V. I.   Lenin


Published: First published in 1926 in Lenin Miscellany V. Sent from Genera to Berlin. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, page 154.
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.
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October 4, 1905

Dear Mikhail Andreyevich,

I am very grateful to you for your letter, which gives me even more information than Felix Alexandrovich did in his report of a talk with you, as to the plans and tactics of our so-called Cadets.[1] It was extremely valuable to have your communication that the liberals, Witte, etc., are in deadly fear of an active boycott. I have just received news from Russia that an inter-Party conference of Social-Democrats (both sections of the R.S.D.L.P., the Bund, probably the Letts, etc.)[2] has been held. The active boycott tactics have been finally adopted.

Your plan is not clear to me: (1) Do you really think there is the slightest hope that the Cadets will refuse to participate in an election to the Duma? I think there is none. (2) Don’t you think it better for us, if we are to conclude an agreement with the radicals, to demand a million or so from them for the purpose of arming the Petersburg workers, than to have an election to a Constituent Assembly right now? What point will there be in holding an election before or without a fight against Trepov?

Of course, this needs to be discussed in greater detail. I pin my hopes, first, on the meeting you will be having in Berlin over the next few days with one of my friends,[3] and, second, on our meeting here with you about which Felix wrote to us. Wishing you success in the struggle for an active boycott.

Yours faithfully....


[1] Cadets—Constitutional-Democratic Party, the leading party of the liberal-monarchist bourgeoisie in Russia, which was founded in 1905. They advocated a constitutional monarchy. During the first Russian revolution of 1905–07, they styled themselves the party of “people’s freedom”, while actually betraying the people’s interests and holding secret talks with the tsarist government on how to crush the revolution. As the Opposition Party in the Duma, they strove to share power with the tsarist government and supported it on all major issues of domestic and foreign policy.

During the First World War, Cadet leaders, among them Milyukov, were the chief proponents of the annexationist policy of Russian imperialism. After the February revolution of 1917, they entered the bourgeois Provisional Government and fought the revolutionary movement of workers and peasants; they stood up for the landed estates and wanted to force the people to continue the imperialist war. After the victory of the October Socialist Revolution, the Cadets took part in the counter-revolutionary armed struggle against Soviet Russia.

[2] The conference of Social-Democratic organisations in Russia to which Lenin refers was held in Riga on September 7–9 (20–22), 1905. It was called by the C.C., R.S.D.L.P. to work out the tactics in respect of the Duma. It was attended by representatives of the C.C., the O.C. of the Mensheviks, the Bund, the Lettish Social-Democrats, the Social-Democrats of Poland and Lithuania, and the Revolutionary Ukrainian Party. Over Menshevik protests, the conference passed a resolution on active boycott of the Bulygin Duma. The conference decisions were published in Proletary No. 22 on October 24(11), 1905 (see KPSS v resolyutsiyakh..., Part One, 1954, pp. 91–94). They are assessed in Lenin’s articles “The First Results of the Political Alignment” and “The Hysterics of the Defeated” (see present edition, Vol. 9, pp. 396– 404 and 405–07).

[3] A reference to the meeting between M. A. Reisner and V. V. Vorovsky.

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