V. I.   Lenin


To:   G. L. SHKLOVSKY[1]

Written: Written October 14, 1910
Published: Published in full in 1930. First published (abridged) in 1927. Sent from Paris to Berne. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 430-431.
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.

Dear Comrade,

Many thanks for the letter and news of the Plekhanovite agitation. All such information, which gives us an accurate idea of the moods prevailing among the Social-Democrats abroad, is now extremely valuable to us. I too am thinking of going on a lecture tour in Switzerland (Geneva, Lausanne, Berne, Zurich[2] ). I don’t know whether the journey will be worth it.

Regarding a bloc with Plekhanov, I think you are quite right that we should be in favour of it. Since 1909 I have been wholly in favour of a rapprochement with the Plekhanovites. And even more so now. We can and should build the Party only with the Plekhanovites—the Vperyod and Golos people should have been given up as hopeless long ago. It is a mistake to think that the Plekhanovites are weak, mere “ciphers” (as is sometimes said), etc. That is an impression existing abroad. I am deeply convinced that nine-tenths of the Menshevik workers in Russia are Plekhanovites. The whole history of Menshevism in the revolution vouches for the fact that Plekhanovism is the best (and therefore the most viable) product of the proletarian stream of Mensheviks.

In Copenhagen, Plekhanov and I talked about publishing a popular newspaper. It is essential. (Trotsky has clearly turned to the liquidators, to support of the Golos group, to disruption of the Party bloc between the Bolsheviks and Plekhanovites.) Plekhanov and I fully agree that nothing can be done with Trotsky. We shall either establish a popular newspaper under the C.O., or separately by the group of Bolsheviks. Plekhanov has promised to contribute. Money will be needed—we have exceedingly little. I am hop-   ing for every assistance from you. We are struggling hard to establish a periodical in Russia (à la Vozrozhdeniye or Zhizn). We can’t get the thing going, there is no secretary, no one through whom to arrange things—our people are continually being arrested, worse luck! Yet a periodical is Essential.[3]

All the best.


[1] Shklovsky, G. L. (1875–1937)—member of the R.S.D.L.P. since 1898, carried on Party work in the towns of Byelorussia and abroad. From 1909 a political emigrant. Returned to Russia after the February bourgeois-democratic revolution of 1917; worked in Nizhni-Novgorod and Moscow.

After the October Socialist Revolution worked in Party and government institutions.

[2] Lenin’s lecture tour In Switzerland evidently did not take place.

[3] In this and his next letter Lenin writes about arrangements for publishing the Bolshevik legal journal Mysl.

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