The Nascent Trend of Imperialist Economism
V. I. Lenin
The old Economism of 1894–1902 reasoned thus: the Narodniks have been refuted; capitalism has triumphed in Russia. Consequently, there can be no question of political revolution. The practical conclusion: either "economic struggle be left to the workers and political struggle to the liberals"—that is a curvet to the right—or, instead of political revolution, a general strike for socialist revolution. That curvet to the left was advocated in a pamphlet, now forgotten, of a Russian Economist of the late nineties.
Now a new Economism is being born. Its reasoning is similarly based on the two curvets: "Right"—we are against the "right to self-determination" (i.e., against the liberation of oppressed peoples, the struggle against annexations—that has not yet been fully thought out or clearly stated). "Left"—we are opposed to a minimum programme (i. e., opposed to struggle for reforms and democracy) as "contradictory" to socialist revolution.
It is more than a year now since this nascent trend was revealed to several comrades at the Berne Conference in the spring of 1915. At that time, happily, only one comrade, who met with universal disapproval, insisted on these ideas of imperialist Economism right up to the end of the Conference and formulated them in writing in special "theses". No one associated himself with these theses.
Subsequently two others associated themselves with this comrade's theses against self-determination (unaware that the question was inextricably linked with the general line of the afore-mentioned "theses"). But the appearance of the "Dutch programme" in February 1916, published in No. 3 of the Bulletin of the International Socialist Committee, immediately brought out this "misunderstanding" and again compelled the author of the original theses to restate his imperialist Economism, this time, too, as a whole, and not merely in application to one allegedly "partial" issue.
It is absolutely necessary again and again to warn the comrades concerned that they have landed themselves in a quagmire, that their "ideas" have nothing in common either with Marxism or revolutionary Social-Democracy. We can no longer leave the matter "in the dark": that would only encourage ideological confusion and direct it into the worst possible channel of equivocation, "private" conflicts, incessant "friction", etc. Our duty, on the contrary, is to insist, in the most emphatic and categorical manner, on the obligation thoroughly to think out and analyse questions raised for discussion.
In its theses on self-determination (which appeared in German as a reprint from No. 2 of Vorbote), the Sotsial-Demokrat editorial board purposely brought the matter into the press in an impersonal, but most detailed, form, emphasising in particular the link between self-determination and the general question of the struggle for reforms, for democracy, the impermissibility of ignoring the political aspect, etc. In his comments on the editorial board's theses, the author of the original theses (imperialist Economism) comes out in solidarity with the Dutch programme, thereby clearly demonstrating that self-determination is by no means a "partial" question, as exponents of the nascent trend maintain, but a general and basic one.
The Dutch programme was laid before representatives of the Zimmerwald Left on February 5–8, 1916, at the Berne meeting of the International Socialist Committee. Not a single member of the Zimmerwald Left, not even Radek, spoke in favour of the programme, for it combines, indiscriminately, such points as "expropriation of the banks" and "repeal of customs tariffs", "abolition of the first Senate chamber", etc. The Zimmerwald Left unanimously, with practically no comment, in fact merely with a shrug of the shoulders, dismissed the Dutch programme as patently and wholly unsuitable.
However, the author of the original theses, written in the spring of 1915, was so fond of the programme that he declared: "Substantially, that is all I said, too [in the spring of 1915],"the Dutch have thought things out": "with them the economic aspect is expropriation of the banks and large-scale production [enterprises], the political aspect is a republic and so on. Absolutely correct!"
The fact, however, is that the Dutch did not "think things out", but produced an unthought out programme. It is the sad fate of Russia that some among us grasp at precisely what is not thought out in the newest novelty....
The author of the 1915 theses believes that the Sotsial-Demokrat editors lapsed into a contradiction when they "themselves" urged "expropriation of the banks", and even added the word "immediately" (plus "dictatorial measures") in § 8 ("Concrete Measures"). "And how I was reproached for this very thing in Berne!" the author of the 1915 theses exclaims indignantly, recalling the Berne debates in the spring of 1915.
