Letter to Inessa Armand, Between July 10 and 16, 1914

From Marxists-en
Jump to navigation Jump to search

[1] My dear friend!

The precedent letter I’ve sent in too much hurry. Now I can more quietly speak about our “business”.[2]

I hope you’ve grasped what is in the report?[3] The most important part is the conditions 1–13 (and then 14—slanderous, less important). They should be presented as vividly as possible.

N.B.: The addendum about the demonstration on April 4, 1914 goes into the report, under the question of closing the liquidationist paper. The addendum about the Plekhanov Yedinstvo[4] goes into the report under the question of the groups abroad

I am sure that you are one of those people who develop, grow stronger, become more vigorous and bold when they are alone in a responsible position—and therefore I obstinately do not believe the pessimists, i.e., those who say that you ... can hardly.... Stuff and nonsense! I don’t believe it! You will manage splendidly! With your excellent French you’ll lay them all flat, and you won’t allow Vandervelde to interrupt and shout. (In the event of anything like that, a formal protest to the whole Executive Committee and a threat to leave the meeting+the written protest of the whole delegation.)

They must give you the right to make a report. You will say that you ask for the opportunity, and that you have precise and practical proposals. What could be more business-like and practical? We put ours forward, you put yours, and then we shall see. Either we adopt common decisions, or let us each report to our congresses, to the Congress of our Party. (But in practice, clearly, we shall adopt absolutely nothing.)

The essentail thing, in my opinion, is to prove that only we are the Party (the other side are a fictitious bloc or tiny groups), only we are a workers’ party (on the other side are the bourgeoisie, who provide money and approval), only we are the majority, four-fifths.

This is the first thing. And the second is to explain in as popular language as possible (I should absolutely fail in this, not knowing the language, while you will succeed) that the Organising Committee==a fiction. The reality which it conceals is merely a group of liquidationist writers in St. Petersburg. Proof? The literature....

Collapse of the August bloc.

(N.B. Departure of the Letts.)

(Cf. Prosveshcheniye No. 5, I am sending my article[5] to Popov.)

The argument may be: your (i.e., Bolshevik) advantage among the Letts is small, your majority is a small one. Reply: “Yes, it is small. If you like to wait, it will soon be écrasante.

We excluded the liquidators’ group from the Party in January 1912. The result? Have they set up a better party?? None at all. What they have is the complete break-up of the August bloc—aid to them by the bourgeoisie, desertion of them by the workers. Either accept our conditions, or no rapprochement, not to speak of unité!!

Arguments against Jagiello: an alien party. We don’t trust it. Let the Poles unite.

Argument against Rosa Luxemburg: what is real is not her party, but the “opposition”. Proof: there were three electors from Warsaw for the worker curia: Zalewski, Bronowski and Jagiello. The first two belong to the opposition. (If Rosa evades this, make her talk. If she denies it, demand that it be entered in the minutes, promising that we shall expose Rosa L.’s untruth.) And so all the Social-Democratic electors from Warsaw=opposition (the elections to the Fourth Duma). And in the rest of Poland? Unknown!! Give us the names of the electors!!


Kautsky’s letter against Rosa and for the opposition was in Pravda.[6]

I am sending this No. to Popov. It can be quoted. ]]

In general, I think I have sent you rather too many of the “most detailed” kind (as you asked), than too few.

In any case, the three of you will always find arguments and reasons and facts, and you always have the right to have a separate consultation—as to appointing a speaker from the delegation, etc.

The OC and the Bund will lie impudently:

... “They too, they will say, have an underground. It was recognised by the August Conference....”

Untrue! Literature published abroad. Newspapers?

The departure of the Letts? Their verdict?

Quotations fromNasha ZaryaandLuchagainst the underground!! (These were “slips of the tongue”?? Untrue! This is being said below by a bunch, a handful of liquidationist workers, and it is a crying act of disorganisation.)

Or: you haven’t an underground either.


But is Pravda with 40,000 copies ranting about the underground? Or are the workers letting themselves be deceived??

[[DITTO: {{ ]]

And what about the conference of the summer of 1913 and its decision: that the 6 deputies should make a statement? And then 6,722 votes for us, 2,985 against. A majority of 70 per cent!!

Lay as much stress as possible on the trade unions and the insurance committees: this has exceptional influence with the Europeans. We shall not allow the liquidators to disorganise our firm majority in the trade unions and insurance committees!![7] * I’ve forgotten the money question. We will pay for letters, telegrams (please wire oftener) & railway expenses, hotel expenses & so on. Mind it!

If possible try to be on Wednesday evening already in Brussels in order to arrange, prepare the delegation, come to agreement & so on.

If you succeed to receive the first report, for 1–2 hours,—it is almost all.*[8] Afterwards it will only be a matter of “hitting back”, worming out “their” counter-propositions (on all 14 questions) and declaring that we are not in agreement, and will report to the Congress of our Party. (We shall not accept a single one of their propositions.)

Very truly. Yours,[9]

V. I.

If there is talk of the money held by the former trustee, refer to the resolution of January 1912,[10] and refuse to say any more. We, that is, don’t renounce our right!!

I am sending Popov Plekhanov’s articles (from Pravda) about the liquidators.[11] Quote them, and say that Pravda remains of the same opinion.

  1. The passage between the asterisks was written by Lenin in English.—Ed.
  2. [[DUPLICATE "*"] The passage between the asterisks was written by Lenin in English.—Ed.
  3. Reference is to the report of the CC of the RSDLP, drawn up by Lenin for the Brussels “Unity” Conference. On Lenin’s instructions the report was delivered at the conference by Inessa Armand (see present edition, Vol. 20, pp. 495–535).
  4. Yedinstvo (Unity)—newspaper uniting the extreme Right-wing group of the Menshevik defencists led by Plekhanov. It was published in Petrograd. Four issues came out in May and June 1914. It appeared daily from March to November 1917. From December 1917 to January 1918, it was published under the title Nashe Yedinstvo (Our Unity).
  5. See “Disruption of Unity under Cover of Outcries for Unity” (present edition, Vol. 20, pp. 325–47).—Ed.
  6. Kautsky’s letter against Rosa Luxemburg concerning the report on the meeting of the I.S.B. was published in Vorwärts, central organ of the German Social-Democrats, No. 339, December 24, 1913 and reprinted in Proletarskaya Pravda No. 12, December 20 (O.S.), 1913 with a postscript by Lenin (see present edition, Vol. 20, pp. 63–64). Kautsky’s letter was a reply to Rosa Luxemburg’s letter to the editorial board of Vorwärts.
  7. The whole of this passage between asterisks, except for the words “come to agreement” (in Russian, “spetsya”), was written by Lenin in English.—Ed.
  8. [This "*" marks end of passage described in footnote V035P148F01.] —Lenin
  9. This line was written by Lenin in English.—Ed.
  10. Lenin has in mind the resolution “Property in the Hands of the Former Trustee, and Financial Reports”, passed by the Prague Party Conference of 1912. The Conference declared that in view of the liquidators’ infringement of agreement and in view of the trustees’ refusal to arbitrate, the Bolsheviks’ representatives had every formal right to use the Party property in the hands of the former trustee Clara Zetkin.
  11. This refers to Plekhanov’s articles “Under a Hail of Bullets (Passing Notes)”, published in Pravda, April-June 1913.