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13. At the present moment we cannot say for certain whether a mighty agrarian revolution will develop in the Russian countryside in the near future. We cannot say exactly how profound the class cleavage is among the peasants, which has undoubtedly grown more profound of late as a division into agricultural labourers, wage-workers and poor peasants ("semi-proletarians"), on the one hand, and wealthy and middle peasants (capitalists and petty capitalists), on the other. Such questions will be, and can be, decided only by experience.

Being the party of the proletariat, however, we are unquestionably in duty bound not only immediately to advance an agrarian (land) programme but also to advocate practical measures which can be immediately realised in the interests of the peasant agrarian revolution in Russia.

We must demand the nationalisation of all the land, i.e., that all the land in the state should become the property of the central state power. This power must fix the size, etc., of the resettlement land fund, pass legislation for the conservation of forests, for land improvement, etc., and absolutely prohibit any middlemen to interpose themselves between the owner of the land, i.e., the state, and the tenant, i.e., the tiller (prohibit all subletting of land). However, the disposal of the land, the determination of the local regulations governing ownership and tenure of land, must in no case be placed in the hands of bureaucrats and officials, but wholly and exclusively in the hands of the regional and local Soviets of Peasants' Deputies.

In order to improve grain production techniques and increase output, and in order to develop rational cultivation on a large scale under public control, we must strive within the peasants' committees to secure the transformation of every confiscated landed estate into a large model farm controlled by the Soviet of Agricultulal Labourers' Deputies.

In order to counteract the petty-bourgeois phrase-mongering and the policy prevailing among the Socialist-Revolutionaries, particularly the idle talk about "subsistence" standards or "labour" standards, "socialisation of the land", etc., the party of the proletariat must make it clear that small-scale farming under commodity production cannot save mankind from poverty and oppression.

Without necessarily splitting the Soviets of Peasants' Deputies at once, the party of the proletariat must explain the need for organising separate Soviets of Agricultural Labourers' Deputies and separate Soviets of deputies from the poor (semi-proletarian) peasants, or, at least, for holding regular separate conferences of deputies of this class status in the shape of separate groups or parties within the general Soviets of Peasants' Deputies. Otherwise all the honeyed petty-bourgeois talk of the Narodniks[31] regarding the peasants in general will serve as a shield for the deception of the propertyless mass by the wealthy peasants, who are merely a variety of capitalists.

To counteract the bourgeois-liberal or purely bureaucratic sermons preached by many Socialist-Revolutionaries and Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, who advise the peasants not to seize the landed estates and not to start the agrarian reform pending the convocation of the Constituent Assembly, the party of the proletariat must urge the peasants to carry out the agrarian reform at once on their own, and to confiscate the landed estates immediately, upon the decisions of the peasants' deputies in the localities.

At the same time, it is most important to insist on the necessity of increasing food production for the soldiers at the front and for the towns, and on the absolute inadmissibility of causing any damage or injury to livestock, implements, machinery, buildings, etc.

14. As regards the national question, the proletarian party first of all must advocate the proclamation and immediate realisation of complete freedom of secession from Russia for all the nations and peoples who were oppressed by tsarism, or who were forcibly joined to, or forcibly kept within the boundaries of, the state, i.e., annexed.

All statements, declarations and manifestos concerning renunciation of annexations that are not accompanied by the realisation of the right of secession in practice, are nothing but bourgeois deception of the people, or else pious petty-bourgeois wishes.

The proletarian party strives to create as large a state as possible, for this is to the advantage of the working people; it strives to draw nations closer together, and bring about their further fusion ; but it desires to achieve this aim not by violence, but exclusively through a free fraternal union of the workers and the working people of all nations.

The more democratic the Russian republic, and the more successfully it organises itself into a Republic of Soviets of Workers' and Peasants' Deputies, the more powerful will be the force of voluntary attraction to such a republic on the part of the working people of all nations.

Complete freedom of secession, the broadest local (and national) autonomy, and elaborate guarantees of the rights of national minorities -- this is the programme of the revolutionary proletariat.


15. Under no circumstances can the party of the proletariat set itself the aim of "introducing" socialism in a country of small peasants so long as the overwhelming majority of the population has not come to realise the need for a socialist revolution.

