V. I.   Lenin



To Papasha from Lenin

Written: Written December 8, 1904
Published: First published in 1926. Sent from Geneva to Russia. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 274-276.
Translated: Clemens Dutt
Transcription\Markup: D. Moros
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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Dear friend,

I hasten to reply to your letter, which pleased me very, very much. You are a thousand times right that we must act vigorously, in a revolutionary way, and strike the iron while it’s hot. I agree, too, that it is the Majority commit tees that must be united. The need for a centre in Russia and an organ here is now clear to all of us. As far as the latter is concerned, we have already done all we could. Private is working with might and main, he has enlisted participants, has thrown himself whole-heartedly into the job and is trying his hardest to find a millionaire, with considerable chance of success. Finally, you are a thousand times right in that we must act openly. The question at issue between us touches only on a minor point and should be discussed calmly, viz.: whether to have a conference of committees or direct formation of a Bureau of the Majority Committees (we prefer this title to Organising Committee, although of course it is not a matter of the title) which would be recognised at first by some, and afterwards by all, of the Majority committees. You are for the former, we are for the latter. If a conference abroad were possible, I would be wholly in favour of it. In Russia, however, it would be devilishly dangerous, bureaucratic and ineffectual. Meanwhile Odessa+Nikolayev+Ekaterinoslav have already come to terms and authorised the “22” to “appoint an Organising Committee”. We replied by recommending the title “Bureau of the Majority Committees” and seven candidates (Mer maid, Felix, Zemlyachka, Pavlovich, Gusev, Alexeyev, Baron). We are writing to Odessa and St. Petersburg about   this. Alexeyev is already on his way to you. Will it not be best to carry out the election of candidates through Riga, St. Petersburg+Moscow, and immediately afterwards make a public statement about this (we are sending you a draft of the announcement[1] ), and then rush off to the Northern Committee, the Caucasus, Saratov, Nizhni-Novgorod, etc., asking them to subscribe and supplementing the Bureau as liberally as possible by a couple or so of their candidates (although it is not very likely that the subscribing commit tees will demand large additions to the members of the Bureau). I definitely cannot imagine our meeting with difficulties over the composition of the Bureau.

The advantages of this method are: speed, cheapness, safety. These advantages are very important, for speed counts above all now. The Bureau will be the official body for uniting the committees and will in fact completely re place the C.C. in the event of a split. The membership of the literary group for our future central organ is already fully designated (a five- or six-man board: Private, Galyorka, myself, Schwarz Lunacharsky+perhaps Bazarov). Tackle the transportation job yourself and do so energetically. We have got hold here of a former Bundist who has done a lot of work on two frontiers; he promises to arrange things for 200-300 rubles monthly. We are only waiting for the money before putting him in touch with you.

The disadvantage of your method is the red tape. I consider it quite useless to present ultimatums to the C.C. and Council. The C.C. is playing the hypocrite and I don’t doubt now for a moment that they have sold themselves completely to the Minority and are out to falsify the congress. We should not harbour any illusions. Now, when they control all the central bodies, they have a thousand means for falsifying the congress and have already begun to do so. We shall prove this in print by analysing the Council’s decisions (Iskra Nos. 73-74, supplement). We, of course, stand and will continue to stand for a congress, but we must cry from the house-tops that they are already falsifying the congress and that we shall expose their falsification. As a matter of fact, I now put the congress in the ninth   place, allotting the first to the organ and the Russian centre. It’s absurd to speak of disloyalty when they have pushed us into it themselves by making a deal with the Minority. It is a lie to say that the secret organisation of the Minority has been dissolved; it has not; three members of the C.C. have entered this secret organisation, that is all. All three central bodies now constitute a secret organisation against the Party. Only simpletons can fail to see that. We must reply by an open organisation and expose their conspiracy.

Please strengthen everyone’s faith in our organisation and in the future organ. We need only to be patient a little longer, while Private finishes his job. Collect and send us local correspondence (always inscribed: for Lenin) and material, especially from workers. You and I differ on a minor point, as I would be only too glad to have a conference. But really, the game is not worth the candle; it will be much better to come out at once with an announcement from the Bureau, for we shall easily reach agreement on its membership and conflicts on this score are improbable. And once the Bureau proclaims itself it will quickly gain recognition and will begin to speak on behalf of all the committees. Think this over carefully once more and reply speedily.


[1] See present edition, Vol. 7, pp. 503-05.—Ed.

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