V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written December 19, 1912
Published: First published in 1960 in Istorichesky Arkhiv No. 2. First published as a letter by Lenin in 1964 in Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Ed., Vol. 48. Sent from Cracow to St. Petersburg. Printed from a copy in Krupskaya’s handwriting.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, pages 321-322a.
Translated: Martin Parker and Bernard Isaacs
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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 Friends,

The news of the inclusion by the liquidators of the point about “cultural-national autonomy” filled us with indignation! There are limits to everything! The people who have broken up the Party now want completely to destroy the Programme as well. Even where the arch-conciliator Plekhanov draws the line, they do not. This is impossible. It cannot be tolerated, and....[1] Resistance and protest must be organised at all costs. We must present an ultimatum: let us speak up, [let] them read out this bilge, this cultural-national autonomy, etc.! Exert every effort to do this, if only through the five (better five with the Party policy than six wavering between the Party and its liquidators).

The base resolution about No. 16, the vile insertion of the cultural-national autonomy point, and the pretensions to “poke” into the newspaper question clearly show that there can be no illusions about “peace” with such people.[2] They started the war by these moves. It is necessary to give considered thought to this war and to wage it energetically. For this, besides the above, two steps are essential: (1) to submit written protests signed by the five threatening to appeal to the Party organisations—on all the above-mentioned and similar questions; (2) arrange a meeting here of the five or the six (this is imperative!) and finally decide on a line of action.

Approximate text...: “We, the undersigned, hereby declare that the decision of the Duma group regarding Jagiello, the resolution about him, the decision to insert the cultural-national [autonomy ] point, run counter to all the resolutions of Party congresses to such an extent that we disclaim responsibility for these decisions, declare them   to be anti-Party, reserve the right to appeal to the Party organisations, and warn that by taking decisions such as these the Duma group is departing completely from the Party road.”

It is clear that the seven will pursue the liquidationist path further.

We must make haste with the organisation; write in detail about Dyen. How are the finances? What about the editorial end? We wrote specially asking No. 1 or No. 3 (Or both, which would be best) to bring us the books listed.

We earnestly beg you to do this. We shall cover the expenses ... pass on Falinsky’s book, and we are being scolded.

2. Did No. 3 receive the money from Vienna? It is for Vetrov.

3. Is it possible somehow to find out whether Vetrov received our letters? We have written him many times at the editorial office, but have had no reply. Is it really impossible to obtain addresses for letters?

P.S. I am asked to add this: you have the right to take books from the library.... For two weeks.


[1] Manuscript partly damaged. Here and further several words illegible. Words in square brackets have been inserted as context suggests.—Ed.

[2] A reference to a declaration by the Social-Democratic group in the Fourth Duma based on Lenin’s theses “Concerning Certain Speeches by Workers’ Deputies” (see present edition, Vol. 18, pp. 413–19).

In accordance with Lenin’s advice, the declaration included practically all the main points of the minimum programme. However, the Mensheviks succeeded in inserting the demand for cultural-national autonomy. On December 7 (20), 1912, the declaration of the Social-Democratic group was read out in the Duma.

In December 1912 talks were conducted, on the insistence of the liquidators in the Social-Democratic Duma group, on the merging of Pravda and Luck into a “non-factional workers’ newspaper”. As a result of the talks, the Bolshevik deputies of the Duma A. Y. Badayev, G. I. Petrovsky, F. N. Samoilov and N. R. Shagov announced in Luch No. 78 on December 18, 1912, that they were joining the staff of Luck and the seven liquidator deputies declared they were joining the Pravda staff. But on January 30, 1913, the Bolshevik deputies left Luck owing to disagreement with the liquidationist line of the paper (see present edition, Vol. 35, p. 84, and Note 98).

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