V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written September 24, 1902
Published: First published in 1924. Sent from London to St. Petersburg. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 116-117.
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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A personal letter to Vanya and Varvara Ivanovna. Please hand it immediately to them alone.

The news of Bouncer’s “victory” has astounded us.[2] Was the departure of Kasyan and Hairpin really sufficient to deprive the Iskrists of the ability to act? Bouncer’s protest could lead only to your proposing to him to put it to the vote and at once declaring by a majority, firstly, that on the substance of the question he is in an insignificant minority; and, secondly, that his complaint of violation of the Rules is ridiculous and petty-fogging (for, according to the Rules, the opinion should be asked of all who were present in St. Petersburg and the matter not deferred pending an inquiry of those who were absent).

If Bouncer raised (dared to raise) the question of dissociation, it was imperative at once to adopt a majority decision for his expulsion from the Union.

Obviously, Bouncer is brazenly heading “for war” and the Iskrists will be eternally disgraced if they do not reply to this by the most resolute and desperate war. Do not be afraid of any threats on the part of Bouncer, you have nothing to fear from publicity, treat the matter immediately as a war issue, as we have written above, and adopt the decisions proposed above as speedily as possible. Even if Bouncer carries still others along with him (even if only half or less than half of you are left) you should all the same go the whole hog and demand Bouncer’s expulsion unconditionally, without being the least afraid of a “split” in the Union.

You should also put an ultimatum to the workers too: either a split in the Union and war, or a decisive condemnation of Bouncer by the workers and his expulsion.

We, for our part, are writing at once to 2a3b. We are putting off the publication of the St. Petersburg statement in Iskra.[3]

We repeat: the question has now become a point of honour with the Iskra people of St. Petersburg.... Of course, every thing you do now must be done at a general meeting, to which Bouncer must be invited and minutes of the decisions taken. Send us the minutes at once.


[1] Krasnukha, V. P. (1868-1913)—a Social-Democrat, an Iskrist; since 1899 worked in the St. Petersburg Social-Democratic organisation; at the beginning of April 1902 represented the St. Petersburg League of Struggle at the Byelostok Conference. In November 1902 attended the Pskov meeting of the Organising Committee for convening the Second Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. at which he was elected a member.

Stasova, Yelena Dmitrievna (born 1873)—veteran of the revolutionary movement, member of the Bolshevik Party since 1898. In 1902-03 a member of the St. Petersburg Committee. From August 1905 to January 1906 carried out Party assignments in Geneva. p. 116

[2] Bouncer (Vyshibalo)—pseudonym of Tokarev, leader of the St. Petersburg Economists. As a member of the St. Petersburg League of Struggle, Tokarev protested against the July declaration of the St. Petersburg Committee recognising Iskra and Zarya as the leading organs of Russian Social-Democracy. He also demanded that the representative of the Iskra Organisation be expelled from the committee of the St. Petersburg League of Struggle. p. 116

[3] This refers to the July declaration of the R.S.D.L.P.’s St. Petersburg Committee announcing solidarity with the newspaper Iskra and the journal Zarya and recognising them as the leading organs of Russian Social-Democracy. This declaration was issued in July 1902 in the form of a separate leaflet and subsequently printed in Iskra No. 26 for October 15, 1902. p. 117

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