V. I.   Lenin


Written: Written before October 17, 1921
Published: First published in 1924 in the journal Molodaya Gvardiya No. 2–3. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, pages 549-550.
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



1. Not in the straightforward communist fashion, but “by outflanking and with a special approach”.

2. Defeat and retreat—for a new advance.

3. Who will be able to take advantage sooner, the capitalists or ourselves?

4. “Personal incentives”.... Peasants, workers, experts, a mass of stupidities in our attitude to the latter.

5. To learn from capitalists and lessees.
A serious and harsh schooling.

6. Increase in production at all costs.

[BOX: You are outside the institutions? It is oven better that you are outside. ]

7. Literacy. Liquidation of illiteracy, and not in the clouds+and liquidating the Commission for Liquidation. July 19, 1920.[2]

A disgraceful list of gubernias and uyezds lagging in respect of literacy.

8. Raising of cultural level
(after every great political upheaval, a long time goes into “digestion”, “assimilation”, training to make use, finishing the rough-hewn work of initial construction).

9. Improvement of legality ... teach people to struggle in a civilised way for legality, without at all forgetting   the limits of legality in a revolution. That’s not the evil now, it’s the multitude of illegalities.

10. In particular, graft. Who has done what to fight graft.

10 bis. Bureaucracy and red tape.

11. Production propaganda, bringing to the fore economic successes possible here and now for the peasant, ability to single out, use for propaganda, follow up success.

12. Practical successes in the building of the economy— that is the point. The touchstone of everything.

Three enemies: 13. σσ Four commandments: Communist conceit—this is the enemy {{ (1) Don’t split hairs, don’t be pompous in your communism, don’t use great words to cover up your slackness, idleness, apathy, backwardness;

Graft { (2) Wipe out illiteracy;

{ (3) Fight graft;

σσ {{ σσ (4) Check all your work, so that words should not remain words, by practical successes in economic construction.


[1] Second All-Russia Congress of Political Education Workers was held in Moscow from October 17 to 22, 1921. It was attended by 310 delegates. Lenin’s report was given at the end of the afternoon sitting on October 17, 1921 (see present edition, Vol. 33, pp. 60–80).

[2] The date of the decree on the establishment of the All-Russia Extraordinary Commission for Abolition of Illiteracy. It was set up under the People’s Commissariat for Education and its five members were approved by the Council of People’s Commissars. It had a standing conference of representatives from the department for work in the countryside under the Central Committee of the R.C.P.(B.), the department for work among women under the Central Committee of the R.C.P.(B.), the Central Committee __PRINTERS_P_705_COMMENT__ 45—39   of the Russian Young Communist League, the All-Russia Central Council of Trade Unions, the Political Administration of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Republic and the Universal Education Board (see Izvestia No. 162, July 24, 1920).

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