V. I. Lenin

For the Draft Agreement with Struve{2}

Written: Written before January 17 (30), 1901
Published: First published in 1959 in Vol. 4 of the Fifth Russian edition of the Collected Works. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 41, pages 34.2-35.1.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) © 2004 Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.  

Representatives of the Zarya-Iskra Social-Democratic group and the Svoboda democratic opposition group have agreed on the following:

1) The Zarya group shall publish with the magazine of the same name a special supplement entitled Sovremennoye Obozreniye in the editing of which the Svoboda group will take part.

2) The editing shall be conducted on the following basis: each of the sides has the right of veto in respect of material and articles.

3) Programme of the publication: a) material and documents relating to the activity of the government,{1} government, public and class institutions, etc.;

b) articles, on questions of domestic public life in Russia and the government’s domestic and foreign policy;

c) domestic reviews.

4) Both sides undertake to make efforts to supply material for Sovremennoye Obozreniye. But the Zarya{3} Editorial Board is free to carry in its special editions the material at its disposal on the subjects specified in § 3, whenever it is more suitable in character for such editions.

5) The Zarya group undertakes to perform all the necessary operations in publishing, transporting and distributing Sovremennoye Obozreniye. For its part, the X group shall pay all the expenses this entails.

6) In the event the said enterprise is liquidated, each side shall receive one-half of the copies of Sovremennoye Obozreniye in stock.

Note: The Zarya Editorial Board shall have the right to print announcements of its publications on the covers of Sovremennoye Obozreniye.


{1} The text given in brevier is in Potresov’s hand.—Ed.

{2} The draft agreement with P. B. Struve was worked out as a result of the talks held by V. I. Lenin, V. I. Zasulich and A. N. Potresov with Struve, which had been started on Potresov’s initiative on December 29, 1900 (see present edition, Vol. 4, pp. 380–82). The “legal Marxists” (mentioned in the document as the Svoboda [Freedom] democratic opposition group) Struve and M. I. Tugan-Baranovsky wanted the establishment of an illegal organ abroad (suggesting the name of Sovremennoye Obozreniye [Contemporary Review]) to be published parallel with Iskra and Zarya, but not openly connected with the Social-Democrats. The Editorial Board of Iskra and Zarya agreed to participate in the publication, hoping to obtain political material and reports for Iskra through Struve, but stipulated that the new organ should appear not more often than Zarya and as a supplement to it. The Editorial Board was to consist, on an aqua I footing, of the Iskra Editorial Board, and Struve and Tugan-Baranovsky.

The talks revealed that Struve intended to use the Editorial Board of Iskra and Zarya to cater for Sovremennoye Obozreniye and was trying to turn it into an organ competing with Iskra in volume, content and frequency of publication. When the draft agreement was being worked out, Struve rejected Clause 7, which had been proposed by the Iskra and Zarya group and which gave the Iskra Editorial Board a completely free hand in making use of all the political material received by Sovremennoye Obozreniye. Lenin set out the content of the talks with Struve in a letter to 0. V. Plekhanov on January 30, 1901, and came out strongly for breaking off the talks (see present edition, Vol. 84, pp. 55–57). The subsequent talks ended in a complete break. p. 34

{3} Zarya (Dawn)—a Marxist scientific and political journal published in Stuttgart in 1901 and 1902 by the Iskra Editorial Board. Altogether four issues (three books) of Zarya made their appearance: No. 1 in April 1904 (actually March 23, new style), No. 2–3 in December 1901, and No. 4 in August 1902.

Zarya’s tasks were defined in a draft declaration by the Iskra and Zarya Editorial Board, written by Lenin in Russia (see present edition, Vol. 4, pp. 320-30). In view of the fact that during the discussion of the publication of these organs abroad, jointly with the Emancipation of Labour group, it had been decided to publish Zarya legally and Iskra illegally, the declaration of the Iskra Editorial Board in October 1900 no longer made mention of Zarya.

The journal Zarya criticised international and Russian revisionism and came out in defence of the theoretical principles of Marxism. Some of Lenin’s works, Including “The Persecutors of the Zemstvo and the Hannibals of Liberalism” and “The   Agrarian Programme of Russian Social-Democracy”, were published in Zarya. p. 35

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