V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written January 25, 1913
Published: First published in 1924 in the journal Krasnaya Letopis No. 1. Sent from Cracow to St. Petersburg. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, page 335a.
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.README

We have received a stupid and insolent letter from the editors. We are not replying. They should be kicked out.

We have not received Luck No. 4. Will you please send it!![2]

The absence of news about the plan for reorganising the Editorial Board is causing us great concern. What has been done for this reorganisation?[3] Why don’t Vera, Fram, Andrei or Alexei write a single word? We earnestly ask them to write as quickly as possible. Reorganisation, or better still the complete expulsion of all the old ones, is absolutely essential. Absurdly conducted. They lavish praise on the Bund and Zeit: it’s simply disgusting. They can’t take the right line against Luck. Disgraceful the way they handle articles. Sheer stupidity about Rabochy Golos.[4] Simply exasperating.... We are waiting impatiently for news about all this....

What has been done about the control of funds? Who has received the subscription money? In whose hands is it? How much is it?


[1] This letter was added to that of G. Y. Zinoviev and was addressed to N. I. Podvoisky.—Ed.

[2] What apparently interested Lenin in No. 4 of Luck for January 5, 1913, was a paragraph “Representation on the International Bureau” written in reply to a paragraph under the same heading in   Pravda No. 201 for December 23, 1942. The liquidators declared in Luch that they considered representation of the R.S.D.L.P. on the I.S.B. (Lenin and Plekhanov) to be one-sided and raised the question of the absence on the I.S.B. of a representative of the Menshevik Organising Committee.

[3] This refers to the reorganisation of the Editorial Board of Pravda on the basis of the decisions of the Cracow meeting of the C.C., R.S.D.L.P. with Party functionaries. The absence of news about the beginning of this reorganisation caused Lenin grave concern, since in January 1913 Pravda again made a number of mistakes in its work. On January 15 and 23 the newspaper published letters to the editor from deputy Y. I. Jagiello, Polish Socialist Party member, in which he advertised himself as a representative of the Polish working class; on January 17 and 24 Pravda published front-page advertisements announcing the current issues of the liquidators’ newspaper Zeit, the organ of the Bund; Pravda displayed indecision in the fight against the liquidators; despite the recommendations of the Cracow meeting, it did not publish certain articles forwarded to it by the C.C. Bureau Abroad, etc.

On January 22 (O.S.) a joint meeting of members of the Bureau of the C.C., R.S.D.L.P., in Russia with Pravda editorial staff was held, attended by 12 persons, among them C.C. members Y. M. Sverdlov, G. I. Petrovsky, F. I. Goloshchokin, Secretary of the C.C. Bureau Vera Lobova and others. A report was made at the meeting on the decisions of the C.C. and the Cracow meeting concerning the reorganisation of the Editorial Board; Y. M. Sverdlov was endorsed as editor of the newspaper with the right of veto and censorship of all articles; a member of the St. Petersburg Committee was elected to the Board for the purpose of closer contact with the St. Petersburg Bolshevik organisation, and Konkordia Samoilova was endorsed as secretary of the Editorial Board.

As a result of these measures, the general level of the newspaper rose. From February 10 (0. S.) a Sunday supplement was issued in the form of loose sheets. The paper’s circulation increased. In a number of subsequent letters Lenin noted a considerable improvement in the work of the Editorial Board.

Zeit—a weekly, organ of the Bund, published in Yiddish in St. Petersburg from December 20, 1912 (January 2, 1913), to May 5 (18), 1914.

[4] Lenin is referring apparently to the paragraph “A Quibble” published in Pravda No. 6, January 8, 1913, in which Pravda denounced the improper conduct of the newspaper Luch, but made a mistake in quarrelling with the editors of the journal Rabochy Golos over minor questions not involving principles.

The journal Rabochy Golos (Worker’s Voice), organ of the Textile Workers Trade Union, was being prepared for the press, but did not appear.

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