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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(ultimatumists), a left opportunist group similar to the otzovisty (recallers) and formed in the RSDLP in 1908 by G. A. Aleksinskii, L. B. Krasin, V. L. Shantser, and others.

The ul’timatisty mistakenly transferred the tactic used by the party during the Revolution of 1905-07—that is, the tactic of boycotting the Bulygin Duma—to the reactionary period from 1907 to 1910, when the party needed to be able to combine legal and illegal types of work among the masses.

In contrast to the otzovisty, who thought that under conditions of reaction the party should use only illegal types of work and that the Social Democratic deputies to the Third State Duma should therefore be recalled, the ul’timatisty demanded the presentation of an ultimatum (hence the group’s name) to the Social Democratic deputies, who, under pressure from the Mensheviks, had adopted a resolution declaring their independence from the Central Committee of the RSDLP. The ultimatum would demand unquestioning submission to the decisions of the Central Committee; if the delegates would not accede to the ultimatum, they would be recalled from the Duma. The ul’timatisty, like the otzovisty, did not consider it important for the party to have access to the Duma as a forum in which it could legally denounce the policies of the autocracy and spread revolutionary ideas. They therefore replaced the “long-term work of educating and rectifying the Duma faction with the immediate declaration of an ultimatum” (KPSS v resoliutsiiakh. . ., 8th ed., vol. 1, 1970, p. 275). The Menshevik majority of the Social Democratic faction would have rejected such an ultimatum, and the faction would then have been recalled from the Duma. Thus, the ul’timatisty were otzovisty under a different name.

The Bolshevik-Leninists struggled against the ul’timatisty and the otzovisty, whose positions were condemned at the conference of the enlarged editorial board Proletarii in 1909. As a result of the criticism, some of the ul’timatisty, headed by Shantser, changed their point of view; the rest joined the otzovisty, together with whom they formed the antiparty Vpered group.


Lenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed. (See Index Volume, part 1, p. 446.)
KPSS v rezoliutsiiakh i resheniiakh s”ezdov, konferentsii, i plenumov TsK, 8th ed. vol. 1. Moscow, 1970.
Shalagin, K. D. “Bor’ba partii bol’shevikov protiy ‘levogo’ opportunizma v period reaktsii (1907-1910 gg.).” In Iz istorii bor’by lenin-skoipartiiprotiv opportunizma: Sb. st. Moscow, 1966.


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