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
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

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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