V. I.   Lenin


To:   R. E. KLASSON[1]

Published: First published in 1929 in the magazine Izobretatel No. 2. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1976], Moscow, Volume 35, pages 462-463.
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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November 2, 1920

Comrade Klasson,

I fear that you—excuse my frankness—will not be up to making use of the decision of the Council of People’s Commissars on Hydropeat.[2] I fear this because you, evidently, have spent too much time on “senseless dreams” about the restoration of capitalism, and have not been sufficiently attentive to the extremely specific features of the transitional period from capitalism to socialism. But I say this not in order to reproach you, and not only because I remembered the theoretical arguments I had with you in 1894–95, but with a narrowly practical object.

In order to make proper use of the decision of the C.P.C. you must 

1) complain with ruthless strictness and in good time of any breaches of this decision, checking up very closely on its fulfilment and, of course, selecting for complaint only those cases which come under the rule, “few but to the point”;

2) from time to time—again following the same rule— write to me (N.B. mark the envelope: PERSONAL, from so-and-so, on such-and-such a question): 

please send a reminder or inquiry
such-and-such (draft text on a separate sheet)
to such-and-such a person or institution, on such– and-such a question, in view of the recognition of the works undertaken by Hydropeat as being of state importance.

If you don’t let me down, i.e., if your reminders and inquiries are strictly business-like (without departmental squabbles or polemics), I will sign such reminders and inquiries in two minutes, and they will sometimes be of practical value.

Wishing you rapid and great success with your invention.

V. Ulyanov (Lenin)


[1] Klasson, R. E. (1868–1926)—Soviet power engineer. He designed and directed the construction of a number of power stations in Moscow, Petrograd and in the Baku oilfields, and also the world’s first peat-fuelled power station. He was one of the inventors of the hydraulic method of extracting peat.

[2] Lenin refers to the decision “On the Hydraulic Method of Extracting Peat”, passed by the Council of People’s Commissars on October  30, 1920.

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