Two Shortcomings

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Author(s) Lenin
Written 23 May 1917


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Written between May 23 and 27, 1917
Published: First published in 1928 in Lenin Miscellany VII. Published according to the manuscript.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1964, Moscow, Volume 24, page 512.

In criticising other parties we should not forget to criticise ourselves. The published lists of candidates for members of the Petrograd District Councils have revealed two short comings in our Party organisation and Party work.

The first shortcoming is this. Our list for Liteiny District has only 33 candidates as against the 63 of the Cadets and the Menshevik bloc with Yedinstvo and the Narodniks. Apparently, our Party workers have not been able to find more than 33 candidates of the proletarian party in this wealthy district. But this is an obvious shortcoming in our work, an obvious indication that we have not gone down far enough into the midst of the working and exploited people. We must break with established custom. In the wealthy districts we must “go among the people” more energetically than ever, and waken more and more strata of the working and exploited people to political consciousness. We should get the non-party proletarian elements—especially the domestic servants for instance—to take an active part in the elections and not hesitate to put the most reliable of them into our proletarian list. Why should we fear a minority of non-party proletarian elements, when the majority are class-conscious internationalist proletarians?...

The manuscript breaks off here.