V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in 1924 in Lenin Miscellany II. Sent from Berne to Stockholm. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1976], Moscow, Volume 35, pages 165-166.
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

October 17, 1914

Dear Friend,

I have read the reply to Vandervelde, and attach my ideas on the subject of that reply.

It would be extremely desirable that in the event of the Duma being convened (is it true that it is being summoned in a month’s time?)[1] our group should make a statement independent of the bloc, and should set forth a consistent point of view. Reply at once (1) whether there will be a session of the Duma, (2) whether you have good contacts with the Duma group,[2] and how many days this will require.

October 21, 1914

I continue my interrupted letter. My criticism of the reply, of course, is a private affair, intended only for friends with the object of reaching complete mutual understanding. The Central Organ will appear in a day or two, and we shall send it to you.

About the International, don’t be an optimist, and beware of the intrigues of the liquidators and opportunists. Although Martov is going left today, this is because he is alone. But what will happen tomorrow? Tomorrow he will descend to their common plan: to slop the mouths (and the mind and the conscience) of the workers with an indiarubber resolution in the spirit, of Kautsky, who justifies all and sundry. Kautsky is the most hypocritical, most revolting and most harmful of all! It is internationalism, if you please, for the workers of every country to shoot, at the workers of   another country under the guise of “defence of the fatherland”!!!

Let them intrigue—it is after all no more than a petty intrigue today, at such a moment in world history, to think of playing diplomacy with opportunism and setting up a “German” International Socialist Bureau![3] We must today maintain our principles. The workers of Petersburg are imbued with the best feelings of enmity to the traitors among the German Social-Democrats. With all our strength we must support and consolidate that feeling and consciousness into firm resolution to fight international opportunism. Up till now German Social-Democracy was the main authority—today it is a model of what not to do!

You are needed in Stockholm. Organise the correspondence with Russia as well as you can. Send my letters (is that possibbe?) to the one who gave you a note in pencil: we must reach an understanding with him in as much detail as possible.[4] This is extremely important. We are beginning publication of the Central Organ.

Write more often!



[1] Russkaya Molva (Russian Tidings)—daily newspaper of the Progressist Party; appeared in St. Petersburg from December 1912 to August 1913.

[2] Reference is to the Russian Social-Democratic Labour group in the Fourth Duma, consisting of the Bolshevik deputies A. Y. Badayev, G. I. Petrovsky, M. K. Muranov, F. N. Samoilov, N. R. Shagov and R. V. Malinovsky (Malinovsky was subsequently exposed as an agent provocateur). Working under the direct supervision and control of the Central Committee, the Bolshevik group in the Duma acted on behalf of the Party and the majority of class-conscious workers.

[3] When he speaks of the creation of a “German” International Socialist Bureau, Lenin has in mind the German social-chauvinists’ proposal to move the headquarters of the I.S.B. Executive Committee from Brussels to Amsterdam.

[4] At the end of October 1914 Shlyapnikov talked with Pieter Troelstra, leader of the Dutch Social-Democratic movement, who had come to Stockholm on behalf of the opportunist leaders of German Social-Democracy to get an agreement on the transfer of the Inter national Socialist Bureau (I.S.B.) to Amsterdam for the duration of the war, and to influence the Scandinavian Social-Democrats towards justifying the treacherous position taken up by the leaders of German Social-Democracy. During his meeting with Troelstra, which took place in the presence of a representative of the Organising Committee, Y. Larin, the Menshevik Dalin, Alexandra Kollontai and others, Shlyapnikov handed him the manifesto of the C.C. of the R.S.D.L.P., and the reply of the Bolshevik group in the Duma to Emile Vandervelde, and later, at his request, sent him letters explaining the Bolsheviks’ attitude to the war.

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