V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written on April 19, 1921
Published: First published In 1942 in Lenin Miscellany XXXIV. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 127c-128a.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
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


Comrade Preobrazhensky:

Some of your remarks today show that you think the Politbureau decision on the professors to be a mistake.[1]

I’m afraid there is here some misunderstanding. I’m afraid you have net interpreted the decision precisely.

I quite allow that Kalinnikov (that’s his name, isn’t it?) is a reactionary. There are also, unquestionably, malicious Cadets[2] among them. But they should be exposed in a different way. And exposed they should be on concrete occasions. Give such an assignment to Kozmin (but he is not too clever: watch your step with him): come up with an exposure over a precise fact, act or statement. Then we   can put him in jail for a month, or a year. That will be a lesson to him.

The same applies to a malicious Cadet.

The same, if class enemies have slandered Ignatov (? that’s his name, isn’t it? I do not know him).

We must prepare the material, verify it, expose the culprits and condemn them in the full view of all, and impose exemplary punishment.

The military specialist is caught out on treason. But the military specialists have all been recruited, and are working. Lunacharsky and Pokrovsky don’t know how to “catch out” their own specialists and, being dissatisfied with themselves, are taking it out of everybody else.

That is Pokrovsky’s mistake. In fact, you and I may not have all that many differences.

The worst thing about the People’s Commissariat for Education is the lack of system, of self-control. Their communist cells are also shockingly “lax”.

The people over at the P.C.E. have still to learn how to work out methods of “catching out” their specialists and punishing them, and of catching out and training the communist cells.

With communist greetings,


[1] See Note 113.

[2] Cadets—Russian abbreviation for the Constitutional-Democratic Party, a party of the big bourgeoisie, which existed in Russia from 1905; in tins case the word is used as a synonym for diehard counter-revolutionaries.

< backward   forward >
Works Index   |   Volume 45 | Collected Works   |   L.I.A. Index