Letter to Georgi Plekhanov, April 21, 1901

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April 21, 1901

Dear G. V.,

We are very glad that your adventure ended satisfactorily.[1] We are expecting you: we need to have a talk about a great deal, both on literary and on organisational subjects, and about Iskra (the third issue should be ready by May 1. Then we want straightaway to print No. 4), and about Zarya. You have the address for calling—Velika Dmitrievna’s. Here is another (Alexei’s) just in case: Occamstr. (in Schwabing) 1a, III, rechts bei Frau Kraft, and ask for Herrn Vernet; only it would be better, when using this address, to write beforehand about your call, as otherwise you may easily not find anyone at home.

I send you Promyshlenny Mir Nos. 1–11. We have Frank— I will send it to you, if you need it before you come.[2]

We have only one copy of Na Slavnom Postu[3]: we shall order another, because there is a big demand for it.

We are in complete agreement with you about the priority of organisation over agitation at the present time. Listok “Iskry” is fairly cautious about any direct appeal—or do you consider even this dangerous[4]?

Hoping to see you soon.



Please bring or send Narodnoye Khozyaistvo.[5]

  1. A reference to the following incident. On April 5, 1901, Russian students in Geneva staged a demonstration in front of the Russian Consulate in protest against the harassment of political émigrés. The Russian Government took the occasion to exercise pressure on the Swiss authorities to secure the deportation of prominent political expatriates, chiefly Plekhanov, from Switzerland. However, Plekhanov was able to prove that he had nothing to do with the demonstration. Members of Iskra’s Editorial Board had feared an unfavourable outcome.
  2. Promyshlenny Mir (Industrial World)—a financial, economic, commercial, industrial and technical weekly published in St. Petersburg from November 1899 to 1905.
    S. Frank, Marx’s Theory of Value and Its Importance. Critical Essay, St. Petersburg, 1900. Plekhanov’s review of the book was published in Zarya’s double issue No. 2–3 in December 1901.
  3. Na Slavnom Postu (At a Glorious Post)—a literary collection published by the Narodniks to mark the 40th anniversary (1860– 1900) of the literary and social activity of N. K. Mikhailovsky, one of their ideologists. It contained articles by N. Annensky, N. Karyshev, P. Milyukov, N. Mikhailovsky, P. Mokievsky, V. Myakotin, A. Peshekhonov, M. Rafailov, N. Rubakin, V. Semevsky, V. Chernov, A. Chuprov, S. Yuzhakov and others. Neither Iskra nor Zarya published any review of the book.
  4. Lenin is replying to Plekhanov on the question of Iskra’s tactics and slogans for marking May 1, 1901 in Russia as set forth in May Day Listok “Iskry”. In a letter to the Munich section of Iskra’s Editorial Board on April 19, Plekhanov wrote that the workers in Russia should not be urged to demonstrate during the May Day celebrations, because the government would jump at the occasion to shed blood and the workers would be defeated. Plekhanov believed that the main task at the time was to build up local Social-Democratic organisations. The letter shows that in the concrete historical situation Lenin was in agreement with Plekhanov.
  5. Narodnoye Khozyaistvo (The National Economy)—a socio– economic magazine, published from 1900 to 1905 in St. Petersburg, first as a monthly, then as a bi-monthly.