Resolutions of a meeting of the People's Socialist Party Organising Committee, 5 March 1917.
Translator's note: The People's Socialist Party represented the most moderate wing of the narodnik, agrarian-socialist movement. They had broken away from the Party of Socialist-Revolutionaries in 1906, over the questions of armed struggle and underground organisation, both of which they opposed. Instead, they had tried, without conspicuous success, to build a legal opposition party, operating within the narrow confines of what was permitted in the second half of Nicholas II's reign. The party was, in effect, a small group of narodnik intellectuals with very little popular support. After the fall of tsarism in February-March 1917, the NS party (to use their Russian acronym) represented the extreme right of the Soviet political spectrum, where socialist politics shaded into liberal politics. The party was represented in some of the Provisional Governments of 1917, as well as in the Petrograd and certain local Soviets. Its policies, while often well-considered and reasonable, completely failed to capture the spirit of Russia in revolution, and the party was eclipsed by the much larger SR party. It was most frequently mentioned in relation to the demand, which became popular in the autumn of 1917, for a "homogeneous socialist government from the NSs to the Bolsheviks" - i.e., a government coalition of all the Soviet parties to replace the discredited Provisional Government. Needless to say, neither the NSs, at one end of the spectrum, nor the Bolsheviks, at the other, ever regarded that demand as a viable proposition. - FK
a) We recognise that the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies which arose in the days of the revolution played an exceptionally important role in the course of the revolution and the formation of the Provisional Government. It can also play an exceptionally important role in the future, by working to consolidate the gains of the revolution. At the same time, in order to avoid a situation of dual power which would be ruinous for the revolution, the Soviet of Deputies should not seek to act as the government. Consequently the People's Socialist Party Organising Committee, which has elected two party representatives and two proxies to the Executive Committee of the Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies, has mandated them to put forward this point of view within the Soviet and to keep the party informed about its work.
b) We recognise that the form of government has become a question of immediate practical concern in Russia today. The People's Socialist Party stands decisively for establishing a democratic republic in Russia.
c) On the question of the war, we have resolved as follows: We do not consider that waging a war of conquest is either possible or in accord with the interests of the Russian people. At the same time, the People's Socialist Party does not consider it possible to support the slogan of an immediate peace at any price, believing that in the present circumstances such a slogan would seriously damage Russia's interests. At present we must wage the war energetically, and the question of peace can only be posed concretely once all territory belonging to Russia has been cleared of German and Austrian troops, and in close agreement with the Allied democracies.
Published source: A V Sypchenko, K N Morozov (compilers), Trudovaya narodno-sotsialisticheskaya
partiya: Dokumenty i materialy, ROSSPEN, Moscow, 2003, p. 205.