V. I.   Lenin


Written: Written after October 3, 1912
Published: First published in 1956 in the Journal Kommunist No. 5. Sent from Cracow to St. Petersburg. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, pages 197-198.
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.README

Dear Friend,

Don’t you find it strange that we have had an active and extremely lively correspondence on one particular theoretical question, one particular book, one particular theory, and that we have never had any correspondence on the vitally urgent questions of that sphere of Russian journalism in which both of us have had to take some considerable part in recent times?

I personally find it strange. I think there can absolutely be no circumstances—and there are none—which could serve as any kind of justification for the absence of such correspondence, since you yourself once pointed out, and quite rightly, that we all feel the harmfulness of detachment, isolation, a certain solitude, etc.

I hope, therefore, that I will meet with your support if I start right out with correspondence No. 2 (for No. 1, about the book and the theory, is proceeding on its own and will continue to do so).

You were acquainted, I think, though distantly, with Pokrovsky 2nd? What do you think of the latest explanation by the Senate? I mean the one under which the tenant qualification requires actual occupation of the premises? After all, it looks as though this explanation, made just before the elections in the 2nd curia, is specifically aimed at Pokrovsky 2nd, Predkaln, etc.! Can they have any other qualification in their own localities except that of tenant? And how could they, being members of the Duma, “actually occupy” their apartments in their localities for, say, a year? And if they are being “explained”, should not Pokrovsky 2nd be invited to stand in St. Petersburg, where   he probably has a qualification that is much more reliable, i.e., one less subject to “explanation”? I personally would very much sympathise with such a candidature in St.  Petersburg (alongside the two evidently indisputable candidates who caused the stupid and brazen Luck to come out with its stupid and brazenly cowardly repudiation). I shall be most grateful if you summon the effort to drop me a line or two (in reply to my 200) on your views of this matter.

Furthermore, I should like to discuss the two workers’ papers at St. Petersburg. Luch is base and unprincipled: it’s not a paper, but a “leaflet for subverting” the Social-Democratic candidate. But they know how to fight, they are lively and glib. Meanwhile Pravda is carrying on now, at election time, like a sleepy old maid. Pravda doesn’t know how to fight. It does not attack, it does not persecute either the Cadet or the liquidator. But can an organ of forward-looking democrats not be a fighting organ at a hot time like this? Let’s give it the benefit of the doubt: let’s assume that Pravda is sure that the anti-liquidators will win. All the same it should fight to let the country know what is involved, who is disrupting the election campaign, and what ideas are at stake in the struggle. Luch is fighting furiously, hysterically, abandoning its principles in the most shameless fashion. Pravda—to spite it—puts on a “serious mien”, affects various airs and graces, and fails to fight at all! Does that look like Marxism? After all, didn’t Marx know how to combine war, the most passionate, whole-hearted and merciless war, with complete loyalty to principle?

Not to fight at election time is suicide. Look at what Luch’s “Cadet-eating” has come to! And the Pravda people were afraid that we might be overdoing the Cadet-eating!

Best wishes,
V. Ilyin


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