Eighth All-Russian Conference of the RCP Bolshevik

Eighth All-Russian Conference of the RCP (Bolshevik)


held in Moscow on Dec. 2-4, 1919; it was attended by 45 voting delegates and 73 delegates with advisory votes. The work of the conference was directed by V. I. Lenin. On the agenda were political and organizational reports of the Central Committee (speakers V. I. Lenin and N. N. Krestinskii), the international situation (speaker G. V. Chicherin), the agenda of the Seventh All-Russian Congress of Soviets (the development of the Soviet system, speaker M. F. Vladimirskii), Soviet power in the Ukraine (speaker la. A. lakovlev), the Party rules (speaker G. E. Zinoviev), work among new Party members (speaker N. I. Bukharin), and the fuel crisis (speaker A. I. Rykov). In the political report of the Central Committee, Lenin summed up and generalized the two-year experience of the Party’s struggle for strengthening Soviet power, set forth the conditions for victory on the Civil War fronts, and presented an analysis of the international situation. Lenin set forth the current tasks of the Party in the development of the state, the economy, and the Party, the solution to which would ensure victory in the Civil War. After Chicherin’s report, the conference adopted a resolution that reflected the Leninist principles of the peaceful coexistence of the Soviet state with other states. The report on the development of Soviet power generalized the experience of the work of the Soviet state apparatus, elucidated questions of the relationships between the local and central agencies, and submitted proposals for amendments to the RSFSR Constitution. The conference devoted much attention to the Ukraine, where (before its capture by the White Guards) Soviet and Party agencies had made serious mistakes in solving peasant and nationality questions (the organization of communes and sovkhozes without the principle of voluntary association, the requisition of surplus grain from middle peasants, and attempts at russification). After the report “On Soviet Power in the Ukraine,” Lenin delivered a speech and some concluding remarks (the text of the speech has not been found to this day); he set forth ways for strengthening Soviet power in the Ukraine. The conference adopted, for the first time after the October Revolution, new Rules of the RCP (Bolshevik). They were of great importance to the Communist Party, which had become the guiding force of the dictatorship of the proletariat and of the building of socialism. The basic propositions of these rules were retained in all subsequent Party rules. The rules established the principle of democratic centralism, clearly defined the structure of Party organizations, and introduced a new section on candidate members of the Party. The conference discussed the question of working with young Communists (more than 270,000) admitted to the RCP (Bolshevik) during the Party Week held in late 1919. The conference set forth concrete measures for raising the general education and the ideological and political level of Communists, strengthening Party discipline, and encouraging young Party members to actively participate in the building of the socialist society. It adopted a draft resolution on fuel supply to be submitted by the Communist faction to the Seventh All-Russian Congress of Soviets. The conference vigorously criticized the opportunistic speeches of the anti-Party group of T. V. Sapronov and N. Osinskii (V. V. Obolenskii), which was known as the democratic centralism group; this group’s position would have led to a weakening of the dictatorship of the proletariat and to the negation of Party leadership of the Soviet apparatus. The decisions of the conference formed the basis for the resolutions of the Seventh All-Russian Congress of Soviets.


Lenin, V. I. “VIII Vserossiiskaia konferentsiia RKP(b), 2-4 dekabria 1919.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 39.
KPSS v rezoliutsiiakh i resheniiakh s”ezdov, konferentsii iplenumov TsK, 7th ed., part 1. Moscow, 1954. Pages 456-75.
Vos’maia konferentsiia RKP(b): Protokoly. Moscow, 1961.
Istoriia KPSS, vol. 3, book 2. Moscow, 1968. Pages 367-72.