Published: First published in 1928. Sent from Geneva to Kiev. Printed from the original
November 8, 1903. To Smith
Once more I earnestly beg you to come here, you in particular, and another one or two persons from the Central Committee. This is absolutely and immediately necessary. Plekhanov has betrayed us, there is terrible bitterness in our camp; all are indignant that, because of the rows in the League, Plekhanov has allowed the decisions of the Party Congress to be revised. I have definitely resigned from the editorial board. Iskra may come to a stop. The crisis is complete and terrible. Bear in mind that I am not fighting now for the editorial board of the Central Organ, I am quite reconciled to Plekhanov setting up a five-man board without me. But I am fighting for the C.C. which the Martovites, who have grown insolent after Plekhanov’s cowardly betrayal, also want to seize; they are demanding the co-optation on to it of their own people without even saying how many! The fight for the editorial board of the Central Organ has been irretrievably lost owing to Plekhanov’s treachery. The sole chance of peace lies in trying to give them the editorial board of the C.O. while holding on to the C.C. ourselves.
This is not at all easy (even this may be too late already), but we must try. We need Smith here, and, best of all two more Russians from the C.C., the most imposing (no ladies) (e.g., Boris and Doctor). Plekhanov threatens to resign if the C.C. does not yield. For heaven’s sake, don’t believe in his threats; we must use more pressure on him, scare him. Russia must stand up firmly for the C.C. and content itself with handing over the editorial board of the C.O. New people from the C.C. are needed here, otherwise there is absolutely no one to conduct negotiations with the Martovites. Smith is triply needed. I repeat the Martovites’ “conditions”: I) negotiations on behalf of the editorial board of the C.O., and the C.C., 2) six on the editorial board of the C.O., 3)? on the C.C. Cessation of co-optation on to the C.C., 4) two seats in the Council, 5) disavowal of the C.C. as regards the League, recognition of the latter’s Congress as lawful. These are indeed peace terms put by victors to the vanquished!