V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written in January 1905
Published: First published in 1924 in the book “Vperyod” and “Proletary”. The First Bolshevik Papers of 19O5, Krasnaya Nov Publishers, Moscow. Sent from Geneva to Russia. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, pages 152b-153a.
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.README

Dear Comrade,

Your article “What Are We To Do?” is not suitable for publication. You are creating a non-existent difference. We   have so many serious differences that we must refrain from breeding new ones. Who has spoken, and where, specially about breaking up anything by force?[1] Nobody, I believe. It was merely conceded as an inevitable result irrespective of our wishes. We urged people to go to the meetings even if they had to force their way in in order to propagate our slogans. I grant that the presentation of ideas was at times clumsy, but to cavil at this would be to repeat the foul methods of the new Iskra. You of course do not wish to cavil, that is unquestionable. But you do not in any way prove that there has been “tactlessness”. And to say that “all tactics should consist in tact” and the like, why, that’s altogether “off the mark”.

With comradely greetings,
N. Lenin


[1] A reference to Zemstvo meetings at which the liberal opposition adopted petitions to the tsar to grant a constitution. Lenin criticised the plan for the Zemstvo campaign in his article “The Zemstvo Campaign and Iskra’s Plan” (see present edition, Vol. 7, pp. 497–518).

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