But only bourgeois sophists, hiding behind "near-Marxist" catchwords, can deduce from this truth a justification of the policy of postponing immediate revolutionary measures, the time for which is fully ripe; measures which

have been frequently resorted to during the war by a number of bourgeois states, and which are absolutely indispensable in order to combat impending total economic disorganisation and famine.

Such measures as the nationalisation of the land, of all the banks and capitalist syndicates, or, at least, the immediate establishment of the control of the Soviets of Workers' Deputies, etc., over them -- measures which do not in any way constitute the "introduction" of socialism -- must be absolutely insisted on, and, whenever possible, carried out in a revolutionary way. Without such measures, which are only steps towards socialism, and which are perfectly feasible economically, it will be impossible to heal the wounds caused by the war and to avert the impending collapse; and the party of the revolutionary proletariat will never hesitate to lay hands on the fabulous profits of the capitalists and bankers, who are enriching themselves on the war in a particularly scandalous manner.


16. The international obligations of the working class of Russia are precisely now coming to the forefront with particular force.

Only lazy people do not swear by internationalism these days. Even the chauvinist defencists, even Plekhanov and Potresov, even Kerensky, call themselves internationalists. It becomes the duty of the proletarian party all the more urgently, therefore, to clearly, precisely and definitely counterpose internationalism in deed to internationalism in word.

Mere appeals to the workers of all countries, empty assurances of devotion to internationalism, direct or indirect attempts to fix a "sequence" of action by the revolutionary proletariat in the various belligerent countries, laborious efforts to conclude "agreements" between the socialists of the belligerent countries on the question of the revolutionary struggle, all the fuss over the summoning of socialist congresses for the purpose of a peace campaign, etc., etc. -- no matter how sincere the authors of such ideas, attempts, and plans may be -- amount, as far as their objective significance is concerned, to mere phrase-mongering, and at best are innocent and pious wishes, fit only to conceal the deception of the people by the chauvinists. The French social-chauvinists, who are the most adroit and accomplished in methods of parliamentary hocus-pocus, have long since broken the record for ranting and resonant pacifist and internationalist phrases coupled with the incredibly brazen betrayal of socialism and the International, the acceptance of posts in governments which conduct the imperialist war, the voting of credits or loans (as Chkheidze, Skobelev, Tsereteli and Steklov have been doing recently in Russia), opposition to the revolutionary struggle in their own country, etc., etc.

Good people often forget the brutal and savage setting of the imperialist world war. This setting does not tolerate phrases, and mocks at innocent and pious wishes.

There is one, and only one, kind of real internationalism, and that is -- working whole-heartedly for the development of the revolutionary movement and the revolutionary struggle in one's own country, and supporting (by propaganda, sympathy, and material aid) this struggle, this, and only this, line, in every country without exception.

Everything else is deception and Manilovism.

During the two odd years of the war the international socialist and working-class movement in every country has evolved three trends. Whoever ignores reality and refuses to recognise the existence of these three trends, to analyse them, to fight consistently for the trend that is really internationalist, is doomed to impotence, helplessness and errors.

The three trends are:

1). The social-chauvinists, i.e., socialists in word and chauvinists in deed. people who recognise "defence of the fatherland" in an imperialist war (and above all in the present imperialist war).

These people are our class enemies. They have gone over to the bourgeoisie.

They are the majority of the official leaders of the official Social-Democratic parties in all countries -- Plekhanov and Co. in Russia, the Scheidemanns in Germany, Renaudel, Guesde and Sembat in France, Bissolati and Co. in Italy, Hyndman, the Fabians and the Labourites (the leaders of the "Labour Party") in Britain, Branting and Co. in Sweden, Troelstra and his party in Holland, Stauning and his party in Denmark, Victor Berger and the other "defenders of the fatherland" in America, and so forth.

2) The second trend, known as the "Centre", consists of people who vacillate beteen the social-chauvinists and the true internationalists.

The "Centre" all vow and declare that they are Marxists and internationalists, that they are for peace, for bringing every kind of "pressure" to bear upon the governments, for "demanding" in every way that their own government should "ascertain the will of the people for peace", that they are for all sorts of peace campaigns, for peace without annexations, etc., etc. -- and for peace with the social-chauvinists. The "Centre" is for "unity", the Centre is opposed to a split.

