August Anti-Party Bloc

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

August Anti-Party Bloc

 

a coalition of anti-Party groups and trends—Trotskyites, Liquidators, Bundists, and so on—which sought to oppose the Party after the Sixth (Prague) All-Russian Conference of the RSDLP (January 1912). The bloc was formed on the initiative of L. D. Trotsky, who in the guise of nonfactionalism aided the Liquidators. V. I. Lenin had noted earlier that Trotsky was more base and harmful than the avowed Liquidators, for he was deceiving the workers by pretending to keep aloof from the factions while in fact supporting the Menshevik Liquidators.

The August anti-Party bloc was set up at the Vienna Conference, Aug. 12 (25)-Aug. 20 (Sept. 2), 1912. Only three of the 29 participants (having 30 mandates among them) had come from Russia; the rest were emigres not directly connected with local party work. Of the 18 delegates with full voting power, two were from the St. Petersburg Central Initiative Group, four from the Bund, four from the Caucasian Oblast committee, four from the Central Committee of the Lettish Social Democrats, one from the Moscow group of conciliators, and one each from the Liquidator groups of Sevastopol, Krasnoiarsk, and the Union of Black Sea Sailors. Of the delegates with consultative voices, there were two from the Organizing Committee, one from the Vienna Pravda, one from the Golos Sotsial-Demokrata, one from the Nevskii golos, one from the Moscow circle of Liquidators, and four from the Polish Socialist Party (left wing); Larin attended without affiliation. The credentials committee was forced to admit that “none of the credentials inspired confidence.”

The reports by Trotsky, L. Martov, and M. I. Gol’dman and the speeches at the conference subjected the most important RSDLP program requirements to revision, and the anti-Party platform adopted clearly showed the opportunistic character of the August anti-Party bloc. The operative part of the platform contained no revolutionary appeals for a democratic republic, for the confiscation of the landowners’ estates, or for the right of nations to self-determination. Instead, there were only liberal demands for constitutional reforms, a sovereign Duma, “revision of agrarian legislation,” the right to form coalitions, “cultural and national autonomy,” and so on. The followers of the bloc came out against the revolutionary policy of the Bolsheviks and in support of the Liquidators. In reality, the August anti-Party bloc called for the liquidation of the illicit revolutionary party and was a variant of Liquidationism.

The unscrupulousness of the bloc’s organizers and the clear predominance of the Liquidators in it led the “Party Mensheviks,” the Plekhanovites, not to participate and the Vperedist (member of Vpered) G. A. Aleksinskii to leave the conference precipitously.

The Organizing Committee, which was elected by the conference and which sought to oppose the Central Committee of the RSDLP, was recognized in Russia merely by a small number of Liquidator groups, their paper, Luch, and the seven Menshevik deputies in the Fourth State Duma. The bloc’s complete collapse was brought about by the further growth of the revolutionary proletarian movement that was rallying around the Leninist slogans, the successful work led by the Central Committee of the RSDLP for strengthening of the party, and the Bolshevik exposure of the unprincipled character of the Trotskyite coalition. The bloc, which had no connection with the masses, fell apart in 1913–14.

REFERENCES

Lenin, V. I. “Vopros o edinstve.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 22.
Lenin, V. I. “ ‘Bol’nye voprosy’ nashei partii.” Ibid.
Lenin, V. I. “Raspad ‘Avgustovskogo’ bloka.” Ibid., vol. 25.
Istoriia KPSS, vol. 2. Moscow, 1966. Chapter 6.
Shalagin, K. D. Bor’ba bol’shevikov s trotskizmom (1907–1914 gg.). Moscow, 1965.

V. T. LOGINOV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.