General Plan of the Third Congress Decisions

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R e s o l u t i o n s:

1. (a) Real object of the Minority: composition of the centres.

(b) Non-compliance with Congress decisions.

(c) Split before the League Congress: formation of a secret organisation.

(d) Dishonesty of this act and all resultant disorganisation.

(e) The shame of trying to justify disruptive activities by theories concerning organisation-as-process, organisation-as-tendency, by hypocritical cries about bureaucratism, formalism, etc.

(f) Enormous harm done to the constructive work in Russia by their disorganisation.

(g) Necessity of complete dissociation from the disorganisers.

(h) Authorisation to the centres to issue a pamphlet briefly setting forth the causes and the history of the split, and notification to international Social-Democracy.

2. (a) It is necessary to have expressions of opinion on the so-called conciliationist tendency.

(b) Its only honest non-hypocritical representative was Plekhanov, when he wrote No. 52 of Iskra.

(c) Congress acknowledges the correctness of Plekhanov’s stand at the Second Congress of the Party and at the Congress of the League, and the sincerity of his desire for peace through co-optation.

(d) Unfortunately, Plekhanov failed to maintain his position on concessions towards the revisionists and individualist anarchists; the attempts on his part at justification in principle are obviously wrong and are only likely to create confusion in people’s minds and introduce an element of artfulness in inner-Party relations.

(e) The so-called conciliators are nothing but hypocritical Mensheviks. No independent platform of conciliation exists other than Plekhanov’s, and that, too, he has now rejected (personal concessions, but disputes on points of principle with the revisionists and anarcho-individualists).

3. (a) The Congress recognises differences on points of principle between our position and that of the new-Iskrists.

(b) The new-Iskrists’ utter instability on points of principle goes back to the Second Congress, where they first wholly opposed the opportunist wing and ended up (albeit against their own will and consciousness) by turning to wards it.

(c) After the Second Congress the opportunist tendency became still more pronounced; in the organisation itself systematic petty betrayals were justified. The blunting of such a weapon of the proletarian class struggle as organisation. Distortion of Marxism to the extent of justifying and extolling disorganisation and intellectualist anarchism.

(d) In regard to questions of the general line of its policy, Iskra should have admitted the “gulf between the new Iskra and the old Iskra”. A shift towards tail-ism.

(e) In tactics this was expressed in the attitude towards the liberals. The Zemstvo campaign.

(f) ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” towards the insurrection. Attempts to drag back and confuse.

(g) ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” towards arming.

(h) ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” towards demoralisation of the backward workers with the slogan “independent activity of the workers”, etc.

(i) On the whole, the new-Iskrists=an opportunist wing of the Party.

Basically ill-assorted elements in their camp.



Party and class

Liberals and Zemstvo campaign



Revolutionary dictatorship


Instability on questions of principle (Second Congress).

Shift towards opportunist Rabocheye Dyelo (a gulf).

Their approval by party-fringe intellectuals and open opportunists à la Struve.

Necessity of struggle for the line of the old Iskra.

4. (a) Insincere nature of the cries about a party of the intelligentsia. Utilised by the liberals. New-Iskrists themselves have disavowed it.

(b) Demagogic nature of propaganda among the workers. The “elective principle”, its necessity under free political conditions, its impossibility on a wide scale in Russia.

(c) Empty words about “independent activity of the workers” serving as a screen for tail-ism; they promise organisationally the impossible, use cheap methods to decry “bureaucratism”, “formalism”, etc., but give nothing; they fail to notice the revolutionary independent activity of the workers and hang about the lowest and most backward strata of the movement.

(d) Warn the workers. Class-conscious workers should know and bear in mind the analogous methods of the Rabocheye Dyelo-ists; they should know and bear in mind the position of the old Iskra, namely, the importance for the working-class masses to advance from their midst class-conscious, Social-Democratic workers, worker-revolutionaries, our Bebels, and the necessity to organise every district, every factory, etc.

(e) Only the full consciousness of the advanced workers, the complete elimination of all distinctions between intellectuals and workers within Social-Democracy, can guarantee a Social-Democratic class party of the proletariat.

