V. I.   Lenin



To Zemlyachka from Old Man.

Published: First published in 1930. Sent from Geneva to Russia. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 277-279.
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

December 10, 1904

I have just returned from my lecture tour and received your letter No. 1. I spoke with Mermaid. Did you get my abusive letter (sent also to Papasha and Sysoika)?[1] As regards the composition of the O.C., I, of course, accept the general decision. I don’t think Private should be drawn into this—he should be sent out here immediately. Further, it is essential to organise a special group (or to supplement the O.C.) for making regular rounds of the commit tees and maintaining all contacts between them. Our contacts with the committees and with Russia in general are extremely inadequate and we must exert every effort to get more local correspondents’ reports and ordinary letters from comrades. Why don’t you put us in touch with the Northern Committee? With the Moscow printing workers (this is very important!)? With Ryakhovsky? With Tula? With Nizhni-Novgorod? Do this immediately. Further, why don’t the committees sent us their repeat resolutions concerning the congress? This is essential. I am very much afraid that you are too optimistic about the congress and about the C.C.; you will see from the pamphlet The Council Versus the Party (it is already out) that they go to any lengths, perform the devil knows what tricks, in their desire to sabotage the congress. In my opinion, it is a definite mistake on the part of the O.C. not to issue a printed announcement. In the first place, an announcement is necessary in order to offset our open way of acting to the Minority’s   secret organisation. Otherwise the C.C. is bound to catch you out, to take advantage of Sysoika’s ultimatums and talk of your “secret” organisation; this will be a disgrace for the Majority, a disgrace for which you will be wholly to blame. Secondly, a printed announcement is necessary in order to inform the mass of Party workers about the new centre. You will never be able to do this even approximately by any letters. Thirdly, a statement about the unity of the Majority committees will be of tremendous moral significance as a means of reassuring and encouraging despondent members of the Majority (especially here abroad). To neglect this would be a great political mistake. I therefore insist, again and again, that immediately after the Northern Conference the Bureau of the Majority (or the O.C. of the Majority committees) should issue a printed statement mentioning the consent and direct authorisation of the Odessa, Ekaterinoslav, Nikolayev, four Caucasian, Riga, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Tver, and Northern committees, etc. (perhaps the Tula and Nizhni-Novgorod committees), i.e., 12-14 committees. This will not only not harm the struggle for a congress but will be of tremendous assistance to it. Answer at once whether you agree or not. Regarding the Zemstvo campaign, I strongly recommend that both my pamphlet[2] and the letter of the Iskra editorial board should be published in Russia immediately and openly (without the stupid heading “for Party members”). I may write another pamphlet, but the polemic with Iskra must be republished without fail. Finally, and this is particularly important and urgent: may I sign the local manifesto about a new organ[3] on behalf of the Organising Commit tee of the Majority committees (or better the Bureau of the Majority Committees)? May I speak here in the name of the Bureau? May I call the Bureau the publisher of the new organ and organiser of the editorial group? This is extremely necessary and urgent. Reply immediately, after seeing Private; tell him, and repeat it, that he must come here   immediately, without delay, if he doesn’t want to run the risk of being arrested and doing great harm to our cause. People everywhere abroad chatter an awful lot; I have heard them myself when on a lecture tour in Paris, Zurich, etc. A last warning: either he clears out and comes here at once or ruins himself and throws all our work back a year. I do not undertake to present any ultimatums about a congress to anyone here, as that would only evoke ridicule and jeers; there is no point in play-acting. Our position will be ten times cleaner and better if we come forward openly with the Bureau of the Majority and openly declare for a congress, instead of carrying on silly backdoor negotiations, which at best will serve only to delay matters and allow new intrigues on the part of people like Glebov, Konyagin, Nikitich and other rotters. The entire Majority here is fretting and worrying, longing for an organ, demanding it every where. We cannot publish it without direct authorisation from the Bureau, but publish it we must. We are doing everything we can to raise money and hope to succeed; you too must try to raise some. For heaven’s sake, hurry up with the authorisation to publish in the name of the Bureau, and print a leaflet about it in Russia.


[1] See pp. 271–73 of this volume.—Ed.

[2] The Zemstvo Campaign and Iskra’s Plan (see present edition, Vol. 7).—Ed.

[3]A Letter to the Comrades (With Reference to the Forthcoming Publication of the Organ of the Party Majority)” (see present edition, Vol. 7).—Ed.

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