V. I.   Lenin


Written: Written after December 28, 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, pages 314-315.
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.README

Dear Friend,

I (and Nadezhda Konstantinovna) have had a letter from Kollontai. We are going to reply to her.

My letters to you, I am sure, are being lost or delayed: I have written more than once through Kobetsky. Inquire once again.

We have received your manuscript, and intend to publish it in the C.O. (or as a pamphlet).[1]

Do you read Golos? It already shows signs of Martov’s turnabout[2]—Axelrod’s efforts to “reconcile” (Martov with Südekum, i.e., Plekhanov)—and next to that Trotsky “against” an “amnesty”!

What a mess! And they dare abuse us for “factionalism” (while making peace with social-chauvinism for the sake of factionalism!). An unpleasant and tiresome picture.

If you attend the conference,[3] be on your guard. If you do speak, I advise you to repeat your Stockholm speech, adding that the entry of the Belgians and the French into the government is also betrayal (even if with extenuating circumstances). Otherwise they will think that out of Russian chauvinism we are abusing only the Germans.

In my opinion it is not worth while sending a report, it should not be done.

What should be done, for information (only)—and on behalf of Litvinov (Litvinoff. 76. High Street. 76. Hampstead. London. N.W.)—is to send a full translation of the manifesto and of the report of the arrest of the 5 (and the 11). I hope you have already had an exchange of letters with Litvinov?

All good Wishes,

P.S. What did Kollontai think of the “document”[4] and the latest issues (80–86 and the following) of Golos?

P.S. I have just read that the conference is to take place on January 17, and that the Swiss Party has refused. I think that, if that is the case, it is better not to participate at all.

P.P.S. Kautsky, in the Labour Leader, is for the slogan of peace.[5] There is my reply to Comrade Kollontai! I wonder if she will still be in favour of this watchword now.


[1] An apparent reference to a report “Working-Class Petersburg and the War (A St. Petersburg Worker’s Notes on the Early Stages of the War)”, published in the magazine Kommunist No. 1–2, 1915.

[2] A reference to L. Martov’s letter to the Golos Editorial Board, “About My Imaginary Solitude” (Golos No. 87, December 23, 1914). The letter and his report on “The War and the Crisis of Socialism”, read in Berne on December 16, 1914, marked Martov’s retreat from his stand in the early stages of the war.

[3] A reference to the Conference of Socialists of Neutral Countries held in Copenhagen on January 17 and 18, 1915, in which the Social-Democratic parties of Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Holland took part. Lenin was against the R.S.D.L.P. C.C. sending an official representative to the Conference.

[4] An apparent reference to the appeal of the St. Petersburg liquidators: “To Minister Vandervelde, Belgium.”

[5] A reference to a questionnaire in The Labour Leader No. 52, December 24, 1914, on the question of peace, called “Peace and Goodwill Shall yet Reign. Messages of Fraternity Across the Battlefields”. = Kautsky’s views headed the list.

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