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 186-188.
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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February 11

Dear Friend,

I have received your two letters, of February 4 and 5. Many thanks. As regards sending Sotsial-Demokrat, we have given your letter to the secretary of the dispatch committee to read. Tomorrow I shall remind him personally, and I hope that they will do everything.

The Parisians promised to send you Plekhanov’s little pamphlet, and we are very surprised that you have not received it. We shall order it once more, and get one our selves to send you.[2]

The two Plekhanovites of whom you wrote were here. We chatted with them. Take notice of the little fair one (they are going back the same way): apparently Plekhanov repelled him even more than the little dark one. The latter, I think, is a hopeless chatterbox. But the former keeps very quiet, and you can’t find out what is going on in his head.

From Nashe Slovo (which is appearing in Paris in place of Golos) we have had a letter today with a plan for a common protest against “official social-patriotism” (on the subject of the scheme for a London conference of socialists de la Triple Entente[3]). Whether the conference will take place, we don’t know; we had the other day from Litvinov a letter he transmitted from Huysmans, who is planning something strange, calling together the Executive Committee of the International Socialist Bureau on February 20 at The Hague, and on February 20–25 organising in the same place personal negotiations (!!) with the delegates from   Britain, France and Russia!! Astonishing!! It looks like preparations of some kind for something Francophil and patriotic (by the way, you are absolutely right that there are now many “phils” and few socialists. For us both Francophils and Germanophils are one and the same = patriots, bourgeois or their lackeys, and not socialists. The Bundists, for example, are for the most part Germanophils and glad of the defeat of Russia. But in what way are they any better than Plekhanov? Both are opportunists, social-chauvinists, only of different colours. And Axelrod too).

We have replied to Nashe Slovo that we are glad of their proposal, and have sent them our draft declaration.[1] Hopes of an agreement with them are not great, because Axelrod, it is said, is in Paris—and Axelrod (see Nos. 86 and 87 of Golos and No. 37 of Sotsial-Demokrat) is a social-chauvinist, who wants to reconcile Francophils and Germanophils on the basis of social-chauvinism. Let us see what is dearer to Nashe Slovo—anti-chauvinism or the good will of Axelrod.

I think that both in Russia and throughout the world a new basic grouping is coming into existence within Social-Democracy: the chauvinists (“social-patriots”) and their friends, their defenders—and the anti-chauvinists. In the main, this division corresponds to the division between the opportunists and the revolutionary Social-Democrats. But it plus précis represents, so to speak, a higher stage of development, nearer to the socialist revolution. And among us the old grouping (liquidators and Pravdists) is becoming out of date, and being replaced by a new, more sensible division: social-patriots and anti-patriots. By the way. They say that Dan[4]==a German “social-patriot”, i.e., a Germanophil, i.e., for Kautsky. Is this true? It looks very much like the truth. It’s an odd thing that in the Organising Committee[5] the split is along bourgeois lines: Francophils (Plekhanov+Alexinsky+Maslov+Nasha Zarya) and Germanophils (Bund+Axelrod+Dan?? etc.).

If you don’t get any money from the Swedes, let us know: we shall send you 100 francs. Think over very thoroughly   where it is best (i.e., most useful for the cause and safest for you: this is very important: you must protect yourself!!) to lie low, in London or in Norway, etc. It is of the greatest importance to organise transport, even little by little. You ought to have an interview with the Plekhanovites who in two or three weeks will be in your place, and come to an arrangement about all this.

All the best; I wish you courage and all good things.



[1] See “To the Editors of Nashe Slovo” (present edition, Vol. 21, pp. 125–28).—Ed.

[2] Reference is to Plekhanov’s pamphlet The War. A Reply to Comrade Z. P., Paris, 1914.

[3] The Conference of the Socialists of the Triple Entente was held in London on February 14, 1915. See Lenin’s articles “The London Conference” and “On the London Conference” (present edition, Vol. 21, pp. 132–34, 178–80).

[4] Dan (Gurevich), F. I. (1871–1947)—a Menshevik leader. During the years of reaction and the subsequent revolutionary revival he headed a group of liquidators abroad. His position during the world war was that of a social-chauvinist. After the October Socialist Revolution he fought against Soviet power.

[5] Organising Committee—the Mensheviks’ leading centre, was formed in 1912 at the August Conference of Menshevik liquidators, Trotskyists and other anti-Party groups and trends.

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