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Draft Resolutions for the Unity Congress of the R.S.D.L.P


The Present Stage of the Democratic Revolution

V. I. Lenin


(1) with the wholesale destruction of productive forces and the unprecedented impoverishment of the people, the economic and financial crisis that Russia is experiencing, far from subsiding, is spreading and becoming more acute, causing frightful unemployment in the towns and famine in the countryside;

(2) although the big capitalist and landlord class, frightened by the independent revolutionary activity of the people who are menacing its privileges and predatory interests, is turning sharply away from opposition towards a deal with the autocracy, with the object of suppressing the revolution, the demands for real political liberty and social and economic reforms are gaining ground and becoming stronger among new strata of the petty bourgeoisie and the peasantry;

(3) the present reactionary government, striving in effect to preserve the old autocracy, trampling upon all the liberties it has proclaimed, granting only a consultative voice to the upper strata of the propertied classes, offering a gross travesty of popular representation, subjecting the whole country to a regime of military repression, savage brutalities and mass executions, and intensifying police and administrative tyranny to an unprecedented degree, is thereby causing unrest and discontent among broad sections of the bourgeoisie, arousing the resentment and indignation of the masses of the proletariat and peasantry, and paving the way for a new, wider and more acute political crisis;

(4) the course of events at the end, of 19O5—mass strikes in the towns, unrest in the countryside and the armed uprising in December, produced by the desire to defend the liberties obtained by the people and taken away from them by the government, and the subsequent ruthless military suppression of the emancipation movement—has revealed the, futility of constitutional illusions, and has opened the eyes of the broad masses of the people to the harmfulness of such illusions in a period when the struggle for freedom has reached the intensity of open civil war;

We are of the opinion, and propose that the Congress should agree:

(1) that the democratic revolution in Russia, far from subsiding, is on the eve of a new upswing, and that the present period of comparative lull must be regarded, not as the defeat of the forces of revolution, but as a period of accumulation of revolutionary energy, assimilation of the political experience of preceding stages, enlistment of new strata of the people in the movement and, consequently, of preparation for a new and mightier revolutionary onslaught;

(2) that the main form of the emancipation movement at the present time is not legal struggle on a quasi-constitutional basis, but the direct revolutionary movement of broad masses of the people, breaking the police and semi-feudal laws, making revolutionary law, and destroying by force the instruments for the oppression of the people;

(3) that the interests of the proletariat, as the foremost class in modern society, demand that a relentless struggle be waged against the constitutional illusions which the liberal-monarchist bourgeoisie (including the Constitutional-Democratic Party) is spreading in order to cover up its narrow class interests and which, in a period of civil war, produce the most corrupting effect upon the political consciousness of the people.

Published: Published in Partiiniye Izvestia, No. 2, March 20, 1906.
Published according to the newspaper text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1965, Moscow, Volume 10, pages 149-151.

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