V. I.   Lenin

Original Variant of the Preface to the Pamphlet Workers on the Split in the Party[1]

Written: Written in July 1905
Published: First published in 1926 in Lenin Miscellany V. Published according to the manuscript.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1972, Moscow, Volume 9, pages 161-162.
Translated: The Late Abraham Fineberg and Julius Katzer
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2004). 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

COVER: The Voice of the Workers and the Split in the Party

Published by the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P.


I. Preface by the Editorial Board of Proletary.

II. Letter from an Odessa Worker.

III. Reply to a Letter from a Worker. By Abramov.

IV. Open Letter from the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. to the Organising Committee.


In No. 8 of Proletary we mentioned the forthcoming publication of a letter from an Odessa worker, who, in our opinion, has expressed the temper of a fairly large number of workers. In reply to this letter we are publishing, in the first place, an article by Comrade Abramov of the Proletary staff “Reply to a Letter from a Worker”, and in the second place, “An Open Letter to the Organising Committee” from the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P.,[2] which was recently released in Russia and featured in No. 10 of Proletary.

As for us, we would emphasise only one thing—unification is essential. “Worker” is quite right in insisting on this. However, insistence is not sufficient; what is needed is the ability to bring about unification, the strength to achieve unification. It is not hard to stand aside and form a third   party or neutral group. That will not bring unification closer, but will only defer it; it will not simplify the present confused state of affairs, but will only make it more con fused. The decisions made at the Conference of the Minority or new-Iskrists give no direct or clear answer to the question of precisely how unification can and should be achieved. The decisions of the Third Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. provide that answer in the shape of the Party Rules, which fully guarantee the Minority’s rights. It would be ridiculous to consider that answer infallible or ideal. But anyone who would not merely talk of unification but really work for its achievement through effective measures and proposals should not limit himself to reproaches and reproofs, should not in crease the split by forming a third party, but should set about preparing his answer to the question of the conditions and forms of unification. That is a far more difficult matter than the preaching of peace and love, but then it is far more useful.

Editorial Board of “Proletary”


[1] This document is the original draft of Lenin’s introduction to the pamphlet Workers on the Split in the Party, which was published in Geneva in August 1905. One of the variants of the title of the pamphlet was The Voice of the Workers and the Split in the Party. The title of the document has been provided by the Institute of Marxism-Leninism, Central Committee, C.P.S.U. .

[2] An Open Letter to the Mensheviks’ Organising Committee from the R.S.D.L.P.’s Central Committee was to have been published in No. 10 of Proletary, but was actually published in No. 11, August 9 (July 27), 1905. The letter proposed negotiations on problems of uniting the Party on the basis of the Programme and Rules adopted by the Third Congress. The first and second conferences of representatives of the Central Committee and the Organising Committee took place in July, and the third in September 1905. The conferences showed that by their schismatic action the Mensheviks were wrecking unification of the Party.

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