V. I.   Lenin



For Krass

Written: Written February 25, 1913
Published: First published in 1933 in Lenin Miscellany XXV. Sent from Cracow to St. Petersburg. Printed from a typewritten copy found in police records.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, pages 337b-338.
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 Friend,

I was very glad to get your letter of February 2 and exceedingly regret that we have so far not been able to establish regular correspondence, despite a number of at tempts on our part. The lack of such a correspondence gives rise to misunderstandings. I welcome your criticism of the withdrawal from Luch, as I welcome all criticism from Russia: the absence of criticism makes a dead thing of it all. In this case, however, your criticism is incorrect, and I simply don’t know from what side to start dealing with it.[3] I shall wait until the next letter. As regards “reforms” in a certain newspaper, I must say that your absence is very regrettable. Frankly, I consider the organisation of this business by you to be a historic service, and your closing down of the “big sister”[1] and your “semi-absence” in the summer to be a great mistake.[4] But the past is gone and done with. We must make use of its lessons for the future. The plan for a big newspaper is excellent. I am convinced that two newspapers are needed—a big one for 5 kopeks and a small one for 1 kopek, and the present paper should be worked into “a small one”. Publication of pamphlets and books of 5–10 sheets is another good idea. We are taking this up, too, energetically. We would be very, very glad if you would take this in hand and we could succeed in co-operating more systematically and effectively   than in the spring and summer of 1912. An indispensable condition for this is a personal meeting and regular correspondence. Gorky has now started very energetically to assist Prosveshcheniye and turn it into a big magazine. The publication of a big newspaper and books has every chance of becoming a tremendous job of tremendous importance and usefulness. All the more important is it to have proper organisation from the outset. Experience has convinced us most fully that any attempt to reach an agreement (as you suggest) with Plekhanov, Rozhkov, etc., is hopeless. We are beginning at the other end. And we are getting better results. You know, of course, that Alexinsky and Dnevnitsky came without any agreement with us. Given correct and firm tactics, this will hold true still more in the case of a big newspaper and the publication of books. We are fully convinced of this. Firm tactics—keeping the leadership by the former group—enlistment not by contract, but as contributors—all these conditions are categorical for us. We shall find quite enough contributors, I am sure, both for a big newspaper and for books and for a big magazine. As for Bogdanov, for instance, even co-operation with him is impossible: this is clear from his new writings.[5] With Alexinsky and Dnevnitsky (Plekhanov) it is possible, and remuneration will widen this circle of contributors fivefold. I await an immediate reply: 1) whether you agree to the above or not; 2) if not, what your plan is; 3) how much money is needed; 4) how much you can raise; 5) how you define or plan your participation in the business as regards sphere of competence, etc. Answer as precisely as possible. We must act quickly. Time presses. The Moscow paper too....[2] A good friend of mine will call on you—you know him too. Talk things over in a businesslike, precise manner.


[1] Nevskaya Zvezda.—Ed.

[2] This refers to the newspaper Nash Put.—Ed.

[3] This refers to N. G. Poletayev’s incorrect attitude to the withdrawal of Bolshevik deputies of the Duma from the staff of the liquidationist newspaper Luch. Poletayev considered that mutual collaboration of Bolsheviks and liquidators in Pravda and Luch was permissible. This point of view was denounced by Lenin.

[4] After the appearance of the first number of Pravda, Poletayev left St. Petersburg and withdrew from the newspaper. His absence led to the closing down of Nevskaya Zvezda (“big sister”). Lenin attached great importance to Poletayev’s work in Pravda.

[5] In 1913 A. Bogdanov began to publish his book The Universal Organisational Science (Tectology), in which he elaborated his empirio-monistic theories.

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