Written: Written in February 1904
Published: First published in 1929. Sent from Geneva to Russia. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 232-233.
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.
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Old Man writing. I have read the letters of Zemlyachka and Konyagin. Where he got the idea that I have now realised the uselessness of a congress, God only knows. On the contrary, I insist as before that this is the only honest way out, that only short-sighted people and cowards can dodge this conclusion. I insist as before that Boris, Mitrofan and Horse should be sent here without fail, for people need to see the situation (especially that which arose after the Council meetings) for themselves, and not waste their time preaching to the winds from afar, hiding their heads under their wings and taking advantage of the fact that the C.C. is a long way off and it would take a year and a day to reach it.
There is nothing more absurd than the opinion that working for a congress, agitating in the committees, and getting them to pass well-thought-out and forceful (and not sloppy) resolutions precludes “positive” work or contradicts it. Such an opinion merely betrays an inability to understand the political situation which has now arisen in the Party.
The Party is virtually torn apart, the Rules have been turned into scraps of paper and the organisation is spat upon—only complaisant Gothamites can still fail to see this. To anyone who has grasped this, it should be clear that the Martovites’ attack must be met with an equal attack (and not with fatuous vapourings about peace, etc.). And for an attack, all forces must be set in motion. All technical facilities, transport and receiving arrangements should be handled exclusively by auxiliary personnel, assistants and agents. It is supremely unwise to use C.C. members for this. The C.C. members must occupy all the committees, mobilise the Majority, tour Russia, unite their people, launch an onslaught (in reply to the Martovites’ attacks), an onslaught on the C.O., an onslaught by means of resolutions 1) demanding a Congress; 2) challenging the editors of the C.O. to say whether they will submit to the congress on the question of the composition of the editorial board; 3) branding the new Iskra without “philistine delicacy”, as was done recently by Astrakhan, Tver and the Urals. These resolutions should be published in Russia, as we have said a hundred times already.
I believe that we really do have in the C.C. bureaucrats and formalists, instead of revolutionaries. The Martovites spit in their faces and they wipe it off and lecture me: “it is useless to fight!”... Only bureaucrats can fail to see now that the C.C. is not a C.C. and its efforts to be one are ludicrous. Either the C.C. becomes an organisation of war against the C.O., war in deeds and not in words, of war waged in the committees, or the C.C. is a useless rag, which deserves to be thrown away.
For heaven’s sake, can’t you see that centralism has been irretrievably shattered by the Martovites! Forget all idiotic formalities, take possession of the committees, teach them to fight for the Party against the circle spirit abroad, write leaflets for them (this will not hinder agitation for a congress, but assist it!), use auxiliary forces for technical jobs. Take the lead in the war against the C.O. or renounce altogether ludicrous pretensions to “leadership”... by wiping off the spittle.
Claire’s behaviour is shameful, but Konyaga’s encouragement of him is still worse. Nothing makes me so angry now as our “so-called” C.C. Addio.