Letter to Georgi Plekhanov, November 1, 1903

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Author(s) Lenin
Written 1 November 1903

Written in Geneva (local mail)
Published: First published in 1926. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 34, pages 184-185.

November 1, 1903

Dear Georgi Valentinovich,

I am quite unable to calm down on account of the questions that are worrying us. This delay, this postponement of a decision, is simply dreadful, a torture....

No, really, I can quite understand your motives and considerations in favour of a concession to the Martovites. But I am deeply convinced that a concession at the present time is the most desperate step, leading to a storm and a shindy far more certainly than would war against the Martovites. This is no paradox. I not only did not persuade Kurtz to leave but, on the contrary, tried to persuade him to stay, but he (and Ru) flatly refuses now to work with the Martovite editorial board. What’s going to happen? In Russia, dozens of delegates have been travelling all over; even from Nizhni-Novgorod they write that much has been done by the CC, transport has been arranged, agents have been appointed, the announcement is being published, Sokolovsky in the West, Berg in the centre, and Zemlyachka and lots of others, have all settled down to work. And now comes the refusal of Kurtz. It means a long break (in the session and meeting of the whole CC, now, it seems, already considerably enlarged). Afterwards, either a struggle of the CC against the Martovite editorial board or the resignation of the whole CC Then you+two Martovites in the Council must co-opt a new CC, and this without election by the Congress, with total disapproval on the part of the great bulk in Russia, and bewilderment, dis content and refusal on the part of these agents who have already gone out. Why, this will utterly discredit the Congress and sow complete discord and cause a scandal in Russia a hundred thousand times more terrible and dangerous than a scurrilous foreign pamphlet.

We are fed up with discord! That is what they write and scream about in letters from Russia. And to give way to the Martovites now would mean legitimising discord in Russia, for in Russia there has not yet been even a trace of disobedience and revolt. No statements of yours or mine will now restrain the delegates of the Majority at the Party Congress. These delegates will create a frightful rumpus.

For the sake of unity, for the sake of the stability of the Party—do not take this responsibility upon yourself, do not withdraw and do not give everything away to the Martovites.


N. Lenin