The Science Work
Site is for sale:
Category: History

Delegation of Russia on Parisian (1889) congress II of International

a delegation of Russia on Parisian (1889) congress II of International

A.N. Svalov

(Russian State Archive of Socio-political History) *

In article the characteristic of members and features of section of Russia on the first congress II of International is given. In the conditions of serious crisis of "classical" populism, on the one hand, and the initial stage in development of Marxist social democracy — with another, intellectuals emigrants were forced to represent on the international congress rather future, than the real socialist movement in Russia.

Delegation of Russia on the Paris Congress (1889) of the Second International

A. N. Svalov

(The Russian State Archive of Social and Political History)

In the article the crew and the features of the Russian workshop on the First Congress of the Second International are defined. Under conditions of a grave crisis of the "classical" Peopleism (Narodnichestvo), on the one hand, and the pioneering stage of the Marxist social democracy's development, on the other, intellectual emigres had to represent rather a future than the present socialist movement of Russia on the international congress.

Since 1889 the II International was the most important organizational form of unity and solidarity of socialists of the different countries and currents. This association leaned on national movements of socialists, on the parties and other working organizations acting as the main force in fight for socialist and democratic ideals. It is clear, that participation in activity of the II International of representatives of any given organizations was caused by a state and trends of development of the socialist movement in the concrete country. One of confirmations to that is representation of Russia on the international socialist and working congress (congress of "the integrated socialists") which passed in the French capital on July 14-21, 1889 1

The end of the 80th years of the 19th century is noted by a difficult situation in the history of socialist

go movements in Russia. Serious crisis of the "classical" bases endured narodnichesky socialism; at the same time the Marxist social democracy took only initial steps and was poorly connected with working class. In general narodnichesky socialism with its various currents still continued to dominate that was confirmed also by activity of separate groups among emigrants and students of Russia.

P.L. Lavrov who was in the international affairs actively interested and supported communications and contacts with socialists of the different countries was the central figure of the Russian emigres at that time. He was well known as the participant of the Commune of Paris and the I International (International association of workers), the socialist theorist and the ideologist re-

* Alexander Nikolaevich Svalov is a candidate of historical sciences, the leading expert of the Russian State Archive of Socio-political History (RSASPH), the academician of Academy of social sciences. Ph.: (495) 229-97-26. Al. address:

volyutsionny populism. Not accidentally Paul Lafarg, one of secretaries of the Organizational commission on preparation of the international congress addressed on May 15, 1889 it, to sign with a request "together with any other member of the Russian colony" the notice inviting socialists to participation in it. However Lavrov refrained from the signature. Having expressed the most live sympathies "to the fighting socialists of Europe and America who will be organized or are already organized under the world banner of International", he said that the absence in Russia of party of the socialist proletariat does not grant now "the moral right" to be present at the congress. The delegation from Russia would be illusion. "For our homeland there did not come yet time when we could take part in great activity of the organized proletariat of all countries" (Correspondence..., 1974: 100) — he in the letter of May 23, 1889 Besides, claimed the forthcoming congress on which it was supposed to discuss as the header subject "international legislation on work", saw each other to Lavrov as the action reflecting the level of development and problems of the western socialism. As a result the initial circulation of the first edition of the invitation notice on the congress which is released on May 27 did not contain signatures of socialists from Russia.

Lavrov's position, despite the adduced arguments, caused bewilderment in organizers of the congress who counted on its authoritative support especially as originally it was talked only of the signature under the document with the invitation to the congress. ". Lavrov's refusal inspired in us fear whether the Russian revolutionaries to the international congress on which issues of work and international association of revolutionary socialists have to be discussed" (Correspondence are indifferent.: 104) — wrote on May 30 Lafarg S.M. Stepnyaku-Kravchinskoma. Having learned about a position "gallant eclecticism", F. Engels under whose general guide prepared

the congress, advised to address members of the social democratic group "Work Release" (Marx and Engels, t. 37: 185). Step-nyak-Kravchinsky who, despite ideological disagreements, belonged with sympathy for vigorous activity of the first Russian Marxists actively interceded for them also. G.V. Plekhanov, P.B. Axelrod, V.I. Zasulich without any reservations agreed to sign the notice. From their party it was the act of solidarity with efforts of Marxists on convocation of the congress which had to prevent among other things plans of possibilist and other social reformists to revive International under the management.