The "Centre" is a realm of honeyed petty-bourgeois phrases, of internationalism in word and cowardly opportunism and fawning on the social-chauvinists in deed.

The crux of the matter is that the "Centre" is not convinced of the necessity for a revolution against one's own government; it does not preach revolution; it does not carry on a whole-hearted revolutionary struggle; and in order to evade such a struggle it resorts to the tritest ultra-"Marxist"-sounding excuses.

The social-chauvinists are our class enemies, they are bourgeois within the working-class movement. They represent a stratum, or groups, or sections of the working class which objectively have been bribed by the bourgeoisie (by better wages, positions of honour, etc.), and which help their own bourgeoisie to plunder and oppress small and weak peoples and to fight for the division of the capitalist spoils.

The "Centre" consists of routine-worshippers, eroded by the canker of legality, corrupted by the parliamentary atmosphere, etc., bureaucrats accustomed to snug positions and soft jobs. Historically and economically speaking, they are not a separate stratum but represent only a transition from a past phase of the working-class movement -- the phase between 1871 and 1914, which gave much that is valuable to the proletariat, particularly in the indispensable art of slow, sustained and systematic organisational work on a large and very large scale -- to a new phase that became objectively essential with the outbreak of the first imperialist world war, which inaugurated the era of social revolution.

The chief leader and spokesman of the "Centre" is Karl Kautsky, the most outstanding authority in the Second International (1889-1914), since August 1914 a model of utter bankruptcy as a Marxist, the embodiment of unheard-of spinelessness, and the most wretched vacillations and betrayals. This "Centrist" trend includes Kautsky, Haase, Ledebour and the so-called workers' or labour group in the Reichstag; in France it includes Longuet, Pressemane and the so-called minoritaires] (Mensheviks) in general; in Britain, Philip Snowden, Ramsay MacDonald and many other leaders of the Independent Labour Party, and some leaders of the British Socialist Party; Morris Hillquit and many others in the United States; Turati, Trèves, Modigliani and others in Italy; Robert Grimm and others in Switzerland; Victor Adler and Co. in Austria; the party of the Organising Committee, Axelrod, Martov, Chkheidze, Tsereteli and others in Russia, and so forth.

Naturally, at times individuals unconsciously drift from the social-chauvinist to the "Centrist" position, and vice versa. Every Marxist knows that classes are distinct, even though individuals may move freely from one class to another; similarly, trends in political life are distinct in spite of the fact that individuals may change freely from one trend to another, and in spite of all attempts and efforts to amalgamate trends.

3) The third trend, that of the true internationalists, is best represented by the "Zimmerwald Left".(We reprint as a supplement its manifesto of September 1915, to enable the reader to learn of the inception of this trend at first hand.)

Its distinctive feature is its complete break with both social-chauvinism and "Centrism", and its gallant revolutionary struggle against its own imperialist government and its own imperialist bourgeoisie. Its principle is: "Our chief enemy is at home." It wages a ruthless struggle against honeyed social-pacifist phrases (a social-pacifist is a socialist in word and a bourgeois pacifist in deed; bourgeois pacifists dream of an everlasting peace without the overthrow of the yoke and domination of capital) and against all subterfuges employed to deny the possibility, or the appropriateness, or the timeliness of a proletarian revolutionary struggle and of a proletarian socialist revolution in connection with the present war.

The most outstanding representative of this trend in Germany is the Spartacus group or the Internationale group,to which Karl Liebknecht belongs. Karl Liebknecht is a most celebrated representative of this trend and of the new, and genuine, proletarian International.

Karl Liebknecht called upon the workers and soldiers of Germany to turn their guns against their own government. Karl Liebknecht did that openly from the rostrum of parliament (the Reichstag). He then went to a demonstration in Potsdamer Platz, one of the largest public squares in Berlin, with illegally printed leaflets proclaiming the slogan "Down with the Government!" He was arrested and sentenced to hard labour. He is now serving his term in a German convict prison, like hundreds, if not thousands, of other true German socialists who have been imprisoned for their anti-war activities.

