V. I. Lenin

Extraordinary Seventh Congress of the R.C.P.(B.)

MARCH 6-8, 1918

Section Eighteen


Rough Outline Of The Draft Programme

My draft to be taken as the basis[40] (pamphlet, p.19 et seq.).

The theoretical part to remain, after discarding the last paragraph of the first part (p. 22 of the pamphlet, from the words “The urgent task of the day” to the words “the substance of the socialist revolution”,[41]i.e., 5 lines).

In the next paragraph (p. 22), beginning with the words “The fulfilment of this task”, insert the alteration indicated in the article “Concerning a Revision of the Party Programme” in Prosveshcheniye (No. 1-2, September-October 1917), p.93.***

In the same paragraph in two places insert instead of “social-chauvinism":

(1) “opportunism and social-chauvinism";

(2) “between opportunism and social-chauvinism, on the one hand, and the revolutionary internationalist struggle of the proletariat for the realisation of the socialist system on the other.”

Further on, everything has to be re-written, approximately as follows:

The Revolution of October 25 (November 7), 1917 in Russia brought about the dictatorship of the proletariat, which has been supported by the poor peasants or semi-proletarians.

This dictatorship confronts the Communist Party in Russia with the task of carrying through to the end, of completing, the expropriation of the landowners and bourgeoisie that has already begun, and the transfer of all factories, railways, banks, the fleet and other means of production and exchange to ownership by the Soviet Republic;

utilisation of the alliance of urban workers and poor peasants, which has already abolished private ownership of land, and utilisation of the law on the transitional form between small-peasant farming and socialism, which modern ideologists of the peasantry that has put itself on the side of the proletarians have called socialisation of the land, for a gradual but steady transition to joint tillage and large-scale socialist agriculture;

consolidation and further development of the Federative Republic of Soviets as an immeasurably higher and more progressive form of democracy than bourgeois parliamentarism, and as the sole type of state corresponding, on the basis of the experience of the Paris Commune of 1871 and equally of the experience of the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917-18, to the transitional period between capitalism and socialism, i.e., to the period of the dictatorship of the proletariat;

thorough utilisation in every way of the torch of world socialist revolution lit in Russia in order, by paralysing the attempts of the imperialist bourgeois states to intervene in the internal affairs of Russia or to unite for direct struggle and war against the socialist Soviet Republic, to carry the revolution into the most advanced countries and in general into all countries.

Ten Theses On Soviet Power

Consolidation and Development of Soviet Power

The consolidation and development of Soviet power as the form of the dictatorship of the proletariat and poor peasantry (semi-proletarians), a form already tested by experience and brought to the fore by the mass movement and the revolutionary struggle.

The consolidation and development must consist in the accomplishment (a broader, more general and planned accomplishment) of those tasks which historically devolve on this form of state power, on this new type of state, namely:

(1) union and organisation of the working and exploited masses oppressed by capitalism, and only them, i.e., only the workers and poor peasantry, semi-proletarians, with automatic exclusion of the exploiting classes and rich representatives of the petty bourgeoisie;

(2) union of the most vigorous, active, class-conscious part of the oppressed classes, their vanguard, which must educate every member of the working population for independent participation in the management of the state, not theoretically but practically;

(4) (3) abolition of parliamentarism (as the separation of legislative from executive activity); union of legislative and executive state activity. Fusion of administration with legislation;

(3) (4) closer connection of the whole apparatus of state power and state administration with the masses than under previous forms of democracy;

(5) creation of an armed force of workers and peasants, one least divorced from the people (Soviets = armed workers and peasants). Organised character of nation-wide arming of the people, as one of the first steps towards arming the whole people;

(6) more complete democracy, through less formality and making election and recall easier;

(7) close (and direct) connection with occupations and with productive-economic units (elections based on factories, and on local peasant and handicraft areas). This close connection makes it possible to carry out profound socialist changes;

(8) (partly, if not wholly, covered by the preceding)—the possibility of getting rid of bureaucracy, of doing without it, the beginning of the realisation of this possibility

(9) transfer of the focus of attention in questions of democracy from formal recognition of a formal equality of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, of poor and rich, to the prac- tical feasibility of the enjoyment of freedom (democracy) by the working and exploited mass of the population;

(10) the further development of the Soviet organisation of the state must consist in every member of a Soviet being obliged to carry out constant work in administering the state, alongside participation in meetings of the Soviet;—and furthermore in each and every member of the population being drawn gradually both into taking part in Soviet organisation (on the condition of subordination to organisations of the working people) and into serving in state administration.

The Fulfilment of These Tasks Requires:

a) in the political sphere: development of the Soviet Republic.

