V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written on Januray 23, 1920
Published: First published in Ekonomicheskaya Zhizn No. 18, January 22, 1925. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1976], Moscow, Volume 35, pages 435-436.
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

Gleb Maximilianovich,

I have received and read the article.[1]


We need several such articles. Then we shall publish them as a pamphlet.[2] What we lack is specialists with a wide horizon and “an eye for the future”.

It is necessary (1) for the time being to cut out the footnotes or reduce them. There are too many of them for a newspaper (I will have a talk with the editor tomorrow).

(2) Would it not be possible to add a plan, not a technical one (this, of course, is a job for many people, and not to be done in a hurry), but a political or state plan, i.e., a task for the proletariat?

Approximately as follows: in 10 (5?) years let us build 20–30 (30–50?) power stations, in order to cover the whole country with a network of centres of 400 (or 200, if we can’t manage more) versts radius; using peat, water, combustible slate, coal, oil (for example, make a survey of the whole of Russia, giving rough approximations). Let’s begin at once buying the necessary machines and models, you say. In 10 (20?) years we’ll make Russia “electrical”.

I think you could produce such a “plan”—I repeat, not a technical one but a state one—a draft plan.

It must be provided right away, in a visual, popular form, for the masses, so as to carry them forward with a clear and vivid perspective (entirely scientific at its foundations); let’s set to work, and in 10–20 years we shall make all Russia, both industrial and agricultural, electrical. We   shall set ourselves the target of having so many (thousands or millions of horse-power or kilowatts?? devil knows what) mechanical slaves and so on.

Could there also be a tentative map of Russia with centres and their areas? Or is that not yet possible?

I repeat, we must carry away the mass of workers and politically-conscious peasants with a great programme for the next 10–20 years.

Let’s have a talk on the telephone.


January 23

P.S. Krasin says that electrification of the railways is impossible for us. Is that true? And if it is, perhaps it will be possible in 5–10 years? Maybe it is possible in the Urals?

Could not a special article be written about a “state plan” for a network of power stations, with a map, or with the approximate list (number) of them, with the prospects of centralising the power of the whole country?

Ring me up on the telephone, please, when you get this letter, and we shall have a talk.


[1] Lenin refers to Krzhizhanovsky’s article “Zadachi elektrifikatsii promyshlennosti” (“Tasks of the Electrification of Industry”), a condensed version of which was published in Pravda No. 20 on January 30, 1920.

[2] Krzhizhanovsky bad written a pamphlet Osnovniye zadachi elektrifikatsii Rossii (The Basic Tasks of the Electrification of Russia). It was published in February 1920.

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