Karl Liebknecht in his speeches and letters mercilessly attacked not only his own Plekhanovs and Potresovs (Scheidemanns, Legiens, Davids and Co.), but also his own Centrists, his own Chkheidzes and Tseretelis (Kautsky, Haase, Ledebour and Co.).

Karl Liebknecht and his friend Otto Rühle, two out of one hundred and ten deputies, violated discipline, destroyed the "unity" with the "Centre" and the chauvinists, and went against all of them. Liebknecht alone represents socialism, the proletarian cause, the proletarian revolution. All the rest of German Social-Democracy, to quote the apt words of Rosa Luxemburg (also a member and one of the leaders of the Spartacus group), is a "stinking corpse ".

Another group of true internationalists in Germany is that of the Bremen paper Arbeiterpolitik.

Closest to the internationalists in deed are: in France, Loriot and his friends (Bourderon and Merrheim have slid down to social-pacifism), as well as the Frenchman Henri Guilbeaux, who publishes in Geneva the journal Demain ; in Britain, the newspaper The Trade Unionist, and some of the members of the British Socialist Party and of the Independent Labour Party (for instance, Russel Williams, who openly called for a break with the leaders who have betrayed socialism), the Scottish socialist school teacher MacLean, who was sentenced to hard labour by the bourgeois government of Britain for his revolutionary fight against the war, and hundreds of British socialists who are in jail for the same offence. They, and they alone, are internationalists in deed. In the United States, the Socialist Labour Party and those within the opportunist Socialist Party who in January 1917 began publication of the paper, The Internationalist ; in Holland, the Party of the "Tribunists" which publishes the paper De Tribune (Pannekoek, Herman Gorter, Wijnkoop, and Henriette Roland-Holst, who, although Centrist at Zimmerwald, has now joined our ranks); in Sweden, the Party of the Young, or the Left, led by Lindhagen, Ture Nerman, Carleson, Ström and Z. Höglund, who at Zimmerwald was personally active in the organisation of the "Zimmerwald Left", and who is now in prison for his revolutionary fight against the war; in Denmark, Trier and his friends who have left the now purely bourgeois "Social-Democratic" Party of Denmark, headed by the Minister Stauning; in Bulgaria, the "Tesnyaki"; in Italy, the nearest are Constantino Lazzari, secretary of the party, and Serrati, editor of the central organ, Avanti!  in Poland, Radek, Hanecki and other leaders of the Social-Democrats united under the "Regional Executive", and Rosa Luxemburg, Tyszka and other leaders of the Social-Democrats united under the "Chief Executive"; in Switzerland, those of the Left who drew up the argument for the "referendum" (January 1917) in order to fight the social-chauvinists and the "Centre" in their own country and who at the Zurich Cantonal Socialist Convention, held at Töss on February 11, 1917, moved a consistently revolutionary resolution against the war; in Austria, the young Left-wing friends of Friedrich Adler, who acted partly through the Karl Marx Club in Vienna, now closed by the arch-reactionary Austrian Government, which is ruining Adler's life for his heroic though ill-considered shooting at a minister, and so on.

It is not a question of shades of opinion, which certainly exist even among the Lefts. It is a question of trend. The thing is that it is not easy to be an internationalist in deed during a terrible imperialist war. Such people are few; but it is on such people alone that the future of socialism depends; they alone are the leaders of the people, and not their corrupters.

The distinction between the reformists and the revolutionaries, among the Social-Democrats, and socialists generally, was objectively bound to undergo a change under the conditions of the imperialist war. Those who confine themselves to "demanding" that the bourgeois governments should conclude peace or "ascertain the will of the peoples for peace", etc., are actually slipping into reforms. For, objectively, the problem of the war can be solved only in a revolutionary way.

There is no possibility of this war ending in a democratic, non-coercive peace or of the people being relieved of the burden of billions paid in interest to the capitalists, who have made fortunes out of the war, except through a revolution of the proletariat.

The most variyd reforms can and must be demanded of the bourgeois governments, but one cannot, without sinking to Manilovism and reformism, demand that people and classes entangled by the thousands of threads of imperialist capital should tear those threads. And unless they are torn, all talk of a war against war is idle and deceitful prattle.

The "Kautskyites", the "Centre", are revolutionaries in word and reformists in deed, they are internationalists in word and accomplices of the social-chauvinists in deed.


