October 6, 2016

Lenin’s "The Two Tactics of Social-Democracy"

REVISIONISM IN RUSSIA TROTSKY AGAINST THE BOLSHEVIKS

Compass

TROTSKY AGAINST THE BOLSHEVIKS

In July 1905 Lenin published a long work, "The Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution" in which he analysed the resolution of the Third Party Congress on the question of the capitalist revolution alongside that adopted at the Menshevik conference.

Lenin’s conception of the capitalist revolution was as follows:

1. The capitalist revolution is advantageous to the working class:

"The bourgeois revolution is in the highest degree advantageous to the proletariat. The bourgeois revolution is absolutely necessary in the interests of the proletariat. The more complete, determined and consistent the bourgeois revolution, the more secure will the proletarian struggle against the bourgeoisie and for socialism become".
(V. I. Lenin: "The Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution", in: "Selected Works " Volume 3; London; l946; p.75).

2. The working class is in fact,- objectively more interested in a full capitalist revolution than is the capitalist class:

"In a certain sense the bourgeois revolution is more advantageous to the proletariat than it is to the bourgeoisie. This postulate is undoubtedly correct in the following sense: it is to the advantage of the bourgeoisie to rely on certain remnants of the past as against the proletariat, for instance, on a monarchy, a standing army, etc. It is to the advantage of the bourgeoisie if the bourgeois revolution does not too resolutely sweep away the remnants of the past, but leaves some. . . It is to the advantage of the bourgeoisie if the necessary bourgeois-democratic changes take place more slowly, more gradually, more cautiously, with less determination, by means of reforms and not by means of revolution; if these changes spare the ‘venerable’ institutions of feudalism (such as the monarchy); if these reforms develop as little as possible the revolutionary initiative of the common people, i.e., the peasantry, and especially the workers, for otherwise it will be easier for the workers, as the French say, ‘to pass the rifle from one shoulder to the other’, i.e., to turn the guns which the bourgeois revolution will place in their hands; the democratic institutions which will spring up on the ground that will be cleared of feudalism, against the bourgeoisie.

On the other hand, it is more advantageous for the working class if the necessary bourgeois democratic changes take place in the form of revolution and not reform.

The very position the proletariat as a class occupies, compels it to be consistently democratic.

The bourgeoisie looks behind, is afraid of democratic progress which threatens to strengthen the proletariat. The proletariat has nothing to lose but its chains, but by means of democracy it has the whole world to win".
(V.1. Lenin: ibid.; p. 75-77).

3. Therefore, ‘the working class must strive to make itself the leading force in the capitalist revolution, with the peasantry as its allies:
"Only the proletariat can be a consistent fighter for democracy. It may become a victorious fighter for democracy only if the peasant masses join it in its revolutionary struggle. If the proletariat is not strong enough for this, the bourgeoisie will put itself at the head of the democratic revolution and will impart to it the character of inconsistency and selfishness. The proletariat must carry out to the end the democratic revolution, and in this unite to itself the mass of the peasantry in order to crush by force resistance of the autocracy and to paralyse the instability of the bourgeoisie. At the head of the whole of the people, and particularly of the peasantry -- for complete freedom for a consistent democratic revolution, for a republic!" (V.I. Lenin: ibid; p. 86, 110-11, 14).

4. The provisional government which will be set up as a result of a democratic revolution carried out under the leadership of the working class will be the "democratic dictatorship_of the proletariat and peasantry":

"’A decisive victory of the revolution over tsarism’ is the revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry…. It will be a democratic, not a socialist dictatorship".
(V. I. Lenin: ibid.; p,. 82).,

5. The working class must endeavour to continue the capitalist revolution so as to transform it uninterruptedly into a working class revolution, a socialist revolution, which wi11 make the working class the ruling class:

"From the democratic revolution we shall at once, according to the degree of our strength, the strength of the class conscious and organised proletariat, begin to pass over to the socialist revolution. We stand for continuous revolution. We shall not stop half way."
(V. I. Lenin; "The Attitude of Social-Democracy toward the Peasant Movement", in: ibid; p145) .

6. The working class will be the leading force in the socialist revolution, with the poorer strata of the peasantry and urban petty-bourgeoisie as its allies:
"The proletariat must accomplish the socialist revolution and in this unite to itself the mass of the semi-proletarian elements of the population in order to crush by force the resistance of the bourgeoisie and to paralyse the instability of the peasantry and petty bourgeoisie. . At the head of all the toilers and the exploited – for socialism!"
(V. I. Lenin: "The Two Tactics Of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution", in: ibid.; p. 111, l24).
The Menshevik conception Of the capitalist revolution,
on the other hand, was, on the other hand as follows:
1. As in previous capitalist revolutions in history, the capitalist revolution in Russia will make the capitalists the ruling class:

"It is evident that the forthcoming revolution cannot assume any political forms against the will of the whole -of the bourgeoisie, for the latter will be the master of tomorrow". (M..Martynov: "Two Dictatorships", Cited by: V. I. Lenin: "Social-Democracy, and the Provisional Revolutionary Government", in: ibid.; p. 26).
2. Therefore the role of the working class in the capitalist revolution must be to exert pressure upon the capitalist class to bring the revolution to a successful conclusion:
"The hegemony of the proletariat is a harmful utopia. The proletariat must follow the extreme bourgeois opposition".
(M. Martynov: "Two Dictatorships", cited in: J. V. Stalin: Preface to The Georgian Edition of K. Kautsky: "The Driving Forces and Prospects, of the Russian Revolution", in: "Works", Volume 2; Moscow; 1953; p. 2-3).
"The struggle to influence the course and outcome of the bourgeois revolution can express itself only in the fact that the proletariat will exert revolutionary pressure on the will of the liberal and radical bourgeoisie, and that the more democratic ‘lower stratum’ of society will force its’ ‘upper stratum' to agree to lead the bourgeois revolution to its logical conclusion". (M. Martynov: ibid., cited in: V. I. Lenin: ibid.; p. 28).

