V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in 1925 in Lenin Miscellany III. Sent from Paris to Berlin. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, pages 167-169.
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.

For T.

March 28, 1910

Dear Comrade,

Thank you for sending me Rosa Luxemburg’s articles.[4] I must protest in the strongest possible terms on the main question—regarding the replacement of Warski by Leder.[5] Why, you put us in the most impossible situation! I will not say anything of Leder’s personal qualities (as they caught the eye in work together at congresses and conferences: these impressions of him did not at all testify to any knowledge, capacities, literary taste, understanding of the business, and often bore witness to petty faultfinding, etc., etc.—you will appreciate that I am writing to you, too, privatissime[1] ). I won’t enlarge on the fact that it is not right to substitute an inexperienced and scarcely suitable person for an experienced writer, a sensible Marxist and an excellent comrade.

But I will speak about the position of the C.O. editorial board and about the crisis in the Party. You surely cannot have failed to notice the critical situation. Warski and I write to the Central Committee about a change in the composition of the C.O. (Dan is clearly disrupting it). The liquidators[6] are disrupting the C.C. And in these circumstances, just when there is unquestionable need of   a man who was at the plenum, who has been tested in the work, who is working nicely with the board, who has begun a serious war with a serious enemy—just at that moment he is being replaced by a new man! Where’s your fear of God? Don’t you see it means paralysing the C.O.? After all, the C.O. is now the only organ of leadership for the whole Party (until the C.C. gets together again after its disruption by the liquidators). It is terribly important to have the C.O. in working trim—and this is surely no time “to begin all over again”, to “initiate” a newcomer, to argue instead of getting on with the job. Please do try to understand that, in order to find loopholes, the Mensheviks, relying on the plenum (and formally they have an unquestionable right to rely on it), argue about every single word in the resolution, its every omission, every incident at the plenum (even the tiniest). Now, is it conceivable, in the situation, to have a man play the part of pendulum when he was not present at the plenum and has not worked with us in the central bodies of the R.S.D.L.P. for years and years? Why, this is absolutely impossible! It means blocking the whole business—and that at a time when highly important questions come up for decision at every meeting. Why, Leder will be obliged to say “I don’t know” to the thousands of arguments and the cavilling of the Mensheviks (who, as you know very well, are devilishly skilful at making use of every &facute;raktioneller Dreck[2] ). Now, I ask you, can we have such a man at such a time?

No. No. We are not demanding anything excessive of the P.S.D.[3] We know their forces, and their needs, and the conditions of work in Poland. We are not overburdening Warski, and are not preventing him from doing Polish literary work. But you must let us have him in the C.O., as we agreed during the plenum. Without Warski, we are absolutely not in a position to “tide over” the period of crisis, i.e., to secure a change in the composition of the C.O. Now, when the crisis is over, when the composition of the C.O. is altered, then ... but even then, let’s not have Leder,   for the love of God. In that case, let’s have Karski, if we can’t have Warski even then. But at present Warski is absolutely, absolutely essential.

All good wishes. Greetings to Rosa.



[1] Strictly confidentially.—Ed.

[2] Factional piece of dirt.—Ed.

[3] Polish Social-Democrats.—Ed.

[4] A possible reference to Rosa Luxemburg’s articles, “Ermattung oder Kampf?” (Exhaustion or Struggle?) and “Die Theorie und die Praxis” (Theory and Practice), published in Die Neue Zeit Nos. 35, 36, 43 and 44 in 1910. Lenin referred to them in “The Historical Meaning of the Inner-Party Struggle in Russia” (see present edition, Vol. 16, pp. 382–83).

[5] The Chief Executive of the Social-Democratic Party of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania intended to substitute V. L. Leder for A. Warski, its representative on the Sotsial-Demokrat editorial board.

[6] Liquidationism—an opportunist trend dominant among the Mensheviks after the defeat of the first Russian revolution (1905–07). Its supporters demanded the liquidation of the proletariat s illegal revolutionary party and the establishment in its stead of an opportunist party engaged only in activity permitted by the tsarist government. Lenin and other Bolsheviks tirelessly exposed the liquidators, who had betrayed the cause of the revolution. The Prague Conference of the R.S.D.L.P. (January 1912) expelled the liquidators from the Party.

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