The Unity Congress of the RSDLP (1906)

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Author(s) Lenin
Written 10 April 1906


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First published in 1907 in the book Protokoly Obyedinitelnogo syezda R.S.D.R.P., sostoyavshegosya v Stokgolme v 1906 godu (Proceedings of the Unity Congress of the RSDLP held in Stockholm in 1906), Moscow
Printed from the text of the book
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 41, pages 179.2-181.1.

The Fourth (Unity) Congress of the RSDLP was held at Stockholm from April 10 to 25 (April 23 to May 8), 1906.

It was attended by 112 delegates with vote, representing 57 local organisations of the RSDLP, and 22 delegates with voice only. National organisations were also represented: the Social-Democracy of Poland and Lithuania, the Bund, the Latvian Social-Democratic Labour Party, the Ukrainian Social Democratic Labour Party and the Finnish Labour Party. There was also a representative of the Bulgarian Social-Democratic Labour Party.

Among the Bolshevik delegates wore V. I. Lenin, M. V. Frunze, M. I. Kalinin, N. K. Krupskaya, A. V. Lunacharsky, F. A. Sergeyev (Artyom), S. G. Shahumyan, I. I. Skvortsov-Stepanov, J. V. Stalin, V. V. Vorovsky, K. Y. Voroshilov and Y. M. Yaroslavsky.

The Mensheviks had a majority at the Congress because many Bolshevik Party organisations, which had led the armed action by the masses, were broken up and could not send their delegates. The Central Area, the Urals, Siberia and the North—Bolshevik bulwarks—were represented by a small number of delegates. By contrast, the Mensheviks, who had the more numerous organisations in the country’s non-industrial areas, where there had been no mass revolutionary action, were in a position to send more delegates.

There was a bitter struggle between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks on every point of the Congress agenda. Lenin gave reports on the agrarian question, the assessment of the current situation and the class tasks of the proletariat, on the attitude to the Duma, the armed uprising and other questions, and took part in the committee drafting the Party Rules (see present edition, Vol. 10, pp. 277–309). The character of the decisions was deter mined by the numerical superiority of the Mensheviks. After a stubborn struggle, the Congress approved the Menshevik resolutions on the Duma and the armed uprising, and adopted their agrarian programme.

On the attitude to bourgeois parties, the Congress confined itself to endorsing the resolution of the International Congress at Amsterdam. Without debate, it adopted the compromise resolution on the trade unions and the resolution on the attitude to the peasant movement.

At the same time, on the demand of the Party masses, the Congress adopted Paragraph One of the Rules in Lenin’s wording, rejecting Martov’s opportunist formula. The Bolshevik proposition on democratic centralism was included in the Rules for the first time.

The Congress decided on the question of uniting with the Social-Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania and the Latvian Social-Democratic Labour Party, which joined the RSDLP as territorial organisations working among proletarians of all nationalities in their territories.

The Central Committee elected by the Congress included three Bolsheviks and seven Mensheviks. The Editorial Board of Sotsial-Demokrat, the Central Organ, consisted of Mensheviks only.

The Congress is known as the “Unity” Congress, but it marked only the formal unification of the RSDLP Actually, the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks had their own views, their own platforms on the key revolutionary questions, and in fact remained two distinct parties. Lenin analysed the work of the Congress in his pamphlet Report on the Unity Congress of the RSDLP (A Letter to the St. Petersburg Workers) (see present edition, Vol. 10, pp. 317–82). p. 179

APRIL 10–15 (APRIL 23–MAY 8), 1906

1. SPEECHES AT THE SECOND SITTING OF THE CONGRESS CONCERNING THE ROLL-CALL VOTE ON THE WRITTEN STATEMENTS SUBMITTED TO THE CONGRESS BUREAU[1][edit source]

First published in 1907 in the book Protokoly Obyedinitelnogo syezda R.S.D.R.P., sostoyavshegosya v Stokgolme v 1906 godu (Proceedings of the Unity Congress of the RSDLP held in Stockholm in 1906), Moscow

1

I second Comrade Schmidt’s proposal and invite all those wishing to support this proposal to give their signatures.

2

Comrade Larin’s proposal is nothing but the grossest kind of mockery of the Congress minority by the majority....

I repeat: this is gross mockery of the rights of the minority at the Congress, it is an attempt to destroy the s of the rights of the minority held out by the standing orders.

2. SPEECH AT THE THIRD SITTING OF THE CONGRESS[edit source]

First published in 1907 in the book Protokoly Obyedinitelnogo syezda R.S.D.R.P., sostoyavshegosya v Stokgolme v 1906 godu, Moscow

L e n i n objects to Dan’s point[2] and speaks for the need to discuss the question of assessing the current situation and for putting the question of nationalities on the agenda.

3. PROPOSAL ON FORMULATING POINT VIII OF THE DRAFT AGENDA FOR THE CONGRESS[edit source]

First published in 1907 in the book Protokoly Obyedinitelnogo syezda R.S.D.R P., sostoyavshegosya v Stokgolme v 1906 godu, Moscow

To point VIII: “Attitude to the demand of a special constituent assembly for Poland”, add the words: “in connection with the national question in the Party Programme”.

4. WRITTEN STATEMENT AT THE 45TH SITTING OF THE CONGRESS[edit source]

First published in 1907 in the book Protokoly Obyedinitelnogo syezda R.S.D.R.P., sostoyavshegosya v Stokgolme v 1906 godu, Moscow

The very first page of our resolutions says: “the class interests in a bourgeois revolution”,[3] line 27 from the top.

5. SPEECH AT THE 24TH SITTING OF THE CONGRESS[4][edit source]

First published in 1907 in the book Protokoly Obyedinitelnogo syezd R.S.D.R.P., sostoyavshegosya v Stokgolme v 1906 godu, Moscow

I believe I shall express the will of the entire Congress in extending, on behalf of the Russian Social-Democratic Party, greetings to its new members and in expressing the wish that this unity should be the best earnest of our urther successful struggle.

  1. At the second sitting of the Fourth (Unity) Congress of the RSDLP, there was a discussion of the Congress standing orders under a draft put forward by the United Central Committee. A debate ensued on the question of the roll-call vote on the written statements submitted to the Congress Bureau. Two proposals were motioned: one by the Bolshevik P.P. Rumyantsev (Schmidt) and the other by the Menshevik M. A. Lurye (Larin). The former’s was adopted. See Chetvyorty (Obyedinitelny) syezd R.S.D.R.P. Aprel (aprel-mai) 1906 goda. Protokoly (Proceedings of the Fourth [Unity] Congress. April [April–May] 1906), Moscow, 1959, pp. 11–16. p. 179
  2. During the debate on the agenda at the third sitting of the Fourth (Unity) Congress of the RSDLP, the Menshevik F. I. Dan objected to the question of the current situation being put on the agenda. p. 180
  3. A reference to point two of the draft resolution of the Bolsheviks, “The Class Tasks of the Proletariat at the Present Moment of the Democratic Revolution”, for the Fourth (Unity) Congress of the RSDLP p. 181
  4. The twenty-fourth sitting of the Fourth (Unity) Congress of the RSDLP decided on the question of uniting the Social-Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania with the RSDLP p. 181