V. I.   Lenin


To:   S. I. GUSEV

To Gusev from Lenin

Published: First published in 1925. Sent from Geneva to St. Petersburg. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 304-306.
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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March 16, 1905

Dear friend,

I have just learnt that, at the request of the Bund, the conference here of eighteen Social-Democratic and other revolutionary parties (including the Socialist-Revolutionary Party and the P.P.S.) has been postponed to the beginning of April. It is extremely important for us to settle jointly with Rakhmetov a number of fundamental questions concerning our participation in this conference (its aim is to reach agreement on an uprising). Iskra is carrying on a most vile intrigue. If Rakhmetov has not left yet, make every effort to see that he goes immediately, and let me know at once without fail exactly what you know about the time of his departure.

We are pretty worried here about the congress. It’s all very well for you, Igor and Lyadov to write about the Old Man being nervy. Who wouldn’t be nervy when we are surrounded here by enemies who take advantage of every item of news and who get their news more quickly than we do. Really, this is unpardonable on the part of the Bureau. As regards the East, for example, all we know is that Zemlyachka is touring the Urals and that Lyadov visited Saratov. The reply from the latter place is vague, nothing definite. We do not know what arrangements have been made for publishing leaflets over the signature of the “Committees of the Eastern District”. It is a disgrace and a scandal! Recently the Socialist-Revolutionaries showed us one such leaflet, a stupid one, against Gapon! Obviously, this is a C.C. intrigue, but surely two members of the Bureau who   visited the East; could have learnt something and written us about it in good time, so as not to put us in an idiotic position in face of the enemy! Don’t they feel ashamed at putting Vperyod in such an extremely awkward position? And more than awkward, because Iskra brazenly takes advantage of everything. In Iskra No. 89 the Council excommunicates everyone who goes to the congress. The votes are again falsified there. They count 75 votes as of January 1, 1905 (33x2=66+9 from the C.C., Central Organ and Council). They have invented the Kazan and Kuban committees, which were never endorsed, and lie about the Polesye and North-Western committees having been endorsed as of January 1, 1905. Actually, they were not endorsed until April 1, 1905. We exposed this lie in Vperyod No. 10.[1]

Here is something that should be borne in mind: for the congress to be lawful from Iskra’s point of view, there must be nineteen committees attending it. By our reckoning, this is wrong. But if there were 28 (apart from the League) fully qualified organisations in Russia as of January 1, 1905, then the participation of 14–15 at the congress is extremely desirable, almost essential. Meanwhile, we have 13—1 (Ekaterinoslav)+2 (Voronezh and Tula)==14, and that only by counting Tiflis, a doubtful. Of course, the congress is necessary all the same, if only of a dozen committees, and the sooner the better. Any kind of congress, so long us it is a congress. But why is there no news of the Bureau having visited a single neutral or Menshevik committee? Was it not decided that the Bureau would invite and visit all of them? Why hasn’t Lyadov visited the Kuban Committee? Why, in travelling through, did he not invite to the congress the Don, Kharkov, Gornozavodsky and Kiev committees? And the various groups in these towns? An excellent means of stirring the workers is to invite them to the congress themselves. Why isn’t this being done? It would really have enormous significance! Why isn’t there a scrap of news about Kursk, the Polesye Committee and others? We shall do everything we can from here, but not   much can be done from here. There are slight chances of making contact with Kazan, Siberia, Kursk, Polesye, and Saratov, but all this is problematical. And yet, if all these live, plus the Urals, were at the congress, then its full lawfulness, even according to Iskra’s reckoning, would be beyond doubt. Do write.



[1] See “Whom Are They Trying to Fool?” (present edition. Vol. 8).—Ed.

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