Letter to Alexander Tsiurupa, February 21, 1922

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Author(s) Lenin
Written 21 February 1922


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First published in 1928 in Lenin Miscellany VIII. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1971, Moscow, Volume 36, page 566.

ON THE SUBJECT OF THE DRAFT DIRECTIVES TO THE NARROW COUNCIL OF PEOPLE’S COMMISSARS[1][edit source]

Comrade Tsyurupa,

I think we arc still radically at odds. The main thing, in my opinion, is to shift the centre of gravity from writing decrees and orders (our stupidities in this respect verge on idiocy) to selection of people and checking fulfilment. This is the essential point.

Is the Narrow Council unsuitable for this? Let’s assume that. Then you and Rykov must devote 9/10ths of your time to it (it is ridiculous to expect the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspection and the Executive Secretary to do more than fulfil simple instructions). All of us are sunk in the rotten bureaucratic swamp of “departments”. Great authority, common sense and strong will are necessary for the everyday struggle against this. The departments are shit; decrees are shit. To find men and check up on their work— that is the whole point. If you+Rykov set about this for 9/10ths of your time, and make the Executive Secretary (and sometimes also members of the Narrow Council of People’s Commissars) your assistants, then perhaps we can get by.

Send me once again your draft about the Narrow Council of People’s Commissars.

Lenin

  1. Written in reply to A. D. Tsyurupa’s objections to Lenin’s proposal on a draft directive to the Narrow Council (see present edition, Vol. 35, p. 540).