V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written January 27, 1903
Published: First published in 1928. Sent from London to Samara. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 137-138.
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 27

Old Man writing. I have read your angry letter of January 3 and am replying at once. Regarding correspondence, dogs,[1] etc., the secretary[2] will reply below: I can no longer make out who is to blame but we absolutely must be in constant touch, not less frequently than twice a month, but so far this has not been the case and we have heard nothing about you for long periods at a time. Don’t forget that when we have no letters, we can’t do anything, we do not know whether people are alive or not; we are compelled, simply compelled, to consider them almost non-existent. You did not answer my question about Brutus’s transference; apparently, there is little hope of any good arrangement until this transference takes place. Now to business. In criticising us, you overestimate our strength and influence; we reached agreement here about the Organising Committee, we insisted on its meeting, on your being invited, and we wrote to you. We could do nothing more than that, absolutely nothing, and we do not answer for anything. The trouble is that Brutus was not in the Organising Committee, and all subsequent action was taken without him (as also without us). We have not accepted an unknown member (he is of the dawdler type, unintelligent; I knew him personally in Pskov, tied down by family and place, backward, no good at all, Pankrat had already been criticised because of him), we have not transferred the bureau, we have given absolutely no “power” to Pankrat. But when it turned out that Pankrat was the sole (N.B., N.B.) mobile person of the Organising Committee, the result could not but be power as well. You write: there are people, but we do not have them, do not know them, do not see them. We have worked ourselves up to   neurasthenia over the total lack of persons for the Organising Committee, which requires mobile, flying, free and illegal people. Pankrat alone went over to illegality, travelled, began to fly, began to know everything—and assumed the rank of corporal as a matter of course. We did not interfere, naturally, because we neither could interfere nor wanted to interfere; there was no other! Try to understand this. Pankrat is indolent and careless, but he is clever, sensible, knows the job, knows how to fight and is a man you can get on with. Now he is stranded [in Paris I indefinitely, and we are going for him baldheaded, driving him to Russia, as otherwise the Organising Committee is nothing but a cipher. “She” (Akim’s brother) will go shortly, we shall try to get “her” into the O.C.; “she”, I believe, is energetic. Pen does not want to go away. There are no passports, and no copies. If Brutus moves to a nearby, lively place, we shall help him to get the bureau back,[3] and everything will be straightened out, perhaps. Otherwise everything will proceed (if it does proceed) by the will of Allah, the will of Pankrat, and “her” will, and we are powerless in the matter.

The literature has been sent off. Over 40 poods have been shipped. We are publishing the statement of the Organising Committee in No. 32, which will come out the day after tomorrow.

Uncle, too, is still standing aside (like Brutus) and has not even gone anywhere; if only he and Brutus would settle in Poltava at least, they would take over the bureau.

I am very annoyed with Zarin; his letters convey nothing, he is inert, knows nothing about Kiev, and has allowed a split to take place under his very nose. To keep aloof from local affairs to such an extent is simply outrageous! Is it our fault that, of the two “equal members” of the Organising Committee, Zarin “sits and says nothing”, while Pankrat at least is stirring a little? I think (I don’t know for certain) that Zarin is a person with little initiative and one who is tied down by legality and place. And now such people, alas, remain aloof, and through no fault or will of ours.


[1] The secret code name for Iskra’s Baku group.

[2] Meaning N. K. Krupskaya.

[3] This refers to the Bureau of the Organising Committee for convening the Second Congress of the Party.

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