V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written in October 1903
Published: First published in 1904 in the book: L. Martov, The Struggle Against the “State of Siege” Within the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party, Geneva. Sent from Geneva. Printed from the text of the book

Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 182-183.
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.README


We have received your resolution[2] and ask you to reply to the following questions. Please discuss them at a general meeting of all the members of the Committee (or send them to all the members, if they are not together) as an enquiry from the editorial board of the Party’s Central Organ.

1) Has the Committee heard a report from the representative of the Majority at the Party Congress?

2) Does the Committee consider it normal to pass a re solution appraising the activities and decisions of the Congress before the minutes have been issued, and even before the Committee has enquired of the Central Committee or members of the Majority about matters which are not clear to it?

3) How could these disagreements on organisational questions destroy everything previously done by Iskra and the Organising Committee? How did the destruction manifest itself? What exactly was destroyed? We are not at all clear on this, and if you want to safeguard the Central Organ from any kind of error, it is your duty to explain to us what you regard as our error. Set the matter out in full detail and we shall carefully discuss your opinion.

4) What exactly are the “sharp disagreements on organisational questions”? We do not know. (We asked Martov and the former members of Iskra’s editorial board to expound these disagreements in the pages of the publications edited by us, but so far our request has not been complied with.[1]

5) In what do you see the atmosphere of political intrigue and distrust? On the part of whom? Be more explicit. (If we distrusted Martov we would not have invited him to work in Iskra.)

6) If there really are “sharp disagreements on organisational questions” between us and the former editors, how can the two of us co-opt the four of them? That surely would mean making their tendency the dominant one? But the Congress pronounced in our favour, didn’t it? What you want, therefore, is that the decision of the Congress should be revised on the basis of a private agreement.

7) Do you consider it normal that by threats of a split, boycott, etc., people should want to make Party officials (editors of the Central Organ, and the Central Committee) do something that these central bodies do not consider useful in the interests of the Party?

8) Do you consider it normal and permissible that Party members who have been left in a minority should abstain from work in the Central Organ, from supporting the central Committee and obeying it, from helping the Party financially, and so forth?


[1] See pp. 173–74 of this volume.—Ed.

[2] This refers to the resolution adopted by the Committee of the Mining and Metallurgical Workers’ Union on the results of the Party’s Second Congress.

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