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The concept of democratic socialism as the basis of intellectual projects of the Russian Social Democrats (the Mensheviks) in the 1920s

Liberal Arts in Russia. 2017. Vol. 6. No. 6. Pp. 513-522.
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Zhbannikova M. I.
State Archives of the Rostov Region
28 Voroshilovsky Avenue, 344006 Rostov-on-Don, Russia
Pyatikova M. V.
Southern Federal University
33 Sadovaya Street, 344006 Rostov-on-Don, Russia


The article devoted to the analysis of theoretical and conceptual developments of the Russian Social Democrats (the Mensheviks) in the emigrant period. The authors note that the concept of democratic socialism, which began to be formed in 1917, was considerably amended and deepened when the Mensheviks created a new party program developed in 1922-1924. The significance of this program of the RSDLP is practically not evaluated in the science literature. In the analysis of Soviet historiography, the authors of the article outlined the lack of attention to the projects of the Mensheviks in emigration, as the researchers insisted on the collapse of the RSDLP in post-October period. Some of modern researchers are highly skeptical about the intellectual developments of the Russian Social Democrats after the events of October 1917. However, the authors identified a number of innovative elements in the projects of the Mensheviks in this time. The new party program is an original stage in the formation of the concept of post-revolutionary development of Russia. In the course of the inner-party discussion, the differences in assessing the degree of Russia’s readiness for socialist transformation, as well as the Bolshevik experiment with various internal political trends, were sharply denoted. The article analyzes the positions of representatives of the official Mensheviks and the right wing of the party. The authors acknowledge the significant transformation of the political attitudes of the Mensheviks, pointing to some delusional and utopian nature of a number of program theses.


  • • Russian Social Democrats
  • • concept of democratic socialism
  • • Mensheviks
  • • Bolsheviks
  • • Soviet Russia
  • • emigration
  • • RSDLP


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