The Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party, 1899‒1904

Buy hardcover (Brill) haymarket-imageBuy paperback (Haymarket)
Published Nov 2016
ISBN: 9789004218789

Documents of the 'Economist' Opposition to Iskra and Early Menshevism

Richard Mullin

Much has been written about the activity of Lenin and his colleagues on the editorial board of the Iskra newspaper, whereas little has been said about the opponents of Leninism, who unsuccessfully fought for control of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party during the Iskra period. To redress the balance, Richard Mullin has translated 25 documents from this period, most of which express an anti-Lenin view. They include articles from Rabochee Delo, the Jewish Bund’s Poslednie Izvestiia and the post-Lenin Iskra, pamphlets by Plekhanov and Martov, the resolutions of Party meetings and some very revealing private correspondence. However, the result is not an anti-Bolshevik polemic: through these documents a clearer, and curiously flattering picture of Lenin’s thought and activity is obtained.

Biographical note

Richard Mullin completed his doctorate at the University of Sussex in 2010. His dissertation focused on the relationship between Lenin, the newspaper Iskra and the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party.


All those interested in a dispassionate account of Lenin’s political thinking or in the history of Russian revolutionary groups under tsarism: historians, students and scholars of political theory scholars, political activists, Socialists and Communists.

Table of contents


Notes on Names and Dates

1. Programme of Rabochee Delo
2. Review of Lenin’s Tasks of the Social Democrats, Rabochee Delo No. 1
3. Announcement in Rabochee Delo No. 5
4. Plekhanov’s Vademecum for the Editorial Board of Rabochee Delo and Editorial Comments on the Protest of the 17 in Rabochee Delo No. 4
5. Documents of the April 1900 RSDLP Congress Attempt
6. Boris Krichevskii, ‘Economics and Politics in the Russian Workers’ Movement’, Rabochee Delo No. 7
7. ‘A Historic Turn’, Listok Rabochee Delo No. 6
8. Resolution of an Émigré RSDLP Conference, June 1901, Geneva
9. Boris Krichevskii, ‘Principles, Tactics and Struggle’, Rabochee Delo No. 1
10. Alexander Martynov, ‘Exposure Literature and Proletarian Struggle’, Rabochee Delo No. 10
11. Constitution of the ‘Russian Iskra Organisation’
12. Letters from Iulii Martov to the London Section of the Editorial board of Iskra
13. Report of the Fourth Congress of the Bund
14. Articles from Poslednie Izvestiia
15. Letter of Ekaterina Alexandrova to Lenin, Krupskaya and Martov
16. Pavlovich, Letter to Comrades about the Second RSDLP Congress
17. Resolution of the Second RSDLP Congress ‘Minority’
18. Iulii Martov, The Struggle with the ‘State of Siege’ in the RSDLP
19. Georgii Plekhanov, ‘What is Not to Be Done’, Iskra No. 52
20. Georgii Plekhanov, ‘Something on “Economism” and “Economists”’, Iskra No. 53
21. Letter from the Urals and Plekhanov’s ‘Centralism or Bonapartism’, Iskra No 63 & No. 65
22. Georgii Plekhanov, ‘The Working Class and the Social-Democratic Intelligentsia’, Iskra No. 70 & 71