V. I. Lenin

Preface To The Collected Articles

Against The Stream

Written: March, 1918
First Published: 1918 in the collected articles Against the Stream, Publishing House of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies Published according to the text of the collected articles
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, Progress Publishers, Moscow, Volume 26, 1972, page 221
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov and George Hanna, Edited by George Hanna
Transcription\HTML Markup: Robert Cymbala and David Walters
Online Version: Lenin Internet Archive March, 2001

The majority of the articles in this publication appeared abroad in Sotsial-Demokrat (Central Organ of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party-Bolsheviks), which was issued from the end of 1914 to the beginning of 1917 in Switzerland. Only one large magazine article is taken from the periodical Kommunist [1] (only one issue of which appeared in 1915 in Switzerland).

To understand correctly the connection between the individual articles, one must bear in mind the chronological sequence of their publication in the newspaper.

The articles are divided into two main categories. One part is devoted to an appraisal of the war and the political tasks arising from this appraisal. The other part examines internal Party relations, the struggle of groups, which for a long time seemed to short-sighted people to be “chaos” or a “personal conflict”, and which in fact has now led, as everyone can see, to a demarcation of the real socialists from the lackeys of the bourgeoisie, the Lieberdans,[2] Martovs and Co.

Obviously, the first part or first category of articles is incomparably more important. No class-conscious worker who wishes to understand the development of the ideas of the international socialist revolution and its first victory on October 25, 1917, can manage without an acquaintance with these articles.

N. Lenin


[1] Kommunist—a magazine organised by Lenin. It was published in Geneva by the editors of the newspaper Sotsial-Demokrat in 1915. Only one issue (a double issue) appeared. It contained three articles by Lenin: “ The Collapse of the Second International”, “ The Voice of an Honest French Socialist ”, and “ Imperialism and Socialism in Italy” (see present edition, Vol. 21, pp. 205-59, 349-56, 357-66).

Lenin had planned to make Kommunist an international organ of the Left Social-Democrats. But the editors of Sotsial-Demokrat soon became involved in serious disagreements with Bukharin, Pyatakov and Bosch, which grew worse after the magazine appeared. In view of this group’s anti-Party conduct the editors of Sotsial-Demokrat, on Lenin’s suggestion, announced that they considered it impossible to continue publishing the magazine.

[2] Lieberdans—ironic nickname for the Menshevik leaders, Lieber and Dan, and their supporters. It caught on after a satirical article by Demyan Bedny called “The Lieberdan” had appeared in the Moscow Bolshevik newspaper Sotsial-Demokrat No. 141, August 25 (September 7), 1917.