V. I. Lenin

Draft Resolution of the R.S.D.L.P. Central Committee to Terminate Publication of the Journal Kommunist{2}

Written: Written after March 28 (April 10), 1910
Published: First published in 1962 in Vol. 27 of the Fifth Russian edition of the Collected Works. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1977, Moscow, Volume 41, pages 367-368.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marxists.org) © 2004 Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.  

Not for the press:

Taking into consideration

(1) that Kommunist was founded—temporarily and as an experiment—by a federated editorial board, when there had been no sign of any difference on any substantial question between the C.O. Editorial Board and the rest of the Editorial Board as a whole;

(2) that after No. 1–2 of “Kommunistthree members of the Editorial Board put forward such differences in their sighed theses on the question of self-determination;

(3) that an exchange of opinion on this question revealed deep divergence over the assessment of the role of democratic demands and the minimum programme in general;—

—the C.C. resolves: to recognise the continuation of the journal Kommunist as impossible and to declare that t h i s publication is hereby terminated.—

Furthermore. With a view to extending the discussion on the controversial questions and to having them clarified before a broader circle of leading comrades, the C.C. resolves:

to request the three comrades who have signed the theses to draw up a motivated statement of their differences with the C.O. Editorial Board.

This statement together with a reply by the C.O. Editorial Board shall be communicated to a broader circle of leading Party workers for a final decision on whether it is desirable and necessary to open a debate in the press.{3}

I very much regret that you are dragging out this “terribly boring” business. I repeat—I, too, am terribly bored with having to repeat—that I must decline to take part in Kommunist.

Your plan lacks principle and tends to confound the confusion. If there are no profound differences of principle, the submission to the C.C. is either slander or intrigue, and you will be exposed by every worker in Russia.

If there are, a s m u c h must be said: after No. 1–2 people have begun to confuse things outrageously; w e   decline responsibility; we believe it to be our duty not to encourage but to expose. As a concession we invite (see leaflet) them to have another discussion
before an “enlarged circle” (so as not to shame them in the press; not to kill them outright by polemics).
{That is the only reason.}

For S b o r n i k S o t s i a l- D e m o k r a t a{4} we have, apart from a number of our articles,[1] Varin + Alexander + reports + indictment (I have not yet received it) + Safarov + Latvian + Kollontai (probably).

The Japanese{5} should be invited only to be shamed; Bukharin—only order material on the economic question.

Radek should n o t be invited (his article is l e g a l and is not at all important in this shape). We shall have to fight against his theses.

Here is my opinion. Kommunist is a corpse and I am not taking part in reviving it.

Alexander (and the Russian workers in the Bureau) should confront them with this question of p r i n c i p l e: we do not take on the Editorial Board people who confuse things outrageously and refuse to learn, who do not even wish to make an effort to set forth their opinion. They want to p l a y u s o f f against the P.S.D., that much is clear, while they themselves are safe on the sidelines.

Kommunist met the task of that period: to rally everyone against social-chauvinism and Kautskyism.

The task now is different: we are faced with a s t r u g g l e against “imperialist E c o n o m i s m”.

Salut, Lenin

P.S. Why did you not reply whether or not Sukhanov was sent to Geneva? I send you material for Grimm.

No luck with translation of the theses.


[1] There will be enough “writers” for t w o collections! —Lenin

{2} Kommunist was organised by Lenin and was published by the Editorial Board of Sotsial-Demokrat together with G. L. Pyatakov and Yevgenia Bosh, who financed the publication. N. I. Bukharin was also on the Editorial Board. One (double) issue was published. It carried, apart from the article “The Voice of an Honest French Socialist”, two other articles by Lenin: “The Collapse of the Second International” and “Imperialism and Socialism in Italy”.

The plan for the publication of the journal was worked out by Lenin in the spring of 1915. He directed the organisational meeting of the Editorial Board. Lenin hoped to make it an international organ of Left-wing Social-Democrats. However, there soon appeared serious differences between the Editorial Board and Bukharin, Pyatakov and Bosh, which were aggravated after the issue of No. 1–2. The Bukharin-Pyatakov-Bosh group took an incorrect attitude on many basic questions of the Programme and tactics of the Party—the right of nations to self-determination, the role of democratic demands and the minimum programme in general, etc.—and tried to use the journal for their factional aims. On the Editorial Board, Lenin conducted a struggle against the Bukharin Pyatakov-Bosh group, exposing their anti-Bolshevik views and factional acts, and sharply criticising the conciliatory attitude of G. Y. Zinoviev and A. G. Shlyapnikov towards the group.

In view of the anti-Party behaviour of this group, the Editorial Board of Sotsial-Demokrat, on Lenin’s proposal, declared that it considered the further publication of the journal impossible. The C.C. Bureau in Russia, having heard a report on the differences on the Kommunist Editorial Board, declared, its full solidarity with the Editorial Board of the Central Organ, Sotsial-Demokrat, and expressed the wish that “all C.C. publications should be edited in a strictly consistent tenor, in full conformity with the line of the C.C., which it had adopted at the beginning of the war”. p. 367

{3} The following text is an addition to the draft resolution, addressed to G. Y. Zinoviev. p. 367

{4} Sbornik Sotsial-Demokrata (Sotsial-Demokrat Collection) was founded by Lenin and published by the Editorial Board of the newspaper Sotsial-Demokrat. There were two issues: No. 1 in October and No. 2 in December 1916. Material was prepared for No. 3 which was to include Lenin’s article “A Caricature of Marxism and Imperialist Economism”, but the publication was discontinued for lack of funds. p. 368

{5} The name given to G. Pyatakov and Yevgenia Bosh because they had emigrated from Russia to Switzerland via Japan. p. 368

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