V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written December 10, 1903
Published: First published in 1929. Sent from Geneva to Russia. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 200-201.
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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Dear friends,

The new political situation was fully clarified after the publication of Iskra No. 53. It is clear that the Five in the Central Organ are out to hound both Lenin (even going so far as slander about his having expelled the Yuzhny Rabochy people from the Party and vile hints about Schweitzer[1]) and the C.C., and the Majority as a whole, Plekhanov says bluntly that the Five on the C.O. are not afraid of any Central Committee. The C.C. is being attacked both here and in Russia (letter from St. Petersburg about Martyn’s journey). The issue squarely faces us. If time is lost and we fail to give the watchword for the struggle, complete defeat is inevitable owing, firstly, to the desperate struggle of the Iskra Five and, secondly, to the arrests of our people in Russia. The only salvation is—a congress. Its watchword: the fight against disrupters. Only by this watchword can we catch out the Martovites, win over the broad masses and save the situation. In my opinion, the only possible plan is this: for the time being not a word about the congress, complete secrecy. All, absolutely all, forces to be sent into the committees and on tours. A light to be waged for peace, for putting a stop to disruption, for sub ordination to the Central Committee. Every effort to be made to strengthen the committees with our people. Every effort to be made to catch out the Martovites and Yuzhny Rabochy people in disruption, pin them down by documents and resolutions against the disrupters; resolutions of the committees should p our into the Central Organ. Further, our people should be got into the wavering committees. Winning over the committees with the watchword: against   disruption—this is the most important task. The congress must be held not later than January, therefore set to work energetically; we, too, shall put all forces into operation. The object of the congress is to strengthen the C.C. and the Council, and perhaps the C.O. as well, either by a trio (in the event of our being able to tear Plekhanov away, which is not very likely), or by a Six, which I would join in the event of a peace that is honourable for us. At the worst: their C.O., our C.C. and Council.

I repeat: either complete defeat (the C.O. will hound us) or immediate preparation for a congress. It must be prepared secretly at first during a maximum of one month, after which during three weeks the demands of half the committees to be collected and the congress convened. Again and yet again—this is the only salvation,


[1] Schweitzer J. B. (1833–1875)—leader of the Lassalleans in the German labour movement in the sixties; dictatorially ruled the General German Workers’ Union and strongly opposed the Eisenachers, headed by Bebel and Liebknecht.

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