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The Third Congress of the R.S.D.L.P.
April 12 (25)-April 27 (May 10), 1905

Draft Resolution on
the Participation of the Social-Democrats in a Provisional Revolutionary Government

V. I. Lenin

1. Whereas a really free and open mass struggle of the proletariat against the bourgeoisie requires the widest possible political liberty and, consequently, the fullest possible realisation of republican forms of government;

2. Whereas various bourgeois and petty-bourgeois sections of the population, the peasantry, etc., are, now coming out in increasing numbers with revolutionary-democratic slogans, which are the natural and inevitable expression of the basic needs of the masses, the satisfaction of which— impossible under the autocracy—has been made imperative by the objective development of the entire socio-economic life of Russia;

3. Whereas international revolutionary Social-Democracy has always recognised that the proletariat must render most energetic support to the revolutionary bourgeoisie in its struggle against all reactionary classes and institutions, provided that the party of the proletariat maintain absolute independence and a strictly critical attitude towards its temporary allies;

4. Whereas the overthrow of the autocratic government in Russia is inconceivable without its replacement by a provisional revolutionary government, and whereas only such a change can ensure real freedom and a true expression of the will of the whole people during the inauguration of the new political system in Russia and guarantee the realisation of our programme of immediate and direct political and economic changes;

5. Whereas without the replacement of the autocratic government by a provisional revolutionary government supported by all revolutionary-democratic classes and class elements in Russia, it will be impossible to achieve a republican form of government and win over to the revolution the backward and undeveloped sections of the proletariat and particularly of the peasantry—those sections whose interests are completely opposed to the absolutist, serf-holding order and which cling to the autocracy or stand apart from the struggle against it largely on account of the oppressive stupefying atmosphere; and

6. Whereas with the existence in Russia of a Social-Democratic party of the working class, which, though only in the initial stage of its development, is nevertheless already organised and capable, particularly under conditions of political freedom, of controlling and directing the actions of its delegates in a provisional revolutionary government, the danger that these delegates may deviate from the correct class line is not insurmountable;—

Therefore, the Third Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. holds that representatives of the Party may participate in the provisional revolutionary government for the purpose of relentlessly combating, together with the revolutionary bourgeois democrats, all attempts at counter-revolution, and of defending the independent class interests of the proletariat, provided that the Party maintain strict control over its representatives and firmly safeguard the independence of the Social-Democratic Labour Party, which aims at the complete socialist revolution and is in this respect hostile to all bourgeois-democratic parties and classes.

Written at the end of April 1905
First published in 1926 in Lenin Miscellany V
Published according to the manuscript

eSource: Marxists.org - Marxists Internet Archive
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