3. There will be a relatively long interval of time between the capitalist revolution and the subsequent socialist revolution:
"The triumph of socialism cannot coincide with the fall of absolutism. These two movements necessarily will be separated from one another by a significant interval of time".
(G. Plekhanov: "Chto zhe dal "she?"in: "Zarya"; No. 2-3; December 1901).
4. The capitalist revolution may be decisively victorious over the tsarist autocracy without the revolutionary overthrow of this autocracy:
"A decisive victory of the revolution over tsarism may be marked either by the setting up of a provisional government, which emerges from a victorious people’s uprising, ‘or by the revolutionary initiative of this or that representative institution’ which, under the immediate pressure of the revolutionary people, decides to set up a "national constituent assembly". (Resolution of 1905 Menshevik Conference, cited by: V. I. Lenin: "The Two Tactics of social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution", in: ibid.; p. 57).
5. Social-Democrats must not participate in the provisional government, if one is set up in place of the autocracy since:
a) this will be a capitalist government, and participation by Social-Democrats in a capitalist government is contrary to socialist principles;

b) an attempt to do so would frighten the capitalist class and lead to the restoration of autocracy:

"Social-Democrats must, during the whole course of the revolution, strive to maintain a position which would best of all …preserve it from being merged with bourgeois democracy…. Therefore, Social-Democracy must not strive to seize or share power in the provisional government, but must remain the party of the extreme revolutionary opposition."
(Ibid., p. 69).
"The Conference believes that the formation of a Social Democratic provisional government, or entry into the government would lead, on the one hand, to the masses of the proletariat becoming disappointed in the Social-Democratic Party and abandoning it …. because the Social-Democrats, in spite of the fact that they had seized power, would not-be able to satisfy the pressing needs of the working class, including the establishment of socialism, and, on the other hand, would induce the bourgeois classes to desert the cause of the revolution and in that way diminish its sweep".
(Ibid.; p. l04).

"By simply frightening the majority of the bourgeois elements, the revolutionary struggle of the proletariat can lead to but one result -- the restoration of absolutism in its original form".
(M. Martynov: "Two Dictatorships", cited in: V. I. Lenin: "Social-Democracy and the Provisional Revolutionary Government'"; in: ibid.; p. 27).

6. Only in the event of working class revolution in Western Europe should the Social-Democratic Party depart from this principle and participate in the provisional government, for only then would it be possible to go forward in Russia to the working class, socialist revolution:
"Only in one event should social-Democracy, on its own initiative, direct its efforts towards seizing power and retaining it as long as possible, namely, in the event of the revolution spreading to the advanced countries of Western Europe where conditions for the achievement of socialism have already reached a certain state of maturity. In that event, the restricted historical scope of the Russian revolution can be considerably extended and the possibility of striking the path of socialist reforms will arise".
(Resolution of 1905 Menshevik Conference, cited in: -V.I. Lenin:"The Two Tactics of Social-Democracy in the Democratic Revolution, in: ibid.; p. 96).
The St. Petersburg Soviet in the 1905 Revolution
In May 1905 Trotsky went to Finland. When he returned to St. Petersburg in October, a general strike had broken out in the city.
The striking workers elected delegates to a strike committee3 which quickly developed into the first important "Soviet of Workers’ Deputies" and began to publish its own organ: "Izvestia" (News). The Mensheviks supported the Soviet from its inception, regarding it as an organ of democratic local government-. The St. Petersburg Bolsheviks, led by Bogdan Knunyantz, were, however, at first hesitant in their approach to it, regarding it as a rival to the Party and demanding that it affiliate to the Party before they could support it.

Meanwhile Lenin, after making arrangements for the publication in St. Petersburg of a legal Bolshevik newspaper "Novaya Zizn" (New Life), had left-Geneva in October for Russia. Held up in Stockholm, he wrote from there:

"Comrade Radin (i.e., Knunyantz -- -Ed.) is wrong in raising the question in No. 5 of the ‘Novaya Zhizn', …the Soviet of Workers? Deputies or the Party? I think that it is wrong to put the question in this way, and that the decision must certainly be: both the Soviet of Deputies and the Party . . .
The Soviet of Deputies, as an organ representing all occupations, should strive to include deputies from all industrial, professional and office workers, domestic servants, farm labourers, etc., from all who want and are able to fight in common for a better life for the whole working people.
I think it inadvisable to demand that the Soviet of Workers’ Deputies should accept the Social-Democratic Programme and join the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party….
I believe (On the strength of the incomplete and only ‘paper’ information at my disposal) that politically the Soviet of Workers’ Deputies should be regarded as the embryo of a provisional revolutionary Government".
(V.I. Lenin "Our Tasks and the Soviet of Workers’ Deputies"; in "Collected Works"; Volume 10; Moscow; 1962; p. 19, 20, 21).
Later, after his arrival in St. Petersburg, Lenin made a clear analysis of the Soviet. It could not be an organ of government until the power of the central tsarist state had been smashed, at least locally; in the existing circumstances its role must be to conduct this revolutionary struggle to smash the central state machine .
"The Soviet of Workers’ Deputies is not a parliament of labour and not an organ of proletarian self-government. It is not an organ of government at all, but a fighting organisation for the achievement of definite aims. . .
The Soviet of Workers Deputies represents an undefined, broad fighting alliance of socialists and revolutionary democrats".
(V. I.Lenin: "Socialism and Anarchism", in: "Selected Works", Volume 3; London; l943; p. 343) .
"The Soviets of Workers' Deputies, etc., were in fact the embryo of a provisional government; power would inevitably have passed to them had the uprising been victorious". (V. I.Lenin; "The Dissolution of the Duma and the Tasks of the Proletariat", in: Ibid.; p. 383).

Although the St. Petersburg Bolsheviks corrected their attitude to the Soviet within a few days, their hesitancy in supporting it contributed in considerable measure to the fact that the majority of the deputies were from the outset Mensheviks or supporters of the Mensheviks. On October 30th, the Soviet elected its Executive; this consisted of three Mensheviks, three Bolsheviks, and three Socialist-Revolutionaries.
After a few days under the chairmanship of the Menshevik S. Zborovski, the Soviet elected as its chairman the lawyer Georgi Nosar (better known under his pseudonym "Khrustalev"); who was then independent of any party but later joined the Mensheviks.

Trotsky, who had allied himself with the St. Petersburg Mensheviks on his arrival in the city, was elected to the Soviet and soon came to play a leading role in its activities - which following the Menshevik political line of damping down the revolutionary enthusiasm and activity of the workers.
On November 2nd.

