V. I.   Lenin



To Beggar from Lenin

Written: Written April 8, 1905
Published: First published in 1925. Sent from Geneva to Odessa. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 310-311.
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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Dear Comrade,

I have read with interest your letter[2] (No. 6) about the primary nucleus of the organisation among handicraft workers. At the factories this nucleus should be represented by the factory committee, but what about the handicraft industries? You stand for trade union circles, but what about your opponents—? I didn’t quite grasp what they stand for. Neither do I know, unfortunately, what these old trade union “councils” were. When did they exist? How were they formed? How did they combine Social-Democratic and trade union work?

Not being familiar with the practical aspect of this practical question, I hesitate to express an opinion as yet. Further letters may tell me more—then we shall see. One must study experience and be careful in changing things, that is true. But it’s not quite clear to me what Economism has to do with it. Don’t the factory committees, too, mainly discuss factory interests (which are also trade union interests)? Yet no one has objected to the factory committee being the primary nucleus of the Social-Democratic organisation. The important thing is living conditions, conditions of assembly, conditions under which people meet, conditions of joint work, because the primary nucleus should meet frequently and regularly and function in a particularly lively fashion. Finally, is a single type of organisation obligatory here? Would not a variety of types be better for adaptation to various conditions and for acquiring richer experience?

Thanks for the letters. Keep on writing, for it is not often we have news about the day-to-day (the most interesting) aspect of the work.



[1] Vinogradova, Olga (1881–1913)—joined the revolutionary movement in 1901. In 1903 carried on propaganda and agitation in Nizhni-Novgorod. In 1903–04—a member of the Bolshevik group in Berlin. In the spring of 1905 worked in the Odessa organisation. Was a correspondent of the newspapers Vperyod and Proletary. In 1905–07 worked in St. Petersburg, was a member of the agitators’ collegium under the St. Petersburg Committee. Afterwards worked in Saratov.

[2] This letter was a reply to that of Olga Vinogradova dated February 18, 1905, from Odessa, in which she wrote to Lenin: “In your letter to Comrade T. you mention my promise to write about Nizhni-Novgorod.”

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