Letter to Alexander Korostelev, July 26, 1921

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Author(s) Lenin
Written 26 July 1921

First published in 1924 in Bolshevik No. 1. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 35, pages 511-512.
Collection(s): Bolshevik

Comrade Korostelev,

The work of your commission[1] is exceptionally important, responsible and difficult.

You must strain all your energies to see that you have fewer reverses; and not lose heart because of the reverses, but insistently and patiently resume the work, again and again. In Moscow it is much more difficult to work than in the provinces—there is more bureaucracy, there are more corrupted and spoiled “top” people, etc.

But, in return, the work in Moscow will have tremendous demonstrative and political importance.

In my belief, your commission should try and adapt its work to the “Instructions of the Council of Labour and Defence”.

The main thing is not to scatter your forces. It is better to take a few establishments, not very big tasks, set yourselves, at first, modest aims—but pursue them stubbornly, not forgetting what you have begun, not dropping the work half-way, but going on with it to the end.

Gradually, but without fail, draw in non-Party people from amongst workers well known for their honesty, and respected in every district. Time and effort should not be spared in discovering them and getting to know them.

They should little by little, and carefully, be introduced to the work, and you must try to find an occupation entirely suited to each one, and appropriate to his capacities.

The main thing is to get the workers and the population used to the commission, in the sense that they should see help coming from it; the main thing is to win the confidence of the masses, the non-Party people, the rank-and-file workers, the ordinary men in the street.

For you of all people, as chairman of the commission and as a man from the centre, a member of the collegium of the unpopular Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection, this will not be easy. But this is the whole essence of the thing.

You must in every possible way, and in all possible respects show that you are able to give, and actually give, help, real help, even if on a small scale. Only on this basis can you go on further.

Please write to me or, if you don’t like writing, ring me up on the telephone—I can talk to you from my study, where it is quieter, so that we can exchange ideas on the work of your commission.

Show this letter to the other members of the commission, if you think it timely.

With communist greetings,


July 26

P.S. The main task of the commission is to improve our economy, improve management, secure real personal responsibility. For this purpose a few more institutions should be selected: a canteen, baths, a laundry, a hostel, etc.

  1. Reference is to the commission for assisting economic bodies.