Dora B. Montefiore 1918

An Open Letter to Lenin

Source: The Call, 3 January 1918, p. 3
Transcription: Ted Crawford
HTML Markup: Brian Reid
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2007). 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.

Dear Comrade,—Many of us in the British Socialist Party desire to send you a message of good cheer and of congratulation on the manner in which you and those surrounding you are steadily and scientifically laying the foundations in Russia of a Social-Democratic Commonweal.

Across the deafening scream and roar of European battlefields it is difficult for the voices of Reason and of real Reconstruction from the workers in the different countries involved in the ghastly slaughter to make themselves heard, and we realise only too well how the news that is allowed to filter through to you, revealing to you the gradual loss (without an official protest from the leaders of the People) of our liberties in this England of ours, which boasts of being the home of Liberty, must tend to make you feel at times that you in Russia are fighting single-handed-against capitalism and its sinister self-expression, modern militarism. But, dear comrade, those of us who share with you the economic interpretation of existing social conditions, based on the exploitation of the workers, are following with the closest sympathy and comradely support, the shrewd blows you, and those with you, are aiming at privilege, at competition, and at commercial exploitation. We desire to dissociate ourselves from those pseudo-Socialists who, by denouncing you as “the leader of a Party in Russia composed of thoughtless anarchists with no definite policy,” are playing into the hands of the Northcliffes and the Lloyd Georges. We rejoice in the fact that you place constructive deeds before destructive words; that you are immediately giving the people access to food, clothing and shelter, the primary necessities of life, and are meanwhile rapidly doing away with the inequalities which shut out the masses from the means of life, and from the knowledge of the secret diplomacy which oppresses them.

It is because you are so attacked by pseudo Socialists and by “Northcliffes” that we knew you and the Bolsheviks are doing the work in Russia which we Social-Democrats are waiting for our opportunity to do in England—administering the affairs of the country in the interests of the workers, instead of allowing the present gang to govern and exploit the workers in the interests of a capitalist State.

Comrade, I, with many over here, stretch out the hand of comradeship, and wish you and those with you good speed. May the People have Bread, Equality of Opportunity and Peace; and may the torch of International Fellowship be lit in the ardent glow of Human Brotherhood kindled by the Workers of Russia!

Yours in fellowship,