V. I.   Lenin

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

APRIL 24–29, 1917


Resolution on the Soviets of Workers’ And Soldiers’ Deputies

The Conference has discussed the reports and communications of comrades working in the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies in different parts of Russia and states that:

In many provincial areas the revolution is progressing in the following way: the proletariat and the peasantry, on their own initiative, are organising Soviets and dismissing the old authorities; a proletarian and peasant militia is being set up; all lands are being transferred to the peasants; workers’ control over the factories and the eight-hour day have been introduced and wages have been increased; production is being maintained, and workers control the distribution of food, etc.

This growth of the revolution in the provinces in depth and scope is, on the one hand, the growth of a movement for transferring all power to the Soviets and putting the workers and peasants themselves in control of production. on the other hand, it serves as a guarantee for the build-up of forces, on a national scale, for the second stage of the revolution, which must transfer all state power to the Soviets or to other organs directly expressing the will of the majority of the nation (organs of local self-government, the Constituent Assembly, etc.).

In the capitals and in a few other large cities the task of transferring state power to the Soviets is particularly difficult and requires an especially long period of preparation of the proletariat’s forces. This is where the largest forces of the bourgeoisie are concentrated, where a policy of compromise with the bourgeoisie is most strongly in evidence, a policy which often holds back the revolutionary initiative of the masses and   weakens their independence; this is particularly dangerous in view of the leading role of these Soviets for the provinces.

It is, therefore, the task of the proletarian party, on the one hand, to support in every possible way the indicated development of the revolution locally, and, on the other to conduct a systematic struggle within the Soviets (by means of propaganda and new elections) for the triumph of the proletarian line. The party must concentrate all its efforts and all its attention on winning over the mass of workers and soldiers, and must draw a line between the policy of the proletariat and that of the petty bourgeoisie, between the internationalist policy and the defencist policy, between the revolutionary and the opportunist policy. The party must organise and arm the workers and build up their forces for the next stage of the revolution.

The Conference repeats that it is necessary to carry out many-sided activity within the Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies, to increase the number of Soviets, to consolidate their power, and to weld together our Party’s proletarian internationalist groups within the Soviets.

Pravda No. 46, May 15 (2), 1917 Published according to the typewritten copy of the Minutes



  Resolution on Uniting the Internationalists Against the Petty-Bourgeois Defencist Bloc | Speech on the National Question April 29 (May 12)  

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