V. I.   Lenin

Comment on Kautsky’s Letter[1]

Published: Proletarskaya Pravda No. 12, December 20, 1913. Published according to the text in Proletarskaya Pravda.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1972, Moscow, Volume 20, pages 63-64.
Translated: Bernard Isaacs and The Late Joe Fineberg
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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K. Kautsky has realised (at last!) that the Tyszka group of “Tyszka” and Rosa Luxemburg does not represent the Polish Social-Democratic workers and that the Warsaw and Lodz organisations have to be reckoned with.

It is a good thing that he has at last understood facts which have been known to Russian Marxist workers for years. But the very fact that for years Rosa L. and Tyszka could pass off a fiction for reality shows how deplorably misinformed are the German Social-Democrats, including Kautsky!

Kautsky reveals still greater ignorance of the subject when he writes that “as far as he knows” the Polish Socialist Party “Left wing” split away from the P.S.P. “Right wing”[2] in order to take a fully Social-Democratic stand.

It is well known—one may say here—that this time Kautsky does not at all know what he is writing about. Our readers should make themselves familiar with at least the article by Henryk Kamieński “From Nationalism to Liquidationism” (Prosveshcheniye No. 10). The author of this article is a Pole and knows What he is writing about. From this, article our readers will see that the P.S.P. Left wing is not Social-Democratic at all. Besides, it would be ridiculous to think that people who desire to take a fully Social-Democratic stand, and are capable of doing so, would retain “their own” programme and the title of a non-Social-Democratic party.

The forthcoming “exchange of opinions” among all Social-Democratic groups in Russia and Poland through the medium of the Executive Committee of the International Socialist Bureau will reveal Kautsky’s error and show that none   of the Polish Social-Democrats regard, nor can regard, the P.S.P. Left wing as a Social-Democratic Party.

We would add that Kautsky says nothing to repudiate (although he wrote in Vorw\"arts[3]) the report of his statement made in this very Vorw\"arts that “the old Party has disappeared” in Russia. The forthcoming “exchange of opinions” will also expose this monstrous blunder of Kautsky’s.


[1] This paragraph is a comment on Kautsky’s letter published in Vorw\"arts, the central organ of the German Social-Democrats, No. 339, December 24, 1913 (new style), dealing with the report of the meeting of the International Socialist Bureau and reprinted in Russian in the newspaper Proletarskaya Pravda, issue No. 12, December 20, 1913 (old style). Kautsky’s letter was a reply to Rosa Luxemburg’s letter to Vorw\"arts.

[2] See Note 15.

[3] Vorw\"arts—a daily newspaper, central organ of the German Social-Democratic Party. In accordance with a decision of the Halle Congress of the Party, it was published in Berlin from 1891 as a continuation of the newspaper Berliner Volksblatt issued since 1884 under the name of Vorw\"arts. Berliner Volksblatt. F. Engels used the columns of this paper to combat all manifestations of opportunism. In the late nineties, after the death of Engels, Vorw\"arts was controlled by the Right wing of the Party and regularly published articles by opportunists. The paper was tendentious in reporting the struggle against opportunism and revisionism within the R.S.D.L.P., and supported the Economists, and subsequently, after the split in the Party, the Mensheviks. During the years of reaction Vorw\"arts published Trotsky’s slanderous articles, but did not give Lenin and the Bolsheviks any opportunity to refute them and give an objective appraisal of the true state of affairs within the Party.

During World War I Vorw\"arts took, a social-chauvinist stand. After the Great October Socialist Revolution it carried on anti-Soviet propaganda. Ceased publication in 1933.

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