To the Comrades Studying at the School in Bologna
|Written||20 November 1910|
Published: First printed in 1911 in the “Report of the Second Social-Democratic College of Propaganda and Agitation for Workers”. Published by the Vperyod group. Published according to the copy in N. K. Krupskaya’s handwriting.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1974, Moscow, Volume 16, pages 328-329.
The school in Bologna (Italy)—the second anti-Party school of the Vperyod group (end of 1910 to beginning of 1911). It was a continuation of the Capri school—the factionional centre of the otzovists and ultimatumists.
I cannot agree to your proposal that I should undertake to read lectures in Bologna, firstly, on grounds of principle and secondly, because it is impossible for me to come to Bologna.
Both the trend and the methods of the group which lies organised the school on the island of Capri and in Bologna I consider harmful to the Party and un-Social-Democratic.
The “platform” put forward by the organisers of the Capri school and a section (true, a minority) of their pupils, consists of a defence of digressions from Marxism in philosophy, in politics, and in the definition of the tactical aims of our Party. Moreover, the organisation of the school at Bologna contradicts both this “platform” and the pro-Party principle, because the organisers are acting schismatically, not only giving no assistance (whether in money they possess, or in personal service) to the school commission which was appointed by the plenum of the Central Committee in January t910, but directly sabotaging all the initiatives taker by this commission.
Hence it is clear that I can take no part in anything under taken by this anti-Party group which is divorcing itself from the principles of Social-Democracy.
But I should have great pleasure, of course, in giving the students of the Bologna school, irrespective of their views or sympathies, a series of lectures on tactics, on the situation of the Party and on the agrarian question. With this in mind I take the liberty of inviting the student comrades to come to Paris on their way back. A whole series of lectures could be organised there. The travelling expenses could be raised in the following way: 1) The organisers of the Capri school borrowed 500 francs from the Bolsheviks. Now they have money and will probably repay their debt to the Party, i.e., to the Central Committee Bureau Abroad. I, on my part, am prepared to make efforts to get this money allocated to cover the expenses of the journey from Bologna to Paris and I think that the Bolshevik whom we have delegated to the Central Committee Bureau Abroad will do everything in his power to help. 2) If 500 francs will not be enough (I do not know how many students there are at Bologna and bow many could make the journey), there is another 1,500 francs that the plenum of the CC assigned for the school commission with which the organisers of the Bologna school broke off connections. I think it would be possible to get this money assigned for a course of lectures in Paris for students who might Wish to come over from Bologna.
Paris is big enough for the thing to be arranged there quite secretly (there are districts where there are no Russians at all), moreover, it could be arranged somewhere in the outlying suburbs.
In closing I express my thanks to the students at Bologna for their comradely invitation and hope that my proposal about coming to Paris will be accepted.
With comradely greetings,