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


Armed Uprising

V. I. Lenin


(1) the whole history of the present democratic revolution in Russia shows us that, on the whole, the movement is steadily rising towards ever more determined, offensive forms of struggle against the autocracy, forms that are assuming an increasingly mass character and are embracing the whole country;

(2) the political strike in October, which swept away the Bulygin Duma, compelled the autocratic government to proclaim the principles of political liberty and revealed the gigantic strength of the proletariat and its ability to take unanimous action on a country-wide scale, in spite of all the deficiencies of its class organisations;

(3) with the further growth of the movement, the peaceful general strike proved inadequate, while partial recourse to it failed its aim and disorganised the forces of the proletariat;

(4) the entire revolutionary movement led with elemental force to the armed uprising in December, when not only the proletariat but new forces of the urban poor and the peasantry took up arms to defend the liberties gained by the people from the encroachments of the reactionary government;

(5) the December uprising gave rise to new barricade tactics, and proved generally that the open armed struggle of the people is possible even against modern troops;

(6) owing to the introduction of a military and police dictatorship, despite constitutional promises, the masses of the people are becoming increasingly conscious of the necessity of fighting for real power, which the revolutionary people can capture only in open battle against the forces of the autocracy;

(7) the autocracy is weakening and demoralising its military forces by employing them to suppress by force of arms the very people of whom they are a part, by not carrying out the now urgent military reforms that all honest elements in the army are demanding, by not taking steps to relieve the desperate conditions of the reservists, and by responding to the demands of the soldiers and sailors only by tightening police and barrack-room seventies;

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

(1) that at the present time armed uprising is not only the necessary means of fighting for freedom, but a stage actually reached by the movement, a step which, in view of the growth and intensification of a new political crisis, begins the transition from defensive to offensive forms of armed struggle;

(2) that in the present stage of the movement, the general political strike must be regarded not so much as an independent means of struggle as an auxiliary means in relation to insurrection; that therefore the timing of such a strike, and the choice of its place and of the industries it is to involve should preferably depend upon the time and circumstances of the main form of struggle, namely, armed uprising;

(3) that in its work of propaganda and agitation the Party must take special care to study the practical experience of the December uprising, examine it critically from the military point of view, and draw practical lessons from it for the future;

(4) that still greater efforts must be made to form more fighting squads, improve their organisation, and supply them with weapons of every type; and, as experience suggests, it is necessary to form not only Party fighting squads, but also squads associated with the Party, and entirely non-Party squads;

(5) that there should be increased work among the armed forces, bearing in mind that discontent alone in the forces is not enough to achieve success for the movement, that there is also a need for direct agreement with the organised revolutionary-democratic elements in the armed forces, for the purpose of launching determined offensive operations against the government;

(6) that in view of the growing peasant movement, which may flare up into a regular insurrection in the very near future, it is desirable to work for combining actions by the workers and the peasants, in order to organise, as far as possible, joint and simultaneous fighting operations.

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 151-153.

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