V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written later than December 23, 1916
Published: First published in 1949 in Bolshevik No. 1. Sent from Zurich to Clarens (Switzerland). Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1976], Moscow, Volume 35, pages 264-265.
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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Dear Friend,

About Radek. You write: “I told him at Kienthal that he had behaved badly.”

Is that all? Only that! What about the political conclusion?? Or was his action only an accident?? Only his personal affair?? Nothing of the kind! There is the source of your political mistake. You do not assess what is going on politically. Yet really this is a question of politics, however strange it might seem at first sight.

As regards defence of the fatherland. It would be most unpleasant for me if we differed on this. Let us try once more to come to agreement.

Here is some “material for reflection”:

War is the continuation of politics.

Everything depends on the system of political relations before the war and during the war.

The main types of these systems are (a) the relation of the oppressed nation to the oppressing, (b) the relation between two oppressing nations on account of the loot, its division, etc., (c) the relation of a national state which does not oppress others to one which oppresses, to a particularly reactionary state.

Think over this.

Caesarism in France + tsarism in Russia against non-imperialist Germany in 1891—that was the historical situation in 1891.

Think over that! And I was writing of 1891 in No. 1 of Sbornik as well.[1]

How glad I am that you have had a talk with Guilbeaux and Levi! It would be a good thing to do this more frequently, or at any rate from time to time. As for the Italian, he is lying! Turati’s speech is a model of rotten Kautskianism (he has dragged “droits nationaux” into the imperialist war!!). And the article by bb about this speech in Volksrecht is rotten too.

Oh, how I would like to write about this, or to have a talk with the Italian!!

How stupid that Levi is attacking parliamentarism!! Stupid!! And a “Left”, too!! God, how much muddle there is in people’s heads.



[1] See “The Discussion on Self-Determination Summed Up” (present edition, Vol. 22, pp. 320–60).—Ed.

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