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The draft programme of ‘Iskra’ and the tasks of russian social democrats (1903)

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Chapter Summary

In 1850, Marx and Engels had declared that the battle cry of the workers must be 'The Permanent Revolution'. In his commentary on the Iskra draft programme, David Borisovich Gol'dendakh (Ryazanov) concluded the work which he had translated with a similar call for 'revolution in permanentia'. Ryazanov's commentary on The Draft Programme of 'Iskra' and the Tasks of Russian Social Democrats provides unique insight into the principles at stake in early party debates. Addressing the issue of Russia's 'exceptionality', Ryazan was the first Marxist to translate the burden of 'backwardness' into the historical possibility of permanent revolution. This insight alone earns him a place alongside Leon Trotsky as one of the outstanding visionaries of the first Russian revolution. The author assumes that the Russian revolution will remain an isolated event that will not extend beyond the limits of the Russian Empire.

Keywords: Iskra draft programme; Leon Trotsky; Marxist; Russian revolution; Russian Social Democrats; Ryazanov



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