V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written in the first halt of January 1913
Published: First published in 1984 in Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Ed., Vol. 48. Sent to Bremen (Germany). Printed from the original. Translated from the German.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, pages 332-333a.
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 Comrade,

I would be much obliged if you could send me the two issues of Bremer Bürger-Zeitung in which you published a review on Rosa Luxemburg’s book.[1] I enclose a reply coupon for 20 pfennigs.

I am very pleased to see that on the main point you come to the same conclusion as I did in the polemic with Tugan-Baranovsky and Volkstümler 14 years ago, namely, that the realisation of surplus-value is possible also in a “purely capitalist” society.[2] I have not yet seen Rosa Luxemburg’s book, but theoretically you are quite correct on this point. It seems to me, though, that you have placed in sufficient emphasis on a very important passage in Marx (Capital, Vol. II, p. 442),[4] namely, where Marx says that in analysing annually produced value, foreign trade should be entirely discarded (I am quoting from the Russian translation). The “dialectics” of Luxemburg seem to me (judging also from the article in Leipziger Volkszeitung) to be eclecticism. Has any other organ of the press reviewed Rosa Luxemburg’s book? Hamburger Echo?[5] Bourgeois organs?

One more question. Bremer Bürger-Zeitung (1912, No. 256) incorrectly reported the meeting of the International Socialist Bureau in October. Either the Luxemburg clique, or a liquidator, or a scoundrel sympathising with the liquidators, misled the editors and attributed to Haase the words: “Lenin has simply misled the International.”

The liquidators, naturally, repeated this lie in their newspaper (Luch in St. Petersburg) and added a vicious comment. The Central Committee of our Party (the Social-Democratic Labour Party of Russia) wrote to Haase. Haase   replied that his statement was misinterpreted. Haase’s letter has now been published in our newspaper (Pravda in St. Petersburg).[3]

At the moment I would like to know whether the editors of Bremer Bürger-Zeitung intend to withdraw or rectify the erroneous statement they have published. In this case I could send you a copy of Haase’s letter.

With Party greetings,
N. Lenin

My address is: Wl. Ulijanow. 47. Lubomirskiego. Krakau.


[1] A reference to Rosa Luxemburg’s hook Die Akkumulation des Kapitals. Ein Beitrag zur ökonomischen Erklärung des Imperialismus, Berlin, 1913.—Ed.

[2] See V. I. Lenin, “A Note on the Question of Market Theory (Apropos of the Polemic of Messrs. Tugan-Baranovsky and Bulgakov)” (present edition, Vol. 4, pp. 55–64).—Ed.

[3] See Lenin’s article “Better Late Than Never” (present edition, Vol. 18, pp. 469–70).—Ed.

[4] See Karl Marx, Capital, Vol. II, Moscow, 1967, p. 474.

[5] Hamburger Echo—a daily, organ of the Hamburg organisation of the German Social-Democratic Party; founded in 1875 as Hamburg-Altonaer Volksblatt. From 1887 to the present day has appeared under the name of Hamburger Echo. The paper was closed down by the nazi government in March 1933 and resumed publication in April 1946.

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