V. I.   Lenin


Published: First published in 1928 in Lenin Miscellany VIII. Sent from Loguivy to London. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, pages 117-118.
Translated: Andrew Rothstein
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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July 16, 1902

I enclose a letter to Arkady.

I received today your letter, the proofs and the money. Merci.

There is some damned muddle altogether about this “congress” in Switzerland.[2] Who was it (first of all) who thought of a “congress”? Not we. It was probably invented by B. N., who ought really to be given a good head-washing for irresponsible behaviour (his tour of Europe, his idle talk with Korenevsky about the congress, etc.); if you haven’t done it already, please give him a thorough talking to. I was thinking of doing it myself, but I suppose you will do it better, because I am very angry.

No one is arranging a “congress”: a congress requires that everyone should be there (whereas we know nothing for sure about Arkady and Sonya[3]). A “congress” requires some of those abroad (like Dimka, the old fellows, maybe Alexandrova and others), and that has not even been mentioned. No one has even been preparing a programme for a congress, and no one knows what to talk about at one: About the Iskra organisation in Russia? Without any delegates from that organisation itself? All of this is amazingly hasty and ill-considered!

L. Gr. himself is now postponing it “until the autumn”. Will you, too, help to “blast” this “congress” nonsense? It is essential right away to see Lapot: he will both see the Swiss and will himself come and see us. What else is there? Then there’s Povar, who evidently still needs some training— so let him study at Zurich: that will be excellent. Maybe he, like B. N., will remain abroad for months?! Why hurry   to see him, then? When he wants to go, he himself will have to come and see us, so there is no need to drag him over now. And what is this nonsense that B. N. and V. V. have been writing to Berg? “We can’t talk except in the presence of P. B.” Talk with whom? Povar? He is at P. B.’s. With the three persons? They are at P. B.’s. With Lapot? He will be visiting P. B. Advise Berg to give V. V. and B. N. a thorough bawling-out for this nonsense, and write to me what Berg thinks about it, and whether there is any hope that he himself will reply to them in a way that will discourage them from talking nonsense. Besides, P. B. himself went to Munich, and will come to London as well. No one doubts that a visit from G. V. is (will be) necessary.

I wrote to G. V. that I know nothing about a “congress”, but that it is essential to have a business-like meeting (with Lapot and others) in London, where, of course, he also will be. If necessary, I will write to him again.

Try pressing L. Gr. in every way in order to dissuade him: he has no clear idea of who is to attend this “congress”, for what purpose it is to be held, and how it is to proceed.


I suppose it is not necessary to return the proofs, n’est-ce pas?[1]

And what about V. I.’s article, hasn’t it been set?

Please don’t forget: there is a quotation from Bulgakov in my agrarian article: Vol.? p.? It should not be left in this form, and if I don’t return earlier, and don’t see the proofs again, cross out not the whole footnote, but only the words: “Vol.—p.—”.[4]


[1] Isn’t that so?—Ed.

[2] Lenin’s letter makes it clear that L. D. Deutsch, a member of the League’s administration, intended to call (in Switzerland) a congress of Iskra workers in Russia considering that, at that time, some of them, including P. N. Lepeshinsky, V. A. Noskov and F. I. Shchekoldin, were abroad. The idea of the congress must have come from Noskov and Shchekoldin, members of the Northern League of the R.S.D.L.P., who were in Zurich and who had made a number of proposals concerning the organisation of Iskra (see present edition, Vol. 34, pp.110–13). Lepeshinsky also favoured a congress, as did G. V. Plekhanov and P. B. Axelrod. No congress was held.

[3] Sonya was the secret name for the Iskra centre in Samara.

[4] A reference to the volume and page of S.N. Bulgakov’s book, Capitalism and Agriculture, in a note to “The Agrarian Programme of Russian Social-Democracy” (see present edition, Vol. 6, p. 124) which was then being proof-read and was to appear in Zarya No. 4.

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