V. I.   Lenin

The Seventh (April) All-Russia Conference of the R.S.D.L.P.(B.)

APRIL 24–29, 1917


Resolution On Borgbjerg’s Proposal

In connection with the arrival of the Danish “socialist” Borgbjerg and his invitation to attend a congress of socialists in support of peace, which the German socialists of the Scheidemann and Plekhanov orientation propose on the basis of Germany renouncing most of her annexed territories, the Conference resolves:

Borgbjerg speaks on behalf of three Scandinavian parties—the Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian. He received his mandate from the Swedish party headed by Branting, a socialist who has gone over to the side of “his own” bourgeoisie and betrayed the revolutionary union of the world’s workers. We cannot recognise this Swedish party as a socialist party. The only socialist party in Sweden we recognise is the youth party headed by Hoglund, Lindhagen, Strom, Carleson, and others.

Neither do we consider the Danish party, from which Borgbjerg has his mandate, a socialist party, because it is headed by Stauning, a member of the bourgeois cabinet. Stauning’s joining the bourgeois cabinet evoked a protest on the part of a group headed by Comrade Trier, which left the party, declaring that the Danish Socialist Party had become a bourgeois party.

Borgbjerg, on his own admission, is acting in accord with Scheidemann and other German socialists who have defected to the German Government and the German bourgeoisie.

There can be no doubt, therefore, that Borgbjerg, directly or indirectly, is really an agent of the German imperialist government.

In view of this, the Conference considers the idea of our Party’s attendance at a conference which includes Borgbjerg and Scheidemann to be unacceptable in principle, since   our task is to unite, not direct or indirect agents of the various imperialist governments, but the workers of all countries, who, already during the war, have begun a revolutionary fight against their own imperialist governments.

Only a meeting and closer contact with these parties and groups are capable of effectively promoting the cause of peace.

We warn the workers against placing their trust in the conference which is being organised by Borgbjerg, because this conference of pseudo-socialists will merely be a comedy to cover up the deals the diplomats are clinching behind its back, deals which involve an interchange of annexations by which Armenia, for example, will be “given” to the Russian capitalists, and Britain will be “given” the colonies she has robbed Germany of, while probably “ceding” to the German capitalists by way of compensation part of the Lorraine ore-bearing territories containing immense wealth in excellent iron ores, etc.

The socialists cannot, without betraying the proletarian cause, take part directly or indirectly in this dirty huckstering and haggling among the capitalists of various countries over the division of the loot.

at the same time the Conference considers that the German capitalists have not, even through the mouth of Borgbjerg, renounced all their annexations, not to mention the immediate withdrawal of their troops from the territories which they have seized. Germany’s Danish regions, her Polish territories, and her French part of Alsace are as much annexations of the German capitalists as Kurland, Finland, Poland, Ukraine, etc., are of the Russian tsars and the Russian capitalists.

As to restoring Poland’s independence, this is deception on the part of the German and Austrian capitalists as well as the Russian Provisional Government, which speaks of a so-called “free” military alliance between Poland and Russia. To ascertain the real will of the people in all the annexed territories it is necessary that all troops should be withdrawn and the opinion of the population be given free expression. Only such a measure applied to the whole of Poland (that is, not only to the part the Russians have seized, but also the part the Germans and Austrians have seized) and to the   whole of Armenia, etc., would be a step towards translating the governments’ promises into deeds.

The Conference, further, takes note of the fact that the British and French socialists, who have gone over to the side of their capitalist governments, have refused to attend the conference sponsored by Borgbjerg. This fact clearly demonstrates that the Anglo-French imperialist bourgeoisie, whose agents these pseudo-socialists are, wish to continue, wish to drag out this imperialist war without even desiring to discuss the concessions which the German imperialist bourgeoisie, under pressure of growing exhaustion, hunger, economic ruin, and—most important of all—the impending workers’ revolution in Germany, are compelled to promise through the medium of Borgbjerg.

The Conference resolves to give all these facts the widest possible publicity, and, in particular, to bring them to the notice of the Russian soldiers at the front in the fullest possible detail. The Russian soldiers must learn that the Anglo-French capitalists, followed by the Russian, are dragging out the war, ruling out even such a conference to discuss peace terms.

The Russian soldiers must learn that the watchword “War to a victorious finish” now serves as a screen for Britain’s bid to strengthen her domination in Baghdad and in Germany’s African colonies, for the striving of the Russian capitalists to plunder and subdue Armenia and Persia, etc., for the striving to bring about Germany’s complete defeat.

The Russian soldiers at the front must arrange voting in every military unit, in every regiment, in every company, on the question whether they want the war to be dragged out like this by the capitalists, or whether they want it to be speedily terminated by having all power in the state pass wholly and exclusively into the hands of the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies.

The party of the proletariat in Russia will attend a conference and enter into a fraternal union with only such workers’ parties of other countries as are waging a revolutionary struggle in their own countries for all state power passing to the proletariat.

Pravda No. 41, May 9 (April 26), 1917 Published according to the typewritten copy of the Minutes


  Speech on the Proposal to Call an International Socialist Conference April 25 (May 8) | Speech on the Attitude Towards the Soviets April 25 (May 8)  

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