V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in 1924 in Lenin Miscellany II. Sent from Sörenberg (Switzerland) to Stockholm. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1976], Moscow, Volume 35, pages 204-205.
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.

August 23, 1915

Dear Alexander,

As regards the plan of your journey, it is very hard for me to give you definite advice from so far off.[2] Our financial affairs are known to you. Nadezhda Konstantinovna has written to you in detail (in addition to what was sent, 600 francs were promised before October 10+400 francs one month later. In all, 1,000 francs. For the time being there is no hope of more).

On the one hand, extreme care is essential. Have you completely reliable papers? And all the rest?

On the other hand, it would be unquestionably useful for the cause just now, if a fully-informed and independent person travelled round two or three centres, made contacts, established relations and immediately returned to Sweden, to pass on all the contacts to us and to discuss the further situation. This would be most important.

Kommunist No. 1 will appear in 8–10 days; then, after as many more, No. 2 (or Nos. 1–2 together). No. 44 of the Central Organ will appear in a day or two. A pamphlet about the war with all documents will come out in a fortnight. It is already being set.

Events in Russia have completely endorsed our position, which the social-patriot donkeys (from Alexinsky to Chkheidze) have christened defeatism. The facts have proved that we are right!! The military reverses are helping to shake the foundations of tsarism, and facilitating an alliance of the revolutionary workers of Russia and other countries.   People say: what will “you” do, if “you”, the revolutionaries, defeat tsarism? I reply: (1) our victory will fan the flames of the “Left” movement in Germany a hundredfold; (2) if “we” defeated tsarism completely, we would propose peace to all the belligerent powers on democratic terms and, if this were rejected, we would conduct a revolutionary war.

It is clear that the advanced section of Pravdist workers, that bulwark of our Party, has survived, in spite of terrible devastations in its ranks. It would be extremely important for leading groups to come together in two or three centres (most conspiratively), establish contact with us, restore a Bureau of the Central Committee (one exists, I think, in Petersburg already) and the C.C. itself in Russia. They should establish firm ties with us (if necessary, one or two persons should be brought to Sweden for this purpose). We would send news-sheets, leaflets, etc. The most important thing is firm and constant relations.

Chkheidze and Co. are obviously shuffling: they are true friends of Nashe Dyelo, Alexinsky is pleased with them (I hope you have seen The War by Plekhanov+Alexinsky+ Co. There’s a disgrace!!) and yet they “play” at Leftism with the help of Trotsky!! I don’t think they will succeed in deceiving the class-conscious Pravdists.

Write what you decide. Greetings.


P.S. Will A. Kollontai agree to help us arrange in the U.S.A. for an edition of our pamphlet in English[1] ?


[1] Reference is to the pamphlet Socialism and War (The Attitude of the R.S.D.L.P. towards the War) (see present edition, Vol. 21, pp. 295–338).—Ed.

[2] Shlyapnikov was to make a journey to Russia.

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