V. I. Lenin

Decision of the R.S.D.L.P. Central Committee

Written: Written on July 5 or 8 (18 or 19), 1914
Published: First published in 1918 in the magazine Istorichesky Arkhiv No. 6. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 41, page 334.2.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) © 2004 Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.  

The C.C. expresses its gratitude to the C.C. delegation at the Brussels = conference{1} for its skilful and vigorous pursuit of the Party’s line. The C.C. requests the collegium of delegates to elect one representative to report at a congress or a conference of the R.S.D.L.P. in August 1914.


{1} The conference, called by the Executive Committee of the I.S.B. in accordance with the decision of the December 1913 session of the I.S.B., was held from July 16 to 18, 1914. It was attended by representatives of the R.S.D.L.P. (Bolsheviks) Central Committee; the Organising Committee (Mensheviks) with its affiliated organisations (Caucasian Regional Committee and the Borba group [Trotskyites]); the Social-Democratic Duma group (Mensheviks); Plekhanov’s Yedinstvo group; the Vperyod group; the Bund; the Social-Democracy of the Latvian Territory; the Social-Democracy of Lithuania; the Polish Social-Democrats; the Polish Social-Democratic Opposition, and the P.P.S.-Lewica. The delegation of the R.S.D.L.P. C.C. consisted of Inessa Armand (Petrova), M. F. Vladimirsky (Kamsky) and I. F. Popov (Pavlov). Lenin thoroughly prepared the delegation for the conference: he wrote a report and detailed instructions for it, provided it with the necessary material, documents and factual data which exposed the true face of Russia’s opportunists and theft sponsors.

From the outset there was a sharp struggle between the Bolsheviks and the Russian and international opportunists. On Kautsky’s motion, the conference approved the following agenda: = 1) Programme differences. 2) Tactical differences. 3) Organisational question. Despite the fact that the conference was to be limited to an exchange of opinion, Vandervelde warned that it would adopt decisions on all three items of the agenda. The C.C. delegation, guided by Lenin’s instructions, motioned that the conference should hear the delegations’ reports and suggestions concerning the concrete conditions which each considered necessary to ensure unity. Thanks to the insistence of the Bolsheviks it was decided to depart from the adopted agenda and to go on to reports on the controversial questions and to the formulations of the concrete conditions for unity.

At the centre of the conference’s work was a report of the R.S.D.L.P. C.C., prepared by Lenin and read out by Inessa Armand in French at the morning sitting of July 17. The leaders of the I.S.B. did not allow her to read out the entire report, so she had to summarise a part of it and then go on to stating the terms for unity. Intent on defending the liquidators, the I.S.B. leaders were greatly irritated at the concrete proposals of the Bolsheviks on the terms for unity. On behalf of the I.S.B., Kautsky motioned a resolution which asserted that there were no essential differences among the Russian Social-Democrats hindering their unity. He was supported by the O.C. and Plekhanov, who made fierce attacks against the C.C. delegation and Lenin. An erroneous stand was taken by Rosa Luxemburg, who joined Plekhanov, Vandervelde, Kautsky and others in urging a union of the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. Since the motioning of the resolution was outside the powers of the conference, the Bolsheviks and the Latvian Social-Democrats refused to participate in the vote en it. But a majority adopted the resolution. The Polish opposition, although it supported the Bolsheviks and the Latvian Social-Democrats at the conference, voted for the I.S.B. resolution.   (See Lenin’s article “The Polish Social-Democratic Opposition at the Parting of the Ways”, present edition, Vol. 20, pp. 556–57.)

The Bolsheviks, guided by Lenin, refused to abide by the decisions of the Brussels conference. The attempt on the part of the opportunist leaders of the Second International to liquidate the Bolshevik Party was a failure, in the face of the international proletariat, Lenin and the Bolsheviks exposed the true aims of the leaders of the International parading as peace-makers.

At a private conference of liquidators, Trotskyites, Vperyod supporters, Plekhanovites, Bundists and representatives of the Caucasian Regional Organisation, held after the Brussels conference, these groups set up a bloc against the Bolsheviks. The Brussels (July Third) bloc was a hypocritical cover-up for the politically rotten positions of all its participants; the bloc’s break -no soon after showed the falsity of the policy propounded by the Russian and West-European “unifiers” of the R.S.D.L.P. p. 334

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