V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written on November 20, 1916
Published: First published in 1949 in Bolshevik No. 1. Sent from Zurich to Sörenberg (Switzerland). Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1976], Moscow, Volume 35, pages 246-247.
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,

Of course, I also want to correspond. Let’s continue our correspondence.

How I laughed over your postcard, I really had to hold my sides, as they say. “In France there is no such measure as the ha, but there is the acre, and you don’t know how big an acre is....”

That really is funny!

It was Franceimaginez-vous?—that introduced the metric system. According to the metric system, adopted in most countries of the world, a ha=hectare=100 acres. An acre is not a French measure but an English one, about 4/10 of a hectare.

You mustn’t be offended over my laughing. I didn’t mean any harm. After all, is it so surprising that you do not often come across the words hectare, ha, etc.? They are dull, technical words.

Many thanks for translating the theses.[4] I will send them to Abramovich and Guilbeaux.

Alter them for France? It’s hardly worth the while, much is different there.

Today there was a meeting of the Lefts here: not everyone came, only 2 Swiss + 2 foreigners (Germans) + 3 Russ. Jew. Polish[1] ... Schwach! I think it will be almost a failure: the second meeting will be in ten days’ time.... It’s difficult for them, because what it actually amounts to is a war   with Grimm, and their forces are too small. Well, we’ll see.

As regards women, I agree with your addendum.

You are being captious about the thesis that Social-Democrats (1) in Switzerland (2) now should not vote in any circumstances for war credits. After all, the beginning goes on all the time about the present, imperialist war. Nothing else but that.

The working men have no country”—this means that (α) his economic position (le salariat[2] ) is not national but international, (β) his class enemy is international, (γ) the conditions of his emancipation also, (δ) the international unity of the workers is more important than the national.

Does this mean, does it follow from this, that we should not light when it is a question of throwing off a foreign yoke?? Yes or no?

A war of colonies for emancipation?

of Ireland against England?

And an insurrection (national), is not that defence of the fatherland?

I will send you my article against Kievsky about this.[3]

If you need more books, write. One can get a lot here, and all the same I am often in the libraries.

All the best.



[1] And the lecture did not come off, only a talk. —Lenin

[2] Wages system.—Ed.

[3] See “A Caricature of Marxism and Imperialist Economism” (present edition, Vol. 23, pp. 28–76).—Ed.

[4] Inessa Armand had translated into French the theses known as “Tasks of the Left Zimmerwaldists in the Swiss Social-Democratic Party” (see present edition, Vol. 23, pp. 137–48).

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