Emancipation of Labour

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Emancipation of Labour group (Освобождение труда) was the first Russian Marxist group. Founded by Georgi Plekhanov, Vasily Ignatov, Vera Zasulich, Leo Deutsch, and Pavel Axelrod in Geneva (Switzerland) in 1883. Leo Deutsch left the group in 1884 when he was arrested and sent to Siberia. Sergey Ingerman joined the group at 1888. The group did a great deal to translate Marxist works into Russian and distribute them, and later became the major adversary to the ideology of Narodism.

Two drafts (1883 and 1885) of a program for the Russian Social Democrats were written by Plekhanov and published by the group, marking an important step to what would become the building of the Russian Social-Democratic Party. From the first congress of the Second International in Paris (1889) onwards, the group represented Russian Social-Democrats.

Lenin later wrote that the group "laid the theoretical foundations for the Social-Democratic movement and took the first step towards the working-class movement in Russia." The group was later followed by the League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class (Союз борьбы за освобождение рабочего класса).

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