V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in Pravda No. 169, July 27, 1924. Sent from Zurich to Christiania (Oslo). Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1976], Moscow, Volume 35, pages 295-296.
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.README

March 16, 1917

Dear A. M.,

We have just received the second set of government telegrams about the revolution of March 1 (14) in Petrograd. A week of bloody battles by the workers—and Milyukov + Guchkov + Kerensky[3] in power!! On the “old” European pattern....

Well, what of it! This “first stage of the first revolution (among those engendered by the war)” will not be the last, nor will it be only Russian. Of course, we shall continue to be against defence of the fatherland, against the imperialist slaughter controlled by Shingaryov[4] + Kerensky and Co.

All our watchwords remain the same. In the last issue of Sotsial-Demokrat we actually spoke of the possibility of a government “of Milyukov and Guchkov, if not of Milyukov and Kerensky”.[1] It turned out that it was both... and: all three together. Lovely! We shall see how the party of people’s freedom (after all, it’s in a majority in the new ministry, since Konovalov[5] is even just a little “more Left”, while Kerensky is certainly more Left!) will give the people freedom, bread and peace.... We shall see!

The main thing now is the press and the organisation of the workers in a revolutionary Social-Democratic party. Chkhenkeli[6] must now (he promised!) provide funds for “defence of the fatherland”. While Mr. Chkheidze, although he did utter ultra-Left speeches during the revolution or on its eve (when Yefremov, too, spoke in no less   rrrevolutionary fashion), of course, does not deserve one atom of confidence after all his “politics” with Potresov and Co., with Chkhenkeli, etc. It would be the greatest misfortune if the Cadets were now to promise a legal workers’ party, and if our people accepted “unity” with Chkheidze and Co.!!

But this will not happen. First, the Cadets will not allow anyone a legal workers’ party except the Potresovs and Co. Secondly, if they do allow it, we shall set up as before our own separate party and without fail combine legal work with illegal.

On no account a repetition of something like the Second International! On no account with Kautsky! Definitely a more revolutionary programme and tactics (there are elements of it in K. Liebknecht, the S.L.P. in America, the Dutch Marxists, etc.) and definitely the combination of legal and illegal work. Republican propaganda, the struggle against imperialism, as before revolutionary propaganda, agitation and struggle with the aim of an international proletarian revolution and the conquest of power by the “Soviets of Workers’ Deputies” (and not the Cadet swindlers).

After the “great rebellion” of 1905—the “glorious revolution”[2] of 1917!...

Be so kind as to forward this letter to Lyudmila, and drop me a line as to how far we are in agreement, or how far we differ, and also as to the plans of A. M., etc. If our deputies[7] are allowed to return, one must definitely be brought for a couple of weeks to Scandinavia. All the best.

Yours, Lenin


[1] See “A Turn in World Politics” (present edition, Vol. 23, pp. 262–70).—-Ed.

[2]Great rebellion” and “glorious revolution” were written by Lenin in English.—Ed.

[3] Milyukov, P. N. (1859–1913). See Note 51.

Guchkov, A. I. (1862–1936)—big capitalist, organiser and leader of the Octobrist Party. After the bourgeois-democratic revolution of February 1917 he became Minister of Military and Naval Affairs in the first cabinet of the bourgeois Provisional Government.

Kerensky, A. F. (1881–1970)—Socialist-Revolutionary. After the bourgeois-democratic revolution of February 4917 he became first a minister, then Prime Minister of the bourgeois Provisional Government.

[4] Shingaryov, A. I. (1869–1918)—Constitutional-Democrat, deputy to the Second, Third and Fourth Dumas. After the February 1917 revolution, Minister of Agriculture in the first cabinet and Minister of Finance in the second cabinet of the bourgeois Provisional Government.

[5] Konovalov, A. I. (b. 1875)—big textile manufacturer; Minister of Trade and Industry in the bourgeois Provisional Government.

[6] Chkhenkeli, A. I. (1874–1959)—Menshevik, deputy to the Third and Fourth Dumas. During the First World War, a social-chauvinist. After the February revolution of 1917, representative of the bourgeois Provisional Government in the Transcaucasus.

[7] Reference is to the Bolshevik deputies in the Fourth Duma, A. Y. Badayev, M. K. Muranov, G. I. Petrovsky, F. N. Samoilov and N. R. Shagov. (See Note 206.)

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