V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written earlier than August 25, 1912
Published: First published in 1924 in Lenin Miscellany I. Sent from Cracow to Capri. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1976], Moscow, Volume 35, pages 54-55.
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.
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Dear A. M.,

If you recognise that “our squabbles are produced by an irreconcilable difference of ideological roots”—that the same applies to the S.R.s (that it is the same with the Cadets—Vekhi—this you did not add, but there can be no doubt about it)—that there is being created a reformist (apt word!) party—then you cannot say both to the liquidator and to his enemy: “Both of you are squabblers.”

In that case the business of those who have understood the ideological roots of the “squabble”, without taking part in it, is to help the masses to discover the roots, and not to justify the masses for regarding the disputes as “a private matter between the generals”.

We “leaders have not written a single clear book, not a single sensible pamphlet”.... Untrue. We wrote as best we could. No less clearly, no less sensibly, than before. And we have written a lot. There have been cases when we wrote against people without any “squabbling” (against Vekhi[1] against Chernov,[3] against Rozhkov,[2] etc.). [Do you see all the issues of Nevskaya Zvezda?]

... “The result of this: among the workers in Russia there are a great number of good ... young people, but they are so furiously irritated with those abroad”.... This is a fact; but it is not the fault of the “leaders”, it is the result of the detachment, or, more truly, the tearing asunder of Russia and the emigrant centres. What has been torn   asunder must be tied together again, and to abuse the leaders is cheap and popular, but of little use ... “that they dissuade the workers from taking part in the conference”....

What conference? The one the liquidators are now calling? Why, we ourselves are dissuading them too! Isn’t there some misunderstanding on your part about this?[4]

I have read that Amfiteatrov has written, in some Warsaw paper,[5] if I am not mistaken, in favour of boycotting the Fourth Duma? Do you happen to have this article? Send it me, I will return it.

Things are warming up in the Baltic Fleet! I had a visit in Paris (this is between ourselves) by a special delegate sent by a meeting of the sailors and Social-Democrats. What’s lacking is organisation—it’s enough to make one weep!! If you have any officer contacts, you should make every effort to arrange something. The sailors are in a fighting mood, but they may all perish again in vain.

Your articles in Zaprosy Zhizni were not too good. It’s a strange journal, by the way—liquidationist– Trudovik-Vekhi. A “classless reformist” party just about sums it up....

You ask why I am in Austria. The C.C. has organised a Bureau here (between ourselves): the frontier is close by, we make use of it, it’s nearer to Petersburg, we get the papers from there on the third day, it’s become far easier to write to the papers there, co-operation with them goes better. There is less squabbling here, which is an advantage. There isn’t a good library, which is a disadvantage. It’s hard without books.

All the very best,

Greetings to M. F.


[1] See “Concerning Vekhi” (present edition, Vol. 16, pp. 123– 31).—Ed.

[2] See “A Liberal Labour Party Manifesto” (present edition, Vol. 17, pp. 313–24).—Ed.

[3] Reference seems to be to L. B. Kamenev’s article “Ob obyazannostyakh demokrata (otvet V. Chernovu)” “(On the Duties of a Democrat [A Reply to V. Chernov]”), published in Nos. 8–9 of Prosveshcheniye (Enlightenment) in July–August 1912.

[4] Reference is to the liquidators’ so-called August Conference, which was held in Vienna in August 1912. This conference was responsible for the forming of the anti-Party August bloc, organised by Trotsky.

[5] Lenin has in mind the newspaper Warsaw Latest News, published from July 13 to August 19, 1912 under the editorship of V. N. Chudovskaya. A. Amfiteatrov was a contributor.

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