V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written January 31, 1904
Published: First published in 1929 . Sent from Geneva to Russia. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 227-228.
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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For the C.C. (to be handed to N.N.[1] )

The meetings (three sittings) of the Party, Council ended yesterday. These meetings brought into sharp focus the whole political situation within the Party. Plekhanov sided with the Martovites, outvoting us on every question of any importance. Our resolution condemning boycott, etc. (boycott by either side), was not put to the vote; a line was merely drawn in principle between impermissible and permissible forms of struggle. On the other hand, a resolution of Plekhanov’s was adopted saying it was desirable that the C.C. co-opt an appropriate (sic!) number from the Minority. After this we withdrew our resolution and submitted a protest against this policy of place-hunting on the part of the Council. Three Council members (Martov, Axelrod and Plekhanov) replied that it was “beneath their dignity” to examine this protest. We stated that the only honest way out was a congress. The Council rejected it. The three members passed resolutions legitimising (!) the editorial board’s sending out its representatives separately from the C.C., and instructing the C.C. to give the editorial board literature in the amount required for distribution (!). That means giving it them for their own transportation and delivery, for they now send out one “agent” after another, who refuse to execute commissions for the Central Committee. In addition, they also have transport ready (they proposed sharing the cost of carriage fifty-fifty).

Iskra (No. 57) has an article by Plekhanov calling our C.C. eccentric (there being no Minority on it) and inviting it to co-opt the Minority. How many is unknown; according   to private information, not less than three out of a very short list (of 5–6, apparently), perhaps with a demand also for the resignation of someone from the Central Committee.

One must be blind not to see now what is afoot. The Council will bring pressure to bear on the C.C. in every possible way, demanding complete surrender to the Martovites. Either—an immediate congress, the immediate collection of resolutions on a congress from 11–12 committees, and the immediate concentration of all efforts on agitating for a congress. Or—the resignation of the whole C.C., for no C.C. member will consent to the ignominious and ludicrous role of accepting people who foist themselves on the C.C., people who will not rest content until they have taken everything into their hands, and who will drag every trifle before the Council so as to get their own way.

Kurtz and I insistently demand that the C.C. be convened immediately at all costs to decide the matter, taking into account, of course, our votes as well. We repeat emphatically and for the hundredth time: either a congress at once, or resignation. We invite our dissentients to come here, so as to judge the situation on the spot. Let them try in practice to get along with the Martovites and not write us hollow phrases about the value of peace!

We have no money. The C.O. is overloading us with expenses, obviously pushing us towards bankruptcy, and obviously counting on a financial crash in order to take extraordinary measures which would reduce the C.C. to a cipher.

We need two or three thousand rubles immediately at all costs. Without fail and immediately, otherwise we shall face complete ruin within a month!

We repeat: think it over carefully, send delegates here and take a straightforward view of the matter. Our last word is: either a congress or the resignation of the whole Central Committee. Reply at once as to whether you give us your votes. If not, let us know what is to be done if Kurtz and I resign, let us know without fail.


[1] N.N.—unidentifled.—Ed.

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