He forgets or fails to see this "minor" point: in §8 the Sotsial-Demokrat editors clearly distinguish two eventualities: I. The socialist revolution has begun. In that event, they say: "immediate expropriation of the banks", etc. II. The socialist revolution has not begun, and in that event we shall have to postpone talking about these good things.
Since the socialist revolution, in the above-mentioned sense, has obviously not yet begun, the Dutch programme is incongruous. And the author of the theses adds his bit of "profundity" by reverting (he always seems to slip on the same spot!) to his old mistake of turning political demands (like "abolition of the first chamber"?) into a "political formula for social revolution".
Having marked time for a whole year, the author returned to his old mistake. That is the "crux" of his misadventures: he cannot solve the problem of how to link the advent of imperialism with the struggle for reforms and democracy— just as the Economism of blessed memory could not link the advent of capitalism with the struggle for democracy.
Hence—complete confusion concerning the "unachievability" of democratic demands under imperialism.
Hence—ignoring of the political struggle now, at present, immediately, and at all times, which is impermissible for a Marxist (and permissible only for a Rabochaya Mysl Economist).
Hence—the knack of persistently "sliding" from recognition of imperialism to apology for imperialism (just as the Economists of blessed memory slid from recognition of capitalism to apology for capitalism).
And so on, and so forth.
A detailed examination of the errors the author of the 1915 theses commits in his comments on the Sotsial-Demokrat self-determination theses is impossible, for every line is wrong! After all, you cannot write pamphlets or books in reply to "comments" if the initiators of imperialist Economism spend a whole year marking time and stubbornly refuse to concern themselves with what ought to be their direct party duty if they want to take a serious attitude to political, issues, namely: a considered and articulate statement of what they designate as "our differences".
I am therefore obliged to confine myself to a brief review of how the author applies his basic error and how he "supplements" it.
He believes that I contradict myself: in 1914 (in Prosveshcheniye) I wrote that it was absurd to look for self-determination "in the programmes of West-European socialists", but in 1916 I proclaim self-determination to be especially urgent.
It did not occur (!!) to the author that these "programmes" were drawn up in 1875 1880, 1891!
Now let us take his objections (to the Sotsial-Demokrat self-determination theses) point by point.
§1. The same Economist refusal to see and pose political questions. Since socialism creates the economic basis for the abolition of national oppression in the political sphere, therefore our author refuses to formulate our political tasks in this sphere! That's ridiculous!
Since the victorious proletariat does not negate wars against the bourgeoisie of other countries, therefore the author refuses to formulate our political tasks in relation to national oppression!! These are all examples of downright violation of Marxism and logic, or, if you like, manifestations of the logic of the fundamental errors of imperialist Economism.
§2. The opponents of self-determination are hopelessly confused in their references to its being "unachievable".
The Sotsial-Demokrat editors explain to them two possible interpretations of unachievability and their error in both cases.
Yet the author of the 1915 theses, without even trying to give his interpretation of "unachievability", i. e., accepting our explanation that two different things are confused here, persists in that confusion!!
He ties crises to "imperialist" "policy": our expert on political economy has forgotten that there were crises before imperialism!
To maintain that self-determination is unachievable economically is to confuse the issue, the editors explain. The author does not reply, does not state that he considers self-determination unachievable economically; he abandons his dubious position and jumps over to politics (unachievable "all the same") though he has been told with the utmost clarity that politically a republic is just as "unachievable" under imperialism as self-determination.
Cornered, the author "jumps" again: he accepts a republic and the whole minimum programme only as a "political formula for social revolution"!!!
He refuses to defend the "economic" unachievability of self-determination and jumps to politics, maintaining that political unachievability applies to the minimum programme as a whole. Here again there is not a grain of Marxism, not a grain of logic, save the logic of imperialist Economism.
