V. I.   Lenin


Written: Written on September 19, 1915
Published: First published in 1924 in Lenin Miscellany II. Sent from Sörenberg to Stockholm. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, pages 354-355.
Translated: Andrew Rothstein
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive.   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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September 19

Dear Alexander,

We have received your letters telling us about the good working of the transport arrangements, and were extremely glad of them. As regards the literature at Vardö, try to get hold of and save everything: send us the files of Proletary and Vperyod; we can also make use of the pamphlets (the old ones, of 1905); it will be worth while sending them to Russia, now that there is a possibility of transport in general.[2]

Yesterday I read in the foreign press the news of the “ dispersal ” of the Duma. It is clear that the reactionaries are either frightened by the bloc of the Left, or are banking on some “military” chances (perhaps a separate peace?). Our attitude to the chauvinist revolutionaries (like Kerensky and part of the Social-Democrat liquidators or patriots) cannot, in my opinion, be expressed by the formula of “ support”. The gulf between the chauvinist revolutionaries (revolution for victory over Germany) and the proletarian internationalist revolutionaries (revolution to awaken the proletariat of other countries, to unite it in a general proletarian revolution) is too wide for there to be any question of support. We must utilise every protest (even a timid and muddled one, à la Gorky), we shall utilise the revolutionary work of the chauvinists too, and depending on the circumstances shall not reject “joint action” (in keeping with our Party’s resolutions adopted in 1907, at the London Congress, and in 1913, at our conference),[3] but nothing beyond that. At the moment, in practice: we shall not issue joint appeals and manifestos with the revolutionary   patriots, we shall avoid Duma “blocs” with them, avoid “unity” with them when speaking at congresses, during demonstrations and the like. But technical mutual services, if the patriots go along, will probably be possible (as with the liberals before 1905), and we shall not reject them. Our relations must be straightforward and clear-cut: you want to overthrow tsarism for victory over Germany, we want to do so for the international revolution of the proletariat.

We have incredibly little information from Russia. It is simply a shame that such a comparatively simple business as conspirative correspondence with Russia (fully possible even in wartime) turns out to be so very badly organised. This is one of the most essential things. (I hope you have had a detailed discussion of this with Nadezhda Konstantinovna in your letters, and will do so yet as circumstantially as possible.) The most vital thing is to establish regular contact, to bring over from Russia at least two or three leading workers, if only to Sweden, for the most detailed talks and correspondence, in order to reach complete “harmony”. I hope Belenin’s visit will bring a marked improvement in this sphere. To do the round trip fast, to establish new connections, to collect the news—that is now the key to the whole of our work, and without it it’s no use even looking to the future.[4]

We are thinking over a plan to publish manifestos and leaflets for transportation to Russia. We have not yet decided where they are to be published, here or in the Scandinavian countries. We should select the cheapest alternative, because the distance does not matter.[1]

With all my best wishes,


[1] The lust two sentences in the MS. have been struck out.—Ed.

[2] During his trip to arrange the transportation of Bolshevik literature to Russia, A. G. Shlyapnikov discovered in Vardö (a port in the north of Norway) a stock of literature left over from 1906 and 1907, when the illegal shipping arrangements were disrupted. It included sets of the Bolshevik newspapers Vperyod and Proletary, and various pamphlets. A part of this literature was sent to Russia on Lenin’s instructions.

[3] A reference to: = 1) a resolution on the attitude to non-proletarian parties adopted at the London Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. in 1907; = 2) a resolution on the Narodniks adopted by the August (Summer) 1913 Joint Conference of the Central Committee of the R.S.D.L.P. and Party officials (see KPSS v resolyutsiyakh..., Part One, 1954, pp. 164–65 and 316–17).

[4] A reference to A. G. Shlyapnikov’s illegal trip to Russia.

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