One day in March 1898 nine men gathered in a small wooden house at the outskirts of the provincial town of Minsk to establish the Russian Social-Democratic Workers Party (RSDWP). Strict conspiracy was demanded because there was a building of the mounted police across the street. 1 Four years later a radical and influential leader of this party, Vladimir Ilich Ulianov (Lenin), published his long pamphlet What Is To Be Done? In it he concluded with obvious relish that the workers by themselves would never attain revolutionary consciousness. He claimed the need for the RSDWP to transform itself into a small, closed, conspiratorial and disciplined party of professional revolutionaries. This party was to be the embodiment of the socialist idea. It could educate the workers to become principled opponents of the tsarist and capitalist system. Only such a party had the necessary backbone to resist the onslaught of the police and provide the workers with the necessary leadership. It was to be the vanguard of the proletariat.