V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written in January, after 6th, 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 594-595a.
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,

Thanks awfully for the news from Geneva. I wrote a very excited letter to Olga, which Karpinsky called abusive. I’m afraid she took offence. I shall write her an apology.

It has been hard to bear the fact that Brilliant has won Guilbeaux away from us.

But I see from your letter that this was unavoidable: given Guilbeaux’s weakness, we could not, of course, make head against the joint influences of Lunacharsky (poet!)+ Brilliant (he has money, Grigory writes me)+Naine+Graber.

We shall wait and see what sort of organ they will have.

If you get l’Humanité and have no further need of it after reading, please send me cuttings (the text of congress resolutions; articles on the congress; the speeches of Longuet & Co.; their resolutions; interesting articles, which are generally rare. And so on).[1]

On what a shameful resolution Longuet+Renaudel have found common ground (2,800 against 120!!) and Bourderon+Raffin-Dugens have gone over to them!! And Merrheim? Didn’t he vote together with Jouhaux for the pacifist resolution of the C.G.T.!!


I connect this with Kautsky’s 5 articles on peace (the same claptrap)+the Italian Socialist Party and Turati’s speech of 17/XII. 1916 (the same claptrap).

The victory of Kautskian pacifism over Zimmerwald, which Grimm (appeal of the I.S.C. of 30.XII.1916)[2] paints over with r-r-revolutionary phrases!! Just as in the II International: a revolutionary signboard+reformist essence.

I am starting a campaign (or rather, I wish to start it) to expose this lie.

And what a disgrace in the Swiss party! 10 days ago the War Committee (specially elected by the Central Committee of the party) drew up 2 resolutions: 5 votes against defence of the fatherland and 4 in favour.

Up till now not one has been published!!

The opportunists (and Grimm!) are trying their hardest to get this question shelved and the congress put off (on the excuse that the workers are not prepared! Actually, it is they, the opportunists, who are dragging out the preparations...).

They don’t want to conduct the elections to parliament (autumn 1917) under the slogan of non-defence of the fatherland!!

A shame and utter depravity....

All the very very, best. I wish you good cheer and the best of everything in the New Year.



[1] This refers to the voting on the resolutions on peace at the Congress of the French Socialist Party held in Paris December 25–30, 1916, and at the Congress of the General Confederation of Labour, December 24–26, 1916. The results of this voting are given by Lenin in Chapter III (“The Pacifism of the French Socialists and Syndicalists”) of his article “Bourgeois Pacifism and Socialist Pacifism” (see present edition, Vol. 23, pp. 186–91).

[2] The Appeal of the International Socialist CommissionTo the Working Class” was published in the I.S.C. Bulletin No. 6 for   January 6, 1917. This appeal is analysed in Chapter IV (“Zimmerwald at the Crossroads”) of Lenin’s article “Bourgeois Pacifism and Socialist Pacifism” (see present edition, Vol. 23, pp. 191–94).

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