V. I.   Lenin


TO ***[2]

Written: Written in Geneva
Published: First published in 1926 in Lenin Miscellany V. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, pages 142-143.
Translated: Andrew Rothstein
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive.   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

March 9, 1905

Dear Friend,

I am unable to answer most of your questions, because I myself know no more than you do. It looks as if Voinov is not in favour of a single centre. The Russians are. Whether or not it will go through, I don’t know. I am more in favour of the old system,[3] but do not attach any particular importance to it. The crux of the problem is consultations between the Central Committee and the editorial board— and that in effect brings us back again to some sort of Council.

Then we shall see.”

I can’t write about you to Moscow, because I have no personal friends there, and one has to be careful with such things. It is better to wait and see how they decide themselves.

I will send you the outline of my report (“The Tasks of the Third Congress”) if I find it[1] : it is very brief, almost what was said in “From the Editors”, in Vperyod.[4]

I have not so far been able to find out what sort of consent there was on the part of the Central Committee to a congress. I myself was very much afraid of a skilful C.C. intrigue—you saw our attitude in Vperyod.[5] Now the Minority C.C. have nearly all been arrested, only Fisher,   Nikitich and Karp remain. Stein and Povar[6] have also been arrested. This will probably weaken the Mensheviks for a long time. Over here, dear old Martov has a real fit at his club at any mention of the congress. Judging by this, they won’t come. But who can know for certain? I am ready even for the worst: for a split on our part, but consider this improbable.

Don’t tell me you have not even managed to get a minute of Deutsch’s most disgusting boasts. Why, that is unheard of! One couldn’t even expect such impudence. You should have forced him up against the minutes, published a list of “their” groups or at least passed the minutes on for the congress, so as to show the Russians the boundless impudence of these gentlemen.

All the best,
N. Lenin


[1] I have found it. I can’t send it, because it is hieroglyphics on a scrap of paper. My advice is to concentrate on the experience of the Second Congress.—Lenin

[2] The addressee has not been ascertained.

[3] The notification issued by the Bureau of Majority Committees on the convocation of the Party’s Third Congress contained a clause, in the section dealing with organisational questions for decision at the Congress, on re-organising the centres. It said: “There is to be only one centre, and that in Russia” = (see KPSS v resolyutsiyakh i resheniyakh syezdov, konferentsy i plenumov TsK [The C.P.S.U. in the Resolutions and Decisions of Congresses, Conferences and C.C. Plenary Meetings], Part One, 1954, p. 72). Lenin expressed his attitude to this clause in the document “ Modification of the Clause in the Rules Concerning the Centres” (see present edition, Vol. 8, pp. 197–99), proposing the retention of two centres, one abroad, the C.O. Editorial Board, and one in Russia, the Central Committee, whose periodical meetings “actually will always play the role of supreme or highest ‘Council’ of the Party”
(ibid., p. 199).

[4]From the Editors” was written by Lenin and published in Vperyod (Forward) No. 8 on February 28 (15), 1905. In the present edition, it is entitled “The Convening of the Third Party Congress” (see Vol. 8, pp. 177–80).

[5] Vperyod No. 8, of February 28 (15), 1905, carried the following statement in the “From the Party” section, drawn up by M. S. Olminsky: __NOTE_170_COMMENT: Seems to be missing opening “ (close ” on next page). First instance of missing opening “. From the Editors: We have just received information that can be interpreted as the C.C.’s consent to a congress right away. Without in any way vouching for its authenticity for the lime being, we do consider it plausible. The C.C. has been opposing a congress for many months, dissolving organisations and boycotting and disorganising committees favouring a congress.

These tactics have failed. Now, being guided by its rule of ‘ expediency is all, formality, nothing’, the C.C. is prepared, for the sake of ‘expediency’ (that is, prevention of a congress), to declare formally a hundred times, if need be, that it wants a congress convened at once.”

Lenin added the following: “We hope that neither the Bureau nor the local committees will let themselves be duped by the trickery of the Party ‘Shidlovsky Commission’. __NOTE_NOTE_170__ A second instance where ” appears to be missing from end of quotations. The same attitude to the C.C.’s consent was expressed by Lenin in his letter to S. I. Gusev on February 25, 1905 (see present edition, Vol. 34, p. 298).

[6] A reference to the arrest of C.C. members in the home of the writer Leonid Andreyev in Moscow on February 9 (22), 1905.

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