V. I.   Lenin

On Zimmerwald[1]

Written: Written not later than September 3 (16), 1917
Published: First published in Lenin Miscellany VII, 1928. Published according to the manuscript.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 25, page 307.
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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It is now quite clear that we made a mistake by not withdrawing from it.

Everybody is being bamboozled by hopes from Stockholm. Meanwhile t.he Stockholm Conference is being “postponed” from month to month.

And Zimmerwald is “waiting” for Stockholm! The Kautsky men plus the Italians; i.e., the Zimmerwald majority, are “waiting” for Stockholm.

And we are joining in this comedy, bearing responsibility for it before the workers.

It is a disgrace.

We must withdraw from Zimmerwald immediately.

By staying there for information only, we lose nothing, but we are not going to be held responsible for the comedy of “waiting” for Stockholm.

In leaving rotten Zimmerwald we must decide immediately, at the plenary meeting on September 3, 1917, to call a conference of the Left-wingers, and entrust this to the Stockholm representatives.

What has happened is that, after we made a. blunder by staying in Zimmerwald, our Party, the world’s only internationalist party with seventeen newspapers, etc., is playing at compromise with the German and Italian Martovs and Tseretelis, just as Martov is compromising with Tsereteli, just as Tsereteli is compromising with the Socialist-Revolutionaries and as the Socialist-Revolutionaries are compromising with the bourgeoisie.

And this is called “standing for” the Third International!!!


[1] The document “On Zimmerwald” was written by Lenin in connection with the plenary meeting of the Party’s Central Committee, fixed for September 3 (16).

Lenin considered that membership in the Zimmerwald association, most of whose members adhered to a Centrist position, hampered and delayed the founding of a third, Communist International.

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