V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written January 15, 1903
Published: First published in 1924. Sent from London. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 133-134.
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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January 15

(From Lenin.) Dear comrades, many thanks for your detailed letter on the state of affairs; such letters are rarely written to us although we are in very great need of them and ten times as many are essential if we really want to establish a living connection between the editorial board abroad and the local Party workers, and make Iskra a full reflection of our working-class movement, both as a whole and as regards particular features of it. We therefore beg you to continue on the same lines, and at least sometimes to give us straight pictures of talks with workers (what do they talk about in the circles? What are their complaints? perplexities? requirements? the subjects of the talks? and so on and so forth).

The plan of your organisation, apparently, is suitable for a rational organisation of revolutionaries, insofar as it is possible to say “rational” when there is such a lack of people, and insofar as we can judge of the plan from a brief account of it.

Give us more details about the independents. Further questions: Are there no workers of the “Ivanovo-Voznesensk” school and tradition left in Kharkov? Are there any persons who once directly belonged to this Economist and “anti-intellectualist” company or only their successors? Why don’t you write anything about the “leaflet of workers’ mutual aid societies”, and why don’t you send it to us? We here have seen only a handwritten copy of No. 2 of this leaflet. What sort of group is issuing it? Are they out-and-out Economists or merely green youths? Is it a purely working-class organisation or is it under the influence of Economist intellectuals?

Are any traces left of the Kharkovsky Proletary[1] group?

Is Iskra read in the workers’ circles? With explanations of the articles? Which articles are more eagerly read and what kind of explanations are required?

Is propaganda of secrecy methods and transition to an illegal position conducted among the workers on a large scale?

Try to make more use of the St. Petersburg Zubatov organisation and go on sending workers’ letters.



[1] The reference is to the pamphlet Listok Rabochikh Kass (Issue 2, published by the organised workers of Kharkov) and the hectographed journal Kharkovsky Proletary published in October 1901.

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