichtstrahlen (Rays of Light)—a monthly, organ of the group of Left-wing Social-Democrats of Germany (Internationale Sons listen Deutschlands), published under the editorship of J. Borchardt. It was published in Berlin with interruptions from 1913 to 1921. Among those who took part in the magazine were A. Pannekoek and A. Balabanova. p. 362

{34} No. 11 of Vorw\"arts of January 12, 1910, carried a statement by Otto R\"uhle, “Zur Parteispaltung” (On the Party Split), In which he said a split in the Social-Democratic Party of Germany was inevitable, The editors of Vorw\"arts said in the editorial that although the article was being published verbatim, they believed   that the controversial questions raised in it were not only premature, but altogether irrelevant. p. 362

{35} A reference to the May Day demonstration and a strike by the young workers of Brunswick in early May 1916. The strike was staged in protest against the government’s deduction of part of the young workers’ wages for a war loan. More than 1,500 men took part in the strike and the demonstration. Following a stubborn struggle, the government was forced to rescind its order on deductions on May 5, 1916. p. 363

{36} A reference to E. Vaillant’s editorial article “Formalistes doctrinaires” (Doctrinaire Formalists) in L’Humanité No. 3827 on October 9, 1914, in which Vaillant, who went over to social-chauvinist positions at the very beginning of the war, was forced to admit that he was receiving letters from French socialists protesting against the policy of the French Socialist Party leadership. Lenin’s extracts from Vaillant’s article are in Lenin Miscellany XIV, p. 97. p. 362

{37} A reference to the appeal “To the Women of the Proletariat”, signed by Louise Saumoneau on behalf of the French Socialist Women’s Action Committee calling for the struggle for peace and against chauvinism. A copy of the appeal with Lenin’s markings is at the Central Party Archives of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the C.P.S.U. Central Committee. p. 363

{38} The New Statesman—a weekly of the Fabian Society, founded in London in 1913. Since 1931, it has been published under the name of The New Statesman and Nation. At present, it expresses the views of the Labour Party’s Left wing. p. 362

{39} A possible reference to the approval of the Zimmerwald Manifesto by the Executive Committee of the British Socialist Party. At the end of 1915, it decided to poll local organisations about adhering to Zimmerwald; an overwhelming majority of local party organisations came out in favour of adherence. A report on the poll was published in the I.S.O. Bulletin No. 3 of February 29, 1916. p. 362

{40} A reference to the walk-out of H. Hyndman and his supporters from the annual conference of the British Socialist Party held at Salford on April 23 and 24, 1916. The conference marked the break-away of the British Socialist Party from the social-chauvinists. The conference adopted a number of anti-war resolutions of a general democratic character and a resolution urging the use of the party’s full influence to put an end to the war. By an overwhelming majority, the conference adopted a resolution saying that the socialists recognise only a class war. In early June 1916, Hyndman set up the National Socialist Party which in 1918 took the name of the Social-Democratic Federation. p. 363

{41} A reference to the speech of C. Trèves in the Italian Chamber of Deputies on December 2, 1915. A report on the speech was published in Avanti! No. 335 on December 3, 1915. p. 362

{42} Tesnyaki—a revolutionary trend in the Bulgarian Social-Democratic Party, which took shape in 1903 as an independent Bulgarian Social-Democratic Labour Party. The founder and leader of the Tesnyaki was D. Blagoev. He was succeeded by his followers G. Dimitrov, V. Kolarov and others. From 1914 to 1918, the Tesnyaki opposed the imperialist war. In 1919, they joined the Communist International and set up the Communist Party of Bulgaria. p. 362

{43} Tribune, De Tribune—a newspaper founded in 1907 by the Left wing of the Dutch Social-Democratic Labour Party. In 1909, following the expulsion of the Left-wingers from the party and their establishment of the Social-Democratic Party of Holland, it became the organ of the latter. From 1918, it was the organ of the Dutch Communist Party, published under the name until 1937. p. 362

{44} A possible reference to the items by E. Pernerstorfer, “Russland und wir” (Russia and We) and “Nochmals Russland und wir” (Once again Russia and We), published in Nos. 13 and 20 of Die Neue Zeit on December 24, 1915, and February 11, 1916. p. 364

{45} A reference to the article “Die Stellung der Sozialdemokraten Australiens zum Krieg” (The Attitude of Australian Social-Democrats to the War) published under the initials J.K. in “Beilage zur Berner Tagwacht” Nos. 32 and 34 of February 8 and 10, 1916. p. 364

{46} I.K.”, “Internationale Korrespondenz” (International Correspondence)—a weekly of the German social-chauvinists dealing with international affairs and the labour movement. It was published in Berlin from the end of September 1914 to October 1, 1918. An apparent reference to the article “Hughes und die australischen Gewerksschaften” (Hughes and the Australian Trade Unions) published in Internationale Korrespondenz No. 15 on May 23, 1916. A copy of this magazine with Lenin’s markings on the article is at the Central Party Archives of the Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the C.P.S.U. Central Committee. p. 364

{47} Appeal to Reason—the newspaper of the American socialists, founded at Girard, Kansas, in 1895. It was not officially connected with the Socialist Party of America, but conducted propaganda of socialist ideas and was very popular among the workers. The paper had contributions from the American Socialist Eugene Debs. p. 364

Works Index   |   Volume 41 | Collected Works   |   L.I.A. Index
< backward   forward >