V. I.   Lenin



To:   I. V. BABUSHKIN[1]

For Novitskaya from Lenin

Written: Written January 6, 1903
Published: First published in 1928. Sent from London to St. Petersburg. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 129-130.
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 friend,

As regards the “examination”,[2] I must say that it is impossible to propose an examination programme from here. Let all the propagandists write about the programme on which they are lecturing or wish to lecture, and I shall answer in detail. You ask for more questions to be put to you. Very well, only mind you answer them all: 1) What are the present Rules of the St. Petersburg Committee? 2) Is there “discussion”? 3) What is its position in relation to the Central Committee and the Workers’ Organisation? 4) The attitude of the C.C. to the district organisation and to the workers’ groups? 5) Why did the Iskrist workers tacitly permit Bouncer workers to call themselves a “Workers’ Organisation Committee”? 6) Have measures been taken to keep track of every step of the St. Petersburg Zubatov organisation[3]? 7) Are regular lectures read (or talks arranged) in the workers’ circles on the subject of organisation, on the significance of an “organisation of revolutionaries”? 8) Is propaganda widely conducted among the workers to the effect that it is they who should pass to an illegal position as frequently and extensively as possible? 9) Have measures been taken to ensure ten times as many letters from St. Petersburg, the flow of which has been held up for a disgracefully long time? 10) Is the idea being inculcated among all workers that it is they who ought to organise a printing-press for leaflets and the proper distribution of the latter?

There are ten questions for you. I send you warm greetings and await your reply. Mind you disappear at the first sign that you are being spied on.


[1] Babushkin, Ivan Vasilyevich (1873-1906)—a professional revolutionary, started revolutionary activities in 1893. An active member of the St. Petersburg and Ekaterinoslav Leagues of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class. Took an active part in organising the Leninist newspaper Iskra (1900). An active participant in the revolution of 1905-07.

[2] Lenin received a letter from Babushkin asking him to make out a question paper for “examining” members of the propagandist group, that is, to ascertain their position in regard to Iskra principles.

[3] Zubatov organisation pursued a policy of “police socialism” initiated by S. V. Zubatov, a Colonel of the Gendarmes and Chief of the Moscow Secret Political Police, under which legal workers’ organisations were set up during 1901-03 for the purpose of diverting the workers from the political struggle against the autocracy.

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