V. I. Lenin



Written in the second half
of December (old style) 1916
First published (in abridged form)
in La Vérité No. 48,
January 27, 1918
First published in full
in Russian in the magazine
Proletarskaya Revolutsia
No. 7 (90), 1929

Published according to
La Vérité page proofs
Translated from the French

From V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th English Edition,
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1964

Vol. 23, pp. 195-204.

Translated from the Russian by
M. S. Levin, Joe Fineberg and Others
Edited by M. S. Levin

Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo,
 (May 2002)

    page 399


      [92] This article was written in reply to an open letter by Boris Souvarine, the French Centrist, "A nos amis qui sont en Suisse" ("To Our Friends in Switzerland"), published in Le Populaire du Centre. December 10, 1916.

    page 400

        Lenin sent the article to Souvarine who in January 1918 turned it over to the socialist La Vérité for publication, together with his preface. The article was to have appeared on January 24, in No 45 of the paper, but was banned by the censor. La Vérité came out with a blank space, over which was the heading "Un document inédit. Une lettre de Lénine" ("Unpublished document. A Letter from Lenin") with the signature "Lénine". Three days later, on January 27, La Vérité published the article, with many cuts and with its own subheadings, in No. 48. The full text was published in the magazine Proletarskaya Revolutsia (Proletarian Revolution ) No. 7. 1929 from the La Vérité galleys.    [p. 195]

      [93] l'Humanité -- daily French socialist newspaper founded in 1904 by Jean Jaurès. During the First World War was controlled by the socialist Right wing and tollowed a chauvinist policy.

        In 1918 Marcel Cachin, an outstanding leader of the French and international workers' movement, became its political editor. In 1918-20 l'Humanité campaigned against the French Government's imperialist policy of armed intervention in Soviet Russia. In December 1920, following the split in the Socialist Party and the founding of the Communist Party, l'Humanité became the Communist Central Organ.    [p. 197]

      [94] Appeal to Reason -- a newspaper published by the American socialists, founded in Girard, Kansas, in 1895. Had no official connections with the U.S. Socialist Party but propagated socialist ideas and enjoyed wide popularity among the workers. Took up an internationalist position in the First World War.
        Lenin's reference is to Eugene Debs' article "When I Shall Fight", in the issue of September 11, 1915 (No. 1032).    [p. 200]

      [95] In January 1912 the Mensheviks were expelled from the Party by decision of the Sixth (Prague) Conference of the R.S.D.L.P.
        The Sixth All-Russia Conference of the R.S.D.L.P. met from January 5 to January 17 (18-30), 1912 in Prague and actually assumed the character of a Party congress.
        Lenin was the leading figure at the Conference. He delivered the reports on the current situation and the tasks of the Party, the work of the International Socialist Bureau, and took part in the discussions. He also drafted the resolutions on all major agenda items.

        The Conference resolutions on "Liquidationism and the Group of Liquidators and on "The Party Organisation Abroad" were of tremendous theoretical and practical significance. The Conference declared that by their conduct the liquidators had definitely placed themselves outside the Party and expelled them from the R.S.D.L.P. The Conference condemned the activities of the anti-Party groups abroad -- the Menshevik Golos group, the Vperyod and Trotsky groups, and recognised the absolute necessity for a single Party organisation abroad, conducting its work under the supervision and guidance of the C.C., and pointed out that Party groups abroad "which refuse to submit to the Russian centre of Social-Democratic

    page 401

    activity, i.e., to the Central Committee, and which cause disorganisation by communicating with Russia independently and ignoring the Central Committee, have no right to use the name of the R.S.D.L.P.". The Conference adopted a resolution on "The Character and Organisational Forms of Party Work", approved Lenin's draft Organisational Rules, made the newspaper Sotsial-Demokrat the Party Central Organ, elected a Party Central Committee and set up the Bureau of the C.C. in Russia.
        The Prague Conference played an outstanding part in building the Bolshevik Party, a party of a new type, and in strengthening its unity. It summed up a whole historical period of struggle against the Mensheviks, consolidated the victory of the Bolsheviks and expelled the Menshevik liquidators from the Party. Local Party organisations rallied still closer round the Party on the basis of the Conference decisions. The Conference strengthened the Party as an all-Russian organisation and defined its political line and tactics in the conditions of the new revolutionary upsurge. The Prague Conference was of great international significance. It showed the revolutionary elements of the parties of the Second International how to conduct a decisive struggle against opportunism by carrying the fight to a complete organisational break with the opportunists.    [p. 203]

      [96] De Tribune -- organ of the Left wing of the Social-Democratic Labour Party of Holland. Founded in 1907 by A. Pannekoek H. Gorter, D. Wijnkoop and Henriette Roland-Holst. In 1909, following the expulsion of the Left wing, became the official organ of the new, Social-Democratic Party, and in 1918 of the Dutch Communist Party. It appeared under this name until 1940.    [p. 204]