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V. I. LENIN Selected Works, English edition,, Vol. II, Part 2.
(Extract from the titled works related to Boycott , Erdogan A)

The alternation of parliamentary and non-parliamentary forms of struggle, of tactics of boycotting parliament and tactics of participating in parliament, of legal and illegal forms of struggle, and likewise their interrelations and connections -- all of this is distinguished by an astonishing richness of content. As far as teaching the fundamentals of political science -- to masses and leaders, to classes and parties -- was concerned, one month of this period was equivalent to a whole year of "peaceful," "constitutional" development. Without the "dress rehearsal" of 1905, the victory of the October Revolution in 1917 would have been impossible.


Contrary to the views that are today not infrequently met with in Europe and America, the Bolsheviks began their victorious struggle against the parliamentary (factually) bourgeois republic and against the Mensheviks very cautiously, and the preparations they made for it were by no means simple. We did not call for the overthrow of the government at the beginning of the period mentioned, but explained that it was impossible to overthrow it without first changing the composition and the sentiments of the Soviets. We did not proclaim a boycott of the bourgeois parliament, the Constituent Assembly, but said -- and from the April (1917) Conference of our Party onwards began to say officially in the name of the Party -- that a bourgeois republic with a Constituent Assembly is better than a bourgeois republic without a Constituent Assembly, but that a "workers' and peasants'" republic, a Soviet republic, is better than any bourgeois-democratic, parliamentary, republic. Without such careful, thorough, circumspect and prolonged preparations we could not have obtained victory in October 1917, nor have maintained that victory.

In 1908 the "Left" Bolsheviks were expelled from our Party for stubbornly refusing to understand the necessity of participating in a most reactionary "parliament." The "Lefts" -- among whom there were many splendid revolutionaries who subsequently bore (and still bear) the title of member of the Communist Party with ctedit -- based themselves particularly on the successful experience of the boycott in 1905. When, in August 1905, the tsar announced the convocation of an advisory "parliament," the Bolsheviks -- in the teeth of all the opposition parties and the Mensheviks -- called for a boycott, and it was actually swept away by the revolution of October 1905. At that time the boycott proved correct, not because non-participation in reactionary parliaments is correct in general, but because we correctly gauged the objective situation which was leading to the rapid transformation of the mass strikes into a political strike, then into a revolutionary strike, and then into uprising. Moreover, the struggle at that time centred around the question whether to leave the convocation of the first representative assembly to the tsar, or to attempt to wrest its convocation from the hands of the old regime. When there was no certainty, nor could there be, that the objective situation was analogous, and likewise no certainty of a similar trend and rate of development, the boycott ceased to be correct.

The Bolshevik boycott of "parliament" in 1905 enriched the revolutionary proletariat with highly valuable political experience and showed that in combining legal with illegal, parliamentary with extra-parliamentary forms of struggle, it is sometimes useful and even essential to reject parliamentary forms. But it is a very great mistake indeed to apply this experience blindly, imitatively and uncritically to other conditions and to other situations. The boycott of the "Duma" by the Bolsheviks in 1906 was, however, a mistake, although a small and easily remediable one.* A boycott of the Duma in 1907, 1908 and subsequent years would have been a serious mistake and one difficult to remedy, because, on the one hand, a very rapid rise of the revolutionary tide and its conversion into an uprising could not be expected, and, on the other hand, the whole historical situation attending the renovation of the bourgeois monarchy called for combining legal and illegal activities. Today, when we turn back at this completed historical period, the connection of which with subsequent periods is fully revealed, it becomes particularly clear that the Bolsheviks could not have in 1908-14 preserved (let alone strengthened, developed and reinforced) the firm core of the revolutionary party of the proletariat had they not upheld in strenuous struggle the viewpoint that it is obligatory to combine legal and illegal forms of struggle, that it is obligatory to participate even in a most reactionary parliament and in a number of other institutions restricted by reactionary laws (sick benefit societies, etc.).

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