V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written in April, prior to 8th, 1914
Published: First published in 1964 in Collected Works Fifth (Russian) Ed., Vol. 48. Sent from Cracow to Paris. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, pages 396b-397.
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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...[1] In regard to the opportunism of the German opportunists, Grigory and I are of one mind, I believe, and I have met no differences in the appraisal of their infamy. (I did not read the article on “The New Currents”.)

The Germans virtually have 2 parties, and this has to be borne in mind without trying to shield the opportunists (the way Neue Zeit and Kautsky are now doing).

But it is incorrect to say that the German party is the most opportunist party in Europe. It is nonetheless the best party, and our task is to adopt from the Germans all that is most valuable (the mass of newspapers, the large party membership, the mass membership of the trade unions, the systematic subscription to the newspapers, strict control over the parliamentarians—all the same the Germans are better at this control than the French and Italians, not to mention Britain—and so on), adopt all this without playing up to the opportunists.

We should not cover up the opportunists from Sozialistische Monatshefte[4] (they have heaps of leaders there)—the way Neue Zeit and Kautsky and the German Vorstand are doing—but hound them with all our might. This is what Grigory always does in his articles about the Germans. I am now reading Legien (the trade union leader) on his visit to America and intend to pitch into that mean opportunist good and proper.[2]

All the very best,

Samoilov will probably change his address in a day or two. I shall write you as soon as I know it.[3]


[1] The beginning of this letter is missing. The manuscript is available only from p. 5.—Ed.

[2] See V. I. Lenin, “What Should Not Be Copied from the German Labour Movement” (present edition, Vol. 20, pp. 254–58).—Ed.

[3] In a letter dated April 9, 1914, G. L. Shklovsky informed Lenin that he bad placed F. N. Samoilov in the town sanatorium in Berne.—Ed.

[4] Sozialistische Monatshefte journal, leading mouthpiece of the German opportunists and one of the organs of international revisionism; appeared in Berlin from 1897 to 1933. During World War I (1914–18) it adopted a social-chauvinist stand.

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