V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written on June 17, 1913
Published: First published in 1924 in the magazine Krasnaya Letopis No. 1. Sent from Poronin to St. Petersburg. Printed from the typewritten copy found in police records.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1976], Moscow, Volume 35, pages 101-102.
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.
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Dear Friends,

In our opinion you made a mistake in tying yourselves up with Fyodor.[1] Probably nothing but squabbles will come of it. You should have published your own report.[2] But now we have to start from what has already been done. In the present situation it is essential to insist above all on complete equality, and at the very outset to move a formal resolution, approximately in this form: “The co-operative[3] resolves that in drawing up the report no majority decision of one wing over another is allowed, and both wings (the Six and the Seven) enjoy complete equality in all respects, i.e., the commission is set up on a parity basis, and disputed passages are edited by agreement, and not by a majority decision. If speeches of the deputies are printed at the end of the report, the selection of the speeches also is to be by agreement.” This resolution is essential. Otherwise they will set up a commission on the basis of equality, and then the co-operative, by a majority of one, will endorse what the liquidator proposes. If Feodora rejects such a resolution, we recommend you officially to declare that, in view of their unwillingness to agree to equality, you reserve complete freedom] of action. Even so, you can still put forward your own candidate.

We append the first rough draft of the theses: 1) The election campaign. The circumstances in which it takes place. Its results for the Social-Democrats. The platform of the Social-Democrats: the 8–hour day, confiscation of the land, complete democratisation.

2) The composition of the Social-Democratic group. How it was set up. The Jagiello case.[4] (Exposition of the points of view of the Six and the Seven. Indication of protests made.)

3) The political platform of the group and its first speeches. The declaration. Indicate that the Six reject cultural– national autonomy. Indicate dial wide sections of the workers have approved precisely ... the watchwords in the declaration. An outline of the political position of the Social-Democrats.

The main watchwords are still: the 8–hour day, transfer of the land, complete democratisation.

4) Questions put down by the group.

5) The group and the Budget.

6) The bourgeois groups in the Duma and sharp criticism of them and of the liberals (the speeches by Maklakov, the Octobrists,[5] the Black Hundreds[6]).

7) The workers and the group. Their instructions, appeals, reactions, material for questions, mutual aid in cash, etc.

8) Immunity of the deputies (the case of Petrovsky[7]).

Internal differences: each side puts forward its own point of view, with an equal number of pages to each. Statements made by each side to the press are reprinted. A list of workers’ resolutions, as many as there are. The supplement. Most important tasks.

We await your news. Apartments have been taken.[8]


[1] Fyodor (Feodora)—cover name for the Menshevik section of the Social-Democratic group in the Fourth Duma.

[2] Lenin means a report on the activity of the Social-Democratic group in the Fourth Duma. No such report had been published.

[3]The co-operative” was the cover name for the Social-Democratic group in the Fourth Duma.

[4] Lenin refers to the controversy over the right of J. I. Jagiello, the deputy to the Fourth Duma for Warsaw, to belong to the Social-Democratic group.

[5] Octobrists or Union of October Seventeen—counter-revolutionary party of the big industrial bourgeoisie and big landowners who ran their estates on capitalist lines. It was founded after publication of the tsar’s manifesto of October 17, 1905, in which the tsar, frightened by the revolution, promised the people “civil rights” and a constitution. The Octobrists unreservedly supported the home and foreign policy of the tsarist government. Their leaders were A. Guchkov, the powerful industrialist, and M. Rodzyanko, who owned huge estates.

[6] The Black Hundreds—bands of monarchists organised by the tsarist police to fight the revolutionary movement. These bands murdered revolutionaries, attacked progressive intellectuals and staged pogroms against the Jews.

[7] Reference is to the arrest of Y. M. Sverdlov and K. T. Novgorodtseva (Sverdlova) at the apartment of G. I. Petrovsky, a member of the Fourth Duma, on February 10 (23), 1913. They wore given away to the police by the agent provocateur R. V. Malinovsky.

[8] Lenin refers to accommodation for the Party school which the C.C. of the R.S.D.L.P. was planning to organise at Poronin.

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