17. From the very outset, the Zimmerwald International adopted a vacillating, "Kautskyite", "Centrist" position, which immediately compelled the Zimmerwald Left to dissociate itself, to separate itself from the rest, and to issue its own manifesto (published in Switzerland in Russian, German and French).

The chief shortcoming of the Zimmerwald International, and the cause of its collapse (for politically and ideologically it has already collapsed), was its vacillation and indecision on such a momentous issue of crucial practical significance as that of breaking completely with social-chauvinism and the old social-chauvinist International, headed by Vandervelde and Huysmans at The Hague (Holland), etc.

It is not as yet known in Russia that the Zinmerwald majority are nothing but Kautskyites. Yet this is the fun damental fact, one which cannot be ignored, and which is now generally known in Western Europe. Even that chauvinist, that extreme German chauvinist, Heilmann, editor of the ultra-chauvinistic Chemnitzer Volksstimme and contributor to Parvus's ultra-chauvinistic Glocke (a "Social-Democrat", of course, and an ardent partisan of Social-Democratic "unity"), was compelled to acknowledge in the press that the Centre, or "Kautkyism", and the Zimmerwald majority were one and the same thing.

This fact was definitely established at the end of 1916 and the beginning of 1917. Although social-pacifism was condemned by the Kienthal Manifesto, the whole Zimmer wald Right, the entire Zimmerwald majority, sank to social-pacifism: Kautsky and Co. in a series of utterances in January and February 1917; Bourderon and Merrheim in France, who cast their votes in unanimity with the social-chauvinists for the pacifist resolutions of the Socialist Party (December 1916) and of the Confédération Générale du Travail (the national organisation of the French trade unions, also in December 1916); Turati and Co. in Italy, where the entire party took up a social-pacifist position, while Turati himself, in a speech delivered on December 17, 1916, "slipped" (not by accident, of course) into nationalist phrases whitewashing the imperialist war.

In January 1917, the chairman of the Zimmerwald and Kienthal conferences, Robert Grimm, joined the social-chauvinists in his own party (Greulich, Pflüger, Gustav Müller and others) against the internationalists in deed.

At two conferences of Zimmerwaldists from various countries in January and February 1917, this equivocal, double faced behaviour of the Zimmerwald majority was formally stigmatised by the Left internationalists of several countries: by Munzenberg, secretary of the international youth organisation and editor of the excellent internationalist publication Die Jugendinternationale ; by Zinoviev, representative of the Central Committee of our Party; by K. Radek of the Polish Social-Democratic Party (the "Regional Executive"), and by Hartstein, a German Social-Democrat and member of the Spartacus group.

Much is given to the Russian proletariat; nowhere in the world has the working class yet succeeded in developing so much revolutionary energy as in Russia. But to whom much is given, of him much is required.

The Zimmerwald bog can no longer be tolerated. We must not, for the sake of the Zimmerwald "Kautskyites", continue the semi-alliance with the chauvinist International of the Plekhanovs and Scheidemanns. We must break with this International immediately. We must remain in Zimmerwald only for purposes of information.

It is we who must found, and right now, without delay, a new, revolutionary, proletarian International, or rather, we must not fear to acknowledge publicly that this new International is already established and operating.

This is the International of those "internationalists in deed" whom I precisely listed above. They and they alone are representatives of the revolutionary, internationalist mass, and not their corrupters.

And if socialists of that type are few, let every Russian worker ask himself whether there were many really class-conscious revolutionaries in Russia on the eve of the February-March revolution of 1917.

It is not a question of numbers, but of giving correct expression to the ideas and policies of the truly revolutionary proletariat. The thing is not to "proclaim" internationalism, but to be able to be an internationalist in deed, even when times are most trying.

Let us not deceive ourselves with hopes of agreements and international congresses. As long as the imperialist war is on, international intercourse is held in the iron vise of the military dictatorship of the imperialist bourgeoisie. If even the "republican" Milyukov, who is obliged to tolerate the parallel government of the Soviet of Workers' Deputies, did not allow Fritz Platten, the Swiss socialist, secretary of the party, an internationalist and participant in the Zimmerwald and Kienthal conferences, to enter Russia in April 1917, in spite of the fact that Platten has a Russian wife and was on his way to visit his wife's relatives, and in spite of the fact that he had taken part in the revolution of 1905 in Riga, for which he had been confined in a Russian prison, had given bail to the tsarist government for his release and wished to recover that bail -- if the "republican" Milyukov could do such a thing in April 1917 in Russia, one can judge what value can be put on the promises and assurances, the phrases and declarations of the bourgeoisie on the subject of peace without annexations, and soon.

