V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written on March 25, 1917
Published: First published in full in 1930 in Lenin Miscellany XIII. Sent from Zurich to Geneva. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1976], Moscow, Volume 35, pages 303-305.
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 Comrade,

I have sent you through Inessa copies of my two letters to Pravda. I hope you have done what I asked, and today (Sunday) or tomorrow have sent them back to me by express.

After Tuesday (I am lecturing here on Tuesday evening) I will send you a copy of letter No. 3.[1] Then, I think, it will be easy for us to come to an agreement about tactics.

Lunacharsky has written to me proposing a “conference”. I have replied: I am agreeable to having a talk with you (Lunacharsky) personally.[2] (He will be coming to Zurich.) I am agreeable to a conference, however, only on condition that the workers are warned against the waverings of Chkheidze. He (Lunacharsky) has said nothing.

So it means that we shall confine ourselves to a personal talk.

Chkheidze is obviously wobbling: cf. Le Temps of March 22 praises Chkheidze, while on March 24 it abuses him.

The picture is clear!!

Therefore I am a little afraid that you have been in too much of a hurry to draw up a general resolution[5] (I have sent it to Pravda today, together with my article, addressed to Herrn Fürstenberg, Boulevard Hotel, Kristiania. You can send articles there, with a note that the articles are for Pravda, and that I supplied the address; as to articles on questions of principle, it would be useful for us to reach preliminary agreement).

Pravda, probably, needs articles. At any rate I am writing, and I am advising all friends to write.

I fear that you are too much in a hurry also to unite with the Vperyod group.

In your resolution the ending is good (I had time only to look through it rapidly: it had to go off), but the beginning (about democracy in general) seemed to me very bad.

As regards unity with Vperyod. I sent a telegram to Scandinavia to the members of our Party who are leaving:

Notre tactique: méfiance absolue, aucun soutien nouveau gouvernement, Kerensky surtout soup&ctail;onnons, armement proletariat seule garantie, élection immédiate douma de Petrograd aucun rapprochement autres partis.”[3]

The last is conditio sine qua non.

We don’t trust Chkheidze.

Our deputies and Kamenev are already in Petersburg, or will be there in a few days. There is a Central Committee in Petersburg (Frankfurter Zeitung printed extracts from its manifesto, lovely!), Pravda exists. We are for preservation of this party absolutely, against all fusions with the Organising Committee.

(Probably there is no O.C. in Petersburg, since Frankfurter Zeitung and Vossische Zeitung gave a detailed account of the manifesto of Chkheidze and Co. of March 16,[6] and there is not a word about the O.C. there.)

It is precisely for the elections to the Constituent Assembly (or for the overthrow of the government of Guchkov and Milyukov) that we must have a separate party, ours, which has in my opinion completely justified itself during the years 1914–17.

That means? Do the Vperyodists want; honestly to join this party?


They don’t want to? I won’t agree to “concessions” and “bargaining”.

Have a talk with them, as man to man and more than once, and drop me a line, so that I have your reply by Tuesday (or at latest Wednesday morning).

Will you undertake to type in two copies (or in one copy) my manuscript[4] of 500 pages (written on octavo), for payment not less than last time? I would then publish it at once in Petersburg.

You will oblige me greatly!


All the best.

Yours, Lenin

P.S. Lyudmila has left Stockholm. Don’t use Stockholm as an address!

P.P.S. Will you and Olga go to Russia, if there is an opportunity, and when? Who else would go from Geneva?


[1] See present edition, Vol. 23, pp. 320–32.—Ed.

[2] See the previous letter.—Ed.

[3]Our tactics: absolute distrust, no support for the new government, suspect Kerensky above all, arming of the proletariat the only guarantee, immediate elections to the Petrograd Duma, no rapprochement with other parties.”—Ed.

[4] Reference is to Lenin’s The Agrarian Programme of Social-Democracy in the First Russian Revolution, 1905–1907 (see present edition, Vol. 13, pp. 217–431).—Ed.

[5] This refers to the resolution adopted at a meeting of Russian and Swiss internationalists on March 22, 1917.

[6] Manifesto of Chkheidze—an appeal by the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies, which was dominated by Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries. It called for support of the Provisional Government.

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