V. I.   Lenin

The Question of Uniting the Internationalists

Published: Pravda No. 60, May 31 (18), 1917. Published according to the text in Pravda verified with the manuscript.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1964, Moscow, Volume 24, pages 431-432.
Translated: Isaacs Bernard
Transcription\Markup: B. Baggins and D. Walters
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive 1999 (2005). 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.

The All-Russia Conference of our Party passed a resolution recognising that closer relations and unity with groups and trends that have adopted a real internationalist stand are necessary on the basis of a definite break with the policy of petty-bourgeois betrayal of socialism.[1]

The question of unity was also recently discussed at a conference of the Inter-District Organisation of the United Social-Democrats of Petrograd.

In compliance with the decision of the All-Russia Conference, the Central Committee of our Party, recognising the extreme desirability of union with the Inter-District Organisation, advanced the following proposals (they were first made to the Inter-District Organisation only in the name of Comrade Lenin and a few other members of the Central Committee, but were subsequently approved by the majority of the members of the Central Committee):

Unity is desirable immediately.

The Central Committee of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party will be asked to include a representative of the Inter-District Organisation on the staff of each of the two papers (the present Pravda, which is to be converted into an All-Russia popular newspaper, and the Central Organ to be established in the near future).

The Central Committee will be asked to set up a special Organising Committee to summon a Party Congress (in six weeks’ time). The Inter-District Conference will be entitled to appoint two delegates to this committee. If the Mensheviks, adherents of Martov, break with the ’defencists’,   it would be desirable and essential to include their delegates on the above-mentioned committee,

Free discussion of controversial issues shall be ensured by the publication of discussion leaflets by Priboi Publishers and by free discussion in the journal Prosveshcheniye (Kommunist),[2] publication of which is being resumed.”

(Draft read by N. Lenin on May 10, 1917, in his own name and in the name of several members of the Central Committee.)

The Inter-District Organisation, for their part, passed a different resolution, which reads:

On unity. Realising that only by the closest consolidation of all its revolutionary forces can the proletariat

“1) become the foremost fighter in clearing the way for socialism;

“2) become the leader of Russian democracy in its struggle against the survivals of the semi-feudal regime and the heritage of tsarism;

“3) fight out the revolution and finally settle the questions of war and peace, the confiscation of the land, the eight-hour day, etc.,

the Conference is of the opinion

a) that a consolidation of forces, so indispensable to the proletariat, can be achieved only under the banner of Zimmerwald and Kienthal, and the programme and decisions of the Party of the years 1908 and 1910. 1912 and 1913;

b) that not a single labour organisation, be it a trade union, an educational club, or a consumers’ co-operative society, and not a single labour newspaper or periodical should refrain from enlisting under that banner;

c) at the same time, the Conference declares itself to he decidedly and ardently in favour of unity on the basis of these decisions.”

Which of these resolutions will be quicker in bringing about unity is a question for all internationalist workers to discuss and decide.

The political resolutions of the Inter-District Organisation have in general adopted the sound course of breaking with the “defencists”.

Under the circumstances, any division of forces would, in our opinion, be utterly unjustifiable.




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