V. I.   Lenin


To:   A. I. LYUBIMOV[1]

Written: Written August 18, 1909
Published: First published in 1933. Sent from Bombon (France) to Paris. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, page 398.
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 Mark,

I am sending you for Lyova my reply to the Capriotes.[2] If he considers it necessary, let him make a copy for Inok, and then send the letter to Capri—I don’t know the address. I think it could be sent in two envelopes: the outer one inscribed “Signor Massimo Gorki, Villa Blaesus, Capri, Italie”, and the inner one: “For the Executive Committee of the School”.

I don’t know any other address.

As regards Trotsky, I must say that I shall be most vigorously opposed to helping him if he rejects (and he has already rejected it!) equality on the editorial board, proposed to him by a member of the C.C. Without a settlement of this question by the Executive Committee of the Bolshevik Centre, no steps to help Trotsky are permissible. Consequently, the Economic Committee is entitled to agree to the printing of Pravda[3] at the Proletary printing-press only if this will not be help for a new faction (for Trotsky is founding a new faction, whereas the Bolshevik C.C. member proposed to him instead that he should come into the Party) but a strictly commercial deal, for payment, as with any other person, provided the compositors are disengaged, etc. I insist most categorically that the question of the attitude to Pravda shall still be decided by the Executive Committee of the Bolshevik Centre and that pending this decision not a single step in the way of help shall be taken, nor shall we bind ourselves in any way.

All the best.
N. Lenin

P.S. Please make a copy of my letter to the Capriotes in any case. It may prove necessary for the B.C.


[1] Lyubimov, A. I. (1879–1919)—a Social-Democrat, joined the revolutionary movement in 1898. Repeatedly persecuted by the tsarist government. In 1904 was co-opted on to the C.C. of the R.S.D.L.P. Delegate of the Party’s Council to the Third Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. Adopted a conciliatory stand towards the Mensheviks both after the Second Congress of the Party and during the years of reaction.

[2] ^^See Lenin’s “A Letter to the Organisers of the Party School on Capri” (Vol. 15 of this edition).^^

The Capri school was organised in 1909 on Capri (Italy) by the otzovists, ultimatumists and god builders. The meeting of the extended editorial board of Proletary exposed the factional anti-Bolshevik nature of the school, which was condemned and qualified as “a new centre being formed for a faction breaking away from the Bolsheviks”^^(see Vol. 15, p. 450, of this edition)^^.

The school began to function in August, lectures being read by   Bogdanov, Alexinsky, Lunacharsky, Gorky, Lyadov, Pokrovsky and Desnitsky. Lenin declined the organisers’ invitation that he come to Capri as a lecturer. In his letter to the school’s students, who insisted on his reading a cycle of lectures to them, Lenin explained that he could not do it inasmuch as it was “a school deliberately hidden away from the Party” in “a remote foreign spot” and bearing a factional character. Lenin proposed to the students that they should come to Paris where they would learn real Social-Democracy instead of the “separatist factional ‘science’” of the otzovists and god-builders (see Vol. 15, pp. 472–78, of this edition).

[3] This refers to the Mensheviks’ newspaper Pravda, published in 1908–12. The first issues appeared in Lvov, and from No. 4 onward the paper came out in Vienna.

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