V. I.   Lenin



From Lenin to the members of the C.C., private

Published: First published in 1926. Sent from Geneva to Russia. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 314-316.
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

July 11, 1905

Dear friends,

A number of letters front all over Russia, Alexandrov’s news, a talk with Tick and several other new arrivals—all this strengthens my conviction that there is some internal defect in the work of the C.C., a defect of organisation, in the way the work is arranged. The general opinion is that there is no Central Committee, that it does not make itself felt, that no one notices it. And the facts confirm this. There is no evidence of the C.C.’s political guidance of the Party. Yet all the C.C. members are working themselves to death? What’s the matter?

In my opinion, one of the principal causes of it is that there are no regular C.C. leaflets. Leadership by means of talks and personal contacts at a time of revolution is sheer utopianism. Leadership must be public. All other forms of work must be wholly and unconditionally subordinate to this form. A responsible C.C. litterateur should concern himself first of all with writing (or obtaining from contributors—though the editor himself should always be prepared to write) a leaflet twice a week on Party and political topics (the liberals, the Socialist-Revolutionaries, the Minority, the split, the Zemstvo delegation, the trade unions, etc., etc.) and republishing it in every way, immediately mimeographing in 50 copies (if there is no printing press) and circulating it to the committees for republication. Articles in Proletary could, perhaps, sometimes be used for such leaflets—after a certain amount of revision. I can not understand why this is not being done! Can Schmidt   and Werner have forgotten our talks on this? Surely it is possible to write and circulate at least one leaflet a week? The Report on the Third Congress [1] has not been reprinted[2] in full anywhere in Russia all this time. It is so outrageous, such a fiasco for all the C.C. ’s famous “techniques” that I simply cannot understand what Winter was thinking about, what Sommer and the others are thinking about! After all, are there not committee print-shops in existence?

Apparently, the C.C. members completely fail to understand the tasks of “keeping in the public eye”. Yet without that there is no centre, there is no Party! They are working themselves to the bone, but they are working like moles, at secret rendezvous, at meetings, with agents, etc., etc. It is a sheer waste of strength! If you are short-handed, then put third-rate forces on the job, even tenth-rate ones, but attend to the political leadership yourselves, issue leaflets first and foremost. And then—personal appearances and speeches at district meetings (in Polesye no one attend ed the meeting. A scandal. They all but broke away!), at conferences, etc. Something like a C.C. diary should be published, a C.C. bulletin, and every important question should be dealt with in a leaflet issued twice a week. It is not difficult to publish one: 50 copies can be run off on a hectograph and circulated, one of the committees can print it and have copies sent to us. The thing is to act, to act all the time openly, to stop being dumb. Otherwise we here, too, are completely cut off.

Perhaps the C.C. should be enlarged? Half a dozen more agents taken on? People could be found for this, I’m sure. In fact, I want to suggest a practical step right now: in view of the almost total absence of correspondence between the C.C. members (we have had only two letters from Werner and Winter, and front Alexandrov only news from the road, “travel impressions, nothing more), it is absolutely essential to carry out our joint decision of May 10, 1905, concerning the holding of a meeting by September 1, 19O5.[3] For heaven’s sake, don’t put this off, don’t be stingy about spending 200-300 rubles. Without this, there is a great   danger that we shall not be able to set things going properly. At the moment they are not moving at all. This is evident from all reports.

There are still six weeks to go to September 1. It is possible to wind up affairs and make arrangements for a trip in good time, after corresponding among others with Alexandrov as to who should go. I await a reply.


[1] See present edition, Vol. 8, pp. 433-39.—Ed.

[2] The Report on the Third Congress and the major resolutions were published in Proletary No. 1, for May 14 (27), 1905.

[3] Lenin is here referring to the decision of the plenary meeting of the C.C. of the R.S.D.L.P. (the first plenum after the Third Congress), held on April 27 (May 10), 1905, concerning the next plenary meeting to be held in Geneva on September 1 (14). This decision was not carried out.

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