Lavrov's refusal to sign the invitation document and to participate in the congress caused concern in emigrant narodnichesky groups which amplified after news that Plekhanov and his adherents decided to support the forthcoming forum of socialists. To Lavrov letters with statements that it is necessary to use a tribune of the international congress for acquaintance "the Western European socialists as with a socioeconomic and political condition of Russia, and with the provision of the Russian revolutionary movement in it" arrived. A circle of revolutionary socialists in Bern, having noted importance of presence on the congress of the representatives speaking on behalf of National Will wrote Lavrova: "It is desirable for us to express in the mandate: in-1-x, the sympathy to the called international congress; in-2-x, we wish the rapport (i.e. the report was read on the congress. — Ampere-second.) about the current state of social revolutionary movement in Russia, and, in-3-x that position of the Russian political exiled and prisoners" (Svalov, was found out 2002 at the same time in a type of events of the last years: 171, 173). Taking into account all circumstances Lavrov changed the position and made the decision not only to attach the signature to the third edition of the notice on the international congress, but also personally

to participate in it what reported to Lafargu in the first of July, 1889 about. At the same time the possibility of a performance with "the short report on situation in what there is at the moment socialism on my homeland", was from its party an indispensable condition (Correspondence.: 106).

In Paris, as we know, also other international working congress known in the history as the congress of possibilist at the same time was preparing. His organizers also did not ignore Lavrov. In particular, he received the letter of National council of Federation of the working socialists of France of May 20, 1889 with the application of the printing announcement of the forthcoming congress. The letter contained a request to inform

about it is mute all "the Russian working socialists". At the same time it was noted that formalities for delegates from the countries where "the despotism dominates", will be eliminated and will be required only documents, "the delegations establishing moral reality". "Be so kind and serve as the intermediary between us and your companions who are both in exile and in Russia". Lavrov's answer was in many respects formal. Having written what will consider "a debt and pleasure to grant their desire", he expressed doubts that will manage to inform enough soon the socialists living in Russia, "for acceptance of the appropriate measures by them" (MISI: Party of Social Reforms archive). We will specify as the reference that on this "parallel" international congress from Russia M.N. Oshanina living since spring of 1882 in Paris (under a surname Polonskaya) as the delegate of a certain Club of socialist revolutionary refugees was registered. Possibly, only desire to have information, to be aware of events explains registration on the possibilistsky congress of this figure of National Will party, famous in the past, the member of its Executive committee.

We will return, however, to the congress of "the integrated socialists" interesting us. On it Lavrov showed the whole set manda-

t: from Society of the Russian socialists in Paris; editions of a social and revolutionary review "Socialist" whose only number appeared in June, 1889 in Geneva; The "Socialist literary fund" formed by emigrants from Russia to Zurich in the fall of 1887; the Armenian socialist group in Geneva and "groups of revolutionary socialists of St. Petersburg". Under the last the "St. Petersburg revolutionary group" generally student's on structure which defended need of terror as major means in fight for political freedom in Russia (from it Lavrov agreed to adopt the mandate after negotiations in Paris with a narodovolets by Ya.L. Yudelevsky) meant.

Now about other delegates in the Russian section. All of them were emigrants. This is G.G. Beck who was in France sent in May, 1889 from Switzerland as the possible accomplice of preparation of acts of terrorism in Russia — it had powers from three groups dividing the program of National Will; former narodovolets F. Kranz (real surname, name: Rombro Yakov) from the London "International working educational club" which members (about 150 people) generally were Jewish emigrants from Russia; Ya. Barsky and L. Miller (real surname, name: Efim Bandas) from "The connected Jewish labor unions of New York" uniting up to 1500 members in the middle of 1889. Miller was known as the editor of the Russian-language newspaper "Znamya" based by his elder brother, Lev Bandas at the beginning of 1889. However Lev soon (in March) died, and business was continued by Efim who accepted in the USA a name Louis Miller. Lordly, in the past the participant of narodnichesky circles in Odessa who forcedly went abroad in 1881 and living in the USA worked in printing house of the Znamya newspaper. Into the group publishing this "the working newspaper" many socialists whose ideological orientation can not always be defined unambiguously entered; nevertheless on the general direction of the edition,

especially in 1889, influence of the social democratic ideas seriously affected (Sa-medov, 1973). Let's in addition note that execution of mandates of Miller and Lordly from "The connected Jewish labor unions of New York", but not spoke on behalf of Znamya newspaper editorial office as one of trip financing terms. On the Parisian congress they were a part not only the Russian section, but also section of the USA.

