Resolution (III) of the St. Petersburg Committee of the RSDLP on the Question of a Duma Ministry

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Author(s) Lenin
Written 6 June 1906


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Vperyod, No. 10, June 6, 1906. Published according to the Vperyod text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1965, Moscow, Volume 10, pages 514-516.
Collection(s): Vperyod

The resolution was linked with the conflict between the Central Committee and the St. Petersburg Committee of the RSDLP over the attitude towards the Duma. Together with Resolution I I. of the St. Petersburg Committee (see pp. 481-82 of this volume), i C constituted the Bolsheviks’ tactical platform, on the basis of which a discussion was held and elections took place to the inter-district conference of the St. Petersburg organisation (the conference met on June 11-12 [24-25], 1906, in Terijoki, Finland, under Lenin’s leadership).

Vperyod published the resolution with the following editorial comment: “The editorial board of Vperyod fully shares the main propositions of the resolution, and recommends the comrades to propose it at workers’ meetings.”


Whereas:

(1) The demand for the appointment at the present time of a responsible Ministry representing the majority in the State Duma is mistaken and ambiguous, for:

(a) the appointment of such a Ministry would not really signify the transfer of power from the autocracy to a popular representative body;

(b) in essence, it would be a deal between the liberal bourgeoisie and the autocracy, concluded at the expense of the people and behind its back;

(c) in view of the present alignment of real political forces, the proletariat has no guarantee that this deal will give it real security in waging its class struggle (at all events, not real enough to compensate for the material harm that will be caused to the development of proletarian class-consciousness by the active support of a bourgeois deal transacted in a period of revolutionary upswing).

(2) In the light of the foregoing, the demand for the appointment of a responsible Duma Ministry can only serve to strengthen constitutional illusions and corrupt the revolutionary consciousness of the people, by creating hopes that power will be peacefully transferred to the people, and by obscuring the fundamental tasks of the struggle for freedom;— Therefore, this meeting resolves:

(1) that the proletariat cannot at present support the demand for the appointment of a Duma Ministry;

(2) that the proletariat supports the idea of forming an Executive Committee consisting of representatives of the revolutionary elements in the Duma, for the purpose of co-ordinating the activities of the local free organisations of the people.