V. I.   Lenin

Letter to N. I. Bukharin and G. Y. Zinoviev

Dictated: Dictated over the telephone February 1, 1922
Published: First published in 1959 in Lenin Miscellany XXXVI. Printed from the secretary’s notes (typewritten copy).
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 42, pages 393b-394a.
Translated: Bernard Isaacs
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala and D. Walters
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2004). 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.
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To Comrades Bukharin and Zinoviev

We must consider beforehand what people, preferably those with a ready tongue, are going to represent the Comintern at the conference with the II and II 1/2 Internationals.[1] We must also consider beforehand the basic questions of tactics and strategy to be employed at this meeting.

The list of questions to be dealt with at the meeting should be considered beforehand and drawn up in agreement with each of the parties attending the meeting. On our part we should include in this list only questions that have a direct bearing on practical joint action by the working masses and touching on matters that are recognised as indisputable in the official press statement of each of the three participants. We must explain at length the reasons why we confine ourselves to such questions in the interests of a united front. In the event of the yellow fraternity raising mooted questions of policy, such as our attitude to the Mensheviks., the question of Georgia, etc., we should adopt these tactics: 1) declare that the list of questions can be drawn up only by a unanimous decision of all three participants; 2) declare that in drawing up our list of questions we were guided exclusively by the desire for unity of action by the working masses, which unity could be achieved immediately even under existing deep seated political differences; 3) declare that we fully agree to questions such as our attitude to the Mensheviks, the question of Georgia and any other questions being raised by the II and II 1/2 Internationals, provided that they   agree to the following questions being raised: 1) the renegade attitude of the II and II 1/2 Internationals to the Basle Manifesto; 2) complicity of these same parties in the murder of Luxemburg, Liebknecht and other Communists of Germany through the bourgeois governments which those parties support; 3) a similar attitude of these parties to the murder of revolutionaries in the colonies by the bourgeois parties which the II and II 1/2 Internationals support, etc., etc. We should prepare a list., of these and similar questions beforehand and also prepare beforehand theses and speakers on various important questions of this nature.

We must find occasion to declare officially that we regard the II and II’/2 Internationals only as inconsistent and vacillating participants of a bloc with the counter revolutionary world bourgeoisie, and that we agree to attend a meeting on the united front for the sake of achieving possible practical unity of direct action on the part of the masses and in order to expose the political error of the II and II 1/2 Internationals’ entire position, just as the latter (the II and II 1/2 Internationals) have agreed to attend a meeting with us for the sake of achieving practical unity of direct action by the masses and in order to expose the political error of our position.



[1] The reference is to the forthcoming conference of the three Inter nationals (the II, 111/2 and III Communist International). The   Communist International’s active fight for the creation of a united workers’ front against the onset of the bourgeoisie and the leaning towards unity of action on the part of the working masses compelled the leadership of the II &onehalf; International on January 19, 1922, to send a proposal to the Comintern Executive for convening an international conference in the spring of 1922 to consider the problems of Europe’s economic position and action by the working class against the onset of reaction.

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