In Defence of October

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Concerning the Expulsion from the Party of S. A. Lozovsky

"A person who holds an important post in the trade union movement and is debauching that movement with shoddy bourgeois ideas..."

Draft Resolution for the C.C., R.S.D.L.P.(B.) concerning the expulsion from the party of S. A. Lozovsky.

Taking into consideration

1) that Comrade Lozovsky, from the very beginning of the October Revolution, has expressed opinions which radically diverge from those of the Party and of the revolutionary proletariat in general, but coincide on all major points with the petty-bourgeois negation of the dictatorship of the proletariat as an essential phase in the transition to socialism;

2) that by his statement of November…[1] in the newspaper Novaya Zhizn,[2] which has gone over to the bourgeoisie, Comrade Lozovsky has aroused general indignation not only among all Party people, but among the class-conscious workers at large[3] and that the resolution of the C.C. of the R.S.D.L.P. concerning Comrade Lozovsky’s expulsion from the Party, passed soon after this statement had been made, was not announced and carried out only because of the hopes expressed by some comrades that the vacillations of Comrade Lozovsky were of a temporary nature caused by his inability to quickly grasp the significance of the historic upheaval that was taking place with such extraordinary speed;

3) that the expectations of the comrades who wished to give Comrade Lozovsky time to fully grasp the significance of the revolution that took place, have not been justified and that Comrade Lozovsky’s entire political conduct and especially his articles in Nos. 7 and 8 of Professionalny Vestnik[4] point to this comrade’s complete divergence from the cardinal principles of socialism in his approach to the role of the proletariat in the socialist revolution;

4) that membership of the Party by a person who holds an important post in the trade union movement and is debauching that movement with shoddy bourgeois ideas, not only compromises the Party and demoralises all organisational work among the proletariat, but causes enormous practical harm to the urgent task of organising socialist production by the trade unions;

5) that joint work in the ranks of a single Party is impossible with a person who does not understand the necessity for the dictatorship of the proletariat, which is recognised by our Party Programme, who does not understand that without such a dictatorship, that is, without a systematic, ruthless suppression of the resistance of the exploiters, which sticks at no bourgeois-democratic formulas, one cannot conceive of any consistently democratic, leave alone socialist, revolution, nor of any serious measures for coping with the crisis and economic chaos caused by the war;

6) that joint work in the ranks of a single Party is impossible with a person who repudiates the socialist tasks of the proletariat, which has won political power; with a person who refuses to accept the idea that it is the duty of the trade unions to take upon themselves state functions and carry through with the greatest vigour and determination the socialist reorganisation of production and distribution on a nation-wide scale,

the C.C. of the R.S.D.L.P resolves: that Comrade Lozovsky be expelled from the R.S.D.L.Party (Bolsheviks) and this resolution be published without delay.


[1] Lenin has left a space in the manuscript for the date.—Ed.

[2] Novaya Zhizn (New Life)—a daily newspaper, published in Petrograd from April 18 (May 1), 1917 to July 1918; sponsored by Menshevik internationalists and writers grouped around the magazine Letopis (Chronicle). The paper adopted a hostile attitude to the October Socialist Revolution and the establishment of Soviet power. From June 1, 1918, appeared in two editions—in Petrograd and Moscow. Both were closed down in July 1918.

[3] This refers to the statement by S. A. Lozovsky, then Secretary of the All-Russia Central Council of Trade Unions, addressed to the Bolshevik group in the Central Executive Committee. It was published in the newspaper Novaya Zhizn No. 172 for November 4 (17), 1917. In December 1917 S. A. Lozovsky was expelled from the Bolshevik Party. He was reinstated in December 1919.

[4] Lenin is referring to S. A. Lozovsky’s articles “The All-Russia Congress of Trade Unions” and “The Trade Unions and Soviet Power” published in Professionalny Vestnik, Nos. 7 apd 8, 1917.

Professionalny Vestnik (Trade Union Herald)—a journal, organ of the All-Russia Central Council of Trade Unions; appeared from September 1917 to March 1919 in Petrograd.


Source: Marxist Internet Archive.

The February Revolution
Strikes and protests erupt on women's day in Petrograd and develop into a mass movement involving hundreds of thousands of workers; within 5 days the workers win over the army and bring down the hated and seemingly omnipotent Tsarist Monarchy.
Lenin Returns
Lenin returns to Russia and presents his ‘April Theses’ denouncing the Bourgeois Provisional Government and calling for “All Power to the Soviets!”
The June Days
Following the First All-Russian Congress of Soviets, the reformist leaders called a demonstration to show the strength of "democracy". 400,000 people attended, the vast majority carried banners with Bolshevik slogans.
The July Days
Spontaneous, armed demonstrations against the Provisional Government erupt in Petrograd. The workers and soldiers are suppressed by force, introducing a period of reaction and making the peaceful development of the revolution impossible.
The Kornilov Affair
Following the July days, the Bolsheviks were driven underground and the forces of reaction were emboldened. This process culminated in the reactionary forces coalescing around General Kornilov, who attempt to march on Petrograd and crush the revolutionary movement in its entirety.
The October Revolution
The Provisional Government is overthrown. State power passes to the Soviets on the morningm of 26th October, after the Bolsheviks’ Military Revolutionary Committee seize the city and the cabinet surrenders.
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