V. I.   Lenin


Written: Written between November 28 and December 8, 1914
Published: First published in 1924 in Lenin Miscellany II. Sent from Berne to Copenhagen. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, page 311.
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 and esteemed Comrade,

I am very grateful to you for sending me the leaflet[2] (for the time being, I can only pass it on to the Rabotnitsa editorial board members here—they have already sent a letter to Clara Zetkin, with a content similar to yours, evidently), and also for the offer to send information about Britain for the C.O. I am in correspondence with a comrade in London (Mr. Litvinoff), who represents our Party’s C.C. in the I.S.B.; but of course the more connections we have with representatives of the Left wing of the International, the better. I quite agree with you that these representatives ought to keep closer together, and take common counsel. And it is with this end in view that I take advantage of your kind letter to continue the conversation you began.

You don’t seem to agree with the slogan of civil war quite fully, but assign to it, one might say, a subordinate (and, I think, even conditional) place, behind the slogan of peace. And you emphasise that “we need to put forward a slogan that would unite everyone”.

Let me say frankly that what I fear most at present is just this kind of blanket unification which, I am convinced, is the most dangerous and the most harmful thing for the proletariat. After all, Kautsky has already invented, in Neue Zeit, an ultra-“unifying” theory,[3] which....[1]


[1] The letter breaks off at this point.—Ed.

[2] A reference to the appeal to women which Alexandra Kollontai wrote and sent to Lenin in her letter of November 28, 1914, for publication in Sotsial-Demokrat. It was not published.

[3] A reference to Kautsky’s articles: = 1) “Die Internationalität und der Krieg” (Internationalism and War), Die Neue Zeit No. 8, November 27, 1914; and = 2) “Die Sozialdemokratie im Kriege” (Social-Democracy in the War), Die Neue Zeit No. 1, October 2, 1914. In “Die Sozialdemokratie im Kriege” he wrote that “if it comes to war, every nation has to defend itself as best it can. It follows that Social-Democrats of all nations have an equal right or an equal duty to take part in this defence; none should hurl reproaches at another.”

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