Lenin Collected Works: Volume 4: Preface by Progress Publishers

Lenin Collected Works:
Volume 4

Preface by Progress Publishers

Volume Four of the Collected Works contains Lenin's writings for the period February 1898-February 1901. These writings are devoted to the struggle for the victory of revolutionary Marxism in the working-class movement and to the exposure of the anti-revolutionary views of the Narodniks, “legal Marxists," and “economists."

"A Note on the Question of the Market Theory (Apropos of the Polemic of Messrs. Tugan-Baranovsky and Bulgakov)," “Once More on the Theory of Realisation," and “Capitalism in Agriculture (Kautsky's Book and Mr. Bulgakov's Article)" were directed against the “legal Marxists," who sought to subordinate and adapt the working-class movement to the interests of the bourgeoisie.

This volume contains Lenin's first writings against “economism”: “A Protest by Russian Social-Democrats," articles for the third issue of Rabochaya Gazeta, “A Retrograde Trend in Russian Social-Democracy," and “Apropos of the Profession de foi," in which he laid bare the opportunism of the economists” and showed “economism” to be a variety of international opportunism ("Bernsteinism on Russian soil"). Against the anti-Marxist positions adopted by the “economists," Lenin contraposed the plan of the unity of socialism with the working-class movement.

Several of the articles in this volume are models of the journalism of social and political exposure to which Lenin attached great significance in the struggle against the lawlessness of the tsarist officials, the struggle to awaken the consciousness of the broad masses of the people. These articles are: “Beat—but Not to Death!", "'Why Accelerate the Vicissitude of the Times?" and “Objective Statistics," published under the general heading of “Casual Notes”; “The Drafting of 183 Students into the Army," the preface to the pamphlet on the famous Kharkov May Day celebration, 1900, May Days in Kharkov, and the article, “Factory Courts," written in connection with the granting of police functions to the Factory Inspectorate.

The volume also contains writings relating to the organisation of the all-Russian illegal Marxist newspaper Iskra: "Draft of a Declaration of the Editorial Board of Iskra and Zarya," “How the 'Spark' Was Nearly Extinguished," and “Declaration of the Editorial Board of Iskra."

These documents, as well as the articles, “Our Programme," “A Draft Programme of Our Party," “The Urgent Tasks of Our Movement," and “The Workers' Party and the Peasantry," define the tasks confronting the Marxist organisations and the working-class movement of Russia at the moment when Lenin set about the actual formation of a party to fight under the unitary banner of revolutionary Marxism against opportunism, amateurishness in work, ideological disunity, and vacillation.

The present volume also contains the “Draft Agreement” with the Plekhanovist Emancipation of Labour group on the publication of the newspaper Iskra and the magazine Zarya, which appears for the first time in a collected edition of Lenin's writings. Iskra was launched on the basis of the “Draft Agreement."

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