The author wants imperceptibly (without stopping to think, without producing anything articulate, without making any effort to work out his programme) to jettison the Social-Democratic Party minimum programme! No wonder he has been marking time for a whole year!!
The question of combating Kautskyism is again not a partial, but a general and basic question of modern times: the author does not understand this struggle. Just as the Economists turned the struggle against the Narodniks into an apology for capitalism, so the author turns the struggle against Kautskyism into an apology for Imperialism (that applies also to §3).
The mistake of the Kautskyites lies in the fact that they present in a reformist manner such demands, and at such a time, that can be presented only in a revolutionary manner (but the author lapses into the position that their mistake is to advance these demands altogether, just as the Economists "understood" the struggle against Narodism to mean that the slogan "Down with the autocracy" was Narodism).
The mistake of Kautskyism lies in projecting correct democratic demands into the past, to peaceful capitalism, and not into the future, to the social revolution (the author, however, falls into the position of regarding these demands as incorrect).
§3. See above. The author bypasses also the question of "federation". The same old fundamental mistake of the same old Economism: inability to pose political questions.
§4. "From self-determination follows defence of the fatherland," the author obstinately repeats. His mistake here is to make negation of defence of the fatherland a shibboleth, deduce it not from the concrete historical features of a given war, but apply it "in general". That is not Marxism.
The author has been told long ago—try to think up a formula of struggle against national oppression or inequality which (formula) does not justify "defence of the fatherland". You cannot devise such a formula, and the author has not challenged that.
Does that mean that we reject the fight against national oppression if it could be interpreted to imply defence of the fatherland?
No, for we are opposed not to "defence of the fatherland" "in general" (see our Party resolutions), but to using this fraudulent slogan to embellish the present imperialist war.
The author wants to pose the question of "defence of the fatherland" in a basically incorrect and unhistorical way (but he cannot; he has been trying in vain for a whole year...). His reference to "dualism" shows that he does not understand the difference between monism and dualism.
If I "unite" a shoe brush and a mammal, will that be "monism"?
If I say that to reach goal a we must
travel to the left from point (b) and to the right from point (c), will that be "dualism"?
Is the position of the proletariat with regard to national oppression the same in oppressing and oppressed nations? No, it is not the same, not the same economically, politically, ideologically, spiritually, etc.
Meaning that some will approach in one way, others in another way the same goal (the merger of nations) from different starting-points. Denial of that is the "monism" that unites a shoe brush and a mammal.
"It is not proper to say this [i. e., to urge self-determination] to the proletarians of an oppressed nation"—that is how the author "interprets" the editors' theses.
That's amusing!! There is nothing of the kind in the theses. The author has either not read them to the end or has not given them any thought at all.
§5. See above on Kautskyism.
§6. The author is told there are three types of countries in the world. He "objects" and snatches out "cases". That is casuistry, not politics.
You want a concrete "case": "How about Belgium"?
See the Lenin and Zinoviev pamphlet: it says that we would be for the defence of Belgium (even by war) if this concrete war were different.
You do not agree with that?
Then say so!!
You have not properly thought out the question of why Social-Democrats are against "defence of the fatherland".
We are not against it for the reasons you believe, because your presentation of the question (vain efforts, not really a presentation) goes against history. That is my reply to the author.
To describe as "sophistry" the fact that while justifying wars for the elimination of national oppression, we do not justify the present imperialist war, which on both sides is being waged to increase national oppression—is to use "strong" words without giving the matter the least bit of thought.
The author wants to pose the question of "defence of the fatherland" from a more "Left" position, but the result (for a whole year now) is utter confusion!
§7. The author criticises: "The question of ‘peace terms' is not touched upon at all."
Strange criticism: failure to deal with a question we did not even raise!!
But what is "touched upon" and discussed is the question of annexations, on which the imperialist Economists are utterly confused, this time together with the Dutch and Radek.