And the arrest of Trotsky by the British Government? And the refusal to allow Martov to leave Switzerland, and the attempt to lure him to Britain, where Trotsky's fate awaits him?

Let us harbour no illusions. We must not deceive ourselves.

To "wait" for international congresses or conferences is simply to betray internationalism, since it has been shown that even from Stockholm neither socialists loyal to internationalism nor even their letters are allowed to come here, although this is quite possible and although a ferocious military censorship exists.

Our Party must not "wait", but must immediately found a Third International. Hundreds of socialists imprisoned in Germany and Britain will then heave a sigh of relief, thousands and thousands of German workers who are now holding strikes and demonstrations that are frightening that scoundrel and brigand, Wilhelm, will learn from illegal leaflets of our decision, of our fraternal confidence in Karl Liebknecht, and in him alone, of our decision to fight "revolutionary defencism" even now ; they will read this and be strengthened in their revolutionary internationalism.

To whom much is given, of him much is required. No other country in the world is as free as Russia is now. Let us make use of this freedom, not to advocate support for the bourgeoisie, or bourgeois "revolutionary defencism", but in a bold, honest, proletarian, Liebknecht way to found the Third International, an International uncompromisingly hostile both to the social-chauvinlst traitors and to the vacillating "Centrists".

18. After what has been said, there is no need to waste many words explaining that the amalgamation of Social-Democrats in Russia is out of the question.

It is better to remain with one friend only, like Liebknecht, and that means remaining with the revolutionary proletariat, than to entertain even for a moment any thought of amalgamation with the party of the Organising Committee, with Chkheidze and Tsereteli, who can tolerate a bloc with Potresov in Rabochaya Gazeta, who voted for the loan in the Executive Committee of the Soviet of Workers' Deputies, and who have sunk to "defencism".

Let the dead bury their dead.

Whoever wants to help the waverers must first stop wavering himself.


19. I now come to the final point, the name of our Party, We must call ourselves the Communist Party -- just as Marx and Engels called themselves.

We must repeat that we are Marxists and that we take as our basis the Communist Manifesto, which has been distorted and betrayed by the Social-Democrats on two main points: (1) the working men have no country: "defence of the fatherland" in an imperialist war is a betrayal of socialism; and (2) the Marxist doctrine of the state has been distorted by the Second International.

The name "Social-Democracy" is scientifically incorrect, as Marx frequently pointed out, in particular, in the Critique of the Gotha Programme in 1875, and as Engels re-affirmed in a more popular form in 1894.From capitalism mankind can pass directly only to socialism, i.e., to the social ownership of the means of production and the distribution of products according to the amount of work performed by each individual. Our Party looks farther ahead: socialism must inevitably evolve gradually into communism, upon the banner of which is inscribed the motto, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs".

That is my first argument.

Here is the second: the second part of the name of our Party (Social-Democrats ) is also scientifically incorrect. Democracy is a form of state, whereas we Marxists are opposed to every kind of state.

The leaders of the Second International (1889-1914), Plekhanov, Kautsky and their like, have vulgarised and distorted Marxism.

Marxism differs from anarchism in that it recognises the need for a state for the purpose of the transition to socialism; but (and here is where we differ from Kautsky and Co.) not a state of the type of the usual parliamentary bourgeois-democratic republic, but a state like the Paris Commune of 1871 and the Soviets of Workers' Deputies of 1905 and 1917.

My third argument: living reality, the revolution, has already actually established in our colmtry, albeit in a weak and embryonic form, precisely this new type of "state", which is not a state in the proper sense of the word.

This is already a matter of the practical action of the people, and not merely a theory of the leaders.

The state in the proper sense of the term is domination over the people by contingents of armed men divorced from the people.

Our emergent, new state is also a state, for we too need contingents of armed men, we too need the strictest order, and must ruthlessly crush by force all attempts at either a tsarist or a Guchkov-bourgeois counter-revolution.