5. (a) Necessity of immediately preparing for the uprising.

(b) " " creating an organisation or organisations of a fighting character.

+7. (c) Necessity of increasing the number of organisations generally: organising the revolution.

(d) Terrorism must be merged in actual practice with the movement of the masses.

(e) Aim of the insurrection: provisional revolutionary government, arming of the people, Constituent Assembly, revolutionary peasant committees.

(f) Tasks of Social-Democrats in wielding power: full implementation of the whole democratic programme, independent organisation and organisations of the working class, the striving to develop the revolutionary independent activity of the proletariat and the rural poor, steadfast safeguarding of the class programme and point of view, and a critical attitude towards the illusions of revolutionary democracy.

or 7: {

(g) These (preceding) conditions determine also the militant agreement between Social-Democracy and revolutionary democracy for the insurrection.

(h) By revolutionary democracy is meant the consistent and firm democratic currents that accept the whole democratic programme of Social-Democracy, do not hold back from any revolutionary measures, but lack the clear Social-Democratic classconsciousness [sic.]


9. (a) Starover’s resolution[1] is wrong in principle: the crux of the matter is not in declarations but in struggle, in the common struggle.

(b) The declarations and’ slogans of the liberals and liberal democrats do not inspire confidence (Struve).

(c) The arbitrary and false interpretation of these groups as democratic intelligentsia. Agreement with a force, hut the intelligentsia is not a force. Starover has this muddled.

(d) On the order of the day an agreement not on the condition of declarations, but on the condition of participation in the uprising, not with the liberal democrats, but with the revolutionary democrats.

10. (a) Agreement with the Zemstvo men violates even the conditions of Starover’s resolution.

(b) As to not frightening the liberals, that is irrelevant and inopportune. Impossibility of justifying this by the danger of anarchism.

(c) The reactionary meaning of the slogans about “a higher type of demonstrations”.

(d) The impressionist opportunism of the new Iskra.

(e) Abuse of words about “class independent activity” and systematic development of the class.

(f) To publish their first letter for the edification of the young Party members.

11. (a) Most important at the present time:

—N.B.: together with the peasant bourgeoisie against the landlords, together with the rural proletariat against the bourgeoisie.

(b) to stress the democratic aspects,

(c) not to overlook for a single moment the s o c i a l i s t (the e n t i r e socialist) programme,

(d) to maintain steadfastly the standpoint of the proletariat generally and of the rural proletariat in particular.



(e) To support the revolutionary movement of both the rural proletariat and the peasant bourgeoisie against the landlords, down to the complete expropriation of the landlords’ lands, without, however, in any way indulging the illusions of petty-bourgeois socialism by action or inaction, but struggling vigorously against monarchist and Caesarist speculations on the reactionary elements of the peasant bourgeoisie.


13. (a) Importance of work among the soldiers:

(b) Leaflets.

(c) Military organisation, its elements? Special military organisation may be useful je nachdem.[2]


14. (a) To take the programme as a basis....

(b) Travelling groups.

(c) Lectures and agitational speeches.

* *


In the basic resolution against the new-Iskrists it is important to note the following:

(a) The negation or belittlement of the idea of a strong organisation of the class-conscious proletariat and its van guard, the Social-Democratic Labour Party, tends to convert the working-class movement into the tailpiece of the bourgeois-democratic movement.

(b) This is the end-result of the demagogic belittlement of the role of the class-conscious Social-Democratic influence on the spontaneous movement of the proletariat and the theoretical vulgarisation of Marxism through an interpretation that acts as a drag on revolutionary initiative and the progressive tasks of Social-Democracy.

This is the end-result, too, of the idea of contraposing the technical and the political leadership of the revolution and—


  1. The reference is to the resolution of Starover (A. N. Potresov) on the attitude towards the liberals, adopted at the Second Congress of the RSDLP At the Third Congress this resolution was disaffirmed.
  2. Depending on circumstances.—Ed.
  3. Point “d” was not written. Paragraph 13 has a question mark across it.—Ed.
  4. At this point the manuscript breaks off.—Ed.