Either you reject the immediate slogan against old and new annexations—(no less "unachievable" under imperialism than self-determination, in Europe as well as in the colonies)—and in that case you pass from concealed to open apology for imperialism.
Or you accept the slogan (as Radek has done in the press)—and in that case you accept self-determination of nations under a different name!!
§8. The author proclaims "Bolshevism on a West-European scale" ("not your position," he adds).
I attach no importance to this desire to cling to the word "Bolshevism", for I know such "old Bolsheviks" from whom God save us. I can only say that the author's proclamation of "Bolshevism on a West-European scale" is, I am deeply convinced, neither Bolshevism nor Marxism, but a minor variant of the same old Economism.
In my view it is highly intolerable, flippant and non-Party to proclaim for a whole year the new Bolshevism and leave things at that. Is it not time to think matters out and give the comrades an articulate and integrated exposé of "Bolshevism on a West-European scale"?
The author has not proved and will not prove the difference between colonies and oppressed nations in Europe (as applied to the question under discussion).
The Dutch and the P.S.D. rejection of self-determination is not only, and even not so much, the result of confusion, for Gorter factually accepts it, and so does the Zimmerwald statement of the Poles, but rather the result of the special position of their nations (small nations with centuries-old traditions and pretentions to Great-Power status).
It is extremely thoughtless and naive to take over and mechanically and uncritically repeat what in others has developed over decades of struggle against the nationalist bourgeoisie and its deception of the people. Here we have a case of people taking over precisely what should not be taken over.
This article and the two that follow it were directed against the un-Marxist and anti-Bolshevik attitude of the Bukharin-Pyatakov-Bosh group which began to take shape in the spring of 1915, when preparations were being made for publication of the magazine Kommunist. It was to be put out in co-operation with Sotsial-Demokrat. Y. L. Pyatakov (P. Kievsky) and Y. B. Bosh undertook to finance the magazine and N. I. Bukharin was made one of its editors. Lenin's differences with the group were accentuated after the appearance of No. 1–2 of Kommunist in September 1915. In their theses "On the Self-Determination Slogan", which they sent to Sotsial-Demokrat, Bukharin, Pyatakov and Bosh opposed Lenin's theory of socialist revolution, rejected the struggle for democracy in the imperialist era and insisted on the Party withdrawing its demand for national self-determination.
The group did not confine itself to theoretical differences and openly attacked the Party's policy and slogans. It sought to use Kommunist in furtherance of its factional aims and tried to dictate terms to the editors of Sotsial-Demokrat. Pyatakov and Bosh insisted on the Central Committee Bureau Abroad recognising them as a separate group not accountable to it and authorised to maintain independent connections with Central Committee members in Russia and publish leaflets and other literature. Though this demand was turned down, the group attempted to establish contact with the Central Committee Bureau in Russia.
Lenin was sharply opposed to the Pyatakov-Bosh-Bukharin theses, saying that "we can take no responsibility for them, either direct or indirect—even for harbouring them in the Party, let alone granting them equality". In letters to N. I. Bukharin, Y. L. Pyatakov, G. Y. Zinoviev and A. G. Shlyapnikov, Lenin trenchantly criticised the group's views and anti-Party, factional actions and condemned the conciliatory attitude of Zinoviev and Shlyapnikov. On his proposal, joint publication of Kommunist by the Sotsial-Demokrat editors and the group was discontinued.
The "Nascent Trend of Imperialist Economism" was written when the Sotsial-Demokrat editors had received Bukharin's comments on the theses "The Socialist Revolution and the Right of Nations to Self-Determination". The article was not published at the time.
Economism was an opportunist trend in Russian Social-Democracy at the turn of the century, a Russian variety of international opportunism. The Economists limited the tasks of the working-class movement to the economic struggle for higher wages, better working conditions, etc., maintaining that the political struggle should be left to the liberal bourgeoisie. They denied the leading role of the working-class party. Making a fetish of the spontaneity of the working-class movement, they belittled the importance of revolutionary theory and, by denying the need for a Marxist party to bring socialist consciousness into the working-class movement, cleared the way for bourgeois ideology. They championed the existing disunity, confusion and parochial amateurish approach in the Social-Democratic ranks, and opposed the creation of a centralised working-class party.
