V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written prior to November 26, 1916
Published: First published in 1964 in Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Ed., Vol. 49. Sent from Zurich to Sörenberg. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, pages 584b-585a.
Translated: Martin Parker and Bernard Isaacs
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2005). 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,

Entre nous—privately!—I don’t advise you to send such a letter.[1] You can talk with such straightforwardness only with absolutely reliable and absolutely friendly Left wingers.

Where are they? Who are they?

We wish to take into our hands”—why, this will get into the press and you will be made a laughingstock!!

My advice: you can write like this only to absolute friends (through Radek, for instance, if he undertakes   on his responsibility to send it to friends and to no one else).

For the S.D. public at large, it should be redrafted with the greatest care.

Best regards,


[1] This refers to the draft of a letter to “A Woman Social-Democrat of Germany” (probably Clara Zetkin) in which Armand, on be half of the editors of the journal Rabotnitsa, invited an exchange of views on questions relating to the women’s labour movement and suggested calling an unofficial conference of Left women socialists.

The words quoted by Lenin are from the following text of Armand’s letter: “It seems to us that during the war this movement (i.e., the women’s movement.—Ed.) could play a very important role for socialism. When most of the proletariat—the men—are at the fronts, the other part of the proletariat—the women—should take our socialist cause into their own hands.”

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