Letter to Grigori Zinoviev, August 1909

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The last two-thirds of Kamenev’s article are quite bad, and can hardly be edited. I straightened out the first third (p. 1 to end of p. 5) but am not able to make any further alteration, because I see that what it needs is not editing but complete rewriting.

In this part of the article, Kamenev gives an incredibly woolly and confused expression, with thousands of frills, to his idea (that the Octobrists[1] and the Rightists are fighting over minor matters, that their struggles, dissensions, fights are inevitable in bourgeoisifying the monarchy and that from this fighting the revolution follows only indirectly, i.e., provided the proletariat enters the arena, and not directly, not by the bourgeoisie itself “going left”).

To my mind, we cannot publish it in this form.

Either persuade the author to rewrite the last two-thirds— and we shall then “edit” the article, or have a hand yourself at rewriting the last two-thirds almost completely.

I enclose (pp. 1–3 in ink) an approximate plan for its rewriting.

  1. Octobrists—a counter-revolutionary party of big industrialists and landowners formed soon after the tsar’s Manifesto of October 17, 1905 (whence their name). In it, the tsar, terrified by the revolution, promised “civil liberties” and a constitution. The Octobrists fully supported the government’s domestic and foreign policies.