On the Open Letter of the Executive Committee of the Moscow Regional Committee
|Written||5 September 1909|
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 16, page 23
On the Open Letter of the Executive Committee of the Moscow Regional Committee of the RSDLP. (dated August 17 , 1909) was written in connection with the discovery of the anti-Party and factional nature of the Capri school.
In the “Letter” the Executive Committee reminds those attending the school that it is their duty to keep in close contact with the Moscow Regional Committee and it calls for a full report on the school’s activities. The “Letter” was published in Proletary No. 47–48, of September 5 (18), 1909, together with Lenin’s comment “From the Editorial Board”.
The Capri school—a factional centre of the otzovists, ultimatumists and god-builders, who joined forces against Bolshevism. It was established on the Italian island of Capri in 1909 by A. Bogdanov (Maximov), Alexinsky and Lunacharsky with the participation of Maxim Gorky. Under cover of being pro—Party, the Bogdanovists succeeded in having 13 students sent to attend the school from some local Social-Democratic organisations. The school was in existence for about four months (August to December). In November a split occurred among the students: part of them, headed by N. Y. Vilonov, definitely dissociated themselves from the Bogdanovists. The Leninist students sent a letter to the editors of Proletary protesting against the anti—Party behaviour of the lecturers, for which they were expelled from the school. At the end of November (beginning of December) 1909, on Lenin’s invitation, they went to Paris where they attended a course of lectures, including those by Lenin, viz., “The Present Time and Our Tasks”, “Stolypin’s Agrarian Policy”. In December 1909, the students who remained in Capri, together with the lecturers, founded the anti-Party Vperyod group.
A meeting of the enlarged editorial board of Proletary condemned the Capri school as “a new centre of the faction splitting off from the Bolsheviks”.
In connection With this resolution on the celebrated “school” we must remark that we do not make any accusation against the workers who have eagerly seized the opportunity to go abroad to study. These workers made “contact” both with us and with the Central Committee (in the letter just received and the Executive Committee of the Moscow Regional Committee writes that one of the students has already sent it a report as well) and we explained to them the significance of this so-called school, Incidentally, here are a few quotations from the hectographed “Report” of this school which was sent to us. “It has been decided to begin the courses with the students (nine comrades) and lecturers (six comrades) already here.” Of these six lecturers the following are well-known to the Party: Maximov, Lunacharsky, Lyadov and Alexinsky. Comrade Alexinsky (at the opening of the school) “pointed out”: “A certain place has been chosen as the venue of the school because many of the lecturers are there.” Comrade Alexinsky is too modest: not “many” but all the lecturers of the new faction (some even say all the initiators, and organisers, and agitators, and functionaries) are “there”. Finally: “Comrade Alexinsky opened the practical course on the organisational question.” We venture to hope that a detailed explanation during this “practical” course is being given of the hints in Maximov’s “Report” that the editorial board of Proletary is trying to get control over the property of the whole faction....