V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written on March 14, 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 440-441.
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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March 14

Gleb Maximilianovich,

After looking through the statement by the GOELRO[1] and thinking over yesterday’s talk, I have come to the conclusion that it is dry.

It is not enough.

Can’t you write, or commission an article from Krug (or someone else) of such a kind as to prove 

or, at any rate, illustrate 

a) the tremendous advantage, 

b) the necessity of electrification.

For example:

I. Transport. To restore in the old way— we need a millions (at pre-war prices) or a fuel + β working days.

But to restore it on the basis of electrification a minus x million rubles a minus y fuel + (β minus z) working days.

Or also α —, α + β but with an effect so many times greater than the previous one.

II. Steam power. If industry is restored in the old way, we must spend more than for restoring it on the basis of electrification.

III. Agriculture.

To restore, say, + 5 million ploughs and teams of horses.

The cost of doing this in the old way, and with electrification?

This is a rough idea. I think an intelligent specialist will do this work in a couple of days (if he wants to do it conscientiously), taking either the Figures of pre-war statistics (a few, really a few, summary figures), or a rough and approximate calculation “(as a first approximation”[2] towards a first approximation).

Commission this. Perhaps yon will commission somebody to collect the material for you and write the article yourself or give an interview. I will send an interviewer. Then we shall have the warp for propaganda. And that is important.

After reading this, ring me up on the telephone.



[1] Reference is to the programme of work of (ho State Commission for the Electrification of Russia (GOELRO) and the explanatory note to it, passed at a session of GOELRO on March 13, 1920.

[2] Krzhizhanovsky subsequently wrote that when Lenin used the words “as a first approximation” he was teasing him for his habit of prefacing any calculations or plans with this cautious formula.

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