V. I.   Lenin

Concerning the Party Programme

Written: Written not later than September 3 (16), 1917
Published: First published in Lenin Miscellany VII, 1928. Published according to the manuscript.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 25, pages 305-306.
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Comrade Bukharin’s report in Spartak[1] about the “narrow” congress that is to be called to adopt a programme shows how pressing this matter is.

It really is an urgent matter.

Our Party is ahead of the other internationalist parties; this is a fact now.

And it is in duty bound to take the initiative, to come forward with a programme answering questions about imperialism.

It will be a scandal and a shame if we do not do this.

I propose that the Central Committee resolve that:

Every Party organisation immediately appoint one or several committees to draft the programme; they, along with all theoreticians or writers, etc., should give precedence to this matter, and present either drafts of their own, or changes and amendments to other drafts, not later than within three to seven days.”

This is perfectly feasible, given perseverance.

It will take a couple of weeks to collect and print the drafts or circulate them to the main organisations in typewritten form.

Then we must immediately announce the calling of a narrow congress (one delegate to 4,000 or 5,000 members) in a month from now—for the purpose of adopting the programme.

Our Party must come forward with a programme—that is the only way we can promote the cause of the Third International in deeds instead of words.

Everything else is empty phrases, empty promises, and postponement to the Greek calends. Once we take the initiative, we shall speed up work on all sides, and only then shall we prepare the programme of the Third International.


[1] Spartak (Spartacus)—theoretical journal of the Moscow Regional Bureau, Moscow Committee and (beginning with issue No. 2) Moscow District Committee of the R.S.D.L.P.(B.), published in Moscow from May 20 (June 2) to October 29 (November 11), 1917.

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