Social Democrats-Internationalists

Social Democrats-Internationalists

 

a left Men shevik group that emerged during World War I, taking the position of the Zimmerwald Association. The Social Democrats-Internationalists demanded a prompt conclusion of peace but opposed the Bolshevik slogans of defeat of one’s “own” government and transformation of imperialist war into civil war. They brought together various elements of prewar Russian Social Democracy. Unlike Menshevik centrists such as L. Martov, they opposed organizational unity with the Menshevik defensists.

After the February Revolution of 1917, the Social Democrats-Internationalists, calling themselves the “nonfaction Social Democrats,” centered their activities on the newspaper Novaia zhizn (New Life) and attempted to “reconcile” and unite the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks in a single party. They had no clear program on the fundamental political issues. They criticized the bourgeois Provisional Government and demanded the formation of a government of representatives of the socialist parties; however, they considered socialist revolution premature and opposed both the transfer of power to the soviets and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

In August 1917, the Social Democrats-Internationalists formally organized themselves, founding the Organization of United Social Democrats-Internationalists and dissociating themselves from the Menshevik defensists and Martov’s supporters. After the October Revolution of 1917, of which they were critical, the Social Democrats-Internationalists were represented on the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, in which their delegates played the role of the opposition. In January 1918 the “united Social Democrats-Internationalists” founded the RSDLP (Internationalist).

REFERENCES

Sovokin, A. M. “O partii sotsial-demokratov-internatsionalistov.” Voprosy istorii KPSS, 1967, no. 1.
Astrakhan, Kh. M. Bol’sheviki i ikh politicheskie protivniki v 1917 g. Leningrad, 1973.
Ruban, N. V. Oktiabr’skaia revoliutsiia i krakh merishevizma. Moscow, 1968.

A.M. SOVOKIN

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