"Trotsky urged the Soviet to call off the general strike".
(I. Deutscher: "The Prophet Armed: Trotsky: 1879-1921"; London; 1970; p. 132).
and it duly came to an end on November 3rd.
On November 13th. The workers themselves began to introduce an eight-hour working day in the factories, and on the l5th, widespread public indignation at the state of siege which the tsarist government had just imposed on Poland, forced the Soviet to call a second general strike in St. Petersburg.
On November l8th, three days later,
"Trotsky.. . proposed to call an end to the second general strike".
(I. Deutscher; ibid ; p. 134),
on the pretext that :
"The government had just announced that the sailors of Kronstadt (who had participated in the first general strike -- Ed.) would be tried by ordinary military courts, not courts martial. The Soviet could withdraw not with victory indeed, but with honour".
(I. Deutscher; Ibid.; p. 134).
In his speech to the Soviet urging the calling-off of the second general strike, Trotsky’s biographer declares that:
"While he tried to dam up the raging element of revolt, he stood before the Soviet like defiance itself, passionate and sombre".
(I. Deutscher: ibid; p. 134),
and:
"Events work for us and we have no need to force the pace. We must drag out the period of preparation for decisive action as much as we can, perhaps for a month or two, until we can come out as an army as cohesive and organised as possible. . .
When the liberal bourgeoisie, as if boasting of its treachery, tells us: ‘You are alone. Do you think you can go on fighting without us? Have you signed a pact with victory?’, we throw our answer in their face: ‘No, we have signed a pact with death’".
(L.Trotsky; Speech to St. Petersburg Soviet, November 16th., l905, in: No. 7, November 20th., l905).
Having succeeded in inducing the Soviet to call off the second general strike,
"A few days later he had again to impress upon the Soviet its own weakness and urge it to stop enforcing the eight-hour day. . . The Soviet was divided, a minority demanding a general strike; but Trotsky prevailed".
(I. Deutscher: ibid; p. 135).
Saying:
"We have not won the eight-hour day for the working class, but we have succeeded in winning the working class for the eight-hour day".
(L.Trotsky: Speech to St. Petersburg Soviet, cited in: I. Deutscher: ibid.; p. 140).

In addition to his activities in the Soviet, Trotsky had contrived to gain control, jointly with Parvus (who had followed him to St. Pctersburg and had become a deputy in the Soviet) of a daily newspaper, "Russkaya Gazeta" (The Russian Newspaper), and later in the year, alongside it, he founded with Parvus and Yuli Martov a second daily "Nachalo" (The Beginning),which became the organ of Menshevisim from October to December 1905.
By the beginning of December, the government felt strong enough to take the offensive again. Press censorship was reimposed, and on December 5th. Khrustalev, the Chairman of the Soviet, was arrested together with a few other leading members. Trotsky replied to this by proposing that:

"The Soviet of Workers’ Deputies temporarily elect a new chairman and continue to prepare for an armed uprising."
(L. Trotsky: Resolution to St. Petersburg Soviet, cited in: I. Deutscher:Ibid.; p. 140)
The Soviet accepted the proposal and elected a three-man Presidium, headed by Trotsky.
But the preparations for the "armed uprising" of Trotsky’s were virtually non-existent.

"The preparations for the rising which Trotsky had mentioned had so far been less than rudimentary: two delegates had been sent to establish contact with the provincial Soviets. The sinews of insurrection were lacking".
(I. Deutscher: ibid.; p. 140).
Trotsky’s last gesture in the 1905 Revolution was then to put forward a "Financial Manifesto" written by Parvus. This called upon the people to withhold payment of taxes, declaring:
"There is only one way to overthrow the government --to deny it . . its revenue".
(Financial Manifesto of St. Petersburg Soviet, cited in: I.Deutscher: ibid.; p.141).
On December 16th., Trotsky presided over a meeting of the Executive of the St. Petersburg Soviet, when a detachment of soldiers and police burst in to the meeting room and the members of the executive were arrested. A number of charge were brought against them, the principle charge being that of plotting insurrection:
The role of the Mensheviks in the St. Petersburg Soviet was summed up later by J.V. Stalin:
"The St. Petersburg Soviet of Workers’ Deputies, being the Soviet of the most important industrial and revolutionary centre of Russia, the capital of the tsarist empire, ought to have played a decisive role in the Revolution of 1905. However, it did not perform this task, owing to its bad, Menshevik leadership. As we know Lenin had not yet arrived in St. Petersburg; he was still abroad. The Mensheviks took advantage of Lenin’s absence to make their way into the St.Petersburg Soviet and to seize hold of its leadership. It was not surprising under such circumstances that the Mensheviks Khrustalev, Trotsky, Parvus and others managed to turn the St. Petersburg Soviet against the policy of an uprising. Instead of bringing the soldiers into close contact with the Soviet and linking them up with the common struggle, they demanded that the soldiers be withdrawn from St. Petersburg. The Soviet, instead of arming the workers and preparing them for an uprising, just marked time and was against preparations for an uprising".
(J.V. Stalin: "History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union"(Bolsheviks; Moscow; 1941; p.79-80).
The Moscow Uprising
On December 19th., 1905 the Moscow Soviet of Workers’ Deputies, which was led by the Bolsheviks, resolved to:

"Strive to transform the strike into an armed uprising."
(V.I.Lenin: "The Lessons of the Moscow Uprising; in: "Selected Works, Volume 3; London; l946; p. 346)
and by December 22nd. the first barricades were being set up in the streets.
"The 23rd: artillery fire is opened on the barricades and on the crowds in the streets. Barricades are set up more deliberately, and no longer singly but on a really mass scale. The whole population is in the streets; all the principal centres of the city are covered by a network of. barricades. For several days stubborn guerilla fighting proceeds between the insurgent detachments and the troops. The troops become exhausted and Dubasov is obliged to beg for reinforcements. Only on December 28 did the government forces acquire complete superiority and on December 30 the Semenov regiment stormed the Prosnya distrect, the last stronghold of the uprising".
(V. I. Lenin: "The Lessons of the Moscow Uprising", in: ibid; p. 347).
In fact, the attitude of the Menshevik leadership of the St. Petersburg Soviet, led by Trotsky enabled the tsar to transfer troops from the capital to Moscow and this was a significant factor in the crushing of the uprising in the latter city.
"The climax of the Revolution of 1905 was reached in the December uprising in Moscow. A small crowd of rebels, namely, of organised and armed workers -- they numbered not more than eight thousand --resisted the tsar’s government for nine days. The government dared not trust the Moscow garrison; on the contrary, it had to keep it behind locked doors, and only on the arrival of the Semenovsky Regiment from St. Petersburg was it able to quell the rebellion".
(V.1. Lenin: Lecture on the 1905 Revolution, in: ibid.; p. 16).
Soviets of Workers’ Deputies were organised in other towns as well as in St. Petersburg and Moscow. In addition, Soviets of Workers’ and Peasants’ Deputies and Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies were established in some places.
Isolated strikes, riots and mutinies continued 4nto 1906, leading to a lack of clarity for some months as to whether the revolutionary tide was ebbing or merely temporarily at rest before a subsequent rise. In fact December 1905 proved to be the peak of the revolutionary tide.