Marxist social democrats were represented, as we know, by G.V. Plekhanov. His mandate from "Russian of the social democratic union" was dated on July 11, 1889 and signed V.I. Zasulich. There is, however, a question: why Plekhanov's mandate was signed from it "the Union.", which basis is usually dated in the fall of 1888, but not from the Work Release group? Explanations for that a little. One of them is connected with that situation in which there was a group. After arrest in 1884. L.G. Deycha and the death in 1885 of N. Ignatov the acting members of this first Marxist group remained three: Plekhanov, Axelrod and Zasulich. Registration even of one mandate from "three" could cause an unnecessary gossip. It was necessary to consider also that circumstance that activity of group was associated — not only among the Russian emigrants, but also many foreign socialists — with unacceptably sharp polemic against narodnichesky socialists weakening social and revolutionary forces in Russia. As for "Russian of the social democratic union", about it it is hardly possible to speak as about the new, independent organization; in its declaration the desire of members of the group "Release of work" was shown to unite around itself the increasing number of adherents of social democracy, first of all for the edition of Marxist literature. Anyway the plekhanovsky mandate from "the Union." clearly emphasized existence of the social democratic direction in the socialist movement of Russia. For Plekhanov and his adherents it was essentially vazh-

to ny. Plekhanov's mandate was in advance discussed not only with organizers of the congress, but also with Lavrov, and it is possible, and with other delegates in the Russian section; at least, nobody challenged its competency. Plekhanov on the congress was actively helped by Axelrod who, however, a delegate was not. Certainly, it is possible to carry the data which are found in modern literature only to number of annoying misunderstanding that Plekhanov along with Axelrod was present at the Parisian congress. "as the guest" (see: From P.B. Axelrod's archive, 2006: 528).

The structure of delegation on the international congress showed existence of two main directions in the socialist movement of Russia: narodnichesky and Marxist. And the prevalence of narodnichesky mandates reflected that positions of revolutionary populism at the end of the 1880th years remained even more powerful, than Marxist social democrats.

We will note also other feature. All six delegates who made the Russian section on the congress of "the integrated socialists" had powers from emigrant groups. Plekhanov in this regard quite frankly characterized a situation: "Who was actually represented by the Russian representatives on the Parisian congress? Small groups of "intellectuals"; these groups, without leaning on the working organizations existing in Russia, were socialist only in an opportunity. Representatives of the possible socialist movement in Russia were on a business meeting of representatives valid — and besides already accepted the huge sizes — the socialist movement in the West. They were met very sympathetically; but they could not but see that situation them at least is strange" (Plekhanov, 1925: 113).

Participation in the congress of socialist E.G. Barteneva (under a surname of Artenev) could become a certain exception. Known in revolutionary circles still since

I International, it showed the mandate

from "group of 53 workers of Russia" which was probably issued in the St. Petersburg circle of social democrats which became history as M.I. Brusnev's group (Zhuykov, 1964: 89-90). Its powers, however, were not approved in section of Russia. It was quite possible "to close eyes" to the fact that Barteneva refused to call the area and group from which she received the mandate, as well as on the fact that she out of time presented it to section for check. More important, in our opinion, another: Barteneva's participation inevitably would put other delegates in an awkward position. She would become the only messenger who is directly representing working Russia. Nobody wished to allow such situation, and first of all Lavrov especially as Barteneva declared in advance the intention to act on the congress "on behalf of the Russian working group" (GARF: T. 102. DP. put the 7th - in). With a big share of confidence it is possible to claim: it would have a mandate not "from the homeland", and from emigre organization (as at all), it would be adopted. Nevertheless Barteneva on the congress, though not as the delegate, remained: according to the recommendation of the French socialist Victor Zhaklar it was involved the secretariat, and it, in particular, had an opportunity "to study contents of documents which on the extensiveness could not be read on the congress" (Knizhnik-Vetrov, 1929: 53). Judging by some sources, Barteneva could transfer to the address of the international congress the text of a greeting from the Kharkiv workers (Golubev, 1906: 109), however, according to the researcher G.S. Zhuykov (Zhuykov: 89), the greeting was probably made in Brusnev's group.

