V. I.   Lenin



Published: First published in 1959 in Lenin Miscellany XXXVI. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, pages 467b-468a.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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Comrade Molotov:

Having filled in the questionnaire or the form of the last census of R.C.P. members,[1] I have come to the firm conclusion that the business of statistics at the C.C. (and probably, the whole of the registration and distribution) is very poorly organised.

Either we have a fool in charge of statistics, or there are fools and pedants sitting in important posts somewhere in these “departments” (if the said institutions under the C.C. are so called), and you have apparently no time to look into what they are doing.

1. The head of the Statistical Department should be fired.

2. This and the Registration and Distribution departments must be given a thorough shake-up.

Otherwise, we ourselves (“combating red tape”...) breed the most disgraceful and stupid red tape under our very noses.

The C.C. has vast powers. Its possibilities are gigantic. We are distributing 200,000–400,000 Party workers, and through them thousands upon thousands of non-Party men.

And this gigantic communist undertaking is being dead ruined by stupid red tape!

All the censuses must be finished in a month.

Their processing should be reduced to a minimum, so as also to complete it within a month.

After that nine-tenths of the Statistical and an equal proportion of the Registration and Distribution departments   of the C.C. should be disbanded, and their organisation started anew.

You yourself should get rid of minor problems (shift them on to your assistants and assistants’ assistants) to concentrate entirely on the business of being a political secretary and superintendent directing the work of organisation, registration, etc.

Has there been a census of “responsible workers”? The result likewise appears to be a zero; it is worse, probably being a minus.

Write or phone me, and we shall talk it over in greater detail.

We need cards for several hundred (for a start) leading Party workers, classifying them as propagandists, administrators, agitators, teachers, etc., and containing references about their work (say, a record of the last five posts) given by such-and-such (4–6) persons. We have been chasing after thousands and hundreds of thousands, trifling our time away bureaucratically, without learning to place these men.

With communist greetings,


[1] A reference to the All-Russia census of the R.C.P.(B.) members in early 1922, for the purpose of establishing the membership composition and making an exact count of Party members. In Moscow it was held from February 6, 1922. For the questionnaire filled in by Lenin see present edition, Vol. 42, pp. 457–61.

The census of responsible workers mentioned in the letter was carried out in July 1921 to determine the number and qualifications of the governing section of the Party in gubernia and uyezd centres, their territorial distribution and efficiency of use.

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