1906 -1907: The Trial of the Leaders of the-St. Petersburg Soviet

The trial of the leaders of the St. Petersburg Soviet, the main charge against whom was that of plotting insurrection, began almost a year after the Revolution had been crushed, on October 2nd., 1906.

The defendants denied having engaged in technical preperation for a rising. On October 4th, Trotsky told the court:

"A rising of the masses is not made, gentlemen the judges. It makes itself of its own accord. It is the result of social relations and conditions, and not of a schema drawn up on paper. A popular insurrection cannot be staged. It can only be foreseen. For reasons that were as little dependent on us as on Tsardom, an open conflict had become inevitable. It came nearer with every day. To prepare for it meant for us to do everything possible to reduce to a minimum the number of victims of this unavoidable conflict".
(L. Trotsky: Speech at Trial of Leaders of St. Petersburg Soviet, cited in: I. Deutscher: "The Prophet Armed- Trotsky: 1879-1921"-; London; 1970; p. 166).
On November 15th, the verdict was delivered. The defendants were found guilty on the main charge of plotting insurrection, but Trotsky and fourteen others were found guilty on minor charges and sentenced to deportation to Siberia for life and loss of all civil rights.
In February 1907 Trotsky escaped into Finland.

Trotsky’s "Results and Prospects": The Theory of "Permanent Revolution"

While in prison, Trotsky wrote "Results and Prospects", which was published in St. Petersburg in 1906 as the final chapter of his book "Our Revolution", a collection of essays on the Russian Revolution of December l905.

In this essay Trotsky gave a fundamental statement of his views on capitalist revolution, the "theory of permanent revolution"

The term "permanent revolution" was derived from an address by Marx and Engels written in l850:

"While the democratic petty bourgeois wish to bring the revolution to a conclusion as quickly as possible and with the achievement at most of the above demand, it is our interest and our task to make the revolution permanent, until all more or less possessing c1asses have been displaced from domination, until the proletariat has conquered state power…
Their (i.e. the German workers’ --Ed.) battle-cry must be: the permanent revolution".
(K. Marx and F. Engels: Address of the "Central Council to the Communist League", in: K. Marx: ‘Selected Works’, Volume 2; London 1943; p. 161, 168)
Lenin accepted this conception of the permanent revolution, although after the publication of Trotsky’s work Marxists preferred to use the term "uninterrupted revolution" or "continuous revolution" in order to avoid confusion with Trotsky’s perversion of the term in connection with his anti-Leninist theory of the capitalist revolution. In September l905, Lenin wrote:
"From the democratic revolution we shall at once, according to the degree of our strength, the strength of the class conscious and organised proletariat, begin to pass over to the socialist revolution. We stand for continuous revolution".
(V.I. Lenin: "The Attitude of Social-Democracy towards the Peasant Movement", in: "Selected Works", Volume 3; London; 1946; p. 145).
Trotsky’s theory of the capitalist revolution, as put forward in "Results and Prospects" was as follows:
1. The working class will be the active force in the capitalist revolution, with the peasantry as supporters:

"The struggle for the emancipation of Russia from the incubus of absolutism which is stifling it has become converted into a single combat between absolutism and the industrial proletariat, a single combat in which the peasants may render considerable support but cannot play a leading role.
Many sections of the working masses, particularly in the countryside, will be drawn into the revolution and become politically organised only after the advance guard of the revolution, the urban proletariat, stands at the helm of the state.
The proletariat in power will stand before the peasants as the class which has emancipated it.
The Russian peasantry in the first and most difficult period of the revolution will be interested in the maintenance of a proletarian regime (workers’ democracy)".
(L. Trotsky: "Results and Prospects", in: "The Permanent Revolution"; New York; 1970; p. 66, 70, 71-72).
2. Because the peasantry in the capitalist revolution is destined to play only an auxiliary role of supporters rather than allies of the working class, the democratic-revolution will place in power -- not- an alliance of the working class and peasantry, democratic dictatorship of the working class and peasantry" -- but the working class, establishing the dictatorship of the working class, a revolutionary workers’ government:
"The idea of a ‘proletarian and peasant dictatorship’ is unrealisable . . There can be no talk of any special form of proletarian dictatorship in the bourgeois revolution, of democratic proletarian dictatorship (or dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry). Victory in this struggle must transfer power to the class that has led the strife, i.e., the Social-democratic proletariat. The question, therefore, is not one of a "revolutionary provisional government" -- an empty phrase . . . but of a revolutionary worker government, the conquest of power by the Russian proletariat."
(Trotsky: ibid.; p. 73, 80, 121-22).
3. 0nce in power the working class will be compelled to proceed with the construction of a socialist society:
"The proletariat, once having taken power, will fight for it to the very end. . . Collectivism will become not only the inevitable way forward from the position in which the party in power will find itself, but will also be a means of preserving this position with the support of the proletariat. . . The political domination of the proletariat is incompatible with its economic enslavement. No matter under what political flag the proletariat has come to power, it. is obliged to take the path of socialist policy."
(L. Trotsky: ibid.; p. 80, 101).
4. But the construction of socialism will inevitably bring the working class into hostile collision with the peasantry and urban petit bourgeoisie:
"Every passing day will deepen the policy of the proletariat in power, and more and more define its class character. Side by side with that, the revolutionary ties between the proletariat and the nation will be broken. . .
The primitiveness of the peasantry turns its hostile face towards the proletariat.
The cooling-off of the peasantry, its political passivity, and all the more the active opposition of its upper sections, cannot but have an influence on a section of the intellectual and the petty-bourgeoisie of the towns.
Thus, the more definite and determined the policy the proletariat in power becomes, the narrower and more shaky does the ground beneath its feet become.
The two main features of proletarian policy which will meet opposition from the allies of the proletariat are collectivism and internationalism".
(L. Trotsky: ibid.; p.76-77).
5. Thus the working class in power -- now isolated from and opposed by the masses of the peasantry and urban petty bourgeoisie – will inevitably be overthrown by the forces of reaction -- unless the working classes in Western Europe establish proletarian dictatorships which render direct state aid to the working class of Russia:
"Left to it’s own resources, the working class of Russia will inevitably be crushed by the counterrevolution the moment the peasantry turns its back on it. It will have no alternative but to link the fate of its political rule and, hence, the fate of the whole Russian revolution, with the fate of the socialist revolution in Europe".
(L. Trotsky: ibid.; p. ll5).
"Without the direct State support of the European proletariat the working class of Russia cannot remain in power and convert its temporary domination into a lasting socialistic dictatorship. Of this there cannot for one moment be any doubt."
(L. Trotsky: ibid.; p. l05.

