V. I.   Lenin


To:   N. D. KIKNADZE[1]

Written: Written at the end of October and beginning of November 1916
Published: First published in 1925 in Lenin Miscellany III. Sent from Zurich to Geneva. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1976], Moscow, Volume 35, pages 240-241.
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 Comrade,

Thank you very much for your story of the Geneva arguments.[2] It is very important for us to have reactions from our readers. It’s a pity that we rarely get to know them.

Lunacharsky, Bezrabotny and Co. are people without heads.

I advise you to put the question to them squarely: let them produce written theses (and afterwards in the press), brief and clear (like our resolutions)—(1) about self– determination (§ 9 of our Party Programme). Do they agree or not with the resolution of 1913?

If they don’t, why have they kept silent? Why haven’t they produced their own?

(2) Why do they reject defence of the fatherland in the present war?

(3) How do they pose the question of “defence of the fatherland”?

(4) What is their attitude to national wars, and (5)—to national insurrections?

Let them reply!

They will muddle themselves up like children, I’ll take a bet. They haven’t understood anything whatever on the question of the historical character of the “nation” and of “defence of the fatherland”.

Since you want to argue with them, I send you my article from No. 3 (or 4) of Sbornik on this subject.[3] This is private, i.e., only for you: after reading it, return it to me   or give it to the Karpinskys, to return to me with their packet. I cannot as yet show it to everyone.

I thought that you had left, and therefore sent my letter about Swiss affairs only to Noah. But the letter is intended for you too. Read it. Noah does not send a word in reply. Strange! Very strange!

Best greetings. Get better!



[1] Kiknadze, N. D. (1885–1951)—member of the Bolshevik Party from 1903, professional revolutionary; lived in emigration in Switzerland, 1906–17.

[2] In the discussion on the nationalities problem that developed after the publication of the first number of Sbornik Sotsial-Demokrat A. V. Lunacharsky and Bezrabotny (D. Z. Manuilsky) attacked Lenin’s propositions on the defence of the fatherland and the right of nations to self-determination. Kiknadze opposed Lunacharsky and Manuilsky.

[3] Schmid, Arthur (b. 1889)—Swiss bourgeois economist.

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