V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in 1929 in the journal Proletarskaya Revolyutsiya No. 6. Sent from Shushenskoye to Podolsk. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 37, pages 235-237.
Translated: The Late George H. Hanna
Transcription\Markup: D. Moros
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive.   You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work, as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
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February 13, 1899


I have received your letter of January 27 and am delighted with the news about the “markets”. If my letter of January 10 was, as you say, too pessimistic, this one will probably be far too optimistic. I am very grateful to V.A., Mitya and especially you for the trouble you have taken with the book, about the fate of which—as far as a satisfactory edition is concerned—I am now quite reassured. With regard to the title—I am inclined to agree that mine is too long; it is, true enough, a necessary one, but it would be better as a sub-title. The title itself should be more modest than The Development of Capitalism in Russia, which is too bold, too broad and promises too much. On the Problem of the Development of Capitalism in Russia would, in my opinion, be better. I did not receive Ribot’s booklet (Affektivnaya pamyaf) which you say you sent.[4] There seems to have been a delay, either in your sending the registered packet or in the delivery here.

I wrote in an earlier letter about the approximate number of letters in the entire composition, so it should be easier for you to calculate how many more pages there will be. I am anxiously awaiting the first two chapters—typographically the second is the most difficult. You did well to convince V. A. not to make changes “according to sense” (incidentally, with regard to the little illustration you were   quite right—that is indeed what I meant to say, little and not nice. As regards sharpness of tone, I am now in favour of toning down such passages and decreasing their number. I have realised that they are much stronger in print than in speech or in a letter, so one must be more moderate in this respect). I am also very, very pleased with the tables, with your having convinced the printer not to omit decimal fractions but to print them below the level of the whole numbers and in a different type and not to print the tables sideways. Even if it makes the publication somewhat dearer, it does not matter very much. Judging from your approximate estimate of the cost, you will probably be able to fix the price at no more than 2 rubles 50 kopeks for an edition of 2,400 copies.[1] With regard to all that, however, I leave it entirely to you to decide. It will also be interesting to see how well the diagram comes out.[5] What do the statisticians say about it (V.A. and the other[2] )? Several remarks have been made to me about its being unusual. Does it serve its purpose of being clear and convincing?

The publisher[3] wrote to me about the “Heritage”; there is a certain grain of truth in his remarks.[6] As far as the Samarans are concerned, I doubt very much whether they have said anything sensible (I have already had a letter about the accusation of “bourgeois sympathies”).[7] The question of “from whom we received the inheritance” is not the one I posed in my reply to Mikhailovsky—do we renounce that heritage “that Moskovskiye Vedomosti attacks” and which I gave an exact definition of?[8] If polemics were to be started against the Samarans on the fundamental question of the attitude of Marxism to the liberal-enlightener trends, and of the role and significance of the “extra-economic”, it would be very interesting and useful.

All the best to you, Mark and Mitya, and many kisses for Mother.

V. U.

Today Mikhail Alexandrovich (Silvin) passed through here. He has been transferred to the village of Yermakovskoye (some 40 versts from us). He seems quite well, physically and mentally; he has changed little; we were very glad to see him.

I am sending you yet another addition to Chapter VII.[9]

I am surprised that O. Popova is taking so long in settling up for Webb.[10] Nadya said that the terms were to pay the translator in any case, even if the censor banned publication of the book. Our finances are again at rock bottom. Please send 200 rubles to Y.V.’s address. If there is still nothing from O. Popova and nothing is expected for a week or two, I would ask you to borrow the money; otherwise we shall be in trouble.


[1] To make the book cheaper for the public it would be a good thing to sell it for cash from the office of the journal, etc., with a discount—for 1 ruble 75 kopeks, say. I do not know whether it can be done.—Lenin

[2] It is not known who the other statistician was.—Ed.

[3] A. N. Potresov.—Ed.

[4] It can be seen from the next letter that Lenin’s sister Anna sent him the pamphlet as a sample of the type in which his The Development of Capitalism in Russia was being set. Letter No. 76 __PROGRESS_COMMENT_

[5] Lenin refers here to the “Chart Illustrating Tables A and B” in Chapter II of The Development of Capitalism in Russia (see Collected Works, Vol. 3, between pp. 136 and 137). Letter No. 76 __PROGRESS_COMMENT_

[6] A. N. Potresov sent his criticism of the article “The Heritage We Renounce” in a letter to Lenin; he said, in particular, that the article produced the impression that the author proposed accepting the heritage of Skaldin. Lenin agreed in part with Potresov’s criticism but wrote in reply that he nowhere proposed accepting Skaldin’s heritage and had used his name and not that of Chernyshevsky and his followers for reasons of censorship (see Collected Works, Vol. 34, pp. 28–29).

[7] This accusation was made by one of the “Samarans” (see Note 40), P. P. Maslov, in an article entitled “Idealizatsiya naturalnogo khozyaistva” published in Nauchnoye Obozreniye No. 3 for 1899. Lenin seems to have been informed by Y. O. Martov about this article.

[8] Here Lenin refers to Chapter V of his article “The Heritage We Renounce” (see Collected Works, Vol. 2, pp. 491–534). Letter No. 76 __PROGRESS_COMMENT_

[9] It has not been established with any degree of accuracy which addendum to Chapter VII of The Development of Capitalism in Russia Lenin was referring to. It is quite possible that he referred to the footnote to the last paragraph but one of the chapter in which Lenin stated that Marx’s classification of the capitalist forms and stages of industry was more correct than that of Held and Bücher, which confuses the manufactory with the factory and regards working for a buyer-up as a special form of industry” (see Collected Works, Vol. 3, p. 549).

[10] This refers to the fee due to Lenin for his translation of The His-   tory of Trade Unionism by Sidney and Beatrice Webb. The book was published by O. N. Popova in 1899. Letter No. 76 __PROGRESS_COMMENT_

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