V. I.   Lenin

The Workers and Pravda

Published: Pravda No. 103, August 29, 1912. Signed: St. Published according to the Pravda text.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1975], Moscow, Volume 18, pages 299-301.
Translated: Stepan Apresyan
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2004). 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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Pravda has already summed up some of the results of its six months’ work.

These results showed first of all and above all that only through the efforts of the workers themselves, only through the tremendous upsurge of their enthusiasm, their resolve and stubbornness in the struggle, and only after the April–May movement, was it possible for the St. Petersburg workers’ newspaper, Pravda, to appear.

In its summing up, Pravda confined itself for a start to the data on group donations made by workers to their daily newspaper. These data reveal to us only a small part of the workers’ support; they do not tell us about the much more valuable and difficult direct support—moral support, sup port through personal participation, support for the policy of the newspaper, support through contributing materials, discussing and circulating the paper, etc.

But even the limited data at the disposal of Pravda showed that a very impressive number of workers’ groups had directly linked themselves with it. Let us cast a general glance at the results.

Number of contributions to Pravda made by groups of workers
January 1912 . . . 14
February . . . 18
March . . . 76
April . . . 227
May . . . 135
June . . . 34
July . . . 26
August (up to 19th) 1912 . . . 21
Total . . . 551

Altogether five hundred and fifty-one groups of workers supported Pravda by their donations.

It would be interesting to sum up the results of a whole number of other collections and donations by workers. We have constantly seen in Pravda reports on contributions in support of various strikes. We have also seen reports on collections for the victims of repressions, for the Lena goldfields victims, for individual Pravda editors, collections for the election campaign, for relief of the famine-stricken, and so on and so forth.

The varied nature of these collections makes it much more difficult to assess the results here, and we are not yet in a position to say whether a statistical summary can give a satisfactory picture of the matter. But it is obvious in any case that these varied collections take up a very substantial part of the workerslife.

As they look through the reports on workers’ collections in connection with letters from factory and office workers in all parts of Russia, Pravda readers, most of whom are dispersed and separated from one another by the severe external conditions of Russian life, gain some idea how the proletarians of various trades and various localities are fighting, how they are awakening to the defence of working-class democracy.

The chronicle of workers’ life is only just beginning to develop into a permanent feature of Pravda. There can be no doubt that subsequently, in addition to letters about abuses in factories, about the awakening of a new section of the proletariat, about collections for one or another field of the workers’ cause, the workers’ newspaper will receive reports about the views and sentiments of the workers, election campaigns, the election of workers’ delegates, what the workers read, the questions of particular interest to them, and so on.

The workers’ newspaper is a workers’ forum. Before the whole of Russia the workers should raise here, one after another, the various questions of workers’ life in general and of working-class democracy in particular. The workers of St. Petersburg have made a beginning. It is to their energy that the proletariat of Russia owes the workers’ first daily newspaper after the grim years of social stagnation. Let us,   then, carry their cause forward, unitedly supporting and developing the workers’ paper of the capital, the harbinger of the spring to come, when the whole of Russia will be covered by a network of workers’ organisations with workers’ newspapers.

We, the workers, have yet to build this Russia, and we shall build it.


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