Letter to Georgi Plekhanov, March 15, 1903

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Author(s) Lenin
Written 15 March 1903

First published in 1925. Sent from London to Geneva. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 150-151.

March 15, 1903

Dear G. V.,

I have received your letter. You are writing “The Ides of March”, that is excellent. The dead-line is March 25, 1903—the article must be here. We expect it without fail.

Maslov’s book is being sent to me in a few days from Paris (I shall ask them to make haste) and I shall send it on to you at once.[1] It contains interesting data on the harm of the village commune, which I quoted in Paris.[2]

I had already ordered David’s book and am now reading it. Terribly watery, poor and trite. I am trying to finish it quickly so as to send it on to you. Have you seen Kant- sky’s articles on this “neo-Proudhonist”[3]?

I have now set to work on a popular pamphlet for the peas- ants on our agrarian programme.[4] I should very much like to demonstrate our idea of the class struggle in the countryside on the basis of concrete data on the four sections of the village population (landowners, peasant bourgeoisie, middle peasantry, and semi-proletarians together with proletarians). What do you think of such a plan?

From Paris I came away with the conviction that only such a pamphlet could dispel the perplexities about the cut-off lands, etc.

About the Manifesto of February 26 I have written an article which will appear in No. 34,[5] I have categorically insisted that it should be the leading article in view of the tremendous importance of the Manifesto. It seems, however, that V. I. is wavering (!) and together with Y. O. is deciding the other way round: first about Marx.

In my opinion, this is even preposterous.

All the very best.



  1. This refers to P. Maslov’s book The Agrarian Question in Russia, Vol. I, the first edition of which appeared in 1903.
  2. Lenin is referring to his lectures at the Russian School of Social Sciences and at the meeting of Russian political emigrants, which he read in Paris in February 1903.
  3. This refers to the book Sozialismus und Landwirtschaft by E. David. The reference to Kautsky concerns his article “Sozialismus und Landwirthschaft” (Die Neue Zeit Nos. 22-26 for February and March 1903) in which he examines this book.
  4. To the Rural Poor (see present edition, Vol. 6).—Ed.
  5. The Autocracy Is Wavering” (see present edition, Vol. 6).—Ed.