Vpered group intended to publish a periodical (or periodicals) aimed at promoting its views on what a genuine Bolshevik tactical position and approach should be. It was registered as a literary group but, it seems fair to assume, had intended to operate as a faction of RSDLP (Russian Social-Democratic Labor Party). I think it’s fair to assume that at the time there was nothing ‘anti-Party’ about its intentions to promote socialist ideas and its own Social-Democratic interpretation of the situation and the necessary steps the larger Party must take in order to defeat the monarchy. As Lenin pointed out during 1909, factional activity within RSDLP was perfectly acceptable and those who shared the same views within the general framework of the Party were more than welcome to form their own factions. The issue, for Lenin, was various attempts to unite groups that did not share the same ideological commitments – thus Lenin’s almost constant ‘struggle’ against various ‘deviations’.
Vpered published three sets of publications as a literary group (slash ‘faction’): three collections (сборники) called Vpered in 1910-11, four collections called On the Day’s Theme(s) in 1912-14; and, finally, a newspaper called Vpered (published in Geneva) from 1915-1917 – only 6 issues of the newspaper were published, so it was perhaps more of a semi-regular pamphlet, and not a true regular newspaper.
The first publication continued to elaborate on some of the themes already raised in the group’s platform but mostly gave an opportunity for the leading supporters of the group to express their views on various themes of the day.
The copy of this first Vpered collection can be found here. A glance at the authors reveals the presence of the main ‘founders’ of the group: Maximov (Bogdanov), Domov (Pokrovskii), Petr Al (Grigorii Aleksinskii) and Voinov (Lunacharski).
Bogdanov contributed a programmatic exposition of the role of the proletariat in the struggle for socialism; Pokrovskii wrote about a ‘Finnish’ issue; Aleksinskii covered the ‘agrarian question’; and Lunacharsky wrote a piece on the socialist credentials (or rather lack of them) of famous Italian criminologist Enrico Ferri.
So far so good…