V. I.   Lenin



To the Caucasian Bureau

Written: Written in December, not earlier than 25th, 1904
Published: First published in 1964 in Collected Works, Fifth (Russia!)) Ed., Vol. 46. Sent from Geneva. Printed from a copy in Krupskaya’s handwriting.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, pages 149-151a.
Translated: Martin Parker and Bernard Isaacs
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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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Dear Comrades,

Your statement received. We do not know what the bureau wrote. We shall communicate what we know. Some time ago we forwarded to you the resolutions of the conference of Southern committees and the reply of the participants in the conference of the 22. A slight correction has to be made in your assertion that the Southern committees proposed that the group of 22 appoint a Bureau of the Majority Committees from among its members. It was pro posed that the participants in the conference of the 22 name the comrades they thought best suited for the bureau. From the reply of the participants in the conference of the 22 it can be seen that they in no way considered themselves empowered to “appoint” anyone; instead they put forward a list of nominees and asked the committees to introduce changes or additions in it as they saw fit. You have received that letter, haven’t you? The Southern comrades also took the same view, and, not agreeing with the list proposed, nominated Ryadovoi and Zemlyachka for the Bureau (a minor point: all the nominees are in Russia with the exception of two, and of these one has just come from Russia and is going there again). So far as we know, their nomination coincided with the choice of the Caucasian Bureau. But these persons did not feel they had the right to take any steps before the conference of the Northern committees, which has already taken place. Here’s its resolution.[1] Thus 13 committees (4 Caucasian+3 Southern+6 Northern) have declared for the congress and the establishment of the Bureau of the Majority Committees. As you can see, every thing is being done to enable the committees in Russia to come to an agreement. Other committees besides the thirteen have also declared for the congress; the Central Committee itself admits that 16 have already declared for the   congress, but it now maintains that 19 are needed (this is what the Odessa Committee was told).

In any case the Majority committees should hurry up and organise. In a few days you will receive documents from which you will see how the C.C. negotiations with the Minority began and how they ended: with the retention by the Minority of the autonomy of the technical institutions and the co-opting (so far unofficial) into the C.C. of three of the most ardent Mensheviks whose inclusion in the C.C. the Minority had insisted on from the very beginning. The Mensheviks have begun to run things their own way. The Petersburg business is proof of this. The workers were eager for a demonstration, the committee set the date for the 28th, but in many districts the organisers were Mensheviks (the Petersburg Committee considered it impossible to exclude the Mensheviks from the work) and they conducted vigorous agitation throughout against the committee. The C.C. did not supply the committee with literature; the Mensheviks had the literature but of course did not give it to the committee, and in their districts they did not prepare for the demonstration. Three days before the demonstration the Mensheviks disrupted a meeting of the committee and, taking advantage of the absence of three Bolsheviks, called off the demonstration; 15,000 leaflets were burnt, and when the Bolsheviks, horrified, got another meeting together it was already too late, nothing could be done any more, and hardly any workers showed up for the demonstration. There is seething indignation against the committee, and the Mensheviks who caused all this mess are breaking away, carrying with them nearly all districts, and are receiving sup port in the form of literature, contacts and money. Now there are two committees in Petersburg. Undoubtedly the same will happen in other cities. The Mensheviks have no scruples and, having seized the C.C., the Central Organ and the Council, will pursue a line which will leave the Majority completely Out of the picture. This is no battle of principles. It is the most outrageous mockery of the Party and principles. This is why we began to publish our own organ. There is a complete split in the Party and there must be no procrastination if we do not wish to reconcile ourselves to the sacrifice of Party principle to clannishness, to absence of   principle prevailing in the Party for a long time to come, or its being thrown back to Economism and the Rabocheye Dyelo approach.


[1] The text of the resolution is not given.—Ed.

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