Lenin - Collected Work - v. 29 - March-August 1919

Lenin - Collected Work - v. 29 - March-August 1919

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the present stage of capitalist devel-
opment  into  an  era  of  proletarian  communist  revolution.

That  era  has  dawned.
(15) Only a proletarian communist revolution can lead hu-

manity out of the impasse which imperialism and imperial-
ist wars have created. Whatever difficulties the revolution
may have to encounter, whatever possible temporary set-
backs or waves of counter-revolution it may have to con-
tend with, the final victory of the proletariat is inevitable.

*  *  *
(16) The victory of the world proletarian revolution calls

for the complete confidence, the closest fraternal alliance
and the greatest possible unity of revolutionary action on
the part of the working class of the advanced countries.
These conditions cannot be created without a determined,
principled rupture with, and a relentless struggle against,
those bourgeois distortions of socialism that have gained
the upper hand in the top echelons of the official “Social-
Democratic”  and  “socialist”  parties.

(17) One such distortion, on the one hand, is the trend
of opportunism and social-chauvinism, socialism in words
but chauvinism in deeds, the concealment of the defence
of the predatory interests of one’s “own” national bourgeoi-
sie behind the false slogan of “defence of the fatherland”,
both in general and during the imperialist war of 1914-18
in particular. This trend has come into being because in
the advanced capitalist states, the bourgeoisie, by plun-
dering the colonial and weak nations, has been able to bribe
the upper stratum of the proletariat with crumbs from the
superprofits obtained from this plunder and ensure them in
peace-time a tolerable, petty-bourgeois existence, and to
take the leaders of that stratum into its service. The oppor-
tunists and social-chauvinists, being servants of the bour-
geoisie, are real class enemies of the proletariat, especially
today, when, in alliance with the capitalists, they are crush-
ing the proletarian revolutionary movement with a mailed
fist,  both  in  their  own  and  in  other  countries.

(18) Another bourgeois distortion of socialism is, on the
other hand, the “Centrist” trend, also to be found in all



V.  I.  LENIN124

capitalist countries, which wavers between the social-chau-
vinists and the Communists, advocates unity with the former
and is attempting to resuscitate the bankrupt Second In-
ternational. The only leader of the proletariat in its struggle
for emancipation is the new, Third, Communist Interna-
tional that has actually been founded by the formation of
Communist Parties from the truly proletarian elements of
the former socialist parties in a number of countries, partic-
ularly in Germany, and is gaining the growing sympathy
of the proletarian masses in all countries. This Interna-
tional is returning to Marxism, not only in its name, but in
all its political and ideological content, and in all its activ-
ities is implementing the revolutionary doctrine of Marx,
cleansed  of  bourgeois  opportunist  distortions.

Pravda   No.  4 3 , Published  according  to
February  2 5 ,  1 9 1 9 a  typewritten  copy

corrected  by  Lenin



125DRAFT  PROGRAMME  OF  THE  R.C.P.(B.)

3
INSERTION  FOR  POLITICAL  SECTION

OF  THE  PROGRAMME

To avoid making an incorrect generalisation of transient
historical needs the R.C.P. must also explain to the working
people that in the Soviet Republic the disfranchisement of
a section of the citizens does not mean, as was the case in
the majority of bourgeois-democratic republics, that a
definite category of citizens are disfranchised for life. It
applies only to the exploiters, to those who, in violation of
the fundamental laws of the socialist Soviet Republic,
persist in their efforts to cling to their exploiters’ status
and to preserve capitalist relations. Consequently, in the
Soviet Republic, on the one hand, as socialism grows daily
stronger and the number of those who are objectively able
to remain exploiters or preserve capitalist relations is
reduced, the number of disfranchised persons will automati-
cally diminish. Even now the disfranchised persons
in Russia constitute barely two or three per cent of the
population. On the other hand, in the very near future,
the cessation of foreign invasion and the completion of
the expropriation of the expropriators may, under certain
circumstances, create a situation where the proletarian state
will choose other methods of suppressing the resistance of
the exploiters and will introduce unrestricted universal
suffrage.



V.  I.  LENIN126

4
FRAGMENT  OF  THE  POLITICAL  SECTION

OF  THE  PROGRAMME

The Soviet Constitution ensures the working people immeas-
urably larger opportunities than are provided by bour-
geois democracy and parliamentarism to elect and recall
deputies in a way that is most easy and accessible for
workers and peasants; it also eliminates the negative aspects
of parliamentarism which have been evident since the
Paris Commune, particularly the division of legislative
and executive power, the alienation of parliament from the
masses,  and  so  forth.

The Soviet Constitution also brings the machinery of
state closer to the masses by making the electoral constitu-
ency and the basic unit of the state not territorial but
industrial  units  (the  factory,  etc.).

The closer contact between the machinery of state and
the masses under the Soviet system makes it possible to
create...20



127DRAFT  PROGRAMME  OF  THE  R.C.P.(B.)

5
SECTION  OF  THE  PROGRAMME

ON  NATIONAL  RELATIONS

On the national question, the policy of the proletariat
which has captured political power—unlike that of the
bourgeois-democratic formal proclamation of equality of
nations, which is impossible under imperialism—is persis-
tently to bring about the real rapprochement and amalgama-
tion of the workers and peasants of all nations in their revo-
lutionary struggle for the overthrow of the bourgeoisie. To
achieve this object, the colonial and other nations which
are oppressed, or whose rights are restricted, must be com-
pletely liberated and granted the right to secede as a guarantee
that the sentiment inherited from capitalism, the distrust
of the working people of the various nations and the wrath
which the workers of the oppressed nations feel towards
the workers of the oppressor nations, will be fully dispelled
and replaced by a conscious and voluntary alliance.
The workers of those nations which under capitalism were
oppressor nations must take exceptional care not to hurt
the national sentiments of the oppressed nations (for example,
the attitude of the Great Russians, Ukrainians and Poles
towards the Jews, the attitude of the Tatars towards the
Bashkirs, and so forth) and must not only promote the actual
equality, but also the development of the language and
literature of the working people of the formerly oppressed
nations so as to remove all traces of distrust and alienation
inherited  from  the  epoch  of  capitalism.



V.  I.  LENIN128

6
INSERTION  FOR  THE  FINAL  DRAFT

OF  THE  PROGRAMME  SECTION
ON  THE  NATIONAL  QUESTION

On the question of who expresses the will of the nation
on the matter of secession, the R.C.P. upholds the histori-
cal class view and takes into consideration the level of his-
torical development of the nation concerned—on the way
from the Middle Ages to bourgeois democracy, or from bour-
geois to Soviet or proletarian democracy, etc. In any case,
on  the  part  of...21



129DRAFT  PROGRAMME  OF  THE  R.C.P.(B.)

7
PREAMBLE  TO  THE  MILITARY  SECTION

OF  THE  PROGRAMME

The state of affairs in the sphere of the military tasks and
military activities of the Soviet Republic under the dicta-
torship  of  the  proletariat  is  as  follows.

As our Party long ago foresaw, the imperialist war could
not end even with the simple conclusion of a durable