V. I.   Lenin


Written: Written in Switzerland between August 18 and 31, 1904,
Published: First published in 1930 in Lenin Miscellany XV. Sent to Geneva. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, pages 135-136.
Translated: Andrew Rothstein
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive.   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 Vladimir Dmitrievich,

I have received your letter and hasten to reply. I simply cannot understand why you fell out, and what the point is.[1] I don’t see why not sell 20–30 copies of Zarya and why this should be “running ahead of things”. I should think this was the kind of routine matter in forwarding that could be left entirely to the manager of the forwarding section, i.e., to you. I am writing this very day to Martyn Nikolayevich asking him to try and clear up the misunderstanding. You shouldn’t be too much upset about individual expressions, even sharp ones, even unfair ones. You see, surely, that we are all very edgy—the cause of it all is the rotten situation created by the new traitors in the C.C. Maybe we shall now soon put an end to all this, once and for all, and make a fresh start—then the basis for petty conflicts will disappear. In the meantime, we must try and see it through patiently, and I would reply to caustic remarks by jokes about “the deadly destroyer”.[2] I quite understand your irritation, but joking seems to be the only answer. If a dispute arises, drag out its solution, write to us here, that’s all you should do. Please take all possible steps to accelerate the appearance of 

(1) the pamphlet by Ryadovoi and Galyorka, 

(2) your statement with the documents, 

(3) Galyorka’s pamphlet which was sent today.[3]

How is Ilya? He visited me yesterday, I told him what was in hand,[4] but he still can’t make up his mind. Has he been given my (1) letter on the subject of the agreement of 26.5.04[5]; (2) protest against the C.C. declaration,[6] and (3) letter about the protest[7]? It is absolutely essential   that he and all the compositors read this; don’t delay with this.

Have matters been arranged about the co-operative printing press[8]? Hurry.

Ilya says there is a rumour that Glebov has a letter of resignation from Travinsky. We shall look into it and check.

They’re a nice lot, aren’t they? Five and four are arguing; two of the five resign; two of the four are taken— then the three, instead of resigning, stage a coup d’état[9]!

N. Lenin


[1] V. D. Bonch-Bruyevich sold for cash 30 copies of Zarya from the C.C. forwarding office to Iskra’s, Editorial Board and M. N. Lyadov protested against this.

[2] The meaning of the words is not quite clear, but judging by the context, they apparently refer to M. N. Lyadov.

[3] The Bolshevik literature and documents mentioned here include: = 1) a pamphlet by Galyorka (M. S. Olminsky) and Ryadovoi (A.  Bogdanov), Our Misunderstandings; = 2) a statement by V. D. Bonch-Bruyevich concerning the start of publication of Bolshevik Social-Democratic literature with a letter from Glebov (V. A. Noskov) refusing to print this statement in the Party printing shop; and   3) a pamphlet by Galyorka, Down with Bonapartism! (Bonch– Bruyevich s statement was printed on the last sheet of the pamphlet, Our Misunderstandings, of the Geneva edition of 1904).

[4] Lenin and “Ilya” (I. S. Vilensky) who was in charge of the Party’s printing shop discussed the conflict between Lenin and the conciliatory majority of the Central Committee on who was to run the Party’s printing shop at Geneva.

[5] The “agreement” on a joint solidarity statement abroad on behalf of the Central Committee was concluded between Lenin and V. A. Noskov, who came abroad as the C.C. representative abroad and a second member of the Party Council. (He replaced F. V. Lengnik, who returned to Russia.) The “agreement” was signed on May 26 with the participation of M. M. Essen, a third member of the C.C., who was abroad at the time (see present edition, Vol. 7, pp. 430–31 and 426–29).

[6] A reference to Lenin’s letter to five members of the Central Committee in Russia with his motivated protest against the C.C.’s “July Declaration” (see present edition, Vol. 7, pp. 462–63).

July Declaration of the Central Committee—a resolution adopted by the conciliatory members of the C.C., L. B. Krasin, V. A. Noskov and L. Y. Galperin, in July 1904. It consisted of 26 points, nine of which were published in Iskra No. 72 of August  25, 1904, under the title “Declaration of the Central Committee”. It was adopted without the knowledge of two C.C. members, Lenin, who was in Switzerland, and Rozalia Zemlyachka, which deprived them of the opportunity of standing up for the views of the Party’s majority in the C.C. The declaration recognised the Menshevik Editorial Board of Iskra, co-opted by Plekhanov, and co-opted another three conciliatory members of the C.C., namely, A. I. Lyubimov, L. Y. Karpov and I. F. Dubrovinsky. The conciliators came out against the convocation of the Party’s Third Congress and dissolved the C.C. Southern Bureau, which had been campaigning for the Congress. They revoked Lenin’s powers as C.C. representative abroad and prohibited the publication of his works without the permission of the C.C. collegium.

The adoption of the July Declaration signified a total betrayal of the decisions of the Party’s Second Congress by the conciliatory members of the C.C. and their open backing of the Mensheviks.

Lenin was supported by the Party’s local committees—St.  Petersburg, Moscow, Riga, Baku, Tiflis, Imeretian-Mingrelian, Nikolayev, Odessa and Yekaterinoslav—which resolutely condemned the July Declaration.

[7] A reference to the “Letter to Central Committee Agents and Committee Members of the R.S.D.L.P. Siding with the Second Party Congress Majority” (see present edition, Vol. 7, pp. 464–65).

[8] V. D. Bonch-Bruyevich managed to sign a contract with a Russian co-operative printing shop in Geneva for publishing   Bolshevik literature following the virtual split between Lenin and the literary group abroad, and the conciliatory Central Committee.

[9] A reference to the coup d’état in the Central Committee by its three conciliatory members (V. A. Noskov, L. B. Krasin and L. Y. Galperin) at the “July” sitting (see Note 160).

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