Letter to Grigori Zinoviev, After July 11, 1915

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Ludmila is staying with us (she is going to Russia). News from Paris: Trotsky & Co., soon after the international conference of the Leftists, want to hold a conference of the Russians (i.e., apparently the OC+CC+Nashe Slovo). First, at the Leftist conference, to adopt a “general Left” resolution, then (having thereby proved the Leftism of Nashe Slovo and the OC, which is expected to vote for anything—Mädchen für alle) to offer us (“in front of everybody”?) to join them in a general conference of Russians and to use our refusal against us....

Not a bad intrigue! Make a copy of Radek’s draft[1] for yourself at once (return the draft to me immediately!) and we shall carefully consider our tactics.

Should we propose amendments to Radek right away? (+an all-out struggle against the opportunists;+civil war; +a split with the opportunists). Or should we propose our own draft, and after it has been turned down, vote for Radek’s? Or both?

A protest in writing to be lodged against the participation of Nashe Slovo <="" span="">parties—they are not a party—or “sections of a party” are allowed. Let them say they are part of the OC 2) double representation: Martov in both the OC and Nashe Slovo).

This—without fail./*//

Or attend with 3 delegates from the COA (apart from the 3 from the CC) and demand a vote for them. Aren’t they as good as the Nashe Slovo group? The same applies to the women’s organisation.


The CC delegation should be got ready. All languages needed: Inessa for French and English. And for German? If Kinkel has gone away, perhaps we should take Kharitonov from Zurich? (Ludmila, apparently, would like to go, but....) Expenses? Where will the conference be held? For how long? Let’s think this over beforehand.

All the documents concerning Chkheidze & Co. (against them) should be carefully collected. Should the Leftists (Radek+Thalheimer+Wijnkoop+??) ask for a private meeting to have a “talk” with Nashe Slovo, it may not always be possible to refuse them. (The same applies to all and every document. We shall settle this beforehand by letter.)

Ought we not to start preparing our own draft manifesto, as detailed as Radek’s, but with a declaration of war against opportunism? Or should we accept Radek’s as a basis?

I have written to Kollontai[2] and Blagoev. I am writing to Wijnkoop: if he doesn’t do it, it’s his lookout—I will have done my duty.

Write to Grimm he should notify you by wire if there is to be another Vorkonferenz (they may engineer one, for otherwise who, where, and when will determine the composition and so forth?). Perhaps we should also write Grimm that he is obliged to notify (just in case) the Norwegian and Swedish Leftists immediately? We should!! (Address: c/o Fru A. Kollontay. Turisthotel. Holmenkollen. Kristiania. Norwegen).




P.S. The conference is likely to be a “packed” meeting of Kautsky and Renaudel for “making peace”?? In that case we’ll kick up a row and walk out, after lodging a protest.

Send all my paragraphs (for Kommunist) to Yuri. Send me Kamenski. I advise No. 1 (96 pp.), August 1915.[3] No. 2 (September 1915)—also 96 pp. Gorter in No. 2. I stood up for Varin, made him nine-tenths safe: they have to be threatened, then they backtrack. This is for No. 3.

  1. This refers to Radek’s draft resolution of the Left Social-Democrats for the forthcoming first international socialist conference. For a criticism of this draft, see Lenin’s letter to Radek (present edition, Vol. 35, p. 202).
  2. See present edition, Vol. 35, pp. 193–94.—Ed.
  3. This refers to the following articles that were to have gone into Kommunist: Kamenski’s “Polish Social-Democracy and the War”, Gorter’s “Causes of Proletarian Nationalism” and Varin’s “Our Base in the Troops”. The articles were not published.