The body practically directing and organising the complex business of distribution, agencies, etc., etc., will be formed (has already been formed in part) through direct assignment of definite functions to definite comrades by a number of Russian committees (the Odessa, Ekaterinoslav, and Nikolayev committees! the four Caucasian committees, and several
northern ones, more particulars of which you will receive shortly). We now appeal to all comrades to give us all the support they can. We shall conduct the organ on the understanding that it is the organ of the movement in Russia, not of any émigré circle. This requires, first and foremost, the most vigorous "literary " support, or rather literary participation, from Russia. I have put the word "literary" in italics and inverted commas in order to draw attention from the first to its special sense and caution against a misconception that is very common and highly detrimental to the work. It is a misconception that writers and only writers (in the professional sense of the term) can success fully contribute to a publication; on the contrary, it will be vital and alive only if for five leading and regularly contributing writers there are five hundred or five thousand contributors who are not writers. One of the shortcomings of the old Iskra, one which I always tried to rid it of (and which has grown to monstrous proportions in the new Iskra ) was that too little was done for it from Russia. We always used to print everything, practically without exception, that we received from Russia. A really live organ should print only a tenth of what it receives, using the rest as material for the information and guidance of the journalists. We must have as many Party workers as possible correspond with us, correspond in the ordinary, not the journalistic sense of the term.
Isolation from Russia, the engulfing atmosphere of the accursed émigré slough, weighs so heavily on one here that living contact with Russia is our only salvation. Let all remember that who want in fact, and not just in word, to consider (and to make ) our organ the organ of the entire "majority", the organ of the mass of Russian comrades. Let everyone who regards this organ as his own and who is conscious of the duties of a Social-Democratic Party member abandon once and for all the bourgeois habit of thinking and acting as is customary towards legally published papers -- the habit of feeling: it is their business to write and ours to read. All Social-Democrats must work for the Social-Democratic paper. We ask everyone to contribute, and especially the workers. Give the workers the widest opportunity to write for our paper, to write about positively everything, to
write as much as they possibly can about their daily lives, interests, and work -- without such material a Social-Democratic organ will not be worth a brass farthing and will not deserve the name. In addition, please send us private letters, not intended as contributions to the paper, i.e., not for publication, but by way of comradely intercourse with the editors and to keep them informed, and not only about facts and incidents, but about the prevailing sentiment and the everyday, "uninteresting", humdrum, routine side of the movement. People who have not lived abroad cannot imagine how much we need such letters (there is absolutely nothing secret about them either, and to write such an uncoded letter once or twice a week is really something the busiest person can do). So write to us about the discussions at the workers' study circles, the nature of these discussions, the subjects of study, and the things the workers ask about; about the state of propaganda and agitational work, and about contacts among the general public, in the army, and among the youth; above all write about any dissatisfaction the workers feel with us Social-Democrats, about the things that trouble them, about their suggestions, criticisms, etc. Matters relating to the practical organisation of the work are particularly interesting now, and there is no way of acquainting the editors with them except by a lively correspondence not of a journalistic nature, but simply of a comradely kind. Of course, not everyone has the ability or inclination to write, but . . . don't say "I can't", say "I don't want to"; given the desire, one or two comrades who could write can be found in any circle, any group, even the smallest, even the most minor (the minor groups are often especially interesting, for they sometimes do the most important, though inconspicuous, part of the work). We here have from the start placed the secretarial work on a broad footing, drawing on the experience of the old Iskra ; and you for your part should know that anybody, absolutely anybody who sets about it with patience and determination can without much difficulty make sure that all his letters, or nine-tenths of them, reach their destination. I say this on the basis of the three years' experience of the old Iskra, which had many such an informal correspondent (often unacquainted with any of the editors) who wrote with the utmost regularity.
The police have long been quite unequal to the task of intercepting all foreign correspondence (they only seize a letter occasionally, if the writer has been unusually careless); and the great bulk of the old Iskra's material always used to arrive in the most usual way, in ordinary letters sent to our addresses. A special word of warning against the practice of concentrating correspondence only in the hands of the committee and the secretaries. Nothing could be more harmful than such a monopoly. Essential as unity is in actions and decisions, in the matter of general information, of correspondence, it is quite wrong. It very often happens that the most interesting letters are from comparative "outsiders" (people more remote from the committees), who perceive more freshly much that old experienced workers overlook because they are too used to it. Give every opportunity to the younger people to write to us -- to the youth, to Party workers, to "centralists", to organisers, and to ordinary rank-and-filers at impromptu meetings and mass rallies.
Only given such a wide correspondence can we, by our joint efforts, make our paper a real organ of the working class movement in Russia. We earnestly request, to have this letter read to every kind of meeting, study circle, subgroup, etc., etc. -- as widely as possible -- and to be informed how the workers receive this appeal. As to the idea of publishing a separate workers' ("popular") organ and a general -- guiding -- intellectual organ, we are very sceptical about it; we should like to see the Social-Democratic newspaper the organ of the whole movement, to see the workers' paper and the Social-Democratic paper fused in one. This can be achieved only if we have the most active support of the working class.
With comradely greetings, N. Lenin
 The Council Against the Party, by Orlovsky (V. V. Vorovsky), was issued in Geneva in November 1904 by the Bolshevik Bonch-Bruyevich and Lenin Publishing House of Social-Democratic Party Literature.
 Three conferences of Bolshevik local committees were held in September-December 1904: 1) the Southern (Odessa, Ekaterinoslav, and Nikolayev committees); 2) the Caucasian (Baku, Batum, Tiflis, and Imeretian-Mingrelian committees); and 3) the Northern (St. Petersburg, Moscow, Tver, Riga, Northern, and Nizhni-Novgorod committees).
At Lenin's suggestion, the conferences elected a Bureau of Majority Committees for preparing and convening the Third Party Congress, consisting of Gusev, Zemlyachka, Lyadov, Litvinov, and others. The Bureau, of which Lenin became a member, was formally constituted in December 1904.
 The meeting in Geneva on August 20 (September 2), 1904, was called by the Mensheviks by way of providing support for the "July Declaration" of the Central Committee. Both Mensheviks and Bolsheviks were invited. The Bolsheviks refused, however, to take part, and their representative withdrew after announcing that the meeting was not competent to pass resolutions in the name of both minority and majority. The Mensheviks were obliged to admit at this meeting that the Party committees in Russia opposed the conciliation policy of the Central Committee and that the great majority of them had broken off all relations with the Menshevik
 Lenin is referring to the letter to the Party organisations issued by the Menshevik
Iskra in November 1904, a criticism of which will be found in
The Zemstvo Campaign and "Iskra's" Plan (pp. 497-518 of this volume).
 Lenin is referring to the Bureau of Majority Committees.