V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written prior to December 18, 1901 in Munich.
Published: First published in 1928. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 90-91.
Translated: Clemens Dutt
Transcription\Markup: D. Moros
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2005). 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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1) Yakov

2) The Moscow Committee

3) St. Petersburg+Nizhni

4) Bakunin?

5) “A Letter to the Russian Social-Democratic Press”.[1]

We have just learnt that the Unionists are arranging a conference of the leading committees to decide the question of the conflict abroad.[2]

Every effort must be made to secure the adoption of the following measures by the largest possible number of committees and groups:

1) The conference must unfailingly be postponed at least until the spring (until Easter or thereabouts). Reasons: a) It is essential to have delegates both from Iskra and from the League abroad, and this requires time and money. A conference without delegates from Iskra and the League is invalid and senseless, b) It is essential to wait for the publication of the pamphlets of both sides giving the gist of the disagreements. Until these pamphlets come out the conference cannot have the knowledge needed for judgement and so its deliberations would be hanging in the air. Iskra No. 12 (appearing December 5, 1901) definitely promises that this pamphlet will be issued very shortly (in about a month and a half). All the disagreements will be analysed there in great detail. We shall show there how pernicious the Rabocheye Dyelo trend is, and reveal all their disgraceful vacillation and impotence in the face of Bernsteinism and Economism. This pamphlet is nearly ready and is rapidly approaching completion. Further, at the present time (mid-December, new style) reports on the   disagreements are being delivered abroad: one by a representative of Rabocheye Dyelo, another by a representative of the League. These reports too will very soon appear in print, and to call a conference before they appear is just a waste of money and a needless sacrifice.

2) We shall send a special representative to the conference, if it does take place. Hence it is imperative that we should be informed immediately (1) whether the conference has been fixed; (2) where; (3) when; and (4) the pass-word and rendezvous for the conference. The committees and groups must be formally requested to communicate this information on pain of the conference being declared invalid and of immediate publication of the fact that there is a desire to decide matters without having heard both sides.

3) If the committees or groups elect to the conference representatives with a bias in favour of Rabocheye Dyelo, it is essential to protest against this immediately and formally, and to demand representatives from both Rabocheye Dyelo and Iskra supporters (from the Majority and the Minority respectively).

4) In the event of the conference declaring against Iskra, it will be necessary to withdraw from committees and groups which do not agree to protest publicly against this—to withdraw and at once publish the fact in Iskra and give the reasons for it. Our people must begin right now to make arrangements for such a step.

5) We must be informed at once of the result, and kept informed immediately of all steps taken. Every effort should be made to ensure that Iskra supporters everywhere reach agreement and act in unison.


[1] The five points indicate where this letter was to be sent. Point 4 refers to the Tver Social-Democratic organisation, the letter for which was forwarded to the address of A. Bakunin. Point 5, given in quotes, is the title of a letter received from an Iskra representative in Russia. This letter was published by Lenin in full in his article “A Talk with Defenders of Economism” (see Vol. 5 of this edition). Under this point Lenin meant the Iskra representative from whom the letter had been received. p. 90

[2] By the “conflict abroad” Lenin meant the incident at the “unity” conference of R.S.D.L.P.’s organisations abroad, when the members of Iskra, Zarya and Sotsial-Demokrat walked out. p. 90

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