V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written at the beginning of September 1909
Published: First published in 1933. Sent from Bombon (France) to Paris. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 401-402.
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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Dear Mark,

I entirely agree, of course, to your making free use of my letter for a report or for publication. [1] Bear in mind, though, that I am writing an article [2] for Proletary in which I bluntly describe the gang of scoundrels, Maximov and Co., as canaille, and call their school nothing but a “Yerogin’s hostel”. [3] And so, to avoid misunderstanding I agree to speak “mildly” only to workers who address me personally over their own signatures.

Maximov and Co., however, are a band of adventurers who have enticed some workers into their Yerogin hostel. To avoid contradictions, do not circulate my letter among our people, but send it exclusively to organisations with this reservation (the reservation had better be published too):

The appropriate reply to the company of offended writers, unrecognised philosophers and ridiculed god-builders[4] who have hidden away their so-called “school” from the Party, will be given in Proletary. The present letter, however, is Lenin’s personal reply to those workers who have addressed him personally.”

I should advise everyone either not to go to Bogdanov’s lecture—or to answer him in such a way as once and for all to kill the desire to butt in. It is base cowardice to go   gate-crashing on a faction from which he has already been ejected. There is nothing more harmful now than sentimentalising. A complete break and war, more determined than that against the Mensheviks. This war will quickly teach the fools who have still “not made things out”.

All the best.
N. Lenin

P.S. And Plekhanov’s “Dnevnik”![5] Don’t forget I am waiting.


[1] The reference is to a letter to students at the Capri Party School see present edition, Vol. 15, pp. 472–78).—Ed.

[2] If I manage to finish it, I shall send it to you tomorrow express—perhaps it will be in time for the report. —Lenin

[3] See “The Faction of Supporters of Otzovism and God-Building” (present edition, Vol. 16).—Ed.

[4] God-builders—adherents of a religious-philosophical trend, hostile to Marxism, which in the period of reaction (1907–10) arose among a section of the Party intellectuals who had moved away from Marxism after the defeat of the revolution of 1905–07. The god-builders advocated the creation of a new “socialist” religion and tried to reconcile Marxism with religion. An extended meeting of the editorial board of Proletary held on June 8–17 (21–30), 1909 condemned god-building and declared in a special resolution that the Bolshevik section of the Party had nothing in common with “such a distortion of scientific socialism”. (See the C.P.S.U. in the Resolutions and Decisions of Its Congresses, Conferences and Plenums of the Central Committee, Part 1, 1954, p. 222.)

The reactionary nature of god-building was exposed by Lenin in his book Materialism and Empirio-criticism^^(see Vol. 14 of this edition)^^.

[5] Dnevnik Sotsial-Demokrata (Diary of a Social-Democrat)—a non-periodical organ published by Plekhanov in Geneva from 1905 to 1912. The last issue appeared in Petrograd in 1916.

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