V. I.   Lenin


To:   E. Y. LEVIN

Written: Written not earlier than December 11, 1902
Published: First published in 1928. Sent from London to Kharkov. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 120-122.
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.README

Lenin writing. We are very glad to note the successes and energy of the O.C. It is most important to exert every effort immediately to carry matters to a conclusion and as quickly as possible. Try to replace speedily the member from St. Petersburg (Ignat would be good) and write to us in detail about the attitude adopted towards the Organising Committee in various places (committees). Will Ignat see Fyokla[2] soon? We need to know precisely and speedily.

We have drawn up the list of questions approximately as follows (in the order for their discussion): 1) attitude towards Boris[3]? (If only a federation, then we should part at once and sit separately. We need to prepare everyone for this.) 2) The programme. 3) The Party Organ (the newspaper. A new one or one of those already existing. Insist on the importance of this preliminary question). 4) Organisation of the Party (basic principle: two central institutions, unsubordinated to each other. a) The Central Organ—ideological leadership. Abroad? b) The Central Committee—in Russia. All practical direction. Regular and frequent meetings between them and certain reciprocal membership rights or sometimes reciprocal co-optation. It is extremely important to prepare the ground in advance for securing the adoption of this basic principle and for making it fully clear to everyone. Next, the greatest possible centralisation. Autonomy of the local committees in local affairs—with the Central Committee having the right of veto in exceptional cases. District organisations only with the consent and endorsement of the Central Committee). 5) Various questions of tactics: terror, trade unions, legalisation of the workers’ movement, strikes, demonstrations,   uprising, agrarian policy and work among the peasantry and in the army, agitation in general; leaflets and pamphlets and so on and so forth; here no special order has been adhered to. 6) Attitude to other parties ( Osvobozhdeniye, Socialist-Revolutionaries, Poles, Letts, etc.). 7) Delegates’ reports (it is very important that there should be reports from every committee, and as full as possible (they should he prepared immediately and for safety’s sake copies should be given to the Organising Committee to be sent to us). Try always to characterise the local Socialist-Revolutionaries and give an estimate of their strength and connections in the reports). 8) Groups and organisations abroad (Rabocheye Dyelo, Borba, Zhizn, Svoboda.[4] A committee or the Central Commit tee to he charged with working out a plan for their unification). 9) May Day. 10) The 1903 Congress in Amsterdam.[5] 11) Internal organisational questions: finance, the type of organisation of the committees, the C.C. to take charge of shipment and distribution of literature, etc. Some of these, probably, will have to be discussed in committees.

I repeat, this is merely a preliminary draft and only the order of items 1-5 has been discussed here jointly. In this connection, among the members of the editorial board I was in favour of item 3 being put in one of the first places (i.e., in fact, third), but another member (Pakhomy) was for putting it after item 5. I consider it important to settle item 3 at the outset so as at once to give battle to all opponents on a fundamental and broad issue and to ascertain the entire picture of the Congress (alternatively: to separate on an important issue).

Find out whether you will have reporters and on what questions (ad 5—in detail).

What pamphlet does Ignat want published? Is it not the letter to Yeryoma[1] ?

Be sure to obtain from each committee (and group) an official and written reply as to whether they recognise the Organising Committee. It is essential to have this at once.

I advise that the announcement about the Organising Committee should be issued in Russia as well (i.e., not   only printed in Iskra); issue it even if only in hectographed form.

We shall send the general editorial draft of the questions and the list of our reporters when we have made contact about this with all the members of the editorial board who are living in various countries at present.

Appoint immediately members of the Organising Committee in the chief centres (Kiev, Moscow, St. Petersburg), and give secret addresses for rendezvous with them so that we can be sure that all those whom we send are under the full disposal of the Organising Committee. This is very, very important.

Finally, one thing more: Ignat’s meeting with Fyokla must be arranged to take place after 1) he has seen all and everyone he possibly can; 2) you have received from every one official recognition of the Organising Committee; 3) you have officially informed “Rabocheye Dyelo” as well that they will have a plenipotentiary member of the Organising Committee. Only under these conditions can the meeting of Ignat and Fyokla lead to further important practical steps. Ignat should therefore make haste with these preliminary measures and not forget that he should come to Fyokla’s equipped with formally acknowledged and the widest (N.B.!) plenary powers.


[1] The reference is to Lenin’s “A Letter to a Comrade on Our Organisational Tasks” (see present edition, Vol. 6).—Ed.

[2] Fyokla—secret code name for the Iskra editorial board.

[3] Meaning the Bund. (see Note 94). __GLOSSARY_LINK_COMMENT__

[4] The Svoboda group, calling themselves the “revolutionary-socialist” group, was founded by E. O. Zolensky (Nadezhdin) in May 1901. Lenin described this group as one of those “small and rootless groups” which “had no stable or serious principles, programme, tactics, organisation, and no roots among the masses” (see Vol. 20, pp. 356 and 357, of this edition). The group published a journal Svoboda (Freedom) in Switzerland (two numbers were issued: No. 1 in 1901 and No. 2 in 1902). The Svoboda group advocated the ideas of terrorism and Economism, and in a bloc with the St. Petersburg Economists came out against Iskra and the St. Petersburg Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. The group ceased to exist in 1903.

[5] Lenin intended to enlist the services of A. Bogdanov (Rakhmetov) for work on the newspaper Vperyod, the mouthpiece of the Bolsheviks, which was being organised ^^(see Note 265)^^.

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