V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written October 18, 1905
Published: First published in 1934 in Lenin Miscellany XXVI. Sent from Geneva to Russia. Printed from a copy in an unknown handwriting, with corrections by Lenin.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, pages 168b-169a.
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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Dear Comrades,

The International Socialist Bureau has forwarded me a letter from Vaillant setting forth the proposal of the Socialist Workers’ Party of France. The Bureau has asked me to submit this proposal for discussion by the central body of my Party and to reply at the earliest date. Vaillant’s letter is as follows:

The question raised in my letter which you circulated was to introduce a definite proposal. Today I am sending you this proposal I could not do so earlier, for to give it sufficient weight it was necessary that it should come from the party as a whole, from the Socialist Party (French section of the International Workers’ Party), which has adopted it unanimously through its delegates at an assembly of the National Council on Sunday, September 24 (September 11), in Paris. The following is the proposal on which a decision is to be taken after discussion by the International Socialist Bureau: ‘As soon as developments, overt or covert, give cause to fear a conflict between governments and make war possible, the socialist parties of th; countries concerned should at once, on invitation from the I.S.B. contact each other direct with the object of determining and concentrating the actions of the combined forces of the workers and socialists to avert and prevent war.

“‘At the same time the parties of other countries would be invited by the I.S.B. to a meeting to be held at the earliest possible date in order to determine what action on the part of the entire International and the organised workers is most suitable to avert and prevent war.

Jaurès joins me in asking you to send at once a new circular letter to all parties. You will understand, as will the socialists of all countries if they agree with us, how important, in view of the possible developments, it is not to put off discussion of this question to a distant meeting of the Bureau, but to inform the Bureau directly of their agreement; thus, if the proposal is adopted, as we hope it will he, it could be implemented promptly in the event of a conflict.”

I for my part should like to add that, in my view, this proposal is somewhat naïve, since the only thing that can have an effect in the event of a conflict between governments is the dictatorship of the proletariat.


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