J. V. Stalin

Our Aims

April 22, 1912

Source : Works, Vol. 2, 1907 - 1913
Publisher : Foreign Languages Publishing House, Moscow, 1954
Transcription/Markup : Salil Sen for MIA, 2008
Public Domain : Marxists Internet Archive (2008). 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.

Anyone who reads Zvezda and knows its contributors, who are also contributors to Pravada, 1 will not find it difficult to understand the line Pravada will pursue. To illuminate the path of the Russian labour movement with the light of international Social-Democracy, to spread the truth among the workers about the friends and enemies of the working class, to guard the interests of labour's cause—such are the aims Pravada will pursue.

In pursuing these aims we do not in the least intend to gloss over the disagreements that exist among the Social-Democratic workers. More than that: in our opinion, a powerful and virile movement is inconceivable without disagreements—"complete identity of views" can exist only in the graveyard! But that does not mean that points of disagreement outweigh points of agreement. Far from it! Much as the advanced workers may disagree among themselves, they cannot forget that all of them, irrespective of group, are equally exploited, that all of them, irrespective of group, are equally without rights. Hence, Pravada will call, firstly and mainly, for unity in the proletarian class struggle, for unity at all costs. Just as we must be uncompromising towards our enemies, so must we yield to one another. War upon the enemies of the labour movement, peace and co-operation within the movement —that is what Pravada will be guided by in its daily activities.

It is particularly necessary to emphasise this now, when the Lena events and the forthcoming elections to the Fourth Duma raise before the workers with exceptional persistence the necessity of uniting in a single class organisation. . . .

In entering upon our task we are aware that our path is bestrewn with thorns. It is sufficient to recall Zvezda, which has experienced repeated confiscations and "prosecutions." But the thorns will not daunt us if the sympathy of the workers which Pravada now enjoys continues in the future. From this sympathy it will draw energy for the struggle! We would like this sympathy to grow. Moreover, we would like the workers not to confine themselves to sympathy alone, but to take an active part in the conduct of our newspaper. Let not the workers say that they are "not used to" writing. Working-class writers do not drop ready-made from the skies; they can be trained only gradually, in the course of literary activity. All that is needed is to start on the job boldly: you may stumble once or twice, but in the end you will learn to write. . . .

And so, all together let us set to work!


Pravada, No. 1, April 22, 1912


1. Pravada (Truth) — a daily Bolshevik legal newspaper published in St. Petersburg. It was founded in the spring of 1912 on the initiative of the St. Petersburg workers. The first issue of the newspaper appeared on April 22 (May 5), 1912. On March 15, 1917, J. V. Stalin was appointed a member of the editorial board of Pravada. On his return to Russia in April 1917, V. I. Lenin took over the direction of Pravada. Regular contributors to the paper were: V. M. Molotov, Y. M. Sverdlov, M. S. Olminsky, K. N. Samoilova and others. During that period, Pravada, in spite of the persecution and vilification to which it was subjected, performed tremendous work in rallying the workers, revolutionary soldiers and peasants around the Bolshevik Party, exposed the imperialist bourgeoisie and its hangers-on—the Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries—and fought for the transition from the bourgeois-democratic to the socialist revolution.