Except a rejection of the mandate of Barteneva, other noticeable conflicts in section of Russia on the international congress "the integrated socialists" were not. Despite fundamental differences in approaches to revolutionary and socialist fight in Russia, polemic notes were muffled as in the survey report of Lavrov "On -

socialism lozheniye in Russia", and Plekhanov's speeches. Both of them spoke at a plenary session on July 17 and spoke not so much about socialism, actually socialist movement how many about revolutionary fight in Russia against autocracy. At the same time Lavrov focused attention on its brightest pages relating to populism, to activity and merits of National Will party. History of populism was presented as the history of search of the most effective forms of fight against the system existing in Russia. In relation to the present "serious crisis" of social and revolutionary forces admitted. One of ways of an exit of it seemed to Lavrov in that, "having forgotten contentions of the last time", to try to connect for the benefit of fight against absolutism (the text of the report: Lavrov. Years of emigration, 1974: 233-236; P.L. Lavrov. Report, 1889: Al. resource).

As for the short speech of Plekhanov, about it it was much written in literature. Let's allocate only a few moments. If Lavrov's report reminded of the heroic past and stated the difficult present, then Plekhanov's speech was the Marxist declaration on the future of socialist, more precisely, social democratic movement in Russia. Plekhanov acted as the consecutive Marxist - "Westerner" for whom there is no special "Russian socialism" with his belief in potential of the collapsing rural community. Revolutionary Russia, according to him, is working Russia, and it "should not keep away from other worker and socialist Europe". With fight of a class of modern proletarians, the most revolutionary class "on the essence" (but not with the movement "ideologists and the studying youth"), Plekhanov connected not only the prospects of fight for socialism, but also implementation of a priority — overthrow of autocracy as political system. Optimism filled its conclusion: ". Revolutionary movement in Russia will triumph as working

the movement or will never triumph!" (text of the speech: Plekhanov, 1927: 319-320). Thereby Plekhanov's performance designated a new substantial context for participation of Russia in the international labor and socialist movement, in activity of new International. Plekhanov was applauded. At the same time most of the western socialists on the congress shrugged shoulders, expressing fair bewilderment. Really it is possible to speak with confidence in relation to backward, mainly country Russia about revolutionary fight of the proletariat, to connect with it updating of the country? Only further events in Russia could confirm Plekhanov's correctness.

We will not forget that one more delegate from section of Russia — a narodovolets Beck who was dissatisfied not only Plekhanov's speech, but also Lavrov's "reticences" spoke at a forum in Paris. Having taken the floor during the discussion about the working legislation, Beck announced "idealization" of representations

about the fact that Russia is at a stage fast "transition from old forms of managing to new" that the subsistence economy dies off, and rural communities break up. Capitalism, according to him, "came already grown decrepit to Russia" when all contradictions inherent in it, and ahead not its forward development, but crash, as well as in the whole Europe revealed. From here and groundlessness of calculations on industrial proletariat, on its growth. Socialists in Russia, Beck concluded, in the greatest measure have to be concerned not by lack of the working legislation, but the fate of communities and artels, protection them from the state pressure (Protokoll des., 1890: 92-96).

In general, however, members of the Russian section acted concerning the agenda solidary, having supported the main resolutions adopted by the congress and directed to strengthening of coordinated actions of workers and socialists of the different countries. The decision on May 1 became a certain exception. Plekhanov, explaining a position of delegation of Russia, emphasized that he at it "is not present any printsi-

pialny disagreements in a question of celebration on May 1", and abstention during the vote is explained by what in the conditions of the autocratic mode of a demonstration in Russia in May, 1890 it is impossible to arrange (Ibid.: 123). Let's consider also that the speech about a May Day holiday as annual in Paris did not go. So the reproaches in "underestimation" of this decision by Plekhanov which were found in a historiography are hardly justified. And who could know in advance that it will gain so large historical value?

