V. I.   Lenin



Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 477b-478.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Comrade Tsyurupa:

When I was writing my book on imperialism,[1] I read about two systems for state banks (and banks in general) in the capitalist countries. One of the systems—the State Bank’s great proximity to trade.

Perhaps we should get a couple of our “fin-scholars” (I feel like making a pun—fie-scholars?) to make a study of this question.

We need a State Bank which is a hundred times closer to trade than the most commercial of the state banks of capitalism. Our State Bank must have a network of commercial agents, starting from the top (something like a travelling bank inspector for commerce, in charge of thousands of millions in turnover) and ending with small and very small commercial agents at the bottom If this whole network operates on the commission system and learns (and teaches us) to trade well, we shall have control of nine-tenths of the total amount of the trade turnover. This is the only way to restore the gold circulation and to transform, the New Economic Policy from a system of fooling communist fools, who hold power but are incapable of using it, into a base for socialism, a base which, this being a peasant country. no power on earth can vanquish.

Show this to Sokolnikov. We should harass the State Bank and the People’s Commissariat for Finance, until we get this going.


Written on February 18, 1922
First published in 1937 in the magazine Bolshevik No. 2
Printed from the original


Comrade Tsyurupa:

I should like to draw your attention especially to my letter to Sokolnikov on trade, the State Bank and the State Bank’s Trade Department.[2]

The crucial thing is trade and its control by the State Bank.

It looks as though the State Bank’s Trade Department has nothing to do with “commerce”, and is just as sh..... bureaucratic as everything else in the R.S.F.S.R. I believe that we should concentrate all our efforts on this 

and secure the introduction of commission fees, verification by practice, and the expulsion from the State Bank’s Trade Department of everything that is .flabby, everything that is not commercial, everything that is unable to secure success in trade.

We do not need a “department for internal trade” (we have enough of such sh.. as departments), but one or two dozen men at the State Bank who know how to trade (and teach others to do so). This is crucial, without this the monetary system cannot be put straight.

With communist greetings,

Written on February 20, 1922
First published in 1965 in Collected Works, Fifth (Russian) Ed., Vol. 54
Printed from the original


[1] Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism, (see present edition, Vol. 22. pp. 185–304).—Ed.

[2] See present edition, Vol. 35, Document 314.—Ed.

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