Lenin on Trade Unions and Revolution, 1893-1917

Lenin on Trade Unions and Revolution, 1893-1917

Lenin on Trade Unions and Revolution, 1893-1917

Lenin on Trade Unions and Revolution, 1893-1917

Excerpt

When Lenin first entered the arena of revolutionary activity, trade unions were of little consequence in Russia. In fact it might almost be said that trade unions in the modern sense did not exist in Russia until the Revolution of 1905. The government prohibited independent trade unions until 1906, and although this did not always prevent the workers from organizing, it was at least a serious hindrance. Primitive forms of workers' organizations spread through Russia in the wake of the rapid industrialization which took place during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Sometimes strike committees or strike funds were created during a dispute and then dissolved when the strike was over. At other times the workers formed mutual benefit societies and burial or sickness funds. These "trade union" activities were usually local, involving the workers in only one factory or town and having no organizational connection with activities in other communities.

The most common manifestation of the labor movement was

NOTE.--The material for the brief historical sketch in this section is taken primarily from the following works: Sergei P. Turin, From Peter the Great to Lenin (London, 1935); V. V. Sviatlovskii, Professionalnoe dvizhenie v Rossii (St. Petersburg , 1908); M. I. Tugan-Baranovskii, Russkaia fabrika v proshlom I nastoiashchem (3d ed.; St. Petersburg, 1907); L. Martov, P. Maslov, and A. Potresov, eds., Obshchestvennoe dvizhenie v Rossii v nachale XX veka (4 vols.; St. Petersburg, 1909-14); James Mavor, An Economic History of Russia (2 vols.; London and Toronto, 1925); Manya Gordon, Workers Before and After Lenin (New York, 1941).

English translations of the Russian titles cited in the footnotes will be found in the Selected Bibliography, together with the dates of original publication. All dates before February 14, 1918, are according to the Old Style (Julian) calendar, which lags behind the Gregorian calendar by twelve days in the nineteenth century and thirteen days in the twentieth century. Dates after February 14, 1918, are according to the New Style.

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