V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written September 26, 1900
Published: First published in 1930 in Lenin Miscellany XIII. Sent from Munich to Paris. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [1977], Moscow, Volume 43, page 44b.
Translated: Martin Parker and Bernard Isaacs
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive (2005). 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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To Nakhamkis

To answer your questions: 1) In referring to “us” and “the editors” I had in mind the article on the programme of Rabocheye Dyelo[2] and nothing else.[1] 2) The collocutors in Bellerive were we two: Potresov and myself, your new acquaintances. 3) If I previously told you that you were not right and then wrote and stressed that you were right, this means that my views had changed and approximated to yours.

We hope to be able in the not very distant future to inform you and Goldendakh (we place great hopes on the closest co-operation with you both) of the final form of the relationships (on the editorial plane) between us (the two collocutors in Bellerive+one in Russi ) and the Emancipation of Labour group.[3]

Thanks for the article “The Historical Preparation of Russian Social-Democracy”: we are very happy to print it and believe that our journal[4] would gain much if such articles appeared in it more frequently. The article will also be sent to the Emancipation of Labour group, so please do not be annoyed by a possible delay.

My colleague has one point to make: the credit for establishing the first contacts with the workers belongs not to the groups you mention, but to the Chaikovsky group.[5]


[1] See present edition, Vol. 36, pp. 29–31.—Ed.

[2] Rabocheye Dyelo (The Workers’ Cause)—a journal published by the Union of Russian Social-Democrats Abroad in Geneva from April 1899 to February 1902. It was edited by B. N. Krichevsky, P. F. Teplov (Sibiryak), V. P. Ivanshin and later also A. S. Martynov. A total of 12 issues (nine books) was put out. The Editorial Board of the journal was the Economists’ centre abroad.

Lenin gave a critique of the Rabocheye Dyelo viewpoint in his What Is To Be Done? (see present edition, Vol. 5, pp. 347–529).

__PRINTERS_P_641_COMMENT__ 21–1493

[3] The Emancipation of Labour group was the first Russian Marxist group. It was founded in Geneva by G. V. Plekhanov in 1883, and included P. B. Axelrod, L. G. Deutsch, Vera Zasulich and V. N. Ignatov.

The group did much to spread Marxism in Russia, and dealt a serious blow at Narodism. At the Second Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. the group announced its dissolution.

[4] A reference to the Marxist scientific and political journal Zarya (Dawn) published legally in Stuttgart by the Editorial Board of Iskra in 1901–02.

[5] A St. Petersburg group of revolutionary Narodniks named after one of its members—N. V. Chaikovsky. Its aims were self-education and revolutionary propaganda among the youth. It published and circulated works by Karl Marx, N. G. Chernyshevsky, D. I. Pisarev, and N. Flerovsky (V. V. Bervi); it had a printery of its own in Switzerland. Later the group conducted revolutionary work among the workers and peasants, acquainted the workers with the history of the international proletarian movement, and sponsored the study in circles of the first volume of Marx’s Capital. They failed, however, to understand the historical role of the proletariat, regarding it merely as an intermediary between the revolutionary intelligentsia and the peasantry. The group’s activities came to an end with the mass arrests of early 1874.

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