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The Socialist-Revolutionaries and the labor movement (the beginning of the twentieth century)

The Socialist-Revolutionaries and the labor movement

(the beginning of the twentieth century)

The labor movement and socialism as an idea, the desire for social harmony developed in Europe and also in an increasingly close alliance, did not wash off with traits of each other. The most powerful and organized part of the labor movement - trade unions, were the result of social activity of working class struggle for a decent position in society. Their transformation into a class organization determined by the struggle that they had to carry with employers and the state. At the turn of the XIX and XX centuries, this struggle necessarily leads to the question of subordination between trade unions and workers' parties, these two forms of organization of the working class.

Factor of early formation of political parties in Russia, than the trade unions, has led to the unconditional priority over social policy, the apparent secondary nature of trade unions within the labor movement. Subsequently, after the wars and revolutions weakened unions quickly lost their autonomy, and the process of nationalization was irresistible. Wrote about this VM Chernov - leader and theoretician of the Socialist Revolutionary Party. In this paper, "Statism, shielding socialism", referring to the meaning of the First World War in shaping the new interim period between capitalism and socialism, he noted that "It (the war) have begun and all sorts of" dictatorship ", she first took the workers' organizations as a service bodies to the state; cooperation - for the organization of the food ration system, population, trade unions - to mobilize the labor force for the defense..." [1, pp.8].

The nascent political parties in Russia in the late XIX beginning of XX centuries except the main desire - the seizure of political power, were to act as intermediaries between the public and the state to accumulate and express in their ideological and political interests installations classes and social groups.russia's political parties have begun to include in its program to understand the role of the trade union movement, and its potential use as a tool for implementing policy objectives.

The program of the Socialist Revolutionary Party (December 1905) proclaimed the protection of spiritual and physical strength of the working class in the city and the countryside, increasing its ability to continue the struggle for socialism.

Specifically allocated to the following requirements: the establishment of the working day is not more than 8 hours and minimum wages, insurance through the state and employers, legal protection of labor under the supervision of factory inspection, the establishment of professional workers' organizations and ensure their right to participate in the organization of labor in the factories. It also demanded "On establishing the minimum wage under an agreement between governments and trade unions of workers" [2, c.99].

The party of the then existing political parties, most lucidly and simply expressed the essence of trade union activities, here sounded and the shape of achieving a result - an agreement.

The program for the masses was attractive high social promises, but it was utopian, as in his doctrine did not pay attention to development of industrial production. The basis of the Socialist Revolutionary ideology was the idea of the opportunity to highlight Russia's road to socialism, not waiting for the preconditions for this are created by capitalism. SRs considered the peasantry the main force of revolution. More effective work in the labor union area is not due to the fact that the SR is the party of the middle strata of society - intellectuals, rich peasants, artisans, merchants, etc., are in Belarus, for example, accounted for 75% of the series [3, c.24].

Nevertheless, as for other Left parties, important for the SR was the organization of the masses.

They actively participated in professional organizations and political alliances. Their influence prevailed in the period of revolution in such unions, such as rail, postal and telegraph employees, teachers, officers, soldiers and sailors.

However, far more attention from the SR enjoy the peasantry. Great contribution they have made in the establishment of non-partisan All-Russia Union and the Labor Party in the State Duma, embracing most of the peasants' deputies. In rural areas, peasants formed the brotherhood and unity.

But the peasantry party restrained fear that they have declared on socialization will help to strengthen private property, and therefore SRs more inclined to address the agrarian question "from above", under the law. Hence the practical absence of the peasants in the Socialist Revolutionary governing bodies.

The defeat of the leftist forces in the First Russian Revolution led to the withdrawal of the SR on the need to strengthen the work in the mass organizations of workers. It turned out the same way that the passion of terror, the main tool in the fight against autocracy, has not led to significant results in the fight against autocracy. As a result, the SRs have a more balanced policy for the approval of its influence in labor organizations.

According to the Central Bureau of the St. Petersburg Trade Unions in 1907, the SR of the Board were in 9 out of 36, and in 1909 in 6 of 25 unions. This is explained by the fact that the Socialist Party leadership supported the slogan of "neutrality" of the trade unions. Socialists - the revolutionaries argued partisanship unions could lead to a split in the union movement. The London conference of the SR in 1908 affirmed: "for the sake of breadth and unity of the movement" must be upheld "complete non-partisan and independent organization of its kind" [4, c.23].

Socialists - the revolutionaries came to a conclusion about the equivalence of the Party and trade unions. They, in their view, are equivalent in the sense of setting historical targets and ultimate goals, and the unions are also entitled to consider themselves as the best fighter and a representative of the entire working class. SRs confused two different concepts: the partisanship of trade unions and whether they have specific tasks in the labor movement. They believed that the Party and trade unions have one goal, and the ways and means of achieving it are different. The thesis of "union neutrality" evoked criticism from the left wing RSDLP - the Bolsheviks, who believe that the main task of trade unions struggle to improve the economic situation of the working class and the political party of the proletariat - the struggle for full political emancipation. SRs same as denying the primacy of the working class, saw their task in strengthening the impact of cooperatives (especially rural), which is associated with their program of "socialization of the land."

