J. V. Stalin

Resolutions Adopted by the
Baku Committee on
January 22, 1910

(For the Forthcoming General Party Conference)

Source : Works, Vol. 2, 1907 - 1913
Publisher : Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1954
Transcription/Markup : Salil Sen for MIA, 2008
Public Domain : Marxists Internet Archive (2008). 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.

Political Agitation and the Actual Consolidation of the party

The state of depression and torpor into which the driving forces of the Russian revolution had fallen at one time is beginning to pass off.

The failure of the tsarist government's policy in the Balkans, in Persia, and in the Far East, the ridiculous efforts of the government to pacify the peasants with the aid of the law of November 9, 1 by which the poor are being driven from the land and the rich are being made richer; the utterly unsatisfactory nature of the government's "labour policy," which is depriving the workers of elementary liberties and putting them at the mercy of the capitalist robbers; the growing indebtedness of the Treasury and the selling of Russia piecemeal to foreign capital; the utter collapse of the administrative departments expressed in thieving by quartermasters and railway magnates, in the blackmail practised by criminal investigation departments, in the swindles practised by the secret police, etc.—all this is revealing to the masses the incapacity of the counter-revolution to cope with the latent forces of the revolution and is thereby facilitating the revival observed among the workers during the past months, rousing among them an interest in the political life of the country, and giving rise to the questions: What is to be done? Where shall we go? And so on.

The Party is faced with the burning necessity of conducting extensive political Party agitation. The pseudo-liberal counter-revolutionaries, who enjoy freedom of the press, are attempting to tame the masses by means of legal "congresses" and "societies" and to undermine Social-Democratic influence among the masses; that makes the question of conducting Party political agitation a matter of life or death for the Party.

Meanwhile, the isolation of our organisations from one another and the absence of a (leading) practical centre regularly functioning in Russia and actually uniting the local organisations in a single Party, preclude the possibility of conducting genuinely Party (and not amateurish group) political agitation, make it impossible for the Party effectively to counteract the systematic campaign of slander conducted by the "liberals," and so discredit the Party in the eyes of the workers.

This is apart from the fact that, instead of leading to the utilisation of "legal possibilities," such a state of affairs can lead to the scattered and therefore weak illegal organisations being actually utilised by the "legal possibilities," to the detriment of the interests of Social-Democracy, of course.

In view of all this, the Baku Committee regards as an immediate and urgent task the drafting of measures for the actual consolidation of the Party and, consequently, for the conduct of Party political agitation.

The Baku Committee is of the opinion that among the necessary measures, the following should occupy the principal place :

1) the transference of the (leading) practical centre to Russia;

2) the establishment of an all-Russian leading newspaper connected with the local organisations, to be published in Russia and edited by the above-mentioned practical centre;

3) the establishment of local organs of the press in the most important centres of the labour movement (the Urals, Donets Basin, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Baku, etc.).

The Baku Committee is firmly convinced that the adoption of these measures can unite in the Social-Democratic Party all the genuine Party elements, irrespective of group, can create the possibility of conducting extensive political agitation, and greatly facilitate the extensive utilisation of "legal possibilities" for the purpose of enlarging and consolidating our Party.

The Baku Committee therefore proposes that the Central Committee of the Party should immediately convene a general Party conference, at which the Baku Committee will submit the above-mentioned questions for discussion.

Representation at the Forthcomimg General Party Conference

The Baku Committee, having examined the organisational plan ("The Immediate Task," Proletary, No. 50) for the convocation of a general Party conference, is of the opinion that to it should be invited (in addition to the regular representation) representatives of the actually existing and functioning illegal Party organisations, and that attention should be paid mainly to the big centres where large masses of the proletariat are concentrated.

The necessity of such a kind of representation requires no proof (see special resolution concerning the conference agenda).

While recognising the necessity of enlarged representation at the conference, the Baku Committee, nevertheless, expresses its emphatic opposition to giving special representation to groups functioning in legal "organisations."

The Baku Committee is of the opinion that special representation for such groups will contribute nothing material to the conference proceedings, either in those cases where such groups belong to local Party organisations and submit to their guidance, or in those cases where such groups only regard themselves as Social-Democratic, but do not recognise the leadership of the respective local organisations. In the first case, the representation of the Party organisations renders superfluous every kind of special representation. In the second case, special representation would contradict the very character of the conference, which must be strictly Party.


1. This refers to the agrarian law (ukase) issued by the tsarist Minister Stolypin on November 9, 1906, granting the peasants the right to leave the village communities and to set up individual homesteads.