V. I.   Lenin

Material for the Second Congress of the Communist International



Plan of a Resolution Concerning the Meaning of the Concept “Dictatorship of the Proletariat” and the Fight Against the “Fashionable” Distortion of This Slogan[3]

1. Precisely the revolutionary, and only the revolutionary part of the proletariat, to be organised into the party, and a similar part of the party promoted to its leading centres.

2. Systematic exposure to the masses of reformism and opportunism in the party and the labour movement.

3. Replacement of opportunist leaders in the party’s sections, in the trade unions, in the co-operatives, in clubs, in cultural and educational and all other organisations of the proletariat by revolutionary leaders.

4. Formation of communist cells in all and every form of workers’ and small-peasant organisations for systematic leadership of the entire labour movement (and part of the small-peasant movement) by the party.


. Obligatory appointment of definitely revolutionary workers who are entirely free from traditions, habits and prejudices of peaceful work, parliamentarism and legalism, and who, even if extremely inexperienced, are (1) capable of fighting reformism and opportunism (2) and are in close touch with the rank and file of the proletariat and with its most revolutionary section—

their appointment to top posts in the party in sufficient numbers, especially in the Party’s C.C. and the parliamentary group, and in all the most important (for the Party) bodies.

6. Especially detailed subordination of the parliamentary group to the Party’s Central Committee and the latter’s strict supervision over it.

7. The people who are to be considered collaborationists, advocates of a bloc between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie   and proprietors, are not only those who put this idea into practice directly, who stand for a bloc in the government, etc., hut also those who put it into practice indirectly, for instance, those who stand for equality between the working class and the class of petty proprietors, for equality in their points of view, etc.

8. Press organs of the reformists (or conciliation with reformism)[1] L’Humanite,[4] should be closed down. The party should have 1 central organ of a definitely revolutionary trend-not like that of Populaire[5] or Freiheit.[6] The party’s whole press is to be a single thought, a single trend, preparation for dictatorship.

. Deeper into the masses. Not for the labour aristocracy, but for the untrained masses. Not only for the towns, but for the country. Agitation among the masses, not only propaganda (contra British Socialist Party).[7]

Free distribution of leaflets for the backward workers covered by contributions from the advanced.

Proletarians to go to the masses, to assist strikers and farm labourers.

. Open analysis before the masses of mistakes and betrayals of the opportunist leaders (the strike of 20-21/V11. 1919, etc.).

Analysis in the press of all opportunist mistakes and weak speeches of parliamentarians, etc.

11. Systematic work on all occasions and in all respects in application to all spheres of life;

clarify concrete tasks of the dictatorship of the proletariat, viz.:

(a) suppression of the resistance of the exploiters (including the kulaks and saboteurs among the intellectuals);

(b) confiscation, since redemption payment now, after 1914-18, is impossible;

(c) special supervision over the exploiters and bourgeois intellectuals;

(d) immediate revolutionary improvement of life
      for the workers  
      for all the exploited masses
      for the small farmers
at the expense of the exploiters;

(e) neutralisation of the small proprietors the

the middle peasants
small manufacturers
part of the bourgeois intelligentsia i. e., with a view to preventing them going over to the Whites;

(f) determination, capability, skill, special organisation for suppressing resistance.

1. ΣΣ=(α) break down (β) enthuse (γ) neutralise,

12. Epuration…[2]

. “Freedom of the press”?—“assembly”?—“the person’?

Party = the vanguard
(αα) (1) revolutionary part
(ββ) (2) linked with the masses.
Immediate preparation ( 2. 3. 4. 5. 6 (+13). 7. αα
( 8. 9. 10.ββ
Chief danger: Rights, i.e., undisplaced leaders.
3 parties (+ American Socialist Party[8]) (+ Swiss Socialist Party[9]). Immediate affiliation impossible.

Lefts. Their mistakes. Immediate affiliation possible.

Reformism in the Italian Party (maybe, + B.S.P.?)

