Russian Social Democratic Labor Party Internationalist

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (Internationalist)


RSDLP(I), a party founded by the Social Democrats-Internationalists, a group that included V. A. Bazarov, V. P. Volgin, R. P. Katanian, G. Lindov (G. D. Leiteizen), A. Lozovskii (S. A. Dridzo), K. A. Popov, A. M. Stopani, and O. Iu. Shmidt. The party’s founding congress met from Jan. 14 to Jan. 20 (Jan. 27 to Feb. 2), 1918; 15 local organizations of Social Democrats-Internationalists were represented. Although the congress came out against the counterrevolution and the right Mensheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries (SR’s), it at the same time denied the socialist character of the October Revolution of 1917.

The RSDLP(I) lacked unity. Some of its members leaned toward collaboration with the Mensheviks, and others with the Bolsheviks. The majority, however, favored an independent party. The differences within the RSDLP(I) led to splits and to the withdrawal of individual members and sometimes entire groups.

Because of events in the autumn of 1918—stepped-up foreign military intervention, the open adherence of the Mensheviks and SR’s to the side of the White Guards, and the revolutions in Germany and Austria-Hungary (which allowed the Soviet government to revoke the predatory Brest-Litovsk Treaty)—the members of the RSDLP(I) turned toward neutrality or toward an alliance with the Bolsheviks, who were leading the defense of the Soviet republic. Some members of the RSDLP(I) joined the Red Army and went to the front lines or worked for Soviet institutions.

As the members of the RSDLP(I) took part in the joint struggle against the White Guards and interventionists and helped carry out the economic measures of the Soviet government, they became convinced that the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik) was the only consistently revolutionary party that was supported by all the workers of Russia. On Mar. 19, 1919, in a salutatory address at the Eighth Congress of the RCP(B), Lozovskii declared that the differences between his party and the RCP(B) had been obliterated by the fire of the revolution and Civil War and that the Social Democrats-Internationalists should merge with the Bolsheviks. In October 1919 the RSDLP(I) announced that all its members were to join the Red Army, and in December 1919 the majority at a RSDLP(I) conference, where seven organizations were represented, voted to merge with the RCP(B). On Dec. 30, 1919, the Central Committee of the RCP(B) reviewed the conference’s declaration and voted to accept the members of the RSDLP(I) into the Bolshevik Party; in so doing, it generally reckoned the RSDLP(I) members’ tenure in the party from the time they had joined the RSDLP (see Pravda, Dec. 30, 1919; and Izvestiia Ts K RKP[b], no. 12, Jan. 14, 1920).


Sovokin, A. M. “O partii sotsial-demokratov-internatsionalistov.” Voprosy istorii KPSS, 1967, no. 1.


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