6. The Russian working class government will, therefore, be forced to use its state power to actively to initiate socialist revolutions in Western Europe and beyond :
"This immediately gives the events now unfolding an international character. . . The political emancipation of Russia led by the working class. .will transfer to it colossal power and resources, and will make it the initiator of the liquidation of world capitalism. . .
If the Russian proletariat, having temporarily obtained power, does not on its own initiative carry the revolution on to European soil, it will be compelled to do so by the forces of European feudal-bourgeois reaction.
The colossal state-political power given it by a temporary conjuncture of circumstances in the Russian bourgeois revolution it will cast into the scales of the class struggles of the entire capitalist world".
(L. Trotsky; ibid.; p. 108, 115).
Trotsky continued to put forward his theory of "permanent revolution" throughout his life.
In his book "The Permanent Revolution", published in Berlin in Russian in l930. he says:

"I came out against the formula ‘democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry’…. The theory of the permanent revolution, which originated in l905. . . .pointed out that the democratic tasks of the backward bourgeois nations lead directly, in our epoch, to the dictatorship of the proletariat. . . The socialist revolution begins on national foundations – but it cannot be completed within these foundations. . . . The difference between the permanent and the Leninist standpoint expressed itself politically in the counterposing of the slogan of the dictatorship of the proletariat relying on the peasantry to the slogan of the democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry. . . . The world division of labour, the dependence of Soviet industry upon foreign technology, the dependence of the productive forces of the advanced countries of Europe upon Asiatic raw materials, etc... make the construction of an independent socialist society in any single country impossible".
(L. Trotsky: "The Permanant Revolution"; New York; 1970; p. 128,132, 133, l89, 280).
As we have seen, Lenin analysed the revolutionary process in tsarist Russia as essentially one of two successive stages -- firstly, the stage of democratic revolution, secondly, the stage of socialist revolution, but with the possibility of uninterrupted transition from the first stage to the second if the working class were able to win the leading role in the first stage.
The Trotskyite theory of "permanent revolution" rejected Lenin's concept of two stages in the revolutionary process in tsarist Russia, and postulated a single stage, that of the proletarian-socialist revolution leading directly to the dictatorship of the proletariat.

Lenin saw the revo1utionary process in co1onial-type countries also as essentially one of two successive stages--firstly, the stage of national-democratic revolution, secondly, the stage of socialist revolution, but with the possibility of uninterrupted transition from the first stage to the second if the working class were able to win the leading role in the first stage.

Trotsky logically extended his theory of "permanent revolution" to colonial-type countries, here also postulating a single stage in the revolutionary process, that of proletarian-socialist revolution leading directly to the dictatorship of the proletariat.

"In order that the proletariat of the Eastern countries may open the road to victory, the pedantic reactionary theory of Stalin . . on ‘'stages’' and ‘steps’' must be eliminated at the very outset, must be cast aside, broken up and swept away with a broom. . . . With regard to . . . the colonial and semi-colonial countries, the theory of the permanent revolution signifies that the complete and genuine solution of their tasks of achieving democracy and national emancipation is conceivable only through the dictatorship of the proletariat. The Comintern’s endeavour to foist upon the Eastern countries the slogan of the democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and peasantry, finally and long ago exhausted by history, can have only a reactionary effect."
(L. Trotsky: ibid.; p. 48, 276, 278).
Lenin was, of course, strongly opposed to what he called Trotsky’s:
"absurdly ‘Left’ theory of ‘permanent revolution’".
(V. I. Lenin: "Violation of Unity under Cover of Cries for Unity", in: "Selected Works", Volume 4; London; l943; p. 207).
Analysing Trotsky’s "Results and Prospects" in 1907, Lenin pointed out:
"Trotsky’s major mistake is that he ignores the bourgeois character of the revolution and has no clear conception of the transition from this revolution to the socialist revolution".
(V. I. Lenin: "The Aim of the Proletarian Struggle in Our Revolution", in: "Collected Works", Volume 15; Moscow; 1962; p. 371).
At the end of 1910, we find Lenin saying:
"Trotsky distorts Bolshevim, because he has never been able to form any definite views on the role of the proletariat in the Russian bourgeois revolution".
(V.1. Lenin: "The Historical Meaning of the Internal Party Struggle in Russia"; in: ‘Selected Works", Volume 3; London; l946; p. 505).
And in November 1915:
"Trotsky . . repeats his ‘original’ theory of 1905 and refuses to stop and think why, for ten whole years, life passed by this beautiful theory.
Trotsky’s original theory takes from the Bolsheviks their call for a decisive revolutionary struggle and for the conquest of political power by the proletariat, and from the Mensheviks it takes the ‘repudiation’ of the role of the peasantry. . . .
Trotsky is in fact helping the liberal labour politicians in Russia who by the ‘repudiation’ of the role of the peasantry mean refusal to arouse the peasants to revolution."
(V. I. Lenin: "Two Lines of the Revolution", in: "Selected Works", Volume 5; London; 1935; p. l62, 163).
In November and December l924 Stalin made a more comprehensive theoretical analysis of Trotsky’s theory of "permanent revolution":
"Trotskyism is the theory of ‘permanent’ (uninterrupted) revolution. But what is permanent revolution in its Trotskyist interpretation? It is revolution that fails to take the poor peasantry into account as a revolutionary force. Trotsky’s ‘permanent’ revolution is, as Lenin said, ‘skipping’ the peasant movement, playing at the seizure of power;. Why is it dangerous? Because such a revolution, if an attempt had been made to bring it about, would inevitably have ended in failure, for it would have divorced from the Russian proletariat its ally, the poor peasantry. This explains the struggle that Leninism has been waging against Trotskyism ever since –1905".
(J. V. Stalin: "Trotskyism or Leninism?", in: "Works", Volume 6; Moscow; 1953; p. 364-65).
"What is the dictatorship of the proletariat according to Trotsky? The dictatorship of the proletariat is a power, which comes ‘into hostile collision’ with ‘the broad masses of the peasantry’ and seeks ‘the solution of its ‘contradictions’ only ‘'in the arena of the world proletarian revolution’.
What difference is there between this ‘theory of permanent revolution’ and the well-known theory of Menshevism which repudiates the concept of dictatorship of the proletariat?
Essentially, there is no difference.
‘Permanent revolution’ is not a mere underestimation of the revolutionary potentialities of the peasant movement. ‘Permanent revolution’ is an underestimation of the peasant movement, which leads to the repudiation of Lenin’s theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Trotsky’s ‘permanent revolution’ is a variety of Menshevism. . . .
Trotsky’s ‘permanent revolution’ means that the victory of socialism in one country, in this case Russia, is impossible without direct state support from the European proletariat’, i.e., before the European proletariat has conquered power.
What is there in common between this ‘theory’ and Lenin’s thesis on the possibility of the victory of socialism ‘in one capitalist-country taken separately’?
Clearly, there is nothing in common.
What does Trotsky’s assertion that a revolutionary Russia could not hold out in the face of a conservative Europe signify?
It can signify only this:
firstly, that Trotsky does not appreciate the inherent strength of our revolution;
secondly, that Trotsky does not understand the inestimable importance of the moral support which is given to our revolution by the workers of the West and the peasants of the East; thirdly, that Trotsky does not perceive the internal infirmity which is consuming imperialism today.
Trotsky’s ‘permanent revolution’ is the repudiation of Lenin’s theory of proletarian revolution; and conversely, Lenin’s theory of the proletarian revolution is the repudiation of the theory of ‘permanent revolution’. . . .
Hitherto only one aspect of the theory of ‘permanent revolution’ has usually been noted -- lack of faith in the revolutionary potentialities of the peasant movement. Now, in fairness, this must be supplemented by another aspect -- lack of faith in the strength and capacity of the proletariat in Russia.
What difference is there between Trotsky’s theory and the ordinary Menshevik theory that the victory of socialism in one country, and in a backward country at that, is impossible without the preliminary victory of the proletarian revolution in the principal countries of Western Europe?
Essentially, there is no difference.
There can be no doubt at all. Trotsky’s theory of ‘permanent revolution’ is a variety of Menshevism . . . .
Honeyed speeches and rotten diplomacy cannot hide the yawning chasm which lies between the theory of ‘permanent revolution’ and Leninism."
(J. V. Stalin: "The October Revolution and the Tactics of the Russian Communists", in: ‘Works’, ibid.; p. 385-6,389, 392, 395-96, 397).

