Letter to Central Committee Agents and Committee Members of the RSDLP Siding with the Second Party Congress Majority

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The conflict within the Central Committee has reached such a pitch that I consider myself morally obliged to bring it to the knowledge of all who support the Second Party Congress majority. I am compelled to do so both by the unlawful proceedings of four members of the Central Committee and by the fear of again taking some incautious step harmful to the Party (such as my resignation from the editorial board) unless I consult like-minded comrades who are working on the spot, who have a better knowledge of the real sentiment in the Party, and who have in fact, and not merely in word, declared war on the old 6migr6 circle spirit in the name of the young party spirit.

What the conflict within the Central Committee consists in will be seen from the four appended documents: 1) the agreement of May 26, 1904, between three Central Commit tee members—Gleboy, Zverev, and Lenin; 2) my letter of the same date to the members of the Central Committee; 3) a resolution allegedly adopted by all members of the Central Committee but one; 4) my protest impeaching the lawfulness of this alleged resolution.[1]

I would earnestly request all like-minded comrades in the present struggle in the Party to read these instructive documents carefully, and frankly and unreservedly state their opinion concerning them. I for my part shall refrain from any public statement in the press on these issues, at least for a time, until I know the views of some of those working in Russia, or until compelled to such a statement by events.

I shall confine myself here to a few questions to the Party, if the members of our organisations find that we do in fact have a party: 1) can a working-class party worthy of the name tolerate a Central Committee, elected by the majority, that proclaims the policy of the majority to be a “group’ policy? 2) are people morally entitled to our confidence who in a declaration written in March say one thing and in July quite another?—3) people who take advantage of the arrest of two majority members of the Central Committee to trample on the interests of the majority?—4) people who in the name of combating group policies talk of a conference with the minority group, ignoring the majority?—5) people who are afraid of having their actions judged by a congress, and for that reason dare to intimidate the Party with the prospect of a split and to “forbid” Party members their elementary right of agitating for a congress?—6) people so childishly incapable of understanding our Party crisis that they insist in all seriousness on the “legitimacy” of the Central Organ and decree the “high standard” of that Central Organ?—7) people who, in deliberate defiance of the will of the Party, try to oust consistent adherents of the Party majority from the Central Committee?

I conclude with the request for an answer to these questions and for steps to be taken to acquaint all active Party members with the situation and with this letter. I don’t think there is any necessity for the present of publishing the letter.

Central Committee member Lenin

  1. Of these documents, the letter to the members of the Central Com mittee, the agreement between three Central Committee members, and the protest impeaching the lawfulness of the Central Committee resolution are published in this volume (pp. 426-31 and 462-63). The Central Committee resolution is the “July Declaration” of the conciliators Krasin, Noskov, and Galperin.