V. I.   Lenin

To the Party (May 1904)

Written: Written after May 15 (28), 1904
Published: First published in 1930 in Lenin Miscellany XV.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, publisher??, pubdate??, Moscow, Volume 7, pages 432-434.
Translated: Fineberg Abraham
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2002). 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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I. Answer the tittle-tattle about Bonapartism. Nonsense. Beneath dignity to reply. Freedom of agitation for congress. No stand by Central Committee qua talis,[1] unlike Central Organ.

It’s the committees that must decide, and the Central Committee invites them to weigh the pros and cons calmly and carefully, hear both sides, study the documents without undue haste, with an awareness of Party duty.

II. Call for positive work. Importance of present juncture: the war. Appeal of Central Committee delegates in the Council.[2] Repeat. Ideological struggle must not interfere with positive work. Impermissible forms of struggle. Differences and divergencies should not be exaggerated.

III. Attempt gradually to establish passable relations. (Karl Kautsky’s appeal.[3])

Central Committee proposes terms for a modus vivendi:

1) The right for all six to publish everything at the Party’s expense.

2) Idem for writers’ group with representation at congress.

3) Suspension for a prolonged period of the appointment and dismissal of members.

4) Guarantee for a prolonged period of certain rights of the minority.

5) Guarantee that all Party publications will be distributed and delivered at a committee’s wish.

6) Truce for at least six months; the finale—a 16-page pamphlet shared half-and-half. The minority to have the last word.


[1] As such.—Ed.

[2] See pp. 147–49 of this volume.—Ed.

[3] In a letter printed in Iskra, No. 66 (May 15, 1904), Karl Kautsky had urged that no Party Congress to discuss the differences between the Bolsheviks and Mensheviks should be called until a “truce” was established in the Party.

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