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‘Our tasks’ (13 November 1905)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter was written after the St. Petersburg Soviet, in which Trotsky and Parvus were key figures, had been forced to call off a general strike in the capital. Russian history had created an 'unusual tangle of class relations', requiring various contenders to measure their strength in conditions where the old state was coming apart but nothing new had replaced it. The task of Social Democrats was to build trade unions and a political party that would have the strength to transform a bourgeois revolution into a régime of workers' democracy, which would institutionalise freedoms and create the conditions in which organised workers could drive capitalism and liberalism beyond their own limits. Permanent revolution was a process, not an event, and its final outcome would depend on class consciousness and a unified Social-Democratic organisation.

Keywords: Bolsheviks; Parvus; permanent revolution; Russian revolution; Social Democrats; Trotsky

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