V. I.   Lenin

What the “Friends of the People” Are and How They Fight the Social-Democrats

(A Reply to Articles in Russkoye Bogatstvo Opposing the Marxists)



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The present edition is an exact reproduction of the first. Having had no share whatever in compiling the text, we have not considered ourselves entitled to alter it in any way and have confined ourselves simply to the work of publication. Our motive for undertaking this work has been the confidence that the present pamphlet will serve to bring about some revival of our Social-Democratic propaganda.

Believing that one indispensable corollary of Social-Democratic convictions should be a readiness to promote such propaganda, we appeal to all who share the views of the author of the present pamphlet to assist by every means (especially, of course, by republication) in securing the widest possible circulation both of the present work and of all organs of Marxist propaganda in general. The present moment is particularly opportune. Russkoye Bogatstvo is assuming an increasingly provocative tone towards us. In an effort to paralyse the spread of Social-Democratic ideas in society, that magazine has gone so far as to accuse us outright of being indifferent to the interests of the proletariat and of insisting on the ruination of the masses. We make bold to think that by such methods it will only injure itself and pave the way for our victory. However, it should not be forgotten that these slanderers command all the material means for the most widespread propaganda of their slanders. They possess a magazine with a circulation of several thousand; they have reading-rooms and libraries at their disposal. Hence, if we are to prove to our enemies that even the advantages of a privileged position do not always ensure the success of insinuation, we must exert our every effort. We are fully confident that this effort will be forthcoming.

July 1894



[1] Note to the present edition—Afterword to the second edition of the first part of What the “Friends of the People” Are written in July 1894.


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