V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written on September 29, 1921
Published: First published in 1965 in Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Ed., Vol. 53. Sent to Petrograd. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 313c-314a.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Comrade Zinoviev:

The three of us (Molotov, Stalin and I), in our capacity as a commission appointed by the C.C., have discussed your letter.

We still cannot agree with you.

In Moscow, there were major differences on principle, there was the Workers’ Opposition, which the Party Congress condemned for its “deviation”, one which was not   only on a Moscow but on an all-Russia scale, with a long history behind it.

In Petrograd, there are no differences on principle, nor is there even a deviation towards a deviation. There is nothing of the sort about Komarov or Uglanov, who were most reliable at the Tenth Congress of the R.C.P. and at the metalworkers’ congress as well. These comrades could not have plunged into a deviation so suddenly. We find not a trace of the facts to prove this.

There is a legitimate desire on the part of a majority to be the majority and to substitute another group for the one through which you have been “running things”. The people have gained in stature and that alone makes their desire legitimate.

They should not be pushed into a deviation by talk of “differences on principle”. Ideological guidance should be exercised carefully, fully allowing the new majority to be a majority and to run things. We are sure that if you want this you could very well do it, and help the “old group” to move to another city and refresh themselves.



[1] The document was also signed by J. V. Stalin and V. M. Molotov.—Ed.

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