First published in 1926.
Sent from Geneva to St. Petersburg.
Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 360-361.
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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October 26, 1905
I received your long letter a few days ago. Many thanks. We get very little news from St. Petersburg, and few leaflets of any kind. Please do not abandon your intention to send us absolutely all news of every kind as well as correspondence.
As regards Party affairs, it seems to me that your pessimism is a bit exaggerated. I judge by things over here. I continually hear from the “periphery” that Proletary is obviously on the decline, that things are going from bad to worse, that the newspaper is running to seed and so on and so forth. But things are not as bad as they seem. With the gigantic movement that there is now, no single C.C. in the world, under conditions where the Party is illegal, could satisfy a thousandth part of the demands made on it. That our slogans, the slogans of Proletary, are not just a voice crying in the wilderness, can be clearly seen even from the legal newspapers, which report meetings of 10,000-15,000 in the University, etc. My word, our revolution in Russia is a fine one! We hope to return there soon—things are heading that way with remarkable speed.
We shall certainly arrange a meeting with the C.C. This question is already settled and everything has been arranged.
As regards differences of opinion, you seem to be exaggerating too. I see no disagreements here between Proletary and the C.C. Timing the uprising? Who would undertake to fix it? Personally, I would willingly postpone it until the spring, and until the Manchurian army comes home; I am inclined to think that in general it will be to our advantage to postpone it. But, then, nobody asks us any way. Take the present tremendous strike.
That the C.C. is focussing its attention on leadership through the press is, in my opinion, the right tactics. I only wish that in addition to Rabochy, which is very useful at the present time, we had agitational bulletins, small ones of two, or a maximum of four, pages, lively, frequent, issued at least once a week, and sometimes twice. With the present gigantic, incredible growth of the movement, the Party can be led only through the press. And we must produce lively, mobile, speedy, brief leaflet-bulletins, giving the main slogans and the results of the main events.
Concerning stoppage of the Central Organ, there is a misunderstanding here. They were afraid of the whole business going bankrupt, but had no intention of suppressing the C.O. Generally speaking the importance of the foreign-based section of the Party is now diminishing hour by hour, and this is unavoidable. We shall not abandon Proletary, of course, under any circumstances, until we can get it published in Nevsky Prospekt in St. Petersburg. But we must now pay a great deal of attention to a legal newspaper as well. We here abroad already have to put the shutters up (propagandist literature), and we shall soon close down altogether and open up in St. Petersburg.
In preparing for the uprising, I would advise at once carrying out extensive propaganda everywhere for the organisation of a large number, hundreds and thousands, of autonomous combat squads, very small ones (from three persons upwards), which would arm themselves as best they can and prepare themselves in every way. The time of the uprising, I repeat, I would willingly postpone until the spring, but it is difficult, of course, for me to judge from a distance.
All the very best.