League of Russian Revolutionary Social Democracy Abroad


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League of Russian Revolutionary Social Democracy Abroad

 

an organization founded on the initiative of V. I. Lenin in Switzerland in October 1901.

The unity conference of Russian revolutionary organizations operating abroad was held in Zürich on Sept. 21–22 (Oct. 4–5), 1901. The representatives of the foreign branch of ihelskm-Zarid organization and oftheSotsial-Demokrat organization (which included the Liberation of Labor group) withdrew from the conference after making a special declaration to the effect that the opportunist majority at the conference could not assure political stability. These organizations then united into a separate organization and issued a leaflet declaring its name to be the League of Russian Social Democracy Abroad (see V. I. Lenin, Soch., 3rd ed., vol. 4, pp. 538-40). The league, according to its rules, functioned as the foreign branch of the Iskra organization. Its tasks included participation in publishing and distributing the newspaper Iskra and the magazine Zaria, promoting the ideas of revolutionary social democracy abroad, assisting the Social Democratic organizations in Russia by training activists, and acquainting political émigrés with the course of the Russian revolutionary movement. The league published several pamphlets, including Lenin’s To the Rural Poor in May 1903. At the Second Congress of the RSDLP in 1903 the league was recognized as the only organization abroad that had the rights of a local committee of the party. After the Second Congress the Mensheviks entrenched themselves in the league and convened the Second Congress of the League in October 1903, using it to attack the Bolsheviks. On Nov. 1, 1903, the party council declared the congress of the league illegal. The Menshevik-dominated league adopted a new charter for the league that contradicted the charter of the RSDLP. From that time onward the league was the chief bulwark of Menshevism abroad until it was abolished in 1905.

REFERENCE

Lenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed. See Index volume, part 1, p. 159.

N. V. ERSHKOV

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