But our emergent, new state is no longer a state in the proper sense of the term, for in some parts of Russia these contingents of armed men are the masses themselves, the entire people, and not certain privileged persons placed over the people, and divorced from the people, and for all practical purposes undisplaceable.

We must look forward, and not backward to the usual bourgeois type of democracy, which consolidated the rule of the bourgeoisie with the aid of tho old, monarchist organs of administration, the police, the army and the bureaucracy.

We must look forward to the emergent new democracy, which is already ceasing to be a democracy, for democracy means the domination of the people, and the armed people cannot dominate themselves.

The term democracy is not only scientifically incorrect when applied to a Communist Party; it has now, since March 1917, simply become blinkers put on the eyes of the revolutionary people and preventing them from boldly and freely, on their own initiative, building up the new: the Soviets of Workers', Peasants', and all other Deputies, as the sole power in the "state" and as the harbinger of the "withering away" of the state in every form.

My fourth argument: we must reckon with the actual situation in which socialism finds itself internationally.

It is not what it was during the years 1871 to 1914, when Marx and Engels knowingly put up with the inaccurate, opportunist term Social-Democracy". For in those days, after the defeat of the Paris Commune, history made slow organisational and educational work the task of the day. Nothing else was possible. The anarchists were then (as they are now) fundamentally wrong not only theoretically, but also economically and politically. The anarchists misjudged the character of the times, for they failed to understand the world situation: the worker of Britain corrupted by imperialist profits, the Commune defeated in Paris, the recent (1871) triumph of the bourgeois national movement in Germany, the age-long sleep of semi-feudal Russia.

Marx and Engels gauged the times accurately; they understood the international situation; they understood that the approach to the beginning of the social revolution must be slow.

We, in our turn, must also understand the specific features and tasks of the new era. Let us not imitate those sorry Marxists of whom Marx said: "I have sown dragon's teeth and harvested fleas."

The objective inevitability of capitalism which grew into imperialism brought about the imperialist war. The war has brought mankind to the brink of a precipice, to the brink of the destruction of civilisation, of the brutalisation and destruction of more millions, countless millions, of human beings.

The only way out is through a proletarian revolution.

At the very moment when such a revolution is beginning, when it is taking its first hesitant, groping steps, steps betraying too great a confidence in the bourgeoisie, at such a moment the majority (that is the truth, that is a fact) of the "Social-Democratic" leaders, of the "Social-Democratic" parliamentarians, of the "Social-Democratic" newspapers -- and these are precisely the organs that influence the people -- have deserted socialism, have betrayed socialism and have gone over to the side of "their own" national bourgeoisie.

The people have been confused, led astray and deceived by these leaders.

And we shall aid and abet that deception if we retain the old and out-of-date Party name, which is as decayed as the Second International!

Granted that "many" workers understand Social-Democracy in an honest way; but it is time to learn how to distinguish the subjective from the objective.

Subjectively, such Social-Democratic workers are most loyal leaders of the proletarians.

Objectively, however, the world situation is such that the old name of our Party makes it easier to fool the people and impedes the onward march; for at every step, in every paper, in every parliamentary group, the masses see leaders, i.e., people whose voices carry farthest and whose actions are most conspicuous; yet they are all "would-be Social-Democrats", they are all "for unity" with the betrayers of socialism, with the social-chauvinists; and they are all presenting for payment the old bills issued by "Social-Democracy". . . .

And what are the arguments against? . . . We'll be confused with the Anarchist-Communists, they say. . . 

Why are we not afraid of being confused with the Social-Nationalists, the Social-Liberals, or the Radical-Socialists, the foremost bourgeois party in the French Republic and the most adroit in the bourgeois deception of the people? . . . We are told: The people are used to it, the workers have come to "love" their Social-Democratic Party.

That is the only argument. But it is an argument that dismisses the science of Marxism, the tasks of the morrow in the revolution, the objective position of world socialism, the shameful collapse of the Second International, and the harm done to the practical cause by the packs of "would-be Social-Democrats" who surround the proletarians.

It is an argument of routinism, an argument of inertia, an argument of stagnation.

