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V. I. Lenin
TO MEMBERS OF THE POLITBUREAU
OF THE R.C.P.(B.) C.C.
Written on December 2, 1921
First published in 1959
in Lenin Miscellany XXXVI
Printed from the original
From V. I. Lenin, Collected Works, 4th English Edition,
Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1970
Vol. 45, pp. 392-93.
Translated from the Russian
by Yuri Sdobnikov
Prepared © for the Internet by David J. Romagnolo, email@example.com (March 2001)
LETTER TO MEMBERS OF THE POLITBUREAU
OF THE R.C.P.(B.) C.C.
Members of the Politbureau
Having now fully read the platform "We Are Collectivists" (Vperyod-ites, Bogdanov-ites, Proletcult people, etc.), I have finally come to the conclusion that it would be unquestionably useful for us and necessary to print it as a pamphlet in 2,000-3,000 copies, with the most circumstantial critique, with an addition of an article on Bogdanov's political statements in 1917, etc.
I propose that a number of authors should be asked to write a pamphlet under the editorship of Bukharin, who should be authorised to share it out between the authors, obtain their manuscripts within two weeks and show the Politbureau in proof. (This is also necessary for foreign countries.)
1) C.C. circulars about Proletcults.
2) "We Are Collectivists".
3) Bukharin's article from Pravda.
4) A few more articles analysing the platform.
<"en449"> This platform was an anonymous document expressing the views of some intellectuals, and was issued for the Second All-Russia Proletcult Congress held in Moscow in November 1921. They cast doubt on the socialist character of the October Revolution and came out against the policy of the Communist Party and the Soviet Government; in philosophy they stood up for Machist and Bogdanovite "theories", and in politics adopted the views of the opportunist Workers' Opposition. The communist group
of the Second Proletcult Congress condemned the "collectivist" platform and dissociated itself from it.
Proletcult (Proletarian Culture Organisation) was set up in September 1917 as an independent workers' organisation. Proletcult, whose direction was in the hands of A. Bogdanov and his supporters, continued, even after the October Revolution, to maintain its "independence", thereby setting itself up in opposition to the Communist Party and the proletarian state. It was not a homogeneous organisation: alongside bourgeois intellectuals, who dominated many of its organisations, there were young workers who were sincerely desirous of taking part in cultural construction. In a number of his works, Lenin sharply criticised Proletcult's erroneous views. Proletcult organisations were most widespread in 1919, but declined in the early 1920s and were dissolved in 1932.
Lenin's proposal for a pamphlet exposing the "collectivist" platform was adopted by the Politbureau of the R.C.P.(B.) C.C. on December 3, 1921.
The "C.C. circulars" mentioned in the text are the R.C.P.(B.) C.C. letter "On the Proletcults" (see Pravda No. 270, December 1, 1920) and the Politbureau's decision on the Proletcults of November 22, 1921, published in Izvestia R.C.P.(B.) C.C. No. 36 for 1921. [p. 392]