Now to the thesis of equivalence between the Party and the trade unions and cooperatives were added. It is this triad - the Party, trade unions, cooperatives could in their view, to create prerequisites for the victory of socialism. As can be seen, in fact, all the activities of the SR on the organization of cooperatives was in contradiction to their stated motto "neutrality" of the mass organizations of workers. Thus, the trade unions were the Social Democrats to organize the masses of workers, socialist-revolutionaries used the same purposes cooperatives.

Regarding the forms of work in labor organizations (cooperatives, insurance, cultural and educational societies, etc), the most controversial in the SR were the Bolsheviks. They argued that the workers outreach and education is more important than economic. The Bolsheviks needed a maximum politicization of the masses. Therefore, in societies where the first and foremost cultural and political activity, dominated by the Bolsheviks. The effect of the SR was more substantial and constant cooperation. More than 32% of the vote in Belarus gathered Revolutionaries, largely through co-operatives for elections to the Constituent Assembly of Russia, and is given the strong position of the Bolsheviks in the army, which had an important impact on the election of [5, c.11].

After the overthrow of autocracy, the SR party feels a huge surge in the number of members, which is explained as an eclectic program, and the active work of the party itself. In the spring of 1917 the party became a mass and the number of its members reached an estimated 500 to 700 thousand [6, c.301].

However, variegated social terms, which include workers, peasants, soldiers, intellectuals, civil servants, students, they had little understanding of the theory of SR. The Party and before that, was not quite the ideological and tactical unity and organizational strength, has become even more precarious.

After the February Revolution Revolutionaries had the opportunity to really influence the current policy of the coalition provisional government. All representatives of the SR party participated in three coalition governments. However, the ambivalence and inconsistency in addressing major issues of the revolution led the party to a grave crisis. They advocated the continuation of the war. It was believed that the land issue can be resolved only by the Constituent Assembly. Do not take the Bolshevik slogan 'All Power to the Soviets!"

The contradiction between the socialist doctrinaire Socialist and democratic interests and the mood of the masses more stronger. As the political situation in the country worsened, and differences in the Socialist Party.

Radical changes in the country had lost its pace, and the party became increasingly embroiled in coalition politics.

On the eve of the Bolshevik Revolution Party - its top leadership and local organizations were in a state of confusion and disorganization.

The Left SRs, more organizationally consolidated, not only supported the Bolsheviks in Petrograd, but also in several other places. However, in situations when, after October 1917 the SR had not oppose autocracy, the regime and their related goals of the Socialist Party, the Bolsheviks also declared the socialization of land, the party's influence began to fall. Its massive job loses effectiveness and also because the peasants, workers and soldiers experiencing the euphoria of the Bolshevik decrees, speeches, SRs have not listened to the onetime enthusiasm and confidence.

The final point in a dramatic story Socialist-Revolutionary Party was set in 1937 - forged deed "National Center" in which all members of the Revolutionary Party had been declared hostile members of the Soviet system, the organization with all the ensuing consequences.

Completed its work, one of the most influential and oldest left-wing parties in Russia, an important component of theoretical doctrine, which is the terror. From him, she herself died, only with the help of another political force, which happened at that historic moment stronger.

Thus, past experience interesting contemporaries at the time of transition from a rigid one party dictatorship to a multiparty system. The leader of the emerging new political parties should be familiar with the lessons of party building at the turn of XIX and XX century.

The existing political parties are small, have a weak social base. They have not learned to overcome and stop the intra-party crises, possess rudiments of compromise, to take into account in their work of other public organizations.

We have not developed and today the classical scheme of arrangement of political forces, ie formation of left and right blocks with a traditional center.

It is therefore quite reasonable and relevant is the topic of this conference to help understand the state of the place and role of civil society in the country, the degree of state involvement in this process, more efficient use of capacity on existing political, social, and other amateur organizations in the development of the Belarusian society.


1. Chernov, VM Statism, Socialism shielding / Chernov // Historical Archive. - 2008. - № 1 - P.3-23.

2. October 1917 and the fate of political apposition. Part I. Ed. EM Entin - Gomel: BANTU - 1993. - 255p.

3. Gistoryya Belarusi: a 6 tons / Red calories: M. Kastsyuk (gal. Red) [I insh.] - Мiнск: Ekaperspektyva, 2002-2005. - Vol.6. kn. I: Satsyyalisty-revalyutsyyanery / A. Warab 'еў [i insh.] - 2001 - 592p.

4. Non-proletarian parties of Russia in June 1907 - February 1917g. g. Ed. EM Entin - Gomel: BANTU - 1991. - 164s.

5. Gistoryya Belarusi: a 6 tons / Red calories: M. Kastsyuk (gal. Red) [I insh.] - Мiнск: Ekaperspektyva, 2000-2005. - Vol.6. kn. II: Устаноўчы Ret at Rasii - / A. Urbanovich - 2003 - 616s.

6. Spirin, LI The collapse of the landlord and bourgeois parties in Russia / LI Spirin. - M. 1977. with.301.

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