The Campaign for Party Unity
In the revolutionary conditions, which prevailed in the autumn of 1905, Bolsheviks and Mensheviks of the rank and file worked closely together and by the end of the year most of the local organisations of the two "parties" had united. Accordingly the demand grew among the workers and the rank-and-file of the Party that the leaderships of the two sections should unite.

While fully supporting these moves for unity, Lenin and most of the Bolsheviks felt strongly that the political differences between the leaderships of the two factions should not be glossed over, since this would only confuse the workers. In this they were opposed by conciliationists among the Bolsheviks, such as Leonid Krassin and Aleksandr Bogdanov, who minimised these differences.

Lenin arrived back in Russia in November 1905, and in December attended the First Party (Bolshevik) Conference in Tammerfors (Finland), where he met J.V.Stalin for the first time.

The conference adopted a resolution to apply the elective principle within the Party in view of the freer political conditions brought about by the 1905 revolution, and another favouring the earliest possible restoration of unity with the Mensheviks and the immediate creation of a joint Central Commiittee.

Simultaneously with the Bolshevik conference, the Mensheviks held a conference in St. Petersburg where, under pressure from their- rank-and-file, they endorsed the Leninist formula of Party organisation in point 1 of the Party rules and adopted a resolution in favour of unity with the Bolsheviks

The joint Central Committee, consisting of three Bolsheviks and three Mensheviks, began to operate at the height of the December insurrection. When at the end of December, both the Bolshevik "Novaya Zhizn" (New Life) and the Menshevik "Nachalo"(Beginning) were suppressed, both leaderships combined to issue a joint newspaper -- "Severny Golos" -(Voice of the North) -- under a joint editorial Board.

1907. The Fourth (Unity) Congress of the Party

The Fourth Unity Congrcss of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour was held in Stockholm (Sweden) in-April/May 1906 was attended by 111 delegates from Party organisations, together with 3 each from the national parties which affiliated to the Party at the Congress (the "Bund", the Polish Social-Democratic Party and the Social-Democratic Party 0f the Latvian Region).

As a result of the fact that many Bolshevik-led Party organisations had been broken up after the 1905 uprising, a number of these were not represented at the congress, so that the Mensheviks had a majority (62-49). This manifested itself in a number of the resolutions. As Lenin pointed out:

"The three most important resolutions of the Congress clearly reveal the erroneous views of the former ‘Menshevik’ faction, which numerically was predominant at the Congress.
"The Congress rejected the proposal to make it one of the tasks of the Party to combat. . Constitutional-illusions.
Nor in its resolutions on the armed uprising did the Congress give what was necessary, viz., direct criticism of the mistakes of the proletariat, a clear estimate of the experience of October-December 1905, or even an attempt to study the inter-relation between strikes and uprising. The Congress did not openly and clearly tell the working class that the December uprising was a mistake, but in a covert way it condemned the uprising.
We think that this is more likely to confuse the political class consciousness of the proletariat than to enlighten it..
We must and shall fight ideologically against those decisions of the Congress which we regard as erroneous".
(V. I. Lenin: An Appeal to the Party by Delegates at the Unity Congress who belonged to the Late ‘Bolshevik’ Faction, in: "Selected Works", Volume 3; London; l946; p. 469, 470-7l.
Nevertheless, the congress endorsed the basic principles of Party organisation put forward by Lenin.
The congress also endorsed the formal unity of the two factions and the principle of democratic centralism.

The Central Committee elected at the Fourth Congress consisted of 7 Mensheviks and 3 Bolsheviks.

Against Bolshevik opposition, a Menshevik resolution was carried which elected an editorial board for the central organ of the Party which was outside the control of the Central Committee and contained not a single Bolshevik; it consisted of Martov, Dan, Martynov, Potresov and Maslow. During its life this editorial board did not publish a single issue of the central organ.

Thus, the "unity" created at the Fourth Congress between Bolsheviks and Mensheviks was purely formal, and the two factions continued to exist within the framework of a single party

The Stolypin Repression

The First State Duma met in May 1906, but did not prove docile enough for the ruling class. In July the tsarist government dissolved it, and Petr Stolypin (who had been Minister for Internal Affairs since May) was made Prime Minister. Under Stolypin a period of active repression of the revolutionary movement began. The new government suppressed the Bolshevik newspaper, which had been coming out since April under the successive names of "Volna" (The Wave), "Vperyod" (Forward) and "Ekho" (The Echo). In August 1906, regulations were issued providing for trial by courts martial and the death sentence for "revolutionary activity", and mass arrests and executions followed. In the same month the Bolsheviks began to issue an illegal newspaper, "Proletary" (Proletarian), edited by Lenin, which continued to appear until December 1909.