But we are out to rebuild the world. We are out to put an end to the imperialist world war into which hundreds of millions of people have been drawn and in which the interests of billions and billions of capital are involved, a war which cannot end in a truly democratic peace without the greatest proletarian revolution in the history of mankind.

Yet we are afraid of our own selves. We are loth to cast off the "dear old" soiled shirt. . . .

But it is time to cast off the soiled shirt and to put on clean linen.

Petrograd, April 10, 1917


My pamphlet has become out of date owing to the general economic disorganisation and the inefficiency of the St. Petersburg presses. The pamphlet was written on April 10, 1917, today is May 28, and it has not come out yet!

It was written as a draft platform to propagandise my views before the All-Russia Conference of our Party, the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party of Bolsheviks. The pamphlet was typed in several copies and handed out to Party members before and during the Conference so that it did its job in part. But the Conference took place from April 24 to April 29, 1917, its resolutions have long since been published (see supplement to Soldatskaya Pravda No. 13 and the attentive reader will have noticed that my pamphlet often served as the original draft of those resolutions.

It is left for me to express the hope that the pamphlet will still be of some value because of its connection with those resolutions and because it explains them, and to deal here with two points.

I suggested on page 27 that we remain in Zimmerwald only for purposes of information.* The Conference did not agree with me on this point, and I had to vote against the resolution on the International. It is now becoming obvious that the Conference made a mistake and that the course taken by events will soon correct it. By remaining in Zimmerwald we (even against our will) are helping delay the creation of the Third International; we are indirectly hampering its foundation, being burdened with the dead ballast of the ideologically and politically dead Zimmerwald. * See p.  of this volume. --Ed.

In the eyes of the working-class parties of the whole world, our Party's position is now such that it is our duty to found a Third International without delay. Today there is nobody but us to do it, and procrastination can only do harm. If we remain in Zimmerwald for information only, we shall have our hands freed to establish the new International (and at the same time be able to use Zimmerwald should circumstances make it possible).

Because of the mistake made by the Conference, we must now wait passively, at least until July 5, 1917 (the date set for the Zimmerwald Conference, provided it is not postponed again ! It has already been postponed once. . .).

The decision unanimously adopted by the Central Committee of our Party after the Conference and published in Pravda No. 55, on May 12, has, however, gone half-way towards correcting the mistake; it has been resolved that we shall walk out of Zimmerwald if they decide to confer with ministers.[*] I express the hope that the other half of the mistake will be speedily remedied, as soon as we convene the first international conference of Lefts (the "third trend", the "internationalists in deed", see above, pp. 23-25 

The second point I must deal with is the formation of the "coalition cabinet" on May 6, 1917. On this point the pamphlet may seem to be particularly out of date.

But actually on this of all points it is not out of date at all. It is based wholly on the class analysis, a thing that the Mensheviks and Narodniks, who have provided six ministers as hostages to the ten capitalist ministers, stand in deadly fear of. And it is because the pamphlet is based wholly on a class analysis that it is not out of date -- the only change made by Tsereteli, Chernov and Co . joining the cabinet was an insignificant one in the form of the agreement between the Petrograd Soviet and the capitalist government, and I deliberately stressed in my pamphlet (on page 8) that "I am referring not so much to the formal agreement as to actual support"***

With each passing day it is becoming clearer that Tsereteli, Chernov and Co. are nothing more than hostages to the capitalists, that the "renewed" government is neither willing nor able to carry out any of its abundant promises either in foreign or domestic policies. Chernov, Tsereteli and Co. have committed political suicide by turning into assistants of the capitalists, into people who are actually strangling the revolution; Kerensky has come so low as to use force against the masses (cf. p. 9 of the pamphlet: "Guchkov is still only threatening to employ violence against the mass"[*] but Kerensky had to carry out those threats). Chernov, Tsereteli and Co. have killed themselves and their parties -- the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolution aries -- politically. The people will realise this more and more clearly as the days go by.

The coalition cabinet is only a passing moment in the development of the fundamental class contradictions of our rovolution briefly analysed in the pamphlet. This situation cannot last long -- we must either go backward to counter-revolution all along the line or forward to the transfer of state power to other classes. At a time of revolution, when the imperialist world war is in progress, we cannot stand still.

N. Lenin 

St. Petersburg, May 28, 1917
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