Conference of the Enlarged Editorial Board of Proletarii

Conference of the Enlarged Editorial Board of Proletarii

 

a conference held in Paris from June 8 to June 17 (June 21 to June 30), 1909. In effect it was a plenary session of the Bolshevik Center with the participation of the representatives of local organizations. Those attending the conference included the permanent and most active members of the editorial board of the newspaper Proletarii V. I. Lenin, G. E. Zinov’ev, L. B. Ka-menev, and A. A. Bogdanov and the members of the Central Committee of the RSDLP A. I. Rykov, V. K. Taratuta, V. L. Shantser, I. P. Gol’denberg, and I. F. Dubrovinskii; the last two were also permanent and most active members of the editorial board. Representatives of local Bolshevik organizations were M. P. Tomskii (St. Petersburg), V. M. Shuliatikov (Moscow Oblast), and N. A. Skrypnik (Urals). Others attending were N. K. Krupskaia, A. I. Liubimov, A. P. Golubkov, secretary of the Russian Bureau of the Central Committee, and N. G. Poletaev, a deputy to the Third State Duma.

The main issue discussed at the conference was the question of the otzovisty (recallers) and ul’timatisty (ultimatumists), two leftist opportunist groups within the RSDLP. The representatives of these trends were Bogdanov (party pseudonym, Maksimov) and Shantser, who were supported on several issues by Shuliatikov. A conciliatory position on a number of issues was taken by Zi-nov’ev, Kamenev, Rykov, and Tomskii.

The conference discussed otzovizm and ul’timatizm, the god-creating (bogostroitel’skie) tendencies among the Social Democrats, Maksimov’s protest concerning the article “Not the Same Road” (Proletarii, no. 42), and the Bolsheviks’ attitude toward activity in the Duma, in addition to other areas of party work. Other topics discussed were the Bolsheviks’ tasks in the party, the party school established in Capri, Bolshevik conferences, agitation for a Bolshevik congress or conference independent of the party, and the divergence of Comrade Maksimov.

The conference was convoked and directed by Lenin. It decisively condemned otzovizm and ul’timatizm and called on the Bolsheviks to wage a relentless struggle against these trends. The conference also rejected bogostroitel’stvo (god-creating) as a trend deviating from the foundations of Marxism. The editorial board of Proletarii was instructed to wage a struggle against all efforts to revise Marxist philosophy.

Also condemned at the conference was the factional Capri school established by the otzovisty and god-creators. The correctness of the Bolshevik Center’s view on rapprochement with the Proparty Mensheviks was confirmed. The conference cautioned the Bolsheviks against agitating for the convocation of a “purely Bolshevik congress,” which could lead to a split in the party. Appealing for a continued struggle against the Liquidators and against revisionism, the conference called for rapprochement with all party elements and for the early convocation of a general party conference and congress.

Since Bogdanov had refused to submit to the conference’s decisions, the editorial board of Proletarii divested itself of responsibility for his political activity. In effect, this meant that Bogdanov was expelled from the Bolsheviks’ organization.

The resolution prepared by Lenin and adopted by the conference affirmed the decision of the Fifth Congress of the RSDLP (1907) on the nature and aims of the Bolsheviks’ utilization of the State Duma as a rostrum. The resolution also emphasized the necessity of transforming all semilegal and legal organizations of the working class into bases of Social Democratic propaganda, agitation, and organization directed by underground party cells. The conference adopted a decision to reorganize the Bolshevik Center that determined the center’s new structure and goals.

REFERENCES

Lenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 19.
Protokoly Soveshchaniia rasshirennoi redaktsii “Proletariia”: lun, 1909. Moscow, 1934.
KPSS v rezoliutsiiakh i resheniiakh s”ezdov, konferentsii i plenumov TsK, 8th ed., vol. 1. Moscow, 1970.
Istoriia KPSS, vol. 2. Moscow, 1966.

K. SHAKHNAZAROVA

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