V. I.   Lenin


Written: Written between May 6 and 8 (19 and 21), 1917
Published: First published in 1925 in Lenin Miscellany IV. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, pages 448-451.
Translated: Andrew Rothstein
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive.   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.



Victory”! Hence ... chaos of phrases, moods, “exaltations” ... “ revolutionary democracy ”= reactionary democracy— “all like children”
(Zemlya i Volya No. 36) (May 6, 1917)

(α) Ministry (support of the capitalists) —

(β) for the offensive—

Verses “From Springtime Moods” by Ilya Ilyin “All like children! The day is so rosy! No night! There’ll be no slumber! As though there were no frosts,
As though spring reigns

(γ) against taking the land....

(δ) against fraternisation....

Separation of the proletarian class line=formation of a mass proletarian party ....

Reorganisation of all parties....

|| Capitalists....
|| (Trudoviks)\thinspaceNarodniks
and Mensheviks
|| Proletarian party

No. 47 of Sotsial-Demokrat, October 13, 1915. Theses Nos. 8–11.[3]

Wavering of the petty bourgeoisie = the essence. But the petty bourgeoisie=tens and tens of millions, “a host of hosts”, a multitude of groups and strata, subgroups and substrata, etc., etc. A supremely protracted process....


The main points in all resolutions:

(1) The war: capitalists
revolutionary defencists (Narodniks and
internationalist proletarians

(2) Attitude to the Provisional
Government: capitalists
Contact Commission ( Narodniks and Mensheviks) internationalist proletarians.

(3) Agrarian:
landowners and capitalists “not to take the land” (Narodniks and Mensheviks)
(in § 4)
not to separate out agricultural wage-workers
not to advance to socialism.... (§§ 8 and 9)[4]
internationalist proletarians.

(4) Borgbjerg and the International.[5]

+(5) three trends: (α) for the capitalists
(β) waverers (Narodniks and Mensheviks)
(γ) internationalist proletarians

+(6) Coalition Ministry capitalists in the majority
Narodniks and Mensheviks

(7) National question:
Finland capitalists
proletarians. }}

(8) Alliance with the internationalists against the petty-bourgeois defencist bloc....

(9) The present moment: attitude to socialism
(α) capitalists
(β) Mensheviks and Narodniks (not socialism)
(γ) proletarians.

(10) Party Programme. σσ about imperialism
about the state
about the International.

N.B. (11) Advance to socialism.
(12) The Soviets {{ development in the localities,
a brake in the centre }}




New conditions:

{{ (α) Unprecedented legality....

(β) Tens of millions before us....

(γ) Eve of unprecedented collapse
(war—and famine) (main thing).

Inde[1] : Be as firm as a rock in maintaining the proletarian line {{ against petty-bourgeois waverings — —
— —influence the masses by persuasion, “ explanation”—
— —prepare for a collapse and a revolution 1,000 times more powerful than the February one.

Waverings of the petty bourgeoisie: {{
Larin and Binshtok
Novaya Zhizn

The masses: (Peasant Congress[7])

The old personnel of agitators+propagandists+organisers

New forces (shortage of people).
(α) Big meetings of Party members (like this one).
(β) Tenfold multiplication of groups of agitators+

How? I don’t know. But I know for certain that without this it’s no use even talking about a revolution by the proletariat.

(γ) Group agitation—on a massive scale (versus meetings)

(γ) ditto organisation.

(δ) The maximum of Marxism=the maximum of popular style and simplicity ( Umschlag[2] ).

(δ) The party of the proletariat and semi-proletariat =the party of the workers and poor peasants....

(δ) The maximum of Marxism = (Umschlag) the maximum of popular style.

The poor peasants.

Demagogy? Everyone was accused of this in all revolutions.

Marxism is the guarantee....


[1] Hence.—Ed.

[2] Transition of one into the other.—Ed.

[3] For Lenin’s Theses Nos. 8 to 11, see present edition, Vol. 21, pp. 403–04.

[4] Lenin notes in parenthesis the paragraphs of the resolution on the agrarian question adopted on April 28 (May 11), 1917 by the Seventh (April) All-Russia Conference of the R.S.D.L.P.(B.) (see present edition, Vol. 24, pp. 292–93).

[5] Frederik Borgbjerg—a Danish reformist and a leader of the Danish Social-Democratic Party. In the spring of 1917 he came to Petrograd with the proposal to organise a conference of socialists from the belligerent countries. Lenin exposed the imperialist nature of his proposal and called Borgbjerg “an agent of the German Government”. On Lenin’s initiative the April Conference came out resolutely against the proposal (see present edition, Vol. 24, pp. 247–50, 251–53).

[6] A possible reference to Vasilyevsky Ostrov, which by that time had had its elections to the district Soviet; following this, the defencists, who were left in a minority, refused to submit to the majority and twice (April 28 and May 2) walked out from the meetings and disrupted the proceedings.

[7] First All-Russia Congress of Peasants’ Deputies, held at Petrograd from May 4 to 28 (May 17–June 10), 1917, was attended by 1,115 delegates from the gubernias and army units. The Bolsheviks took an active part in the proceedings and exposed the imperialist policy of the bourgeois Provisional Government and the conciliatory policy of the Mensheviks and the S.R.s. On May  22 (June 4) Lenin delivered a speech on the agrarian question (see present edition, Vol. 24, pp. 486–505). However, all the Congress decisions bore the mark of S.R. domination. The Congress approved the policy of the bourgeois Provisional Government and the entry of “socialists” into the Provisional Government. It called for a continuation of the war “to a victorious end” and an offensive at the front. It came out against the immediate transfer of landed estates to the peasants and postponed the solution of the land question until a Constituent Assembly.

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