V. I.   Lenin

A Reply to the Liquidators[1]

Written: Written in July 1912
Published: First published in 1933, in Lenin Miscellany XXV. Published according to the manuscript.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1975], Moscow, Volume 18, pages 158-159.
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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The liquidators of Nevsky Golos are doing their utmost to disrupt the unity of the workers’ elections in St. Petersburg. They will fail. Hypocritical shouts about “unity” (coming from liquidators!!) cannot deceive anyone.

The unity of the working-class democracy is certain.

The workers do not follow the lead of those who liquidate the workers’ democratic Party and merely promise to replace it by an open “party” pursuing a liberal labour policy. Unity of the mass of the workers and not “agreement”, to the detriment of this unity, with the circles of liquidationist splitters from among the intelligentsia—this is what the politically-conscious workers want. And Pravda[2] is following this slogan.

We are not put out by the unworthy sallies of the liquidators, who are openly asking where to “find” that which does not make a boast of being “open”. Draw up your “open” platform, gentlemen, found your new, “open” party—and a good riddance to you!


P.S. I earnestly ask you to answer me immediately, or as soon as possible, on the matter I have raised here. Keeping silent will not do. You can spoil everything and evoke protests from the workers on the left by keeping silent about this. The liquidators must be rebuffed. We cannot conduct an election campaign without saying for whom we are doing it (people might think it is for the benefit of the liquidators).   If you do not want to aggravate and spoil everything “on the left”, publish this “reply to the liquidators”. If you do not publish it, send this sheet back to me without delay. It is important to me!


[1] Lenin’s note “A Reply to the Liquidators” was written for Pravda, the Editorial Board of which received it on July 11(24), 1912.

[2] Pravda (Truth) —a legal Bolshevik daily newspaper published in St. Petersburg, was founded on the initiative of the St. Petersburg workers in April 1912. Its first issue appeared on April 22 (May 5), 1912.

Pravda was published with money collected by the workers. In 1912 the workers made 620 group contributions to the Bolshevik press, 2,181 in 1913 and 2,873 from January to May 1914. Among the correspondents of Pravda were advanced workers. In the course of one year alone the newspaper published more than 11,000 items by worker correspondents. Its circulation reached 40,000 to 60,000 copies daily.

Lenin, who was abroad, guided Pravda and contributed to it almost every day. He gave directions to the editors and gathered the Party’s best writers round the newspaper.

Pravda was a constant target of police persecution. In the first year of its existence it was confiscated 41 times; its editors were sued 36 times and held in prison for a total of 47 1/2 months. During two years and three months the tsarist government closed down the newspaper eight times, but it continued to appear under different   titles: Rabochaya Pravda, Severnaya Pravda, Pravda Truda, Za Pravdu, Proletarskaya Pravda, Put Pravdy, Rabochy, and Trudovaya Pravda. It was closed dawn again on July 8 (21), 1914, shortly before the beginning of the First World War.

Publication was not resumed until after the February Revolution of 1917. On March 5 (18), 1917, Pravda began to appear as the Central Organ of the R.S.D.L.P.(B.). Upon his return from abroad on April 5 (18), Lenin became a member of the Editorial Board and assumed the leadership of the newspaper. Between July and October 1917 Pravda, being persecuted by the Provisional Government, had to change its title four times—to Listok Pravdy, Proletary, Rabochy and Rabochy Put. From October 27 (November 9) onwards it appeared under its old title of Pravda.

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