Comprehensive criticism by Lenin of the Economist standpoint will be found in his "A Protest by Russian Social-Democrats", "A Retrograde Trend in Russian Social-Democracy", "Apropos of the Profession de Foi" and "A Talk with Defenders of Economism" (see present edition, Vol. 4, pp. 167–82, 255–85, 286–96, and Vol. 5, pp. 313–20). Lenin's What Is To Be Done? brought about the ideological rout of Economism (see present edition, Vol. 5, pp.347–529). A major part in the struggle against the Economists was also played by the newspaper Iskra.
Narodniks—followers of a petty-bourgeois trend, Narodism, in the Russian revolutionary movement, which arose in the sixties and seventies of the nineteenth century. The Narodniks stood for the abolition of the autocracy and the transfer of the landed estates to the peasantry. At the same time, they believed capitalism in Russia to be a temporary phenomenon with no prospect of development and they therefore considered the peasantry, not the proletariat, to be the main revolutionary force in Russia. They regarded the village commune as the embryo of socialism. With the object of rousing the peasantry to struggle against the autocracy, the Narodniks "went among the people", to the villages, but found no support there.
In the eighties and nineties the Narodniks adopted a policy of conciliation to tsarism, expressed the interests of the kulak class, and waged a bitter fight against Marxism.
Reference is to the article "Who Will Perform the Political Revolution?" in the symposium Proletarian Struggle No. 1, published by the Urals Social-Democratic Group in 1899. The article was republished as a pamphlet by the Kiev Committee. The author, A. A. Sanin, an Economist, was opposed to an independent working-class political party and political revolution, believing that Russia's socialist transformation, which he considered an immediate task, could be accomplished through a general strike.
Reference is to the Conference of R.S.D.L.P. groups abroad, held in Berne between February 14 and 19 (February 27–March 4), 1915. Convened on Lenin's initiative, it assumed the character of a general Party conference, since neither a Party congress nor an all-Russia conference could be convened during the war.
The Conference was attended by representatives of the R.S.D.L.P. Central Committee, the R.S.D.L.P. Central Organ, Sotsial-Demokrat, the Social-Democrat Women's Organisation and delegates from R.S.D.L.P. groups in Paris, Zurich, Berne, Lausanne, Geneva, London and Baugy. All members of the Berne group and several members of the Lausanne and Baugy groups attended as guests. Lenin was delegated by the Central Committee and Central Organ and directed the work of the Conference.
The main item on the agenda, the war and the tasks of the Party, was introduced by Lenin, who amplified the propositions set out in the Central Committee Manifesto, "The War and Russian Social Democracy". The resolutions tabled by the Montpellier, and especially the Baugy groups and adopted by the Conference revealed that some Party members had failed to grasp the implications of Lenin's proposition on civil war. They objected to the slogan of the defeat of one's "own" government and advanced their own slogan of peace, and failed to appreciate the need and importance of combating Centrism. All these questions were thrashed out in the debate, and Lenin's theses were unanimously approved. Only Bukharin persistently supported the erroneous views of the Baugy resolution and objected to the slogans Lenin had formulated for the Party and the international Social-Democratic movement. Bukharin opposed the right of nations to self-determination and the minimum-programme demands in general, contending that they were "contrary" to socialist revolution. However, no one supported Bukharin at the conference.
Reference is to Bukharin's theses "On the Self-Determination Slogan", written in November 1915 and submitted to the editors of Sotsial-Demokrat over the signatures of Bukharin, Pyatakov and Bosh.
