Announcement of the Formation of a Bureau of Majority Committees
|Written||20 October 1904|
Published: First published in 1940 in the Proletarskaya Revolutsiya magazine, No. 2.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, pubdate??, Moscow, Volume 7, pages 491-496.
The Announcement of the Formation of a Bureau of Majority Committees was sent to Russia in a letter to Bogdanov on October 20 (November 2), 1904; it was not published.
The crisis in the Party is dragging on interminably and becoming ever more difficult to resolve. The adherents of the majority have repeatedly stated in the press their views concerning the causes of the crisis and the means by which it could be ended. The statement of the twenty-two, which was supported by a number of committees (the Odessa, Ekaterinoslav, Nikolayev, Riga, St. Petersburg, and Moscow committees and the Caucasian League), by the declaration of the nineteen, and by the majority members, abroad gave a full and precise exposition of the majority’s programme. Everyone at all acquainted with the development of the crisis and at all concerned for the Party’s honour and dignity has long realised that the only way out is a Party congress. But now the new declaration by a section of the Central Committee and the new decisions of the Party Council aggravate the division in the Party still more. The Central Committee members who have deserted to the minority have not shrunk from the grossest violation of the rights of those members of the Central Committee who remain on the side of the majority. In proclaiming its reconciliation policy the new Central Committee has not only failed to take account of the wishes of the majority, but has totally ignored the latter and entered into a compact with the minority alone, and moreover by means of private, secret transactions. Anyone sincerely desiring a reconciliation would first of all bring together all the warring, contending, and mutually incensed, and that means calling a Party congress. To talk of peace and fear a congress, to go about peace-making and at the same time hold up the bogey of a split because of the minority’s probable defeat at the Third Congress also, is to be a hypocrite, to try to force the caprice of an 6migr6 circle on the Party workers in Russia, to sanctify with the specious slogan of peace a complete betrayal of the majority. In the name of peace the new Central Committee is breaking up organisations which have the audacity to want a congress. In the name of peace the new Central Committee proclaims the publications of the majority to be non-Party publications and refuses to supply them to the committees. In the name of peace the new Central Committee is injecting a squabbling element into the decisions of the Party Council, which dares to talk in print about “deceit” on the part of comrades whose actions have not been investigated yet and who have not even been presented with the charges made against them. The Party Council is now directly falsifying the opinion and verdict of the Party membership, by having the committee resolutions scrutinised by a Central Committee notoriously hostile to a congress, by casting suspicion on these resolutions, delaying their publication, gerrymandering the number of votes, arrogating to itself the congress prerogative of declaring mandates invalid, and disorganising positive work by stirring up the local committees’ “peripheral organisations” against them. Meanwhile the centrally conducted positive work is also at a standstill because the Central Committee and Central Organ are engrossed in resisting a congress.
No course remains to the majority committees and organisations but to unite to fight for a congress, against the so-called central institutions of the Party, which in fact are directly flouting the Party. We are making a beginning of such unity by forming a Bureau of Majority Commit tees, on the initiative and by the common consent of the Odessa, Ekaterinoslav, Nikolayev, Riga, St. Petersburg, and Moscow committees.
Our slogan is the fight for the party spirit against the circle spirit, the fight for the consistent revolutionary line against zigzags, confusion, and a reversion to Rabocheye Dyelo-ism, a fight in the name of proletarian organisation and discipline against the disrupters of organisation.
Our immediate objects are to build up ideological and organisational unity of the majority in Russia and abroad, to support and promote in every way the publishing house of the majority (started abroad by Comrades Bonch-Bruyevich and Lenin), to combat the Bonapartism of our central institutions, to ensure the correctness of measures for convening the Third Congress, and to assist the positive work of the committees, which is being disrupted by the agents of the editorial board and the new Central Committee.
Bureau of Majority Committees
In Russia the Bureau can be contacted through the majority committees, and abroad through the Bonch-Bruyevich and Lenin publishing house.
- See pp. 454–61 of this volume.—Ed.
- The declaration of the nineteen, published by the Moscow Party Committee in October 1904 under the title “Appeal to Members of the RSDLP”, was a response to the appeal “To the Party” issued by the conference of twenty-two Bolsheviks under Lenin’s leadership.