NB //

Committee on the French Party and press:

Lozovsky Serrati + Bukharin Deslinières + Guilbeaux + Sadoul

Written in July, not later than 4, 1920
First published August 1, 1935 in the journal The Communist International No. 22
Printed from the manuscript


[1] A word in the manuscript illegible.—Ed.

[2] Purge.—Ed.

[3] This is one of Lenin’s rough drafts for his “Theses on the Fundamental Tasks of the Second Congress of the Communist International”.

[4] L’Bumanitf—a daily newspaper, founded in 1004 by Jean Jaurs as the organ of the French Socialist Party. During the First World War it was controlled by the extreme Right wing of the party.

From December 1920, after the split in the French Socialist Party, the paper became the central organ of the French Communist Party.

[5] Le Populaire—a newspaper founded by the French Centrists; published from 1916 in Limoges and from July 1917 in Paris. In 1921 it became the organ of the French Socialist Party.

[6] Die Freiheit—a daily, organ of the Independent Social-Democratic Party of Germany, published in Berlin from November 15, 1918 to September 30, 1922.

[7] The British Socialist Party was founded in 1911, in Manchester, as a result of the amalgamation of the Social-Democratic Party with other socialist groups. Its small membership and its poor links with the masses gave the B.S.P. a somewhat sectarian character. During the First World War a sharp struggle developed within the Party between the internationalists (William Gallacher, Albert Inkpin, John Maclean, Theodore Rothstein and others) and the social-chauvinists headed by Hyndman. Within the internationalist trend there were inconsistent elements who took a Centrist stand on a number of issues. In February 1916 a group of B.S.P. leaders founded the newspaper The Call, which played an important part in uniting the internationalists. The annual conference of the B.S.P., held in Salford in April 1916, condemned the social-chauvinist stand of Hyndman and his supporters, who then left the Party. The British Socialist Party welcomed the Great October Socialist Revolution. Its members played an important part in the "Hands off Russia" movementÇ In 1919 the overwhelming majority of.its organisations (98 against 4) declared for affiliation to the Communist International. The British Socialist Party, together with the Communist Unity Group, formed the core of the Communist Party of Great Britain. At the First (Unity) Congress, held in 1920, the great majority of the B.S.P. local organisations entered the Communist Party.

[8] The American Socialist Party was formed in July 1901 at a congress held in Indianapolis as a result of the amalgamation of groups that had broken away from the Socialist Workers’ Party and the Social-Democratic Party of the U.SÇA.; one of the organisers of the latter was Eugene Debs, a popular figure in the U.S. labour movement. He was also one of the founders of the new party. The party had a socially mixed membership made up of native-born and immigrant workers, as well as small farmers and people of petty-bourgeois origin. The party’s Centrist and Right-wing opportunist leaders (Victor Berger, Morris Hiliquit and others) denied the necessity of the proletarian dictatorship, renounced revolutionary methods of struggle, and reduced all party activities mainly to participation in election campaigns. During the First World War (1914-IS) three trends appeared in the Socialist Party: the social-chauvinists, who supported the imperialist policy of the Administration; the Centrists, who opposed the imperialist war only in word; and the revolutionary minority, who took an internationalist stand and carried on a struggle against the war. The Party’s Left wing, headed by Charles Ruthenberg, William Foster, William Heywood and others, relying on the proletarian elements, waged a struggle against the party’s opportunist leadership, for independent proletarian political action and the formation of industrial trade unions based on the principles of the class struggle. In 1919 a split took place in the Socialist Party. The breakaway Left wing founded the Communist Party of the U.S.A., of which it formed the core.The Socialist Party today is a small sectarian organisation.

[9] The Social-Democratic Party of Switzerland (known as the Swiss Socialist Party) was formed in the seventies of the last century and was affiliated to the First International. The party was re-formed in 1888. The opportunists were very influential in the party, and during the First World War took a social-chauvinist stand. In the autumn of 1916 the party’s Right wing broke away to form their own organisation. The majority, headed by Robert Grimm, took a Centrist, social-pacifist stand, while the Left wing took a,n internationalist stand. The October Revolution in Russia influenced and strengthened the Left wing, which in December 1920 broke away and in 1921 joined the Communist Party of Switzerland.

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