This refers to the "Programm-Entwurf der R.S.V. und der S.D.A.P. Hollands" ("Draft Programme of the Revolutionary-Socialist League and the Social-Democratic Labour Party of Holland") compiled by Henriette Roland-Holst and published on February 29, 1916 in No. 3 of the Bulletin of the international Socialist Committee over the signatures of Henriette Roland-Holst, J. Visscher, D. Wijnkoop and J. Ceton.
The International Socialist Committee—the executive body of the Zimmerwald group elected at time first International Socialist Conference in Zimmerwald, September 5–8, 1915, and composed of Robert Grimm, Oddino Morgari, Charles Naine and A. Balabanova. Its headquarters were in Berne. Shortly after the Zimmerwald Conference, on Grimm's suggestion, a larger International Socialist Committee was formed, composed of representatives of all the parties subscribing to the Zimmerwald decisions. The R.S.D.L.P. Central Committee was represented on it by Lenin, Inessa Armand and Zinoviev. It published the Internationale Sozialistische Kommission zu Bern. Bulletin (Bulletin of the international Socialist Committee in Berne) in German, French and English language editions. Six issues appeared between September 1915 and January 1917.
See present edition, Vol. 22, pp. 143-56.—Ed.
Vorbote (The Herald)—theoretical organ of the Zimmerwald Left, published in German in Borne. Two issues appeared, in January and April 1916. The official publishers were Roland-Holst and Pannekoek.
Lenin had an active share in founding the magazine and, after the appearance of its first issue, in organising a French edition to reach a wider readership. A keen discussion was conducted on its pages by Left Zimmerwaldists on the right of nations to self-determination and the "disarmament" slogan.
Sotsial-Demokrat—illegal Central Organ of the R.S.D.L.P. published from February 1908 to January 1917. After unsuccessful at tempts to issue the first number of the paper in Russia, publication was arranged abroad. Nos. 2–32 (February 1909–December 1913) were put out in Paris and Nos. 33–58 (November 1914–January 1917) in Geneva. Altogether, 58 issues appeared, five of which had supplements. From December 1911, Sotsial-Demokrat was edited by Lenin and carried more than 80 of his articles and shorter items.
Lenin directed all the affairs of the paper, decided on the contents of the current issue, edited the various contributions and looked after the production side.
During the First World War, Sotsial-Demokrat played an outstanding part in combating international opportunism, nationalism and chauvinism, in popularising the Bolshevik slogans and in awakening the working class and the working people generally for struggle against the imperialist war and its instigators, against the tsarist autocracy and capitalism. Sotsial-Demokrat also played a major part in uniting the internationalist forces in the Social-Democratic movement.
The Zimmerwald Left was formed on Lenin's initiative at the International Socialist Conference in Zimmerwald in September 1915. The group consisted of eight of the Conference delegates, representing the R.S.D.L.P. Central Committee, Left Social-Democrats in Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and Germany, the Polish Social-Democratic opposition and the Latvian Social-Democrats. Led by Lenin, it combated the Centrist conference majority. Its draft resolutions and draft Manifesto condemning the war, exposing the treachery of the social-chauvinists and emphasising the need for active struggle against the war were rejected by the Centrist majority. However, the Zimmerwald Left did succeed in including in the adopted Manifesto a number of important points from its draft resolution. Regarding the Manifesto as a first step in the struggle against the imperialist war, the Zimmerwald Left voted for-it, but in a special statement pointed out its inadequacy and inconsistency. At the same time, the group stated that while it would remain part of the Zimmerwald movement, it would continue to disseminate its views and conduct independent work internationally. It elected a Bureau, which included Lenin, Zinoviev and Radek, and published its own organ, Vorbote (see Note No. 8).
The Bolsheviks, the only ones to take a correct and consistently internationalist position, were the leading force in the Zimmerwald Left. Lenin corn bated Radek's opportunist vacillations and criticised the mistakes of other members of the group.
The Zimmerwald Left became the rallying point for internationalist elements in the world Social-Democratic movement (see also Note No. 36).