In September 1906 Lenin proposed that, since the tide of revo1ution was now clearly on the ebb, the Party shou1d participate in the elections for the Second State Duma (due to be convoked in March 1907). As a result, left-wing representation in this Duma was considerably stronger than it had been in the first, namely:

157 Trudoviks (Group of Toil) and Socialist-Revolutionaries (expressing the outlook of the peasantry) (from 94 in the First State Duma);

165 Social-Democrats (from 18 in the First State Duma), while the representation of the Cadets (the Constitutional-Democratic Party, representing the interests of the bourgeoisie)

fell from 179 to 98. Most of the Social Democratic deputies were, however Mensheviks.

The Fifth Party Congress

The Fifth Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party was held in London in May/June 1907. It was attended by 336 delegates, representing a membership of some 150,000.

The congress consolidated the Russian, Polish and Latvian Parties (together with, for a time, the Bund) into a single Party based on (mainly) Leninist principles.

Trotsky participated in the congress, expounding at length his "theory of permanent revolution", to which Rosa Luxemburg gave her support:

"At the London congress I renewed acquaintance with Rosa Luxemburg whom I had known since l904. . .On the question of the so-called permanent revolution, Rosa took the same stand as I did"
(L. Trotsky: "My Life"; New York; 1971; p. 203).
In the resolutions the congress large1y adopted the Bolshevik line. A Bolshevik resolution condemning the Menshevik proposal to transform the Party into a broad "Labour Party" of the British type was carried by l65 votes to 94; another Bolshevik resolution declaring that the Cadets were now a counter-revolutionary party which must be mercilessly exposed, and that it was essential to coordinate the Party’s own activity with that of the parties expressing the outlook of the peasantry (i.e., the Trudoviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries) was carried by l59 votes to 104.
However, a Bolshevik motion of censure on the Menshevik Central Committee elected at the Fourth Congress in 1906 was lost. This resolution was opposed not only by the Mensheviks, but by a centrist group headed by Trotsky:

"If, after all, the Bolshevik resolution, which noted the mistakes of the Central Committee was not carried, it was because the consideration "not to cause a split" strongly influenced the comrades".
(J.V. Sta1in: "The London Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party (Notes of a Delegate)"; in: ‘Works’, Volume 2; Moscow; l953; p. 59)
"Trotsky… spoke on behalf of the ‘Centre’, and expressed the views of the Bund. He fulminated against us for introducing our ‘unacceptable’ resolution. He threatened an outright split. . . That is a position based not on principle, but on the Centre’s lack of principle".
(V. I. Lenin: Fifth Congress of RSDLP, Speech on the Report of the Activities of the Duma Group, in: "Collected Works", Volume 12; Moscow; 1962; p. 45l-2)

Trotsky endeavored to justify his concilationist position by suggesting that there were no fundamental differences between Bolsheviks and Mensheviks, saying:
"Here comes Martov . . and threatens to raise between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks a Marxist wall . . .’Comrade Martov, you are going to build your wall with paper only with -your polemical literature you have nothing else to build it with".
(Pyatyi Syezd RSDRP (Fifth Congress RSDLP); Moscow; n.d.; p. 54-55).
In view of the decline of the revolutionary tide, the question of ‘armed insurrection’ was dropped from the agenda of the congress. However, a sharp controversy arose at the congress on the question of "expropriations", i.e., the illegal acquisition of funds for the Party.
Lenin's views on this question had been expressed in an article published in "Proletary", in October 1906:

"Armed struggle pursues two different aims; which must be strictly distinguished; in the first place this struggle aims at assassinating individuals, chiefs and subordinates, in the army and police: in the second place, it aims at the confiscation of monetary funds both from the government and from private persons. The confiscated funds go partly into the treasury of the Party, partly for the special purpose of arming and preparing for an uprising, and partly for the maintenance of persons engaged in the struggle we are describing. . .
It is not guerilla actions which disorganise the movement, but the weakness of a party which is incapable of taking such actions under its control".
(V. I. Lenin: ‘Guerilla Warfare, in: "Collected Works"", Volume 11; Moscow; 1962; p. 216, 219).
The Fourth Congress of the Party in 1906 had adopted a Menshevik resolution banning Party members, from taking part in "expropriations", and at the- Fifth Congress an attack was launched upon the Bolsheviks for allegedly continuing to take part in (or at least advise others on the organisation of "expropriations". A Menshevik motion was adopted at the Fifth Congress banning the participation of Party members in all armed actions and acts of "expropriation" and- ordering the disbandment of the fighting squads connected with the, Party.
Trotsky, according to his biographer, sharply supported the Menshevik attacks on this issue:

"The records of the Congress say nothing about the course of this controversy, (i.e. on "expropriations" --Ed.); only fragmentary reminiscences, written many years after, are available. But there is no doubt that Trotsky was, with Martov, among those who sharply arraigned the Bolsheviks".
(I. Deutscher; 'The Prophet Armed: Trotsky: 1879-1921"; London; 1970; p. 179).
Shortly after the Congress, Lenin wrote to Maxim Gorky that :
"At the London Congress, too, he (i.e., Trotsky --Ed.) acted the ‘poseur’".
(V. I. Lenin: Letter to Maxim Gorky, February 13th., 1908; in: ,"Collected Works", Volume 34; Moscow; 1966; p. 386).
While Stalin, writing of Trotsky’s activities at the congress, declared
"Trotsky proved to be ‘pretty but useless’".
(J.V. Stalin: "The London Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party (Notes of a Delegate)", in: "Works"; Volume 2; Moscow; 1953; p. 52) .
After the congress Trotsky carried his attacks on the Bolsheviks on the question of "expropriations’ into the columns of "Vorwaerts" (Forward), the organ of the German Social-Democratic Party. He describes how Lenin reacted to this news:
"I told Lenin of my latest article in "Vorwaerts" about the Russian Social-Democracy. . . The most prickly question in the article was that of so-called ‘expropriations’. .. The London congress, by a majority of votes composed of Mensheviks, Poles and some Bolsheviks banned ‘expropriations’. When the delegates shouted from their seats: "What does Lenin say? We want to hear Lenin", the latter only chuckled, with a somewhat cryptic expression. After the London congress, ‘expropriations’ continued. . . That was the point on which I had centred my attack in the "Vorwaerts".
‘Did you really write like this?’, Lenin asked me reproachfully.
Lenin tried to induce the Russian delegation at the congress to condemn my article. This was the sharpest conflict with Lenin in my whole life".
(L.Trotsky: "My Life"; Now York; 1971; p. 218).
The Stolypin Coup d'Etat
In June 1907 the tsarist government accused the Social-Democratic deputies in the Second-State Duma of conspiracy, and demanded that the Duma lift their parliamentary immunity. When the Duma hesitated, the government peremptorily dissolved it on June 16th, 1907 - the "Coup d’Etat of June 3rd 1907 as it was known under the old calendar. Most of the Social-Democratic deputies were then arrested.

