Letter to the Editor of Put Pravdy, January 31, 1914
|Written||31 January 1914|
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1972, Moscow, Volume 20, pages 93-94
In his letter, published in Novaya Rabochaya Gazeta No. 16, A. Bogdanov concealed the main reason for his disagreement with Pravda.
That reason is that A. Bogdanov has for many years been opposing the philosophy of Marxism and upholding bourgeois idealist views against the materialism of Marx and Engels.
For that reason, the Marxist Bolsheviks several years ago considered it their duty to come out against Bogdanov. For the same reason the Marxist Mensheviks, in the person of G. V. Plekhanov, are conducting a literary struggle against Bogdanov. And lastly, for the very same reason, even the so-called Vperyod group has broken with Bogdanov.
True, ever since Bogdanov began to contribute to Pravda, we doubted whether he would refrain from carrying his fight against the philosophy of Marxism into the columns of the workers’ newspaper. Unfortunately, A. Bogdanov hastened to confirm our fears. After getting several small popular articles on innocuous subjects, published in Pravda, he shortly submitted an article entitled “Ideology”, in which, in the moat “popular” manner, he launched an attack upon the philosophy of Marxism. The editors refused to publish that anti-Marxist article. This was the cause of the conflict.
We advise A. Bogdanov, instead of complaining about “family rows” to get that article entitled “Ideology” published (the liquidationist newspaper will not, of course, refuse hospitality to an anti-Marxist article). All Marxists will then be able to see the real reason for our disagreement with Bogdanov, concerning which he said not a word in his lengthy letter.
We believe that the workers have set up a newspaper of their own in order that it should advocate Marxism, and not have its columns used to distort Marxism in the spirit of bourgeois “scholars”.
We are also very glad that A. Bogdanov has once again raised the question of the article on the Vperyod group, which he sent to Pravda last summer. Since A. Bogdanov desires it, he will receive (in Prosveshcheniye) a detailed statement about the number of untruths that article contained, and about the immense harm that adventurist group has caused the working-class movement in Russia.
- The Vperyod group—an anti-Party group including otzovists, ultimatumists, god-builders, and empirio-monists (adherents of the reactionary, idealistic philosophy of Mach and Avenarius), organised abroad in December 1909 and headed by A. Bogdanov and G. Alexinsky. It had several small circles, consisting mostly of intellectuals, in Paris, Geneva and Tiflis. In Lenin’s words, the views of the Vperyod group were “a caricature of Bolshevism”. With no support among the workers, the group fell apart in 1913. For further details about this group see pp.487–93 of this volume.
- See pp. 487–93 of this volume.—Ed.