V. I. Lenin

Eighth Congress of the R.C.P.(B.)[1]

March 18-23, 1919

First Published: Published in Pravda, March-April 1919: Published according to the book Eighth Congress of the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks), Verbatim Report, Kommunist Publishers, Moscow, 1919; Verified with the shorthand notes and the Pravda text
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972 Volume 29, pages 141-225
Translated: George Hanna
Transcription/HTML Markup: David Walters & Robert Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marx.org) 2002; Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

Table of Contents

1. Political Report of the Central Committee, March 7

1. Speech Opening The Congress. March 18

2. Report of the Central Committee. March 18

3. Report on the Party Programme. March 19

4. Speech Closing the Debate on the Party Programme. March 19

5. Wireless Message of Greeting on Behalf of the Congress to the Government of the Hungarian Soviet Republic. March 22

6. Report on Work In the Countryside. March 23

7. In Opposition to A Motion to Close the Debate on the Report on Work In the Countryside. March 23

8. Resolution on the Attitude to the Middle Peasants

9. Speech Closing the Congress. March 23


[1] This Congress of the R.C.P.(B.), held in Moscow, was attended by 301 delegates with the right to vote who represented 313,766 Party members and 102 delegates with voice but no vote. Lenin opened the Congress with a short speech. The Congress agenda was: report of the Central Committee, the Programme of the R.C.P.(B.), the foundation of the Communist International, the war situation and war policy, work in the countryside, organisational problems, and other business.

Lenin delivered the report of the Central Committee and also reported on the Party Programme and work in the countryside.

In a resolution on the report of the Central Committee the Congress expressed its full “approval of the political activities of the Central Committee”.

In the sphere of military affairs the Congress adopted a decision to strengthen the regular Red Army, lead by Trotsky, and inculcate iron discipline, stressing especially the role of the proletarian hard core of the army and the role of the commissars and Party cells in the political and military training of the Red Army. The Congress pointed to the need, developed by Trotsky with Lenin’s support, to employ old army specialists and to make use of the highest achievements of the bourgeois art of war. The Congress vehemently rejected the proposal from the group known as the “army opposition” that was against the formation of a regular Red Army and defended the survivals of the guerrilla spirit in the army.

The Congress adopted a decision on Party and Soviet organisation and defeated the opportunist group headed by Sapronov and Osinsky who denied the leading role of the Party in the Soviets.

Owing to the large influx of new members into the Party the Congress decided to carry out the re-registration of the entire membership and to improve the Party’s social composition.

Among the members of the Central Committee elected by the Congress were Lenin, Dzerzhinsky, Kalinin and Stasova; among the alternative members were Artyom (Sergeyev), Vladimirsky and Yaroslavsky.