First published in part in 1928.
Published in full in 1929.
Sent from Geneva to Beaumont (France).
Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 175-176.
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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October 10, 1903
I received your letter and, in accordance with your re quest, I am replying at once. Whether there will be a congress and when, I do not know. I have heard that a majority of the three members of the League’s board of management here pronounced against a congress and that it was decided to invite the opinion of the two absent members: you and Vecheslov; thus a settlement of the question has been postponed.
As far as I am concerned, I am personally against a congress. You think that the League ought to express itself and that a split in it is inevitable in any case; that two active militant sections would be better than a united inactive League. The point is, however, that a split in the League is not only inevitable, but is already an almost accomplished fact; two active militant sections have already been formed and until a split in the Party occurs these militant sections will inevitably remain in the united League. On the other hand, the Party Congress bas completely upset the whole organisational basis of the League; its old Rules, which are well known to you, will, of course, in effect cease to exist after the Party Congress. The League must be renovated and it will, of course, be rebuilt on new lines by the Central Committee of the Party, which is charged with organising the Party committees and, in general, all Party institutions.
Consequently, one may say, it is left for the congress to come together in order to part company. To part company in two senses: in the sense of the mutual recrimination between us and the Martovites, and in the sense of the liquidation of the old League. Is it worth while coming together for this purpose? You will not cure the “split” (or, rather, the sulky withdrawal) in this way, but only still further embitter the two sides. What is the use of that? What is the use of a pageant of speeches when it is already almost certain that about thirty-five of the total forty members of the League have already taken up their positions?
Is the idea—to stage a “dress rehearsal”? i.e., to see approximately how we shall fight if it comes to a split in the Party? I cannot deny this significance of a congress, but such a game is not worth the candle.
The alignment of the remaining five (or about five) members of the League can be ascertained in a much easier way.
The League’s work abroad will in any case proceed on new lines worked out by the Party’s Central Committee. A League Congress now will generate more heat than light, i.e., it will contribute nothing to the work abroad.
I was very glad to learn that you are coming here and that we shall meet. Let me know in good time because I am still intending to go away on holiday for three or four days. I am swamped with work.
All the very best.