V. I.   Lenin


Written: Written in the autumn of 1920
Published: First published in 1929 in the journal Proletarskaya Revolutsia No. 11 (94). Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, page 529.
Translated: Andrew Rothstein
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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The main principle of administration, in the spirit of all the decisions of the R.C.P. and the central Soviet institutions, is the following:

a definite person is fully responsible for some specified work.

I have been doing something (for such-and-such a time), and I am responsible for it. I am hindered by X, who is not the responsible person, who is not in charge.

This means squabbling. This means chaos. This means interference by a person unsuitable for responsible work. I demand his removal.


[1] A. I. Yelizarova tells the following: “This was in the autumn of 1920. Since that January, my department, under a decision of the Council of People’s Commissars, had been transferred from the People’s Commissariat for Social Security to the People’s Commissariat for Education. I hesitated to move with it at once: I   was afraid that I would not be able to work with the People’s Commissariat for Education—because of the differences on some points—especially after the sudden appointment as my deputy of a total stranger from the Commissariat for Education in place of one of my associates. Vladimir Ilyich suggested that I give it a try, and if things didn’t work out and I failed to establish a working arrangement with this person, then I could make an effort to get another deputy. In fact things did not work out....” = She informed Lenin of this and he handed her the note at a sitting of the Council of People’s Commissars (A. I. Yelizarova, “A Page from Reminiscences about Vladimir Ilyich in the Council of People’s Commissars”. = Vospominaniya o V. I. Lenine. Ch. 2 [ Reminiscences of Lenin. Part Two], 1957, pp. 293–94).

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