V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written November 7, 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 583-584a.
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.README

Dear Friend,

Instead of “imperialist economism”, you write that, you don’t understand the expression “economic imperialism”.

The old “economism” wrongly posed the question of the attitude of capitalism to the political struggle.

The new “economism” wrongly poses the question of the attitude of capitalist imperialism to the political struggle.

I am writing about this at greater length in my article against Yuri (this “merchant” has “consented” to being published—that means, he will go into Sbornik No. 3 or No. 4).

The differences with Radek are of more than mere theoretical interest for Russia (as well as for Germany, Britain, for countries with colonies). For Switzerland—yes.

Grimm is an insolent beggar and a swine: he meanly attacks, not me (as Grigory mistakenly believes, being poorly informed by Zina), but Radek. It was like this (entre nous): Friday evening we arranged a meeting of the Lefts (where Radek and I acted fully in concert) and adopted. (setting up a committee) a resolution on Kienthal. It was attended by Platten, Nobs, Münzenberg and some others, i.e., all the leaders of the Lefts. On Saturday afternoon, when the congress was on (it started Saturday morning), a meeting of the “Young” (and also congress delegates) was held outside the congress premises. Münzenberg was in the chair. The report on (our) resolution was made by Radek. I did not speak. The resolution was adopted. To this meeting (the door not being locked!) some ladies came uninvited—(Genossin Block (Bloch), a lady friend of Grimm’s and a gossip), Dimka (another gossip and a lady friend of Martov’s) and others. Obviously, they “reported back” to Grimm. And Grimm decided (believing this old wives’ silly tittle-tattle) that the “actual mover”=Radek, and wrote in the press that this mover (Urheber) spoke “Vor einem anderen Forum”.[3] Kharitonov is publishing a refutation in Volksrecht.

I carried on strong agitation with Platten and Nobs for   organising (or rather, rallying) the Lefts.[1] I am making a report to them on this (Platten has promised to arrange it). I wonder whether I’ll cope with the language and whether anything will come of it.

Radek has promised to come out directly against Grimm in Arbeiterpolitik[4] (I advise you to subscribe to this weekly journal, it costs 15 pfg.=20 cent.).

We’ll see whether he does!

Keep well.

(It was me who wrote the article in the C.O.[2] )

All the best,

P.S. I sent, my “theses” to Berne for you (to Grigory’s address) asking you to translate them into French (for Geneva, Lausanne, La Chaux-de-Fonds, etc.). Did you receive them? What’s your opinion of them?


[1] On November 20 and 30, 1916, Lenin had talks with Left Zimmerwaldists on the theses “Tasks of the Left Zimmerwaldists in the Swiss Social-Democratic Party”.—Ed.

[2] What article this refers to has not been established.—Ed.

[3] This refers to the editorial “The Party Congress” published in Berner Tagwacht on November 7, 1916. The part of the article in which a very brief account was given of the discussion at the congress of the question of the attitude to the Kienthal Conference, contained malicious hints about an unknown mover of the draft resolution and claimed that the signatures under this draft were invalid.

On November 8, 1916, the newspaper Volksrecht No. 262 published a statement by Ernst Nobs who wrote that be “fully shares the views” set forth in the draft resolution moved by the Left Social-Democrats.

[4] A critical article against Grimm was published as an editorial in Arbeiterpolitik on December 2, 1916, under the beading “After the Party Congress of the Swiss Social-Democrats” over the signature of Arnold Struthahn.

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