Written: Written in November, not later than 29 (December 12), 1917
Published: First published in 1959 in Lenin Miscellany XXXVI. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1975, Moscow, Volume 44, pages 46b-48a.
Translated: Clemens Dutt
Transcription\Markup: D. Moros
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On the question of Hanecki, the narrow C.C. has passed a decision not to appoint him as representative in Stockholm.
That is to say, it rescinded the previous decision of the C.C.
I propose that this decision be countermanded on the following grounds.
What are the arguments against Hanecki?
He is known since 1903; a member of the Polish C.C. who worked for many years as a C.C. member; we saw his work in Cracow, his trips to Russia, etc., we saw him at all congresses, etc., etc.
The arguments are merely a campaign of bourgeois slanders, Zaslavsky’s outcries.
It would be quite unworthy of a workers’ party to show such credulity to intellectualist scandal. Let someone prove anything bad about Hanecki first, before we remove him.
“But Hanecki traded with Parvus,” they “all” say.
Hanecki earned his living as an employee in a commercial firm of which Parvus was a shareholder. That is what Hanecki told me. It has not been refuted.
Is it forbidden to work in capitalist commercial undertakings? Where? By what decision of the Party?
Are there no people among us who work in commercial firms of Russian, British and other capitalists?
Or is it permissible to be a technician, a manager or an employee of Russian capitalists, but not of German, even when living in a neutral country?? And is that to be the decision of an “internationalist” party??
Let it decide frankly, let it pass a general resolution, let it give grounds for the step taken against Hanecki.
When Bukharin wanted to go and work in Parvus’s business as a writer, we dissuaded him, for after all it is not a commercial firm. But while we dissuaded him, we did not denounce the Mensheviks in Parvus’s employ. We did not denounce Zurabov and a host of others, we did not accuse them.
Who accused them, and where?
Why is it that up to now we have not questioned the Mensheviks and others who lived in Copenhagen and knew of Hanecki’s commercial occupation and who did not condemn him? We could and should have done that.
Not a single fact against Hanecki has been established, no ban has been passed on being employed in capitalist commercial firms of all countries, no check has been made on the rumours and slanders of notorious slanderers like Zaslavsky—yet the man is to be “removed”?? There is nothing here but “fear” of the slanders of irresponsible slanderers.
It is unworthy of a working-class party to be so credulous of scandal. If the comrades who succumb to scandal are “perturbed”, “worried”, why shouldn’t they exert themselves a little? Isn’t it better to take some pains to find the truth than to repeat scandal? In Petrograd itself it is possible (if a perturbed comrade wants to go to some trouble and not decide things offhand) to find witnesses from Copenhagen, and in Moscow too. Why don’t, the anonymous accusers of Hanecki in the ranks of our Party do that??
Such treatment of an absent comrade, who has worked for more than ten years, is the height of injustice.
 Mensheviks—an opportunist trend among Russian Social– Democrats, one of the varieties of international opportunism. It was formed at the Second Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. (in 1903) out of the opponents of the Leninist Iskra. At this Congress the election of the Party’s central bodies resulted in Lenin’s supporters winning a majority (the Russian word for majority is bolshinstvo) and they were therefore called Bolsheviks, while the opportunists were left in the minority (in Russian menshinstvo) and were given the name Mensheviks.
The Mensheviks came out against the Party’s revolutionary programme. They were opposed to the hegemony of the proletariat in the revolution, and the alliance of the working class and the peasantry, and were in favour of an agreement with the liberal bourgeoisie.
After the defeat of the 1905–07 revolution the Mensheviks wanted to liquidate the illegal proletarian revolutionary party. In January 1912, the Sixth All-Russia Party Conference expelled the Menshevik liquidators from the R.S.D.L.P.
In 1917 representatives of the Mensheviks entered the bourgeois Provisional Government, and after the victory of the Great October Socialist Revolution the Mensheviks together with the other counter-revolutionary parties waged a struggle against Soviet power.