Letter to Grigori Zinoviev, Prior to July 28, 1915

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I am sending Pannekoek’s article.[1] I strongly advise giving it the enclosed editorial tailpiece (which should be forwarded to the author).[2]

I am sending a rough plan of the pamphlet (return it).[3] I suggest that we sit down (both of us) immediately, and think over every sentence, reword, condense and—publish it in Russian (for the anniversary of the war). And then in three other languages.

I think two purposes can be served:

1) A Vademecum for Russian Social-Democrats, agitators and “leading workers”. A clear, popular, precise summary of all arguments. A clear summing-up: correctness of the expulsion of Nasha Zarya, the struggle against it and against the Organising Committee+Chkheidze [Vademecum for elections to the Duma ].

2) A precise statement for the people abroad: a political step for welding the III International more serious than a dozen talks and meetings with a dozen Grimms, Zetkins and suchlike Klatsch-Weiber[4] in trousers and skirts.

Answer without delay. If you agree, we shall discuss the plan in still greater detail, and then divide the subjects.

3) The OC riffraff will be induced to come forward with a platform of “their own”, but they have nothing of their own!

Could you send me cuttings of Hamburger Echo gems? A gem in Wiener Arbeiter-Zeitung: a letter from Russia that Axelrod is making concessions to the “opportunists”.[5] I shall send it to you.


From the editors. We fully agree in all essentials with Comrade A. Pannekoek’s excellent article, but find its last lines too pessimistic. We have the rank and file behind us: the opportunists, social-chauvinists and Kautskians have a minority, often a negligible minority consisting of officials, aristocracy, petty bourgeois and philistines. Given correct tactics against the opportunists, i.e., if they are expelled and a consistent struggle waged against them, we shall have the support also of the big organisations, of the legal and illegal apparatus of the revolutionary party.

  1. Pannekoek’s article “Imperialism and the Tasks of the Proletariat” was published in the journal Kommunist No. 1–2 for 1915 with an editorial comment by Lenin.
  2. See the appendix to this letter.—Ed.
  3. Socialism and War.—Ed.
  4. Gossipy women.—Ed.
  5. Lenin is here referring to the article “Die innere Krise Rußlands published in No. 186 of Arbeiter-Zeitung July 7, 1915. This article was dealt with in a paragraph printed in the newspaper Sotsial-Demokrat No. 43, July 26, 1915, under the heading “The Axelrod Group in League with the Social-Chauvinists.