In the same manifesto the government announced new electoral laws for the Third State Duma, the purpose of which was to increase the representation of the landlords and capitalists, and to reduce still further the representation of the workers and peasants.

"The government promulgated a ‘new law’ which reduces the number of peasant electors by half, doubles the number of landlord electors, . reduces the number of deputies also by nearly half. . . reserves for the government the right to distribute voters according to locality, various qualifications and nationality; destroys all possibility of conducting free election propaganda, etc., etc. And all this has been done in order to prevent revolutionary representatives of the workers and peasants from getting into the Third Duma, in order to fill the Duma with the liberal and reactionary representatives of the landlords and factory owners. This is the idea behind the dispersion of the Second State".
(J.V. Stalin: "The Dispersion of the Duma and the Tasks of the Proletariat", in: "Works", Volume 2; Moscow; l9~3; p. 14).
The Third Party Conference
The Third Conference of the RSDLP was held in August 1907 in Vyborg (Finland), attended by 26 delegates of whom 15 were Bolsheviks and 11 Mensheviks.

The dissolution of the Second State Duma and the issue of the new reactionary electoral law had caused the Socialist-Revolutionary Party to revert to a policy of boycotting the elections to the Third State Duma, and had revived boycotting among the Bolsheviks. The leader of the boycottists at the conference was Aleksandr Bogdanov.

Lenin moved a resolution at the conference which declared that reaction prevailed in the country and would prevail for some years, although it would inevitably be followed by a new upsurge; in the meantime it was essential to take advantage of every legal opportunity and, in particular, of the tribune afforded by the Duma. The resolution was adopted by the conference.

The Third State Duma

Despite the decision of the Third Party Conference to participate in the elections to the Third State Duma, many Bolsheviks continued to oppose this. In the autumn of 1907 Lenin wrote a number of articles on this question, the most famous of which – "Against the Boycott" - -- Was published as part of a pamphlet entitled "Boycott of the Third Duma" , the other part being written by Lev Kamenev and entitled "For the Boycott!"

"The state of affairs now, in the autumn of 1907, does not call for such a slogan and does not justify it. . . .
Without renouncing the application of the slogan of boycott in times of an upsurge, when the need for such a slogan may seriously arise, we must direct all our efforts towards the aim of transforming by direct influence every upsurge in the labour movement into a general, wide, revolutionary attack against reaction as a whole, against its very foundations".
(V. I. Lenin: "The Boycott: From the Notes of a Social-Democratic Publicist", in: "Selected Works", Volume 3; London; l946; p.427).
The Third State Duma was convened in November 1907. By reason of the new reactionary electoral system, left–wing representation in the Duma was considerably reduced from what it had been in the second, namely:
13 Trudoviks (Group of Toil), from l57 Trudoviks and Social-Revolutionaries in the Second State Duma);

18 Social-Democrats (from 65 in the Second State Duma)

The Fourth Party Conference

The Fourth Conference of the RSDLP was held in November 1907 in Helsingfors (Finland), attended by 10 Bolsheviks, 4 Mensheviks, 5 representatives of the Social-Democratic

Party of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania, 3 representatives of the Social-Democratic Party of the Latvian Region, and representatives of the "Bund".

The main business of the conference was to discuss the work of the Social-Democratic fraction in the newly elected Third State Duma. The Mensheviks to whose faction a majority of the Social-Democratic deputies belonged -- were in favour of the independence of the deputies from Party control, while the Bolsheviks regarded it as essential that the fraction should be guided by the Party like any other section of Party members. The Bolshevik resolution to this effect was adopted. This resolution also demanded that the fraction should wage relentless war in the Duma on the pro-tsarist majority, that it should under no circumstances curtail its’ demands in concession to reaction, and that its efforts should be primarily devoted to using the Duma as a tribune for agitational purposes, in order to expose to the masses the reactionary policy of the pro-tsarist parties.

1907 - 1908: The Move Abroad

Owing to the increased repression of the Stolypin regime, which was extended to Finland despite the Finnish constitution, the Central Committee was compelled to move from Russia to Geneva towards the end of 1907. The publication of the illegal Bolshevik paper "Proletary" was also transferred to Geneva.

In December 1907 Lenin moved from Geneva to Paris.

In February 1908 the first issue of the central organ of the Party – "Sotsial-Demokrat" (The Social-Democrat) appeared in Russia. Following the arrest of its editors, publication of the paper was transferred abroad, first to Paris, then to Geneva. It continued to appear until January 1917.

The Menshevik leaders also moved abroad, and in February 1908 began to issue their organ "Golos Sotsial-Demokrata" (The Voice of the Social-Democrat) . The first editorial board consisted of Pavel Axelrod, Fedor Dan, Yuli Martov and Aleksandr Martynov. It continued to appear until December 1911.

1908: Liquidationism

The movement among the Mensheviks to transform the Party into a broad, legal Labour Party along British lines developed by the summer of 1908 into a trend which the Leninists called "liquidationism", since it aimed at the liquidation of the Party as the revolutionary vanguard of the working class.

"0ur Party organisations have all become reduced in membership. Some of them -- namely, those whose membership was least proletarian -- fell to pieces. The semi-legal institutions of the Party, created by the revolution, were raided time after time. Things reached such a state that some elements within the Party, which had succumbed to the influence of that disintegration, began to ask whether it was necessary to preserve the old Social-Democratic Party, whether it was necessary to continue its work, whether it was necessary to go ‘underground’ once more, and how this was to be done; and the extreme Right (the so-called liquidationist trend) answered this question in the sense that it was necessary to legalise ourselves at all costs, even at the price of an open renunciation of the Party programme, tactics and organisation. This was undoubtedly not only an organisational but also an ideological and political crisis."
(V. I. Lenin: "On to the High Road"; in ‘Works’; Volume 4; London; 1943; p. 3).
"Liquidationism is ideologically connected with renegacy, . with opportunism. . . But liquidationism is not only opportunism. . . Liquidationism is opportunism that goes to the length of renouncing the Party . . . The renunciation of the ‘underground’ under the existing conditions is the renunciation of the old Party.
Liquidationism is not only the ‘liquidation’ of the old party of the working class; it also means the destruction of the class independence of the proletariat, the corruption of its class-consciousness by bourgeois ideas.
The liquidators are petty-bourgeois intellectuals, sent by the bourgeoisie to sow the seeds of liberal corruption among the workers. The liquidators are traitors to Marxism."
(V. I. Lenin: ‘Controversial Questions"; in: ibid.; p. 126-7, 131, 138).