V. I.   Lenin



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 345-347.
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

October 3, 1905

Dear friends,

I have received a pile of documents and listened to Delta’s detailed story. I hasten to reply on all the points.

1) I shall not be able to come at the scheduled time, as there can be no question of my leaving the newspaper now.[1] Voinov is stuck in Italy. Orlovsky had to be sent away on business. There is no one to replace me. Therefore the thing is being postponed until Russian October, as arranged by you.

2) I repeat my most urgent request that you send a formal reply to the International Bureau. As to whether you are sending someone to the conference abroad. Exactly whom and when. As to whether you are appointing some one—also precisely. Otherwise you will discredit yourselves incredibly in the eyes of the International Bureau.

3) About Plekhanov, also formally and conclusively—yes or no. Who should be appointed? Postponement of this question is extremely dangerous.[2]

4) About legal publishing, make a formal decision quickly. My draft agreement with Malykh,[3] has done you no harm whatever, as it is only a draft. I merely repeat that Malykh provided a livelihood for lots of people here, whom the Party is enable to maintain. Do not forget that. I would advise both concluding an agreement with Malykh and continuing to do business with the others after the manner of Schmidt.

5) As regards opposition to the C.C. on the part of almost all the agents, I have the following to say. Firstly, co-opting Insarov and Lyubich, which I fully welcome, will probably   improve matters very much. Secondly, some of the agents are evidently exaggerating somewhat. Thirdly, would it not be advisable to put some of the agents on the commit tees with instructions to concern, themselves with the whole area of two or three neighbouring committees? Unity of tactics should not be overestimated: a certain variety in the actions and plans of the committees will do no harm.

6) I consider it extremely important to start preparing for the fourth congress.[4] It is high time. It will probably be six months late at least, if not more. All the same, it is high time. I think we are a little to blame for the laxity among some of the committees and for allowing them to waive the decisions of the Third Congress concerning the conditions of admission for the Mensheviks. If these committees, which at one and the same time recognise and do not recognise the Third Congress, do not define their attitude to the fourth congress, there will be chaos. Some of them will not attend the fourth congress. Another scandal. Some of them will attend it and desert to the other side at the congress. We should not confuse the policy of uniting the two parts with the mixing-up of both parts. We agree to uniting the two parts, but we shall never agree to mixing them up. We must demand of the committees a distinct division, then two congresses and amalgamation. Two congresses at the same time, in one place, and they will discuss and accept the drafts for amalgamation prepared beforehand.

But just now we must vigorously oppose any mixing-up of the two sections of the Party. I would advise giving the agents a watchword of this kind in the most definite form and instructing them to put it into effect.

If this is not done there will be an unholy mess. The Mensheviks have everything to gain by confusion and they will go out of their way to breed it. They won’t be “any the worse for it” (since nothing can be worse than their disorganisation), whereas we value our organisation, embryonic though it is, and will defend it tooth and nail. It pays the Mensheviks to mix things up and make another scandal out of the fourth congress, for they are not even contemplating a congress of their own. We must direct all our efforts and all our thoughts towards cementing and   better organising our section of the Party. These tactics may seem “egoistic”, but they are the only reasonable ones. If we are well united and organised, if we get rid of all the whiners and turncoats, then our hard core, even if not very large, will carry with it the whole mass of “organisational nebulosity”. But if we have no such core, the Mensheviks, having disorganised themselves, will disorganise us as well. If we have a hard core, we shall soon force them into amalgamation with us. If we have no core, then it will not be the other core (it is non-existent) that will win the day, but the muddleheads, and then, I assure you, there will be fresh squabbles, a fresh, inevitable split and resentment a hundred times worse than before.

So let us prepare for real unification by increasing our own strength and working out clear drafts for standards of rules and tactics. And the people who chatter idly about unification, who mix up the relations between the sections of the Parry, should, in my opinion, be ruthlessly removed from our midst.

All the best.
N. Lenin


[1] This refers to Lenin’s trip to Finland to attend a meeting of the C.C. of the R.S.D.L.P. In a letter dated October 17 (30) he was given the address for a rendezvous in Stockholm.

[2] This refers to representation in the I.S.B. By a decision of the C.C. of the R.S.D.L.P. Lenin was appointed representative.

[3] Malykh, Maria—publisher of legal Social-Democratic literature in 1905.

[4] The Fourth (Unity) Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. was held in Stockholm on April 10–25 (April 23–May 8), 1906.

It was attended by 112 voting delegates representing 57 local organisations and 22 delegates with a consultative voice. There were, in addition, three representatives each from the Social-Democratic Party of Poland and Lithuania, the Bund, and the Lettish S.D.L.P. and one each from the Ukrainian S.D.L.P. and the Labour Party of Finland, and a representative of the Bulgarian Social-Democratic Labour Party. The Bolshevik delegates included, among others, V. I. Lenin, F. A. Artyom (Sergeyev), M. V. Frunze, M. I. Kalinin, S. G. Shahumyan, and V. V. Vorovsky.   The principal items on the agenda were the agrarian question, the current situation, the class tasks of the proletariat, the attitude to the Duma, and organisational questions. On all issues a sharp struggle was waged between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. Lenin made reports and speeches on the agrarian question, the current situation, on the question of tactics in regard to the Duma elections, on the armed uprising and other questions.

The Mensheviks’ numerical preponderance at the Congress, though slight, determined the character of the Congress decisions. On a number of questions the Congress adopted Menshevik resolutions (the agrarian programme, the attitude towards the Duma, etc.). The Congress adopted Lenin’s formulation of Clause One of the Party Rules concerning membership of the Party. The Congress admitted into the R.S.D.L.P. the non-Russian Social-Democratic organisations of Poland and Lithuania and the Lettish Social-Democratic Labour Party, and made arrangements for the Bund to join the R.S.D.L.P.

The Central Committee elected at the Congress consisted of three Bolsheviks and seven Mensheviks. Only Mensheviks were elected to the editorial board of the Central Organ.

An analysis of the Congress is given in Lenin’s pamphlet Report on the Unity Congress the R.S.D.L.P. ^^(see Vol. 10 of this edition)^^.

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