Lenin's Electoral Strategy from 1907 to the October Revolution of 1917: The Ballot, the Streets_or Both

Lenin's Electoral Strategy from 1907 to the October Revolution of 1917: The Ballot, the Streets_or Both

Language: English

Pages: 281

ISBN: 1137393785

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


This book is the first full-length study of Lenin's party building project and writings on elections, looking in detail at his leadership of the Bolshevik wing of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party in the four state Dumas from 1906 to the beginning of the First World War.

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criticism was revelatory— most of the Duma fraction members were Mensheviks! Never did Lenin hint so much in his published utterances. Taking into account the way in which they were elected, he treated them as if they were teachable. Labels such as “Mensheviks” were simply that for him—another indication of how important this work was for him.68 SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARLIAMENTARY WORK: LESSONS FROM ELSEWHERE In the discussions/debates about whether to participate or not in the parliamentary

compromise was reached that granted him voice but not vote in internal fraction affairs. Thus the effective division in the fraction, from the beginning, was the “the seven” versus “the six.” The Bolsheviks questioned the legitimacy of the Menshevik “majority,” since one of its members was the choice of the provincial assembly in Siberia in which almost half of the electors from the worker’s curia had been “disqualified” by the regime— what gave the Mensheviks, in Lenin’s terms, an “accidental

employed in place of the now soiled “social democracy”—was to convince the soviets to take power for themselves. “As long as we are in the minority,” as the fourth thesis put it, “‘patient’ explaining” was necessary to win “the majority of the deputies in all (or in most) Soviets” to the view that the provisional government did not serve the interest of Russia’s producers.44 The Central Committee made clear in a resolution adopted on April 22 that the Bolsheviks were not demanding immediate

AND ELECTORAL NORMS Except for a one-page party resolution, there are no sustained discussions in Lenin’s published corpus between February and October on elections, the tactics and strategy of campaigning, and related matters similar to what he produced in the run ups to the four Dumas.65 What does exist, however, makes certain that all he had done in the electoral arena before was as valid for him, if not more, in the heady days of 1917. New this time in post-February Russia, with

offer any lessons to those not just in Tahrir Square but anywhere who seek for the world’s toilers a workingclass solution to a still-unfolding capitalist crisis of unprecedented scope? An Overview of the Evidence and Four Arguments A summary of Lenin’s electoral and parliamentary strategy and how it played out is in order before I interrogate the book’s claims. His two basic premises, the subject of Chapter 1 in LES1905, were bequeathed by Marx and Engels. The first, based on the balance sheets

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