V. I.   Lenin



To the Editorial Board of the Central Organ

Written: Written in Geneva (local mall)
Published: First published in 1929. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 202-203.
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

December 12, 1903

I, as representative of the C.C., received today from Comrade Martov an inquiry as to whether a report on the negotiations of the C.C. with the Geneva opposition could be published or not.[2] I believe it could, and I earnestly request the comrades on the editorial board of the C.O. to consider once again the question of peace and good will in the Party.

It is not too late yet to secure such a peace, it is not too late yet to keep from our people and our enemies the details of the split and the speeches about dishonourable conduct and falsified lists, speeches which will probably be utilised even by Moskovskiye Vedomosti.[3] I can guarantee that the Majority will readily agree to consign all this dirt to oblivion, provided peace and good will in the Party are secured.

Everything now depends on the editorial board of the C.O., which includes representatives of the former opposition that rejected the C.C.’s peace proposal of November 25, 1903.[4] I ask you, comrades, to take into consideration that since then the C.C. has already made two further voluntary concessions, by advising Comrade Ru to hand in his resignation and by trying to settle the League affair “amicably”.

Meanwhile the boycott of the C.C., the agitation against it and the disruption of practical work in Russia continue. People write to us from Russia that the opposition are making a “hell” there. We have the most definite information that the agents of the Minority are systematically   continuing their disruptive work, making a round of the committees. People in St. Petersburg write about Martyn’s visit there with the same aim. Things have reached a point when the opposition are making their own transport arrangements and, through Dan, are offering the C.C. to share them on a fifty-fifty basis!

I consider it my duty to the Party to ask the editorial board of the C.O. for the last time that it persuade the opposition to subscribe to peace and good will on the basis of a sincere recognition of the two central bodies by both sides and cessation of the intestine war which renders any joint work impossible.


[1] Lenin wrote this letter for F. V. Lengnik, the representative of the Central Committee abroad.

[2] This refers to the C.C.’s negotiations with the Mensheviks concerning the situation which arose within the Party after the Second Congress.

[3] Moskovskiye Vedomosti (Moscow Recorder)—one of the oldest Russian newspapers, originally issued (in 1756) as a small sheet by Moscow University. In 1863 it became a monarcho-nationalist mouthpiece reflecting the views of the most reactionary sections of the landowners and the clergy. From 1905 onwards was one of the leading organs of the Black Hundreds. Continued to appear until the October Socialist Revolution in 1917.

[4] The reference is to the Central Committee’s ultimatum presented to the Mensheviks on November 25, 1903, the chief points of which were set forth by Lenin in his letter to the C.C. dated November 4, 1903. With strong support from Plekhanov, who, the very next day after the ultimatum, co-opted all the old editors to the editorial board of the Central Organ, the Mensheviks rejected the C.C.’s ultimatum and declared open war against the Majority of the Party.

An appraisal of the C.C.’s ultimatum was given by Lenin in his book One Step Forward, Two Steps Back (see ^^Vol. 7^^ of this edition).

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