V. I. Lenin



Written in the second half of 1899
First published in 1925
in Lenin Miscellany III

Published according
to manuscripts copied
by an unknown hand

From V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th English Edition,
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972

First printing 1960
Second printing 1964
Third printing 1972

Vol. 4, pp. 205-26.

Translated by Joe Fineberg and by George Hanna
Edited by Victor Jerome

Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo, (March 1998)


   LETTER TO THE EDITORIAL GROUP   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .


   OUR PROGRAMME .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .


   OUR IMMEDIATE TASK  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .


   AN URGENT QUESTION  .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .



From Marx
to Mao



Notes on
the Text

    page 433


      [80] Lenin wrote "Our Programme," "Our Immediate Task," and "An Urgent Question " during his exile. He intended the articles for Rabochaya Gazeta, which had been adopted as official organ of the Party at the First Congress of the R.S.D.L.P. An attempt to renew the publication of the newspaper was made in 1899 and the editorial group proposed to Lenin that he assume the editorship; later it invited him to collaborate. Lenin sent the articles with the letter to the editorial group. The attempt to renew publication was unsuccessful and the articles were never printed.    [p.205]

    page 444

      [81] Russian opportunists, the "economists" and the Bundists, were in agreement with Bernstein's views. In his Premises of Socialism Bernstein represented their agreement with his views as being that of the majority of the Russian Social-Democrats.    [p.208]

      [82] This is a reference to the split in the Union of Russian Social-Democrats Abroad at its first conference held in Zurich in November 1898.    [p.208]

      [83] The collection, Proletarskaya Borba (Proletarian Struggle ), No. 1, published by the Social-Democratic group of the Urals, was printed in the winter of 1898-99 at the group's own press. The writers who prepared the collection adopted an "economist" position denied the necessity for an independent working-class political party and believed that the political revolution could be effected by a general strike. Lenin characterised the views of the authors of this collection in an assessment in Chapter IV of What Is to Be Done? (see present edition, Vol. 5).    [p.208]

      [84] The reference is to "A Draft Programme of Our Party" (see pp. 227-54 of this volume).    [p.208]

      [85] This refers to the Second Congress of the R.S.D.L.P., which was to have been convened in the spring of 1900. For Lenin's attitude to the convening of a congress at this time see pp. 323 and 353 of this volume.    [p.208]

      [86] F. P. -- one of Lenin's pen-names.    [p.209]

      [87] The reference is to Plekhanov's article, "Bernstein and Materialism," published in issue No. 44 of Neue Zeit (New Times ), organ of German-Social-Democrats, in July 1898.    [p.211]

      [88] The Hannover Congress of the German Social-Democrats was held in 1899 from September 27 to October 2 (October 9-14). In the discussion of the chief point on the agenda, "The Attack on the Fundamental Views and Tactics of the Party," the Congress voted against Bernstein's revisionist views, without, however, subjecting them to an extensive criticism.    [p.211]

      [89] The law of June 2 (14), 1897, establishing an eleven-and-a-half hour day for industrial enterprises and railway workshops. Prior to this the working day in Russia had not been regulated and was as long as fourteen or fifteen hours. The tsarist government was forced to issue the June 2 law because of pressure on the part of the working-class movement headed by the Leninist "League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class." Lenin made a detailed analysis and criticism of the law in a pamphlet entitled The New Factory Law (see present edition, Vol. 2, pp. 267-315).    [p.213]

      [90] Marx and Engels, The Manifesto of the Communist Party (Selected Works, Vol. 1, Moscow, 1958, pp. 42-43).    [p.216]

    page 445

      [91] The Exceptional Law Against the Socialists was promuluated in Germany in 1878. The law suppressed all organisations of the Social-Democratic Party, mass working-class organisations, and the labour press; socialist literature was confiscated and the banishing of socialists began. The law was annulled in 1890 undor pressure of the mass working-class movement.    [p.224]

      [92] Vorwarts (Forward ) -- the central organ of German Social-Democracy; it was first published in 1876 and was edited by Wilhelm Liebknecht and others. Engels made use of its columns for the struggle against all manifestations of opportunism. From the middle nineties, however, after the death of Engels, Vorwarts began regularly to print articles of the opportunists, who predominated in German Social-Democracy and in the Second International.    [p.224]