V. I.   Lenin



For Fred

Written: Written August 15, 1904 in the Swiss mountains, sent to Gomel
Published: First published in 1934. Printed from a copy written out by N. K. Krupskaya.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 245-247.
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

Dear Comrade,

I have received your last letter. I am writing to the old address, although I am afraid that letters are not reaching you; the previous letter was answered in considerable detail. The comradely trust which is evident in all your letters induces me to write to you personally. This letter is not written from the collegium and is not intended for the Committee.

The state of things in your Committee, which is suffering from a lack of people, lack of literature and complete lack of information, is similar to the state of things in Russia as a whole. Everywhere there is a terrible lack of people, even more so in the Minority committees than in those of the Majority, complete isolation, a general mood of depression and bitterness, stagnation as regards positive work. Ever since the Second Congress, the Party is being torn to pieces, and today things have gone very, very far in this respect; the tactics of the Minority have terribly weakened the Party. The Minority has done all it could to discredit the C.C. as well, beginning its persecution already at the congress, and carrying it on intensively both in the press and orally. In even greater measure it has discredited the C.O., which it has turned from a Party organ into an organ for settling personal accounts with the Majority. If you have been reading Iskra there is no need to say anything to you about this. In their at tempts to dig up fresh disagreements they have now trotted forth as their slogan “liquidation of the fourth, Iskra, period” , and are burning everything that they worshipped   yesterday, totally distorting the perspective and interpreting Iskrism in a way its worst enemies used to interpret it. The Party functionaries, who remember what they stood for yesterday, do not follow the lead of the C.0. The vast majority of the committees adhere to the standpoint of the Congress majority and are breaking their spiritual ties with the Party organ more and more.

The present state of affairs, however, is having such an effect on positive work, and hindering it to such an extent, that among a whole number of Party functionaries a mood has developed that makes them immerse themselves in positive work and stand completely aloof from the embittered internecine struggle which is taking place in the Party. They want to close their eyes, stop up their ears and hide their heads under the wing of positive work; they are running away to escape from things which no one, being in the Party, can now escape from. Some of the C.C. members have adopted such a “conciliatory” attitude in an attempt to blanket the growing disagreements, to blanket the fact that the Party is disintegrating. The Majority (the non-conciliatory Majority) says: we must quickly find some way out, we must come to some arrangement, we must try to find the framework within which the ideological struggle can proceed more or less normally; a new congress is needed. The Minority is against a congress; they say; the vast majority of the Party is against us and a congress is not to our advantage; the “conciliatory” Majority is also against a congress, it is afraid of everyone’s growing animosity against the C.0. and the C.C. To think that a congress could lead only to a split would mean to admit that we haven’t got a Party at all, that Party feeling is so poorly developed among all of us that it cannot over come the old circle spirit. In this respect we have a better opinion of our opponents than they have of themselves. Of course, it is impossible to guarantee anything, but an attempt to settle the conflict in a Party manner, and to find a way out, must be made. The Majority, at any rate, does not want a split, but to go on working under the conditions which have now been created is becoming more and more impossible. Already more than ten committees have expressed themselves in favour of a congress (St.   Petersburg, Tver, Moscow, Tula, Siberia, Caucasus, Ekaterinoslav, Nikolayev, Odessa, Riga, Astrakhan), but even if the great majority of the committees pronounce for a congress it will not take place so very soon, for both the C.0. and the C.C., and probably the Council as well, will oppose the wishes of the majority of the comrades in Russia.

With regard to literature, the C.C. comrade with whom we talked about this replied that it was being punctually supplied to your Committee. Obviously, there has been some confusion. Persons were sent to you twice, but in Russia they were directed to other places. We shall try to send you new things as opportunity arises.

With comradely greetings,


[1] Vladimirov, Miron Konstantinovich (1879–1925)—Social-Democrat, Bolshevik, joined the R.S.D.L.P. in 1903. Carried on Party work in St. Petersburg, Gomel, Odessa, Lugansk and Ekaterinoslav. Delegate to the Third Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. Participant in the revolution of 1905–07. After the October Socialist Revolution occupied various important posts.

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