"We have to speak to the millions; we must draw fresh forces from among the masses, we must call for more developed class-conscious workers who would popularise our theses in a way the masses would understand."
Comrades, we are assembled here as the first conference of the proletarian party, in conditions of the Russian revolution and a developing world revolution as well. The time is approaching when the assertion of the founders of scientific socialism, and the unanimous forecast of the socialists who gathered at the Basle Congress, that world war would inevitably lead to revolution, is being everywhere proved correct.
In the nineteenth century Marx and Engels, following the proletarian movements in various countries and analysing the possible prospects for a social revolution, repeatedly stated that the roles would, in general, be distributed among these countries in proportion to, and in accordance with, their historically conditioned national features. They expressed their idea briefly as: The French worker will begin, the German will finish it.
The great honour of beginning the revolution has fallen to the Russian proletariat. But the Russian proletariat must not forget that its movement and revolution are only part of a world revolutionary proletarian movement, which in Germany, for example, is gaining momentum with every passing day. Only from this angle can we define our tasks.
I declare the All-Russia Conference open. Please nominate your candidates for election to the Presiding Committee.
|A brief report published May 12 (April 29), 1917 in Sotsial-Demokrat No. 43||Published according to the typewritten copy of the Minutes|
|First published in full in 1921 in N. Lenin (V. Ulyanov), Works, Vol. XIV, Part 2|