Bolshevik Center

Bolshevik Center


elected at the meeting of the Bolshevik faction at the Fifth (London) Congress of the RSDLP (April to May [May to June], 1907). Because of conciliationist wavering on the part of some of the delegates on the new Central Committee, which meant there could be no guarantee that a consistent revolutionary line would be carried out, the Bolsheviks were compelled to create their own center. It was headed by V. I. Lenin and the following people belonged to It: I. P. Gol’denberg, I. F. Dubrovinskii, N. A. Rozhkov (later, a liquidator), I. A. Teodorovich, and V. P. Nogin (all members of the RSDLP Central Committee) and A. A. Bogdanov, L. B. Krasin, M. N. Pokrovskii, G. D. Leiteizen (Lindov), V. L. Shantser, G. E. Zinoviev, V. K. Taratuta, L. B. Kamenev, and A. I. Rykov. N. K. Krupskaia was the secretary of the center. In 1907 it was located in Finland; in 1908, in Geneva; and in 1909–10, in Paris. The Bolshevik Center was also the expanded editorial board of the newspaper Proletarii (The Proletarian), whose editor in chief and main contributor was Lenin.

The Bolshevik Center had sufficient financial resources for both central (coordinating) and local work, support to party workers and the national social democratic organizations, the transporting of literature, and the running of the Proletarii printing press. Through the Russian Bureau of the RSDLP Central Committee and by means of correspondence, it established ties with local party organizations and guided their work under the difficult conditions of that reactionary period. According to incomplete data, the center had contact with more than 130 cities and populated areas in Russia. Despite the opposition of the Mensheviks and liquidators, the Bolshevik Center ensured the convening of the Fifth Conference of the RSDLP (December 1908 [January 1909)).

A significant event in the life and work of the Bolshevik Center was the conference of the expanded editorial board of Proletarii (June 1909), which had the participation of representatives from local organizations. The conference approved the center’s struggle against the liquidators, otzovists, ultimatists, and god-builders and endorsed the position favoring rapprochement with the proparty Mensheviks. It expelled Bogdanov from the party for his refusal to comply with the conference decisions. It also adopted the resolution “On the Reorganization of the Bolshevik Center,” which stipulated that the members of the center would be “the comrades elected by the London congress who are carrying out party work on behalf of or in agreement with the Bolshevik Center” (KPSS v rezoliutsiiakh . .., 7th ed., part 1, 1954, p. 230). The conference defined the structure of the center and also decided that a Bolshevik center would be created in Russia, consisting of three members of the Bolshevik Center working in Russia who could increase their number by coopting representatives of regional organizations (ibid., p. 231).

Because of the conciliationists’ support of the liquidators, the plenum of the RSDLP Central Committee of January 1910 adopted compromise resolutions on the organizational questions. The Bolsheviks complied with these resolutions and introduced a declaration that stated: “Wholeheartedly endorsing the growing demand for organizational unity of the party, we hereby declare: (1) we are dissolving our faction’s center; and (2) we are ceasing publication of the newspaper Proletarii” (ibid., p. 242). In February 1910 the Bolshevik Center was liquidated. In the difficult years of reaction, the center, with Lenin at its head, had defended the revolutionary line of the party and had in fact provided leadership for all of the party’s work.


KPSS v rezoliutsiiakh i resheniiakh s’’ezdov, konferentsii i plenumov TsK, 7th ed., part 1. Moscow, 1954.
Istoriia KPSS, vol. 2. Moscow, 1966. Chapters 3, 4, 5.
Shakhnazarova, K. V. “Nekotorye storony raboty Bol’she-vistskogo tsentra.” Voprosy istorii KPSS. 1966, no. 11.