Written: Written in January 1914
Published: First published in 1961 in Vol. 24 of the Fifth Russian edition of the Collected Works. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 41, pages 323.2-324.1.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) © 2004 Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.
There are hardly any illiterates in the civilised countries. An effort is made to get the people into the schools. Every thing is done to set up libraries. Over here, the Ministry of Public, what you might call, “Education” resorts to the most desperate efforts, to the most ignominious police measures to hamper the cause of education and to prevent the people from acquiring knowledge! Over here, the Ministry has destroyed school libraries!! No civilised country in the world still has any special rules against libraries, or such a foul institution as the censorship. But over here, apart from the persecution of the press in general, apart from the wild measures against libraries in general, rules which are a hundred times more restrictive are being issued against the public libraries! This is an outrageous policy of benightingthe people, an outrageous policy of the landowners, who want the country to become barbaric. Some rich men, like Pavlenkov, have donated money for public libraries. Now, the wild landowners’ government has destroyed the libraries. Isn’t it about time for those who want to helpeducation in Russia to understand that the money should be donated not for the libraries which are under the Ministry and are due to be destroyed, but for the struggle for political freedom, without which Russia is suffocating in barbarism.