Advantages of Soviets (Prosveshcheniye, pp. 13-14); (six items);

extension of the Soviet Constitution in so far as the resistance of the exploiters ceases to the whole population;

federation of nations, as a transition to a conscious and closer unity of the working people, when they have learnt voluntarily to rise above national dissension;

necessarily ruthless suppression of the resistance of the exploiters; standards of “general” (i.e., bourgeois) democracy are subordinate to this aim, give way to it:

“Liberties” and democracy not for all, but for the working and exploited masses, to emancipate them from exploitation; ruthless suppression of exploiters;

NB: chief stress is shifted from formal recognition of liberties (such as existed under bourgeois parliamentarism) to actually ensuring the enjoyment of liberties by the working people who are overthrowing the exploiters, e.g., from recognition of freedom of assembly to the handing over of all the best halls and premises to the workers, from recognition of freedom of speech to the handing over of all the best printing presses to the workers, and so forth.

A brief enumeration of these “liberties” from the old minimum programme.

[Arming the workers and disarming the bourgeoisie.]

Transition through the Soviet state to the gradual abolition of the state by systematically drawing an ever greater number of citizens, and subsequently each and every citizen, into direct and daily performance of their share of the burdens of administering the state.

b) In the economic sphere:

Socialist organisation of production on the scale of the whole state: management by workers’ organisations (trade unions, factory committees, etc.) under the general leadership of Soviet power, which alone is sovereign.

The same for transport and distribution (at first state monopoly of “trade”, subsequently replacement, complete and final, of “trade” by planned, organised distribution through associations of trading and industrial office workers, under the leadership of Soviet power).

—Compulsory organisation of the whole population in consumer and producer communes.

While not (for the time being) abolishing money and not prohibiting individual purchase and sale transactions by individual families, we must, in the first place, make it obligatory by law to carry out all such transactions through the consumer and producer communes.

—An immediate start to be made on full realisation of universal compulsory labour service, with the most cautious and gradual extension of it to the small peasants who live by their own farming without wage labour;

the first measure, the first step towards universal compulsory labour service must be the introduction of consumers’ work (budget) books (compulsory introduction) for all well-to-do ( = persons with an income over 500 rubles per month, and then for owners of enterprises with wage-workers, for families with servants, etc.).

Buying and selling is also permissible not through one’s commune (during journeys, at markets, etc.), but with compulsory entry of the transaction (if above a definite sum) in the consumers’ work book.

—Complete concentration of banking in the hands of the state and of all financial operations of trade in the banks. Standardisation of banking current accounts; gradual transition to the compulsory keeping of current accounts in the bank, at first by the largest, and later by all the country’s enterprises. Compulsory deposit of money in the banks and transfer of money only through the banks.

—Standardisation of accounting and control over all production and distribution of output; this accounting and control must be carried out at first by workers’ organisations and subsequently by each and every member of the population.

—Organisation of competition between the various (all) consumer and producer communes of the country for steady improvement of organisation, discipline and labour productivity, for transition to superior techniques, for economising labour and materials, for gradually reducing the working day to six hours, and for gradually equalising all wages and salaries in all occupations and categories.

—Steady, systematic measures for (transition to Massenspeisung [A form of Public catering] replacement of the individual domestic economy of separate families by joint catering for large groups of families.

In the educational sphere

the old items, plus.

In the financial sphere

replacement of indirect taxes by a progressive income and property tax, and equally by deduction of a (definite) revenue from state monopolies. In this connection, remittance in kind of bread and other products to workers employed by the state in various forms of socially necessary labour.


Support of the revolutionary movement of the socialist proletariat in the advanced countries in the first instance.

Propaganda. Agitation. Fraternisation.

Ruthless struggle against opportunism and social-chauvinism.

Support of the democratic and revolutionary movement in all countries in general, and especially in the colonies and dependent countries.

Liberation of the colonies. Federation as a transition to voluntary fusion.

Kommunist No. 5, March 9, 1918; Published according to the manuscript;


The Congress voted in favour of Lenin’s resolution condemning the “Left Communists’” refusal to serve on the Central Committee. In the belief that they would submit to Party discipline, the Congress elected their representatives (N. I. Bukharin, A. Lomov and M. S. Uritsky) to the Central Committee. All three, however, demonstratively stated before the Congress that they refused to serve on the Central Committee. The refusal was not accepted and the Congress decided without a debate to postpone the question of providing deputies in place of the elected “Left Communists” until the Central Committee met.

After the Party Congress and the Extraordinary Fourth All-Russia Congress of Soviets, which ratified the peace treaty with Germany, the “Left Communists”, in spite of the Central Committee’s insistent demands, refused to begin work for several months. For Lenin’s appraisal of the disruptive activities of the “Left Communists” after the Seventh Party Congress see “ Comment on the Behaviour of the ‘Left Communists’.

[40] The name of the Party simply: “Communist Party” (without addition of “Russian"), but in brackets: (Party of Bolsheviks).

[41] See Materials Relating to the Revision of the Party Programme