V. I.   Lenin



To the C.C.

Published: First published in 1931 in Lenin Miscellany XVI. Sent from Geneva to St. Petersburg. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, pages 165b-167a.
Translated: Martin Parker and Bernard Isaacs
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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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16.X. 05

Dear Comrades,

I have talked to Ivan Vasilich’s messenger and yesterday sent a telegram giving my consent. I authorise Ivan Vasilich or Sergei Vasilich to make the necessary cuts in the Poor,[2] if it is taken away from Petrov. I agree to its being taken from Petrov, but only on condition that this will not mean a break with Petrov, or a sheer deception of Petrov on my part, since I gave Petrov permission to try to arrange this thing. This means it is necessary 1) at least to compensate Petrov for expenses already incurred (Ivan Vasilich’s messenger agreed to this); 2) to get Petrov’s consent to submit to the decision of the higher body (i.e., I permitted Petrov to make a try, while the C.C. decided to hand it over to Belov—so that Petrov should not have reason to consider me an unreliable business partner). If Petrov has already succeeded in arranging things, I would strongly   advise against taking it away from him, for I do not see how Belov is better than Petrov; 3) please get in touch with my sister[1] on this matter (she can easily be communicated with), since she might have already made some arrangements in my name.

As for Petrov, I shall inform everybody here that 1) the C.C. did not endorse the contract; 2) we are within our rights in negotiating with Petrov on each separate instance since no monopoly has been established; 3) it is advisable to deal with the C.C. publishers as more advantageous and closer to the Party.

That seems to be all. Write and let me know whether I have understood you correctly.

Your agreement with Nolin is good, but I am afraid it might be fictitious. An “editorial committee”=7—4—1=2!! And these two are burdened with other things!! This is a fiction, not an editorial committee. Besides, after signing an agreement with Nolin you all give heaps of work (Radin, Kamenev, Werner, Schmidt, Lyadov, Bazarov, Fedorovich, etc., etc. —unless Belov has deceived me?) to Belov. What does this mean? Nolin for the soul and Belov for the body, is that it? If our meeting does not take place, you will be kind enough to explain to me thoroughly by letter what is the matter. It is altogether out of the question for people in the underground or members of the R.S.D.L.P. to engage in the complex and bothersome business of publishing. That is why Belov (and Petrov no less than Belov) is getting ahead of us. And I seriously warn you that that is how it will be, for Belov has enterprising people who give themselves wholly to the business, while Nolin’s “editorial committee” (you can be sure) will not be able to devote even one-hundredth of its energies to this work. We shall keep on talking, arguing, bargaining, holding meetings (we have been engaged in this laudable occupation ever since summer, for six months), while Belov and Petrov will do business. I am not blaming anybody, for it would be absurd to do that—it is inevitable under the circumstances. This will change 1) if freedom is won—and then everything will change; or 2) if Pyatnitsky goes about it   like Belov and Petrov, which he cannot do since he is occupied with a host of other things.

P.S. Received Rabochy No. 2. I shall write you about the feuilleton in detail. The author should not have tackled such subjects: the result is a sort of “sentimental” socialism, which is very dangerous.[3]


[1] Anna Ulyanova-Yelizarova.—Ed.

[2] A reference to preparations for the publication of a legal edition of the pamphlet To the Rural Poor (see present edition, Vol. 6, pp. 361–432).

The names Petrov, Belov and Nolin mentioned in the letter stand, respectively, for the Maria Malykh, Molot, and Znaniye publishers.

[3] The feuilleton, entitled “Letter to Workers. II”, in Rabochy No. 2 was signed “Trety” (Third). The name of the author has not been established.

Rabochy (The Worker)—an illegal popular Social-Democratic paper published, in conformity with the decision of the Third Congress of the Party, by the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. in Moscow in August–October 1905. The actual editor was A. A. Bogdanov.

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