V. I.   Lenin


To:   L. B. KRASIN[2]

From Old Man to Horse, private

Written: Written not earlier than May 26, 1904
Published: First published in 1930. Sent from Geneva to Baku. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 240-241.
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

In connection with the documents sent you (the agreement with Nil and my official letter to the C.C. [1] ), I should like to have a talk with you, but I do not know whether we shall succeed in meeting. Your “friend”[3] was here recently and he spoke of your possible arrival, but Nil contradicted this news. It will be a great pity if you do not come; your coming would be absolutely essential in all respects, as there are misunderstandings galore and they will increase more and more, hindering all work, unless we succeed in meeting and having a detailed talk. Write to me without fail whether you are coming and what you think of my pamphlet. In general, you are unpardonably inactive where letters are concerned.

In my opinion, Boris (and Konyaga, too, apparently) have got stuck in an obviously obsolete point of view. They are still “living in November”, when squabbling overrode everything else in our Party struggle, when it was permissible to hope that everything would “come right of itself” given a certain personal tractibility, etc. This point of view is now antiquated and to persist in it means either being a parrot senselessly repeating one and the same thing, or a political weathercock, or renouncing any leading role whatsoever and becoming a deaf-and-dumb cabman or factotum. Events have irrevocably shattered this old point of view. Even the Martovites refuse to have anything to do with “co-optation”; the theoretical   drivel that fills the new Iskra has already de facto pushed all squabbling far into the background (so that now only the parrots can call for a cessation of squabbling); by the force of events the issue has boiled down—for heaven’s sake grasp this—it has boiled down to whether the Party is satisfied with the new Iskra. If we don’t want to be pawns, we absolutely must understand the present situation and work out a plan for a sustained and inexorable struggle on behalf of the Party principle against the circle spirit, on behalf of revolutionary principles of organisation against opportunism. It is time to get rid of old bugbears which make out that every such struggle is a split, it is time to stop hiding our heads under our wings, evading one’s Party duties by references to the “positive work”... of cabmen and factotums; it is time to abandon the opinion, at which even children will soon be laughing, that agitation for a congress is Lenin’s intrigue.

I repeat: the G.G. members are in very serious danger of becoming extremely backward eccentrics. Anyone who possesses a particle of political honour and political honesty must stop shifting and shuffling (even Plekhanov has not succeeded in that, leave alone our good Boris!), and must adopt a definite position and stand by his convictions.

All the very best. Awaiting your reply,


[1]Letter to the Members of the Central Committee” (see present edition, Vol. 7).—Ed.

[2] Krasin, Leonid Borisovich (1870–1926)—prominent Soviet statesman, joined the Social-Democratic movement in the nineties. After the Second Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. (1903)—a Bolshevik; co-opted to the C.C. of the Party, where he adopted a conciliatory attitude towards the Mensheviks and helped to co-optate three of their representatives on to the C.C. Shortly afterwards, however, he broke with the Mensheviks. An active participant in the first Russian revolution.

[3] The reference is to D. S. Postolovsky, Russian Social-Democrat, agent of the C.C. of the R.S.D.L.P. from the spring of 1904. A conciliator.

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