V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written June 17 (30), 1917
Published: First published November 7, 1932, in Pravda No. 309. Sent from Petrograd to Stockholm. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, pages 634c-635.
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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17.VI. 1917

Dear Radek,

Owing to illness I was unable to follow reports during the Last few days. I therefore have a vague idea of Zimmerwald affairs.

If it’s true that that muddled wretched Grimm (no wonder   we never trusted that ministeriable scoundrel!) has handed over all Zimmerwald affairs to the Left Swedes and that the latter are convening a Zimmerwald conference within the next few days, then I—personally (I am writing this only in my own name)—would strongly warn against having anything to do with Zimmerwald

What a good chance this is to seize the Zimmerwald International now,” Grigory said today.

In my opinion, this is super-opportunist and harmful tactics.

Seize” Zimmerwald? That is, to take upon ourselves the dead weight of the Italian party (the Kautskyites and pacifists), the Swiss Greulich & Co., the American S. P. (even worse!), all kinds of Peluso, Longuetists, etc., etc.

This would mean throwing overboard all our principles, forgetting everything we wrote and said against the Centre, getting ourselves muddled up and disgraced.

No, if the Left Swedes have taken Zimmerwald into their own hands and if they want to muddle along, we should put an ultimatum to them: either they declare Zimmerwald dismissed at the very first Zimmerwald conference and found a Third International, or we quit.

In any case, that vile (“Grimm-controlled”—it is Grimm’s after all) Zimmerwald should be buried at all costs and a real Third International founded of the Lefts alone and against the Kautskyites alone. Better a small fish than a big beetle.

Read this letter to Orlovsky and Hanecki. My best regards.

Excuse the brevity—I’m ill.

Things here mostly resemble the eve of the June days of 1848. The Mensheviks and S.R.s are surrendering all and everything to the Cadets (=4o the Cavaignacs). Qui vivra verra.[1]



[1] The future will show (“we shall live and see”).—Ed.

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