Lenin Collected Works:
Preface by Progress
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,"
"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
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."