V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written on November 15, 1922
Published: First published in 1929 in Proletarskaya Revolutsia No. 10. Printed from file original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1976], Moscow, Volume 35, pages 557-558.
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.
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Dear Ivan Ivanovich,

I have read your article about specialists.[2]

I don’t agree. Two points.

The first is at the beginning (the third column from the beginning): “The proletarian dictatorship will collapse if, in the first place...[1] ” (this is correct) “and secondly, if these specialists are not our own specialists, such as see their aim to be the consolidation and development of the dictatorship of the proletariat.”

What I have underlined is incorrect. We shall not have such specialists for a long time, until the bourgeois specialists, the petty-bourgeois specialists have disappeared, until all the specialists have become Communists. Yet the proletarian dictatorship must certainly not “collapse” in the meantime. A lesser condition will be enough—namely, the first. The second does not imperil our existence. It is sufficient to “have at our disposal”.

For a long time yet there will be doubts, uncertainty, intrigues, betrayals, etc. The second condition will last until the end of the dictatorship, and therefore is not a condition of the dictatorship.

Now the second point, at the end of the article, the third and second paragraphs from the end.

The class struggle ... no more abnormal than the relations which it expresses.”[3]

Untrue, It is untrue, and not merely abnormal. It is worse than abnormal: it is scientifically untrue. This is not the class struggle.

Further. “The scientific laboratory is a united collective, acting co-ordinately, concertedly and consciously in all its elements.”

Untrue. This cannot be the case before the abolition of classes.

This is not scientific but sentimental: before classes have been abolished, “share and share alike” in everything. Wrong. It will degenerate into the practices of 1918: medical assistants demand that doctors should “share and share alike” in everything (scientific).

This is both wrong and practically harmful.

An example: the Political Bureau and its girl secretaries. “Share and share alike” in everything (scientific)! You yourself will not insist on that. You have been carried away.

Best greetings!



[1] Lenin refers to the following passage: “...in the first place, it does not have at its disposal well-qualified specialists of the most diverse categories”.—Ed.

[2] Lenin refers to the article by I. I. Skvortsov-Stepanov, “Chto takoye spets i kak yego delayut” (“What a Specialist Is and How He Is Made”), published in Pravda No. 244, October 28, 1922.

[3] Reference is to the following passage from the article by Skvortsov-Stepanov: “Here, too, the class struggle must develop, the struggle between socialism and ‘capitalist craftsmanship’ or ‘ craftsmen’s capitalism’, more likely the latter. After what has been said the reader will not be surprised by the abnormality of this phrase. It is no more abnormal than the real relations which it expresses.”

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