V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written February 14, 1917
Published: First published in 1964 in Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Ed., Vol. 49. Sent from Zurich to Clarens. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, pages 610b-611a.
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,

You are right about the “majority’s” corrected resolution (of the Swiss party): it’s worse than bad. It’s a fully Centrist, Kautskian resolution. Grimm made a mess of it, and Nobs and Platten backed down. On Sunday there was a congress of the cantonal Zurich S. D. party; our (“Young”) people moved a Left resolution drafted by us, which collect ed 32 votes. This is a great success.

Abramovich was to have sent you the text of my resolution (the practical part of which was largely included in the resolution tabled at the congress the day before yesterday (you will get it from the newspapers if you haven’t learned about it already)).[2]

I think you ought to prepare a lecture (in French) on the three trends in the Swiss party. The material—referendum+ three resolutions (that of the Right, Grimm’s and the Left). It’s worth it, really.

Humb.-Droz, seeing that he is a Tolstoyan, should be fought all along the line. Most definitely!

It isn’t true that revolutionary mass action in Switzer land is “impossible”. What about the general strike in Zurich in 1912? And we had this action in Geneva and in La Chaux-de-Fonds too. Now, during the war, action by the masses and even a revolution in Switzerland are still more possible (this would be of importance for France and Germany).

There is ground in the Swiss party for building up a Left trend. This is a fact. It will be rewarding, though not easy, work.

Where did you find the documents on Engels’s preface to the class struggle? In Neue Zeit? Do you know that the Berlin “leaders” have struck out of this preface its revolutionary end?

Re the war (of ’91) I am waiting for your remarks on that “central point” on which you say I was silent.

Jaurès, Disc. parlem.[1] Volume Two missing.

Could you get the Works of Fourier and find, for me what he has to say about the merging of nationalities?

All the very best,

P.S. Have you been able to influence Mrs. Belousov (he’s a fool, you know) and Usiyevich’s wife?


[1] Parliamentary speeches.—Ed.

[2] This refers to the “Proposed Amendments to the Resolution on the War Issue” drafted by Lenin and adopted at the cantonal congress of the Zurich Social-Democratic Organisation in Töss.

This congress was held February 11–12, 1917. The party organ Volksrecht, in its issue No. 36 for February 12, 1917, devoted an editorial to it, headed “Der Parteitag in Töss”.

The congress had before it two draft resolutions: = (1) a social-chauvinist draft submitted by minority members of the Commission on the war issue, and = (2) a Centrist draft from the Commission majority. The latter was adopted by 93 votes to 65. The Lefts voted for the resolution in order to prevent the social-chauvinist draft from being adopted, but they moved Lenin’s “Proposed Amendments to the Resolution on the War Issue”, which   were adopted by the congress (see present edition, Vol. 23, p. 282).

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