This meeting, held in Berne, February 5–9, 1916, was attended by 22 representatives of internationalist socialists in Germany, Russia, Italy, Norway, Austria, Poland, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Rumania and several more countries. The composition of the meeting was indicative of the changed alignment of forces in favour of the Left, though most of the delegates, as at the original Zimmerwald Conference, were Centrists.
The meeting adopted an appeal to all affiliated parties and groups (Rundschreiben an alle angeschlossen Parteien und Gruppen), in which were included, as a result of pressure from the Bolsheviks and other Left forces, amendments in line with the Zimmerwald Left policy. The appeal condemned socialist participation in bourgeois governments, denounced the slogan of "fatherland defence" in an imperialist war and approval of war credits. It stressed the need to support the labour movement and prepare for mass revolutionary actions against the imperialist war. However, the appeal was inconsistent, since it did not call for a break with social-chauvinism and opportunism. Not all of Lenin's amendments were adopted. The Zimmerwald Lefts declared that though they did not consider the appeal satisfactory in all its points, they would vote for it as a step forward compared with the decisions of the first Zimmerwald Conference.
Interpolations in square brackets (within passages quoted by Lenin) have been introduced by Lenin, unless otherwise indicated.—Ed.
Rabochaya Mysl (Workers' Thought)—a newspaper published by a group of Economists in Russia from October 1897 to December 1902. A critique of the paper as representative of the Russian variety of international opportunism will be found in Lenin's What Is To Be Done?
Prosveshcheniye (Enlightenment)—a monthly theoretical, legal Bolshevik magazine, published in St. Petersburg from December 1911 to June 1914. Its circulation reached 5,000 copies. While in Paris, and later in Cracow and Poronin, Lenin directed the magazine, edited articles published in it and regularly corresponded with the members of the editorial hoard. Among his own articles published in Prosveshcheniye are the following: "Fundamental Problems of the Election Campaign", "The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism", "Critical Remarks on the National Question", "The Right of Nations to Self-Determination", "Disruption of Unity Concealed by Shouts for Unity" and "The Methods of Struggle of the Bourgeois Intellectuals Against the Workers".
See present edition, Vol. 20, p. 406.—Ed.
Lenin is here referring to the programme of the French Workers' Party adopted in 1580, and to the programmes of the German Social-Democratic Party adopted in Gotha in 1875 and in Erfurt in 1891.
"We are not afraid of disintegration," the author writes, "we do not defend national boundaries." Now, just try to give that a precise political formulation!! You simply cannot do it and that's where the trouble lies: you are hampered by Economist blindness on questions of political democracy.—Lenin
See present edition, Vol. 21, pp. 159-60.—Ed.
Reference is to the pamphlet Socialism and War (see present edition, Vol. 21, pp. 295–338).
See present edition, Vol. 21, pp. 305-06.—Ed.
Polish Social-Democratic Party.—Ed.
Reference is to the Declaration of the Polish Social-Democrats at the 1915 Zimmerwald Conference. The Declaration protested against the oppressive policy of the tsarist and German and Austrian governments which "deprive the Polish people of the opportunity to shape their own destiny, regard the Polish lands as a pawn in future bargaining over compensation...." "And this," the Declaration said, "brings out with especial crudity the very essence of the policy of the capitalist governments which, in sending the masses to the slaughter, are at the same time arbitrarily shaping the destinies of nations for generations to come." The Polish Social-Democrats, the Declaration said, are convinced that only participation in the impending struggle of the international revolutionary proletariat for socialism—"in the struggle that will tear the fetters of national oppression and destroy alien domination in whatever form or shape—will assure the Polish people, too, the opportunity for all-round development as an equal member of the alliance of the nations".
Written: Written in August-September 1916|
Published: First published in the magazine Bolshevik No. 15, 1929. Signed: N. Lenin.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1964, Moscow, Volume 23, pages 13-21.
Translated: M. S. Levin, The Late Joe Fineberg and and Others
eSource: Marxists.org - Marxists Internet Archive