The Parisian congress made a great impression on delegates of Russia, on emigrants and students from the Russian foreign colonies attending meetings which were open for public. Success achieved by labor movement of the European countries under the leadership of socialists was convincing. But here conclusions were drawn different. So, the hegemony of Marxism shown on the congress once again convinced Plekhanov and his adherents of their correctness of "socialist Westernism". The international congresses opened ample opportunities for perception of experience of the European socialist movement, for development of communications and contacts. Plekhanov in Paris got acquainted with leaders of the German social democracy V. Libknekh-tom and A. Bebel, prominent socialists of other countries. And after the congress Plekhanov and Axelrod's unforgettable trip to London, to Engels, organized by Stepnyakom-Kravchinsky took place. Responses of populists were more reserved. The congress could not but make also an impression on them, but progress of the western socialists convinced many adherents of "the Russian socialism" of correctness of "the way" once again. Lines from the letter of M.P. Lebedeva, the daughter of the magistrate who approached in Paris emi-grants-narodovoltsami are indicative in this regard, for example: "It is better than the socialist congress on which I constantly am, nothing and can be imagined. It is impossible to describe that impression which is made by all celebrities

Europe, the urgent problems which were going to discuss! Meetings (two daily) are so deeply interesting that I would consider a sin to pass at least one of them. All Russian colony happens on them". But further a conclusion follows: "Personally it is so interesting to me because I more and more make sure of inapplicability of the Western European socialism to our country and more and more I like respect for what we already have" (HECTARE of the Russian Federation. T. 102. DP. put the 3rd - in).

The congress of "the integrated socialists" did not make the decision on the basis of the II International, did not elect any coordinating and even the information international bodies. Therefore it is not necessary to call this congress constituent as it usually becomes in literature (and even in the Big Russian encyclopedia). However convocation and work of the subsequent congresses showed that then, in Paris, in a year of century of the Great French revolution, socialists of the different countries laid the foundation for the new international association. Many pages of its history will be directly connected with events in Russia, development in it the socialist movement.

1 Reports on work of the international socialist congresses of 1889, as well as other documents II of International, are republished (see: Le Congr ès..., 1976).

The LIST OF REFERENCES Golubev, V. (1906) the Page from the history of labor movement//the Past. No. 12. SPb.

P.L. Lavrov's report on the Parisian congress II of International. (1889) [Electronic resource]//Chronos. URL:

libris/lib_1/lavr1889.html (date of the address:


Zhuykov, G. of Page (1964) USSR, New about activity of the Russian section I of International//History. No. 4.

From P.B. Axelrod's archive. (2006) Issue 1: 1880-1892 / otv. edition P.Yu. Savelyev. M.: Monuments to a historical thought.

Knizhnik-Vetrov, And. (1929) E.G. Barteneva is a socialist and the writer//Penal servitude and exile. T. 11 (60).

Lavrov. Years of emigration: Archive materials in two volumes. (1974) T. 2: From "Forward" to Group of old narodovolets / sost. B. Sa-pir. Dordrecht; Boston.

Marx, K., Engels, F. Soch. the 2nd prod. T. 37.

Correspondence of members of the family of Marx with the Russian political figures. (1974) M.: Politizdat.

Plekhanov, (1925) Soch. T. 4. M.; L.

Plekhanov, (1927) Soch. T. 24. M.; L.

Samedov, V.Yu. (1973) "Banner" — the Russian newspaper of the social democratic direction in New York (1889-1890)//From history of Marxism and the international labor movement. M.: Politizdat.

Svalov, A.N. (2002) ". Considering important to acquaint the European socialists: Documents HECTARES of the Russian Federation on representation of Russia on Parisian (1889) congress II of International//Historical archive. No. 2.

Le Congrès marxiste de 1889. Le Congrès pos-sibiliste de 1889. (1976) / Histoire de la Deuxi è-me Internationale. Vol. 6-7. Genève: Minkoff Reprint.

of Protokoll des Internationalen ArbeiterKongresses zu Paris. Abgehalten vom 14. bis 20. Juli 1889. (1890) N ürnberg.


State archive of the Russian Federation (HECTARE of the Russian Federation):

T. 102. DP. put the 3rd - in. 1889. 309. L. 47-47ob.

T. 102. DP. put the 7th - in. 1890. 225. L. 99ob.-100.

International Institute of Social History (IISH): Archive of Set of revolutionary socialists / Copy of documents: Russian State Archive of Socio-political History (RSASPH): T. 673 (see the index; affairs are not enumerated).

Annika Maike
Other scientific works: